David Mann

That’s a good question. Jeremy, I think as you said, there’s there’s a we look at maybe 300 or so a year to do one. So it’s, we’re going through a lot of companies, and over time been doing this long enough. I think that there’s certainly people a lot smarter than me, but I’m fairly disciplined about it. And you pick up patterns over time. And so we found a number of companies who they fit our size, fit our geography fit an industry we like, and I can start falling in love with that pretty quick as Derrick describes some of our assessments, and I’m a quick start on the Kolbe. Alright,

Jeremy Weisz

let’s go for it. It’s good that was

David Mann

thrown, and you continue to get to know the people, and in the day, and if we back away, and we meet all those criteria, it’s a core values issue. And we’ve touched on core values here. And I’m not here to assess if there’s a right or wrong, but it wasn’t a match with ours, and how we’re trying to live our lives and what we’re trying to do. And so earlier in my career, I probably was, oh, that’s okay, we can fight through that, that’ll be fine. But over time, like, No, we can’t. Because even if the company ends up succeeding successful, none of us are going to have much fun along the way. And part of it is we want to enjoy it, we’re going to want to enjoy the time, we’re putting a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this. And we’re gonna be together a long time. So it still comes back to those core values in that core values match. That is why we end up walking away. When it meets all the other criteria

Jeremy Weisz

What will be an example you don’t name names, but like a not matched up core value. What did you see it with one of those companies that kind of made it through all of the checks? And then I’m just wondering what they did or said, or what was one of the core values that did not match with yours?

David Mann

Yep. So I’ll let Derrick talk about this too. But I’ll just let me just start at one of those is that we have a core value of humble confidence. So we want to be confident I can see how people can mess that one up. But there’s some people who they have to have all they always have the right answer. They have to always do it their way. And we want to combine heads. And because we’re teaming this, and we’re going to come together to be successful together and have that humility that we don’t have all the answers or I don’t have all the answers, and we’re going to be better together. So that’s one that jumps out to me. I don’t know if there’s something else that stands out to you on now.

Derrick Smith

Yeah, there’s there’s a couple of others. One is bold action. And we define that at the Firefly group as like think big and go do. Not every entrepreneur entrepreneur has big vision for their business. And that’s something that’s important to us. We want to do big things. We want to make a huge impact in the world if we can and align with entrepreneurs who share in that and let’s see, I think another one I think this can be Passionate accountability, that’s another one of our core values. So, like any business owner, we we would love to see results. We want excellence within the company. But we want to do it in a way that that builds people up and doesn’t tear them down. Because we believe if you get the people part, right, you could get the performance part. Right. And, and there’s there’s a lot of people in the world that maybe don’t see it the same way. Hmm.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, I can see also in the think big and then go do there may be some that think big and then No, don’t go do also right.

David Mann

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, they’re saying they’re spending most of their time thinking instead of doing we need a little ball. We love the thinking. But we got to have the doing too.

Jeremy Weisz

So So combination, compassion, accountability, humble confidence, bold action, and one of the other ones is have fun. So other ones you come across that don’t meet that one?

David Mann

Certainly, there are I mean, you think about it, like I just think about what are the people who What do I enjoy my life? Where am I trying to live in my life? How do what are my priorities in life I’m trying to live. And so you find people who don’t match. Those are what their idea of fun isn’t mine. Somebody’s idea of fun is, Hey, I’m gonna make the most money as I can, as hard as I can, whatever it takes to get there. That’s fine. That may be guys you define, quote, unquote, fun. But as we’ve defined it, we think about some other things. So

Jeremy Weisz

yeah, and do the right thing. You know, kind of act with honor always. I’m wondering if you could talk about some of the lessons you learned at the US Naval Academy.

