3 Big Mistakes That Can Crush A CoupleCo: Business Professor Dan Horne
Is your business making these three big mistakes? We talk with Prof. Dan Horne, Associate Dean of the Providence College School of Business. The man is a gifted researcher, analyst, and adviser. And when he was a kid, his parents ran a CoupleCo. Professor Horne worked in the business mom and dad started—driving a diaper truck, among other things. By the time he got there, Mom had left the business. But Prof. Horne lived the family entrepreneur dynamic firsthand—and has continued studying real-world CoupleCos during his career. He also has some highly salient advice for any CoupleCo anywhere. Professor Horne shares with us three important tips for any couple co that wants to avoid big trouble and possible ruin.
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Professor Dan Horne on 3 Big Mistakes That Can Crush A Couple In Business Together
We’re sitting down with a genuine authority on business. Dr. Dan Horne, Associate Dean at the Providence College School of Business, is a gifted researcher, analyst and advisor. When he was growing up, his parents ran a CoupleCo. Now, as part of his work, he studies CoupleCos.
Dr. Horne offers three important tips for couples working together. We discuss the advantages of being a couple-owned business over being a solo entrepreneur; why saying your partner will do a task is a complicated thing; and the importance of not relying solely on the views of you and your partner.
- Don’t undervalue your partner’s time
- Have breaks from each other
- Don’t rely only on each other’s judgement
- The small business his parents started (03:09)
- The dynamic that Dan’s parents had working together (04:24)
- The scale of the business (06:26)
- How being couplepreneurs can have advantages over being a solopreneur (09:08)
- Couples who work together often don’t value each other’s time sufficiently(11:29)
- Managing the shifting roles within a small business (13:39)
- Discussing giving tasks to the other person without taking into account the time and effort that would actually take (14:45)
- The difference between asking a colleague to do something and asking a spouse to do it (18:30)
- How couples who run business together need some separation during the day (19:18)
- Avoid becoming an echo chamber (21:15)
- How recently, despite having run a marketing company, Honey and Blaine have reached out to a marketing agency for CoupleCo (22:26)
- The importance of a diversity of views and opinions (23:08)
- Overcoming conflict and stepping back (26:39)
- How consulting with business owners can be like therapy (29:20)
Prof. Dan Horne’s bio at Providence College
Honey: 00:00 What do you think?
Blaine: 00:03 We can try it.
Honey: 00:03 Alright.
Blaine: 00:05 Alright. I mean, at least the nutjob with the lawnmower has stopped.
Honey: 00:07 For now.
Blaine: 00:08 Yeah. Now we just have a nutjob with a barbecue grill over there. It's the beauty of RV living. Nutjobs on all sides of ya!
Welcome to CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit.
Honey: 00:21 It's business and it's personal.
Blaine: 00:23 I'm Blaine Parker.
Honey: 00:24 Which makes me Honey Parker.
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Honey: 00:30 We are navigating the nation in search of standout couples in business together.
Blaine: 00:34 And we're bringing them to you so you can hear their inspiring stories of crushing it in business without crushing each other.
Honey: 00:39 This show is also brought to you by, you guessed it, a couple-owned business.
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This is an important announcement for our listeners in London, Paris, Munich, and Barcelona.
Honey: 01:09 We want to hear from you.
Blaine: 01:10 We're about to do a European tour and would love to add an international flavor to this podcast.
Honey: 01:14 Just send an email to email@example.com.
Blaine: 01:18 If it works out, we would love to sit down with you. That's firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honey: 01:27 And then there were geese.
Blaine: 01:29 And then there were geese. Now, in this episode, we are sitting down with a real life genuinely credentialed authority on business.
Honey: 01:40 He also has real world experience in CoupleCo Land.
Blaine: 01:43 Dr. Dan Horne, Associate Dean of The Providence College School of Business is a gifted researcher, analyst, and advisor.
Honey: 01:51 And when he was growing up, his parents ran a CoupleCo.
Blaine: 01:54 They did. Professor Horne had the distinct pleasure of working in the business Mom and Dad started.
Honey: 01:59 Driving a diaper truck, among other things.
Blaine: 02:02 By the time he got there, Mom had left the business. But Professor Horne lived the family entrepreneur dynamic first hand. And he's continued studying real world CoupleCos during his career.
Honey: 02:11 And in our conversation today, he has some highly salient advice for any CoupleCo anywhere.
