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The Circle of Competence Podcast focuses on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explores each guest's journey of buying, building, and operating businesses. From real estate to technology to small business investing and more, this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to build a sustainable operation in today's competitive world. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-circle-of-competence/support
 
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show series
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with A.J. Wasserstein, Professor at Yale School of Management where he teaches courses on SMB leadership, acquisitions, and entrepreneurship. In our conversation, we covered: - What is a programmatic acquisition strategy and why it matters - How AJ implemented this strategy while leading ArchivesOne, forming the t…
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Mark Valdez, founder of Eads Bridge Holdings. Mark has a deep background in tech, previously serving as the chief of staff for Marc Andreessen before jumping ship to build a tech-enabled small business holding company. In our conversation, we covered: The thesis behind Eads Bridge Holdings EBH’s 4 step digita…
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Jeff Sands, founding partner of Dorset Partners, a firm specializing distressed business turnarounds. Jeff is also the author of "Corporate Turnaround Artistry: Fix a Business in 100 Days." In our conversation, we covered: - What strategies Jeff uses in the first 100 days of a business turnaround - How to neg…
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Quinn Miller, founder of Blue Agave Vending and Fairway Coffee. Quinn has built a vending machine empire and is rolling his capital into new endeavors. In our conversation, we covered: - How to get started in the vending business - What makes a vending location great - Cold calling tactics - How to bootstrap …
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Twitter personality Bauncey Chillups. Mr. Chillups currently works for a large family office and focuses purely on the public markets. In our conversation, we covered: The point guard analogy for public markets investing His investment playbook for the public markets How he underwrites the long-term earnings …
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Nick Haschka, Founder of Cub Investments, a holding company for small businesses, as well as CEO of The Wright Gardner, a commercial landscaping and plant management business. In our conversation, we covered: - Why Cub Investments focuses on continuous improvement rather than goal setting - Nick's post-close …
 
This week, I spoke with Andrew Wilkinson, founder of Tiny, about buying, building, and operating internet businesses. The Big Idea: Podcasting right now is where the internet was in 1999. Favorite Quote: "As soon as I start doing something I don't enjoy, I want someone else to do it and it turns out that's a really good quality for an entrepreneur.…
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Chris Fredericks, founder of Empowered Ventures, a uniquely structured holding company that is employee owned. In our conversation, we covered: A deep dive on how ESOPs work When ESOPs make sense in a business transition How to implement an ESOP The dynamics present within an employee-owned company What types…
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Colin Keeley, co-founder of Verne, a holding company for SaaS businesses. In our conversation, we covered: What makes a SaaS business attractive Verne’s playbook post-close Sizing up the software market A SaaS business case study The opportunity to automate back-office tasks --- Support this podcast: https://…
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with A.J. Wasserstein, Professor at Yale School of Management where he teaches courses on SMB leadership, acquisitions, and entrepreneurship. In our conversation, we covered: What makes a business attractive Navigating the three stages of entrepreneurship (do, manage, lead) How to optimize a career around your val…
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Sieva Kozinsky and Xavier Helgesen, the founders of Enduring Ventures. Topics covered included: How to select partners How to hire the best talent (and what to look for) How they incentivize executives How they structured their C Corp Their latest acquisition: a family-run HVAC company --- Support this podcas…
 
This week, Victor and Benton spoke with Ed Redden, President of Evermore Industries. In our conversation, we covered the following topics: Picking the right partner in any endeavor Aligning long-term incentives between operators and investors How to research an industry The most important economic characteristics of a business Developing talent ---…
 
