The hit television show The Bachelor has been a staple in the reality television dating game for 19 years come this March. While you might think that finding “love” on television is absolutely ridiculous, you cannot argue, that it is extremely entertaining to watch. Aside from the entertainment value, business owners can learn a thing or two from The Bachelor and its host, Chris Harrison, when it comes to finding the perfect person for you. And by person, I mean: Exit Planning Advisor.
For those of you who are not as well versed in the ins and outs of the emotional rollercoaster that is The Bachelor, have no fear. EPI’s self-appointed Bachelor Expert, Colleen Kowalski, is here to walk you through how to apply the lessons from years of The Bachelor into your hunt for the perfect Advisor.
Limo Exits and First Impression Roses:
A true fan of any Bachelor franchise knows that night one is filled with gorgeous gowns, freshly pressed suits, a hosed down driveway, and an endless parade of the cheesiest pick up lines you will ever hear. This is the first time we meet the Lauren’s, Rachel’s, and Hannah’s in their journey to find love/fame. When a contestant exits the limo to meet the Bachelor, they have 30 seconds for a memorable interaction. Some even going so far as dressing up like a sloth to represent their desire to “not move slowly” in their relationship with the Bachelor. The woman who makes the best impression with the Bachelor receives the First Impression Rose and is statistically more likely to end up in the final four.
When you look for the perfect advisor, first impressions are just as important. When you begin your search, make a list of the attributes you desire in your advisor. Perhaps you are looking for someone with estate planning experience, an advisor who works well with family business owners, or a CPA. Your first impression of advisors can come from a variety of sources. You may have read an article by an advisor on LinkedIn, liked a tweet they shared, or maybe you were referred to an advisor from another business owner. In an instant, you gain valuable information about a bevy of advisors. This will help determine what advisor gets your first impression rose and what advisors you would like to eliminate before learning anything more about their practice.
Nothing screams, “extremely low stakes dating scenario” like competing in a game of capture the flag with 17 of your boyfriend’s girlfriends while wearing a wedding dress. The Bachelor and Chris Harrison sit in the corner watching you run barefoot through the forest carrying a heart shaped pillow as you get pelted in the face with wedding cake. If that sounds absolutely insane, that’s because it is; but this is an actual date that took place on this season of The Bachelor. Group Dates are a great way for the Bachelor to see how his potential future wife acts during a competitive situation that would literally never happen outside of the context of the show. However, in these wild games, we learn valuable information about the women. We see which ladies have never been on team sports before, which women are surprisingly strong, and who is using a fake injury to spend more time with the lead – a classic yet devious tactic.
I am not suggesting that you have your potential advisors compete for your business by playing capture the flag – although that could be a fun team building activity – but having a way to easily compare advisors is a great way to narrow your advisor pool. Look for networking events in your area or attend an EPI Chapter virtual event to see how different advisors approach a topic. This is a great time to explore different advisor types. You might have thought a financial planner was best for your business needs, but after attending a networking event, you realize you need an estate planner instead. While a networking event is not a wild childhood sporting event turned into a date, it will help you determine which advisors deserve further consideration.
One on One Dates:
One on One Dates are drastically less messy than the aforementioned Group Date scenarios, but that does not mean they are any more realistic. A One on One Date is the only time that a contestant gets uninterrupted time with the Bachelor. A typical One on One Date consists of the couple crashing a local party, flying over the countryside in a helicopter, or riding either a four-legged animal or four-wheeled vehicle over some rocky terrain to symbolize the path of their relationship. After the day portion of their date, the couple goes to some nondescript location, that has been covered floor to ceiling in rugs and lanterns, so they can “open up” about their lives as they steadfastly ignore the food in front of them. It is on a One on One that the Bachelor has to make a difficult decision: do they give the woman a rose and continue to date her or do they send her home immediately?
If you do not have access to a private helicopter or a pair of horses for you and your potential advisor, do not worry. You can follow the same general premise of the One on One Date during your advisor search. Use this “date” to learn more about an advisor on a professional and personal level. While you may like an advisor’s experience and professional resume, you might not be compatible for a personal reason. Meet with an advisor for a socially distanced coffee or over a video call to get to know each other a little better. If you feel a connection, you can move forward in the advising process. If you fear they are not the best fit for you, or heaven forbid, they are “here for the wrong reasons”, it is time to cut them loose.
“Are They Here for the Right Reasons?”
Let me give you a quick run down on some popular Bachelor lingo:
“The Journey” – Nine weeks of fast paced dating that ends in a proposal to a man who was dating you at the same time as 29 other women.
“Here for the Right Reasons” – The contestant is here to genuinely* find love.
*as genuine as reality television love can be.
“Here for the Wrong Reasons” – The contestant is here to find fame, money, glory, and Instagram sponsorships.
Now that you are caught up – a staple on every season of The Bachelor is a contestant who is, according to the other women dating her boyfriend, here for the “Wrong Reasons”. This understandably causes a rift in this contestant’s relationship with the lead. If these ladies were being completely honest with themselves, all of them are here for the quote unquote “Wrong Reasons”, because they are on a reality television show – the epitome of trying to find fame. But I digress, the contestant who is there for fame and not for love, has a Scarlet “WR” placed on her designer dress and usually has a very short-lived relationship with the lead before being sent home.
In your search for the perfect advisor, you might also come across someone who is here for the “Wrong Reasons”. While they are not the exact same as in the reality dating world, the wrong reasons for an advisor are similar. All advisors are in the business of staying in business, i.e.: they are here to make money. But the advisors who care more about the money they make from your business rather than the money you make from your business are there for the “Wrong Reasons”. Your advisor should highlight ways to build value in your business as well as focusing on how to create a fulfilling life after you exit your business.
The Final Rose:
By the time the lead hands out his “Final Rose”- usually accompanied by a proposal, we have heard Chris Harrison refer to this season as the “Most Dramatic one yet”, seen multiple contestants break into tears, witnessed at least three petty feuds, and have endured gratuitous PDA for nine weeks. The Final Rose is the culmination of a season’s worth of drama and while the lead may propose, the chances are slim to none that the relationship will last after the cameras stop rolling. Over the course of 24 seasons of the Bachelor, only three Bachelor’s are still with the woman they chose from the show, and two of those women were not even the recipient of the Final Rose, they were the runner up!
Do not let that statistic scare you. While there is risk in selecting an advisor, you are not finding your advisor on a reality television show. NOTE TO SELF: Pitch a Bachelor-esque program for finding your perfect Financial Advisor to ABC. The best advisor is someone who has a well-rounded wealth of knowledge in how to manage the business, financial, and personal needs of their client.
After going on your Group Dates and One on Ones, you will be able to find the advisor who is here for the right reasons and will create value in your business. A Certified Exit Planning Advisor is worthy of every business owner’s Final Rose.
Are you ready to start your Journey? Find a CEPA here.