Blaine: 02:17 Professor Horne is going to share with us three important tips for any CoupleCo that wants to avoid financial ruin.
Honey: 02:24 Financial ruin.
Blaine: 02:25 Well, it makes it sound important, doesn't it?
Honey: 02:27 Yes it does.
Blaine: 02:27 Okay, good.
Honey: 02:28 Here now, Professor Dan Horne of Providence College School of Business.
Blaine: 02:35 We are fortunate, nay, blessed to have with us today a man of impeccable credentials to be on CoupleCo, Professor Dan Horne, Associate Dean of The Business School at Providence College. And he is uniquely qualified to talk about CoupleCos because not only does he have a doctorate in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Was that the-
Prof. Horne: 03:07 That's correct.
Blaine: 03:08 Okay. Business administration with a concentration in marketing. He is the product of a CoupleCo.
Prof. Horne: 03:15 Long, long time ago. I can still remember when my parents [crosstalk 00:03:20]-
Honey: 03:20 I like that the songs are starting early.
Prof. Horne: 03:22 My parents started a small business after the war.
Blaine: 03:27 Let's qualify which war.
Prof. Horne: 03:28 The Second World War and-
Blaine: 03:30 Well, your parents were old. You're not that old.
Prof. Horne: 03:34 I'm older than I look.
Blaine: 03:36 Really?
Prof. Horne: 03:37 Older than I feel.
Blaine: 03:38 I think you have one of those paintings in the attic, because you are obviously young. You are tan, you are handsome.
Prof. Horne: 03:43 Yeah, that's gonna get you nowhere.
Blaine: 03:46 Oh, I can try.
Prof. Horne: 03:49 But my parents like many other people returning from the Second World War, came back to a lot of opportunities. The country was economically in very good shape. There was certainly a baby boom. The Baby Boom was taking place. And it was a very good team to be washing people's clothes and washing babies' nappies.
Honey: 04:14 Clean diapers [crosstalk 00:04:15]-
Blaine: 04:14 Baby's nappies. So really-
Honey: 04:17 It was a diaper boom.
Blaine: 04:18 Yes. There was a diaper boom, and your Dad started a diaper service.
Honey: 04:21 So growing up, I mean, with your parents working together, what was their dynamic like home life-wise?
Prof. Horne: 04:30 By the time I was really cognizant of what was going on, my mother had gone back to teaching. And I think part of it was just dealing with my father at a certain level. My father liked to have things done his way. My mother liked to have things done her way. And that didn't necessarily match up all the time.
Honey: 04:30 Death of a CoupleCo.
Blaine: 04:30 Imagine that. Yeah.
Prof. Horne: 04:54 And so my mother finally I think got tired of the situation and went back. And she taught at a junior college. And my father ran the business. But I think I learned a lot about how they had come together, worked very hard for a while. And as the business got more successful, it seemed to be there was less common goals. And they had divergent ideas about how it should be run. When it was them against the world, which it was when they started the business-
Blaine: 05:33 Are we talking about the late '40s?
Prof. Horne: 05:34 Late '40s, yes. It was definitely, you know, such a shared common purpose that it overcome their natural tendency to bicker and fight. And they were united in their efforts. And it was funny as it became more successful. They definitely saw things differently. And there was less imperatives that they had to do and more strategic thinking. And so there was a parting of ways.
Blaine: 06:04 Business-wise?
Prof. Horne: 06:06 Business-wise.
Blaine: 06:07 They did not part ways as a couple?
Prof. Horne: 06:08 No, they never parted ways as a couple.
Honey: 06:08 That's good to hear.
Prof. Horne: 06:11 And my mother on several occasions said, "Boy, if divorce had been as common then as it was" ...
Blaine: 06:18 Well, I actually was gonna ask ... Just as far as this business goes ... And forgive me if this is getting too personal. I'll back off if necessary. But would we call this a millionaire next door kind of operation? I mean, is this one of those things where it's a really unglamorous business and you got a guy who's crushing it and building a tiny little empire and you'd never expect it?
Prof. Horne: 06:44 I think there was a lot of ... I wouldn't call him the millionaire next door. I would call him the ... Somebody who came from a working class background and worked his way through middle class into upper middle class. And to a very comfortable retirement. But, you know, like so many other entrepreneurs, my parents were on 24/7 if they needed to be. If there was a crisis, if there was a bad snowstorm, if there were mechanical problems-
Blaine: 07:21 Mom was out driving the truck?