This week, Victor and Benton discussed Benton’s recent acquisition of a real estate services company (property management, leasing, maintenance). They dig into what his first week was like, what’s on his immediate to-do list, and how he’s feeling as a new owner. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-circle-of-competence/support…
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with Chris Williams about his current search for a lower middle market business to acquire and how he thought through choosing the right route as an ‘entrepreneurial investor.’ In our conversation, we covered the following topics: Deep dive into search fund models How to choose which search fund route to pursue Structu…
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with Chris Powers about how he built Fort Capital into the real estate company it is today - all while investing in early stage tech companies and running a podcast. This is a masterclass in delegation, hiring, and how to surround yourself with the right people. In our conversation, we covered the following topics: - H…
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with Thomas Kim about building the Everclean Car Wash brand and how he dealt with personal tragedy as an entrepreneur. In our conversation, we covered the following topics: - Switching from early stage tech companies to ‘boring businesses’ - Everclean’s subscription-based business model - How Everclean trains employees…
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with Dan Teran about building and operating a tech enabled services business in the office management space. Dan is the founder of Managed by Q which was sold to WeWork. He was also the former head of Corporate Development and Venture M&A at WeWork. In our conversation, we covered the following topics: - Why happy empl…
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with John Wilson about buying, building, and operating businesses in the trades. John is the owner of The Wilson Companies and in our conversation, we covered the following topics: - The first 90 days post-close in a service business - How to structure compensation and incentives in the trades - How John sources deals …
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with Bill D'Alessandro about buying, building, and operating great e-commerce brands. Bill is the founder and CEO of Elements Brands and in our conversation, we covered the following topics: - How to source a contract manufacturer as a CPG business - How to apply an 80/20 approach to your business - How Elements Brands…
 
This week, Benton spoke with Ryan Begelman about how his journey in business shaped his views on finding purpose, setting goals, and practicing mindfulness. We dove deep into how he coaches high-level executives to find peace and clarity in the moment. Ryan is the former CEO of Bisnow as well as a former co-owner of Powder Mountain. In our conversa…
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with Alex Bridgeman about building a profitable podcast in a niche space. Alex is the founder of the 'Think Like an Owner' podcast and in our conversation, we covered the following topics: - The 'Think Like An Owner' long-term vision - Why searchers should start a podcast - Starting, growing, and running a podcast - Mo…
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with Kelcey Lehrich about buying, building, and operating e-commerce brands. Kelcey is the CEO of 365 Holdings and in our conversation, we covered the following topics: - Branding 101 for e-commerce businesses - Economics of 3PL - Business models in the e-commerce space - 365 Holdings' org setup - The first 90 days pos…
 
This week, Victor and I spoke with Mike Griffin about buying, building, and operating blue collar service businesses. Mike is the Managing Partner of the Griffin Brothers Companies and is an incredibly experienced operator in the blue collar space. In our conversation, we covered the following topics: - How to compete effectively in service busines…
 
In our brief conversation, we cover why we partnered and our North Star for the podcast. We are excited to share our journey learning about buying, building, and operating wonderful businesses and hope you will join us! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-circle-of-competence/support
 
This week, I spoke with Andrew Wilkinson, founder of Tiny, about buying, building, and operating internet businesses. The Big Idea: Podcasting right now is where the internet was in 1999. Favorite Quote: "As soon as I start doing something I don't enjoy, I want someone else to do it and it turns out that's a really good quality for an entrepreneur.…
 
This week I interviewed Moses Kagan, founder of Adaptive Realty, a real estate private equity firm based out of Los Angeles, CA. We dove into his journey building Adaptive Realty's real estate investment and management platform, how he structures deals, and the pain points of growing a real estate operating company. During our conversation we discu…
 
This week I interviewed Justin Turner, Partner at Traction Capital Partners. We discussed his journey building Traction and did a deep dive on the first two companies that Traction purchased. The two biggest takeaways from our conversation were twofold. I. Small businesses are small for a reason. Delegation, hiring, management, retaining complete c…
 
This week, I'm sharing my conversation with Drew Pearson, founder of real estate private equity firm, Pearson Partners. Pearson Partners' "goal is to create a recession resistant real estate investment that produces consistent cash flow with an opportunity for upside" by investing in quality class B properties. In our conversation, we covered: - Ad…
 
This week, I'm sharing my conversation with Henry Kaestner, founder of Sovereign's Capital and host of the Faith Driven Entrepreneur podcast. Sovereign's Capital "invests in two market segments: profitable, lower middle market companies (with $10 million to $100 million in revenue, and $2.5 million to $10 million in owner earnings) and promising, e…
 
This week, I'm excited to share my conversation with Shirin Kanji, President of Impact RTO Holdings and Chief Investment Officer of Impact Properties. The story behind Impact properties is one that proves that the American Dream is still alive and well with the right combination of work ethic, grit, and discipline. Their family has built an organiz…
 
