15-Year CEPA Profile: Meet Mike Sedlak

For 15 years, Mike Sedlak has exemplified the excellence and commitment of a Certified Exit Planning Advisor® (CEPA). This profile highlights Mike's enduring dedication to his certification and his profound influence on the exit planning landscape. Join us as we delve into his journey, uncovering the experiences and insights that have defined his remarkable career. 

From Knowledge Gap to CEPA®  Veteran

As Mike’s wealth management practice grew, so did the number of clients who were business owners. He realized, though, that he was lacking the knowledge to advise on their largest financial asset: their companies.  

“I wanted to understand what all was involved in selling a business, getting a good price, and how all that fit in with a client’s overall financial plan and goals.” 

That was in 2009, and the concept of “exit planning” was just beginning to percolate.

“When anyone talked about exit planning, the response was more like, ‘What is this?’ It was not so much a discipline but more of an idea or concept,” he recalls. “Today, it is a discipline that is becoming increasingly valued by business owners.”

And Sedlak—one of just a handful of 15-year CEPA veterans—has honed that discipline to benefit his clients.

Confidence to Do What's Right

Mike was first introduced to exit planning and the community when he heard Peter Chrisman, the founder of the Exit Planning Institute® , speak at a conference.

“It was the beginning point of organizing the knowledge base of exit planning,” Mike says. “I knew it was what I needed for my practice, so I pursued the CEPA certification.”

The CEPA certification changed his business and how he approached clients.

“From the years of education, plus all my connections within the EPI®  community, I have the confidence to help clients find the best solution for what they want to accomplish and how their business fits into their overall wealth management strategy,” he says.  

Mike always strives to do what’s right for the client—even when the best advice is not to exit a business.

“Recently, I had a client who thought he wanted to sell or pass on his company, but as we explored his goals, we came to realize that wasn’t what he wanted,” he explains. “He was really looking for a way to reduce his operational responsibility as an owner, so we came up with a different solution. I’m proud of being able to do what’s best for the client even if it’s not what we initially thought.” 

Eating His Own Cooking

Mike’s also been able to apply his CEPA training to himself. 

As a business owner, Sedlak knew he needed to “eat his own cooking” and do everything he could to prepare to exit his business.  

“I was better equipped to negotiate the sale because of EPI and all I had done to increase the value of the business,” he says of recently selling his own company.  

The Next 15

Mike thinks the future is bright for CEPAs.  

“We’re a country of entrepreneurs and small businesses, and CEPAs can really help people in meaningful ways while doing well themselves at the same time,” he says. “It’s motivating to help people and know what you’re doing can be a huge payoff—for them and you.” 

Related Resources: