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.

Alaskan Cruises

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On August 18, 2022

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, RoadWarrior, Travel

Having just returned from Alaska, I am more aware than ever that going to Alaska means, for many people, taking a cruise. But, Melissa and I aren’t cruisers, so we did a land tour. Nonetheless, it is now impossible to be in Alaska without encountering cruisers. From the gift (junk) shops in Anchorage to Denali, […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On August 18, 2022

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, RoadWarrior, Travel

As everyone who knows me is aware, I have good reasons for not being a fan of cruises.  I also dislike the changes they have brought to one of my formerly favorite places, Key West.  The changes cruise lines and their passengers have brought to Alaska in the 31 years between David’s and my visits […]

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Con Mucho Gusto

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On August 16, 2022

Category: Common Courtesy, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus Insights, Mental Health, Psychology, Travel

David and I have written in previous posts about one of our pet peeves, replying to “thank you” with “no problem.” We always get a little miffed when someone says “no problem” because we don’t think there is a need to mention any sort of problem when someone is being thanked for doing something. I […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On August 16, 2022

Category: Common Courtesy, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus Insights, Mental Health, Psychology, Travel

I do not speak Spanish.  Living in south Florida all these years has not been enough for me to learn more than some basics and I depend on Melissa when we find ourselves in Spanish speaking countries, or places.  But, it didn’t take me long to catch on in Costa Rica that the locals, Ticos […]

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Vacations

At the time of this post, I am likely on vacation. After missing the opportunity to take a vacation for a couple of years, Melissa and I have been looking forward to it. The visit to this destination, Alaska, was delayed from our original plan and thus, we’ve been working on and revising the plans […]

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I will begin this post by saying I love to work!  One of my best friends, Bob, was my office mate (and co-conspirator) in graduate school.  He frequently referred to me as a “workaholic” because, invariably, when he called to find out what I was doing, I was working or studying.  I love my job […]

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Mutual Admiration Societies

There are relatively few people with whom I share a mutual admiration. Don’t get me wrong: I like a lot of people and there are some people who like me, but that is different than my definition of a mutual admiration society. The first person who comes to mind is the first person who used […]

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One thing that comes to my mind about Mutual Admiration Societies is realizing that one is in one.  What I mean is, we often get acquainted with people we admire, from afar or up close.  The part that is different about mutual admiration societies is the “mutual” part.  This may not be immediate.  It may […]

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What’s the Rush?

Lately, it seems that we have one rush job after another. On the one hand, I’m glad we have jobs of any sort, especially after the impact COVID-19 related chaos on the legal system, and as a result, our business. But, it is a frustration that never diminishes when clients wait to the last minute […]

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As usual, David’s post has reminded me of a song.  As soon as I read the title, “What’s the rush?” I thought of a song by Leon Russell and Marc Benno called “Learn How to Boogie.”  It’s lyrics include:   What’s the hurry? What’s everybody hurrying for? Don’t worry What’s everybody worrying for?   If […]

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Give Someone a Chance

John Lennon wrote a song called “Give Peace a Chance.” It is a great song and it has provided me with considerable inspiration over the years. This post is not about giving peace a chance, however. Instead, it is about giving someone a chance. Who is that someone? It could be someone who is young, […]

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In the early days of Magnus, we made lots of calls on people, never knowing where they would lead.  The visit to Charlie Stiles was one of those and, given Melissa’s connection with him, he was very supportive.  Despite the fact that, as Magnus has evolved, most of our work has been litigation related, in […]

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Exude Confidence/Lean In

I’ve had a few instances in my working life when clients or customers reported to me, or my bosses, that I exude confidence. They were reporting that my performance stood out to them in some way. I’ve had similar experiences with particularly good workers in numerous settings. I suppose, by definition, most people are average, […]

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I am a lot of things, but “average” is not one of them.  Never has been.  Never will be.  I can’t relate to how it must be to be average.  (People who have heard me play the bass guitar may disagree with my statement that I am not average, however, my long time teacher, a […]

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Live Your Life Like Someone Left the Gate Open

I don’t remember where I saw this quote for the first time, but I instantly liked it: “Live your life like someone left the gate open.” I guess there are multiple interpretations of this sentence, however, my view of it is that, as David’s late mother used to say, we should try to “have fun” […]

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For reasons I won’t go into, the timing of my reading of Melissa’s post was, well, timely.  We sometimes have to remind ourselves, and each other, to have fun, find fun where we can, and to leave that gate open to get out and enjoy what there is to enjoy in life.  It might be […]

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Share The Positives

I observed Melissa do something today that is worth comment. She complimented our clients for the professional and supportive ways they have worked with us, and as a team, to prepare for a jury research project. The clients seemed taken aback to hear a compliment, and they were surprised their behavior was noteworthy. It is […]

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I believe in giving credit where and when credit is due.  When I notice something good, I usually say something about it.  In fact, I try, diligently, to compliment people and situations more than I complain.  I have found complaining rarely results in positive attitude or behavior change.  (If you don’t believe me, ask yourself […]

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The Confounded Bridge

The confounded bridge! This expression appears to have originated in the 1973 song, “The Crunge,” by Led Zeppelin (on the Houses of the Holy album). At the end of the song, either John Bonham or Robert Plant asks, (music historians disagree on whose voice is being heard) “Where’s the confounded bridge?”. This is a reference […]

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This post confounded me enough that it had to percolate in my brain before I could write it.  Melissa’s knowledge of things musical is vast.  With her piano and bass guitar training, as well as her lifelong enjoyment of listening to recorded and live music, she is much better versed in musical terminology.  At least […]

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