It’s hard to see getting fired as a good thing, especially if it’s at a job you love, but for Sam, it turned out to be exactly that.
In this episode, Sam explains how getting fired became a blessing in disguise as it opened up the doors for more opportunities to make even more money doing work he was passionate about.
He explains how he went from buying a car dealership to running a software business and eventually transitioning to working at a private equity fund…
“During the ownership of that business I started buying other companies, I just loved it.” – Sam Strausbaugh
“I love doing deals, I love the negotiation process.” – Sam Strausbaugh
01:02 – How Sam’s wife responded to him being fired.
02:33 – How Sam got his next job doing consulting work.
06:54 – What made Sam buy out the business he was working in.
11:36 – The process you go through to become a foster parent.
14:04 – The hardest part about being a foster parent.
15:04 – Fostering children that were addicted to drugs.
17:13 – What Sam did after selling his business and the different companies he invested in.
20:56 – Buying a car dealership and how to find new business opportunities.
22:34 – How Sam got involved with running a software business.
26:36 – Sam’s love of investing and how he transitioned to working at a private equity fund.
29:45 – The rules behind accounting.
31:55 – The importance of treating people right and following your passion.
Connect with Sam Strausbaugh:
Connect with Ben Jones:
BEN: Sam Strausbaugh comes from a small town in Northwest Ohio. As we discussed, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. But with a little luck and hard work, he joined a CPA firm and was hired away to defiance metals. When we ended part one, Sam just got fired from his position at defiance metals. Even though he completed several acquisitions and increased sales by over two and a half times, things took a turn for the worse. Now, he just told his wife and we find out how she responds and what happens next. We’ll find out that same clearly he’s a risk taker. As he transitions out of his role at defiance, it’s very interesting to see where his investment path leads him. Let’s join the discussion immediately at this pivotal time in his life. His story takes some interesting twists and turns, which goes to show it’s not always a straight path. Thanks for joining us for the conclusion of part two with Sam Strausbaugh.
SAM: I said I got fired. And I could see a little look of panic. And then immediately she made the switch and she was like, so what if it’s going to be fine. You wanted to run your own business anyway. Let’s just move forward. That may be…
TONY: I’ve always hated those guys. Yeah.
BEN: That’s when it comes out. It always comes out after that for sure.
SAM: But it did kind of set the tone for me. I still felt bad, but I felt a little better that she was because I’m afraid she was going to be devastated. She was worried but
BEN: And upset and scared about the future and fearful and all that.
SAM: But she handled it great and really set the tone for how we were going to handle it. And from about it. That was a Friday from about that next Tuesday on I just never looked back. Took me a weekend.
BEN: Took the weekend.
SAM: Yeah. tissues. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I was crying a lot and feeling sorry for myself. A lot ice cream. Oh, yeah. Put on 20 pounds.
TONY: Came up with the idea for peloton but never execute. Yeah, that’s right. Execute.
BEN: So you get to Tuesday, and now I think you told me a story. And you’re just like, hey, it was like less than a week later, I had three different companies that are hiring me for whatever, six figure salaries or whatever, you add them all together.
SAM: Whoa, yeah, it wasn’t six figures each. But Tony and I was one of them. Brian Keller, Brian, Brian, and I were friends and acquaintances. And he wanted your expertise. He did. And he was kind of a typical CEO alone, making all these decisions. He really just wanted me as a sounding board. Right. And so I did, I did a little consulting gig for him. And another one of my friends in town had a manufacturing business. It was Kester metals of business similar to defiance metal products, I did some consulting with him. And, you know, it was just, and that was all after the first week.
BEN: So all of a sudden, you’re just like, Okay, I get fired. Devastated takes you three days, which I think is just awesome. Right? It’s maybe that cockiness really paid off. Screw those guys, they’re gonna lose millions. And then you go ahead and get to get these calls, and they want to start bouncing ideas off you they hire, you start sending you checks, and then kind of where do you go from there? Because I mean, once we read your resume, it’s like, hey, equity fund this fund that.
