Show Notes

Amplify Your Authority
Amplify Your Authority
Episode #67 Strategies for Achieving Greater Work-Life Balance


Building a business doesn’t mean compromising your faith, family, and personal well-being. There’s a way to achieve work-life balance.


Guest Speakers Robert Fukui and Kay Lee Fukui share their work/life balance expertise.


In this episode, you’ll discover:

✅Celebrating the small wins can help build a supportive partnership.
✅Collaborating to achieve your shared vision for the future creates a solid relationship.
✅Establishing healthy boundaries between work and home life is essential for maintaining balance and avoiding burnout.
✅Understanding the metrics in your business is essential for identifying and addressing problems and ensuring long-term success

✅Defining the type of support you need from your partner can improve communication and prevent misunderstandings.

You and your partner can navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship with improved communication, collaboration, and mutual support to achieve work-life balance.



  • Struggles in your business do not always mean spending more time. Instead, it may be helpful to focus on finding ways to improve productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
  • Setting clear expectations and establishing regular check-ins with your partner ensures you work towards the same goals.
  • Prioritizing faith and family can help you stay grounded and focused on what’s truly important.
  • Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things can lead to growth and new opportunities for your business.
  • Expressing gratitude can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life, even amid challenges and stress.
  • Acknowledging each other’s wins and successes, no matter how small, can help you stay motivated and celebrate the achievements of your business.
  • Understanding your business metrics allows you to make minor adjustments that can often lead to significant returns.


About Robert and Kay Lee Fukui

Robert and Kay Lee Fukui

Robert and Kay Lee Fukui are the co-founders of i61, inc., a business consulting company. They assist married entrepreneurs in creating better work/life balance by structuring the business to scale while giving precious time back to the owner to invest in their marriage. Together, they have developed an innovative consulting program, Power Couples by DesignTM, which equips the married entrepreneur to build a Thriving Marriage AND Prosperous Business.


Robert and Key Lee Fukui released their new book, Tandem: The Married Entrepreneurs’ Guide for Greater Work-Life Balance (September 1, 2022). The Fukuis have been there and done that, and they have gleaned a great deal of valuable knowledge from their own experiences that they share every day in their thriving coaching enterprise.

Tandem will teach you how to:

• Get on the same page as husband and wife
• Resolve conflict in your marriage and business
• Work smarter, not harder
• Increase profits without increasing sales
• Scale your business while gaining time back
• Stop swinging for the fences
• Creating healthy boundaries between business and home

This book is for any couple who wants to build a successful business and a successful marriage and
increase their margin of time and money so that they can live out their purpose.

To learn more, go to:

Contact Robert and Kay Lee

Instagram: @PowerCouplesByDesign


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Marisa Shadrick (00:00):
Hello everyone. Welcome. Today I have two special guests with me. They are the authors of the latest book Tandem, the Married Entrepreneur’s Guide for Greater Work, Life, Balance. And I am just so honored and pleased to have not only these authors but friends of mine, Robert and Kay Lee, welcome to the podcast. So glad that you’re here. Hey, hey,

Robert Fukui (00:25):
Hey. I’m, thank you for having us. Hey, great. Thanks for having us. Yeah, and it was great to see you in person a few weeks ago.

Marisa Shadrick (00:30):
I know, I know. It really is a small world, right? The entrepreneurial journey. We think global, but we do gather together. We do see each other face to face. And the world seems to be smaller when you’re an entrepreneur, you know, and doing things online. We all seem to gather together and support each other, so that’s awesome. Yeah, so interesting. You, both of you have been on this journey and you wrote a book recently and, um, I’m really excited to dive into this and I kind of peruse through it cause I haven’t had a chance to read the entire book yet. But I, I love, first of all the layout of the book because this particular book, this guide not only does have pullouts, you know, when you have little blocked areas where you highlight a certain quote, but you also have some QR codes throughout the chapters so people can get a little bit more and there’s actually videos. It’s very well done. Oh, thanks. Thanks. We can hear. Thank you. You guys talking about it . So it’s like awesome. I love the layout. So the layout is fantastic. And

Robert Fukui (01:33):
Have, have you downloaded digital workbook yet?

