Business Couples Secret Sauce

Maurie & Cathy Dobbin - Fastrak Fitness

November 28, 2020 Marcus Nicholls and Ariel Endean Episode 13
Business Couples Secret Sauce
Maurie & Cathy Dobbin - Fastrak Fitness
Chapters
Business Couples Secret Sauce
Maurie & Cathy Dobbin - Fastrak Fitness
Nov 28, 2020 Episode 13
Marcus Nicholls and Ariel Endean

Description

What do you do when you’ve got a great business running under management? If your Maurie & Cathay Dobbin you start another business of course. One that introduces EMS fitness technology to Australians looking to regain their health & happiness. And the best bit: You get twice as fit in half the time. Even Rodger Federer uses it! But that’s not all you’ll find out. Hit the play button and get ready for some great advice on how to be a super successful business couple. 

SPECIAL OFFER! Mention this episode to Maurie, Cathy, or one of the Fastrak team and receive a FREE Fastrak Fitness Session!

Learn More:

Some Secret Sauce highlights from this episode:

#1
Your health is one of the most important things you need to worry about. I plan to live to 100 and so should you!

#2
You need to listen to the other person if they have issues. With the business, you need to take note and not just ignore them. I think that it's really important if one person has got issues, the other partner really needs to listen. Because it's a joint business. You're a team. You can't just make decisions on your own.

 #3
If I can emphasise one thing in a business relationship, and it applies to a personal relationship too, it's communication. Being transparent, being open, being honest, not hiding anything.  Being upfront. Unless you've got a very strong relationship, going into business together, is inevitably going to cause problems. It is a very testing time for any couple to get involved in business together. You need to consider that very carefully.

Bio & History

Maurie and Cathy Dobbin founded Fastrak Fitness in August 2020. We both have a life-long commitment to good health and when we learned about the benefits of EMS we decided to bring it to the Central Coast.

 Maurie is an entrepreneur who has founded a number of companies with a focus on leading-edge technologies. His biography has been published in Volume 2 of Unsung Business Heroes https://unsungbusinessheroes.com.au/maurie-dobbin/. He has also played field hockey for over fifty years and still plays today in the Newcastle Masters competition. During his hockey career, he has played in teams that have won Gold Medals in the European and World Masters Hockey Championships.

 Cathy was a registered nurse for over forty years of specialising in ICU and midwifery. She founded and managed a nursing agency that employed over 200 nurses serving public and private hospitals throughout Sydney. She has many other interests including healthy cooking.

 There are over five thousand EMS studios around the world but only a handful in Australia. After researching the technology and visiting studios overseas we decided to partner with XBody a world-leading EMS brand. The XBody suits are wireless unlike some other EMS technologies allowing our clients freedom of movement when undertaking exercises.

 Our studio is located in the Life. Style building in Erina within what was once a squash court. We have refurbished it with the vibrant colours associated with the XBody brand and equipped it with the latest EMS technology. Within the studio, we can train up to three clients simultaneously or work individually with a client that has special needs.



Show Notes Transcript

Description

What do you do when you’ve got a great business running under management? If your Maurie & Cathay Dobbin you start another business of course. One that introduces EMS fitness technology to Australians looking to regain their health & happiness. And the best bit: You get twice as fit in half the time. Even Rodger Federer uses it! But that’s not all you’ll find out. Hit the play button and get ready for some great advice on how to be a super successful business couple. 

SPECIAL OFFER! Mention this episode to Maurie, Cathy, or one of the Fastrak team and receive a FREE Fastrak Fitness Session!

Learn More:

Some Secret Sauce highlights from this episode:

#1
Your health is one of the most important things you need to worry about. I plan to live to 100 and so should you!

#2
You need to listen to the other person if they have issues. With the business, you need to take note and not just ignore them. I think that it's really important if one person has got issues, the other partner really needs to listen. Because it's a joint business. You're a team. You can't just make decisions on your own.

 #3
If I can emphasise one thing in a business relationship, and it applies to a personal relationship too, it's communication. Being transparent, being open, being honest, not hiding anything.  Being upfront. Unless you've got a very strong relationship, going into business together, is inevitably going to cause problems. It is a very testing time for any couple to get involved in business together. You need to consider that very carefully.

Bio & History

Maurie and Cathy Dobbin founded Fastrak Fitness in August 2020. We both have a life-long commitment to good health and when we learned about the benefits of EMS we decided to bring it to the Central Coast.

 Maurie is an entrepreneur who has founded a number of companies with a focus on leading-edge technologies. His biography has been published in Volume 2 of Unsung Business Heroes https://unsungbusinessheroes.com.au/maurie-dobbin/. He has also played field hockey for over fifty years and still plays today in the Newcastle Masters competition. During his hockey career, he has played in teams that have won Gold Medals in the European and World Masters Hockey Championships.

 Cathy was a registered nurse for over forty years of specialising in ICU and midwifery. She founded and managed a nursing agency that employed over 200 nurses serving public and private hospitals throughout Sydney. She has many other interests including healthy cooking.