SAM: Well, and then a third friend, a guy named John Brookmeyer, who is still a close friend. Just we talked after I called him actually got on the phone Monday morning, started calling everybody I know and today I’ve been work.
TONY: I quit that place. And I’m looking for something better.
BEN: I don’t care what they say I quit.
SAM: Actually, I did have a hard time saying I was fired a mental thing. But after that first day, I was like, I was let go. I was fired. I couldn’t quite get it out. But then after two or three days, I was like, yeah, they fired me.
BEN: So but anybody who knows private equity knows that, hey, if you’re not hitting your numbers, yeah, they gotta make adjustments changes. And for sure it happens.
SAM: And I will say in retrospect, they did the right thing.
TONY: You got this pesky little group of things called LPS part. That’s right. Yeah.
SAM: They made the right move. The guy they brought him behind who I met several times and build a little relationship with was great.
SAM: He did a good job with the business stabilized it really knew the industry. It was the right thing to do.
SAM: It took me a while to get that but it was right thing to do.
BEN: It’s always very painful beginning in order to bid and at that.
SAM: Yeah. So after that my short tenure there as a consultant, right. Another friend comes along John Brookmeyer. We had always talked about doing some investing together. He said, we have this business in Tiffin, Ohio, that we just bought. We, him and seven other guys go in and look at it. Okay, we need some help over there. So I go in, actually, they were just getting ready to buy it. So I did the diligence on it, gave them a report, they buy it. And on day one of the new acquisition, the CFO quits.
SAM: I’m out, have something else I want to do. And just a young guy, nice guy. And they said, Hey, we’re in trouble here. Can you step in? I was like, Yeah, I’ll do it. What else do I have to do? Big happy to. So I mean, as the CFO, small little business $5 million commercial roofing business. And I’m in there for a month or so. And they say, Hey, do an assessment on the CEO while you’re there.
BEN: Oh, no.
SAM: Executives. He seems like he could be a keeper. But assessing me, let me know. I said, Listen, I’m not assessing him behind his back. I’m going to tell him. And they said, Okay, we don’t care. Go and tell him.
BEN: You’re there. You stay there.
SAM: So I tell him and I do this, I don’t know. 60 – 90 days we work together. And I go back to him and say, yeah, he’s not the guy.
TONY: Did you? Did you just kind of close the loop? Did you call him up to a meeting at the Detroit airport?
BEN: With somebody else?
SAM: No. What a great piece of history that would have been.
SAM: You don’t know why.
TONY: I mean the universe wants balance.
SAM: I wish you would have been around them.
SAM: I wish I’d have known you them.
BEN: So you sit there and say This guy is really not the guy.
SAM: He’s not the guy.
BEN: And so is this the opportunity for you to be the guy?
SAM: Well, I wasn’t looking at it that way. But they said, would you run the business? And keep this guy on? I said, I think I think he’s more of a sales guy. And I said, Let me think about it. I want an ownership piece if I do that the rate guys. So I put together this whole thing whole plan. And they said, Yep, and one of the guys wanted out. So I took his spot. One of eight guys. We work all the way through this. Keep the guy on as a sales manager. And we work through this first and I don’t know year and a half, have to eventually whack him. Not at the Detroit airport. Doggone it.
TONY: DTW by the way.
BEN: At Tiffin airport.
SAM: He TW Yeah, Tiffany reports right around the corner from our office. But about two years in, we just needed to expand, right. And the other owners did not want to guarantee debt, we needed a surety bond. So we could do bigger jobs.
BEN: Sure, no doubt about that.
SAM: And they didn’t want any part of that. And so I just went to him and said, Listen, we need this stuff, aren’t you just sell me the business, all of it.
BEN: So you have seven other people. You’ve been doing it for a while.
SAM: A couple of years.
BEN: And you’re just like, just sell it to me.
SAM: Just sell it to me. We’re making headway. I want to expand into Columbus, Ohio. They didn’t really want to do that. They didn’t want to take any more risk. So I get it.
BEN: And you’re somebody that we’ve talked about a number of times, right, Tony that said he likes to take risk, especially betting on himself.
SAM: I do. I don’t mind it. I like it. It’s what it kind of made my career on.