Marisa Shadrick (01:35):
I going to, I haven’t

Robert Fukui (01:37):
Done that yet. ,

Marisa Shadrick (01:38):
But I’m going to. Yeah, because I don’t want, the thing is, sometimes when I use my phone, things get lost. . . Yeah. So, so I have to make sure that I’m doing it where I can put it all in one place and find it. . Yeah. I’m one of those old school that still navigate on desktop and when I get to the phone I’m trying to navigate and do stuff like that. It’s a little different. But in any event, I would love to just start out talking about what inspired the book. Tell us a little bit about yourselves, as a couple, as entrepreneurs and what led you to write the book.

Robert Fukui (02:14):
Well, I think it starts from childhood, right, honey? Yes.

Kay Lee Fukui (02:17):
Childhood. That’s where it all starts. Is

Robert Fukui (02:19):
That where it all starts? ,

Kay Lee Fukui (02:21):
So I’m third generation entrepreneur. My great grandpa was a painting contractor. He’d go in and paint like the big huge Vons Grocery stores kind of type thing. My dad and my mom had a business as well. They are also into real estate. They, uh, bought a lot of properties growing up. So it was kind of in my blood . And, you know, I started working at the family business at a young age. My dad would work six days a week. So the business kind of became the mistress of our family. And it was really challenging on our home life because my dad just wasn’t home. When you’re a child, you know, you want your dad to come home, play with you, spend time, all that stuff. And so it was challenging.

Robert Fukui (03:06):
. Yeah. And didn’t, uh, I, I didn’t come from an entrepreneur background, but my dad was a pastor and always tell people running a church and running a business is pretty much the same thing. In fact, I think the demands on a pastor’s time I think is probably more, or at least expectations are, are more from the congregation as opposed to just customers. And then you feel that, you know, the feel the heart tug is like, I gotta serve the people. Right. And so, um, similar to Kay Lee’s upbringing is that, you know, dad was kind of, you know, ministry and congregation first, and then basically the family kind of gets the leftovers. And so both coming up from that background and feeling the, you know, the negative aspect of that, of the entrepreneur journey and going all in on the business or the ministry.

Robert Fukui (03:49):
Um, as we kind of fast forward as I left my corporate job six years ago to do consult, to do, um, marketing consulting for a small family business, noticed right away that these business owners were just working really hard and really harder than they need to. Cause coming from my background, I saw all the holes in the business that was leading to so much inefficiencies. And so they patch up the inefficiencies with putting more time in. Oh. And therefore it robs them from time with family. Of course that’s not what they wanna do, but that’s what they knew how to do. That’s how they knew how to deal with the business, was just put more time in. And so just, you know, just kind of flashing back a little bit and I’m like, Hey, wait a second time out. Your problem’s not marketing your problem’s.

Robert Fukui (04:31):
There’s a lot of other things that we need to fix. And so about four years ago we just one, you know, one client after another’s facing the same issue. And then I’m like, Hey honey. I think there’s a, a clear tr a clear kind of, um, ongoing cycle or ongoing parallel between, you know, the stress of the business and what’s going on at home. And it’s not just one business owner, it’s not just our family, but a lot of entrepreneurs are facing the same thing. Yeah. And so we said, I think we need to really do something about this. Cause I don’t see any really resource, any program, any books out there to show a married entrepreneur how to do both well at the same time. . So the on the objective is for business owner is once we hit a certain milestone and once we get to retirement, then we’ll enjoy life. And no one’s showing them how to enjoy life while you’re in journey of doing this business. And so that’s where it start again, start from childhood and we started seeing it with our clients and we kind of even experienced it firsthand when we started our own business. And then it’s like, okay, we need to do something about this because no one’s really addressing this thing head on.

Marisa Shadrick (05:32):
Yeah. And it sort of sneaks up on people I think, because they’re well-meaning, right? Right. They wanna provide for their families, they wanna do the right thing. And back in the day, like my parents, it was the right thing to do to work hard, right? . it was the culture to work hard. Yeah. And, and to do, you know, the responsible thing and provide for your family. Yeah. But we have seen, you know, how that can create havoc for the whole entire family and the children too. Yeah. And to be able, and, and like I said, well-meaning . , but there’s better ways of doing that. Yeah. And sometimes it’s a way of saying there is a better way it doesn’t Yeah. Have to kill you and working

Robert Fukui (06:12):
Hard. Yeah. And there’s nothing wrong with working hard. I mean, strong work ethic is still great and you still needed, it’s just that you don’t need to keep putting more time in If something’s not working, the answer’s not putting more time in . Yeah. It’s just about working smarter now.

