Should You Even Do This? - Dr. Rachna Jain, Psychologist
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.
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Dr. Rachna Jain – Should You Do This?
Instead of talking to a couple, in this episode we are talking with Dr Rachna Jain, a clinical psychologist with a special focus on entrepreneurs. She’s going to answer that age old question: should the two of you even be doing this?
If you’re considering running a business with your partner, what do you need to start thinking about? We discuss some of the challenges and issues that arise, how working together will make all your good and bad qualities bigger, and why it’s important to have similar values. Dr Jain offers tools for communication, and talks about how “The 10 Second Kiss” can help you reconnect after a day of working together.
- Entrepreneurs often don’t think about the implications the business is going to have on their relationship.
- Some of the most interesting businesses are idiosyncratic in nature.
- That working together makes everything in your life bigger.
- The importance of having frequent conversations to check that you are on the same page with your values.
Rachna’s background, the progression of her online businesses, and what InLoveAndBiz.com is all about (03:50)
Her history of working with couples in business (05:09)
Why she started InLoveAndBiz.com (06:03)
Exploring working together with your spouse, and how building a life with someone means you are already working with them (07:55)
The questions you need to ask when considering running a business with your spouse (10:56)
Some of the reasons why couples run a business together (11:04)
The situational reasons that led to Honey and Blaine starting an advertising agency (11:53)
That working together will make all your good and bad qualities bigger (13:06)
Why having similar values is important when running a business together (15:39)
That working together means you don’t get space away from your business (18:00)
An example of a couple who ran a business together and it caused them to break up (19:21)
Red flags that this might not be a good idea (21:06)
Should people get counselling when they go into business together? (23:11)
Useful tools, like the Speaker/Listener Task and The 10 Second Kiss (26:06)
Why talking to a professional can help you get past communication issues (28:19)
In love and Biz
Blaine: 00:01 People keep asking me, "How do you like living in the RV?"
Honey: 00:04 And what do you say?
Blaine: 00:06 I'm not sure what to say.
Honey: 00:07 How do you like living in the RV?
Blaine: 00:09 I don't know. I'm kind of afraid to answer that question in front of you.
Honey: 00:12 Well now I have no idea what you mean.
Blaine: 00:14 How do you feel about it?
Honey: 00:16 Well, I asked you first. That's completely unfair.
Blaine: 00:16 How is that completely unfair?
Honey: 00:20 Because you have to reveal yourself.
Blaine: 00:22 Why would I do that?
Honey: 00:24 Yes.
Blaine: 00:25 How much mystery is left?
Honey: 00:28 Well, just that one thing then, I guess.
Blaine: 00:32 It's just going to have to stay that way for a while, isn't it?
Honey: 00:33 Mm hmm (affirmative).
Blaine: 00:37 Welcome to CoupleCo, working with your spouse for fun and profit.
Honey: 00:40 It's business and it's personal.
Blaine: 00:46 More than ever, I guess. I'm Blaine Parker.
Honey: 00:49 Which makes me Honey Parker.
Blaine: 00:51 As a couple in business together, we are coming to you from outside the Couple coach, our compact Trans-american land yacht.
Honey: 00:57 We're navigating the nation in search of standout couples in business together.
Blaine: 01:02 And, we are bringing them to you so you can hear their inspiring stories of crushing it in 21st century entrepreneurism without crushing each other.
Honey: 01:08 This podcast is also brought to you by a couple-owned business.
Blaine: 01:12 Smokin' Mary's Smoked Bloody Mary Mix.
Honey: 01:15 Made in small batches with zero reconstituted tomato juice. Only the freshest, whole-est tomatoes.
Blaine: 01:15 Whole-est?
Honey: 01:24 Whole-est.
Blaine: 01:25 Can you have degrees of whole?
Honey: 01:26 Yes.
Blaine: 01:27 How can you be partially whole?
Honey: 01:28 It's too long to explain.
Blaine: 01:30 Smokin' Mary's Smoked Bloody Mary Mix. Hey, nice tomatoes. Online at SmokinMary.com. And, if you haven't already been to the CoupleCo fun over at Facebook, go on over and take a peak.