TONY: He walked up to me, he goes, you get changed for 100?
BEN: I’m not sure what that meant.
TONY: But the purchase price.
BEN: Oh, okay.
TONY: $70 dollars apiece. $90.
SAM: That’s right.
BEN: So when you talk to these guys that they say absolutely go and take it?
SAM: No. Well, I mean, it wasn’t that quick, but they had a board meeting and we talked through it and they said if we can have a tail.
BEN: Okay, and then a tale for everybody listening means, hey, if things go well, then we’d like a little bit of a payoff at the end.
SAM: That’s right. Yeah. So they kept 15% of the business and I and then I took all the risk, all the debt risk, all the surety risk, all the expansion risk, put it all invested more heavily in the business. And and we expanded into Columbus, Ohio, and business took off. Again, I had outstanding people in this business. Outstanding. The business was purchased out of an ESOP. And all of these folks got screwed. The ESOP when we bought it, right? We bought it for nothing basically.
BEN: Because it wasn’t really worth much at that time.
SAM: No, the business had lost money. I don’t know, five out of the last six years when we showed up.
BEN: And the ESOP is an employee stock ownership plan where people try to put money in to buy their portion of the company but it wasn’t worth anything.
SAM: That’s right.
BEN: And then doing all of the changes. You made it worth something.
SAM: Yeah, yeah, we did. We grew it from about Five, four and a half 5 million in revenue to more than 15 million in revenue in five years.
BEN: But what about the profit?
SAM: Profit skyrocket.
TONY: Bottom decile too.
BEN: 38. 38 buddy. He’s like…
SAM: That’s exactly what we did. It wasn’t profitable. It was making no profit when we got there, and it was nicely profitable in 2016 when we sold it.
BEN: And so you sold it probably for a pretty good amount we knowing you with the profitability and the revenue growth and…
TONY: I mean you know, he made a lot of money he’s got for peloton.
BEN: I thought it was because he had five kids and have a lot of money. And he has a nice basement up in defiance.
TONY: Kids are expensive. Yes, they are.
SAM: They are but worth it right?
TONY: Oh, yeah.
SAM: Yes or No?
TONY: Oh Yeah, absolutely.
BEN: I’m still. I’m still thinking.
TONY: Well, I’m still, I’m thinking about my wife’s brothers.
BEN: Oh, hey, now.
TONY: Of course, Ben’s worth a lot, of course.
BEN: A lot of chatter. But, but the cool part is, you know, like changing just a little bit to get to your personal life. You know, you I think I personally think that you care about the people that you work with.
SAM: I do.
BEN: And, you know, some people could say, oh, that’s just like lip service. But you know, one of the things that I think’s really cool about about you is the fact that you have fostered a number of individuals over time. Can we talk about that just a little bit?
SAM: We can, yes, you use that term? You very loosely, my wife’s, my wife fostered a bunch of kids, and I was in the house.
BEN: But there’s but there’s a combination where you have to make that decision as a couple and I know that like my wife raising the kids 90%.
SAM: Yes, sir.
BEN: But you had to be on board. And I’m sure there are times that you had to participate heavily.
SAM: Yeah, but it really was my wife’s dream. But in 2013, I believe as we went through the licensing process in the state of Ohio.
BEN: To be a foster parents.
SAM: To be a foster parent. And it was, it was pretty long process. I don’t remember it took us four or five, six months to get through it. Right? training, teaching certifications.
BEN: So that’s a commitment. It didn’t have its own.
SAM: Yeah, it was the day we got certified.
BEN: Oh, no.
BEN: The day we got certified, we got a call. Three kids, a sibling group needed a home. And we were like Can we start with one do we? And Gretchen and I, my wife looked at each other. And we were like, I guess this is why we did it. So we got to a sibling group of 352 and a half and nine months.
TONY: And how old are your kids at this time?
SAM: 13. Quinn, Quinn would have been the youngest at age 13.
TONY: Oh my goodness. So it’s like 13 It’s not like you had an empty house and brought three kids in?