Kay Lee Fukui (06:25):
Because a lot of times as entrepreneurs we don’t know what else to do besides put more work in. Exactly. Exactly. Because we think that’s the answer for everything. It’s just work harder.

Marisa Shadrick (06:33):
Right. Work harder. And it almost creates a false security, I think. . think that they think if I just work harder, this’ll be what’ll take care of everything. And so they invest in that. It’s like they they justify all the time. Exactly. And so the flip side is consequence. Yeah.

Robert Fukui (06:51):
Yeah. And it starts to become part of their identity, right. That even, even you see, even though the business is doing well financially, they’re still working harder and putting more time in because their work or their identity is tied to what they do. And so they feel that the harder they work, the more they’re looked upon as, you know, whatever better person or a better husband or leader or whatever. So it’s also that work hard thing is also kind of ties into their own identity. . That’s, that’s a hard part to kind of break.

Kay Lee Fukui (07:18):
It’s like doing, but whenever, when do we get to the end of doing, you know what I mean? It’s like never enough. You just keep going and going because you’ve never really came up with a vision a lot of times of what that looks like or what success looks like or what’s some of the fun things that you wanna do with your family or with your business. And so you just keep striving

Marisa Shadrick (07:37):
. Exactly. Exactly. No, this is good. As I look through, I mean some of the, the quotes in here, um, here’s the book if you guys wanna look at it, it’s really great cover. I love it. I love the title, too

Kay Lee Fukui (07:49):
Oh, thank you

Marisa Shadrick (07:49):
Tandem. And you guys were on a tandem, right? Yeah.

Kay Lee Fukui (07:54):
I finally got ’em on one. He was so afraid

Robert Fukui (07:57):
As you know, Sean Osborne, who’s also in our mastermind group, you know, you weren’t, I think you weren’t part of the group yet, but as the previous, um, uh, previous group where they came up with this title, right? Oh no, no, you’re no, you’re actually, no, you’re part of the group.

Marisa Shadrick (08:11):
I think I was right when

Robert Fukui (08:13):
It just coming on.

Marisa Shadrick (08:14):
Yeah. I was just coming on. Yeah.

Robert Fukui (08:16):
And I was like, you know, the manuscript was almost done. And I’m like, okay, we have a working title, but I know this isn’t it. So, you know, I’m on in the hot seat. I’m like, okay, I need a title . And so they came up with a title and as soon as they hit on Tandem it just, everybody just started going off on all the imagery and metaphors and this, that and the other thing. And I started laughing cause yeah. As you read the book, but there’s a little story about us and tandem bikes and then Sean says, oh, we’ve got a tandem bike, you can ride . And I’m like, yeah, but you’re in Houston. I’m like, that’s not gonna happen. Well fast forward on our book tour, as you know, we end up at Sean’s house cause they threw us a party and so we rode their bike. Yeah. But they don’t use anymore because they have their own story .

Kay Lee Fukui (08:57):
So, so I actually got ’em on a tandem bike, you guys, I can’t believe it. Yeah.

Marisa Shadrick (09:01):
. I know. It was funny because, um, I watched you guys get on the bike. and Kay Lee, you weren’t pedaling . Yeah.

Robert Fukui (09:10):

Kay Lee Fukui (09:12):
Okay, so this was Robert’s fear we would go to the beach cause we love the water and I’d be like, honey, let’s rent a tandem bike. And he’s like, no. And I’m like, why not? He was like, I don’t know what to do with you. I if I can’t, I can’t put you in the back cause you won’t pedal. And if I put you in the front you’ll be like checking out the waves in the dolphins, you know, run over a rollerblader. So he’s like, no, this isn’t gonna work. I’m like, oh, don’t be so afraid. Come on, try it.

Marisa Shadrick (09:39):
. I saw she wasn’t pedaling. Plus at one point she had her feet stretched out. Oh. She wasn’t even, her feet weren’t even on the pedals

Kay Lee Fukui (09:50):
Was so afraid of me not pedaling. So I had to live up to that expectation,

Robert Fukui (09:55):
Just doing it for the camera. And then, and then if I, if you heard, you know, the volume’s up, I’m kind of, we did a little loop around and then I looked at Sean, I was like, is she pedaling? And you can hear him say, no .

