he value of peer groups has been a theme on Acquiring Minds.

It often refers to a peer group of other owner-operators, people who've already bought their business.

Or, it might refer to a peer group of searchers, people who are experiencing the slog, the excitement & heartbreak, of deal making.

Just such a group was instrumental for today's guest, John Murphy.

John had come close on a business, but the seller pulled out at the last minute.

"I took it hard." John's words:

"I made the mistake of kind of setting my heart towards it. I'd burned the ships, as they say and envisioned myself running the company. When they just pulled out at the 11th hour, it hit me pretty hard. I'd say a good month or two after that I was depressed and I didn't even look at another business."

Well it was joining a peer group that shook John out of his funk.

Seeing other people in the group go through similar travails and then persist and prevail gave him a sense of borrowed belief, as he calls it.

It got him back on the path, and today Johns owns a 60-year-old commercial painting company that does $8 million in revenue and employees 50 people.

Now, that broken deal was not John's only bump in the road, as you'll hear.

He endured lots of setbacks on his road to business ownership, including finding himself half a million dollars in the hole at one point.

Enjoy and learn from this conversation with John Murphy, owner of Dave Cole Decorators.