Honey: 01:41 You'll see photos from our Couple Coach travels across this country and see what our interview couples actually look like.
Blaine: 01:47 They're all tan and handsome, just like us.
Honey: 01:50 Exactly like us, as far as you know.
Blaine: 01:53 Today, CoupleCo is making a departure from our typical fair of couple-preneur interviews.
Honey: 01:59 You just said couple-preneur. I thought you didn't like that word?
Blaine: 02:02 Well, when in Rome, or even in Maryland in this case. We're deviating from the couples this episode to get clinical, sort of.
Honey: 02:09 We are talking to Dr. Rachna Jain, a clinical psychologist with a special focus on working with entrepreneur relationships.
Blaine: 02:17 Dr. Jain is gonna help us answer the age old question, "Should the two of you even be doing this?"
Honey: 02:24 She's going talk about tools for better communication.
Blaine: 02:28 And we're even going to hear about an exercise called "the ten second kiss."
Honey: 02:32 Really?
Blaine: 02:33 Yes. Here now, or interview with Dr. Rachna Jain, a founder of the website: inloveandbiz.com.
Dr. Jain: 02:43 Insanely.
Honey: 02:45 So that voice you're hearing.
Blaine: 02:48 That voice we're hearing?
Honey: 02:50 Yes, across the table from us.
Blaine: 02:51 Oh across the table from us, Oh, it's Rachna. Dr. Rachna Jain. We are in- can we say the greater DC area? Does that make us sound more important?
Dr. Jain: 03:00 I think it does.
Blaine: 03:00 Okay. We are in the greater DC area with the fabulous Dr. Rachna Jain of profitable popularity. And inloveandbiz.com which is actually very relevant to CoupleCo.com. Do you have anything to add about Rachna before we dive into-
Honey: 03:18 Well I think we should let Rachna add to Rachna, cause we've known each other now for how many years? Like eight years, something like that.
Dr. Jain: 03:25 Like eight years, or ten years I think?
Honey: 03:27 And we've done some public speaking together and we just kind of stayed connected, cause we enjoyed each other's company.
Dr. Jain: 03:27 Absolutely.
Honey: 03:33 And we made sense to each other.
Blaine: 03:36 And we're going to ride on her coat tails at every opportunity-
Honey: 03:38 Pretty much. We thought at some point we could ride on her coat tails and here we are.
Blaine: 03:43 Riding on her coat tails.
Honey: 03:46 But like I said, we've known you for a long time, for people listening in, do you wanna just say a little bit about your background?
Dr. Jain: 03:53 Sure, Absolutely. I'm a psychologist by training, I have a doctorate in clinical psychology, I have a clinical specializations in couples in marital therapy which is-
Honey: 04:04 Yay.
Dr. Jain: 04:04 Relevant to our discussion today. And, I also have a advanced training in neuro psychology, which is the study of the brain and behavior. I use that in my work as an online marketer, I've been working online since 1998.
Blaine: 04:18 1998?
Dr. Jain: 04:19 Yes. I started-
Blaine: 04:21 Boy there was barely internet back then-
Dr. Jain: 04:22 Exactly, there was barely internet-
Honey: 04:22 Yeah, what did online mean back then?
Dr. Jain: 04:24 Yeah, online didn't mean much actually, but I had a very ugly one page website that I put up and-
Blaine: 04:31 Well who didn't have a ugly website?
Dr. Jain: 04:33 Yeah. It was very easy to get ranked in the search engines, cause there was only 10 websites on the whole internet-
Blaine: 04:33 Number one!
Honey: 04:33 It's like you and porn was pretty much it.
Dr. Jain: 04:33 Exactly! That's right-
Blaine: 04:33 Number one of three.
Dr. Jain: 04:41 That's right, exactly. And so, my businesses have evolved since then where I've tried to find ways to kind of blend psychology with marketing and then most recently, with In Love and Biz, which is a coaching program for entrepreneurs who are in business together or are considering business together or, not considering business together but one of the has a business, so that's basically what I've been up to.