Marisa Shadrick (10:09):
Well in real life we do. Oh. I mean we do want to work with each other. . And, and uh, and I love some of these quotes here. Like one of them said, “Sit down with your spouse and write out your vision, vision for the future”. Right. “As a couple, your vision will establish your priorities, which will make it easier to set boundaries on your focus and time.” So how practical is this? Do you guys do this to sit down with your spouse and write out your vision? Do you do that like once a year or how does that work?

Robert Fukui (10:44):
Yeah, I mean there’s always little things, right. Little adjustments along the way cause you have that grand vision for, for your, for your life. But of course life, the path to that vision isn’t always the straight line. So you gotta make adjustments. And so that’s why we have our weekly meetings on Mondays and that’s one of the areas that kind of keeps us on track. And even if we have to make adjustments here or there, they’re not huge adjustments because we’re doing them as we go along. We’re, we keep, we keep tabs on things. Right? Right. As opposed to waiting years later and go, oh my gosh, we’re kind of totally off in a different direction and we now to Right. Kind of get back on track. And so,

Kay Lee Fukui (11:18):
Well, and I think too, when you do it with your family or even your family for your business, you get everybody to buy in and you get all these different ideas and a lot of times it turns out to be something better than what your idea was yourself because everybody else’s has other input and it something way so much bigger than us . And then it’s easier, like Robert was saying, to stay focused and not get sidetracked. Cause you can get the plans out. Especially when we’re having our weekly meetings and we can say, okay, are we getting closer to where we wanna be or is this a distraction because it’s so easy for shiny to come, come and then I’m off, you know, chasing something else. But, so that helps us stay focused and on track.

Marisa Shadrick (11:59):
Yeah. Yeah. And so, uh, you both work from home, correct? Right. Right. You both work from home and so you see each other a lot. So you have meetings, you have meetings, you interact, um, for those. My husband works from home too. He travels and I work from home so I can, I can re relate to that. He’s upstairs though, and I’m downstairs. So we have our own,

Kay Lee Fukui (12:21):
You get your own floor . We’ve got your own wing.

Marisa Shadrick (12:22):
Our own floor and our own space because we tried sharing an office in the beginning and he was always too loud. Then he said I was too loud and then I’d get on a Zoom call and they’d say, who’s that man behind you? . . Because he’d face that wall and then I’d face the other wall and it was just, it just didn’t work. It wasn’t tandem at all. Yeah. So for sure. But how, how does that dynamic, how long have you guys been doing that? Working together?

Robert Fukui (12:49):
Well, it’s interesting because, you know, when I was in pharmaceutical sales and that’s where I spent a bulk of my career, especially at towards the tail end. Um, my offices are at home. We, we were always, we were always remote anyway because everybody’s so spread out. So,

Kay Lee Fukui (13:04):
And this is way, way, way before the pandemic. Yeah.

Robert Fukui (13:07):
So . that it really hasn’t changed. Like when I transitioned from there to, you know, during our consulting full-time, that dynamic or those logistics never change. And so we just worked from the beginning of just how to have each other’s space and Yeah. We don’t share an office either. No,

Kay Lee Fukui (13:22):
That would never work. . Um,

Robert Fukui (13:23):
This kinda work. Um, but just the dynamic of, you know, being in the same house a lot, but in pharmaceuticals outs kind of out in the field most of the time too. But anyways, all I have to say is, you know, we just learned how to kind of work with, you know, we have to have our own space, but then we also have to make sure we have time to connect. Yeah. And that’s where the weekly meetings come in. I mean Sure. We talk to each other during the week. It’s not like we don’t talk to each other, but that intentional time to really connect and get, stay on the same page and when the updates or any change in vision or direction, whatever, um, that’s the time that that even though we’re working in the same house, same building, but we’re not, we’re not always, you know, just talking about each other, all talking to each other all the time. Right. 24 7. Cause she’s got her own thing she’s doing. I got my own thing. And we just have to make sure we had that dedicated time and space to be able to come together and connect.

