Does it really make sense to wait until you save up the money to do a self-funded search? If it takes another 2-3 years, isn't that a huge opportunity cost? Obviously, you theoretically get more of the business in a self-funded search, but I think there is a lot of value in buying bigger (eg, can potentially hire a new CEO down the road, stay on as chairman, and repeat the whole process with a new biz).

Also, if you buy a bigger business with the right backers, isn't it possible to avoid signing a personal guarantee? eg, for a $3m EBITDA business, you may just get traditional bank financing and, if the bank trusts you and your backers, avoid the PG. Does anyone have any thoughts on this specifically?