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The Circle of Competence Podcast

The Circle of Competence Podcast

By The Circle of Competence Podcast

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.
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#44 - AJ Wasserstein, Part II - Structuring and Implementing Programmatic Acquisition Strategies
#44 - AJ Wasserstein, Part II - Structuring and Implementing Programmatic Acquisition Strategies
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 third largest records management business in the US - Lessons learned from 17 years buying small businesses at ArchivesOne - What factors to look for when determining whether this strategy is right for a business - How NOT to implement a programmatic acquisition strategy
01:00:08
August 29, 2021
#43 - How to Blend Software and Small Business Seamlessly with Mark Valdez, Founder of Eads Bridge Holdings
#43 - How to Blend Software and Small Business Seamlessly with Mark Valdez, Founder of Eads Bridge Holdings
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 digital strategy How Mark is building a tech-enabled platform for small businesses How to implement new software systems in a small business Mark’s experience as Marc Andreessen’s chief of staff
01:00:18
August 08, 2021
#42 - Insolvency, bankruptcy, and how to navigate turnaround situations with Jeff Sands, Dorset Partners
#42 - Insolvency, bankruptcy, and how to navigate turnaround situations with Jeff Sands, Dorset Partners
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 negotiate with creditors - A balance sheet turnaround vs. an income statement turnaround - How to run a business during lean times 
01:05:07
August 01, 2021
#41 - Vending machine mogul Quinn Miller on bootstrapping your way to cash flow
#41 - Vending machine mogul Quinn Miller on bootstrapping your way to cash flow
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 an e-commerce direct to consumer biz
59:47
July 25, 2021
#40 - How to play the public markets with Bauncey Chillups (@PrefShares)
#40 - How to play the public markets with Bauncey Chillups (@PrefShares)
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 potential of a business How he sources ideas and performs due diligence
01:13:23
July 18, 2021
#39 - Scaling a service business through programmatic acquisitions with Nick Haschka
#39 - Scaling a service business through programmatic acquisitions with Nick Haschka
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 playbook - His framework for acquiring bolt-on organizations - Nick's methodology for hiring and retaining employees in service businesses
01:14:05
July 11, 2021
[REPLAY] Episode #20 - Buying Wonderful Internet Businesses with Andrew Wilkinson, Founder of Tiny
[REPLAY] Episode #20 - Buying Wonderful Internet Businesses with Andrew Wilkinson, Founder of Tiny
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. It's what makes an entrepreneur. Very quickly when I started my business I started delegating. And If you follow that progression over decades, the ultimate form of delegation is investing and hiring others to run your businesses." Topics Covered: - Business models for internet companies - How Tiny is organized as a holding company - Structuring incentives for executives - Why to avoid competing with venture-backed companies - The podcasting industry - A local news experiment in Victoria, Canada
01:12:38
July 04, 2021
#38 - Deep dive into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) with Chris Fredericks, Founder of Empowered Ventures
#38 - Deep dive into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) with Chris Fredericks, Founder of Empowered Ventures
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 of companies are best for ESOPs
01:08:52
June 27, 2021
#37 - The Opportunity in Niche Saas Businesses with Colin Keeley, Co-founder of Verne
#37 - The Opportunity in Niche Saas Businesses with Colin Keeley, Co-founder of Verne
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
46:40
June 20, 2021
#36 - Lifestyle Design as an Entrepreneur with AJ Wasserstein, Professor at Yale School of Management
#36 - Lifestyle Design as an Entrepreneur with AJ Wasserstein, Professor at Yale School of Management
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 values Lifestyle design as an entrepreneur
56:50
June 13, 2021
#35 - How to identify talent and spot attractive businesses with Sieva Kozinsky and Xavier Helgeson, Cofounders of Enduring Ventures
#35 - How to identify talent and spot attractive businesses with Sieva Kozinsky and Xavier Helgeson, Cofounders of Enduring Ventures
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
01:28:21
June 06, 2021
#34 - Flywheels in Business, Life, and Beyond
#34 - Flywheels in Business, Life, and Beyond
This week, Benton discusses his views on how feedback loops and flywheels permeate everything in life from business to interpersonal relationships to spirituality.
