magine buying a business.

A pretty big one, 35 employees. A business where all-hands meetings are rare, but one is called by your seller to introduce you to the team.

It's your Day One speech, 3-dozen people are gathered, and...

You miss it. You don't show.

It happened to today's guest, Peter deBaptiste.

And it's such a good story because, while it seemed like the end of the world in the moment, Peter forged ahead & recovered.

There's a lot of that in his story: forging ahead.

This is a technical business that Peter bought, high-end residential & mechanical plumbing.

The 2 sellers were master plumbers, very technical, very hands-on, working 100-hour weeks.

Peter lives an hour away from the business.

A young family, 2 small kids at home.

And he's levered up, having wanted to retain as much equity as possible — a decision we spend time on.

Despite all this, he's now 18 months into his adventure, and it's working.

There's so much here about transitioning a big plumbing business with people problems & turnover, precious technical knowledge required, and working capital pitfalls.

But it's also gratifying in ways Peter didn't expect. He loves his new industry.

Also, you'll hear Morgan McCauley mentioned, a childhood friend of Peter's who bought a home care business around the same time and was himself on Acquiring Minds just 3 weeks ago. (Link to that in the show notes.)

Peter & Morgan have a mantra: a joking/not-joking goal that helps clarify the path when things get murky.

Listen for that mantra toward the end, if you haven't already figured out what it is.

OK, please enjoy this episode with Peter deBaptiste, owner of Joe Cole Plumbing.