ifteen million dollars in EBITDA.

It's a number few self-funded searchers ever reach.

Today's guests Robert Graham and Aaron Blick have gotten there in 4 years, and this interview will show you how.

I want to call out a few topics to listen for. These are all key elements to Robert & Aaron's success with Pillar Health Group.

First, buying businesses with operators.

You don't get to EBITDA of $15m working in your business. You've got to focus on higher-leverage work.

So you need an operator in each acquisition as soon as possible, preferably from day 1.

Key point though: this is not buy a business, hire an operator, the business runs itself, and you get mailbox money.

No, you are extremely involved, but just at a higher level. You've delegated the daily blocking & tackling to your operator.

Second, choosing your industry.

Robert actually recommends against identifying an industry to pursue a roll-up in. But, when considering a business to buy, one of your criteria should be: does the industry have roll-up potential?

It's important for the potential to be there, but that shouldn't be your leading criterion.

An important distinction there.

Third, the structure.

For me this was the most eye-opening bit of the interview.

So typically a roll-up does not use SBA loans, at least not beyond the first acquisition or so.

Instead the capital the roll-up uses to buy businesses is a combination of a lot of equity and conventional debt (non-SBA debt).

But Robert & Aaron are blending a self-funded search with a roll-up model by coming up with a way to use SBA debt for their acquisitions.

End result: they've raised relatively little equity and used much more (and cheaper) leverage.

To build the entire Pillar Health empire, they've only raised about $3m.

Whereas a conventional roll-up might raise $30m in equity to get to the same place.

There are nuances to this, and many more personal guarantees involved than you would see in a conventional roll-up.

But still. Very powerful.

That and much much more in today's interview with Robert Graham and Aaron Blick of Pillar Health Group.