Kay Lee Fukui (14:16):
Some people think we’re together all the time and just cause we’re in the house doesn’t mean we’re together. You know, he’s in his office and like you say, and then if we go out on date night or in the evening, then we try and not talk about work stuff because it could just be all consuming, you know?

Marisa Shadrick (14:30):
Yeah, for sure. For sure. And I, I totally relate to that cause sometimes in the morning I’ll just tell my husband, I’ll see you tonight , even though he’s upstairs , because I know sometimes, you know, we’re just back to back appointments or whatever it might be. And, and so yeah, I totally get it. But it works out that way. But the nice thing too is that when you do connect with your spouse and you’re talking about vision, how things are going, goals and everything, it’s sort of the same way that we spend time on our own reflecting. It’s a, it seems like a good time to kind of reflect, celebrate, wins and show Some of those things because I, I know we can’t keep it in when something great happens. We gotta, I gotta go upstairs and tell him, but he’s usually on the phone. .

Marisa Shadrick (15:13):
But it is. Get off the phone buddy. I know it’s time to chair. Hurry up. I know you can’t tell. Now with the earbuds, he’s usually, I’m on the phone, he’s gesturing me, you know, . So I go, okay, I’ll tell you later. So, but anyway, um, it’s a good time to really reflect and speak into your spouse as well. . , it’s like, he shared something with me today and I just gave him a hug and a kiss. I said, congratulations. I know how hard you worked on that, you know? Yeah. That’s really a great accomplishment. Yeah, that’s true. And really, and that’s his love language too. Words. . . I are the little things like when it rains he leaves an umbrella outside the porch so I don’t get wet if I go out. He does, he does those little things.

Kay Lee Fukui (15:53):
Access service, accessor hall. That’s

Marisa Shadrick (15:54):
Neat. Yeah. He does those little things and I just, and he does it before he goes out town, so I have to wait till he gets back. But he does little things like that or the,

Robert Fukui (16:01):
But he’s out of town on your own.

Kay Lee Fukui (16:04):
Find my own stinking umbrella. .

Robert Fukui (16:06):
Hey honey, where’s the umbrella? ?

Marisa Shadrick (16:09):
Maybe that, maybe he doesn’t want me texting him. Asking where the umbrella is.

Robert Fukui (16:13):
. Oh, it’s self serving.

Kay Lee Fukui (16:15):
. You probably text him every day when he is gone. What’s the weather like? Honey

Marisa Shadrick (16:19):
? No, no, but he’ll do other things. Like for example, I just gotta brag on him for a second, but he’ll do other things. Like, for example, in the pantry, since we have an upstairs, um, we’ve got a stock of, of cute little like containers up there above on a shelf in the, in the laundry room where I have extra bottled water, you know, because I don’t wanna forget when I’m upstairs and I have to go downstairs again. But if you’ve noticed, I am challenged when it comes to height . So it’s hard for me to get my arm and my hand into the bin and pulled the water bottle out. So last week he, he just tipped it, he put it on its side so it’s open in the front and I could just pull it and Oh, I thought, oh, that’s so sweet of him.

Marisa Shadrick (17:04):
I mean, it looks terrible, but it was so sweet of him. Cause I can reach in and grab the water bottle. But those are little things. But I get the fact that, that, you know, when we’re working with each other to acknowledge the wins, like back to those meetings that you were having. Yeah. And really, um, being able to pull the language that maybe they wouldn’t hear from peers or anyone else because you see, you see what they do, right? . . You see the other side that most people don’t see. And I think that’s really valuable. I know when he talks to me about things that I don’t really notice about myself, and he’ll call that out or he’ll speak life into something that I think is, is not a good thing. But he gives me a different perspective. It’s so helpful. Do you find that’s really helpful because your partner knows you better than anybody else?

Robert Fukui (17:51):
Apparently. I,

Kay Lee Fukui (17:52):
I think that’s really helpful. And I wanna go real quick, back to the wins. To celebrate even the small ones. . Don’t wait for that big huge earth shattering one. Celebrate the small ones along the way. And I wanna say with encouraging, uh, what really helps us that a lot with our weekly meetings every week we will say one thing that we’re grateful for, for that person. And sometimes I can carry you through like you were talking earlier through the whole week, you know, like, oh, that really made my day or my week or Yeah, exactly. Filled my tank.