SAM: No, no, he’s Quinn and Noah and dama was still home. Dema was the number three child. So they were all still at home? When when we brought these three kids in? Wow. Yeah, it was an unbelievable experience. unbelievably rewarding. Difficult to see what these kids had been through. My wife is so skilled at this, these kids just…
BEN: Gravitate towards her.
SAM: Gravitated to her like you wouldn’t believe and my wife may have been the first person who really loved these kids, too. I don’t know that. They had mothers but it sure seemed like they just took to her.
BEN: But the interesting part, which is I didn’t even know that because that would have been interesting. Is that a number of them were infants. That were you wanted to talk about this?
SAM: As we as we kind of went on in that process. So those three stayed with us for I’m gonna get this wrong. I don’t remember 13 weeks, okay. 15 weeks. In Ohio. The goal is reconciliation with family. Sure. So those three went to a family member, not mom and dad and aunt and uncle a grandmother somewhere. And one of the sad things before I get to the infants about fostering is you can’t keep contact with kids because of privacy laws.
SAM: So these kids are in our life for a period of time.
BEN: Three months.
SAM: Or longer. And, you know, once they leave your connection with them severed.
BEN: Do they had they ever come back when they became adults?
SAM: No, because those kids wouldn’t be adult yet. So and most of the kids were younger, so nobody’s of that age yet. Okay. And some of them you know, the infants won’t remember.
BEN: For sure, that’s really…
SAM: Getting to the infant stories. You know, we ended up. I don’t know if it was a specialty but ended up getting a few babies that had drug problems, right? They were addicted.
BEN: Because their birth parents were or their mother was addicted until they pass it on to the children.
SAM: Right. And…
BEN: So you had to administer the drugs to you know, move them off of the addiction.
SAM: Yes. Wow. On one case in particular, and it was it was an unbelievable sight to see over time. Yes, I wish we would have had a time Lambertville Yeah. Like they do in on those movies nature shows.
BEN: Versus the baby cub. There’s a grizzly bear.
SAM: Yeah. 13 weeks because this baby got what’s the word off off of right off of her addiction?
BEN: Detox that’s what I was thinking decommissioned.
SAM: Over 13 weeks. It was just unbelievable to see. And I think the end of 13 weeks, she was like one of our kids. You smiley giggly. Cool.
BEN: You didn’t even know. Yeah, more that they were addicted to.
TONY: She had to manage the hole with withdrawal symptoms and whatnot are the meds to? Oh my gosh.
BEN: Can you believe that? That’s when I heard that. It’s crazy. If did and what you were saying was if you’re five minutes outside of when you have to administer it. Was it a shot? Or was it just something oral?
SAM: That was oral?
BEN: If you didn’t give it to them, then they just kind of went crazy. Yeah, they do it.
SAM: They wanted you to do it every 12 hours on the hour. Don’t. Don’t wait, don’t get off a half hour schedule. 12 hours, 12 hours, 12 hours.
BEN: And it just really changed. I mean, it was anything. I think you really changed a lot of kids lives. And even though you may not ever see it.
SAM: Yeah. Yeah, it was a great time. It really was.
BEN: So that’s pretty crazy.
SAM: And we stopped doing that when our grandkids were born.
BEN: Sure. Sure. And so So I know we sidetracked to that but you know, you’ve you own this company and you grew it became profitably sold it now more than likely you have a few dollars in your pocket and you’re saying what to yourself?
SAM: Well, even during the ownership of that business. I started buying other companies.
BEN: Oh, so you’re okay, you’re already put your foot out in the water.
SAM: Yes. Just just loved it. I’ve always kind of been a…
BEN: New challenge kind of thing.
SAM: Yeah. Yeah.
SAM: So the I was I was in a an angel group I think I got in in 2012 So I started investing there probably made six investments smallish. Okay. Now for those are dead. I got $0 back.
BEN: Doing well.
TONY: Okay. That’s, we’ll have a side conversation on that. That’s, yeah, if you think you can pick one company to invest in and think you’re gonna win, you might as well just go put some dollars on number whatever 13 on Vegas, trying to do.
BEN: Because the research says half of them are supposed to go to zero.