30:42
May 30, 2021
#33 - How to build a partnership to invest for the long-term with Ed Redden of Evermore Industries
#33 - How to build a partnership to invest for the long-term with Ed Redden of Evermore Industries
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
01:25:42
May 23, 2021
#32 - Behind the scenes in a real estate services business with Benton & Victor
#32 - Behind the scenes in a real estate services business with Benton & Victor
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.
43:41
May 16, 2021
#31 - What it takes to find and buy a lower middle market business with Chris Williams, Founder of Fairway Transitions
#31 - What it takes to find and buy a lower middle market business with Chris Williams, Founder of Fairway Transitions
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 Structuring a SMB search fund deal Attracting the right investors What makes an SMB opportunity attractive A live deal
01:27:04
May 09, 2021
#30 - How to delegate intentionally while running 3 companies with Chris Powers of Fort Capital, Fort Ventures, and the Fort Podcast
#30 - How to delegate intentionally while running 3 companies with Chris Powers of Fort Capital, Fort Ventures, and the Fort Podcast
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: - How Chris grew Fort Capital from his first real estate purchase in college - Delegation as a prerequisite to growth - Fort Capital’s unique bonus structure - Fort Capital’s industrial real estate thesis & flywheel - The massive opportunity in the proptech space - How Chris sources both real estate and early stage tech deals
01:23:12
May 02, 2021
#29 - Handling personal tragedy as an entrepreneur with Thomas Kim, founder of the Everclean Car Wash brand
#29 - Handling personal tragedy as an entrepreneur with Thomas Kim, founder of the Everclean Car Wash brand
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 - Thomas’ leadership principles - Thomas’ advice for dealing with personal tragedy as an entrepreneur
01:22:56
April 25, 2021
#28 - Building a tech enabled services business with Dan Teran, former CEO of Managed By Q and Head of Corp. Dev. at WeWork
#28 - Building a tech enabled services business with Dan Teran, former CEO of Managed By Q and Head of Corp. Dev. at WeWork
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 employees help create happy customers - The opportunity in tech enabled services - His role in M&A at WeWork - His thoughts on the office and big cities post-pandemic
59:57
April 18, 2021
#27 - Buying, building, and operating businesses in the trades with John Wilson, CEO of The Wilson Companies
#27 - Buying, building, and operating businesses in the trades with John Wilson, CEO of The Wilson Companies
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 through CapTarget - Why John insists on using ServiceTitan in the trades
01:29:03
April 11, 2021
#26 - How to identify, acquire, and operate an internet brand with Bill D'Alessandro, CEO of Elements Brands
#26 - How to identify, acquire, and operate an internet brand with Bill D'Alessandro, CEO of Elements Brands
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 is organized - How to know if a company has an actual 'brand' - Building an e-commerce brand - How to strategically position a brand by price and quality
01:01:45
April 04, 2021
#25 - What one CEO learned over 15 years about purpose, goals, and mindfulness with Ryan Begelman
#25 - What one CEO learned over 15 years about purpose, goals, and mindfulness with Ryan Begelman
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 conversation, we covered the following topics: - Mindfulness in action - how to achieve a peaceful mind at all times - How to set goals and make decisions while maintaining contentment in the moment - How to get clarity about what we REALLY want in life - How to establish your purpose, your goals, and your daily habits - Following your curiosity vs. following your talent - The skills required to grow a holding company
01:16:03
March 28, 2021
#24 - Starting and Growing a Profitable Podcast with Alex Bridgeman, Founder of Think Like an Owner Podcast
#24 - Starting and Growing a Profitable Podcast with Alex Bridgeman, Founder of Think Like an Owner Podcast
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 - Monetizing a podcast - What makes a great interview - Lessons learned from 50+ conversations in the SMB space - Niche businesses you've never heard of before
01:10:41
March 21, 2021
#23 - Operating E-commerce Brands with Kelcey Lehrich, CEO of 365 Holdings
#23 - Operating E-commerce Brands with Kelcey Lehrich, CEO of 365 Holdings
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 post-close playbook - The EOS framework for operating businesses
01:11:21
March 14, 2021
#22 - Building Blue Collar Businesses with Mike Griffin, Managing Partner of the Griffin Brothers Companies
#22 - Building Blue Collar Businesses with Mike Griffin, Managing Partner of the Griffin Brothers Companies
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 businesses - Hiring, retaining, and training great employees - How Griffin Brothers incentivizes their business managers based on P&L - The advantages of sharing admin services between portfolio companies - Deep dive into the landfill business - ZoomUp - a seed investment strategy for young entrepreneurs in blue-collar industries
01:15:47
March 07, 2021
#21 - Introducing Victor Corrigan, co-host of the Circle of Competence Podcast
#21 - Introducing Victor Corrigan, co-host of the Circle of Competence Podcast
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!