Marisa Shadrick (18:24):
Exactly. Exactly. Well, on the flip side, let me see, how can I word this? , where are times or maybe things that get a little bit escalate, maybe not because of your spouse or anything happening at home, but just work some kind of challenge or something and you’re just not in the mood to talk it out. You’re just kind of in a grumpy mood. How do you handle those times when you’re just not yourself and you just, you know, you don’t wanna put a, a damper on the other person, but you know, anything like that where there’s conflict or maybe it’s not such a great day or you really don’t wanna fix it today. You know, there’s some days that women, especially, you know, you, we don’t want our men to fix things, we just want them to listen. But, um, but are there times like that where we just give our spouse space to just kind of work it through? Or is it, I mean, how do you handle that? I’m sure it’s, different.

Kay Lee Fukui (19:21):
We never have days like that. What are you talking about ? It’s all rosy

Robert Fukui (19:26):
Here. That’s all fixed.

Kay Lee Fukui (19:31):
Well, I do know that sometimes like I’ll be upset with Robert about something or just grumpy or whatever and it never seems like it never fails. The Lord will convict me. to either be more patient, more loving, reminds me of all the things he’ll ask me. Like, okay, so look at X, Y, and Z. Look at he got the umbrella for you every day last week. You know what I mean? And put it out. He’ll remind me of things that Yeah. To be grateful for. And um, so it’s a little bit more harder to be upset with you because

Marisa Shadrick (20:05):
Oh, how could you be upset with him? Look at him. ,

Robert Fukui (20:09):

Marisa Shadrick (20:10):
At that.

Robert Fukui (20:10):
Thanks. And I, I think from a kind of a practical level as you’re, you’re asking Marissa about, you know, it might, the situation might not have anything to do with me . , but let’s say she’s Kay Lee is just upset and, you know, maybe she doesn’t wanna talk about it. She needs, but she needs to talk about it. She’s a verbal processor so she’s gonna talk about it. But I think it’s really important to understand what she needs or what the spouse needs might be me to. So, you know, generalizing, men wanna fix things, women wanna be heard. And so when she wants to be heard and I’m trying to fix things, well the conversation’s not gonna go well because she’s just gonna be frustrated and upset because she doesn’t feel I’m listening. because I’m not because I wanna fix the problem , but that’s not what she wants and that’s not what she needs.

Robert Fukui (20:57):
And so I think it’s important to understand what is needed at the time. And so like if, if you know ahead of time what you need, like if I come to her and say I just need you to listen, or hey, I need some feedback or you know, basically I need a solution. So the person, when you’re presenting an issue, they either need to be heard, understood, empathize, or they need a solution and need to fix you. Right. But when you’re trying to offer the other person something that you think they want that they don’t need, then it’s just gonna create conflict. And so it’s good. Number one is, you know, I mean one, anytime you have any, any time’s a frustrating day, you definitely wanna be able to be able to share with your spouse. To kind of work it out. Yeah.

Robert Fukui (21:37):
But a lot of times they don’t talk to their spouse because they don’t think they’re gonna get the right thing back. , right? . , I wanna be heard and understood, but then all of a sudden I’m, you know, your spouse is gonna try and fix things. So sometimes things don’t get brought up because of that, because there’s always tension in that. . So a good way to go about it is to preface it in a ahead of time is in the middle. First part of the conversation is if you already know what you need, I just need to be listened, understood. And just talk it through, or I actually need a solution, then your spouse can be in the right frame of mind. Like for me, I can be in the right frame of mind to not go solution riented, but just listen. Yeah. And just ask questions and help her process through it. Because at the end of the day she’ll figure it out. . what she needs. , sometimes she doesn’t actually know what she needs. Like I’ve had that, we’ve had that question like what if their spouse doesn’t know what they need? Well still just listen and understand and process. Yeah. Don’t offer a solution. Cause if she doesn’t know what she needs, then don’t try to solve a problem that we don’t even know this exists. . Right.

