oday's holdco journey started modestly enough.

Chandra Rao bought a little SaaS business off a friend, paying him $60k using zero-interest credit card debt.

That investment generated a nice little profit for Chandra, but more importantly it opened his eyes.

Buying businesses with the leveraged buyout model we all know and love would be his path to creating wealth.

Flash forward 10 years, and today Chandra and his partner Colin have completed 5 acquisitions, and their aggregate holdco revenue is $12m with EBITDA of $3m.

Now, it has been a bumpy ride.

Two of their sellers turned out to be brazenly dishonest; the stories will shock you.

And the first year of their first acquisition saw them liquidate their remaining personal financial assets to make payroll.

But what really helped during these low points was their partnership, having each other to lean on.

And this made me realize that some of the worst fetal transitions you've heard on Acquiring Minds — Reg Zeller, who gave us the phrase fetal position moment; Tato Corcoran, who cried every day for 4 months; Philip Blackett, who took a second job as manager of a Chick-fil-A — these entrepreneurs were all solo business buyers.

I'm reminded of the Winston Churchill-ism: "If you're going through hell, keep going."

Maybe in ETA Land it's, "If you're going through hell, have a partner."

See what you think.

Also see what you think about Chandra & Colin's bias for action, often at the expense of diligence. Where do you fall on that spectrum?

OK, please enjoy this conversation with Chandra Rao, co-owner of Miller Companies.