April 14, 2024


Discover The Difference

Podcast Guest: Trent Simmons – Hardeman Company

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The next is a summary of a Harbourtime Strategy Talks Podcast session. A summary of the subject areas talked about is under. To view the video version or listen to the podcast, make sure you check out:

·      Video

·      Podcast

Make sure you be aware, this is not an actual transcription, as I took some liberties in transcribing from the Podcast dialogue.

Trent Simmons is the CEO of Hardeman Business and has a enthusiasm for little relatives enterprises. Trent and his brother took a natural gas advertising and marketing corporation from their father which was the genesis of Hardeman.  Trent has a passion for tiny company.

Hardeman seeks to purchase enterprises that they can personal and work as entrepreneurs for the long haul. Not wanting for a quick flip. They want corporations that are constructed the way we are developed. We want firms that ran for the former 25 a long time, the way we program to run them for the future 25 a long time. 

  • Modest companies built by way of character, do the job ethic, and associations
  • Production, Distribution, and Support-connected industries
  • Company house owners who want to see their legacy preserved and their workers and clients are taken care of

He was also a professional triathlete and we focus on how that expertise translates to small business strategy. During this element of the podcast, Trent discusses lessons he realized from earth class athletes, gold medal winners, and a former Australian boxer! The classes are fantastic — everybody can master from them.


  • The guy on major of the mountain did not drop there.
  • Do not try to swim like Michael Phelps if you are not Michael Phelps.
  • Never squander your time on comparative evaluation — you might be probably not going to be the upcoming Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos . . . but that is alright. Reach the optimum stage you can.
  • The top secret sauce of world class athletes (and CEO’s)?  Their minds. They set in the get the job done. Most of the time, they set in the operate when no a single is on the lookout. Day in and Day out. Hard Function, Above And More than Again. What we see are the “medals” the awards, but the difficult perform is just about by no means found.
  • Work on your weaknesses for enhancement, but Increase your strengths.

Referencing Hardeman company’s LinkedIn web page, How are you developed? Hardeman = Perseverance, Survival

Hardeman Corporation is named following the 1st of their relatives that received below, Thomas Hardeman Simmons. Hardeman stands for a person who is hardworking, perseveres and survives. Small firms are integral to this region and that is why Hardeman focuses on tiny corporations. 

These small business owners took a opportunity and their workers took a prospect with them. Hardeman Firm is a keeping corporation for other compact firms. They test to make a sleek way for business house owners to exit the business enterprise. The glance to uncover methods to acquire about the organization and staff members that are integral to the enterprise, and ideally increase them in the long term.

If you experienced to choose 2, perhaps even 3 essential qualities of the CEO/leaders of these businesses, what stands out? What drives a business enterprise leaders/CEO/entrepreneur to establish a prosperous enterprise? 

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In the starting, the entrepreneurial spirit obtained to them. Ultimately, all entrepreneurs come to a decision to get a probability and want to be their own boss. They want possess a company and have that tangible really feel that comes with possessing a small business. Many business owners start off when they are youthful, and it is a new encounter for them.

Then, it moves from an notion to a enterprise and many of them obtain year over yr development. That is when they recognize the responsibility is on their shoulders. They start off to see the pounds they carry. It is not just the money bodyweight. Several of them are “Hardeman forms of providers.

Of these companies that have designed it through the a long time, usually 1 of the initial or 2nd issues they question of probable customers is, “What are you going to do with the workforce?”

Personal fairness has gotten a undesirable name with the slash and dash design. That is, they acquire a firm and slash 50% of the property (which includes staff) and promote it once more in a couple of a long time. 

Lots of organization homeowners never want to see their identification (i.e., their legacy) dragged through the mud. Trent and his workforce like to explain to people, “Hey, let’s make your previous final decision your firm the very best selection for your business.

If a small business enterprise operator helps make a undesirable determination, a lot of folks/staff can be impacted. Large business CEO’s have various burdens, but they have the capability to move on to the future gig or other possibilities. The smaller sized companies have 30, probably 50 staff at the most.  These workforce come to be family members primarily based on the total of time they devote with each individual other by way of the years. For compact business proprietors, it can be far more than just a mechanism for monetary prosperity.

