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Edward Valaitis
Exit Like A Winner
This book is designed to help entrepreneurs with one of the most difficult decisions they will ever face which are when and how to sell their businesses. The author is vulnerable and innovative in his approach as it requires left and right brain thinking to make a great decision on something as personal as their business, their life, and their finances which are intertwined in the most valuable asset they own. Often overcoming denial is the biggest obstacle to making a sound decision and this book deals with that issue head-on to help founders find their own personal truth.
Valaitis draws on years of experience as a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisor to walk a business owner through the emotional process of selling a business. He layers advice with storytelling–telling the stories of Sean, Erica and Sara, composites of business owners he has worked with, and giving practical advice such as avoiding an early Letter of Intent, and how to offers much clear-eyed guidance, the focus of Valaitis’ wisdom is encouraging the business owner not to attempt to sell and “harvest the wealth” of their business alone, or with just legal and accounting help, but to engage a trusted intermediary such as someone with Valaitis’s own skills.

Valaitis is attuned to the psychological aspects of selling a business that one has built, in addition to practical business matters —his discussion of the decision to sell mirrors the five stages of grief. As part of this psychological attunement, he strongly encourages authenticity in business relationships. Valaitis “[takes] the first step of vulnerability” by sharing his own story of his girlfriend’s abortion in his youth, the grief and trauma that arose from that, and the healing he found from God. Valaitis asks readers to be likewise brutally honest with themselves about their regrets and their limitations as they undergo the process of selling a business.

While Valaitis’ vulnerability and revelations may come as a surprise in a business book, his humane style and storytelling builds a relationship with the reader, though some may prefer a more traditional information transaction. Most, though, will find themselves cheering for Sean and Sara as they go through the process of selling their business as well as taking Valaitis’ advice to heart. Valaitis’ story and advice will benefit and encourage those considering selling a business, especially entrepreneurs with an emotional attachment to their work.

Takeaway: A business owner considering selling their business may find Valaitis’ personal story and advice helpful as they consider the technical and emotional details involved in that process.

Great for fans of: James Jackson’s No One Loves Your Money Like You Do, Krista McBeath’s The Generational Wealth System: A Holistic Approach to Preserving Your Wealth and Legacy.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A-
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: B