David Mann

Yeah, so that’s the basis of I had the good fortune to to attend the Naval Academy. It was life changing to me, I was a blue collar kid from a little town in the backs of the Ohio River in Indiana. So they have the chance to go off there and meet the people I did. The the core values of the naval Academy’s honor, courage and commitment, honors, number one, do the route do the right thing, regardless of the consequences to yourself. And that’s something that it’s always it can be hard to live by. But that was ingrained in me over four years, the people I met who were living it, it’s just become part of who I am, and the basis of much of my personal core values and how I try to live my life. I’m certainly not perfect at it. But it started, certainly with my parents. But what I learned at the Naval Academy, it’s it was life changing. I take with me forever.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. And I want to talk about both of you. Um, you know, David, what? So when you were growing up, what did you want to be when you grew up?

David Mann

It’s interesting, Jeremy, because I grew up in a little town and Derrick, Derrick grew up in a small town too. But the things I knew, I thought they were five jobs. And the ones I saw on TV, I saw a policeman a fireman, a doctor. A couple other things. I didn’t. That’s that was the extent of my knowledge. And there were parents of my classmates of mine, and I saw their mom and dad might be coming home from work with a briefcase, or my parents didn’t carry a briefcase. And I’d be, I wonder what’s in there. There must be some important stuff in there. What? This guy’s a big Dr. She’s a big deal. What’s in there? I didn’t even I didn’t know. And so I was going. It’s even I didn’t know. And frankly, when I went off to Harvard Business School, Jeremy, people said, Hey, I want to go work at Goldman Sachs. I’m like, well, what’s that? I want to go work at McKinsey. What’s McKinsey, I’m gonna be in venture capital. What’s venture capital? I didn’t, I knew

Jeremy Weisz

nothing. So what did you then you went R and Derrick, you’re not going to escape this question, either. But, David, so when you’re at Harvard, then how did you discover your path?

David Mann

I started seeing Okay, what just talking to people who who are doing this longer than me, attended as many information sessions as I could. And I started seeing this venture capital and working with companies. I had the joy in my earlier my crews nav last year to lead teams, that was a great joy to me, I still one of my greatest joys is being able to lead a team, but venture capital and private equity and doing things like that you get to work with a number of teams across that on a strategic level. And that seemed like wow, that’s, that’s really interesting. And so that’s kind of put me on that path of how do I get into that field?

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, and we’ll talk about Spring Mill but so Derrick, growing up for you, what did you want to be?

David Mann

It’s a very similar story as David Yeah, I didn’t know a lot in high school is pretty good at math and science. If I can remember it’s been a while and thought, you know, I’ll go off to Indiana University and big public school and i’ll i’ll major in science, so I got a degree in biology of all things. I wish I would have read Gino Whitman’s new book entrepreneurial leap when I was about 18 years old. I think that could have saved me a lot of time and money because I didn’t realize I was at entrepreneur until I had graduated from college, and I met a guy by the name of Kyle Salyers. And he was one of the founders of CHV capital. And he really had he and a guy by the name of Matt Neff had a major major impact on my professional life because they gave me an opportunity to work with them and venture capital like David when they when they mentioned venture capital man, like what the heck is that? I don’t even know what that is. But they were they seem like pretty great people and fun to work with. And so I I spent a summer with them, and it just changed my life. And it was there I realized I was an entrepreneur and I just ever since then I’ve I’ve loved hanging around entrepreneurs starting things building and but growing up I just I didn’t know a lot with with the small, you know, rural high school, I went to

Jeremy Weisz

David, who was one mentor that you look, look towards your career.

David Mann

Yeah, it’s been a there’s been a number of naval officers over the year I look to and different role models. I remember, as a kid, there weren’t a lot of books I like to read, but I love to read biographies because I could learn so much from them. The biography of Winston Churchill, like wow, this guy, how he did this, another great Naval Academy graduate and Roger Staubach. And he went off and served in the military and then became a professional football player, and then build a great company of his own, which he eventually sold. So it’s these, these people who I may not have met with on a regular basis, but a robot was in the sense of being able to understand their story and learn and learn from them and learn from their experience. It was always great. I certainly have I’ve had, I’ve had some good mentors and bosses over the years that stand out. But it’s these biographies to that help tell the story.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. Who, um, and talk about how EOS weaves into your journey.