Prof. Horne: 07:22 Mom was washing stuff and Dad was fixing things. And he didn't come home for days on end-
Blaine: 07:28 Wow.
Prof. Horne: 07:28 During bad times. It was a lot of work. And I can remember him making deliveries by snowmobile.
Blaine: 07:36 Really?
Prof. Horne: 07:37 Yeah.
Blaine: 07:37 You should probably say this was Michigan, right?
Prof. Horne: 07:39 Yes, this was Northern Michigan. And so that was not unheard of. But, you know-
Blaine: 07:45 Holy cow.
Prof. Horne: 07:47 The idea was you did what you had to do. There was never any hesitation. That it was a team effort. And my brothers and I all worked for the laundry and did various jobs. And we never thought twice about it. It was part of our rite of passage. Everyone in my family worked there and it was a team effort.
Blaine: 08:07 This is a classic American success story it sounds like. And there's nothing glamorous about it.
Prof. Horne: 08:07 No.
Honey: 08:11 I mean, do you feel like ... The way you spoke about that, though, do you feel that by being available 24/7, you know, and saying the buck stops with them and taking on everything, did that wear at them?
Prof. Horne: 08:25 It's hard to say. I was so young. I'm not sure that it wore at them as much as it was just part of the deal. And they were grateful for the opportunity they had to make something. And, you know, they had a very classic, strong work ethic. And had grown up without having had a lot. And so this was their opportunity to have more and have a better life for their kids. They were very selfless when it came to what they could do to help my brothers and sister and I.
Blaine: 09:02 This sounds great. I mean, this is not a story you hear much anymore. Things have changed.
Prof. Horne: 09:06 Things have changed a little bit. You know, families are smaller. Entrepreneurs tend to be ... I think of entrepreneurs at least as being younger. More the need to focus on just the business. Often gets in the way of relationships for people who don't go into business together. And, you know, I've done a lot of consulting work with new startups and things like that. And they tend to be single people who are very, very focused on what they do. And that inhibits their ability to really have intimate relations with others.
You know, what I think what you're tapping into is maybe a better way to think about combining the strengths instead of somebody feeling like they have to do it all. If they have true partners, they are much more likely to be successful I think.
Blaine: 09:57 It's interesting you say that because I don't think consciously we thought about that. But it's been in the background all the time I would say. I mean, especially after talking to the number of couples we have and hearing that kind of a-
Honey: 10:11 Well, especially-
Blaine: 10:12 Dynamic.
Honey: 10:12 You know, if you've got two entrepreneurs, two people who are comfortable with starting something on their own, it really becomes a very strong team. When you were talking about your parents at the point where they were with that very common goal, you can get a lot done, you know? Especially when the other person knows exactly what's going on in your world. And when you were talking about an entrepreneur who's started a business on their own ... And we ran into this when we spoke to Dr. Rachna Jain, something that she's experienced in her counseling is that if one person is starting a business, the other person is often home alone, you know, because the entrepreneur is pushing the boulder up the hill 24/7. Doesn't understand what's going on. Doesn't see the partner. Feels left out. And it can cause a big separation.
Blaine: 11:06 And it's interesting. She actually has a website called inloveandbiz.com. And the first question on the website for somebody who's visiting it is basically, "Is your business the reason you're not having sex anymore?" You don't teach that at Providence College, do you?
Prof. Horne: 11:22 We don't even say the word.
Blaine: 11:24 Yeah, we're very reserved here in New England.
Honey: 11:29 So being as we are, pro husband and wife going into business together, something that we asked you almost a year ago and the first answer you came up with [crosstalk 00:11:38]-
Blaine: 11:38 And we both continue to talk about this-
Honey: 11:40 Yeah, absolutely.
Blaine: 11:41 Because the answer not only resonated so profoundly with us, but I think with just about anyone we've spoken to.
Honey: 11:46 And it wasn't anything that I saw coming, but when you said it I got it. So we had asked you, what is a pitfall that a husband and wife business has to avoid? You know, what's an easy pitfall to fall into?
Blaine: 11:58 And you didn't even think about it. The answer was right out front. You said ... Do you remember?
Prof. Horne: 12:04 Basically that couples who work together, partners who work together often don't value each other's time sufficiently. And value what the other is doing for the organization. Because you're so focused on what you're doing, it's really hard to be empathetic about someone else's time and their efforts. So we're always like, "Oh, I'm doing what's most important. You're doing what's marginally important." And it comes down to empathy is hard. Empathy takes conscious effort.
