The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Working With Your Partner
Today, we're talking about working with your partner, the good, the bad and ugly!
And I have a very rare guest in the podcast studio today - my husband Mark.
People ask us all the time how we work together. So we’re chatting about how we make it work, what challenges we face and also how it can be really awesome.
Mark and I got together really young. We had big goals from the start but things really started to accelerate for us when we created a shared vision.
When we got on the same page in manifesting our dream life we were on fire!
We manifested six months paid for travel testing honeymoons, staying in the most amazing, luxury hotels. We had to get really aligned in our vision to make it happen.
But traveling and working together was really hard. And then when Mark joined my company, a lot of resistance came up - we really struggled for the first couple of years. We needed regular couples therapy.
Mark had been in a corporate job and came into my business thinking he could add value really quickly; see new opportunities and grow the business. That basically became driving me harder to do more and more launches, which wasn't in line with our family values.
He was killing the Golden Goose!
Honestly, there have been times when we’ve both thought we shouldn’t work together – that Mark should go get another job.
We’ve worked through so much though and now one of the reasons our business is so successful is because we've basically got two CEOs who go above and beyond and care about the business.
In this episode, you'll learn:
- How to talk about your vision with your loved ones
- Our best secrets for dealing with overworking
- What to do when you get stuck in a job
- How to support one another to create your dreams
- The most important things to outsource for success
Take a moment to imagine if you had a cheerleader! Someone who had your back and was supporting you in your business to get to the next level. That’s what working with a partner can be like.
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Denise Duffield...: Hey, gorgeous. Before we get started on today's episode, I have a big favor to ask you. I want to hear your thoughts. If I was to create something new, what would you love to see from me? So I have a very quick, super short survey at denisedt.com/survey. I want to hear your thoughts. It will only take you a couple of minutes, but I want to make sure that I'm creating things that work for you, that help you and your business get into flow so you can help more people and make more money. Just go to Denisedt.com/survey. Thank you so much and now here is today's episode.
Speaker 1: (Singing)
Denise Duffield...: Hey, gorgeous. It's Denise here and welcome to another episode of Chill and Prosper. Today, we're talking about something that can sometimes be not so chill, but can add so much prosperity to your life and this is working with your partner, the good, the bad and ugly. Now I have a very rare guest in the podcast studio today is my husband Mark Duffield-Thomas. Hey, babe.
Mark Duffield-T...: Hey, thanks for having me on. Am I the first official guest on this part of the podcast? I'm excited to talk.
Denise Duffield...: You are my first guest because as you know, I batch my episodes. And so it's so much easier for me just to come in the studio and like bash out a million episodes than have to worry about other people.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah, absolutely.
Denise Duffield...: But I thought this was really important because it's something that people ask us about all the time is obviously how we work together, how we make it work, things that are challenging for us and also, things that make it really awesome. Now, not everyone listening wants to work with their partner, aspires to work with their partner, but it also is such a good lesson in knowing yourself and finding ways to work your business for you. So what I wanted to start with, and obviously, we haven't talked too much about what questions I want to ask you. But I wanted to ask you, what did you want to be when like when you're a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Mark Duffield-T...: So much to say on this topic. So good that we are doing this. We could totally talk for hours and you're right, that people ask us all the time because it's not, it's totally not been easy for us and we're still kind of right in it. When I was growing up, first thing I really wanted to be was a cartoonist. So it was my goal for a long time as a kid and so much like our daughter just doodling and drawing and watching animated movies all the time. It's like, I really wanted to work for Pixar and I really wanted to do that. And then that kind of evolved into a more serious form of drawing was the next job I wanted was to be an architect. And yeah, I was creative and loved art but also kind of loved business and other subjects like that. So I ended up going down that route.
Denise Duffield...: That's cool. And it's cool too, that George is like liking drawing as well. Our little guy. So you were really entrepreneurial as a kid though, too. Right? You sold sweets, you had a paper out. Like tell me about those kind of little things. Did you think you... Like being a business owner or being entrepreneur, was that ever on your radar or you just didn't see it?