This week's episode is a conversation I recorded with Trish Higgins who is the co-founder and a partner at Chenmark, a holding company that focuses on acquiring small businesses looking for a permanent home. We explored a great many topics about her experience in the SMB space, including: - Trish's background on Wall Street and her transition to Ma…
 
I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Arrieta recently for episode #13 of the Circle of Competence podcast. In our conversation, we hit everything from Michael's sales experience at CUTCO (where he was the #1 sales rep for several years), his time at Dell as chief of staff, his wild ride at DocuSign from private company to IPO, and finally his…
 
Episode #12 - Brent Beshore, CEO of Permanent Equity I had the pleasure of interviewing Brent Beshore recently for episode #12 of the Circle of Competence podcast. In our conversation, we hit everything from Brent's first investment in the small business space to building the Permanent Equity flywheel to his worldview between work, faith, and purpo…
 
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mohnish Pabrai for episode #11 of the Circle of Competence podcast. In this wide-ranging conversation, we covered concepts far and wide: - reflections on internal 'mapping' and what makes each one of us 'tick' - 'entrepreneurship as arbitrage' - Mohnish's early days of entrepreneurship with TransTech and his best …
 
My latest podcast interview is a conversation with Michael Girdley, Chairman of Dura Software, where we discuss: - Search funds (and Michael's advice to business school grads) - Dura's holding company model - What conditions are required for a GREAT startup investment - venture-backed software companies vs. niche software companies - Michael's play…
 
This week, I caught up with my good friend Neil O'Donnell on all things SPACS and monetary stimulus. We discussed typical terms around SPACs for founders as well as investors, what is driving the recent explosion in SPAC popularity, our thoughts on two SPACs in particular, and the macro environment in general. Resources mentioned: O'Shaughnessy Ass…
 
This week, I had a fun conversation with Monick Halm, the founder of Vineyard Investment Partners (Multifamily and Industrial Syndication Platform) and the Real Estate Investor Goddesses network (a women-focused educational platform dedicated to teaching women about the power of owning real estate). We covered her "3 C-s" required before working wi…
 
This week, I spoke with David Gardner, the Chairman of The Motley Fool, a financial advisor and media conglomerate focused on helping the world become happier, smarter, and richer through investing. In this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss the founding of The Motley Fool, his 6-part "Rulebreakers" investment framework, why valuation may not be…
 
This week, I spoke with Blair Silverberg, the CEO of Capital Technologies which is a software-based lending platform focusing on the venture debt space. In prior years, he worked at the illustrious venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and also invested personally in the private credit space. In his current role as CEO of Capital, he leads …
 
Jeran Fraser is a serial entrepreneur and land investor. In 1999, he launched his first startup during college selling land on Ebay. Through this experiences, he learned about commercial land development, alternative energy (geothermal and solar), mining and eventually grew his portfolio to 40,000+ acres, all while helping to manage the US Surf Tea…
 
Neil O'Donnell is the founder of Faraday Partners (a cell tower lease investment firm) and more recently, Legal Scale PLLC (a law firm focused on the venture debt space). Neil is one of the most widely read young investors and entrepreneurs that I've ever met and his story illustrates how studying great businesses and investors from the past can op…
 
Brian Burnett is the founder of Glenwood South Tailors (a high end custom tailor) and more recently, Burnett Development (an affordable housing and commercial real estate company). Brian's story is one of true social mobility and hustle, and is inspirational for anyone interested in service based businesses and real estate. In this episode, we disc…
 
Ryan Reeves is the founder of Investing City, an online financial media website whose mission is to save people time and boost their returns in the stock market through his research as a service platform and educational content where he seeks to teach people the fundamentals of long-term investing. He is best known for his business model breakdowns…
 
Nathan Reid is the founder of Capital Allocation Partners, a real estate private equity firm based out of Phoenix, AZ focused solely on value-add multifamily acquisitions and ground-up development. In this episode, we discuss structuring deals, alignment of incentives, real estate in a post-covid world, and more.CAP website: https://capitalallocati…
 
The Circle of Competence Podcast will focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes t…
 
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