 There are over five thousand EMS studios around the world but only a handful in Australia. After researching the technology and visiting studios overseas we decided to partner with XBody a world-leading EMS brand. The XBody suits are wireless unlike some other EMS technologies allowing our clients freedom of movement when undertaking exercises.

 Our studio is located in the Life. Style building in Erina within what was once a squash court. We have refurbished it with the vibrant colours associated with the XBody brand and equipped it with the latest EMS technology. Within the studio, we can train up to three clients simultaneously or work individually with a client that has special needs.



Marcus Nicholls  0:05  
Hi, we're your hosts Marcus and Ariel and you’re listening to Business Couples Secret Sauce, 

Ariel Endean  0:10  
where we interview business couples and share their tips and tricks on building a successful business without it destroying their relationship.

Marcus Nicholls  0:28  
Hello, today we are Erina NSW chatting to Maurie and Cathy from Fast Track fitness. Welcome to the show. Thank you. 

Maurie Dobbin  0:36  
Thank you, Marcus.

Ariel Endean  0:37  
Yes, welcome. So could you explain a little bit about what fasttrack fitness is and how it works as it's not a traditional gym or workout programme, as we discovered when we kitted up last week.

Maurie Dobbin  0:54  
No, it's not. It uses something called electro muscle stimulation, or shortened EMS. And whilst it's very well known in Europe, not so well known in this country, it's basically around putting you in a suit, which has a number of pads that sit over your muscles. And we then activate those muscles through those pads and contract them. And you work against your own muscles, so that you perform an exercise and that exercise is so efficient, that it's something like 30 times, you doing it with a weight in your hands.

Ariel Endean  1:31  
Wow. And you're still actually doing the exercise, you can't just put it all on and watch TV, right?

Maurie Dobbin  1:37  
No you don't sit down and watch TV, we actually make you stretch forward make you lunge, make you contract your biceps, work on your hamstrings. But it's relatively gentle in the way that we do it. But there is a two parts of the programme one is called strength exercise. And the other is called aerobic exercises. The suit itself is wireless, there's no wires attached to it. So you can basically perform any activity that you would in a normal gym. So for aerobics, you could be on a standing bicycle, we could be running on the spot or doing jumping jacks, or all of the above. But again, having that suit on makes it that much more efficient and effective, and you'll know about because you can only do it twice a week, for a maximum of 20 minutes each time. 

Marcus Nicholls  2:23  
Thats quite extraordinary really when you think about people who go to the gym every day for an hour or two versus something like is. I term it as the future of what physical activity is going to be. At some stage these sort of suits will become more avaialble for you to be at home so you can simply just kit up and do your exercise at home.

Cathy Dobbin  2:50  
Actually, it's also good for those who are less active.  For those who are recovering or rehabilitating. For instance, they may not be able to jump like we do. We can just get them to do the action and just the action alone. They could sit down and do actions and the machine will stimulate the muscles and strengthen the muscles getting blood flow to the muscles and the nerves as needed. So they will also increase muscles building just wearing the suit and just doing the basic actions.

Ariel Endean  3:25  
So it helps with recuperation from injury. Who doesn't want to get twice the benefit from their work? Half the effort! Half the time! So great.

Marcus Nicholls  3:40  
And time is valuable now? We all know and we all understand that the one thing that we can't get back is time. There's lots of things we can but we can't get time back. So the less time we spend on exercise the more time we have for other pleasures.

Maurie Dobbin  3:59  
It's definitely a exercise for our current new society a time poor society. When both individuals in a marriage or couples are working and therefore haven't got the time to look after themselves. After all, your health is one of the most important things you need to worry about, watch and let's face it, you walk around the streets, you look at the body shapes and you think, wow, I mean, not me, I'm not going to do it that way. I'm not gonna let myself go that way. I want to live to 100.

Marcus Nicholls  4:37  
Yeah, absolutely. Me to! So you both have grown successful businesses individually. And we've learnt the story that you have actually run a previous business together as well. How does growing a business together compare to running businesses individually.   How does it compare?

Maurie Dobbin  5:04  
I think that you can best compare to if you're in business and you have a partner and that business. And you always need to consult the partner about what you're going to do in the business. Whereas if you run the business yourself and only yourself, you make those decisions. You live or die by those decisions. But when it impacts your partner, or wife, then you have to think twice about it.

Ariel Endean  5:31  
Yeah, for sure. What are your thoughts on this Cathy?

Cathy Dobbin  5:34  
My thoughts is that I used to run my business basically, on my own before even though I had a husband then. This decisions fell on me because it was a business that I was familiar with, not something that he was familiar with. So all the decisions I made, I had to come up with. And as Maurie said, you have to live by your decisions. And I think a lot of these decisions that I made, I made the right choice. And even when it came time to sell the business. I had nearly sold the the business a few times before which I actually withdrew because the price wasn't what I wanted it to be. Finally, when I sold the business, it was at the price that I was happy with. And it was a lot higher than what was originally offered to me. And with business together, you have to run the ideas with your husband or your partner. Because it's a joint business. You're a team. You can't just make decisions on your own and then run with it.