Mark Duffield-T...: I'm not sure about being a business owner. I think being a CEO, being head of a business, having a team or being the leader in an organization for sure. And that spurred me always taking on those type of roles because it was always a case of wanting the success and the recognition and the hierarchy, I guess, the safety of being at the top, the person making the decisions. But yeah, I did lots of jobs, was always kind of the one in my friends that was responsible for money and for organizing stuff and was always looking for ways to make more money. Because yeah, like you single parent, not a lot of money, always more fun stuff to spend stuff on. So yeah, that kind of drove out and it was in yes, different societies and clubs at school. And then obviously into university where we met in the business club that we were in.
Denise Duffield...: Yeah. And you were president at yours and I was president at mine. And then, so something happened. We got together when you were 19 and I was 24, 23, 24. So I was like, I felt like I was kind of... I was living in London, I was working in a job and like you were a student. So it felt like we were in kind of different life stages in that way. And then, you know like for our twenties, I kind of would rope you into coming to some conferences and stuff with me, like personal development conferences. And when I did Amway for a little bit, I kind of roped you into coming to those events. But it was never really a thing that you wanted to go into the entrepreneurial space. Like you were going to go be a consultant, you wanted to go into corporate life. And obviously then, you went and worked for your dream job. Tell us a little bit about that.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah. Well, I think we connected over some like foundational books that we still talk about all the time. Like in the whole personal development entrepreneurial thing was one of the things that we would talk about all the time when we were getting together was Rich Dad Poor Dad and 4-Hour Workweek and buying our first property, which we did when I was 20 or 21. Really soon after we got together, we jumped into that.
Yeah. So there's always that kind of connection with us. And it always just both of us, I think, had that ambition and that dream of wanting to create a different life and a new life and new standards and abundance and excitement. And yeah, I always thought that I would have like a really successful corporate career. So started to pursue that in sales and marketing. And like you said, we were living in London and a job came up in sport and I just obviously had to go for it. I was in a really great corporate career and kind of a management fast track, but it was a chance to go and work for the soccer team that I support.
Denise Duffield...: You're allowed to say the name.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, I used to work for Manchester United for three years in the sponsorship team there. And yeah, it was fantastic. And leaving that role is something I still think about a lot is like a really big deal to move out of that. Not only corporate career, which I'd always envisioned myself having, but for my dream sports team in the industry. And like, we've talked about that everywhere we went, I always had the coolest job. Every room I'm in, it's like, yeah, great, I work from Man United. I got a lot of ego and attention and recognition from that role. And yeah, really worked really hard and was really successful in it. So when the idea came up to go for the honeymoon testers-
Denise Duffield...: Oh my God. So I totally just threw a spanner in your works then because yes, you loved your job. And I have to say too, like it was a pattern for you of overworking, right? You know, you were getting up really early in the morning, you were burning yourself out, you were falling asleep. Like we'd go to the theater, you'd fall asleep. And that's a pattern that has followed you for all of your jobs, including working together, which we can get into.
But so what happened was I had set an intention, I wish on our honeymoon to go traveling around the world because I was fed up with living what I felt was a small life. Like we had a great relationship, but I wasn't happy in my career. I wanted to write books and I wanted to do something. I just couldn't figure out what. And so when this opportunity came for this competition to go traveling around the world, as soon as I saw it, I was like, oh, we are going to win this. And you came home from work. And I was like, so we have to put in an application, it has to be by midnight and we're going to win it and we have to quit our jobs. And it was like this bomb that I threw into our life. Luckily, we didn't have kids at the time, right?
Mark Duffield-T...: We had cats.
Denise Duffield...: We had cats.
Mark Duffield-T...: We had two cats, yeah.
Denise Duffield...: Yep. And we had our first house that we had bought. And so it was like, it was crazy. And I'm sure there was parts of you that were like, why am I going along with this? Because this is such a crazy long shot. This is something that's never going to happen and she's making me quit my dream job for it. Tell me what happened around your head around that. Like, why did you even say yes or did you just think I'll do the video, but nothing's going to happen?
Mark Duffield-T...: Well, up until that point, like I had experienced the power of your manifesting. Like I had witnessed it and we'd done like some cool stuff and things were going great. And I really felt like we were destined for a bigger life and we were destined for something really great. Whether this was going to be, it was like, I mean, it's a cool opportunity to go traveling and have a paid travel rider's job and to go do all these cool things. So it doesn't hurt to apply.
