58 minute riveting listen
Why would someone—anyone—first acquire a fledgling business in their 30’s, invest 20 years building it into one of the most successful firms in its industry, choose the best fit next majority investor in a successful capital gain transaction, then retire from the business and join the public sector as a civil servant...only to acquire the business back again nine years later?
In this private interview, Christopher Pierce candidly tells us his personal story of the “EOM Round Trip” he experienced with The Dingley Press, going from struggling EOM to a successful capital gain and back to EOM once again. He describes some of his motivations, challenges along the way, work-family life balance, the importance of long-term relationships, building the team, the difficulties and wisdom of working with advisors—all with the trademark Chris Pierce dry wit.
Lots of learning here.
What I am Reading / Listening to
contributed by Ryan Lavin
“Wait, she did what?!” This was my reaction to nearly every chapter of Tara Westover’s memoir Educated. Educated is a fascinating story of a woman raised in a Mormon survivalist home in rural Idaho who would go on to earn her doctorate in intellectual history from Trinity College, Cambridge, without having stepped foot in a classroom until the age of 17.
To say that Tara’s father had suspicious views of the federal government, modern medicine, and the public education system is a
staunch understatement (think: “doomsday”). As a result, Tara and the six other Westover children spent their youth working in their father’s junkyard without receiving a proper homeschool education or visiting a hospital. Tara didn’t receive a birth certificate until the age of nine. The Westover household was nothing short of a trial-by-fire with numerous on-the-job accidents in the junkyard described in great detail throughout the book. The memoir also describes a deeply troubling childhood whose lasting impact is simply profound. What is truly remarkable, given their upbringing, is that three of the Westover children, including Tara, left home, and all three have since earned Ph.Ds.
How does one go from a junkyard in Idaho with no formal education to Cambridge? Tara might answer that it takes a combination of fierce perseverance, extreme curiosity, and the willingness to challenge your own beliefs and learned behaviors. In her own words, “I think education is really just a process of self-discovery—of developing a sense of self and what you think. I think of [it] as this great mechanism of connecting and equalizing.” That process of self-discovery was not an easy one for Tara and sadly has cost her relationships with members of her family along the way. While an education came so easily for many of us, Tara had to fight for it. The book is as much about education as it is about conquering adversity and stepping out of our personal comfort zones.
After finishing the book, my reflection process on what I’d read raised more questions than answers. Why do I believe what I believe? When is the last time I gave a healthy challenge to my own belief system? Am I passive in my learning, i.e. do I wait for new things to learn about to come my way or do I actually pursue new topics independently? Have I been choosing new topics to learn about just to say “I know this” or am I actually coming away with valuable lessons and knowledge? What is the meaning of life?…. Ok that last one is a joke but you get the point.
Educated challenged everything I thought I knew about what it means to be a life-long learner and I’m grateful for it. It is an inspiring and thought-provoking personal account that reminded me of the inner ability we all possess to conquer adversity if we are just willing to fight hard enough for it.
Entrepreneur Owner-Manager Quote
“My wife might die of something, but it won’t be stress (she’s at the beach).”
-2018, An EOM that will remain Anonymous
Naval Ravikant has seemingly captured all of the brief flitting intelligences that come darting into my brain (and seem to exit just as quickly), and speaks articulately to them here in this astonishing interview with Joe Rogan. I could feel my heart speed up as he spoke and as I unconsciously muttered to myself, "Yup, YES, exactly right, Duh."
This is a long (2 hour) podcast and worth every minute of your time investment.