Cathy Dobbin  6:40  
And most people have to be happy with it. Yeah.

Marcus Nicholls  6:43  
And that's the thing that we see often is that, that the differences between if you are in partnership with someone versus that partner, being your, your partner, your lover effectively. If the communication isn't really strong, it has other problems and other sort of things, which is why it has to be that much more involved.

Ariel Endean  7:09  
It ripples out and comes home with you. Whereas when you have a business partner you can leave it behind.

Maurie Dobbin  7:16  
Then complain to your wife about it all when you come home.

Ariel Endean  7:20  
We've never started their own businesses individually. So we actually have no comparison really, but I can imagine I've always liked with Marcus and I that we've got each other to cheer each other on and debrief with and really understand it from their perspective. So although I imagined it would be satisfying growing a successful business individually, why wouldn't it be, I think having your best friend or partner there with you doing this pretty cool. Yeah. So I'm curious, what are your roles in the current business in the Fastrak Fitness? And how did you work this out? And have they changed over time? Although probably not so much, because it's a new business, but how did you work out who was doing what?

Maurie Dobbin  8:03  
Okay, well, I've always been the behind the scenes guy, making all the backend systems work. And Kathy is a front person, somebody that likes to be involved, likes to do the exercise. We can both do everything in the business, but you do naturally fall into certain roles. And when you've had Cathy direct you in an exercise session, you'll notice the difference, because she's very upfront. She's very energetic, and engaging. And I think thats something she does that best. What I do best is worrying about the things that, as I say, behind the scenes, the way we engage electronically through social media, for example, or how we work out a customer relationship management system that managers the client information.

Ariel Endean  8:57  
Yeah, well, it sounds to me like you're playing to your strengths, which makes perfect sense.

Cathy Dobbin  9:02  
Yes we both have our own strengths.

Marcus Nicholls  9:08  
So what's the best, or the worst thing about being a business couple?

Maurie Dobbin  9:13  
The best thing about being a business couple is also probably the worst thing about being a business couple. You're together 24/7 in the business. You live and breathe the business. If the business travels, well, you travel well. If the business doesn't travel so well, then you don't travel so well. So that creates some stresses. It does affect the relationship. And you need to be cognizant of that stress and do your best to sort of alleviate it. But if I can emphasise one thing in a business relationship, and it applies to a personal relationship too, it's communication. Being transparent, being open, being honest, not hiding anything.  Being upfront.

Ariel Endean  9:58  
Yes well, at least you've been you've been clear on where you stand with what's going on. And then I think you can also be more forgiving if you know that the other person's saying "Look, I'm dealing with something at the moment". It explains if they have a shorter temper or are not as engaged. If you have the conversation about it, then at least you're getting it out of your head, and you're all moving forward together with whatever the challenge is. We always found communication essential, even if you don't necessarily have a solution, that still even just putting it on the table as an collective problem makes it that much less of a burden for the person carrying it. And, I agree, whenever you're running a business, it doesn't ever go away. You don't ever clock out.  In a good way and in a bad way. Sometimes you'll have a great idea over dinner and go, "Oh wow, what about this", and that it's not a bad thing, necessarily. But I think, it's interesting. It does live with you all the time. Even if it's just percolating in the back of your brain,

Cathy Dobbin  11:06  
I think your relationship with your husband or your partner has to be good to work together 24/7, because as Maurie said, you breathe the same air all the time, you're in the same room more or less all the time. So you've got to really get along well. If you don't have a good relationship with your husband or your wife or your partner. It just, it can be very stressful.

Cathy Dobbin  11:38  
Especially when things do not go well. 

Ariel Endean  11:41  
And in fact, it's not for everyone.  We have quite a few friends that say "there's no way I could work with my husband or wife". Well, you do love each other. Right? They do. But what it is that they are aware that the amount of time they spend together is the right amount of time for them to be really happy and really in love. But it's like, they obviously couldn't just go to a desert island and hang out together 24/7, even without the stress of the business, but like, it's a it's a proportional time thing.

Marcus Nicholls  12:10  
Yeah, and where it throws up challenges is when people retire. Because they're never at home together and suddenly they are. It's a traditional husband wife going, I just can't stand you in my space, in my face you know. Whatever it is, they're both on edge because they're not used to seeing so much of each other.

Maurie Dobbin  12:32  
That stress in the last six months must have multiplied with COVID because they were forced to be in the one place with each other

Marcus Nicholls  12:41  
Which is sad.

Cathy Dobbin  12:43  
A lot of mental issues dealing with each other and hence increased domestic violence.

Marcus Nicholls  12:49  
Yeah, which is something that I've been reading some of those satatisitcs. It's just really sad.

