ERIC ARNOLD: Planswell
Eric is a young alumnus, but he’s not short on experience. He’s headed up multiple entrepreneurial pursuits. Most recently, he’s been at the head of Planswell, a financial planning company that’s really taking off. He’s also been a part of a different sort of startup – with his wife and two young kids.
Rookie Year: 2007 (turf: King City, ON)
Current Home: Toronto, ON
Eric was just a normal teenager when heard about College Pro for the first time.
He signed up, had a presentation, and was sold. He stuck with the window cleaning franchise for two years, and most definitely caught the entrepreneurial bug.
Eric left College Pro and started grinding away at his entrepreneurial passions. He started a tea company, and then a music distribution company, and then he built some online companies such as a socially curated search engine for arranging private tutoring sessions. He also consistently did Internet marketing for other companies; all while learning everything he could about the financial industry and investment banking. All in the span of just 5 years! Eric’s goal was to merge online marketing and digital automation to improve the process of financial planning, so that anyone could build a financial plan regardless of income. That’s how he started Planswell, where he is now CEO. The company is growing fast, with 30 full time employees, having just raised $6.1 million in seed money. Planswell makes financial plans for people so they can come in, make the plan, and start implementing it. It combines insurance, mortgages and investment all in one.
His College Pro Skills
When asked if he ever uses skills he gained at College Pro today, he said “oh, TONS. I reference it all the time”. Eric emphasized the skills he gained in selling as being crucial to his success. He sold over 500 window-cleaning jobs in 5 months, and credits it to learning how to understand needs at a deep level, “I would ask them so many questions – had they had their windows cleaned before? Tell me about it. Have you had other services before? What did you like about it? What did you wish they’d done? The next thing we knew we were talking about the really nice cable guy they’d had a few years back, and I was able to prove I knew exactly what they wanted from me. Needs analysis is the core of the financial industry, so I’ve just grown that skill since. Usually I don’t even tell them about our services – I just tell them our solution to their problem.”
Eric says his most prominent memories are the intense ones – either the really good, or the really bad. No matter what though, they were always huge learning opportunities.
Eric and his wife Elizabeth have two kids – Charlie and Logan
One of his interests is the real estate market, and he’s flipped three houses so far
Eric loves to travel, something that started in the off-seasons of his College Pro years (favourite places? Egypt, Morocco and Ecuador)