Honey: 05:08 So how long have you been doing Love and Biz, or were you working with couples in business together before you did In Love and Biz?
Dr. Jain: 05:14 Yes, I actually was, but in a very kind of accidental way. So they would sometimes I would be working with one member of the couple and they would say, "Oh you know, we're having some challenges, would you talk to my spouse as well, or talk to both of us?" So I did some of that.
I had some media coverage and I would get clients from that at times, and very often they would come with some kind of relational problems, so it wasn't anything very formal. But it became formalized about two years ago, and I was in a mastermind event and everybody who had spoke about their business, started first with some relationship stress and I found myself kind of stepping in and saying, "Okay, well here's how you might look at it, here's what you might do." And then at the end they were like, "Do you teach this? Do you do anything formal with this?" So that was how I started In Love and Biz.
Blaine: 06:02 Interesting. What gave you the idea for inloveandbiz.com? How did that come about?
Dr. Jain: 06:08 It came about because I think that starting a business is one of the most stressful things that you can do, even when it has really high potential for reward. And I think many times, when entrepreneurs start businesses, they don't really think about the impact it's gonna have on their relationships. But what I kept hearing, was that the entrepreneur was working very late. They didn't have any energy to attend to the relationship. They would use all of their couple time to answer emails or answer the phone, things like that. Their partner would call in the middle of a meeting, and it would be urgent. Like something had happened and they really needed to talk to their partner, and the entrepreneur would just put it on mute, or would just scan it and say, "Can't talk right now. I'll get back to you."
And there was a lot of frustration because the relationships began to fail. It became another source of stress. The money uncertainty, when you start a new business, very often you don't have a lot of income right away. You may not.
Blaine: 07:09 We know nothing about that.
Dr. Jain: 07:09 Exactly. Me either.
Honey: 07:11 It was like living with a hoarder. We had to move the piles of cash so we could have a path through the house.
Dr. Jain: 07:15 There you go. I know. Well, that's not common. Anyone who's listening. So there's a lot of stressors like that. And then, I think that so much of your identity becomes part of your business. And so, if you're not really sharing that with your spouse, even when you have time together, you don't have a lot to talk about. And so those were some of the issues that kind of came up, and it was a matter of good communication, or a lack of communication, it was a matter of priorities, it was a matter of shared dreams and goals. And those things were falling down kind of very early on, and kind of staying on the ground or fallen.
Honey: 07:52 Well, go with the strength.
Dr. Jain: 07:53 Right?
Blaine: 07:54 So, I think what we wanna do, if it's okay with you, ask a really basic question that, probably, pre- inloveandbiz.com, before you leave the website, you probably need to ask yourself this question. People always say, "I could never work with my spouse." We hear that all the time. And one of my favorite answers to that was Trish McMillan in our second series of interviews. She says, "Yeah, people always say that. Well, how do you know? Have you ever tried?"
She comes from a very strong Sicilian family so, you know, an answer like that did not actually surprise me. But, people always say, "I could never work with my spouse." What should a couple ask themselves before going into business with each other?
Dr. Jain: 08:37 Yeah, so that's a great question. I think that very often, couples either say that they can't work with each other, or they're too gung-ho to actually start working with each other.
Blaine: 08:37 Like us.
Honey: 08:46 Yeah, we were gung-ho.
Dr. Jain: 08:47 You tend to see a lot of extremes that way. And so, I think that on one level, all couples work together in some way. Because, they agree on how they live, they agree on where they live, potentially, they have a lot of things where they have to come to agreement or a consensus. So they do work together.
Blaine: 09:02 It's interesting, you think about just that and, "Oh, I could never work with my spouse." Well, you already are.
Dr. Jain: 09:07 Absolutely.
Blaine: 09:08 I hope.
Dr. Jain: 09:09 Absolutely right.
Honey: 09:10 I'm gonna remember that, because people have said that to us all the time as Blaine said, and yeah, aren't you already working with your spouse? I mean, you're raising children.
