CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit

By Blaine & Honey Parker

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Description

Is building a business with your spouse the best thing ever--or the craziest? Or both? How do other couples do it? We interview successful couples who are crushing it and ask them everything from how they met to how they do it to how they argue. Whether you're working with your significant other, just thinking about it, or just like modeling other successful business owners, welcome to CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit.

Episode Date
Travel With Purpose: Cheryl Acheson & Rick Hyman of Travel Is Beautiful, Part 2
31:02

After raising their family, Rick and Cheryl looked inward, decided to leave the corporate world, and are now traveling the world with purpose. Going off the beaten path, they’re bringing back unusual beauty in a stunning and engaging blog. Editor In Chief Cheryl is often editing her photographer husband Rick—which has sometimes led to challenges. In this episode, we hear about how they’ve learned to disagree differently—and sometimes not disagree at all. Where others might find conflict, they’ve found congruence, which some couples are hard pressed to find under any circumstances—much less with the added pressure of globetrotting at the edge.

 

Aug 15, 2018
Travel With Purpose: Cheryl Acheson & Rick Hyman of Travel Is Beautiful, Part 1
35:35

This couple had significant professional careers, raised a family, left corporate, and decided to do something different with the next chapter of their lives. They wanted to travel with purpose, which is different than just vacationing. It has led Cheryl Acheson and Rick Hyman to develop an extraordinary blog called Travel Is Beautiful. Cheryl is the writer and editor in chief. Rick is the photographer, not to mention a contributing writer. Rick’s writing style leads to some interesting conflicts with the editor in chief. And they’ve found that the style of travel they do—which is less high-end and more boots-on-the ground—is adding new layers to their relationship.

Aug 08, 2018
Cocktail Couple: Rob & Sara Sergent of Alpine Distilling, Part 2
38:14

We continue our conversation with Rob and Sara Sergent of Alpine Distilling. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, they were homeless, jobless and pregnant—and they say it was one of the best things to happen to them. They embrace it and practically recommend such adversity for a couple in business. We’ll hear how Rob encourages Sara to branch out in the business and supports her in pretty much everything—including being a distiller herself. Sara says she works well when there’s a challenge, and Rob seems happy to throw challenges her way. And if you didn’t hear part one, Rob will be making references to how he had to throw out 50 gallons of an expensive, experimental recipe. (Seems that neither he nor the world were ready for sarsaparilla whiskey.)

 

Aug 01, 2018
Cocktail Couple: Rob & Sara Sergent of Alpine Distilling, Part 1
53:25

Meet Rob and Sara Sergent of Alpine Distilling. This young distillery was founded by a couple who have seen serious adversity. As newlyweds, they went through a trial by fire that might seem devastating—yet they found it to be liberating. There’s a parity between these two that is unusual in the kind of business they run. Which hasn’t always been the case in their respective careers together. And it sounds like it’s having a really interesting affect on their young kids. It’s also one of the things they like about their family-first lifestyle—which you’d think would be a huge challenge for a couple in a fledgling business.

Jul 25, 2018
Arguing: How To Do It, w/Dr. Rachna Jain, Psychologist
35:11

This is Coupleco, The Argument Edition. What causes the two of you to argue vehemently—when you’re actually in agreement? What happens when an argument just makes you shut down? (There is an actual name for this.) We’ll hear about the different styles of arguing—including the fact-based arguer, the feelings-based arguer, and even the kitchen-sink arguer—and what to do about it. This includes a technique that’s deceptively simple to implement, yet makes it surprisingly difficult to maintain your argumentative stance. We’ll hear about when walking away from an argument is not only OK, but absolutely necessary. And we will get to experience the phrase, “Hormonal cascades.”

Jul 18, 2018
Entrepreneurial Balancing Act: Jereme & Sarah Trunk of Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy, Part 2
35:55

In this episode, we rejoin Jereme and Sarah Trunk of Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy to discuss how perfectionism can be the enemy of progress. There’s pleasure and the pain of building your own business model instead of following someone else’s template. It’s OK to take a weekend off—especially when you want to be a couple instead of coworkers. And, regardless of how much prep you do, the necessity of having trust & faith if you’re going to make a business fly.

