Oddly enough, I opened up my fortune this evening and found this, "Be open to advice from those worthy of your trust". These past two weeks since my last update have been a wild ride. From that first waking moment there has been twists, turns, and unexpected pitfalls and successes. This is exactly what I wanted and signed up for – This… THIS is fun! You can feel the energy all along the way; The excitement in other Search Fund entrepreneur’s voices, the visions for the successful entrepreneurs and what they are doing with their companies, to the investors and their excitement in learning about a potential new investment. This is truly the land where dreams are built and people flourish. But, it is in no way easy. Which is the best part.
I've spent the better part of the past two weeks talking with many people about my documents and figuring out how to make things better. I was truly taking advice from those that were worthy of my trust. To date, I have spoken with 34 different people, not including my initial close friends/family that I bounced my initial documents off of. Of these people, 8 were investors, 11 search fund entrepreneurs (both current and successful acquirers), and 13 key business partners. These numbers have led to 2 introductions of potential deals, of which I have just signed an NDA to begin vetting a deal. I have attended 4 Zoom conferences directly geared towards private equity, M&A, or search funding in some capacity. But, above all, perhaps the largest opportunity to come of this is being introduced to a group of investors that are looking to make a large acquisition. We have subsequent talks and could get a formal commitment within the next few weeks. All of this is without much energy put into it. I have a strategic plan for business development that includes reaching out to the layers of my network like peeling back an onion. I haven’t even peeled off the first layer yet and the activity has been phenomenal.
To be clear and up front in my writing, I am in extreme early stages of this search fund. However, I am not one to sit around and get analysis paralysis. I jump right in and learn by trial and error. That said, my first mistake has already been realized: Sharing information that is not complete. I pretext it that I am still perfecting my documents, but I share anyway. I think this is a bit of a mistake. Hindsight, I shouldn’t release any documents that aren’t 100% in completion. However, my justification is that I am looking for feedback and insight from those who have experience on how to perfect them. This justification, however, is just that. Going forward, documents should not be released unless it is in complete form.
The greatest success, however, is being forthright within my network of what I am attempting to do. This has opened up great dialogue among close business acquaintances that had never known I was interested in running a company. Due to this transparency, it has led to the discussions that are currently ongoing for a large acquisition. For the past 10+ years, I have been wanting to do something like this, but I’ve kept it to myself. However, I have pushed to get more experience via management, additional training, leading projects, and implementing various initiatives within the banks. This still didn’t get me to where I wanted to be and it was frustrating. Through the current clarity I have now, I would’ve told myself to simply be honest and go after what I wanted to do – Start, acquire and run a company.
I had one discussion that has led me to launch a new aspect to the search fund: An internship program. I have spoken about it to a few other people, but it was one in depth conversation that had set me over the edge. As of tomorrow, June 8th, I am set to launch the program. This has many benefits, but the biggest one is simply investing in human capital. Being a search fund, there isn’t much investing to be done, short of the investors themselves. By implementing this program, I am going to be able to help develop those that have an interest in entrepreneurship and M&A. This will surely be a net positive as I spend time in helping those interested succeed. This search fund path has taken me in many different directions, but this is one that I hadn’t foreseen, but is one that I’m excited to implement.
The next two weeks are very promising. I am vetting a possible acquisition, I am potentially solidifying a very large investor, and I am going to start expanding my contacts. I am also going to start, “paying it forward”, by vetting out candidates for the internship program. Though I enjoy documenting this process, I may move it to once a month. I am going to slowly become very busy. And this is exactly what I wanted to do; Create, motivate, learn and grow! Even if nothing comes of this, I am succeeding in my goals without even making an acquisition.