Matchmaker, matchmaker

Heather Rosen
3 min readMar 1, 2021

A few days ago, my alma matter presented a webinar featuring one of our esteemed alumni, Pepper Schwartz, PhD. Dr. Schwartz is not only an author and a highly credentialed professor of sociology, she is one of the relationship experts on the hit TV show, Married at First Sight. Like many other reality TV shows, the appeal of MAFS is the potential train wreck at the end, which makes each season very binge-able. Single men and women agree to engage in a “social experiment” in which their life partner is chosen for them by team of relationship experts who utilize assessment tools and interviews to make a match based on science.

Once the experts decide who is right for whom, the couples meet for the first time at the altar and tie the knot. They move in together and get to know one other. Then, in a few weeks, the show offers to pay for an annulment if they decide it was a mistake. This might seem a little crazy, but apparently it works … sometimes — about 30% of the couples stay together. But also, apparently, there is pattern.

Dr. Schwartz shared that after observing dozens of couples, she noticed that the most successful couples have the following things in common: 1) each individual knew themselves and answered all questions honestly, 2) they were committed to the process and put sufficient time into it, 3) neither party had trust issues — both were capable of trusting others, 4) neither party had significant anger issues, 5) both parties came from a “secure family background” and felt that their families supported their decision, 6) they were “coachable” and would do all of the exercises recommended by the experts, 7) both parties had “a good heart”, and finally, 8) they were both willing to let the experts tell them if they observed an “impediment” — a problematic habit or behavior — and they were willing to work on fixing it.

A light bulb went off. As someone who helps people find the best franchise match, I immediately recognized many of the same success factors in the people I have coached. Those who knew themselves the best, were honest with me about what they were really trying to achieve and avoid, were committed to the process and put time into the research each week, were able to trust me and others, had family support, were coachable and respectful, and allowed me to point out when and where they were going “off process” and would immediately correct course — those were the ones who have stayed in business the longest.

Also, like marriage, launching a business through a franchise is not right for everyone. Some people are simply too independent to be in a relationship with a franchisor where decisions and power must be shared, and compromises are sometimes necessary. And anger, paranoia, trust issues, and family “baggage” can destroy the best of businesses. Increase your odds of success in a franchise by addressing any issues and correcting any deficiencies at the outset. This sometimes happens organically during the franchise consulting process, but if you continue to confront these issues, you should consider whether you would be better off “going it alone.”

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Heather Rosen

Career change advisor, business matchmaker, franchise expert, speaker, writer, former lawyer, and lifelong arts addict