And to sit and place yourself in your partner's shoes is difficult 'cause there's so many fires to fight. There's so much going on all the time that it really needs to be forced to think about, what is ... How is this affecting someone else? And it's like, "No, I've got everything. That it's on my plate. Plus I gotta worry about what's on their plate, too?" But that's really ... To be successful in working together and maintaining a relationship, people have to value each other and value what they do. And not get into this sort of scorecard mentality which is, "I did this. Therefore you should have to do that." I have seen that before, and that is a recipe for disaster.
Blaine: 13:24 Honey and I actually have a scorecard. We keep a running tally [crosstalk 00:13:29]-
Prof. Horne: 13:28 Who's winning?
Blaine: 13:29 Who do you think?
Honey: 13:32 He's doing more, I'm winning. 'Cause I got to ski more this winter than he did. Do you think that that's something that's more common in a spouse-run business? A husband and wife-run business?
Prof. Horne: 13:44 Especially a smaller business, where the roles are shifting all the time. You know, who's doing what? The roles you take on are often based on what the need of the day is. And other businesses, especially more mature businesses that are run as a partnership, A, you don't have that 24-hour relationship where you're with them 24 hours a day. And B, the roles tend to be more clearly delineated. And people think, "Okay, this is my task. This is your task." Whereas when both parties are going to sort of benefit equally, the idea's that we have tasks to do, let's get them done. And it really doesn't matter who does them. It's a matter that they get completed. And so there's less delineation. There's more flexibility. So that creates challenges because who's the boss may change from time to time.
Honey: 14:41 The couples that we've spoken to for the most part ... We've spoken to couples who've been successful in their venture ... And almost all of them have talked about, "He does that. She does this. You know, this is my role. This is more his role." And even though there might be some overlap, they have created clearly defined roles.
Blaine: 15:06 And, you know, in-
Honey: 15:07 So definitely one of the reasons that they've been successful.
Blaine: 15:10 Yeah, but I think the other reason they've been successful is because ... Specifically because they all have empathy. We have not yet come across a couple that lacked empathy. And the only stories we've heard about couples lacking empathy have been cautionary tales from people like Dr. Rachna Jain saying, "You know, without empathy" ...
Honey: 15:28 And it was interesting, when you had first said not valuing the other person's time, my first thought was from a monetary point of view. And we've fallen into this trap where it's like, "Oh, she can do that." You know, "She can knock that out in a couple of hours." And so what is that time worth? And is it just a couple of hours? Because maybe he doesn't totally know what it takes to do my part of the job?
Prof. Horne: 15:54 Or he doesn't know exactly what's on your plate at the current time. So there's opportunity costs. You may have to put something else aside. And that's not gonna make you happy.
Blaine: 16:06 No. But I do think that we've actually worked it out fairly well, haven't we? For the most part?
Honey: 16:11 Yeah, at this point I think. But-
Blaine: 16:12 Yeah, it's been 10 year ... Well, actually we've been working together for 20 years. But-
Honey: 16:16 Yeah. But, I mean, it's certainly ... Especially when we started the ad agency-
Blaine: 16:20 That's when it became [crosstalk 00:16:21]-
Honey: 16:21 I could hear him saying to people, "Oh, well, Honey could do this." Or, "Babe, I thought you could just do that." And, you know, any time you through the word "just" in front of it.
Blaine: 16:31 But it's also not something as unique to a couple working together. I certainly have experienced that ... You know, in my 15 years in radio, it happened all the time. Constantly.
Honey: 16:41 But I-
Blaine: 16:41 And it happens in ad agencies.
Honey: 16:42 I do ... I think it happens more in husband/wife as I was talking to ... There's a husband/wife who we will be interviewing who have a company called Site On Time. And they completely understood that where one of them had, "Oh, he can do that." You know, "He can get that for you, he can knock that out for you." And knocking something out is typically a fair amount of time. And ...
Prof. Horne: 17:06 But, you know, what you're coming back to if you peel back the onion and look, you're just talking about basic communication skills. And I'm sure that if you look at both sides, if you look at couples who have been successful and couples who have failed, good communication skills are gonna be piled up on that successful side.
Blaine: 17:26 Absolutely.
Prof. Horne: 17:27 And bad communication ... You know, the road to hell ...
Honey: 17:36 Is paved with bad communication?
