You have probably heard the classic Christmas song, “The 12 Days of Christmas” at least once in your lifetime. Partridges, Turtle Doves, French hens, Swans, and few other species of birds are just a few of the gifts brought to you by your “true love”. If you are like me, Marketing Coordinator Colleen Kowalski, and you are terrified of birds, this song is more of a nightmare than a heartwarming song about receiving gifts. Over the course of the 12 days, you would receive 184 birds and, if you are me, you would figure out that your “true love” actually hates you.
Instead of figuring out how to get a hold of almost 200 birds, I put together a list of some gifts for the advisor in your life that they can use in their business.
On the First Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree – CEPA Designation
I would question the purpose of a Partridge in a Pear Tree and what it provides you other than maybe a few pears with beak marks and a bird you now must take care of. A CEPA designation, however, is much more useful. Exit planning is a core competency for advisors of the future. If you work with business owners today, becoming a CEPA will benefit your practice regardless of your specialized discipline.
On the Second Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Two Turtle Doves – Two days of content at Insiders Bash
More birds? Pass. Instead of two more birds to take care of, enjoy two days filled with content from industry leaders and networking opportunities with Exit Planning Advisors at our EPI Insiders Bash. Look forward to our second annual Insiders Bash in the first half of 2021.
On the Third Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Three French Hens – 3 Legs of the Stool
Instead of yet another day of birds, spend the third day of Christmas learning about the Three Legs of the Stool. As a good Business Advisor, you must be able to incorporate business, personal, and financial planning into your practice. Each of these legs is equally important to balance your business and personal life planning.
On the Fourth Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Four Calling Birds – 4 Intangible Capitals
Oh great, four more birds. And this time they are “Calling” Birds, so you know they are going to be quiet and not at all disruptive, just kidding. Instead of loud birds, spend the day studying how to grow and invest in the 4 Intangible Capitals in business. Intangible Capitals are the four most important aspects of your intellectual capital. They include: Human, Social, Customer, and Structural Capitals. Human Capital is the measure of talent on your team. Social Capital is the social operating system that represents your culture and brand. Customer Capital is the strength of your relationship with your customers. Structural Capital is your business’s infrastructure, comprised of systems and tools that build your company.
On the Fifth Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Five Gold Rings – 5 Stages of Value Maturity
Finally! A day without feathers and beaks. Five Gold Rings are a pretty good gift, but they won’t help provide value to your client’s business. Provide your business owners with the 5 Stages of Value Maturity so they can continue to grow value in their company. The five stages are: Identify, Protect, Build, Harvest, and Manage. As your go through all five of these stages using Value Acceleration, your value will continue to grow.
On the Sixth Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Six Geese a-Laying – 6 Modules of CEP
Those Five Gold Rings were just a ruse to trick us into thinking our True Love was done gifting birds. But, then these six geese show up. At this point you ask yourself: “It’s all going to be birds isn’t it? Just day after day: Birds.” Thankfully, you won’t be receiving any birds from us today, or any day for that matter. On the Sixth Day of EPI Christmas we share the Six Modules of our Certificate in Exit Planning course. This course is perfect for those who are looking to get a general overview of Exit Planning but are not ready for the CEPA training yet. The program takes the attendee through six modules which concentrate on the core elements of the Value Acceleration Methodology and the organizing principle of the methodology called Master Planning.
On the Seventh Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Seven Swans a-Swimming – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This is too many birds. Where are these swans going to swim? It is winter, ponds are frozen, lakes are cold, and I definitely do not have a bathtub big enough for seven swimming swans. Who decided giving so many birds was a romantic Christmas gift? I have several questions. While I ask the bird related questions to the songwriter of “The 12 Days of Christmas”, you should read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. This book offers an insight into what makes for a successful personal and professional life.
On the Eighth Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Eight Maids a-Milking – 8 Primary Exit Options
Theoretically we are done receiving birds as gifts, but are eight women milking cows a better gift? I mean, imagine how much milk that is. Answer: too much milk. As I find a way to exit this holiday gift receiving nightmare, I recommend you learn about the eight exit options we highlight at EPI. We split these exit options into Internal and External exit options. The four internal exit options are: Intergenerational Transfer, Management Buyout, Sale to Exiting Partners, and Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The four external exit options are: Sale to Third Party, Recapitalization, IPO, and Orderly Liquidation.
On the Ninth Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Nine Ladies Dancing – OwnerRoundtable Series
Alright, I can get behind this gift. Nine ladies doing a choreographed dance seems like a great gift, especially if it is a ballroom dance up to Dancing with the Stars standards. Another great gift: our EPI OwnerRoundtable Series, a part of our Owner Engagement Program membership. The Owner Engagement Program platform provides you access to licensed owner education content and executive coaching in the areas of exit planning engagement execution and marketing strategy.
On the Tenth Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Ten Lords a-Leaping – $10 Trillion Opportunity – Designing Successful Exit Strategies for Middle Market Business Owners
So these leaping Lords… do they just jump in front of me or do they have a choreographed leap-heavy dance similar to the Nine dancing ladies from yesterday? Whoever designed this song did not care about the repetition. While I ponder design flaws in this song, I recommend you read $10 Trillion Opportunity – Designing Successful Exit Strategies for Middle Market Business Owners by Richard E. Jackim and Peter G. Christman, the founders of Exit Planning Institute. This book is one of the first resources in the exit planning industry and provides a wealth of information on the Baby Boomer Business Owner exit.
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Eleven Pipers Piping – Walking to Destiny – 11 Actions an Owner Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value & Unlock Wealth
It is not until day 11 that I get some music? Before that it was just birds, some gold, more birds, milk, and dancers. The priorities of my supposed “true love” need some work. To be a successful business owner or advisor, you must continually work on your business. Read Walking to Destiny – 11 Actions an Owner Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value & Unlock Wealth by EPI President, Chris Snider, to learn how to grow and manage your business value. Walking to Destiny provides both owners and advisors a blueprint for how to utilize the Value Acceleration Methodology in their business strategy.
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas EPI gave to me:
Twelve Drummers Drumming – Every Family’s Business – 12 Common Sense Questions to Protect Your Wealth
The Twelfth Day of Christmas. We’ve finally made it. After today, I will hopefully never receive another bird for the rest of my life. And we are celebrating that fact with a dozen drummers. My family is thrilled because they will not have to hear me cry over the amount of birds I now have to deal with, because the drums drown out my sobs. Speaking of family, on this twelfth day of EPI Christmas, read Every Family’s Business – 12 Common Sense Questions to Protect Your Wealth by Tom Deans, Ph.D. This book provides business advisors with the insight in how to manage family businesses and the complex family relationships that are intertwined with business relationships.
If you are celebrating the holidays this year, please, I am begging you, do not get your loved one hundreds of birds. Unless they own an aviary, they will not enjoy this many birds. The best gifts are the ones that help us grow and learn. Celebrate the holidays this year by learning about the Exit Planning Industry from a variety of authors, models, and certifications.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at EPI!