Terry Smith & Mark Atkins - Intraversed

Business Couples Secret Sauce

Nov 21 2020 • 46 mins

How do you move from being co-workers to great friends to a business couple that helps Multi-million and Billion dollar organisations get their internal language aligned. Have a listen to Mark & Terry as they share their story on achieving just that whilst moving halfway across the world to set up in Sydney Australia. Please enjoy!

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Some highlights from this episode:

It’s crucial that everyone within an organisation be on the same page using the same language otherwise it’s a case of “What you think I said is not what I think you heard”

We’ve evolved through time. We started as a professional services company which required us to be on-site delivering our training. We realised this was not sustainable or scalable and thought: How can we change/productise what we do so we can step away from the business at some point. It’s a work in progress that’s going well.  Terry

Covid has helped us. We were already transitioning our education to be more online but up until that point we were still expected to travel to the client’s site. We’d be in  Melbourne one week and Brisbane the next. Now everything revolves around zoom meetings which is saving us an awful lot of time and money and lets us be more cost-effective for our clients. And we can take care of more clients at the one time. Mark

Between us, I tend to be a little bit too big picture and Terry digs really deep into the detail (which is important) and somewhere we seem to meet in the middle which works. As a working couple, it’s really important to understand this. Mark

The best thing about being a business couple is also the worst thing. Quite often we are talking or thinking about the business, even in our spare time. But we’re also able to take a bottle of wine out to the deck and sit in the sunshine and have a pleasant time talking about a problem in the business. Mark & Terry

It’s difficult competing against big companies spreading ill-advised solutions. One way we’ve done this is by enrolling in DENT/KPI (an entrepreneurial program). That’s been a game-changer for us. It helped us realise that we can tackle this problem by putting together assets (blogs/brochures etc) to educate our market.

Any problem can be solved over a glass of wine. Mark

Secret Sauce:


To escape and have some individual time. I play music and Terry reads books and watches movies and has art projects. This works well. We’re not co-dependent. It’s important as a couple to have individual time. Mark

There is a separation between business and personal life. That’s important. If in your personal relationship you can’t tackle a problem together without bringing emotion into it, if you can’t do that and work something through to get a solution you’re not going to be able to do it in your business life. Terry

You need to be able to be transparent, feel free to speak your mind, not be concerned that you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings and be able to take your partner’s point of view on board. Be professional about it. You’ve got to feel free to challenge.

A robust business couple team needs to be able to have arguments, open debates and disagreements in their workplace and then leave it behind once that conversation is over and you’re on your own time. Terry

Starting a business is like starting a fire. You’ve got to get one going really well before you start another one. Stoke that one fire. Mark