David Mann

Yeah, let me start on that. And then I’ll let Derrick certainly add to it. Because back when I was doing venture capital, the early 2000s to in mid 2000s, there worked with these companies and they’d be a start up and they’d be running hard and they would build technology, but they’d be trying to build a company and oftentimes, they didn’t have systems. They didn’t have processes. They didn’t have a rhythm. They they were off running in lots of different directions. And people weren’t necessarily aligned. And I was always looking for different tools that could be helpful to them when I was sitting on the board as a young new venture capitalist that could maybe add some value. I came across Gino Wickman’s book Traction, I read that this makes all the sense in the world it was there was no as I call it MBA mumbo jumbo. It’s just practical stuff you can start using right away. And so read that book and use it a little bit in some of our companies. And then a number of years later when we started Firefly. I didn’t even know if it was just a book. If there was a company behind it. I wasn’t even sure and we had someone who got us in contact with Gino and he had a call with us and we said, Hey, Gino, is this, just a Booker’s are coming behind? He goes, Yeah, there’s a company behind it is doing really well. Like, Jeff, I want to show and he’s like, nope. Like, okay, and so, six or eight months later, he happened to call us back and said, I think I’m going to sell the company. Like really? Okay, well, we’d love to acquire it. He goes, Well, I’ve hired a banker, and I have 1212 criteria for the buyer. And only one of those is price. A lot of people say that, but he really meant it. And so we entered the process to acquire EOS. And we’re fortunate to come out. And that was a 2017. And we acquired the company and joined them on the next phase of the journey in May of 2018. So it’s been about two and a half years.

Jeremy Weisz

That’s amazing. Yeah,

David Mann

it’s been fun. Um, well, so

Jeremy Weisz

what is the next face of the company?

David Mann

You want to talk a little bit about that? Or I can keep going, but I want to make sure you chime in here. Yeah,

Derrick Smith

I might just add to your question earlier, Jeremy. I’ll never forget the day that David shared the book traction with me and he’s like, Hey, I think you ought to read this book. So I was doing some strategic planning for a company I was involved with and I’m like, you know what, I think I’ve got strategic planning down pretty well. Yeah, I don’t I don’t know about this book Dave. But he’s like, just give it a read. Just read the first chapter. So I read the book and and I immediately fell in love with the system and and still love it to this day because it it creates just enough structure and an entrepreneurial business, to allow you to break through the ceiling to stop solving the same issues and yet still be entrepreneurial, which is what I love. And I think a lot of that resonates with a lot of business owners like it’s not so much structure that you know, you’re just getting buried in the weeds. You’re you’re putting enough of a foundation there that you can build on yet remains. flexible and fast. And so I’ll never forget that day. And it’s it’s been transformative for me as as a leader and as a business owner with the guys at Firefly, and how I go about doing things. I just want to add that to what David shared as well.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, so talk to you talk about the next phase.

David Mann

Yeah, it’s, it’s been a fast and furious two and a half years, Jeremy, the company’s grown grown significantly. And the centerpiece of all of this is this community of implementers. Really around the world at this point. That’s what makes this whole system go because it’s a great system of practical tools. But it’s this this implementer community now 400 plus strong around the world. So we want to continue to make sure we’re giving those implementers what they need to be able to have their best practices out there, and to build their businesses and build their clientele. So you want to be able to support that. We want to continue to grow the brand, as we say around the world, because we are around the world at this point. And it’s it’s really we think we’re in the second inning of a nine inning ballgame, or more and still in the early days of what this can be and how far this can go.

Jeremy Weisz

You know, I talked about some of your investment criteria in the beginning, but I’m sure that was just kind of a surface level. What are some of the types of companies that you look for invest in?

