Jonathan Dane launched Defiant Capital Group in 2020. He says the turbulence of that year helped shape the business.
"The volatility in the markets, for us, was a blessing because it allowed us to talk to people and just start conversations that a lot of time somebody else might not have been willing to have," Dane says. "For us, when you're in the middle of volatility, economic uncertainty, individuals and families with their private businesses, they're willing to talk about what does the future look like now? The environment was almost a reset for a lot of people to start thinking about, well maybe now is the time to sell my business or maybe now is the time that I want to invest in other businesses because I don't know if I will only have my family's business going forward. And so, for us, it was an amazing opportunity to help these families make those connections and really start building out the firm."
However, the year did present some challenges to the business as it was launching. One issue was that in-person meetings became teleconferences. It meant adapting his approach.
"A lot of initial meetings were now Zooms or phone calls and it might take one, two, three meetings before you even meet somebody for coffee let alone go into their office to start really formally talking through things," he says. "And so, for us, it opened up the doors to have more initial conversations. But I would say definitely extended a lot of timelines where now you have these initial meetings over Zoom, over phone, and then you go in and you sit down in person, but you're now still having these initial meetings but in person now."
Dane talked on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about launching the firm, his perspective on how the investor mindset has changed over the years since, and offers tips on post-business investment life.