Dr. Jain: 09:20 Absolutely.
Honey: 09:21 You're planing your vacations together. I mean, there is some sort of cooperation.
Dr. Jain: 09:26 Absolutely. And a lot of those skills are transferable. So the thing is, if you feel like you have a happy marriage that works, it would be easy to imagine that a lot of the skills that make it work in the relationship would carry over into the business that you might have together. You know, it doesn't mean that every couple should work together, or even wants to, but I think it's inaccurate to say, "I could never work with my spouse.", because you're already working with them every day to make the life together that you want.
Blaine: 09:56 That's such a really interesting way of putting it, because I had never, until this moment, never even thought about that. I guess there are some couples who just regard their relationship as adversarial by nature, because that's the nature of marriage especially in popular media
Honey: 10:13 Either that, or maybe they don't even give themselves enough credit for, you know, look at all the things you do coordinate.
Dr. Jain: 10:20 No, absolutely. I think they don't give adequate attention to the idea that there is a coordination. I also think that many couples feel that they way that they resolve problems is very idiosyncratic, and that it wouldn't work in a paradigm, like a business or something.
Honey: 10:20 Right.
Dr. Jain: 10:35 But, the truth is that some of the best and most interesting businesses are the ones that are idiosyncratic in some way. You know, they're super niched, they fill some kind of need that people didn't even really understand that they have, they have a very kind of quirky personality or something very different. So, I see it as being very possible if you want to. Which goes back to the idea that, if you are considering it, the question to ask is, "Why? Why, and why now?"
Honey: 11:03 So, let's talk about why first. You know, why would someone consider working with their spouse?
Dr. Jain: 11:09 Well, I think that sometimes it's situational. Like one spouse has just gone out of work and the other one has a business, or they've been talking about a business idea for a long time and they say, "Oh, you know, you now have time to come onboard and do this." I think that many times, people are seeking for freedom and flexibility, just generally, and they maybe wanna have a different family lifestyle. They may want to live in a different area, and they feel like if they had a different business, or they had other income streams, they'd be able to do that. So, I think some of the reasons are similar to why anyone would want a business. More freedom, more flexibility, the sense of creating a vision, you know, something from your vision.
Honey: 11:46 Yeah.
Dr. Jain: 11:46 You know, maybe contributing in some way to society, or a group, or a cause. So, I think all those reasons would be why.
Honey: 11:53 Right.
Blaine: 11:58 You know, just to go back to situational for a second ... I had been saying to Honey, for about 10 years, since we were both in advertising, "We should start an advertising agency." And, I had a job, Honey had a successful freelance career, and she always said, "You know, here's the problem with having an ad agency, is you have to have clients." And I would go, "Oh, right. There's that problem." And so we'd just forget about it. We'd drop it. And every six or eight months, I would bring this up, and she'd bring that up again, I'd go, "Oh yeah, we don't want that." And we'd shut it down.
That went on for like, 10 years. I got laid off, I became a victim of the economy, and Honey says, "You know, maybe it's time to start that advertising agency." I was like, "Wow that is situational."
Honey: 12:37 Well, you know, the market had just tanked, and with him out of work, it just seemed a no-brainer. You know, there was zero to lose. He was already out of the job, and the market was in the hole. So, down is down. There's only up.
Blaine: 12:54 And, might I just add that many, many killer advertising agencies have been started in recessions. During times of economic down-turn, people have said, "Yup. Let's start an ad agency." And bam.
Honey: 13:07 Would there be wrong reasons to say, "Okay, let's jump into business together, Sweetheart"?
Dr. Jain: 13:13 Yes, I think so. I think, similar to any other big life decision, if you're doing it to save the relationship- You know, when people say, "Oh, lets have a kid together because it'll save our marriage or it'll save our relationship-"
Blaine: 13:25 Does that ever work?