Prof. Horne: 17:36 Absolutely.
Blaine: 17:40 But what I was trying to get at I think with it happening in other environments like in advertising, in radio ... Especially in places where you-
Honey: 17:40 But-
Blaine: 17:49 Have creative pursuits, you know? People have to write things or produce things and send it out the door. And my experience is it happens. Maybe yours is different. But what I was gonna say is that the ramifications in a CoupleCo are much bigger than the ramifications in a workplace.
Honey: 18:06 Yeah. And I think that in conversations with other people, one of the reasons that it does happen more in a CoupleCo is because there's a familiarity there. And you want to help people and you're coming as a husband and wife. It's just a slightly different dynamic when there's marriage involved. And you want to be the good guys and help them. And, "Oh, we can do that." And ...
Prof. Horne: 18:30 Well, there is an assumption, too, that if I say, "Oh, Honey can do this", there's an assumption that Honey's gonna benefit. 'Cause the organization as a whole is gonna benefit. Whereas, you know, if you're just a standard employee and you say, "Oh, you know, one of my people can do that", it's not the same because they're not necessarily gonna benefit from it. So you're probably more careful about it if you're a good boss about, "I know I'm adding this to your plate. How does it fit? How soon can you have it done?" A much more differential, whereas to a partner, to a spouse, I may be like, "Well, you know, we're all gonna be better off if Honey does it."
Honey: 19:12 So just do it.
Prof. Horne: 19:12 So just ...
Honey: 19:15 Just suck it up.
Prof. Horne: 19:15 Quit whining.
Honey: 19:17 That's my problem. Too much whining. Do you see other things that are specific to husband and wife-owned business or spouse-run businesses?
Prof. Horne: 19:24 The dynamic in the companies that I've worked with as a consultant and et cetera, there've only been a couple where I was close enough to see the dynamic, both at home and ...
Blaine: 19:38 That must be interesting.
Prof. Horne: 19:38 At the office. And what I've noticed is if there's not enough separation at some point during the day, it gets real old real fast. So people who are spending literally 24 hours a day together, that seems to breed tension that's not healthy.
Blaine: 19:56 Just the allegory through allegory. Corollary, too. Familiarity breeds contempt?
Prof. Horne: 20:01 Yeah, I guess it would be the case. People need to have time, you know, because what do you talk about when you can talk about work, but only so long. And then you gotta have something else. So people who spend 24 hours a day and don't have their own stuff, it really becomes ...
Blaine: 20:18 Boy, we have ... You and I have nothing else to talk about besides work. He lied.
Prof. Horne: 20:25 You have family to talk about.
Honey: 20:26 Yes. Sadly we have family to talk about.
Blaine: 20:30 Sadly. We want to be putting that out there?
Honey: 20:33 Well ...
Blaine: 20:34 Joyously-
Honey: 20:35 Joyously. Wonderfully [crosstalk 00:20:36]-
Blaine: 20:36 We have family to talk about-
Honey: 20:41 We have family to talk about. No, but I know what you mean. And I feel like I need to bust out of the office more than Blaine does typically. But-
Blaine: 20:45 I think I become more obsessive than you do.
Honey: 20:47 Yeah. It certainly helps me to get out, get away from it. Do something completely different. Clear my head. For me it's usually going for a very slow run or going skiing or something like that.
Blaine: 20:58 Okay, so the caution would be do not undervalue your partner's time?
Prof. Horne: 21:03 Absolutely.
Blaine: 21:04 Following on the heels of that, that spontaneous, unhesitant caution to a CoupleCo, do not undervalue your partner's time. Do not spend too much time together-
Honey: 21:14 Or at least have a break.
Blaine: 21:15 What is the third thing?
Prof. Horne: 21:17 Third thing is that somebody in the organization needs to have a good feel for what's going on around them. And one of the problems when you have too close-knit leadership team is you often are insulated from the outside world. And there's a tendency to really turn inward, you know, and it becomes an echo chamber. You're just talking to each other. You're not really monitoring. You begin to rely too much on each other and not enough on what's going on in the outside world. And that has the potential to be really great for a while, but there's a lot of potential for misfiring. It's almost groupthink at a very small level. It becomes ...
Blaine: 22:06 Wow. Groupthink of two.
Honey: 22:07 So you're saying that you should have outside consulting? Or ...
Prof. Horne: 22:12 You shouldn't rely completely on the judgments of each other when you're spending most of your time in effort and thought and discussion with one other person. There has to be validation from the outside or you can really misfire badly.