24:14
February 28, 2021
Episode #20 - Buying Wonderful Internet Businesses with Andrew Wilkinson, Founder of Tiny
Episode #20 - Buying Wonderful Internet Businesses with Andrew Wilkinson, Founder of Tiny
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. It's what makes an entrepreneur. Very quickly when I started my business I started delegating. And If you follow that progression over decades, the ultimate form of delegation is investing and hiring others to run your businesses." Topics Covered: - Business models for internet companies - How Tiny is organized as a holding company - Structuring incentives for executives - Why to avoid competing with venture-backed companies - The podcasting industry - A local news experiment in Victoria, Canada
01:12:38
February 21, 2021
Episode #19 - Moses Kagan, Founder of Adaptive Realty
Episode #19 - Moses Kagan, Founder of Adaptive Realty
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 discussed: - Moses' unique multifamily investment strategy at Adaptive Realty - the components of unlevered yield on cost - how he structures and sizes up debt positions on apartments - how he structures deals with his LP's as the GP in funds vs. individual deals - How great real estate managers operate properties - The process and pain points of growing a real estate investment and management company - how to keep good talent in the real estate business - why there are fees associated with real estate private equity deals - The Re-convene conference for real estate operators (re-convene.com) Links: Twitter Profile Adaptive Realty -- ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on entrepreneurship and investing, and explore each guest's unique journey. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, operator, and investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:29:44
February 07, 2021
Episode #18 - Justin Turner, Partner at Traction Capital Partners
Episode #18 - Justin Turner, Partner at Traction Capital Partners
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 control, and growth risk are all fears that first generation owners have to conquer before scaling a business. Some choose to stay small for a reason. This is your opportunity. (Share on Twitter) II. Growth is risky. A company can spend a TON of money upfront outfitting sales teams and building out a presence in a new market, only to enter the wrong market. Table selection is just as important as execution. (Share on Twitter) Enjoy our deep dive into his first two investments, SeaWestern and Swagoffroad.com. 
01:16:21
January 24, 2021
Episode #17 - Drew Pearson, Founder of Pearson Partners
Episode #17 - Drew Pearson, Founder of Pearson Partners
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: - Advice on specialization from his 10 year career as a CRE broker - The impact of technology on brokerage and 'winner take most' effect - How to differentiate yourself as a broker AND owner - The three types of industrial property (distribution, flex, warehouse) - Transitioning from commercial brokerage to ownership - Broker skillsets vs. Owner skillsets - Creating value in medical, industrial, and storage assets - Underwriting risks of various real estate asset classes - Assessing competitive positioning of a property (replacement cost, market rent, and market demand / growth) - Investing for cashflow vs. appreciation - An industrial deal breakdown - Drew's 'Five F's' (Faith, Family, Friends, Fun, Fitness) - Pearson Partners newsletter / website - Drew's twitter account -- ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on entrepreneurship and investing, and explore each guest's unique journey. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, operator, and investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:01:11
January 10, 2021
Episode #16 - Henry Kaestner, Founder of Sovereign's Capital
Episode #16 - Henry Kaestner, Founder of Sovereign's Capital
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, early-stage technology companies (with $500,000 to $5 million in annual recurring revenue)." In our conversation, we covered: - The Bandwidth.com story and Henry's years as CEO and Chairman - The culture at Bandwidth ($BAND) and how it was defined from the start - The incentives behind venture capital investment - Buying customers (and burning cash) vs. delighting customers (and keeping them) - Debt vs. equity for founders - Convertible debt and SAFE's - Henry's work and drive behind the Faith Driven Entrepreneur and Faith Driven Investor organizations - The launch of the Faith Driven Investor marketplace - The power of surrounding yourself with friends who will speak wisdom into your life - Henry's business idea to reinvent the collectibles industry using cloud labor and computer vision to grade collectibles and sell them over a marketplace platform
01:07:47
December 27, 2020
Episode #15 - Shirin Kanji, CIO of Impact Properties
Episode #15 - Shirin Kanji, CIO of Impact Properties