I mean, I really did think the percentages were going to be super low and certainly like telling my job like that we're applying. I was like, yeah, we're probably not going to win, but this is something I'm doing. But also, I know when you have a big dream and a big goal, like its get on the train or don't. The train is leaving the station and yeah, I wanted to be on the train and be part of the journey and see what we could do. And well, I mean, honestly we were on fire during that whole competition because we got on the same page and we had the big goal and we really like hustled and aligned to make it happen.
Denise Duffield...: Yeah. It was amazing. And that's why, like when we turned this into like a movie one day, it's going to be so cool because it was like total teamwork of going. And for those of you who don't know, so Mark and I won this competition, but like 30,000 people applied for it. And it got down to like the top a hundred, then the top 50, and then the top 10 couples got invited to Ireland for a final weekend. And it was like challenges and TV stuff. And it was like, it was like a TV show, but it wasn't televised. But we were just so like in sync, right? We were just so competitive.
Mark Duffield-T...: We just higher vibration than the rest of the competitors because we just had, we were throwing everything, law of attraction at it. Like that's the whole thing of the first book you wrote is everything we did to manifest the win. And we just knew that when they, and the winner is Denise and Mark. It was just, we'd say it to ourself every day, every single day. And that like being brave enough to step up to that opportunity and go for it and get on the same page around it. Like that's the domino that's brought us to where we are. Like none of where we're at right now is possible without the honeymoon testers, because it went into the books, it went into moving to Australia, it went into the business and-
Denise Duffield...: Well, it would've been something. I would've come up with something, trust me.
Mark Duffield-T...: Totally, totally.
Denise Duffield...: I totally would've.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah. It was amazing for our relationship as well to do that. And I mean, it was super hard as well. The traveling and working together.
Denise Duffield...: It was really hard. Okay, so we are going to take a little break. When we come back, we are going to talk about how Mark and I started working together, all of the reluctance that he had and some of the things that we really struggled with for the first couple of years. Be right back.
Donna Hamer: Hi, my name's Donna Hamer. I live on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia. My business is Donna Dolittle Animal Communicator. I help people and pets connect using animal communication and energy tools. I joined the Money Bootcamp right back in the beginning. I was a single mom who was frustrated with the lack of money and direction in my life. I had read Denise's book, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch and were so inspired, I joined the bootcamp straightaway just to hang out with like-minded women who were making a difference.
My biggest aha since joining the bootcamp was that I didn't feel I was worthy enough to have the things that I desired in my life. And I often caught myself sabotaging what I was doing well. And now I regularly do upgrades, I celebrate the small ones and the big ones and tracking money has become fun. I quit a really well paid job to follow my dream to work with animals. I would have never done this without the support of Denise and the bootcamp. I highly recommend the bootcamp to anyone who is looking for a way to break through the barriers that's holding them back from achieving what they want in life. The bootcamp is not just about breaking through financially, although that is a big one. The lessons taught can be used in every area of your life. So big thanks to Denise, she's a total inspiration and then entire group of Lucky Bs.
Denise Duffield...: Hey, and welcome back. And thanks for listening to working with your partner, the good, the bad, the ugly. Okay. So we've just established Mark and I we've been together since we were really young. We had big goals and things that we worked on, but things really started to accelerate for us. We had kids, which for me, I was like really super into my business by that stage. And it came to like when we were about to have our second kid, I kind of gave Mark an ultimatum to come... Like not to come and work with me at first. It was, I need you to quit your job because I can't have another kid and do this by myself. So you were then working in another sporting club and again, fallen into this pattern of yours, of overworking, burning yourself out.
And it was hard. And like I do remember that time we went to Indonesia, we went to Bali because I was hosting a business retreat. You agreed to come and look after Willow. And I think I was maybe pregnant with baby number two. And we had to leave. The retreat finished on Thursday, we had to leave that night because you had to be at work on Friday morning. And by that stage, I think my business was already making a million dollars a year, but there was just this sense of like, it's not enough, wait till you've hit that next milestone, that next target. And I think that trip was the turning point for me of going, why are we doing this? Why do we not have freedom in our lives when I'm making so much money? And you're still stuck in a job. And that's hard, right?