SAM: That’s right. And so but it kind of, I’m going to use this word again, whetted my appetite.
TONY: W H E T T.
SAM: And then about halfway through my time at the roofing business, I bought into a car dealership with my nephew.
BEN: And so all of a sudden you’re throwing darts at a dartboard and you say car dealers, right? Roofing Company metal.
SAM: He came to me. My nephew came to me and said Listen, he’s he was fourth generation. A new car dealership owner and he said it’s always been my dream. Would you help me? I said, Yeah, I’d love to.
BEN: And so you just decide, hey, I know stuff about business. I don’t necessarily know anything about the business.
TONY: I drive a car.
SAM: I’ve been in a car.
TONY: I’ve been. I rode in a car to get fired.
SAM: That’s exactly right.
BEN: Expert of getting fired after getting out of a car. All of those so I can.
TONY: Have to be millions of people getting fired .
BEN: Every day in their car.
TONY: We got to buy a car dealership.
BEN: So you bought this car dealership with your nephew, and it’s just like, what the.
SAM: And he is an expert. He’s a 10,000 hour guy going back to Malcolm Gladwell. Yeah, it was the car industry inside out. We buy this car dealership. They’re selling 17 I think I have these numbers, right. 17 new cars a month. And about 20 used cars. So 35.
TONY: By the way, expert. I mean, I’m a bit into etymology, which is a study words.
SAM: Yeah. Talk to me.
TONY: So expert. It’s two syllables. Two bass words x meaning used to be your husband. And spurt is a dribble without direction.
BEN: So your has been dribbler.
TONY: There you go.
BEN: All right. Congratulations. Dribble, man.
TONY: Thank you.
BEN: He’s a basketball player. I like in high school. Can I can I use it later?
TONY: You can. If you can remember, it’s really archaic.
BEN: Etymologically. Different to…
TONY: Not and not to confuse with remember entomology.
BEN: With a study of…
SAM: That’s what? That’s why I thought you were going actually.
BEN: Etymology? That’s right. I learned that from Mrs. Rose back in high school.
TONY: No Beeman. Wadn’t it Beeman?
BEN: No, mine was Mrs. Rose.
TONY: Because you were there so many years after I went.
BEN: Wow. Because you’re like 900.
TONY: Almost as old as Sam.
BEN: Mrs. Rose Got my brother in a Harvard man. We love Miss Rose.
BEN: So you bought this car dealership? 17 and 20 You’re so huge.
SAM: They’re selling about 35 – 36 cars a month? Yep. Today, I’m not in this business anymore. Today they sell 150 to 160.
BEN: Wow, four plus times. Wow.
SAM: Yeah, that’s what my man my nephew.
BEN: Doing great.
SAM: Did that. Yeah, he drove that
BEN: He had the dream.
TONY: I like to use the word drone.
BEN: Expert dribbling. So you just you just look for opportunities and sometimes opportunities just find you.
SAM: Yeah, laccase it found me but after after JB Roofing who I sold that business in 2016. I started to then look, we created just more opportunities to look and I just can’t believe sitting in Northwest Ohio in a small town called defiance while the number of looks that I get at businesses that find me.
TONY: It’s like when a couple of rivers come together and form a bigger, stronger River.
SAM: The confluence.
BEN: Oh, yeah, because he has defied.
SAM: It because we are at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee River.
TONY: Maumee river. River.
BEN: Call me your mommy. So you’re in defines are getting looks at businesses? Yeah, lots of look, got a little bit of capital and you’re putting it to use and you’re doing really cool things. And then, you know, is it time to jump to FMO? F. Factory mezzanine afternoon.
SAM: Because, yeah, because shortly after I left the roofing business, and I sold at the end of 16, worked for them for a year 15 months, contractually, and then…
BEN: Helps them out from transition, got it.
TONY: Ben said, man, what is something I need to learn? I need to learn about legal case management.
BEN: Talking about this one, why does anybody want to learn that.
SAM: Kind of that’s kind of what happened. But it goes back to the connection of one of my board members that defiance Metal Products reached out to me out of the blue. This was in the spring of 2018. So I had been.
BEN: That long ago.