Dr. Jain: 13:26 I think it's unlikely to work. I'm sure there's somebody in the history of the world that's made it work, but it's unlikely to work, because the foundational problems that exist are only gonna just get amplified in a new situation. So, I think that if you're doing it to try and repair a failing relationship, if you don't have a certain amount of self awareness- You know, like, what are your positives and negatives? What do you bring to the table and what is a problem, like what makes you difficult to work with or be with?
You know, many of the problems you have in your relationship, and we all have them, they're going to be magnified in the course of a business. So if you have one member of the couple who is a risk taker, and the other one isn't, you're gonna have that constant push and pull in the business as well. So, it's really a question, I think, of, "If you can have the good parts magnified, and the bad parts magnified, and you feel like it's still worth it." It's still worth it to do it, because of any reason that you have. Then I think it's worth considering.
Honey: 14:30 I can't remember which interview we did, but it was similar to what you're just saying. It was that working with your spouse makes everything bigger. And I think that's a really interesting thing to ask yourself. You know, you think about all your great qualities, and all the other person's great qualities, and all the qualities that maybe you don't lead with about yourself and your partners qualities. And you're like, "Can you take even more of all of those?"
Dr. Jain: 14:54 Absolutely. And because then, our relationships are obviously important, but even sometimes more, is our income, and our earning potential, and the way we see ourselves and our identities. And so, when you're tying your love, your heart, your person, your income, your earning potential, your identity to one person, it brings up a lot of issues around commitment. It brings up a lot of fear. You know, you do have to consider what's gonna happen if the relationship fails or the business fails.
Honey: 14:54 Right.
Dr. Jain: 15:25 The goal is that you do have to have the difficult conversation of what happens if the business fails or the relationship fails or starts to fail. And you hope that if one of those things happens, it doesn't take down both.
Blaine: 15:38 Okay, are there some types of people who would be better suited- Some types of couples, maybe we should say, who are better suited to doing this than others?
Dr. Jain: 15:46 I think that couples who have a lot of similarity in their values, what they want to contribute, you know, they may have differences in the way that they approach those values, but I think a shared sense of value, a shared sense of meaning is very, very important in the relationship, and it's very important in a business too.
Blaine: 16:06 So, since Honey and I, both of us are very selfish and neither of us have scruples-
Dr. Jain: 16:10 Exactly. Perfect.
Honey: 16:11 We're similar in that way. And it's so funny, because I'm sitting here on this side of the mic, and I'm listening to this, and you obviously have a professional background in this, but I'm just sitting here, and listening, and thinking of all the couples we've interviewed, and I wanted to jump up and go, "You're right!" Because, so many of these couples have talked about their differences, "I'm outgoing, this one's more introverted, I'm more of a numbers person, this person is more seat-of-the-pants," but everybody has overlapped on values. I mean, that's really interesting.
Dr. Jain: 16:46 It is. And actually, I did my doctoral dissertation on the personality correlates of marital satisfaction-
Honey: 16:53 But, now you're just trying to make me seem like-
Dr. Jain: 16:56 No, but it's interesting. It's interesting.
Honey: 16:58 I got nothing. I spoke to five people-
Dr. Jain: 17:00 Because, no, I actually wanted to share though. Because, the research that I did actually found the same kind of thing. It found that the couples who reported the happiest relationships, and I would actually extend it now into even the happiest businesses, would be the couples who are the most alike in their personalities. And so, the only two traits that could be different, were dominance and empathy. And so, the way that I understood that, was that a relationship could work if people were- if one was more dominant than the other. And a relationship could work if one was more empathic than the other, because they sort of made up for the lower empathy.
But, generally speaking, if you have a sense of shared values, if you have a certain similarity in your outlook on life, I think that that will give you a more solid basis on which to build a business.
Blaine: 17:50 Well you know, it's interesting, just going back to what Honey was saying. And I wish I could remember who it was that said, "When you're in business together, it makes everything bigger." If that holds true, if you're in business together, and you aren't alike, it's just going to become more challenging.
