The Bottom Line of Happiness: Financial Strategies and Exit Planning for the Big-Hearted Business Owner By Matt Pardieck

Approximately half of all Americans are employed by small businesses. Small business owners are heroes. They are architects of the American dream.
A large subset of this successful group is driven by more than the bottom line. They strive to grow prosperous companies and make a difference in the lives of their families, employees, and communities. They donate their time, resources, and money to nonprofits and heartfelt causes. They wish to make the world a better place and leave behind a meaningful legacy. For them, pursuit of happiness and fulfillment means pursuit of purpose. It is equally important to their bottom line. I call these amazing people Big-Hearted Business Owners (BHBO), and I wrote The Bottom Line of Happiness for them. They need specific financial strategies, especially when they decide to exit their business.

  • understanding and shaping your business around your true north;
  • how to form and manage a dynamic team that helps with ideas and action;
  • important tools that are available to keep you and your business on course while you take care of yourself and those important to you;
  • the differences between the types of businesses so you understand your most appropriate financial and exit strategies;
  • financial and tax strategies to help you and your causes as you build and grow a business;
  • understanding the many types of exits and choosing one that fits your financial and non-financial goals;
  • and continuing to live a fulfilling life with a big heart before and after your exit.

The Bottom Line of Happiness offers invaluable insight into and tools to support what business is all about: enriching our lives and that of our communities. I have advised and coached dozens of CEO’s and other business leaders of successful and not so successful companies for over 35 years as an executive lawyer, CEO, board member, chairman, and investor. The businesses that failed did so for any number of reasons, including lack of financing, leadership, market disruption and distribution, often beyond the control of the business leader. But nearly every successful business leader held an unwavering passion about how their business could enrich lives not only of customers, but also employees and its community – the insight Matt Pardieck so richly offers in this book!


Ron McCray

Investor and  Former Chairman and CEO Career Education Corporation

Matt’s book, Bottom Line of Happiness, contains engaging and practical ideas to help the entrepreneur do good for themselves while changing the world. Passion and values, or what Matt calls ‘true north’ are a critically important part of a business owner’s success.  Empowering the Big-Hearted Business Owner™ with this financial toolkit is a valuable addition to the current thought leadership supporting entrepreneurs!

Ellie Shefi

Attorney, Entrepreneur, #1 International Best-Selling and Award-Winning Author and Publisher, Speaker, Strategist, Consultant, Coach, Educator, Mentor, and Philanthropist.

Nine out of ten small businesses fail.  Matthew Pardieck’s book The Bottom Line of Happiness: Financial Strategies and Exit Planning for the Big Hearted Business Owner seeks to provide the factual information and value orientation to significantly increase the numbers of successes.  He has over 26 years of experience in financial services.  His vision is much greater than giving hints to get more money, he passionately encourages small business owners to clarify their personal and business goals and values, he refers this as the “true north” of their personal compass, and then to orient their business goals and purposes to achieve these; short, medium, and long term, even to the point of one’s eventual “exit strategy.”  In the early pages he poses seven questions for readers to identify their “true north,” a check list to see that one’s business goals are aligned with one’s personal and long-term community goals, very important to weather the unanticipated storms and challenges which are inevitable.  He didn’t use Lewis Caroll’s famous quote from Alice in Wonderland, but it is appropriate here: “If you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will get you there.”

 It takes courage and ego to begin and sustain a business enterprise, but the truth is that we all need a vast team behind us in the background, from family and friends to partners and business associates, from specialists to our employees, from our customers to our faith community.  While it is essential to know and articulate our goals and purposes, our “true north,” it is also essential to recognize that any successful business involves a vast team which helps us in many (and often unacknowledged) ways.  Some members of this support team may possess specialized skills (planning, accounting, tax, human relations, supply chain, marketing), and Pardieck is clear that many of these specialists are often worth their price.  He specifically emphasizes the tax implications and advantages of small businesses, and documents his experience that knowledge of tax laws alone in many cases makes the difference whether a small business is a “success” or a “failure.”  In his experience, few small business owners are aware of these tax complexities.  This one topic alone more than justifies a look at this creative and provocative book.

Few self-help books in business deal with the issues of “exit strategy,” and Pardieck encourages readers to think in terms of the longer view, of the eventual transition or end of the business.  Such considerations inevitably involve close business partners or associates, family, friends, employees, and the larger community.  Again, another check list orients readers to the pertinent questions; and again, provocative questions are often worth more than superficial answers.

Our world is characterized by continuous change; social, technological, political, ecological, digital, environmental, educational, and demographic.  Small business owners must continue their lifelong education of all these trends, as best they can, to navigate the uncertainties of our collective situation.  Matthew Pardieck’s book represents an important contribution to this challenging process.

Dr. John M. Johnson

Professor Emeritus of Justice Studies

School of Social Transformation

Click here to read a sample of

The Bottom Line of Happiness