SAM: Yeah, I had been gone from the roofing business to three months said, Hey, what are you doing? I’m just doing this and that on a couple of small businesses, doing some consulting work. What do you have in mind? said I want you to meet my son in law. Scott Wolfram, right. And I said sure, yeah, whatever. And so we meet and he asked me if I were want to run this. This case management software business.
BEN: Oh! Case Management got it.
SAM: Which is…
TONY: Just ahead of the story.
BEN: I’m sorry.
SAM: Which you two guys know all about because you right now,
BEN: You? No way dude.
TONY: Do anything Presidenta Hey.
BEN: Yo is legal Stella nombre de el presidente de.
SAM: last speaking a different language.
TONY: En la que si.
BEN: Hey Banga Banga he needed to take me. So Case Spacer.
SAM: Yeah. So we get together and he says, I really need some help this business just took it out of foreclosure, it’s a mess. Will you run it? I said, I’m not the right guy. I just I don’t know anything about software I know about run several different businesses but didn’t feel like I knew.
TONY: All about metal cars and roofing.
SAM: Really, really, there is a big difference. There’s a huge technical component in software business, that there are technical components and those other businesses, but it doesn’t seem as daunting to me. So we talked through it, I said, No. And he said, Well, let’s talk again. And, you know, would you go meet a couple of customers? And that’s when I think you and I went up to Morse.
BEN: And you’re pointing towards Tony, just telling people.
SAM: No, sorry. Good point. Yeah, I forget.
BEN: That’s okay. Yeah, they can only see fingers, they can’t see where those fingers go to.
SAM: Good point. So at the end of the day, we end up coming to an agreement that I’m going to run this business, but the only way I would have run this business is if with Tony was with me. Gotcha. He’s the technical expert. He’s been through this before. He he probably should have been running the business from the beginning. But he didn’t have time.
TONY: I wasn’t gonna do it. But he had photos.
BEN: Can’t wait to see those at dinner.
TONY: I’ll share. Yeah.
BEN: So you come to an agreement that you guys are going to rent it together work together. And you start to get involved with foundry?
SAM: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, I went to work at Case Spacer May, June of 2018, is when Tony and I kind of took that business over. I think we did a lot of good things. Still a lot of work left to do. Because you guys, you guys know that because you’re running now. But we stabilized the business, professionalize the business, put it on good foundation, I think. During that time 2018 to about 2020. Maybe in the spring, Scott comes to me and says I need help with the fund.
BEN: Right. So the fund as a lot of money that they get brought in by other partners, and they utilize that to buy other companies.
BEN: So we start talking about private equity. Go ahead.
SAM: Yeah. And it is a small private equity fund about a $30 million fund here in Indianapolis. We have 12 equity holdings. But I look at when he said that I looked, you know, I look in the mirror and say, that’s really what I’m built for. That’s much more in line with my skill set than running a software business. Right. And so we start talking about okay, how do we how do we make a transition? How do we find a guy like Ben Jones to help us to run this business?
BEN: Wohoo! Amen, brother.
SAM: And so Tony, Tony, and I start talking to and just start brainstorming. Sure. And your name comes up, and you are absolutely the right fit.
BEN: I appreciate that. And to clarify a little bit, Scott, who we hope to have on the show, he’s a visionary. And the visionary likes to think of great grandiose things. They may have 20 ideas of which maybe one of them as you can look at Sam, he’s gonna read 111 Maybe one of them is good. But that one revolutionizes the world.
TONY: So lower. That’s the bottom decile the bottom decile, yes, ideas.
BEN: And so that idea of you guys working together, because Tony is clearly the visionary and kind of our little partnership. And we’re integrator, Sam and I are integrators, you know, and so we’re the ones that kind of make sure that certain things get done, especially when the visionary says, I want to do this. Yeah. And so I think we all agree on the whole thing. It’s the visionary and integrator together, which sets up the rocket fuel to use the US terms in order to make things go and I really believe that because you see a lot of visionary screw up things just to be honest, and then integrators on their own. Don’t always do a great job either, but…
SAM: Agreed. It’s that combination.