Blaine: 22:27 Now, I'm thinking about ... I mean, you and I are ... We're contrasting. We are not like identical people. And I don't think we've met couples who are. But what?
Honey: 22:38 No, I was gonna say I completely get what you're saying. Case in point, very recently we just reached out and we had a marketing company for over a decade. And we just reached out to a marketing company to help us market CoupleCo because we're just too close to it to do it. And it almost becomes like one person trying to do it, because we are too close to each other and too close to the project.
Blaine: 23:07 Well, what I was thinking was that you and I actually have very different ... Often have very different perspectives on a situation.
Honey: 23:07 Absolutely.
Blaine: 23:14 So we'll get some overlap, but we also get a lot of ... We each have a different POV. Is that sufficient? Or do you need a third person to come in?
Prof. Horne: 23:21 You need divergence of views. And how you get them ... I always worry about people who spend a lot of time together not accessing other information. So you read the same stuff, the same media, and you get caught in, as I said, an echo chamber. Where the information you get is consistent with it. New ideas are gonna come from the outside.
Honey: 23:45 Interesting.
Blaine: 23:46 Yeah. You essentially devolve into a let's feel good about us club. And ...
Honey: 23:51 Well, and I think you can also [crosstalk 00:23:52]-
Blaine: 23:52 Nothing [crosstalk 00:23:52]-
Honey: 23:52 Want to protect the other person. It's like, "Oh, okay. Well, if I push too hard in this direction, that person's gonna get upset. So I'm just not gonna push." And if somebody from the outside says the same thing, it might be received as, "Oh, well, that's authority." I might listen to it as opposed to, "That's just my spouse."
Prof. Horne: 24:11 Yeah. It definitely ... It can help with breaking impasses. To bring someone in from the outside and see ... Let's rationally, reasonably think about this. And I think that people, you know, again, if there's good communication, if people work well together, which they obviously do or they wouldn't get to the point where they're gonna be a CoupleCo, you know ... That said, there are probably ... We would call it a silent evidence. There are thousands and thousands and thousands of small businesses that were started by couples that have failed miserably. And those that are not successful and you're never gonna hear about 'em. You know, they're never gonna make the cover of Inc. because they failed.
Blaine: 25:00 Or even Entrepreneur.
Honey: 25:01 No, we had to make the cover of Inc.
Blaine: 25:03 I'll be happy with the cover of Entrepreneur.
Honey: 25:05 Yeah, I'm fine with it. I'll take a baseball card.
Prof. Horne: 25:09 What about Glamour, Blaine?
Blaine: 25:11 You know, I've already been on the cover of Glamour. I don't know if I could stand to do it again, especially if Honey is with me, 'cause then I will suffer from all kinds of inadequacy thinking about whether I really deserve to be there.
Honey: 25:23 Yeah, we have that cover of Glamour framed in the RV.
Blaine: 25:27 The Couple Coach, please. Just in [crosstalk 00:25:30]-
Honey: 25:32 No, and I think that last one is so, so important. 'Cause I think we keep running into that now. Where we need an outside opinion on something.
Blaine: 25:41 Yeah. I think that actually this is something we could probably explore in depth in another interview of an hour easily.
Honey: 25:49 Yeah, I mean, it's just too easy to stop with the two of you. "Yep, that's what we decided on. We're moving forward with that." And-
Prof. Horne: 25:57 Well, we all have cognitive biases. And when two people are very close and they're working together and they're communicating a lot together and they're not having ... Those biases are magnified. And so you become very entrenched in your points of view. You become convinced that your way of thinking is right. And sometimes it really takes a jolt from the outside to help people say, "Wait a minute. Maybe we should rethink this."
Honey: 26:29 Yeah. And just so long as you have that common goal of making the business a success and that's the most important thing. And you can hear it.
Blaine: 26:38 I think this has been brilliant. Is there anything you think you need to add to those CoupleCos out there who have now heard you offer these three salient tips as a son of a laundry magnate?
Honey: 26:38 The Diaper King and Queen.
Blaine: 26:50 The scion of a laundry magnate.
Prof. Horne: 26:53 I'd say keep the locks on the firearms. And be willing to step away from confrontations that ... You know, so often ... God, I sound like a marriage therapist. But really stepping back and looking when there is conflict. And there inevitably will be conflict in any organization. Whether it's run by a couple or not. But a willingness to realize that that conflict is not the end of the world. And to be able to say, "Alright, let's just step away and not deal with this right now. And we'll come back to it later." When so much of our cognitive processes that we think are rational are really driven by emotion.