David Mann

I can take that one, David. So it’s, it’s it’s been a journey, Jeremy, we first started being entrepreneurs ourselves, like, we had a few criteria. And we’d look at about any industry, where it was profitable, it was growing, and it had good people. I mean, those are the basic criteria. And as we’ve gotten along, in our journey and learned a lot learned what what we really like what we enjoy what we’re good at, we’ve we’ve gotten better about defining kind of what is what is Firefly’s target market, what’s our niche, and one of those areas that we’ve really focused on, I would say over the last 12 to 18 months, we call it the human capital sector. And and so think of any tools resources that really help business owners and leadership teams, attract, retain reward develop people. The reason why that became a niche, one, our mission, our mission is around developing people. So that that was pretty cool to have, you know, a niche that really aligns well with your mission. EOS was obviously very influential in that and how it impacts people’s lives every day. And then there’s some incredible trends going on in that space. Every business big and small is thinking about those people questions, how do I get better people? How do I develop the people that I have and maximize their talents and give them opportunities? And so that’s become a real real focus of ours in the last 12 to 18 months.

Jeremy Weisz

You know, you mentioned David traction, and that immediately put that book in you didn’t realize there was a whole company might but they were on your radar. Um, I would love to hear if you’re able to share who’s on your radar now. from it, maybe you’re not having conversations with them, but it’s just like we read this book, we, you know, it could just on your radar is not saying you’re gonna invest them not gonna hold you to it. But if that person is listening, maybe they’ll contact you how to know who’s on your what companies or books are on your radar now?

David Mann

Sure. Well, I think again, I’ll maybe I’ll pass the baton to Derrick on this one. Cuz you I think you’ve done a lot of great work. And we’ve talked a lot. We’re at our Monday meetings every week, we’re talking about companies. And we’re talking about themes, and maybe talking about the executive the obstacle with the entrepreneur toolkit idea that we’ve come up with.

Derrick Smith

Yeah, we’ve we’ve, I don’t know if we want to give away specific names Jeremy, but we put a lot of work into finding the best companies out there. And I think most of them have heard from us at this point. That’s that’s what I spend a lot of time doing personally for for The Firefly team, but we’ve developed this thesis, we call it the entrepreneurial toolkit. It kind of fits within human capital, and it’s, it’s really taken all those things for the entrepreneur. What do they need to run their business well, and so an example of that is, we think there’s a lot of opportunity in this outsourced fractional space. So thinking of, you know, historically, there’s been the fractional CFO. Everybody knows about that, but there’s some emerging concepts coming out that are really working well like the virtual assistant. The fractional Chief Marketing Officer, the fractional VP of Sales like these are outsourced HR, these are some really technical, high power positions within a company, they’re very hard to make, they cost a lot of money, they’re very risky, you know, maybe 50% chance of getting the right hire, but it’s you’re paying a lot of money for it. And so we think these fractional options might be better for a period of time for entrepreneurs. That’s one, I think some of these personality and behavioral assessment tools are just kind of making their way into the small to medium sized business world. We use culture index at Firefly, and Kolbe, we like those two assessment tools really well for for key hires, and would obviously loved to grow in our relationship with both of those companies. Those are a few things. David, what would you add?

David Mann

Yeah, I think. And some, some may argue with me, Jeremy, but at the highest level and entrepreneur needs, what do they want, they want the they want the best information, the best data to be able to make decisions. They want the best people on their team. And they want the best customers, great customers, right? And so to Derek’s point, how do we fulfill those three? And so we have them? What are the companies that give people the best data to make decisions? What are the companies that help people get the best people, whether it’s an assessment tool, or the like? And how do we help people get best, the best customers? Well, that’s best practices around a fractional marketing person or fractional. So those are areas we think are compelling around those three, and how do we fill that up?

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, yeah, I could totally see that. Not just from like a need standpoint, from a company, but also, because of the, you know, the world, right, people are now working virtually. And so you can hire the best talent all over the United States, even if they’re not in your city now. Right. So it’s probably I don’t know, if you’ve seen that speed up, the process of people using these types of services are not have you felt that those played a role with, you know, plan, pandemic and crisis? Absolutely.