Ariel Endean  12:55  
And you know, being a business couple is not for everyone. So it is good advice to be mindful of is your relationship really solid going into it, because it's not going to fix it. what's for stress on top of it. And then also, there's that that notion too that you do possibly need to get some time out from each other. Theres hobbies, and theres things, girls weekends, and you can do hobbies that are different to each other. One couple we interviewed, one person goes and does yogo and the husband's wife doesn't like yoga at all so he goes motorbike riding and she's not into motorbike riding. So they'll sometimes just need to get away from everything, and then come back. And that's a thing you can do as well, if you are together 24 seven. So I'm curious, what is your current biggest challenge in running fastraks? And how are you tackling this?

Maurie Dobbin  13:52  
Biggest challenge is really about educating people about what the business actually is. And I think a few people would be frightened about it and be cautious. And because of that reluctant to get involved, which is why we're offering a free session to people to come in and simply experience it.

Ariel Endean  14:12  
That's a great idea. Because it is definitely something new and people are

Cathy Dobbin  14:18  
Very daunted about it. Yeah, and anything new can be daunting.

Maurie Dobbin  14:23  
The challenges in then communication. How do you communicate and we're finding the best way is simply word of mouth. Good old fashioned word of mouth.  Get as many people involved as you can. They've got friends, they've got relatives, all of which could in fact benefit from what we do here. So we look at referrals from the people that have been here as the best way to be able to market it.

Ariel Endean  14:46  
You can't beat word of mouth. It's good to have an array of marketing solutions in place but word of mouth is fantastic. And it's free!

Maurie Dobbin  14:56  
It's true, but I mean, in what you have to acept in doing that is it's it takes time to build a business by word of mouth because it's one on one, one another one, one or another. It takes time to get that out there. So we're only early two months young at this point.

Unknown Speaker  14:56  
Yes. You are the youngest business at 2 month young that we've interviewed so far.

Ariel Endean  15:23  
We wish you all success by the way As I said we had a go last week and we're definitely signing up. So don't be afraid if you are listening to this, and you have the chance to have a go? Because it's certainly not in any way uncomfortable. It's just a little weird. A little different. And there's an adjustment in the feeling of it when it starts but you do get used to it quite quickly.

Ariel Endean  15:45  
Yes, it's just like a box something vibrating essentially. You know, you can jump online and look up what's what's the an acronym again, a EMS. Theres lots of information available and as Maurie said, it's huge in Europe and America. We're just a bit slow to the uptake.

Marcus Nicholls  16:03  
Which is unusual for Australia because technology we're usually worldwide one of the leading countries in the world.

Cathy Dobbin  16:10  
But on the other hand, we are also very far away from the rest of the world. Yes, these two sort of filter through.

Marcus Nicholls  16:15  
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So this question is probably somewhat irrelevant, or somewhat not so relevant for you guys. But have you found being in business together has changed your relationship and in what way?

Cathy Dobbin  16:35  
I can probably answer that. In particularly with Xanado (our ex restaurant) it really, really stressed both of us out. In particular me, because I'm always a financial person, and pay the bills as it is with this business, I pay the bills in all the businesses, I'm the financial person. So when you see money keep going out and out and out and not much coming in to 

Unknown Speaker  16:58  
I'm not sure that we canvased what Xanado was?

Cathy Dobbin  16:59  
Xanado was a restaurant that we ran for nine months. And then we closed Yes, after nine months. So because we were just, the money was just being drained. And as I say, to Maurie, it doesn't matter how much money and how deep your pockets are, if money just keeps going out, it is just going to drain and it will drain our relationship. And that actually takes for a long time. And I was stressed, we were both stressed. But we this business is relatively new, we basically are in a good position in this business, because we believe that this technology is unique. And it helps people, even if it just breaks even we are actually helping. We're happy because we're actually helping people, we believe. It will help to rehabilitate people, it will help people's general well being. So from that respect, making money is not the primary objective of this particular business. Like I said, even if we break even, it's fine with us, you know, we just need to put in time for people to get to know us and and for the business to get known that people will come and try it and make themselves feel better and be healthier.

Maurie Dobbin  18:19  
We're both Christians, and we believe in giving, and I really feel that we've had a calling to start this business up, and to give back to the community, the good health that they should be enjoying, but perhaps didn't have the time to spend to actually achieve that.

Ariel Endean  18:38  
Tthat's fantastic. And it also speaks to the idea of having a higher purpose in running your business than simply making money.  Because whatever you face, you do need to have something past just money because you have to care and have to have a reason, you have to have a WHY which is quite often helping people. Yeah, you know, or making people happy. Or providing solutions to their pain or whatever. Yeah, have to have a reason to want to show up every day.

Cathy Dobbin  19:09  
Actually a really good reason is to help people and to make them feel better and to make them healthier. Because as we know that our population is in the centre phase is more ageing population, unfortunately. But that's where most of the people come to retire in the past, but we do have younger generation now. But if you don't start looking after your health at a younger age, you find that it progresses on to a deteriorating health problem, you know, so you just basically got to start looking at your health even though you think that when you're young, you're invincible. I always used to think that. But as we grow older, our body tends to tell us you know that young anymore.

