About this blog

After more than 20 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 25 years of marriage, Dr. Melissa Pigott and David Fauss decided to share some of their thoughts, experiences, pet peeves, and perspectives on operating a small “mom & pop” business. The intended audience for their writings is other business owners, as well as employees of small businesses. Trial consulting is a professional service business, as was David’s photography business. There are many unique issues faced by professional service providers; Melissa and David share some of their insights on running a successful business.

It’s Okay to be Different

My dearly departed Mother would be happy to know all of the things she taught me have been put into practice.  I was listening to what she said, often, over and over and over, and now I find myself saying, “Mom was right!” many times.  On numerous occasions, when I would petulantly state to Mom, […]

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Most entrepreneurs have an “it’s okay to be different” mindset.  As entrepreneurs, doing business our own, different way is usually a part of filling a niche` or providing customized services.  So, the lesson Melissa took from her mother works to the benefit of our clients in our focus on each case as different, unique, and […]

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Passing the Baton

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On September 7, 2017

Category: Business Frustrations, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

A mental concept that I utilize in our trial consulting work is one of that of passing a baton, as in a relay race. The flow of our engagements is such that we function as a team, with much of the work being done by one person at a time. Engagements usually begin with me […]

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I like David’s analogy of passing the baton as it relates to the work flow in our office.  David gets involved with 100% of the potential clients and 100% of these clients who become paying clients of our business.  I rarely become involved with any of our clients until we have been retained for our […]

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Blaming Me for Others’ Mistakes

I make mistakes. Everyone does! But, while everyone makes mistakes, not everyone admits having done so. In fact, some people excel in blaming other people for their mistakes, in an attempt to avoid accepting responsibility for the negative consequences of their actions. Recent events in my office prompted this post. As almost everyone who works […]

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In my opinion, in the scenario which Melissa describes, the situation was not so much blaming her specifically, but her/us as a company, for having a tangled, cobbled together computer system that evolved over the past 25 years of so we’ve been in business.  We/she had, and have, some specific ways we want things to […]

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Do what you say you are going to do!

I have recently been reminded of how one simple courtesy makes a big difference. That courtesy is doing what you say. If you say you will do it, do it. If you have no intention of doing it, don’t promise. Two contrasting illustrations will make my point. First, to the positive, I was recently been […]

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People who make promises they fail to keep cause many problems for those who are relying on them. One of the worst things that happens in my many years of working as a trial consultant relates to recruiting research participants. The company Magnus hires to call potential research participants for our mock juries and focus […]

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Off the Grid

At the time of this writing, my office recently underwent (or, more accurately, suffered through) an email conversion. There was nothing wrong with the old email system, at least as far as I was concerned. My email was working just fine and, being the type of person who prefers to leave things alone, I agreed […]

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For the record, there were a number of reasons that the email system needed to be updated.  But, in general, as “rigged” as our old system had become, it was working and, like Melissa, I am always apprehensive about making changes.  I am not “afraid of change,” but will admit to being “afraid of chaos” […]

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Seed Planting

Way back in elementary school we probably all heard the story of Johnny Appleseed who went on a mission to introduce apples to various parts of the northern United States. Not only did I hear this story (which apparently is true, at least if you believe Wikipedia, however, the man’s name was Chapman, not Appleseed), […]

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David’s closing sentence, of course, reminds me of a song by the late, great Chuck Berry, “Johnny B. Goode.” The lyric, “Go go. Go Johnny, go, go” has incited many dance moves, not to mention air guitar playing, and serves as a great reminder of just how far one can go in life with a […]

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“I love you” daily

Don’t take things, or people, for granted. Someone we love may be here today but gone tomorrow and once someone is gone, there are no “do overs.” Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that go a long way. Saying “I love you” to one’s life partner, spouse, children, and close family and friends is […]

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My days when Melissa and I are together usually by start hearing her say “I love you” – largely because Melissa is more quickly alert in the morning than I am.  And, together or apart, now more than ever with our communication devices, communicating is easier than ever.  Thinking back over the years of our […]

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Counting Sheep

I saw a comic in the paper this past weekend that had images of sheep. One of the sheep was the “head sheep” and told the others to “count off” – as the sheep did so, staring with sheep 1 saying “1″ – the image showed that by sheep #5, #5 had fallen asleep counting […]

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I am not fond of sheep or, for that matter, goats. Counting sheep as a means of inducing sleep would probably not work for me because it would conjure memories of David’s and my ill fated trip to Ireland during the height of hoof and mouth disease. There were way too many stinky sheep, as […]

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Lunchy

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On August 15, 2017

Category: Business personalities, Getting through life and work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Work-Life

I love lunch.  Lunch is my favorite meal of the day.  Breakfast often arrives much too early and has to be eaten hurriedly before work, an airplane flight, or another commitment.  Breakfast foods, in my view, are dreadfully boring, and often involve eggs (to which I am allergic) prepared in some form.  Dinner, although many […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On August 15, 2017

Category: Business personalities, Getting through life and work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Work-Life

There are things one learns about a spouse, a partner (business or personal), and friends that may surprise us at first.  That my wife, with a Ph.D., liked “lunchy” was one of those surprising things for me.  Not that she likes lunch, but that she calls it “lunchy” – and preferably, for her, it should […]

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Gender Barriers

Recently an article appeared on the front page of the Sunday New York Times entitled “When Job Puts Sexes Together, Workers Cringe.” Great title – it called out for the story to be read. But, Melissa, who read it first, and I found the story shocking in terms of the data it reported. The data […]

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The article from the New York Times that is the subject of this post appeared on page 1 on Sunday, July 2, 2017. The title intrigued me with its implication regarding workers cringing when working with opposite sex co-workers. My first impression was that the article’s focus was on occupations that were traditionally male, such […]

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