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.

Greyhound Bus/Flying Suitcase to Tampa

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 20, 2013

Category: Getting the Job Done

Plans change, often at the last minute. No one can remember everything, always. These two observations go hand in hand when I am working out of town, and planning to come home on a certain day, when, due to factors outside my control (for example, the whims of a federal judge), I am stranded far […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 20, 2013

Category: Getting the Job Done

Creative problem solving requires focus and purpose, not panic. In the incidents Melissa described, many options were considered, quickly, before the plan was chosen. She was in Tampa conducing mock trials for a client who got the word mid-afternoon that the case on which they were doing the mock trials had been called to trial […]

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Improvise, Adapt and Overcome!

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 18, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

I first remember hearing this phrase when, playing a hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant in the 1986 film Heartbreak Ridge, Clint Eastwood, said it while he tried to train a ragged platoon of recruits. Their mission required some innovations over routine approaches when conditions changed on the unit. Being in many businesses requires adaptation, and […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 18, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

As social psychologist, it has been interesting throughout my career to observe the way in which many people run into roadblocks when things don’t turn out the way they planned. I am results oriented and I am often the first person in our team to find a creative way to solve a problem, even a […]

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24 Hour Shopping

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 13, 2013

Category: Travel

Traveling for business is a way of life for my spouse/business partner and me. I have been traversing the U.S.A. for decades as a trial consultant and I plan to continue my road/air warrior lifestyle for years to come. Invariably, on a few of these business trips, I, or one of my employees, have forgotten […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 13, 2013

Category: Travel

Sometimes it is not just a forgotten item, but instead, lost luggage. I will never forget flying to a city the night before a meeting with a trial team to review the results of their mock jury research and having the airline lose all of my and my partner’s luggage. The meeting was the next […]

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Packing

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 11, 2013

Category: Travel

Business travelers know that packing (and unpacking) is a necessary, but not fun, part of travel. Whether you pack heavy, like me, or minimalistic, packing carefully means considering what you will need and how much you will need. The types of clothes for each day, and all relevant accessories, must be considered. So, packing requires […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 11, 2013

Category: Travel

I am a road and sky warrior.  I am packed and ready to go anywhere, anytime.  I have two of all essential toiletry and personal items so that I can keep one of everything in my suitcase at all times.  I usually re-stock toiletry items upon returning from a trip (based on a list I […]

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Own Identity

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 6, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

Even in our so called “modern world,” it is quite uncommon for a married woman to maintain her own identity, particularly as it relates to having her own last name.  The practice of referring to a woman’s choice to have her own last name as “keeping her maiden name” is itself antiquated and condescending to […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 6, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

In American culture men rarely give much consideration to this issue – we are named at birth and never change much.  In other cultures, different customs are followed.  There was a time when it seemed “normal” to me to consider having someone take “my” name if I married, but after giving it very minimal consideration, […]

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Inexperienced “kids”

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 4, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

I guess we were all newbies in a career world at one point. But one thing noticeable as time goes on is that the age gap between my spouse/business partner and me and our new hires gets larger, meaning they seem younger. Though most of our employees have at least a college degree, they come […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 4, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

My partner and I have been thanked by the parents of numerous employees for helping “little Johnny” or “little Susie” grow up. We have been quasi parents to many young people; most of our employees are hired with Bachelor’s degrees in psychology soon after their graduation. Future blogs will contain specific comments on nurturing new […]

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Alone Time

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 30, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

Spending time alone, really alone, is a rarity in today’s world.  Owning a business, traveling around the U.S.A. for business (and sometimes, pleasure), working for demanding clients, supervising employees, overseeing the work of vendors and other helpers, managing the household, and all of life’s other challenges require considerable interaction with people from all walks of […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 30, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

It is sometimes difficult to remember the need to have some personal, alone, time.  Working with one’s significant other really creates a need to have some personal time.  We know some husband/wife teams who share offices, or even desks, but that is too much for us.  So finding a balance that works for each person […]

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Personal Life Interruptions

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 28, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

Another choice for the title of this post is “Life gets in the way of work.” And, sometimes it does. It is what you do about it that matters. Anyone working, especially those in a professional career, have to ensure that, despite the fact that their own world may be upside down due to some […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 28, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

Like almost everyone I know, I believe I am a busy person whose time is valuable.  As the owner of the company and the person whose schedule changes most often, I am often amazed at the lack of consideration our employees show for our clients and my partner and me, their bosses.  Due to the […]

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Zen Moments

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 23, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

There is too much noise in our world!  And, this is being said by a person whose motto is “loud is good!”  I love loud things: music, cars, fast boats, the streets of Manhattan, but at the same time, it is a wonderful break to retreat from the noise in the world and have “zen […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 23, 2013

Category: Careers, Employment

I started trying to write my comments on this topic while waiting on my car at the repair shop.  I found a quiet corner in the guest lounge, fired up the computer, and went to work remotely.  Only, it wasn’t that easy.  The wifi connection kept dropping and it was painfully slow when it did […]

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Are you 2 really married?

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 21, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

Sharing life and work, but not last names, has lead to some interesting reactions by clients and others with whom we work. Sometimes it is a reaction of surprise that we, as a married couple, can work together. Other times, it is an acknowledgment that we’ve done well in creating our own identities such that […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 21, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

Other people’s fascination with David’s and my marital status has always intrigued me. I have never understood why it is important to so many people that I am married, single, divorced, or widowed; these categorizations have nothing to do with the manner in which I perform my job. But, people being the curious creatures they […]

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