Ariel Endean  19:54  
The machine ages!

Ariel Endean  19:57  
When you're 20, you can sort of pretty much do anything. Yes without trying. And then you need to stop paying for your good health. I mean, what's good about this businesses and this particular way of getting fit is it's not arduous, you don't have to do  anything very fast. You can take your time. So you can come back from quite a bad injury. 

Cathy Dobbin  20:18  
And just do it totally low impact with no sprains to the joints.

Maurie Dobbin  20:24  
So the best way I could draw a parallel with this is Cathy loves to cook. The enjoyment that she gets out of cooking, is the pleasure people have in eating her food. The pleasure that we get here in this business is watching people after they finish their session. Say I've never felt so good. And for them to tell us a few days later, this pain that I had, it's gone. It even helps with cronic back pains.

Cathy Dobbin  20:53  
I definitely had chronic pain. I definitely had chronic pain that was bad. I might have mentioned it to you before. I was getting acupuncture every week and spending $90 every week, and that relieved the discomfort on that day but then was back to square one. And it as you know, acupuncture is not a one day fix is long term. And it costs a lot of money. But I've been doing the EMS now since April. I can do gardening, I can do pretty much everything. I don't actually feel the pain anymore. Because I used to roll in bed and have to find a position that was comfortable for me. And I don't even have to think about it anymore.

Ariel Endean  21:36  
Well, this is partly how you guys ended up here is that you tried it overseas and the next day you were on a long train trip which would generally make you feel quite sore.

Unknown Speaker  21:47  
Yes

Ariel Endean  21:48  
Midway through the train trip, you thought, Oh, "I don't feel that uncomfortable"

Cathy Dobbin  21:52  
Yeah.

Cathy Dobbin  21:53  
I didn't think about it and all of a sudden I thought oh, I don't feel the pain anymore. This is fantastic!

Maurie Dobbin  22:00  
The thing is you notice pain, but when the pain is absent you don't notice it.

Cathy Dobbin  22:05  
And all of a sudden you think Oh, yes, where is my pain? It's not there anymore, which is great.

Marcus Nicholls  22:12  
Absolutely.

Ariel Endean  22:13  
So the next question I have for you is, is one that we've already canvassed a little bit. Is there a time that you've considered walking away from your business or relationship or both? So obviously, you did walk away from one business.

Cathy Dobbin  22:30  
I would have walked away personally had Maurie decided to continue with that business. Basically, I just couldn't handle it. I was so stressed. You have no idea. I couldn't sleep. I will be up at 2am paying bills. Ridiculous!

Ariel Endean  22:48  
There's hard work. And then there's where business invades your life completely. I think part of any equation in life is you do need to know when to call time and walk away and call that a loss!

Cathy Dobbin  23:00  
 Yeah, you have to cut your losses and run.

Ariel Endean  23:04  
And obviously, you know, your relationship was on the line as well. So at that point, it's an issue. I know for myself, I would always walk away from a business ahead of the relationship breaking down. At the end of the day, you can start another business. Not all business's are meant to be.

Cathy Dobbin  23:21  
Yeah. But if somebody's so stubborn as to hang in there, yeah. You can't hang in there. You have to remove yourself. But thankfully, he agreed with me. And we stopped the business. Yeah. And I hadn't smiled or laughed the whole duration of that 9 months.

Ariel Endean  23:42  
Oh my gosh.

Cathy Dobbin  23:43  
And after that I could smile and I could breathe easier. It was like a whole weight was lifted off my shoulder. It was just oh so relieving.

Ariel Endean  23:54  
You were saying in that business that there's quite a lot of skilled staff and expensive staff because of the fact that was what it was. However with this business is a very low staff and skilled but you know not to the extent of a chef. So your wages here are lower. You don't have that haemorrhaging of wages every week.

Cathy Dobbin  24:16  
With that business it doesn't matter whether there are customers you are still paying  your wages.  Here we run by appointments. So I am not paying my staff eight hours a day without people standing around doing nothing you know. If there's no clients we don't open

Maurie Dobbin  24:34  
Not only that we can step in and actually run any of the classes ourselves. You have to be able to step in.

Unknown Speaker  24:41  
We are both certified EMS trainers.

Ariel Endean  24:43  
Yeah, but you know, we learn from our expereinces.

Unknown Speaker  24:50  
You take your lessons away from one business to the next one is how I view it as well. And learn from other people. 

Cathy Dobbin  24:59  
Similarly my nursing agency business, because I was a registered nurse, I was an ICU nurse, I was a midwife. If one of my staff decided they couldn't work that day, I jumped in. 

Ariel Endean  25:12  
I jumped in, and I go to the job. It's definitely a good ace to have in your back pocket. But it's not always possible. It depends on the business you're running.