Marisa Shadrick (22:34):
This is so true. This is so true. Sometimes we just don’t know what the answer is and I know for us we often say, well what can I do to help? That’s one of the things that we say. Yeah. Especially with him. I just don’t know sometimes what he needs and I don’t think, cause he’s not really one to vocalize it, you know? So I’ll just say, what can I do to help? Is there anything I can do to help? And the other thing is when I’m being really bratty and I’m not being very nice or something

Robert Fukui (23:00):
, Marissa, you,

Marisa Shadrick (23:01):
I know going to him and apologizing, I mean sincerely apologizing go such a long way. And I actually learned that from him because in 36 years of marriage, he’s always been one that if something, some tension throughout the day, he’s the first to say, I am so sorry, it doesn’t matter who’s fault it was. I should not have contributed to this and escalated this. And, and then I feel really super bad. . That’s the worst. Cause he took the high road and then he said,

Marisa Shadrick (23:33):
You know, but no, but I learned that from him and it really comes down to one word and, and this is something that I’ll tease about him, but I always talk him up a lot. But honoring him and him honoring me and not doing anything that would jeopardize that because I honor him in the way that I talk to him or treat him. And he certainly honors me. And so I know he’s got my back. So I think yeah. That’s good. What do you think is that, I think that’s good. Like the message in this book is just learning how to honor each other, right?

Kay Lee Fukui (24:07):
Yeah. Well, and I think not taking it personally too, like it’s not all about me cuz Robert’s having a hard day or he is upset. It’s not all about me and what I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. It’s like, usually it’s something the other person’s going through. So if you can just not take it personal Yeah. Personally and just be there for them. I know like one time I was upset about something and you asked me, uh, what I needed and I said I, I wanted a hug. And he looked at me crazy like I had a third eye or something. He’s like a hug. I’m like, yeah, I just want a hug. He’s like, okay. He gave me a hug and then he looks at me, okay, now what? and I, I like, I walked away like, okay, I’m all happy, everything’s fine now. And he’s standing there like, there’s gotta be more to this

Kay Lee Fukui (24:53):
She set me up for something,

Marisa Shadrick (24:55):
See how simple it is. Robert .

Robert Fukui (24:57):
I know that that was like one of the first, um, when it first, I mean cause we went through two years of counseling, but even, but it wasn’t to that moment where I was like, wow, empathy goes a long way. , it makes things really click cause you know, I had a five point, you know, solution. our problem.

Marisa Shadrick (25:14):
You had an entire framework, whole process.

Robert Fukui (25:16):
Oh yeah. I had it all worked out. It was gonna be great. .

Marisa Shadrick (25:20):
Oh my gosh, that is so funny. So with the book, I want to know what is your favorite part of this book? Is it a chapter? What, what’s your favorite section When you wrote this book, what’s one that really yours?

Robert Fukui (25:33):
What’s, what’s your

Kay Lee Fukui (25:35):
I would say my favorite probably was the inefficiencies. There’s a lot of inefficiencies in small business and sometimes it just takes small things to do and they all stack up. So you can have better

Robert Fukui (25:48):
Chapter nine.

Kay Lee Fukui (25:49):
Okay. Chapter nine,

Robert Fukui (25:50):

Kay Lee Fukui (25:51):
Margin of of money and time. Because so many times an entrepreneur, small business, have you gone to your favorite restaurant, there’s a product or service that you love and you already thinking, oh, they don’t charge that much for it and the next day they’re gone and you would’ve been willing to pay more for that product or service if you had, if they had increased the price. And so I think we have a heart for, I have a Heart for just small businesses succeeding. And a lot of those can be in a little incremental ways.

Robert Fukui (26:24):
So your favorite part is the last half of the book. Yeah. . But that’s

Marisa Shadrick (26:28):
A great point. That’s a great point that small adjustments can bring big returns. it doesn’t have to be more, you know, or something huge. And that is true. Small adjustments. So that’s great. How

Kay Lee Fukui (26:40):
About you Robert? Well, they’re thinking, it’s gotta be a huge thing, but we’ve found that to not be the case.

Robert Fukui (26:45):
Yeah. So Gotcha. In Chap, you know, for me, uh, chapter nine was kind of like the culmination of the book, at least from a business perspective. Cause like got the book, if you, as you noticed is kind of seems half of it, the first five chapters focus on the relationship, conflict resolution and all that. And the last half of the book is on the business. But it’s all works together. It’s all about how to set healthy boundaries between business and home. How to be able to resolve the issues at hand, the conflict hands that the business creates or the stress of life doing, trying to do life creates. But then ultimately how do you fix the business so it’s not running your life that you’re actually running the business. You know, you, you start the business for freedom. Most entrepreneurs create this business not just for money, money’s part of it, but ultimately it’s for freedom.