Jul 11, 2018
Entrepreneurial Balancing Act: Jereme & Sarah Trunk of Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy, Part 1
46:59

Jereme and Sarah Trunk of Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy are a couple who are truly in love in business together. We’re going to hear them talk about wanting to create something that didn’t exist in the marketplace—which is either very brave or very foolish, depending on who you are and how you look at it. (We’re going with brave.) They’re also challenging conventional thinking in their niche. And in continuing a theme that we picked up with Blackbird Crossfit in Maryland, we’re going to witness more of the power and the joy in running a business that changes people’s lives—this time form the health and wellness side. And they’re doing it in a way that flies in the face of the traditional business model for their industry.

 

Jul 04, 2018
Love The Burn: Matt & Rebekah Titus of Blackbird CrossFit, Part 2
40:07

Matt and Rebekah Titus of Blackbird CrossFit never used to fight until they began running a business together. In this episode, we hear about a business that isn’t kid-friendly—but has lots of kids running around in the middle of it with potentially dire results. There’s the value of learning to appreciate how each other communicates in a relationship where one partner is driven by emotion, the other by analysis. And the power and the joy in changing lives—especially when attracting employees who are driven to serve.

Jun 27, 2018
Love The Burn: Matt & Rebekah Titus of Blackbird CrossFit, Part 1
49:41

Matt and Rebekah Titus, owners of Blackbird CrossFit in Eldersburg, Maryland, are a fun and passionate couple who had something interesting happen when they started working together: for the first time in their marriage, they began to fight. We’re going to hear how they’ve been able to meet that challenge. There’s also that scary moment of truth when they decided they were taking the plunge and going all-in—and how they’ve built a thriving cult brand with a loyal following of brand evangelists. And that’s saying something, since CrossFit is already a cult brand in itself—but these two have raised the bar. (Honey should know—she’s a loyal CrossFitter, and she has worked out at Blackbird Crossfit on several occasions.) And we’re going to hear about how their business is changing lives—both for their customers, and for themselves.

Jun 20, 2018
Should You Even Do This? Dr. Rachna Jain, Psychologist
31:05

In this episode, we’re talking to Dr. Rachna Jain, a clinical psychologist with a special focus on working with entrepreneur relationships. Dr. Jain is going to help us answer the age-old question, “Should the two of you even be doing this?” She’s going to talk about tools for better communication. And we’re even going to hear about an exercise called The 10-Second Kiss.

 

Jun 13, 2018
The Bleam Team: Chip & Carol Bleam of Freedom Chiropractic, Part 2
30:37

In part 2 of our chiropractor couple, Dr. Chip & Dr. Carol Bleam of Freedom Chiropractic & Rehab of Eldersburg, Maryland. The Bleam team is a study in cooperation, team dynamics, family-first thinking, and manageable scale. We’re going to hear about an interesting challenge when it comes to underestimating one’s power—and maybe not surprisingly, it comes from Dr. Carol’s diminutive size. They talk about acceptance of each other’s idiosyncrasies, and learning how to work effectively with them. And we’re going to hear about their success with one of the most overlooked and effective marketing dollar expenditures of all time.

Jun 06, 2018
The Bleam Team--Chip & Carol Bleam of Freedom Chiropractic, Part 1
41:41

CoupleCo is in the city that is known as America In Miniature—Maryland. We are talking to a couple of chiropractors, Dr. & Dr. Bleam of Freedom Chiropractic & Rehab of Eldersburg, Maryland. Better known as Chip and Carol, these two are a study in how a couple, with three young children in school with activities, balance work and family—and still have time for each other, which comes with an interesting and fun tip for keeping up a regular weekly date night. They talk about power struggles and the art of compromise. We’ll learn what to do when you suddenly find the weird tattooed face man looking for adjustments in the nude. And from the marketing department, we’ll hear about the ways in which they set themselves apart from the competition—including some deceptively simple marketing advice for anyone with a small business.