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 organization centered around real estate development and retail franchise operating companies. In our conversation, we covered: - The story behind Impact Properties - The family's first hotel development deal - The unique model behind the Kanji family business - Branded hotel development and operations - The competition and differences between the hotel market and Airbnb - The factors to consider when investing in franchises - What it takes to operate retail franchises - The family's Rent-A-Center franchise investment Links: - Impact Properties website - Shirin's Twitter account ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on entrepreneurship and investing, and explore each guest's unique journey. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, operator, and investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:17:48
December 13, 2020
Episode #14 - Trish Higgins, Partner at Chenmark
Episode #14 - Trish Higgins, Partner at Chenmark
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 Main Street - The 'why' behind starting Chenmark - The first Chenmark purchase and thesis behind the investment - The Chenmark playbook for businesses post-close - How Chenmark structures transactions - The 'people' side of small business - How Chenmark thinks about competitive advantage in small businesses - A startup idea that is sorely needed for the SMB space (hint: it involves customer reviews) LINKS: - Chenmark website - Chenmark newsletter - Trish's interview with Patrick O'Shaughnessy ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on entrepreneurship and investing, and explore each guest's unique journey. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, operator, and investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:10:58
November 29, 2020
Episode #13 - Michael Arrieta, CEO and founder of Garden City
Episode #13 - Michael Arrieta, CEO and founder of Garden City
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 passion for empowering blue collar service businesses through his permanent capital vehicle (Garden City). Michael is also deeply involved with a non-profit focused on reducing homelessness by applying 3-D printing technology to housing. I hope you enjoy this wide-ranging conversation and look forward to any and all feedback from listeners. Links and notable mentions: - Garden City website - New Story website - Michael's article explaining DocuSign's success as a public company PS - stick around for an interesting business idea at the end of the podcast! ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on entrepreneurship and investing, and explore each guest's unique journey. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, operator, and investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:01:01
November 15, 2020
Episode #12 - Brent Beshore, CEO of Permanent Equity
Episode #12 - Brent Beshore, CEO of Permanent Equity
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 purpose. A few links to books and articles mentioned in the show: Permanent Equity Writings: How to acquire your first small(er) company The Messy Marketplace (book) The Messy Marketplace (Podcast) Permanent Equity Principles Books Mentioned: Practicing The King’s Economy Living Life Backward: How Ecclesiastes Teaches Us to Live in Light of the End Mere Christianity Making Sense of God: an Invitation to a Skeptic The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry The Weight of Glory Enjoy! ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on entrepreneurship and investing, and explore each guest's unique journey. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, operator, and investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:01:25
November 01, 2020
Episode #11 - Mohnish Pabrai, CEO of Pabrai Funds, Founder of the Dakshana Foundation
Episode #11 - Mohnish Pabrai, CEO of Pabrai Funds, Founder of the Dakshana Foundation
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 investment ever - Mohnish's investment framework - Mohnish's lessons learned in 2020 - Mohnish's book list - Mohnish's amazing work with the Dakshana Foundation, which seeks to invest in the education of promising youth in India and 'break the shackles of poverty permanently.' I'd highly recommend checking out his personal website, Chai with Pabrai, for all of his book recommendations, past interviews, and books he's authored. Mohnish is a wealth of information when it comes to investing and business history and this episode clearly illustrated his ability to adapt over time, digest huge amounts of information, and make clear decisions based on available data. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did! -- ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on entrepreneurship and investing, and explore each guest's unique journey. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, operator, and investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:09:26