Cathy Dobbin  25:21  
That's what I'm saying. if you're running a business, it has to be something that you can jump in and do it yourself. Unlike the restaurant business. Though I could cook I could never cook commercially. And the type of food that they were cooking wasn't the type of food that I was used to cooking. So it was something on the menu or the orders I couldn't jump in to cook. Which is, you know, not great if they decided, okay I'm leaving. One actually left at the beginning, one of my head chefs walked out after a few weeks and we were left with no head chef. And that was really stressfull.

Maurie Dobbin  26:00  
I think that's something you could probably relate to Marcus. But there are prima donnas in the chef's world, okay, that run behind the scenes, like a captain of a ship. So if you challenge them on anything, including offering to work behind there with them, they don't like I don't like it at all.

Marcus Nicholls  26:18  
Yeah, it can be like that. There is that sort of situation. But I guess that's the situation in a lot of professional entities, because you know, there is those sort of people who want to be that essential person.

Ariel Endean  26:36  
And then you'll get a casual relaxed chef who's like, yeah, sure, come on, in chop that or whatever. But I have a belief that we're always exactly where we're meant to be. And, you know, this is where you meant to be now. Helping people through Fastrak. So it's all part of the journey.

Ariel Endean  26:56  
Yeah.

Maurie Dobbin  26:57  
Mind you, I'm still running another business. And both of us are involved in that. So Cathy, as she mentioned, is also the financial controller of that business. And, you know, was paying bills this morning. 

Cathy Dobbin  27:11  
I deal with foreign exchange because we have suppliers from Europe, from America. So you know, the bills that we have pay are in foreign currencies? Yeah. I have to do that too. 

Ariel Endean  27:28  
And how Maurie and Cathy have managed to do that, is that they have pulled off the trick of having a very successful business running under management, essentially. Obviously you oversee and take care of money, but you have enough free time to be working on a new business, which is fantastic. But that didn't come by accident. You've worked hard at building that team.

Maurie Dobbin  27:50  
That business has been running 37 years.

Ariel Endean  27:54  
And a solid unchanged team for the last decade.

Cathy Dobbin  27:57  
Yes, yes. So solid. Yeah, very solid. We have a good team.

Ariel Endean  28:01  
And good boss's I would say.

Cathy Dobbin  28:03  
I think in some ways, even though I may say so myself, I think those guys couldn't find a better work place. We're quite relaxed in so many ways. We let them do within reason what they do. Even with Xanado, I think we were really too nice. And people took advantage of us. Yeah, It can go either way. That's it.

Marcus Nicholls  28:29  
So what do you feel is your secret sauce for being a business couple? So what are your tips, tricks, ideas, you would recommend that other business couples. Either couples go into business, for the first time, or couples that are currently in business that may be experiencing friction.

Maurie Dobbin  28:50  
I would say unless you've got a very strong relationship, right, then in business together, is inevitably going to cause problems, but we have a very strong bond between us, and that's not going to be ripped asunder. So I think it is a very testing time for any couple to get involved in business together. They need to consider that very carefully.

Cathy Dobbin  29:16  
And you need to listen to the other person, if they have issues. With the business, you need to take notse and not just ignore them. I think that's really important if one of them has got issues, the other partner really needs to listen.

Maurie Dobbin  29:33  
In other words, you work in a very consultative way together. It won't work if you're the boss, and she just follows you or she's the boss and you follow her. It has to be equal. An equal opportunity business. One where you work collaboratively. When problems occur, you discuss the problem and you come up with a proposed solution then you run the solution by that other person. And if they agree with it, then you proceed. 

Ariel Endean  30:04  
I mean, theres always a way forward isn't there really, if you've got that in mind, then it's really identifying the problem, being empathetic or sympathetic and understanding the problem and wanting to help the other person with that and work through it together. And then being clear on where you going. No problem is insurmountable, really. As long as you're communicating, and understanding that it's important that you work on whatever that is.

Maurie Dobbin  30:32  
You need to be very understanding of how stress affects each individual.

Ariel Endean  30:44  
That's right because different people respond to stress in different ways, and it's not necessarily obvious that that's what's going on.

Maurie Dobbin  30:50  
Yes, I mean, that. Yeah. Staying awake at 2am in the morning worrying about something in the business. Some people can sleep. I find generally I can sleep, but it can worry Cathy a lot more. Because the only other business that she was involved in didn't carry the same risks that the businesses that we were involved in today do.

Marcus Nicholls  31:15  
Yeah, that's right. Yeah.

Cathy Dobbin  31:17  
Every week I was making between $10,000 to $15,000

Ariel Endean  31:21  
Yep, that'll help you be less stressed.

Cathy Dobbin  31:24  
I've never been in the business of losing money.

Maurie Dobbin  31:26  
Yeah, that's it. So the normal thing when you start up a business there is going to be a period normal where that business will lose money before you break even and then make a profit. Some businesses can take 12 months or more before that actually happens.

Ariel Endean  31:41  
Yeah, quite standardly actualy. It's a good idea to have a buffer there if you can to carry yourself. I like that idea that there's going to be a best worst and most likely scenario so you need to be able to carry yourself financially for whatever the worst case scenario looks like. But yeah, no, that'sgreat advice about sstress. It's really interesting because people do respond differently to stress like some people just go a bit quiet and go into their shell and don't love outwards or speak or whatever. 

