The Bachelor's Ben Higgins Shares How The Show Changed His Life - Exclusive

Appearing on "The Bachelor" is not for the faint of heart. Not many people have the stomach for being followed by a camera crew around the clock while they navigate one of the most awkward and potentially embarrassing human experiences — dating a new person (or rather a slew of new people). And if the idea of having your most vulnerable moments broadcast on national TV isn't enough to give you hives, there's the delightful possibility that millions of viewers will get to see you getting rejected by a potential suitor. On top of all that, it's not as if you can just quietly go back to your old life once the season ends — you'll still be a household name and you'll still be recognized on the street months later. This can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you choose to leverage your new reality, as The Ringer notes.

For Ben Higgins, the third-place contestant on Season 11 of "The Bachelorette" and star of Season 20 of "The Bachelor," it was definitely a good thing. While his relationship with his match from "The Bachelor," Lauren Bushnell, did not last, he made many good friends from his time with the franchise. And as he shared in an exclusive interview, "The Bachelor" opened up numerous new opportunities for him.

Being on The Bachelor changed his life — in a good way

Ben Higgins is more than just a one-trick pony. Besides being a memorable TV personality, he's also an entrepreneur and author with an interest in philanthropy, and the enhanced visibility he gained from his time on "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" gave him a leg up in all these endeavors. "I operate a company called Generous Coffee Company. Generous Coffee Company is a for-profit company, and we donate a hundred percent of our profits to nonprofits," he explained. "And I was able to co-found that. And I still lead it to this day. And that only became successful, I believe, since the show happened, because of my ability to, with a click of a button, promote the coffee company and get people purchasing it and aware of it and advocating for it."

In short, Higgins found his time on "The Bachelor" to be a great way to build his personal brand and advance his goals, even in areas completely unrelated to television or dating. "I believe the show has changed everything for me," he said. "It's enhanced the life I've always wanted to have, or always had, just given me a whole new opportunity."

The Bachelor helped him find love, but not the way he planned

While Ben Higgins' relationship with Lauren Bushnell, his match from "The Bachelor," ultimately ended, he said his time on the show taught him a lot about himself and his personal relationship goals. "I obviously changed," Higgins said. "It also opened me up to try to find love. And I knew during that show, and even after it, that I was ready to be a husband and ready to be a partner. And the show really kind of helped me get to that point."

This newfound knowledge — and the heightened visibility he gained from the show — also kickstarted his relationship with his new wife, Jessica Clarke, whom he first noticed and tried to contact online. "The only reason my fiancée I think responded to my message is because I had a blue check mark," he said. "She said, 'Hey, I must be able to trust him a little bit more maybe, or at least I can find out more about him, maybe.' While Clarke has not seen Higgins on "The Bachelor," she will get to meet a number of cast members at their recent wedding — Higgins is still friends with many of them. "It's a part of my story, and my story and her story both kind of collide when you get married or when you're dating to create your relationship. And for me, 'The Bachelor' is a huge part of my story," he said.

Follow Ben Higgins, Rudi's Rocky Mountain Bakery, and the "Slice of Home" campaign on Instagram.