Unknown Speaker

Oh, yeah.

David Mann

Oh, yeah. Certainly in some industries more than others, but things we thought would be over a 10 year time frame, happened over three to six months timeframe. Right. So this is the level of speed the level of adoption that USA as an example, they were putting on their conference last May. And that conference was intended to be 1500 people all in person. Well, that conference had to pivot within 45 days and go completely virtual, and they still pulled it off with excellence. And the the evaluations and surveys would say, people had the experience there was was comparable to what they had it in person, which was great to see. It’s amazing.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, I fear we would talk about two things. One, I don’t know if there is one of kind of like your Nolan Bushnell, not investing in Apple story where you passed. And on the flip side, talking about an acquisition and navigating acquisition because you’ve navigated a bunch of those as well.

David Mann

Sure, yeah. So I there’s certainly stories of ones we’ve passed on. And I don’t know if there’s any as compelling as that one.

Jeremy Weisz

Maybe I don’t know in the world, David, if there’s anyone

David Mann

as crazy as that, maybe I’ll tell the story. And then Derrick can follow up with of us and just the rough start that we had there, because we had the good fortune to acquire the company. And then they get the coke community together every quarter. And so that community was brought together and it was the first time we got to meet the community of 300 plus people brilliantly smart, talented people from all over the US from really all over the world to come together. And so we were there. And I was asked by our team to stand up in front of them and introduce ourselves as the new partner of EOS. And I made a few opening remarks got a few head nods and smiles and female, okay, like it’s going reasonably well. And so then I finished that up and I people asked, hey, I said, Do you have any questions, happy to take a few questions, people gave me a few softballs and like, Okay, this is going well, and, and then somebody said, Hey, tell us what’s your, your core values are at Firefly, and which you we talked about that earlier. And I was a deer in the headlights and could not name one. And so here I was talking about where our core values driven firm, core values matter to us. This is how we live our life. Okay, well tell us about them. I couldn’t name one. And so my failure, my embarrassment to me and our whole team has come back together as a team and relook at those core values. So now those are ingrained of us because if they’re truly who we are and living them, I shouldn’t have to like memorize what I put on a poster. It comes out of me because you see it exhibited in me. And it’s just how I’m living my life, and so on that circles back to this core value conversation. And what that now means to us before, it was a slogan. Yeah, From then

Jeremy Weisz

on, I would wear a wristband like the quarterbacks wear with them on my wrist. Derrick, what about you any things stick out from your journey is, you know, maybe a big challenge. It doesn’t have to be like a, you passed on something and being super successful or anything, but maybe just a big challenge that you had to push through. There’s a lot of ups and downs. When you’re an entrepreneur, when you’re a business owner, and

David Mann

you’re leading, operating, owning, you know, small to medium sized businesses, there’s just a lot of ups and downs. And I think, I think one of the challenges we face is, you know, everybody that gets into buying companies and wanting to lead they, they feel like, okay, everything’s just gonna go smooth, it’s gonna go up into the right. And, you know, the world we live in is anything but that very, it doesn’t happen very often, where a company’s just kind of smooth sailing up into the right. There’s, there’s big decisions, big challenges or people issues, there’s market issues that come up, sometimes investor issues, and it’s just, there’s a lot of challenges. And and I think that’s why it’s good, that kind of have, you know, great partners, at Firefly and for entrepreneurs out there that you know, own a company. That’s why it’s great to have, you know, solid leadership team, because all those ups and downs that come every week, every quarter, you got to have a team, you got to have a group of people, you know, with a set of core values a similar mission, and a vision for the company that that sustains you through those ups and downs, otherwise, you just won’t get through it.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, you know, David, you mentioned patterns. Also, I’m wondering, you know, when, you know, you probably, you know, Derrick, both you and David probably get a lot of questions from companies and guidance, you know, they want your guidance. What were some of the the struggles this past year that people were talking about, and how they kind of navigate them. This is probably these are uncharted waters that we’ve been in the past year. What what challenges did they come with, that you had to talk through? I guess as a, as a team,