Hardeman has a great portfolio of firms – a very good mix of support, manufacturing, and other types of firms. How do you make a decision your portfolio strategy? Are you on the lookout for a precise blend, or do you appear for precise income targets, or any combination thereof?

Hardeman Company has an entrepreneurial bend to it. They are constantly curious and keen to learn. The moment they quit wondering is the day they want to retire.  

Hardeman Firm appears for a distinct sort of company proprietor as opposed to a certain variety of organization. If Trent and his group get thrilled about an field, they will consider a deeper dive. They like meeting other company entrepreneurs and conversing to businesses in many industries. 

Hardeman Company genuinely invests in men and women and appears to be like for a form of enterprise operator as opposed to an marketplace. If Trent does not recognize the company design in 5 or so minutes, then it’s almost certainly not anything he is intrigued in buying.

You’ve seemed at a large amount of organizations – You’ve acquired some of them, and I’m certain you have handed on more than you have acquired. What strategic advice would you give a organization owner who is wondering about advertising their company in 2021? What should really they be executing to prepare their company for acquisitions?

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Offering your business is form of like advertising your home . . . you have to get it completely ready. A lot like your residence, a business needs to glimpse superior for likely customers . . . thoroughly clean it up.

Get a glance at all the charges and ask, did they help or hurt the enterprise? If they harm the organization, you are not making ready it for a upcoming operator.

Take a appear at functioning money. Do you program on having this out of the valuation?

If you want to see your legacy carry on right after the enterprise is sold, make sure to clean up up the organization and take into account all assets as crucial to the enterprise, especially as it moves absent from you following the deal.

When reviewing a organization, you are competing in opposition to lots of elements: Proprietor Anticipations, Family Member anticipations, other acquirers, and many other elements. How do you harmony seller expectations and other competing components when you are in trenches of a probable acquisition?

1st impressions go a prolonged way and operator anticipations are vital. Hardeman is searching for organization entrepreneurs on the lookout to sell their organization for factors other than just the pure transaction. 

If the vendor is only on the lookout at their base line, searching to acquire their income and depart, then it is in all probability not a company they are hunting to obtain. 

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Hardeman is searching for owners/sellers that care about their business name and their legacy. They can typically tell early in the first meeting if the business owner suits that mould.  In those instances, the business operator/seller askes, “who are you heading to keep, who are you going to fire”? This line of questions normally lets Hardeman know they are on the right track, and that their passions are aligned. Hardeman cares about these issues. It’s not just a quantitative offer, but a qualitative offer, as well.   

What classes did you find out in schooling and competing in triathlons train you that can be translated to business approach? I know this is a bit obscure, but what small business lessons did the arduous instruction train you?

Trent rained with a skilled triathlon squad in Switzerland and he considers this his MBA. His Trainer/Mentor was a gruff former boxer from Australia and imparted a whole lot of wisdom on Trent. 

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Trent thought, there will have to be a magic formula that the prime 1% of athletes and organization leads ought to have in purchase to get to the major . . . a “secret sauce.” This will make sense and they ought to all have this specialized formula of what they are carrying out.   Needless to say, Trent jumped at the prospect to go prepare with long term Iron Guy winners, Gold Medal Winners, and other planet-class athletes. 

What he observed was that there wasn’t automatically a coaching mystery. What he noticed was, each individual working day, working day in and day out, the biggest secret was their thoughts. They liked accomplishing what they were accomplishing. They beloved swimming for 2 several hours and then jogging and then biking.  They beloved going to rest and receiving up and accomplishing it in excess of once more.

It was dependable, challenging do the job. Keep in intellect that nobody saw this tough operate. Day in and working day out. Hard function. People only observed the finished products of winning races and the medals and awards. Again, nobody noticed the difficult do the job they put in daily. 

These world-class athletes cherished the challenging perform and that meant a lot to Trent. That intended a ton. Day in and day out – constant get the job done. 