 

May 30, 2018
Hard To Make It Look This Easy: Justin & Kristin Boswell of Wayward Owl Brewing, Part 2
42:23

We’re back with Justin and Kristin of Wayward Owl Brewing, talking about what happens when you’re an anxious person, and it comes off as anger. We’re discussing the time-honored tradition of talking your partner in off the ledge. Justin and Kristin talk about making each other sharper. But is it your responsibility to make each other happy? And one of our favorite topics, managing expectations—but in this case, instead of talking about managing expectations for the customer, we talk about managing expectations for each other. One note: after the lightning round, this extended jam of an interview continues for several minutes with some really interesting bonus material that’s worth sticking around for—including an important note if you use QuickBooks and Square together for a business that takes tips.

May 23, 2018
Hard To Make It Look This Easy: Justin & Kristin Boswell of Wayward Owl Brewing, Part 1
48:26

We are talking to a couple of the hearty, artistic souls who have ventured into the heady business of craft brewing in New Orleans. This is an unusual interview. We’re talking with Justin and Kristin Boswell of Wayward Owl Brewing Company. In an age when there is finger pointing and name-calling between generations, and Millennials are supposed to be blaming Boomers for ruining everything for them, it was our pleasure to sit down with these two entrepreneurs in their early 30s who defy generational classification. They are driven, conscientious, and are crushing it in serious fashion. They also have a unique relationship. Their commitment to each other, their tenacity together, and their ability to communicate openly and productively and with clarity are an object lesson for any couple, whether already in business or thinking about starting a business.

May 16, 2018
Renting To The Rich & Famous: Abode Luxury Rentals' Rob & Rachel Alday - Part 2
42:02

We are treading back into the dark and dangerous territory of luxury property management with Rob and Rachel All-Day of Abode Luxury Rentals. Rob and Rachel handle high-end vacation rentals for high-net-worth individuals, which is a 24/7 gig. It can be stressful, they work with a clientele who are often demanding and can have unrealistically high expectations. We’re going to hear about the value of knowing exactly who your customer is, and keeping a business purposely small. We’ll also hear about the value of knowing how to let customers just dump all over you—another one of the things that Rachel says she has learned from Rob. And, we’re going to hear about one of the world’s great existential questions: How do people use so much toilet paper in such an incredibly short period of time?

May 09, 2018
Renting To The Rich & Famous: Abode Luxury Rentals' Rob & Rachel Alday - Part 1
45:42

In this episode, CoupleCo is wading into the deep and dangerous waters of luxury property management with Rob and Rachel All-Day of Abode Luxury Rentals. Handling high-end vacation rentals for high-net-worth individuals, Rob and Rachel have their share of crazy stories about who did what with their liquor deliveries and the hot tub. But when you consider how much stress is involved in catering to the wealthy and super-wealthy, you have to wonder how a married couple with young kids handles it. You’ll hear how these two, who have radically different personalities, have made it work and learned from each other. They discuss an approach to therapy that you may never have thought of, and could be really useful for any couple in business together. And, maybe this won’t come as a surprise to some couples, but we’ll hear how heated arguments are often agreements in disguise.

May 02, 2018
Mountain-Town Micro-Winery Marriage: Cognition Winery's Dennis Romankowski & Gina Coccimiglio, Part 2
32:56

In this episode, we return to the micro-winery couple who started making Napa wines 750 miles away from Napa in the nation’s most alcohol unfriendly state. In Part 2 of our interview with Dennis Romankowski and Gina Goccimiglio of Cognition Winery in Park City, Utah. We hear more about their unusual and dynamic lifestyle as serial entrepreneurs. Vintner Dennis talks about feeling obligated to take wine advice from Gina, who has no professional experience in winemaking. They discuss aspects which, in many relationships, would lead to conflict—but actually raise the game in this pairing. And for the first time ever, the lightning round yields impossibly contradictory answers involving prurient interests.

