Brent Barkin shares the art of thoughtfully switching careers

Posted On October 31, 2023

Ever thought about changing careers? Most of us don’t have the luxury of taking the time to explore what we’d really like to do, and what we’d be good at doing. But what if you did?

Brent Barkin found himself in just such a situation. Barkin had been a guest on “What’s Working with Cam Marston” when he was running his family business, Shoe Station. Now that his family has sold that business, and he’s completed a stint working for the company that took it over, he stopped back in to share with us what he’s doing now – and how he settled on it.

One of the things Barkin realized after getting out of the shoe business was that there was a lot he really didn’t know about his community and the people in it. He got involved in the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and challenged himself to get to know the other business leaders and staff members there – to have meaningful conversations and make connections.

In doing this, he discovered that he was good at making those connections. And he got excited about the economic opportunities in Mobile.

“We’re on the cusp of something this area hasn’t seen in 50 years,” Barkin said.

That intersection of finding something he was good at and something that excited him led Barkin to his next pursuit. He is now Director of Business Development for Stoic Equity Partners, a Daphne-based firm that looks to acquire and add value to commercial real estate.

It is a role in which his talent for meaningful conversation and making connections is put to good use.

“I think when you get to a situation where you’re making honest connections with people – and ultimately when you’re in a situation where you’re basically looking at raising capital — you have to know people well enough that you’re not just a snake oil salesman,” he said. “It helps when you’re doing something you believe in.”

Barkin’s new role has also allowed him to accomplish other goals in his working life – spending more time with his family and maintaining a local presence.

And it all came from realizing what he was good at, finding something that excited him, and connecting the two.

Categories: Blog, What's Working with Cam Marston, Work