Because you got so much out of your job, it wasn't just about the money. It was your identity and working in sports and all that kind of stuff. So what was going through your head then of going, I didn't ask you to come work with me at all, but I just said I can't work... Like I just don't like this dynamic where you're in a job.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah, totally. I remember it so well because it was yeah, pretty much turning point for me as well. Because it was a hard trip. I was trying to do work and look after Willow and you were running the retreat. I think, ah, so many things back then. So yeah, I did enjoy my job, although it was like you said, repeating workaholic habits and taking too much on and the team being under resourced and all different things. But so I loved it and I loved the... I kept saying, I really wanted like a challenging career, meaning like a rewarding career. But actually what I got was a super challenging career.
Denise Duffield...: And challenging bosses, you always had pretty challenging bosses.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah, really, really. And so it was always just the case of, yeah, I want to keep doing this and I'm enjoying it. And this is where I kind of see my career and it was hard for me to kind of square that away to step away from that. And there's a whole heap of scarcity mindset and insecurity about Denise's business is going great now but how long can it last to like worries about the future. So wanting to have some sense of security, which was crazy, because my salary is probably like 10, 20% of household income. It was like, oh, my little job will supporters us if your blog doesn't work out. But that's yeah... So there's a lot of stuff going on. And then, and obviously that's the conversation we were having about, oh, when your business gets to this level, when your business gets to this level.
But yeah, the second kid was the factor where it was just going to be like, it doesn't work. It doesn't make sense for me to be working 70 hours. Not only do I need to do more with our children and supporting you. If our family value is really freedom then this just doesn't align with that. So find something else to do.
Denise Duffield...: Yeah. Because I was like, I didn't sign up for this.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah, exactly.
Denise Duffield...: I was like I signed up for freedom, not be like the sole parent at home while you're... And also, that's the hard thing too now that, because we're eight years in of little sleep. You are like, I've got to be at work tomorrow. And now I'm like, you had a marketing job. You could have got up a bit more with the kids, now that we run the whole global business on very little sleep sometimes. But it was just that feeling of like that those gender roles I think were really starting to stretch for us and going, what does this really mean to have bigger goals? Not having any role models around what that looks like and how that works. So let's jump in.
So you quit your job. You were really worried about what you were going to tell people that you did. Like that was the big thing for you. It was like, what am I going to tell people at barbecues when people say, what do you do? And so you started your own consultancy for at least a year.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah, about a year. Yeah.
Denise Duffield...: Yep. And then we had a meeting with our accountant and he said, have you ever considered working in Denise's business? And like, it actually didn't occur to me that much, but I also thought you wouldn't be interested. But hearing it from someone else, I think was a really like big turning point. Because then you were like, oh yeah, I do have something to offer. And it was really hard.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah, absolutely.
Denise Duffield...: Like I think we thought, oh, this is going to be so cool. It's going to be so much fun working together. And like we were in couples therapy about it because it was just like first two years were just like, not horrible. That sounds mean, but it was really freaking challenging for both of us.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah. So much was going on because I'd come, like you said, from a corporate career where I was the boss and I had a team and I really knew my industry and was really successful. And I was coming into a new business where I thought I knew everything and I thought I could add value really quickly and see new opportunities and grow the business, which basically became just driving you harder and harder to do more launches and more work, which wasn't, again, wasn't in line with our values as a family. So we kind of steamrolled into that and we were just doing the normal kind of storming of learning to work together with our working styles and working out what our roles are and what the decision making process is. How do we balance work and home?
How does it feel for me to not be the one in charge and not have the ultimate say? And even if I have a really strong opinion and an idea, you don't even have to even justify, if you just say no. Then it's like, it's your business, which is totally... Yeah, I mean, it's our business now. It has become like I feel more ownership because yeah, we've been working in it together for five years, six years now. And we've really had to do a lot of work to learn about how to work together. But yeah, there was a lot of things in the first couple of years that were really hard for both of us. And there still is.
Denise Duffield...: Still, absolutely.
Mark Duffield-T...: This week, there's always stuff that's happening where, because we work in different ways and we have different standards of what good looks like and we write differently and we, yeah, all of those different things.
So we've really had to do a lot of work about understanding what our strengths are, understanding what our roles are, trying to silo our roles as much as possible. And I've had to recognize where I fit in terms of making the business happen as well as making all of the family stuff happen in the household. So yeah, there's been a lot of work for us to do there. But it comes down to the very first thing that we started talking about when we were doing the honeymoon test or when we were first getting together over those books is like, what is the vision for our life? And what are we trying to create and support each other to do. And ultimately, it's just way better for us to do it together than to both try and forge separate businesses or separate careers. It's like our business is so successful because we've basically got two CEOs or two very senior people who go above and beyond and care about the business.