Dr. Jain: 18:06 Absolutely. It'll become more obvious where things kind of fall off the ledge, or where things aren't matching as well. And you have to think of it too that, logistically, if you're having those kinds of problems at work, they don't stope when you come home. Like normally in a business where you work for somebody else, you can leave it at five, or you can leave it at six. And you may come home, and you may complain, and you may say, "My coworker is such a so-and-so." But you know, in this case, your spouse is your coworker, or something. And so who are you going to complain to?
Honey: 18:38 Right.
Dr. Jain: 18:38 And so the problem really becomes very heightened. Heightened, or made bigger. That the differences start to feel like cliffs. Where in your daily life, maybe they felt like small valleys or something like that.
Blaine: 18:50 So, in a way, it won't necessarily hold true across the board, but in some ways, it accelerates the inevitable.
Dr. Jain: 18:55 Absolutely.
Blaine: 18:56 Because you're now thrust into a 24/7 situation where you are never away from the challenges.
Dr. Jain: 19:02 Absolutely, and especially if you do a home-based business together. That even brings its own separate challenges than if you go to a third location, you have a retail store, or you have some other place where you both can go and kind of have that separation. But, I think if you're running a home based business together, it does create even another layer of complexity.
Blaine: 19:20 Clinically speaking, have you ever seen any couples where this has been manifest?
Dr. Jain: 19:25 I have seen couples where it's been manifest, and I think how it showed up in some of the couples is they had a very confrontational style. But, in their personal lives, they never really fought about things that were that important. So they would fight about things like whether the red wine from this place is better than the other. And they would both go at it really intensely, because they had really strong opinions about it. But, it became very difficult to have that kind of style when you're talking about, "Do we hire an employee? Do we expand our location? Do we take on another location?"
Honey: 20:00 So, before, it didn't matter.
Dr. Jain: 20:00 Absolutely. So, they did very well in that sort of high-energy, high-confrontation around things that didn't matter.
Honey: 20:07 Arguing for sport.
Dr. Jain: 20:08 Exactly, but they did not have the skills to do it when it really mattered.
Blaine: 20:13 Wow.
Dr. Jain: 20:14 And so, that accelerated really, really quickly. By the time that I saw them, they had had a lot of resentment built up, and it was very difficult. And to contemplate breaking up their relationship, and breaking up their business. Or, in their case it was worse to consider keeping their business together and not being in their relationship. Yeah, so I have seen it, and it's very, very painful.
Blaine: 20:38 Do we know what the end of the story was?
Dr. Jain: 20:41 Yeah. The end of the story was, they decided to separate. They decided to try working together, but he ended up starting a new relationship in that time period.
Blaine: 20:51 Oh.
Dr. Jain: 20:51 And so, that's when they sort of fell out of our work. And I'm not sure what happened, but I don't think the trajectory was very good.
Blaine: 20:57 Bummer. All right.
Honey: 20:58 Well, we're dealing in the un-fun for a quick moment.
Blaine: 21:03 Yeah. So I was thinking that this leads right into a question Honey would love to ask.
Honey: 21:05 Yeah. Are there red flags that this might not be the best idea? Is there something, and obviously, we're all for CoupleCos, and we love our couples, and we've loved being a CoupleCo- but are there red flags where you might go, "Ooohh. That's the universe, it's telling me no"?
Dr. Jain: 21:22 Yeah. I think that those though may be more subtle. I don't know unfortunately that there's any that are very, very glaring. I think that you can put in some safe guards, if you have different money handling styles, you have different customer facing interactions, things like that. You can put in some safe guards on those things, or hire people, or sort of mitigate those things. But, I think the places where it's if both of you don't actually want the business together, and one is doing it just to appease the other. I think if you have different values about how large the business should grow, and you have different exit strategies about the business.
So, I had worked with a couple once where the husband was super ambitious, and wanted it to be a multimillion dollar company, and they wanted to sell out and cash out for big money, and this and that. And she really wanted, kind of a lifestyle business. She wanted it to be that it could support themselves, they could raise their children. And her vision was that they would do something, it wasn't clear what the something was, but they would do something around the age of 50, they would sort of cash-out and just live together and be happy. And he was like, "No. I want it to go on the Inc. 500, I want it to go on the Inc. 100, I want it be like a huge, real entity."
