About this blog

After more than 25 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 30 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.

Quit writing when your hand hurts

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 9, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Life Outside of Work, Managing Employees

“Quit writing when your hand hurts” is a metaphor that expresses the idea to quit when you’re ahead, know when to give up, know when it is time to throw in the towel, etc. In the often competitive environment in which I live and work, it is difficult to stop working; there is always more […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 9, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Life Outside of Work, Managing Employees

Determining when one is about to “hit a wall” is important to avoid personal crashes, of any sort. Knowing your limits is something that is harder for some people to learn than others. But it is important to know when not to press on, when you will suffer from diminishing returns or performance and learning […]

Continue Reading

Technical support temperament

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 4, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Partnerships, Small Business Success, Work-Life, Workplace Technology

It is important to know one’s strengths and weaknesses and, in a partnership, to divide tasks in a way that recognizes them.  Strengths and weaknesses take many forms, but one of the potential areas to consider in a partnership is whose temperament is better suited to dealing with “technical support” or “customer service.”   In our […]

Continue Reading

David is right. I do not “suffer fools gladly,” and therefore, I cannot tolerate speaking with technical support people, who, in my opinion, often lack both technical expertise and support skills. Sadly, although David’s time is just as valuable as mine, my refusal to be placed on hold for what seems like hours, only to […]

Continue Reading

Business Associates are not Friends

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 2, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work, Managing Employees, Partnerships, Work-Life

I am a strong advocate of the adage, “business and pleasure do not mix” even though I co-own a business with my spouse. What works for my spouse/business partner and me does not necessarily work for other people. Indeed, I have found that becoming overly friendly with employees, or conversely, hiring a friend to work […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 2, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work, Managing Employees, Partnerships, Work-Life

When people work together for long periods of time and often, through the adversities of business, some form of friendship can and does develop. But, as long as one of the parties is paying the other to do something, the relationship is one to be handled carefully. I have become very friendly with some people […]

Continue Reading

Never, Ever, Get Trashed at a Client’s Party

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 25, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work

There are all sorts of reasons why certain people receive invitations to social gatherings. The invitee could be a family member, friend, neighbor, client, boss, employee, vendor, or in any one of a number of other types of relationships with the host of a party. When someone is attending a party hosted by one’s client, […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 25, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work

I have read about this phenomenon both in academic publications as well as general news sources of particular events. However, it was only recently that I experienced it first hand. And, perhaps because it is, fortunately, an infrequent event, I perhaps missed an opportunity to step in and intervene and save people from themselves. The […]

Continue Reading

Carry your business cards

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 20, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Marketing your Business

It seems to me to be a pretty fundamental business and marketing rule to carry and exchange business cards.  But, surprisingly over many years I’ve noticed people sometimes do not have a business card (or a stack of them) with them at all times.  I don’t know what good the cards do sitting back at […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 20, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Marketing your Business

I am not as good at remembering to take my business cards with me as David is, but I am better than I used to be! I have a small leather case in my purse that holds a few business cards, as well as a few pieces of index card sized paper. I have business […]

Continue Reading

One Night Stands are Never Better than Friendship

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 18, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work, Managing Employees, Partnerships, Work-Life

I have always treasured the special relationship I have with my friends. I am the type of person who has always been surrounded by friends, both male and female. I spend a lot of time nurturing my friendships and I try very hard to be a good friend, including being loyal, kind, and considerate even […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 18, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work, Managing Employees, Partnerships, Work-Life

I guess this point is a matter of having priorities and keeping them straight. And, keeping them in alignment between friends. Being put in the second fiddle role indicates that one doesn’t value the friendship as much as the other. If that is the case, one has to ask, why continue the friendship? In a […]

Continue Reading

“Why are you here, just to carry her suitcases?”

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 13, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Marketing your Business, Partnerships, Work-Life

This is an expansion on the post about “When your wife’s a diva…” and was also a comment by a long time client who invited Melissa to speak at a conference of architects and engineers.  It was a big conference, maybe 1000 attendees, and in a fancy, old, New Orleans landmark hotel.  Our client saw […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 13, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Marketing your Business, Partnerships, Work-Life

I have carried my suitcases and my briefcase for a very, very long time, all across the United States, as well as many parts of the world. I don’t need anyone to help me, but I very much appreciate the help when it is offered. One of my biggest helpers, other than David, was a […]

Continue Reading

Losing an Old Friend is Harder than Making a New Friend

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 11, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work

I am a person who has always placed high value on having many long time friendships, including with a few dear people I have known since I was a child (including one person I have been friends with since the age of 2!). I stay in touch with my old friends and consider them as […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 11, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work

Things change. That much we all know. Some of these changes are for the better, some for the worse. Melissa has much more history of long term friends than I and, as a result, I can attest to the pain one suffers through the loss of a friend. There is something about the depth of […]

Continue Reading

When your wife’s a diva…

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 7, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Getting the Job Done, Marketing your Business, Partnerships, Work-Life

Melissa and I laughed when we came up with this title/topic. It was inspired by something that is a reality in our business arrangement. She frequently lectures at meetings of lawyers, insurance adjusters, and other groups. Our “deal” is that she’ll write the speech and do the speaking, but I have to be the A/V […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 7, 2014

Category: Business Partnerships, Business personalities, Getting the Job Done, Marketing your Business, Partnerships, Work-Life

I will begin this post by saying I am a huge fan of Mr. John Osbourne, more commonly known as Ozzy Osbourne, the former (and surprisingly), current, lead singer for Black Sabbath. Therefore, when I liken myself to Ozzy, I am, in no way whatsoever, disparaging him; rather, I am merely comparing myself to someone […]

Continue Reading

Friendly Fire

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 4, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work, Managing Employees

The term, “friendly fire” is usually reserved for use in military contexts to describe a mistaken attack on friendly forces instead of the intended target, the enemy. There have been numerous accounts of friendly fire, including those resulting in injury or death. In non military contexts, friendly fire is often used to describe unintentional harm […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 4, 2014

Category: Careers, Employment, Life Outside of Work, Managing Employees

The other thing about friendly fire incidents is that they can happen so suddenly. I suppose that is part of the definition of friendly fire – something that takes one by surprise. I recently read that betrayal only comes from someone close to you. That, too, is probably part of the definition. Generally such incidents […]

Continue Reading

Powered by: BARD Marketing