Denise Duffield...: And you can't buy that.
Mark Duffield-T...: No way you can't. Like anyone who's listening out there. Imagine if you had two of you or even if you just had a mini me who was like two thirds as good as you, how much further would you be able to go in your business if you had that level? Yeah. So it's a cheerleader, but it's also just like boots on the ground to do work to get [inaudible].
Denise Duffield...: Boots on the ground. And that is the key. And there has been times where we've gone, maybe it is easier if you just go get a job because it's hard. And it's hard for both of us in that way where you don't get the recognition. But also, I feel like I don't always get the recognition of what I bring to the company and how it should be my say that goes because I'm connected to our clients. I'm connected to the people that we're helping. Whereas I don't think you have that much of a as connection. It's not necessarily your like meaning in life to help women become financial independent, like you like it. It's cool. But it's not your mission and vision.
Mark Duffield-T...: Yeah. And that's been an interesting thing, right. Because it's never been like my thing to do. Like obviously, I wouldn't be able to be with you and be in this business if I didn't believe in like, the world is a better place when women have more money and we need equality and all of those things. But like I didn't start a business to solve this problem, but now I'm in it. Like I want the business to be as successful as possible because it's about supporting you. It's about helping our community, having an impact on the world and also building a legacy for our family, which is what we talk about every day. And when we are doing this work, yes, it's the positive impact and the reward and the recognition and all that sort of stuff. But yeah, we are building something for the kids and on and on.
Denise Duffield...: Well, this has been such a cool conversation. And will you come back and talk about your money archetypes with me for one more conversation? Or do you have to run off?
Mark Duffield-T...: No, no, no, no, absolutely. And that's one of the things we've had to learn, right. Is like, how do we build a household of support and structure around so that we can do things together or we can do work when we need to do work and we can have some flexibility. That's the best thing about us working together is not only is like everything that we do together is about the family. And every penny we make goes towards our goals. It's we get to do it in a flexible way and the kids get to see us, the good, the bad and the ugly of us working together.
Denise Duffield...: Oh, definitely. And I think we can talk about that too, on the next one, about how all our kids are showing up and what we're teaching them. And so thank you for joining me and for everyone listening, you know, you might not have a partner who is interested in this. But if you do, it might be an interesting one to listen to together because the rewards really are so amazing. And also, don't let anyone tell you, it's just going to be an easy road. It can be really, really challenging. And Mark, would you like to do our final thought after the next break?
Mark Duffield-T...: Sure.
Denise Duffield...: Thanks.
Mariah: Hey Denise, it's Mariah with Bare Heart Boudoir on the central coast of California. Just got done listening to Get Rich, Lucky B for the second time. And my biggest takeaway is when you talk about taking care of your skin. When you first start to take care of it, you're really excited. And then you get a little blemish and you just have to push past that and keep it going because that clear skin is going to happen. Well, we have been manifesting great things this year. I manifested myself a free facial, which was phenomenal, our ideal clients. And then we had a little blemish. My husband was in a very severe para motoring accident and he broke his para motor in addition to breaking his neck.
However, he was quite lucky and he walked away from that accident. Now, yes, a little bummed because he broke his para motor. However, he's walking and talking and breathing, which makes us so happy. Now, I knew that he would be a little bummed with not having a para motor, but we sent positive energy. We manifested it. And two days ago, all of his friends got together and bought him a new para motor, which is worth thousands of dollars. Now yes, we got past that blemish and I am ready for clear skin and positivity. Thank you so much, Denise.
Mark Duffield-T...: Hey, it's Mark Duffield-Thomas here today. And just with a final thought for you, it's a quote I've got from Stephen Covey, who said that the core of a family is those things that don't change, the things that stay the same, the shared values and the vision. And that's what we live by every day. Things really started to click for Denise and I, when we got really clear about what our shared vision and our shared values are. So I invite you to go and have that conversation with your loved ones about what you can create, and we wish you all the best. Thanks for listening to Chill and Prosper, and Denise will see you on the next episode.
Denise Duffield...: Bye. Thanks, Mark
About the Show
Chill and Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.
Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.
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