October 18, 2020
Episode #10 - Michael Girdley, Chairman of Dura Software
Episode #10 - Michael Girdley, Chairman of Dura Software
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 playbook for running small software businesses - Michael's thoughts on how covid-19 is changing M&A and business in general Show links: - Michael Girdley's personal website - Michael Girdley's Small Business Playbook - Michael Girdley's Twitter account - Mark Leonard's Constellation Software Letters to Shareholders - Charlie Munger's Psychology of Human Misjudgement -- ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on entrepreneurship and investing, and explore each guest's unique journey. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, operator, and investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-circle-of-competence/support
01:03:04
October 04, 2020
Episode #09 - Neil O'Donnell - SPACs Galore and the Federal Reserve's response to Covid-19
Episode #09 - Neil O'Donnell - SPACs Galore and the Federal Reserve's response to Covid-19
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 Asset Management White Paper - Upside-Down Markets Ray Dalio's global change series The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel Invested by Charles Schwab Traction: How to Get a Grip on Your Business SPAC Notes: Altimeter Capital's tech SPAC Altimeter Growth Corp. files for a $450 million IPO (Nasdaq) Palihapitiya finds next '10X idea' with $4.8B SPAC deal for real estate startup Opendoor (CNBC) Richard Branson's latest SPAC S-1 (SEC Filing) Oaktree Capital SPAC Reid Hoffman and Marc Pincus' SPAC Paul Ryan's SPAC Apollo's SPAC --- ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their own business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneurial investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:08:54
September 20, 2020
Episode #08 - Monick Halm, Vineyard Investment Partners & Real Estate Investor Goddesses Network
Episode #08 - Monick Halm, Vineyard Investment Partners & Real Estate Investor Goddesses Network
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 with someone, how she builds teams, how she scaled from 0-1000 units in less than a year (!), how she picks  markets to invest in, and her vision to help 1 million women achieve financial freedom through education and ownership. Vineyard Investment Partners Website >> https://www.vip-assets.com/ Real Estate Goddesses Events >> https://www.realestateinvestorgoddesses.com/ Monick's Podcast >> http://podcast.realestateinvestorgoddesses.com/ If you are a woman looking to learn more about real estate and want to connect with other women interested in investing, I'd highly recommend checking out Monick's podcast and women's network above! -- ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their own business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneurial investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=cP15zhyWSwCw832NttMR9A FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/circle_of_c... --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-circle-of-competence/support
51:39
August 30, 2020
Episode #07 - David Gardner, Co-Chairman of The Motley Fool
Episode #07 - David Gardner, Co-Chairman of The Motley Fool
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 the most important metric to pay attention to, conscious capitalism, and more. David's optimism and humor are infectious as he shares his views on investing and how business can and should be a force for good.   --- ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their own business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneurial investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC... FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/circle_of_c...
01:30:00
August 23, 2020
Episode #06 - Blair Silverberg, CEO of Capital Technologies
Episode #06 - Blair Silverberg, CEO of Capital Technologies
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 a team whose mission is to create a modern alternative to equity financing to put power back into the hands of the entrepreneur. Founded in 2019, Capital helps company founders understand their cost of capital and secure financing offers from $5-50 million. We discuss the burgeoning venture debt space, venture capital industry as a whole, capital allocation for entrepreneurs, and his vision for a fully-automated, artificial intelligence driven lending platform at Capital.  ---    ABOUT THE PODCAST:       Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their own business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneurial investor in today's competitive world.        SUBSCRIBE:       iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast...      Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC...      FOLLOW:       Website: https://circleofcompetence.co    Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/circle_of_c...
