Academy Insider's - Insights and accountability from owners

Episode 23

A great component of The Business Owner Transition Academy is the support network it generates for owners. The Academy Insider’s group is a Vistage like group reserved only for Academy Alumni. This group meets on a quarterly basis to discuss their progress as they work to achieve an ELITE exit. If you have input or topics you would like to hear about, email me at
the business owner transition

The Deal Process - A Warrior For A Lawyer

S2 E11

Welcome to Season 2 Episode 11!  In this episode, Mike talks with Rob Swartwood of Consilium.  Consilium is a boutique legal firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions and corportate legal matters.  Rob is a former Army Ranger and now the founding member of Consilium in Atlanta GA.  Mike and Rob discuss the legal process from the beginning of the process and the importance of the Non Disclosure Agreement, through the Purchase Agreement.  During the transaction legal process, everything is negotiable until the owner loses negotiating power.  Listen in and find out when that happens and why negotiating a comprehensive Letter Of Intent is important.
the business owner transition

Don't Leave Money On the Table - Know Your Valuation

S2 E10

Welcome to Season 2 Episode 10! In this episode, Mike talks with Mike DeWitt. Mike is a partner at CI-Brightworth and a senior instructor at The Business Owner Transition Academy. Listen in as Mike talks about the importance of knowing the value of your company and a low cost way for you to gain knowledge and understanding of how the Key metrics of your business stand up to your peer group.
the business owner transition

Download S2 E10 Sample Valuation

Please select this link to download the sample valuation referred to in the Season 2 Episode 10 podcast.  Sample Business Valuation Assessment

Give up your President seat and increase value

S2 E7

Would you be comfortable hiring an outsider to run your business so that you could have a better chance of increasing the value and probability of exiting on your terms? Mike interviews Retired Navy Commander CX Kennedy who was that outsider. He moved from Maryland to Georgia to help an owner achieve an ELITE exit. Hear, in his words, about the challenges, and successes of "Filling the Seat".
the business owner transition

Barriers to an ELITE exit and why businesses don't sell

S2 E6

After speaking to a number of business owners in the last 2 weeks about exit readiness, Mike thought this would be a good time for a discussion of why business owners fail to achieve an ELITE exit. This is a collection of observations from owners Mike has talked with over the last 10 years. Our conversation includes dealing with company structure, owner readiness, the deal, and specific failure points within the framework of I.M.G.O.O.D. Checklist™️.
the business owner transition podcast

Will the supply chain have a new normal?

S2 E5

Join Mike in his conversation with Tom Wrobleski who has spent his career in the supply chain management space and serves as an advisor to fortune 50 and 100 CEOs and boards. They discuss the current supply chain environment and the future of supply chain management as it relates to smaller businesses' ability to reduce cost, become more efficient, and enhance growth.

Building Leaders Increases Transferable Value!

S2 E4

In this episode, Mike talks with T.D. Smyers, CAPT USN (Ret). T.D. is the host of the Bold Leader Podcast, former squadron commander, and Naval Air Station Commander. After his transition to civilian life, he has held CEO positions at multiple large institutions and now coaches business owners on leadership and team development to increase the business' transferable value by working on the "M", Institutionalizing Management, in the I.M.G.O.O.D. ChecklistTM. You can find the Bold Leader Podcast and his fascinating story of two squadrons facing the leadership challenge of Anthrax vaccinations on Apple Podcasts.

What is your post transition "Cool Change"?

S2 E3

In this episode, Mike talks with Chuck Allen, the host of the Cool Change Podcast, a highly accomplished executive coach and speaker, who is living his own "Cool Change". Learn how to pull the trigger on your transition and level up every day to create a more enriching "Cool Change" lifestyle.
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Another Record Breaking Year for M&A?

S2 E2

Mike talks with Don Bravaldo, founder of Bravaldo Capital Advisors. They discuss Don's boots on the ground observations of the current lower middle-market M&A environment and what it takes to get your company sold.
The business owner transition podcast


S2 E1 "Welcome to 2022.  Is this the year for your ELITE Exit? 

