DiscoverCoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit
CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit
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CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit

Author: Blaine & Honey Parker

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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.
70 Episodes
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We are back with Scott Palermo and Jim Sanak of Harcourts Desert Homes in Palm Springs. Scott was an exceptional Realtor in Los Angeles. Jim had killer gig at IBM. Downsizing left with a great severance package—and he became Scott’s assistant. What could have been fraught with problems, they approached as a mutual mentor relationship. Their goal: going into business together. We discuss living the authentic life, the concept of co-equals, and the idea of being in alignment with a partner. And, this episode finally answers that burning question: What do Blaine and Taylor Dayne have in common?
We’re visiting fabulous Palm Springs, California, which is “Like no place else.” And our couple here is like no one else: Jim Sanak & Scott Palermo of Harcourts Desert Homes. Scott was selling Los Angeles real estate. Jim had a corner office at IBM. In an unusual move of mentor dynamics, Jim ended up being Scott’s assistant. And who was mentoring whom? This was a couple with a purpose-driven path to being in business together. Today, people think these two lead a fairytale existence. It’s a classic case of making hard work look easy. Plus, there’s an important branding lesson from their parent company, which represents over $30 billion in global sales. And can you benefit from Scott & Jim’s $100 rule?
How does a couple make real estate feel so easy? Maybe it’s because they’re easy—after having seen so many challenges and done so much. We are back in Tarpon Springs, Florida with Jill and Tyler Sheff of Cash Flow Guys. Together, they invest in real estate, find property for other investors, and teach their methods to people who want to know their secrets. They also run the Cash Flow Guys podcast, and they’re about to launch another one called Cash Flow Road Show. They want to demonstrate how, just because you’re living in an RV, you don’t have to tighten the belt so much. You can actually have a residual income and live well. They also talk about a business profit killer that they have always avoided. And Tyler reveals a perfectly legal and reasonable method for getting rid of undesirable tenants. Maybe you could pull it off, maybe not. They are also staunch proponents of building a team—which doesn’t mean hiring employees. And where do a little boy named Tyler and an up-and-coming Jimmy Buffett fit in all this?
The Cash Flow Guys are a husband & wife real estate investment team in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Tyler & Jill Sheff are surprisingly easy and affable—which belies great insight and advice on getting past the problems of life and building wealth. Jill and Tyler are real estate investors, they invest in real estate for other people, and they even teach others to do what they do. They’ve both done a lot of things in their lives, including being a cop and working in the pits at the race track. Which one did which? Only one way to find out. Join us.
We are back with Mark and Dale Shaw of UltraTech. This couple’s viral video was so enormously successful, it practically crippled their sales department. They have a company culture that is extraordinary. We walked in the door and were treated like celebrities. Mark is most famously known for his Ted Talk video where he throws a bucket of red paint at a white canvas to demonstrate the genius of Ultra Ever Dry, the hydrophobic coating that makes water run away. Dale and Mark are also one of those couples who never planned on going into business together. Mark was a Mandarin-speaking economist who was going to make a killing in business with China. But the Love Canal environmental disaster made him want to save the world from toxic waste. Dale got involved because her husband and his business partners needed bookeeping. But…where do diapers that don’t smell fit into all of this?
Dale and Mark Shaw of Ultratech in Jacksonville, Florida have one of those stories about accidentally going into business together. Inspired by the Love Canal environmental disaster, Mark wanted to save the world from toxic chemicals. Inspired by some harebrained ideas they had, Dale wanted to save Mark and his partners from some lousy bookkeeping plans. 25 years later, Mark and Dale are a force in environmental compliance, spill containment and advanced technology products. Theirs is also a business that has had more than its 15 minutes of fame. They were responsible for a viral video that crippled their sales department. Mark and Dale are smart, fun and engaging—and have quite a story about being a couple in love and in business because of Love Canal.
We are venturing back to Miami to continue our conversation with Oscar & Alicia Gonzalez of Media Relations Group. Alicia is enthusiastic about couple entrepreneurism—as well as for working professional moms. Oscar is quiet—but when he speaks, it matters. We hear about thrashing common if arbitrary gender role stereotypes. This is a dynamic couple who do what needs to be done. They offer some great advice for all couples, working together or not. They also recommend being ready for a wild ride. Big themes with these two are admiration, respect and caring. So is being intentional in all things. And really, they never thought it was a possibility that they would be able to work together. Maybe it’s easier than you imagine? You have to listen to find out.
This is a crazy good story from the crazy, subtropical heart of the Sunshine State. We are venturing to Miami to speak with a couple who are big in the PR game. Oscar and Alicia Gonzalez have been working together for 20 years in their PR firm, Media Relations Group. Oscar was on his way to becoming an unusual seafood magnate. But he was drafted into his wife’s PR business and never looked back. In this interview, he’s the quiet one. She’s got a lot to say. But it’s clear that they are equal and strong partners in this operation. They’re also doing good for working professional mothers. How does a working mom who’s a professional prioritize her children? What if she doesn’t want to put her kids into daycare? Beyond being a very American story, this is even more a very Miami story. Oscar and Alicia are both the children of immigrant parents. And have you considered hiring your friends? This could be a cautionary tale.  
We return to see the Wizard of Ads in the Texas hill country outside of Austin. Roy Williams is the front man for world-famous and wildly successful Williams Marketing, Wizard of Ads and Wizard Academy. Pennie Williams works quietly behind the curtain. She helps make Williams Marketing move and shake. She’s instrumental in the Wizard’s real estate dealings and an internationally renowned free wedding chapel—something they established because of their deep belief in the institution of marriage. Really fitting for a couple who’s known each other since the eighth grade and been married since right after they graduated high school. These two are an unusual, unique and profitable pair. Using non-traditional and insightful methods, Roy Williams make his clients wealthy. Besides being a master strategist, he knows how to instill his advertising with the wow inherent in making sales. Pennie has special skills in keeping Roy on track, in his lane, and profitable in real estate. She also played key roles in establishing Wizard Academy, a non-profit on a sprawling campus outside Austin. The school specializes in teaching how to do consciously what a talented and gifted person does unconsciously. In this episode, things might be getting a little controversial when Roy discusses his beliefs about our life choices. And Roy takes us to task for asking an incredibly stupid question. 
We’re off to see the Wizard in the Austin, Texas hill country. Roy Williams and Pennie Williams of Williams Marketing are an unusual, unique and profitable pair. This marketing agency husband & wife team have a story that can teach one a lot about marketing. Though really, you’d learn it from Roy. He’s the front man, and is known as The Wizard of Ads. Pennie’s the woman behind the curtain, and she likes it that way. We can’t believe we even got a microphone in front of her. But where would he be without her? She’s instrumental in their success--from the salad days of answering phones in their laundry room office, to now handling their real estate, to running their world-famous non-profit’s wedding chapel division. And one of Honey’s favorite things ever was said in this interview: It’s about what’s more important in a relationship than being right. One of Blaine’s favorite copywriters, Roy’s copy has made business owners astonishingly wealthy. Honey, a veteran of big-agency advertising, finds his strategy spot-on. Wizard Academy, their 501-C3, is a school for marketing and thinking that attracts all kinds of people, from business owners and radio pros to Nobel and Pulitzer prizewinners. The agency side has Wizard of Ads partners as far away as Australia. Roy has written best-selling advertising books. And without the Wizard’s Princess Pennie, the successes here might have been different—and Wizard Academy may not have become a world-famous wedding destination. But what do weddings have to do with it all? You’ll have to listen…
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