Maurie Dobbin  32:17  
That's communication.

Ariel Endean  32:19  
It's a less obvious reaction to stress than when someone that starts yelling at everyone that's sort of obvious. Well, I think that's some great Secret Sauce in there.

Marcus Nicholls  32:31  
Okay, so for a bit of fun we have a couple of bonus questions

Unknown Speaker  32:34  
All right. Yep. Okay, we've go a nine and

Maurie Dobbin  32:42  
i've got five over here.

Marcus Nicholls  32:45  
14. Okay.

Ariel Endean  32:49  
So 14 is - In a perfect world. What would you be doing in a decade's time?

Maurie Dobbin  32:57  
In a perfect World, what would we be doing in a decades?

Maurie Dobbin  33:04  
In a perfect world? Yes. Yes.

Ariel Endean  33:12  
Retired? You mentioned the other day that Maurie you know, has that entrepreneurial DNA in his blood. I know.

Maurie Dobbin  33:22  
Living on a beach in Queensland somewhere. I think.

Marcus Nicholls  33:26  
Yeah, I agree to that. Yep. Yep.

Cathy Dobbin  33:32  
Oops, seven, and 4 = 11.

Marcus Nicholls  33:37  
Seven and a four. Yep. Okay. Got it. Okay, so if you won lotto tomorrow, would you still run this business? No.

Maurie Dobbin  33:50  
Okay, because if we won lotto tomorrow, we'd be able to do a lot of good with the money. Good that probably exceeds the good we can do inside this business.

Ariel Endean  34:03  
You would go and set up some more "do good" business's.

Maurie Dobbin  34:06  
I think our family would benefit immediately that's for sure. Then we would look at other charitable ways we can employ that money.

Cathy Dobbin  34:14  
Firstly, if I do if I happen to win the lotto. I will build a church.

Ariel Endean  34:21  
You know, every person that we've asked this question, which warms my heart has always come from a perspective of who they could help and what they could do for others. Not I'm going to buy that jet that caught my eye.

Cathy Dobbin  34:41  
8 and 2 = 10

Ariel Endean  34:45  
Have you any fantastic disasters that you can share with us?

Maurie Dobbin  34:54  
Where to start? I'll pick one.

Cathy Dobbin  34:58  
No disasters are fantastic.

Maurie Dobbin  35:09  
I'm now going back 15 years ago.

Maurie Dobbin  35:11  
When I trusted somebody that I ultimately shouldn't have trusted that was in charge of my money and finances at that time. And she embezzled and I lost $400,000

Ariel Endean  35:26  
Oh on. It's so hard.

Ariel Endean  35:30  
When you trust someone and they fail you.

Maurie Dobbin  35:35  
The lesson that I learned from that. And the reason why Cathy's doing what she does in my business is - "watch the money". Yeah.

Ariel Endean  35:44  
It is good to have someone who is less trusting taking care of the money. I don't know how you earn money. But some people are less trusting than others. I know in our  relationship, Marcus is definitely the more trusting person. And I'm the like "Let me see the contract" thing you know, I'm more that person. However, interestingly, Marcus runs the money. I'm not so interested in money, but I'm more the cynic. I'm more the, how are we protected here. So it sounds like you've got a nice balance, you know, and also recognising to where your strengths are with in it. But geez, daggers to the heart. I feel for you. You're not the first person to trust someone and have that disapointment.

Maurie Dobbin  36:28  
In that case, we were lucky. That we were able to recover and that that business continues today.

Marcus Nicholls  36:33  
What about you Cathy. Have you had any major disasters?

Maurie Dobbin  36:38  
Only in marriages. I married the wrong guy.

Ariel Endean  36:49  
This time you got it right.

Cathy Dobbin  36:51  
Third time lucky. I love that.

Marcus Nicholls  36:55  
It's important.

Unknown Speaker  36:58  
Have another go.

Ariel Endean  37:11  
We actually just answered this question, which is who manages the money of the relationship and the business? And why? 

Unknown Speaker  37:25  
14? Oh, no, we did 14. So I had one more throw? .

Cathy Dobbin  37:34  
Eight and five = 13

Ariel Endean  37:37  
So what advice would you give a business couple starting out today?

Marcus Nicholls  37:44  
We did a little bit of this already.

Ariel Endean  37:47  
Maybe just if you had just one little bit of advice to be able to go "We're going to do it. We've left our jobs, we've got our redundancy or savings. We're gonna do it. What would be your one bit of advice to them.

Unknown Speaker  38:02  
One pearler that would help them.

Maurie Dobbin  38:04  
Understand your market. That's the one thing we didn't understand when we set up our restaurant business is we really didn't research adequately.

Ariel Endean  38:16  
Understand the market.