His coach as soon as instructed him, ‘the gentleman on the top of the mountain did not slide there.” Instead, he or she experienced to get there and it was a journey. 

If you really want to go following some intention, go following it and GO Tricky. Put a single a lot more working day in and know that not each day is likely to be the finest day of your lifetime. It could be a mundane day, but you set in the function to that objective. People overlook about that in today’s working day of fast gratification. 

Trent remembers a person time complaining about a education portion that he did poorly and the coach stated, “I genuinely do not care. Did you do the teaching?” He said, training sessions are like stones . . . some days they are diamonds and some days they are rocks. You’re likely to go decide up these stones and place them about on this pile, and you are going to do that the rest of your lifestyle. That eventual pile of rocks will be a mountain of perform that you take with you anywhere you go. 

This notion is the very same with business enterprise and all other elements of everyday living. Maybe some times you just definitely have to kick you to get likely, but you want get out of mattress and do the function. That consistency and get the job done and the work driving you (the pile of rocks = practical experience, understanding, trials, tribulations) will assistance you into the future and will aid you attain what you want to obtain.

One of the other finest factors his trainer instructed him was all-around his swimming talents. The trainer pulled him out of the pool and asked, “why are you trying to swim like Michael Phelps?”  Trent was reminded, you are not Michael Phelps. The trainer’s point wasn’t that Trent would by no means achieve excellence in swimming, but that he would not obtain his finest if he tried out to swim like the very best in the world when he wasn’t created that way.

It was recommended that if Trent can swim to the most effective of his ability, as an average American person, then he can continue to get to some other heights. Trent was nevertheless competing versus some of the finest in the globe, even as an common swimmer.

The stage right here is that people today get shed in worthless comparative examination. Is Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos the richest? Guess what? An individual will occur together and be richer. Lebron James is a excellent basketball participant.  Guess what? Someone will appear along and be much better. People get shed seeking to be Jeff Bezos and don’t focus on what is vital.

Really do not aim on your weaknesses. Work on weaknesses to make them much better, but aim on MAXIMIZING YOUR STRENGTHS.   When people look at by themselves to other persons, they could try out to move toward strengths that they just do not have. When attempting to optimize other people’s strengths, they are lacking out on a good deal of chances plans that they can achieve.

For instance, small business enterprise house owners can strike a stage of good results that they needed to accomplish. Just for the reason that it is a small company, does not indicate that they have unsuccessful. Someone might have owned a $1 million firm by hitting their highest likely, the best amount of success they could by maximizing their strengths.

So quite a few men and women get misplaced by comparing them selves to those that go before them. Guess what, yet again? You cannot be that. Trent did not become the world’s best triathlete. He turned the best triathlete he could grow to be.  

Who is your preferred business enterprise leader and Why?

Trent reads a large amount of biographies about a number of leaders and several matters.   But when inquiring the why . . . why they begun Hardeman Organization and how they moved from Organic Gas to on the lookout for other businesses to acquire, it’s all simply because of his father.

The finest businessman he is aware of is really his father. This future story is unique to Tristar and his father, but each little organization has a comparable story. Enron was Tristar’s premier consumer, to the tune of $2million. That cash wasn’t huge to Enron, but it was large to Tristar. When Enron failed, they realized they weren’t likely to see that income. It would all go to the collectors. This predicament remaining his father with a predicament. He experienced a pair of possibilities, which include using a personal $2 million reduction to guard the enterprise and choose treatment of his staff, or he could fold up, lay off workers, and go on.   His dad selected the 1st selection and took a $2million reduction so that he would not have to hearth people today. 

Though all this was occurring, Trent and his brother were acquiring completely ready for university and a large amount of payments were being hitting his dad at a own level. Even so, he place the personnel very first. He was not likely to punish the staff for what Enron did. 

He could see the thoughts and the passion in his dad’s encounter. Trent wishes he could bottle it up and sell it. Trent can also see it in other business homeowners faces. He can see the challenging function and the legacies becoming designed.