Honey: 22:36 And they didn't even know what their business was?
Dr. Jain: 22:38 They knew what their business was, and they had a business, but they had different values about what the growth path would be, or the trajectory should be. And he became increasingly more driven, and she became increasingly more like, "I think this is enough. I think we have enough." And that became difficult right in the thick of it to decide. You know, 'cause he was like a train that was on the tracks and it was going, and for him to pull back and stop that whole train felt so impossible. And for her, she's like, "I wanna get off. I don't think I wanna keep riding this train."
Honey: 23:11 Well, it's interesting, 'cause end goals, and I had never though about that, but in some way plays into values.
Dr. Jain: 23:18 And it plays into, I think also, needing to have constant or frequent conversations about, "Are we on the same page with our values?" Because every time you make a decision, something changes. And so, you just have to keep checking in with each other that, "Yes, we still agree. This is still what we want. This is how we want it."
Blaine: 23:39 We had a couple, that we love. We love them all.
Honey: 23:40 Yeah.
Blaine: 23:40 I mean, who haven't we loved when-
Honey: 23:43 Oh, that one couple.
Blaine: 23:44 Oh, there was them. That's right. You'll never hear that interview.
Honey: 23:47 No.
Blaine: 23:48 They actually- Oh, it was Rob and Rachel Alday of Abode Luxury Rentals. They manage luxury rental properties for high net worth individuals, and rent them to high net worth individuals. And she came from a corporate background, she was a hard-charging A type. He came from a real estate development background and was much more of a low-key driven B type. And they decided, before she got involved in the business, that they were going to go and get counseling about how to work together. And I've never heard that before, I thought it was fascinating. Would you recommend that for everybody?
Dr. Jain: 24:26 I would, actually. I would recommend it. I would recommend some kind of counseling experience or similar to be able to talk about these kinds of questions. You know, "What do we value? What do we believe in? What do we want?" And to do it in a very conscious and focus way, not just over pancakes at breakfast. Just kind of like, "Yeah, that sounds great!"
Blaine: 24:48 Pancake counseling never works out well.
Dr. Jain: 24:49 Yeah, exactly. Like, that sounds great, but to really make it an appointment you have with each other, with yourselves to decide if you wanna have this business, and then to put the business on the right foundation as you go. Because it has implications for how you run your whole life. Do you both agree to drive really hard for the first year and put everything else on hold? Do you agree to pare down your lifestyle maybe, to be able to afford to buy to location or do whatever you need to do? Who's gonna take over raising the kids? Or how is that gonna be managed if you both are working 15 or 20 hour days? And so, all those things to the best of your ability, to be able to discus ahead of time, and then, even more importantly, I think, is to just get some skills for how to talk about difficult situations, or talk about problems so that you can keep checking in with each other and making sure that you're still on the same page as this unfolds.
Blaine: 25:41 So, talking to a professional can give you the tools to do this and streamline it?
Dr. Jain: 25:46 Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. There's definitely a series of communication techniques, different exercises for reconnecting, there's a whole slew of them that we can certainly talk about at some point. And they can be good go-tos, like they're just in your toolbox. That you have them and you say, "This may be the time that we pull out that thing and use it."
Blaine: 26:06 So, what kind of tools would be in that toolbox?
Dr. Jain: 26:08 There's communication tools, there's the way that you talk about problems. For example, for couples who have a hard time with interrupting each other, there's a task called the speaker/listener task.
Honey: 26:18 I can't even look at you.
Dr. Jain: 26:20 They're not looking at each other. I'm just letting you know that. So, the speaker/listener task, which actually is a reflective listening exercise, you ask one person to talk, and they're obviously the speaker. The other person has to listen, and they have to reflect back accurately what the other person said. And if you have good communication, and you do that naturally, it sounds like, "Oh, yeah. No big deal." But for the couples that don't have that naturally, or they tend to interrupt each other, it's very, very difficult and they do a lot of incomplete reflection. And the problem with the incomplete reflection is that the person who was talking then feels like they weren't heard.
