034: The Process of Letting Go with Laurie Barkman

By Aline Wealth Management on May 27, 2022

The exit process is nuanced but sometimes it comes down to simply knowing how to let go. How to move on from what you’ve built your whole career and into the next phase of your life. Laurie Barkman has worked on guiding business owners along this process.

Laurie Barkman is a “business transition sherpa.” With her firm, SmallDotBig, she advises owners on having more valuable, sellable businesses. And as a Partner with Stony Hill Advisors, a boutique mergers and acquisitions firm, she guides lower middle market companies through the complex process of letting go.

Laurie is the former CEO of a $100 million revenue company with an exit to a Fortune 50 company. With more than 25 years of C-Suite and award-winning marketing expertise, she provides actionable perspective to maximize value.

Engaging audiences across the US, Laurie is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University, leads executive workshops with Vistage, and hosts a weekly podcast called Succession Stories.

Today, Laurie joins the show to dive into her business transition process and the ways in which business owners can solidify their business prior to exit.


  • Laurie shares the process she uses to guide business owners.
  • Learn some of the key drivers impacting business value.
  • What is the best place to start the process of increasing your company value?
  • What is the “owner’s trap” and how can you escape it?
  • Discover some ways to get started with exit value planning if you’re not ready to sell yet?


Aline Wealth Management is a group comprised of investment professionals registered with Hightower Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Some investment professionals may also be registered with Hightower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Hightower Advisors, LLC. Securities are offered through Hightower Securities, LLC. All information referenced herein is from sources believed to be reliable. Aline Wealth Management and Hightower Advisors, LLC have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this document. Aline Wealth Management and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates make no representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or for statements or errors or omissions, or results obtained from the use of this information. Aline Wealth Management and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates assume no liability for any action made or taken in reliance on or relating in any way to the information. This document and the materials contained herein were created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s), and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates. Aline Wealth Management and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used or presented to any entity as tax or legal advice. Clients are urged to consult their tax and/or legal advisor for related questions.

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