Cathy Dobbin  38:19  
Research your market, research your area, the type of people around the area, whether the business is suitable for that particular area and what's already there. And whether people are willing to spend that kind of money in the area where you're opening a business, even regardless of what business they're in.

Maurie Dobbin  38:44  
So if it's a b2c business, spend time there every day for a week to watch the foot traffic.

Ariel Endean  38:51  
Yeah. That's great advice. A lot of times, you get caught up in the dream and the vision and the excitement and the romance of it all. Yeah, and you just don't really pause to put it under a bit of pressure.

Maurie Dobbin  39:04  
You make assumptions but you need to test your assumptions.

Cathy Dobbin  39:07  
You need to go and sit around the area for a while before you decide to open in that area, irregardless of what business. Look around and see what type of people that actually live in those areas.

Maurie Dobbin  39:20  
It's consumer behaviour that you need to understand and that behaviour isn't necessarily what you assume.

Ariel Endean  39:27  
No. And even business to business and even in an intangible service you can still get on the phone and talk to people so as to understand the market.  That's great advice.

Marcus Nicholls  39:51  
Do or did your friends and family think you are nuts going into business?

Ariel Endean  40:10  
Ha ha ha ha - They are looking at each other and nodding. 

Maurie Dobbin  40:16  
Particularly at our age of trying to say my age? My wife thinks I should be happily retired already. Why the hell are you getting into business again?

Unknown Speaker  40:31  
Why is that?

Maurie Dobbin  40:32  
I'm cursed with an entrepreneurial nature. It's been with me since I was very young.

Ariel Endean  40:41  
Cursed and blessed.

Maurie Dobbin  40:42  
I was delivering newspapers when I was 12 and cycling 10 kilometres away from my home to do that. I was standing on a street corner, selling newspapers again, that was 14 or 15. And then I set up a discoteck and I was still in the airforce, and under 22.

Marcus Nicholls  41:11  
That's it.

Ariel Endean  41:13  
True entrepreneur, and Cathy, is sort of rolling your eyes and saying

Maurie Dobbin  41:16  
"what am I gonna do?"

Marcus Nicholls  41:18  
I love this, man. I've got to go along for the ride.

Ariel Endean  41:24  
And we've got it on tape now that Marie has committed to a beach in Queensland in a decades time.

Unknown Speaker  41:37  
Thank you.

Ariel Endean  41:37  
12 - Over the years, have you had any aha moments in your relationship or business? Aha moments where you've gone? Ah, you know, I get it. I understand.

Cathy Dobbin  41:58  
In business or in relationship? Aha moment, I could say my relationship with Maurie. Yes, yeah. We clicked very well, we understand each other in a lot of ways we're very telepathic.

Maurie Dobbin  42:22  
So I often think something and she'll say it. 

Cathy Dobbin  42:25  
Or visa versa. You know, we are very, very connected in the way we're thinking, because a lot of the times I would just say something. And it was just exactly what I was in my head or vice versa. We just knew. We are very connected. In so many ways. It took such a long time to find it.

Ariel Endean  42:48  
That's okay. Good things take time. Yes, we finally found each other. What about from you Maurie a business Aha moment.

Maurie Dobbin  43:00  
Business aha moment. When I realised that a business partner, which isn't my relationship partner doesn't work. I found that I needed somebody to take a shareholding in a business. Then I found that was not working. And how the aha was getting him out of the business.

Ariel Endean  43:27  
So the Aha is "this is not right". 

Maurie Dobbin  43:30  
Now I need to do something about it. Luckily, he offered the opportunity. I took it with both hands and said thank you very much. Here's the money go away.

Ariel Endean  43:39  
Yeah. That's a pretty disappointing aha moment, isn't it? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  43:43  
A realisation.

Unknown Speaker  43:47  
It's just as impacting either way.

Marcus Nicholls  43:54  
Thank you, Maurie and Cathy. We appreciate your time, and it's been fun chatting. So if you wish to learn more, and try the future of fitness, as I called give Maurie, Cathy or their team a call at fasrack fitness in Erina, and take them up on a free session. Because it's well worth it to give you a really good idea about what it is they offer. And I guarantee you'll be hooked. 

Ariel Endean  44:37  
We'll post a photo of this on our Facebook page in our gear. Because honestly, I feel like a Marvel superhero when you put me into that suit. 

Maurie Dobbin  44:49  
I not only want you to look like a superhero I want you to feel like a superhero.

Ariel Endean  44:55  
Yeah, I might do a few things every couple months to say how it's how it's going. Look statistics don't lie. It's obviously fantastic and we're all super time poor.

Cathy Dobbin  45:05  
Yes. You would have done some research on the internet as well. Yeah,

Ariel Endean  45:10  
Yeah. No, it's wonderful. Thank you. Thank you for sharing. I'm sure our listeners have gotten tonnes of benefits from that interview.

Marcus Nicholls  45:18  
Fantastic story.

Maurie Dobbin  45:24  
I have to listen to more of your podcasts. So that's on my task to do.

Ariel Endean  45:33  
Subscribe.