Apr 25, 2018
Mountain-Town Micro-Winery Marriage: Cognition Winery's Dennis Romankowski & Gina Coccimiglio, Part 1
33:41

Cockeyed optimists? You decide. Dennis Romankowski and Gina Coccimiglio decided to start making Napa wines 750 miles away from Napa in the nation's most alcohol-unfriendly state. But Cognition Winery has flourished in Park City, Utah. Unsurprising, perhaps. Dennis and Gina are serial entrepreneurs. It seems like they never have fewer than four businesses going all at once. And somehow, they make all of them work. Gina has been a visionary in the healthcare field, and admits she’s often the one who comes up with the crazy ideas for the winery. Dennis admits that their business is trial and error, experimentation and going out on a limb. Gina says that you never want to give Dennis a checking account. And coming from a 24/7 working environment in an entirely different career has had an unusual impact on their business.

Apr 18, 2018
Sweat Equity Entrepreneurs: Linda & Charlie Graves Of Athletic Republic, Part 2
34:23

We’re back with our favorite sweat-equity couple, Charlie and Linda Graves of sports-training empire Athletic Republic. We’ll hear about how the rules of hierarchy in the office don’t work when you’re husband and wife. Linda says she admires that Charlie can handle tough situations, and rise above, which is a challenge for her. He says he’s grateful to have her working with him instead of somewhere else. And hear her admit that she slaps him a lot. (It’s all in fun.) All this and more from a couple who bought a groundbreaking but business-challenged performance sport training operation, rebranded it, and have turned it into a growing international franchise with over 120 locations.

Apr 11, 2018
Sweat Equity Entrepreneurs: Linda & Charlie Graves Of Athletic Republic, Part 1
41:21

In this episode, we’re talking to a really dynamic pair: Charlie and Linda Graves of sports-training empire Athletic Republic. They bought a groundbreaking but business-challenged performance sport training business, rebranded it, and have turned it into a growing international franchise with over 120 locations. For two people who are both athletes, they are very different people. Charlie was a likely Olympic swimmer before the US boycotted the 1980 summer Olympics. Linda denies being an athlete because she’s done only three Ironman triathlons. He’s a morning person, she’s an evening person, and it can lead to communication challenges. He’s the big-picture guy, she’s the detail-oriented one, which can be helpful. And they’re both passionately in agreement on one thing: Athletic Republic needs to be a safe place for anyone to train—but nobody more than the kids whose parents are sending them there.

Apr 04, 2018
Mad Beer Genius: Whitney Fisher & Nile Zacherle of Mad Fritz - Part 2
35:32

We’re continuing our couples-working-together interview with Whitney Fisher and Nile Zacherle of the St. Helena brewery, Mad Fritz. The brewery is named for their young children, Madeline and Fritz. You’re going to hear about how Whitney reins in Nile and prevents the wild horse from running off the range. And conversely, his ability to be improvisational and come up with wild ideas on the fly does rub off on her…sometimes. You’ll hear how she thinks they’re lucky to have one another for support—most days, though, she does also point out that both of them are Aries. And, for the first time in the Lightning Round, the question about best date night ever involves blood.

Mar 28, 2018
Mad Beer Genius: Whitney Fisher & Nile Zacherle of Mad Fritz - Part 1
35:59

He’s the mad genius. She’s the anchor. This is another unusual husband & wife team interview, this time from the patio of a Michelin-star restaurant in the Napa Valley. You’re going to hear about the beer we’re drinking there because we’re interviewing Whitney Fisher and Nile Zacherle of Mad Fritz, a tiny brewery in St. Helena. Surprisingly, opening a brewery was her idea. But, despite Whitney’s enthusiasm for the brewery, she never wants to share an office with her husband. They admit that they always take their work home with them at night. They also take their work with them on vacation. Is this a good thing?

Mar 21, 2018
Straight Talk With Better Vision: Mary & Sam Giveen - Part 2
44:19

We are back for part 2 of our unusual and candid interview with Dr. Sam Giveen and Mary Giveen of Dr. Sam’s Eye Care in New Hampshire. Blaine has known Mary for over 20 years, and she came to us at Slow Burn Marketing for rebranding Sam’s practice when she joined him in his eye care business. They’ve also experienced challenges both personal and professional, and ridden them out. In this episode, we’re going to hear more about how Dr. Sam, an introvert who shies away from the spotlight, has come to grips with the local celebrity that his wife has helped create for him. We’re going to hear about the pride that Mary takes in being Mrs. Dr. Sam. There’s unusual but usable advice that Sam has for any married couple thinking about going into business together. And an interesting perspective on the ins and outs of being in business with a romantic partner from a woman who has done it more than once.