David Mann

you said it right, Jeremy, it wasn’t uncharted waters. It’s something that even though I feel like I’ve developed some pattern recognition, in my pattern recognition pandemic wasn’t one of those I’ve seen before. So that was a that was an a new one. But we set up the communication rhythm just increases that much more. And the communication between us and between the team at a level that I would not have anticipated how great it was and how great they were able to come together under this crisis, to to come up with a game plan to move forward and move into the future. Because now you have companies who everybody was in the office, and now most of their people, in many cases, were going home to work virtually. And trying to work through that trying to we were very big on culture, and how do we develop a great culture that fills people up? And now you’re How do you keep a culture together when you’re not seeing them? One of our companies here in Indianapolis Divas Wholesale, we had a brand new CEO, he’d been on the job 60 days. And now he had to face this, he didn’t even really know his team yet, let alone being able to and now they’re all out of the building. So here he is trying to get to know his team. develop a rapport with that team, get that team to trust Him, and they’re not together. And so they’re we’re just being able to give them some of the tools. Some of those are EOS tools. Some of them are other tools that we’ve used, just through our experience to help navigate those waters was was important.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, that’s something to be thrown into is not an easy situation. Yeah, um, I’m gonna ask each of you about maybe your favorite navigating acquisition story. Before I do, I want to point people towards your website everyone should check out TheFireflyGrp.com it’s spelled THE-FIREFLY-GRP.com check it out, check out what they’re doing. Are there any other places we should point people towards on your website or online?

David Mann

Yes, certainly have a presence on LinkedIn. We’re always looking to connect with people on LinkedIn as well. So you can find us there under the Firefly group or individually by name, Derrick Smith, or David Mann or Mark Sneider. So we’re all out there. Good place as well.

Jeremy Weisz

So, favorite act navigating acquisition story.

David Mann

You want to start on that one? Derek,

you’d like me to? Let me think for a second Jeremy. One one that sticks out to me good stories. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz

I’ll have some good stories thinking through that, while you think about it. Um, the I saw with Spring Mill Venture Partners, one of them got acquired by Dolby and other got acquired by Brooks Automation. I don’t know if either of those would be interesting or something else.

David Mann

Yes, sir. Certainly, we can tell the story tells tell the story of that that goes back a little bit. But when I first got into this business as a as a partner was at Springdale, venture partners here in town, one of the founding partners of that, and we had a chance to invest in a health care services company called bio storage technologies and bio storage technologies was a specialist specimen storage and management company. And that could be storing in test tubes, blood urine serum, lots of things as big as, as genome mapping became such a more important part of our world, the more valuable these samples became to folks, and they wanted to keep them longer, because they can know they could revisit them to use them. And we had followed the company for a period of time, it was very early on. And we were trying to get to know them. And we invested in them, they were maybe a million dollars in revenue or so. And so it was a we invested in the round and venture capital, you’re always reserving capital for the next round. In the next round after that. This is a company that took off and never needed another round of capital became profitable quickly. And it was, it was nearly nine years later, when we eventually sold it for a great exit to a public company. One of the stories I tell about them, as in their early days, they were trying to get customers and they keep all of their samples. And these are large commercial type refrigerators have to be held to a certain temperature. And then those days, we had a handful of customers maybe, but people wanted to come in and tour our facility. So they filled up the test tubes with water. wanted to make sure those refrigerators were full so people could see what we had we had stuff in them. If they asked us a question, we would have been honest about them. But we just want to show them hey, we, here’s what we here’s what we have going. So I love things you have to do as an entrepreneur just to get going and get started today. They were willing to be shredded want to be like

Jeremy Weisz

see one test tube in there. So wait, I’m your only customer. But scared.

David Mann

Yeah. And so Brooks automation acquired the company, and they wanted it to happen nearly from start to finish in 45 days, which is crazy, crazy speed. Right? Because I think for them, maybe they wanted they were public company, they wanted to make an announcement to the street at their next their next call. And so they wanted to be able to use this as part of that story.