TONY: Ain’t nothing gets done until something gets sold.
BEN: But then kick is sold until something gets pushed out the dough.
TONY: Not in software company.
BEN: Okay, there we go back and forth. It just keeps going. Timex. So you guys came to an agreement, you’re like, hey at the fund, I can help manage a broader spectrum of investments.
SAM: And you know, there’s gets back to that m&a activity. I love that I love doing deals. I just love the negotiation process, the structuring process, I just…
BEN: But one of the more than that, when I what I see from you is the, you understand the operations of things. And so you’re not just coming in and just do it, you’re, you’re kind of saying, okay, I get it, because I’ve ran into that and to find some metal or JV roofing or whatever. And so I think that brings a very strong respect for what you do so that people when they hear you talk, they go, okay, I get it, I believe in the guy. And I think it’s just an added asset to the fun. That’s huge.
SAM: Yeah, being an operator. Definitely helps me in my current position, because I do get the challenges and the carry every day. Ya.
BEN: know, numbers go, yes. You shoot it equal to me. Can you send me the numbers? Like I get it? Because you can read those bad boys if you know what’s going on?
TONY: The debit? Is the side closest to the window.
BEN: Yeah. So don’t change your spot in the in the classroom.
SAM: Correct. You got to sit in the same seat. I could have been the same way.
TONY: I could have been. Like, I took two accounting classes at Ball State. And I had to drop out of the second one. It was too hard.
BEN: Yeah, I know.
SAM: Too hard is not the right word. It didn’t fit you.
BEN: Yeah. Yeah. I say accounting is all about rules. And people. Yeah, what it’s about man. The math is not no.
TONY: It’s not real math. No, it’s real. You write rules, because they were like, well, this is a normal balance of a credit balance. So to increase it, do you add to it or subtract from it? Like, what the hell are you talking about?
BEN: It’s absolutely real quickly. When do you depreciate it? When do you amortize it? How much do you hammer it? Those are all rules. Yes. So to me, I It’s actually I find it quite confining. And like you said, if you have a personality, you understand accounting and actually can do some operational things. People are like…
SAM: Yeah, right. Right.
BEN: Oh, you know, it’s like…
SAM: Yeah, I agree.
BEN: It’s very different. So now you’re at your new position. A guy that came from a town 15,000 here, going to a big college, defiance, college 1000, right. You quote unquote, fall into the hole CPA, but then fall into this deal where he takes you all over the world, you go ahead and get involved in create or not create, but you take a company from, you know, obscurity to profitability, growth. And now, you know, things are going pretty well, and you’re part of a fund. And, you know, I think that whole story is just really interesting.
SAM: It is, I mean, I look back and think, if I were gonna lay it out, I’m not sure I change anything. Right, because the pathway has been circuitous.
BEN: Circuitous, so is that entomology or etymology.
TONY: That one was full of etymology. Although when a dog’s chasing his tail.
BEN: Is that circuitous?
SAM: No, that’s circular.
BEN: Sounded good.
TONY: Corrected. No. circuitous is when you’re looking for the classes that you put down somewhere and can’t find.
TONY: You go look everywhere.
SAM: Oh, yeah.
TONY: But you always find it in the last place. You look. Yeah.
BEN: There’s some of that intelligent here.
SAM: I just would never I could never have drawn that the math way. Never never.
BEN: That the math way for yourslef.
TONY: You know it’s funny. I think about that. Like, there are certain things you do in life, like, I wish that never would have happened. Whatever you get in a car wreck, or you hurt yourself, or whatever, but it’s like, if that didn’t happen to me what I turned out to be the same person I am today.
BEN: And the pivotal point that we were just talking about is you got fired, which changed it all for you.
SAM: Yeah did it did because I’ve thought many times I would probably I see no reason why I ever would have left that job because I loved it.
SAM: I don’t think and I love to Defiance, Ohio. I love being part of the community. I just I still love Defiance, Ohio. So yeah, I don’t think I ever would have left and look at all that I would have missed.
BEN: That’s right.
SAM: And I just it’s hard to.