Mar 14, 2018
Quick Clips: The Entrepreneurial Mirth & Mayhem That Makes CoupleCo Happen
01:49

Conversations, conflict, comedy and community--these are just a few of the elements that make CoupleCo come alive. In less than two minutes, you'll get a sample of the voices that make this podcast possible. 

Mar 11, 2018
Straight Talk With Better Vision: Mary & Sam Giveen - Part 1
47:22

Dr. Sam’s Eye Care has become world-famous in certain small-business circles for the wild success of the business’s re-branding and subsequent radio advertising, which doubled their new business in 8 weeks, and has grown the business profoundly over eight years. This all happened at the behest of Dr. Sam Giveen’s wife, Mary Giveen, who brought the task rebranding and advertising to Blaine & Honey at Slow Burn Marketing. With a success story like that, you’d think all would be easy peasy, right? But, despite building successful eye care clinics together, the Giveens have experienced many challenges, both personal and professional, and they have some unusual conflicts. This is one of our most interesting and candid interviews, and you’re going to hear maybe one of the best stories about how two very different people make it work—sometimes against challenging odds.

Mar 07, 2018
Photographers Gone Wild: Jared & Trish McMillen - Part 2
31:27

Last week, we met Jared and Trish McMillen, fine-art photographers who seem to share a brain. This week, you’re going to hear them talk about how they have a mandatory mutual admiration society of two. They’ll also talk about a pitfall to avoid (that does involve ego), and—of course—we hit them with the fearsome five!

Feb 28, 2018
Photographers Gone Wild: Jared & Trish McMillen - Part 1
32:21

If you understand anything about creating art, this couple seems to defy logic. Jared and Trish McMillen are fine-art photographers who seem to share a brain. They’re making an incredible living doing what they do, while so many others struggle. They shoot stunning landscapes with a large-format view camera, and they do it together. They run a successful gallery in a competitive town. But before this all happened, they were each established independent commercial photographers. Somehow they’ve put ego aside for artistic cooperation. They’ve also recently had a kid—which has not slowed them down, but they think it’s better for their business. 

Feb 21, 2018
Napa Valley Wine Couple Ryan & Crystal Waugh - Part 2
50:41

In Part 2 of the Waugh Family Winery interview, we talk with the Waughs about how their business impacts the kids (who may not go into the family business), how Crystal is not a winemaker but has had a dramatic impact on Ryan wines, the ever important quality of emotional intelligence, and how they believe they have done something naïve, don’t recommend it—but it worked really well for them. Join us back in the wine cave...

Feb 13, 2018
Napa Valley Wine Couple Ryan & Crystal Waugh - Part 1
43:44

The Waugh Family Winery narrowly escaped the devastation of the Napa Valley fires. In the wake of all that, the Waughs were good enough to take us into the cave at their winery, serve samples of their wines, and talk about the synergy that catapulted Ryan's micro-winery business--which began in a rented garage--into a micro-empire of in-demand and hard-to-get product sold to a nationwide customer base that is much like an extended family. 

Feb 13, 2018
Going Big In The Ad Game: Jim & Robin Whitney - Part 2
38:07

In part 2 of this conversation with Jim & Robin Whitney, we get deeper into how their CoupleCo impacted their children (and it did impact the kids, who have no interest in being in advertising), they talk about their immense respect for each other, and we hit them with the Fearsome Five lightning round and learn all kinds of interesting things about them and their lives outside of work.

Feb 13, 2018
Going Big In The Ad Game: Jim & Robin Whitney - Part 1
34:28

After working in New York and Los Angeles, Jim & Robin Whitney managed to sack their big agency careers and move to a Utah town with a population of 7,000--and proceed to crush it with a mighty little advertising agency. They talk about living, breathing and sleeping their work, having great respect and admiration for each other, staying out of each other's turf, how the business affects their kids, and much more in this inaugural episode of CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit. 

Feb 09, 2018