01:12:38
August 16, 2020
Episode #05 - Jeran Fraser, Investing in Land, Startups, & Consumer Brands
Episode #05 - Jeran Fraser, Investing in Land, Startups, & Consumer Brands
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 Team for Dakine. After successfully selling land over the internet for 10+ years, he rolled his proceeds into several seed-stage startups and started Incubate Ventures, an incubator and co-working space focused on the consumer goods, sports tech, and digital marketing space. I hope you enjoy this wide-ranging discussion with Jeran. Websites: https://jeranfraser.com/ https://www.incven.com/ Industries Discussed: Land Development & Investing Solar Mining Consumer Brands & Marketing Co-working ---  ABOUT THE PODCAST:     Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their own business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneurial investor in today's competitive world.     SUBSCRIBE:     iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast...     Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC...    FOLLOW:     Website: https://circleofcompetence.co   Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/circle_of_competence/
52:55
August 01, 2020
Episode #04 - Neil O'Donnell, Faraday Tower and Legal Scale PLLC
Episode #04 - Neil O'Donnell, Faraday Tower and Legal Scale PLLC
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 open up new opportunities in the future. In this episode, we discuss foundational investment principles, the cell tower investment business, the venture debt space, and tons of great resources for those just beginning their investing journey. Websites: LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/npoesq A WeWork Deep Dive by Neil + Benton: https://www.circleofcompetence.co/post/wework-a-case-study-in-the-lollapalooza-effect Steve Wynn on Competitive Edge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHnETMBYh7E Books Mentioned: The Outsiders by Will Thorndike Cable Cowboy by Mark Robichaux People Discussed: Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway Steve Wynn John Malone, TCI Brent Beshore, Permanent Equity Will Thorndike, Housatonic Partners --- ABOUT THE PODCAST:   Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their own business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneurial investor in today's competitive world.   SUBSCRIBE:   iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast...    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC...  FOLLOW:   Website: https://circleofcompetence.co  Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:18:09
July 25, 2020
Episode #03 - Brian Burnett, Glenwood South Tailor + Burnett Development
Episode #03 - Brian Burnett, Glenwood South Tailor + Burnett Development
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 discuss the high end fashion industry, service-based small business, what it takes to  win customers as an entrepreneur, and the affordable housing industry.  Websites: https://www.brianburnett.com/ https://www.glenwoodsouthtailor.com/ https://burnettdev.com/ Favorite Quotes: "Guess what you can't scale? you can't scale the personalized ability to love someone. That's the beauty of small business." "Make your friends before you need them." --- ABOUT THE PODCAST:   Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their own business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneurial investor in today's competitive world.   SUBSCRIBE:   iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast...    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC...  FOLLOW:   Website: https://circleofcompetence.co  Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
01:08:30
July 18, 2020
Episode #02 - Ryan Reeves, Founder of Investing City
Episode #02 - Ryan Reeves, Founder of Investing City
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 and prolific twitter feed on business analysis, strategy, and long-term investing. During this episode, we break down his business at Investing City, how he picks long-term investments, his thoughts on Spotify and Costco's business models, what industries he's currently looking at, and more. Links: Business Model Breakdowns: Spotify - https://businessbreakdowns.substack.com/p/costco Costco - https://businessbreakdowns.substack.com/p/spotify Website: https://www.investingcity.org/ -- ABOUT THE PODCAST: Hi, I'm Benton Moss. I launched The Circle of Competence Podcast in June 2020 to focus on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and explore how each guest's journey led them to start and grow their own business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to be an entrepreneurial investor in today's competitive world. SUBSCRIBE: iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-circle-of-competence-podcast/id1521924956 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6BW1ZZC6SLVA6U09KBf5br?si=ju3yWvTnQOi6HuctecUziQ FOLLOW: Website: https://circleofcompetence.co Twitter: https://twitter.com/benton_moss
39:20
July 12, 2020
Episode #01 - Nathan Reid, Founder of Capital Allocation Partners
Episode #01 - Nathan Reid, Founder of Capital Allocation Partners
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://capitalallocationpartners.com/
01:03:00
July 02, 2020
Episode #00 - Introduction & Purpose
Episode #00 - Introduction & Purpose
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 to build a sustainable operation in today's competitive world.
02:10
July 02, 2020