BEN: Because you’ve already done some really great great things with all these other businesses, the car business, the roofing, business, even the metal business But you’ve already been involved with how many other companies? Would you say a couple dozen?
SAM: Or at least Yeah, probably involved right now with 30.
BEN: So to me, I find all this stuff fascinating. Tony and I had talked, he’s involved with 50 companies, you know, some more than others, you same thing. And the thing is, is you guys just keep, I mean, I know it sounds crazy, but you touch a lot of people’s lives along the way. And, and you’ve done well, too. And I think that’s super, super cool. And you gave back to the kids and…
TONY: Oh, that’s normal.
BEN: That’s pretty cool.
BEN: So maybe we should have your wife on here. Just say that you did really good.
SAM: Yes, you should. That’s would be much more interesting.
BEN: Conversation. I couldn’t do that alone. Because I’m scared. I’m a little scared of her. I’m a scared of her.
TONY: Yeah, the question would be is how do you put up with Sam? Because I know, I’m afraid the answer would be Yeah, I would never want my wife to be more show.
BEN: Let me start at the beginning. Let me just tell.
TONY: You want the whole list or just the top 10?
BEN: Yeah, exactly exactly how much time we got.
TONY: But you’re gonna need more batteries.
BEN: That they were doing great. Well, for right now. You’re right, for I’ll have to have a complete switch out. But you’re doing what you love, love what you do. You’ve got a great family. I mean, I’ve met at least one of your, your five kids. And it’s just really cool to work with you. And I think, you know, one of the things that most people say about you is that you’re just you’re just a solid guy. You know, you’re not above says this. I wasn’t allowed to mention any names. But you’re not a Butthead.
SAM: Tried not to be.
BEN: Conversations. And I think that’s, you know, I don’t know, if you say living your values, or living your morals or whatever. But you know, you bring that to the job. And I guess what I’m trying to get at here is you can be a good guy, and you could live your values. And you could still do well financially. You know.
SAM: Yeah for sure. It’s one of the things I like about this fun time with now, because I think Scott has the same mindset was to treat people. Right.
SAM: Does that mean it doesn’t mean we always make the right decision, but it guides your path.
BEN: But the funny part is, at that moment in time when you treat people, right, it’s not the best financially.
SAM: Not always.
BEN: The right thing to do. But long term, it probably is the best thing financially. Yeah, that’s right. That’s probably right. Take the short term pain for the long term game. Yeah. You know, and, and that’s one of the reasons why, you know, talking to Tony about getting involved with some of these things was, Hey, who are these guys? Because I’m tired of dealing with buttheads. You know, quite honestly.
SAM: The older I get, man, the more tired I am, too. I want to be around people that are like.
BEN: Yes, I completely agree.
SAM: We’re in business in social said, wherever.
BEN: I would agree.
SAM: Just to shortens getting shorter.
BEN: It is. And so that’s I mean, that’s one of the reasons we talked about the you know, the potential this other job happening. It’s like, why would I want to do that when I like the people that I work with, so…
SAM: Amen, please.
BEN: Cool. It keeps saying that at a that’s good for me. Yeah, it’s good. Well, is there anything you want to leave us with? Because it looks like we’re at a pretty good spot. Yeah. tell a great story. And we enjoyed it. Tony was anything you want to say before I go back to salmon, let him finish.
TONY: I just want him to come break down. You know, if there’s any kind of cool exits are something that happen over the coming 12 to 24 months, he comes back and breaks it down the deal, the art of the deal.
SAM: I’d love to, love to.
BEN: Because we had one that happened and I’m not going to mention the name that you guys went through. But I don’t think you’re aware as involved with that one.
SAM: No, I really wasn’t any happened kind of in my first couple of weeks job and had nothing to do
BEN: And that’s cool, but I think I think that would be great. I think it’s a great idea. Let’s.
SAM: I’d love them.
SAM: Yeah, I’d love that.
BEN: And anything else want to say Sam before?
SAM: Oh, this is good, fun.
BEN: Thank you for being here. We had a really great time and we’ll see you next time. Same stress. Well,
SAM: Thank you until then.
SAM: Thanks, guys.
TONY: See you Sam.