hen Chad Hildebrant requested the financials of a business he wanted to buy, the seller gave him a manila envelope with some numbers on it.

Not numbers in the manila envelope, like a printed stack of financials.

No, just some numbers scrawled on the outside of this envelope.

That was it.

Red flag, right?

Well, Chad turned this red flag green by eventually getting his hands on the business's bank statements and reconstructing the last 3 years of the business's books into his own spreadsheet.

This arduous process took dozens of hours.

But by the end of it, Chad knew how cash moved in and out of the business better than anyone — even the seller.

And he liked what he saw.

This is the story of how Chad Hildebrant left a 17-year career in finance, with a wife & 3 kids, and bought a business with a lot of hair on it.

He experienced real pain, both during and after the acquisition, but, in his words:

I love this and wouldn’t change it.

Please enjoy this conversation with Chad Hildebrant, owner of a $3m candle manufacturer in New Jersey.