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.

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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Hobbies & Interests

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 16, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

It is a boring person indeed who says, “I don’t have any hobbies or interests outside my job and my family”; “I don’t have time to pursue a hobby”; “I never have time for myself”; etc.  Never people who want to be considered boring, my spouse/partner and I have always believed having hobbies and interests, […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 16, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

I think hobbies are important creative releases.  Even if the hobby is not a traditionally creative endeavor like our music and photography, engaging in activities that one enjoys is a great way to clear the mind and re-energize yourself.  In our work, the cases are intense, often tragic and/or complicated. It is also tiring; mock […]

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Yes, dear

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 15, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

As we’ve written, working together has challenges and rewards. But one thing that has helped is for one of us, often me, just to say, “yes, dear.” Some people seem to disagree just to disagree, but when working and living together learning to be more selective and, “picking the battles,” is a key to survival. […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 15, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

I dislike confrontations, preferring to “cut and run” at the first sign of a disagreement. However, there are some things about which I have a strong opinion and I tend to be relentless when it comes to these things. My spouse/business partner is far more laid back and easy going than I; he definitely says, […]

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Title: Capitalize on individual strengths

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 9, 2013

Category: Business Partnerships

All of us have strengths and weaknesses; this is a fact of life regardless of whether we work with our spouse.  It is crucial, in any long term relationship, to identify each spouse’s/business partner’s strengths and weaknesses early in the relationship, then capitalize on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses in ways that ultimately define […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 9, 2013

Category: Business Partnerships

Some of the separation of duties are obvious and easy to identify early on in a work situation or at a personal level. And, this point is true when working with friends, spouse, or even lesser known acquaintances in any partnership arrangement. Seeking to determine who should have the primary responsibility for various tasks required […]

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Learning to take it when you can take it

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 7, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

In a previous post I wrote about mixing business and pleasure. And, many times, there are ways to do this by just adding a few hours to a business trip, or spending a little personal money. One can plan ahead or sometimes, serendipitously find something of interest. But, you must be tuned into the idea […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 7, 2013

Category: Partnerships, Work-Life

Although neither my spouse/business partner or I are spontaneous, carefree types, over the years we have had a lot of unexpected down time at work that has led us to re-prioritize our personal time. Most of the activities in which we engage during our personal times are planned well in advance; attending rock concerts, for […]

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Having time for fun

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 2, 2013

Category: Life Outside of Work

One of the most important parts of working with one’s spouse is taking time out for FUN. FUN is capitalized here to emphasize its critical role in the work/personal time balance. Real, honest to goodness FUN means doing something, with or without your spouse/business partner that provides an intensely enjoyable, unforgettable, experience. (It is important […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 2, 2013

Category: Life Outside of Work

It may seem strange to have to budget time for fun, but it is important. Whatever the fun is, it can clear the mind of distractions and help one regain focus on less fun things. And, fun as a reward for hard work is important too – there has to be a point of working […]

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