In this episode, Mike discusses the outlook for the opportunity to create your ELITE Exit in 2022.  He discusses the environment from three perspectives.  First, the economy and availability of capital. Second, the M&A market.  Third, small business optimism.  This short episode kicks off another exciting season of The Business Owner Transition Podcast and sets the stage for interesting guests who will help you  create ELITE preparation for your ELITE Exit.

S1 EP10

S1 E10 "What is your post-exit elevator speech?" 

In this episode, Mike talks with Charlie Jordan, He is a CPA, a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner, and a Certified Financial Transitionist®.  Charlie leads the Retiring Well practice at Brightworth and uses unique assessments to help clients flourish in retirement.  His counsel is critical to transitioning business owners who are facing the difficult transition to retirement.  Listen in and avoid being part of the 75% of business owners who are unhappy after selling their business.

S1 EP9

S1 EP9 "Your Ticket To Ride -- Off Into The Sunset!" 

In this episode, Mike talks with Beth Miller, author, coach and management team guru.  Mike and Beth talk about her book Replaceable, An Obsession with Succession and improving your team and positioning your business so you can leave it on your terms and join the Elite 3%!

Find Beth's book on Amazon and wherever books are sold.  You can contact Beth at

S1 EP8

S1 EP8 "Top Line Growth with High Performing Sales Teams" - One of the first things owners tell me when they enter The Business Owner Transition Academy or when we start a consulting engagement is they are unhappy with the performance of their sales team.  In this episode, I talk with Jonathan Graviss. Jonathan is a career sales professional and tells us how to build, manage and incentivize high performance teams to fuel your top line revenue growth.  Jonathan is a Vice President and General Sales Manager for Clear Channel Outdoors and an instructor and consultant with the Academy.

S1 EP7

S1 EP7 "Adding Value With a Fractional CFO" - Mike talks with Karen Reynolds of TechCXO and Don Bravaldo of Bravaldo Capital Advisors. Mike, Karen and Don all worked together on a vary successful exit and discuss the addition of a fractional CFO from the perspective of planning and preparation to the company sales process.  

S1 EP6

S1 EP6 "Sources of Capital - Fuel Your Growth" - Acquiring additional capital to fuel the growth of your business can be a confusing array of decisions.  Where to get it?  What is the cost? What are the strings attached?  All questions The Business Owner Transition Academy instructors, Nathan Corbitt and John Coffin answer in this episode.  

S1 EP5

S1 EP5 "Selling a business - A fighter pilot's perspective" - In this episode of The Business Owner Transition, Mike talks with Phil "Susan" Goebel.  Phil is a former Marine Corps F-18 pilot and entrepreneur.  They talk about military aviation, callsigns, Phil's successful sale of "Lazy Susan's" and his new venture into the specialty coffee business.  He will be launching Ready Room Coffee early next year. 

S1 EP4

S1 EP4 "Thoughts From Happy Hour" - Welcome to episode 4!  We recently hosted clients, students and advisors for our fall social mixer. We had incredible feedback from the group and the energy in the room was palpable.  Many of the advisors in the room said this was their first live social/networking event since the start of COVID-19.  This episode is a bit of a recap of some of the conversations in the room and an overview of the exit landscape in 2020.

S1 EP3

S1 EP3 "The 5 Things Business Owners Are Missing" - In this episode, Mike talks with Chris Means, a principal with Pinnacle Planning LLC with offices in Atlanta and Savannah Georgia.  Chris has over 40 years of experience working with business owners on business continuity and asset protection. During this week's class of the Fall Cohort of The Business Owner Transition Academy, students had questions regarding the risk to their personal balance sheet so Mike invited Chris to discuss his observations of the 5 most important things business owners are missing.

S1 EP2

S1 EP2, "The DoMyOwn.Com Sales Journey Part-2" - In this episode, Mike continues his conversation with Michael Gossling, former CEO of, talks about the twists, turns, and final home stretch of his successful transition from his ownership role.

S1 EP1

Our first episode is "The DoMyOwn.Com Sales Journey Part-1" - Transitioning out of your ownership role on the terms you want is easier said than done, but it can be done. Michael Gossling, the former CEO of, shares his story.