Jeremy Weisz

Is that like the golden child occurence where they raise around they they get profitable quickly they grow and then sell is that like the ultimate

David Mann

one of those. I want to put more money into a company like that, right? It’s the ones that are struggling that need my money that are less likely but groups great. As I said from a million dollar revenue star to to a nine is sold for nine figures. And so that was a great, great success.

Jeremy Weisz

It’s amazing. It’s amazing. So I don’t know if you want to bring any up to current the Firefly or Derrick, you want to bring any up from from your thought?

David Mann

Yeah, a few a few stories. I when I when I think about great stories from our journey at The Firefly Group I think of I think of people, I think of individuals at each company. And I think of a guy named Jason, that we’ve had the opportunity to work with. He works at our manufacturing business and started out running a machine. He always had just natural leadership gifts, a lot of drive. And fast forward a few years. He’s now our shop foreman at that business. And that talk about fulfillment. For us at The Firefly Group like seeing someone with a lot of drive and giving them the training, the development opportunities and the promotion opportunities to grow in their career, to have more responsibility, make better income and really make an impact on their lives. I think of a guy by the name of Vic, who shared with me one time he’s like, this is the best place I’ve ever worked and I’m like man Vic, thank you so much. for telling me that because you just don’t know how much blood sweat and tears goes into building a company. And to hear that is just, it’s just game changing for us. And for me, I’ve got a funny story is not not so much of blood tied to people, but when I’m not going to share the name of the company, but when we bought it, we were all excited to get up in front of the employees and announce that, you know, we’re we were the new owners, we are partnering with the leadership team and the the former owners get up and say that they have they’ve sold the business and this was in front of all the employees like 70 employees or something. And they said, We have a letter here for all of you and the employees, you got it, you got to think they were in their heads are thinking oh my gosh, I got a I got a bonus check. The owners are going to give me a bonus check it so he hands out this letter to every employee. And we had no clue. We’re standing in front of all the employees as the new owner, and they open it up and it’s a termination letter. It’s this technicality that they’re they’re all officially terminated. And we’ll be rehired by the fire group. And then we had to get up and talk about who we are and how we love core values. While everybody’s thinking, am I going to get hired? Did I just lose my job? And so that was a rough start for us at that particular company.

Jeremy Weisz

Like what not to do when you’re transitioning a company hiring every that’s your next book. What not to do when you’re transitioning company in that is hire everyone a letter right before we’re about to make an announcement we took over like Welcome to the The Firefly group.

David Mann

Yeah. Yeah, that was Yeah, that was That’s crazy. That was fun. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker

I wish they would have

Jeremy Weisz

consulted you on that one before they did. Yeah.

David Mann

And then they walked out of the building. We were left standing now.

Jeremy Weisz

Do you think that’s a good idea, though? That’s like, who around the board table? Yeah, that let’s go with that one. Hire everyone else. Let’s give him a letter that fire does not really fired.

David Mann

I’ve got a I’ve got a better story Jeremy than that. When we bought EOS, Gino Wickman, Don Tenney, the two co founders of that David mentioned that 12 criteria price was only one another one of those criteria was core values. And from the very first time we met them, all the way up until the day of closing, they were challenging us to see if we really met their core values bar. And that was so unique. And that was difficult like to go through that because you, you know, you negotiate, you go through current legal contracts and all this stuff. And they were challenging us making sure that we had the core values that core values match throughout the whole process. And man, that was an incredible experience this kind of on the other side of things for us, and that really set us up well and help us understand the DNA of that company, and how to be a good steward of it going forward.

Jeremy Weisz

I want to be the first one to thank you both for this for sharing your knowledge and sharing your expertise. Everyone check out thefireflygrp.com we’ll link it up and check out other episodes. Thank you both Dave and Derrick have been an absolute pleasure.

David Mann

Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. Thank you for having us.

Derrick Smith

Thank you, Jeremy.