en Bortner went for broke as he looked for a business to buy — literally.

Crashing with friends, accumulating debt, driving Uber, Ben was a vagabond searcher.

But he did find a business to buy, and in a dream location for the avid fly-fisherman: Key West.

It was a pool cleaning & maintenance business, just like the ones you see lots of on BizBuySell in the sunny states.

And BizBuySell was where Ben spotted his business, the one he would go on to grow 2x top line and 4x bottom line over the next 3 years.

We spend a lot of time on operations in this interview.

Pool cleaning businesses are logistically complicated, sweaty, and blue collar.

And while Ben knew all that going in, it was still a grind for 3 years. There were plenty of days working in the business, not on it. And yes, he cleaned pools himself.

After his impressive exit, Ben is turning his attention to investing in other searchers, so we talk about that at end of the interview.

We also do a breakdown of the typical structure of a self-funded search deal that raises money from investors. We go through that really slowly, so it's a good tutorial if you don't already know how that works. That's right at the end.

A fun story and a great outcome from a guy who went for broke to buy a pool business in Key West.

Here he is, Ben Bortner, former owner of The Pool Man 👇👇