It's like if I just pour out my heart to you both, and what you clue in on was the thing that I said that was really not that important. I'm going to be left feeling like, "Wow. You missed out these really important things." And so, that kind of task is really useful. There are just some simple reconnection exercises. So, 10 second kiss is a huge one.
Blaine: 27:14 10 second kiss.
Dr. Jain: 27:17 Yeah, so when you see your partner, if you come together-
Honey: 27:20 I can't look at him now either.
Dr. Jain: 27:21 No, but Honey's turning a little bit red. And so, if you reconnect at the end of the day, you come home together and you give each other a 10 second kiss, it's a really great way to reconnect and create that shared sense of intimacy that maybe got lost or isn't present all the time. You can also do planned discussions about your shared dreams and goals, and those can be very satisfying to do as well. So, there's a lot of practical kind of exercises, or strategies, or techniques that you can learn in a counseling situation that would give you some tools in that toolbox to help you.
Blaine: 28:02 Is there any chance they might find tools like this at a website called: inloveandbiz.com?
Dr. Jain: 28:10 Actually, they will. They're being uploaded as we speak.
Blaine: 28:14 As we speak, right now. There's an internet gnome taking care of-
Dr. Jain: 28:18 Yeah, right now. Right this second. There's an internet gnome taking care of some of those things. But you know, the thing I'd say is that tips and strategies are fine, but I think what's really more valuable is the interaction, or the dialogue, the conversation. So, while couples can certainly do this to some degree for themselves, the problem is is you don't know what you don't know. So, most couples have certain topics that- it's like an impasse. They can never get past them. And in some cases, they truly are, and maybe they just agree to disagree and they leave it there, but sometimes their impasse is reached because you don't have the skills to have the conversation past where you keep having it. So, you keep going to a certain point and getting stuck. And in those cases, it's really good to have somebody who is trained to help you move past that.
Blaine: 29:03 Get past that speed bump.
Dr. Jain: 29:03 Absolutely.
Blaine: 29:04 Well, it's more than a speed bump, isn't it? It's a wall. That is really interesting. Honey, do you have any more questions for the good doctor.
Honey: 29:10 No. You know, what we really wanted to hit was that jumping off point of people who are thinking about going into business with their significant other. And it's fascinating, having been somebody whose done it, having now conducted, I don't know how many interviews at this point, how many things that you say that just make everything that we've been through gel. It kind of all makes sense to us, and hopefully for somebody who's considering this. You know, it was incredibly helpful and I thank you.
Dr. Jain: 29:40 Thanks. It was great to be here.
Blaine: 29:43 This concludes our conversation with Dr. Rachna Jain.
Honey: 29:45 If you enjoyed this podcast and you think it would be useful or fun for other couple entrepreneurs, please go to iTunes and leave a star rating and a review to help them find it.
Blaine: 29:57 There was a lot of p's in that please.
Honey: 29:58 Please.
Blaine: 29:59 And join us next time when we return to our format of interviewing entrepreneurial couples.
Honey: 30:04 We'll be talking to Matt and Rebecca Titus of Blackbird CrossFit.
Blaine: 30:08 The Titus' have built a thriving fitness business from zero and are truly crushing it as entrepreneurs and as a couple.
Honey: 30:16 I had the opportunity to workout in their gym and they have established a great sense of community. They really look after you. They take great care of their people. They keep it fun. It's a super family.
Blaine: 30:27 And the business, for them, definitely has come with an interesting tax, if you will. In all the years they've been married, they've never had a fight.
Honey: 30:36 But, when they opened their business, arguments became a common occurrence.
Blaine: 30:40 But they put it all in perspective and are surviving it along with other challenges. Next time, here on CoupleCo: working with your spouse for fun and profit.
Honey: 30:49 Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
Blaine: 30:52 Love you, baby.
Honey: 30:52 Love you too.
Blaine: 30:54 CoupleCo out.