And when you can step away and tone down the emotion and things don't need to happen as quickly feel like they ... "I have to have this result right now. I have to be right. I have to make you see what is the true and proper course of action." That's a lot of times driven by emotion. And basically Descartes was full of (expletive). We are not rational human beings. We are not completely rational. We are driven by emotion. And the couples that can learn to defuse the situation by taking some of the emotion out of it will ... Even if it's ... You know, I always tell people, you want to think clearly, slow down. Just step away. Take your time. And that's sort of the antithesis of the world we live in. But it's so important when you think about how to make your best decisions. It's not fast.
Honey: 28:41 Yeah, I think you're right. And I think fall into this trap more because I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve and, you know, something will come up and I'll jump to a conclusion. "We need to do this." And you're right. When I stop, I mean, there's almost always a better answer in a moment. A little bit later when I actually have time to process something.
Blaine: 29:02 We could do a whole other hour on that as well. I mean, you know, emotion has been so integral to the process that we go through with our clients when we're branding them. And this actually dovetails back with what you said about feeling like a marriage therapist. Marriage counselor. We have likened what we do with our clients to therapy because it's just ... It is revelatory for them. And ... I mean, not to pat ourselves on the back, it's actually kind of shocking when we started witnessing this going on. We thought, "We're just doing our job." And we've had clients cry because of what we've shown them. And it's a little-
Honey: 29:43 I thought it was because of how scary you are.
Blaine: 29:45 Well, there's that, too. But usually that's only around Halloween I hope. Yeah, it ... Descartes was wrong to a degree. I'm not a great thinker, so I can't actually say that with impunity. But, you know, there's the book, you know it, don't you? Descartes Error?
Prof. Horne: 30:02 Yes.
Blaine: 30:02 Does that book hold water?
Prof. Horne: 30:03 There has been a lot of criticism of that book from philosophers. But it certainly resonates with me. So-
Blaine: 30:12 I feel, therefore I am?
Prof. Horne: 30:14 Yeah.
Blaine: 30:15 On that note-
Honey: 30:16 Alright. So we got a bonus. We thought we were gonna get three notes. But we got a fourth.
Blaine: 30:21 A fourth, yes. And don't believe Descartes.
Prof. Horne: 30:24 Slow down.
Blaine: 30:25 Slow down.
Honey: 30:26 Slow down.
Blaine: 30:27 And now we're gonna have to pay BMI/ASCAP on that.
Honey: 30:29 I don't think I went that far into the song.
Blaine: 30:31 It doesn't matter. Once you do it ...
Prof. Horne: 30:33 I think it's-
Blaine: 30:34 Professor, what do you think? Are we in fair use here?
Prof. Horne: 30:36 Yeah, fair use. It's educational purposes.
Honey: 30:39 Thank you.
Blaine: 30:39 Oh, perfect. Okay. Professor Dan Horne, Dr. Dan Horne, Associate Dean Dan Horne, pick your title.
Honey: 30:47 Dan.
Blaine: 30:48 Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island. Thank you very much.
Honey: 30:52 Thank you for your time and your insight.
Blaine: 30:53 It's been brilliantly enlightening.
Prof. Horne: 30:54 You're quite welcome. Anytime.
Blaine: 30:58 This has been our conversation with Professor Dan Horne of Providence College School of Business.
Honey: 31:02 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: 31:11 And join us next time when we have a Chopped champion in the house.
Honey: 31:15 We are sitting down with Christian and Christine Hayes of Dandelion Catering in Yarmouth, Maine. Or as some people say, Yahmouth.
Blaine: 31:24 Yahmouth. They came across our radar when we saw Christian win an episode of The Food Network's Chopped called Pork on the Brain.
Honey: 31:31 Then we discovered he and his wife own a wildly successful catering business.
Blaine: 31:35 And in proper CoupleCo fashion, his wife was partly responsible for his big win on national television.
Honey: 31:42 They also love doing big, crazy things in Maine Island catering.
Blaine: 31:45 Doing what kind of crazy things? Join us next time here on CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit.
Honey: 31:51 Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Blaine: 31:54 Love you, baby.
Honey: 31:55 Love you, too.
Blaine: 31:56 CoupleCo out.