Robert Fukui (27:31):
to maybe manage your own schedule but ult. But a lot of times what we’ve seeing, and as I’m sure you’ve seen too with some of your clients, is that the business running them . And so, you know, they’re always trying to, and they’re always trying to look for a solution and it’s usually either putting in more time or they’re looking for that home run. . So chapter nine is, it’s, it’s, the title is Stop Swinging for the Fences. because we’re always looking for that next greatest and biggest thing. Like, you know, we’re probably, cause we’re in marketing, we get inundated by these Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads talking about the next greatest and grass marketing thing that’s gonna just totally change your life, right?

Kay Lee Fukui (28:05):
And every three months is something different. You know what I mean?

Robert Fukui (28:08):
. And, and then that’s what I would get hired for was for marking. But then I’d look in the business, I’m like, no, your real issues not necessarily market, it’s not a volume issue. You’ve got a margin issue. You’re working too many hours for not enough of return. Both in time,

Marisa Shadrick (28:22):
Which is chapter, chapter eight. Chapter eight to after eight by the way.

Robert Fukui (28:24):

Marisa Shadrick (28:25):
Yeah. Increase the time margin your time margin.

Robert Fukui (28:27):
Yeah. . And then, so chapter nine, what it does is it culminates is it’s like looking at all the little inefficiencies. And so you start measuring the metrics like where you spend your time, you know how what you’re doing in marketing and what kind of return are you getting, you know, your open rates right? Or your clickthrough rates from a marketing perspective. But even your close rates from a sales perspective, you look at all the, you just gotta start measuring, look, keeping track of the metrics in your business. . And if you just fix a small percentage or even fraction of a percentage point here and there across the board, you’re gonna make the huge return that you’re looking for. Cause in, in that chapter was

Marisa Shadrick (29:04):
This is huge.

Robert Fukui (29:04):
Yeah. In that chapter was about one of our clients who was like hemorrhaging, you know, over a million dollars a year at one point. . And they’re looking for sales, they’re like, more sales, more sales. And I’m like, no, sales is not your issue. , I mean they’re already doing 5 million a year in revenue. And I go, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t turn a profit with $5 million of revenue. Right? . But even then we’re always in the mentality of top line instead of bottom line, how do we fix the bottom line, not the top line. , how do we fix the bottom line? . And so we just went through and measured, started assessing, putting metrics to everything and it just like a fraction percentage point here, two percentage points over there, all that, that culminated into going from losing 1.5 million a year to then always say going to black Yeah. Within a year. Right.

Marisa Shadrick (29:48):
And it’s strategic focus, right? because you’re focusing on an area that you’re going to create a small change. , I always say, you know, people look at, okay, when you’re creating a business, you look at income minus your expenses, you should have a profit, right? Just general speaking , okay, I’m not a math person. Uh, but then you have to also look at, once you have profit minus your time equals freedom or another dang job that’s killing you, right? . So you gotta figure out like how much time it’s taking and, and then look and see what can I do to adjust, uh, which you created that. That’s my only little formula. .

Robert Fukui (30:30):
Well, well yeah. I mean like, like I said there, the typical answer is if things aren’t working well in the business financially, you put more time in, that’s what you’re gonna fix. Yeah. And the problem, like when I talked about the metrics, if you don’t know what your problem is,

Marisa Shadrick (30:44):

Robert Fukui (30:45):
Then all you’re doing is putting more time in into the thing that might not be the solution anyway. Right? Yeah. So that’s why you’ve gotta really assess the activities that you’re doing in the business and what kind of return are you getting for those efforts. Yeah. Whether it’s the money you’re spending in marketing or just the time you’re spending into prospecting or just the business owner’s time. Right. That’s more chapter seven I guess about the time margin is 65% of the average business owner’s time is, is, is on in the business activities, the busy work and only 35% of the time on, on the business activities, which is the stuff that’s actually gonna grow your business, the productive work. And so that’s, we’re spending our time . And so obviously the return on time for a typical business owner is not good because it’s not concentrated on the most productive activities that will produce the results you’re looking for.

Marisa Shadrick (31:35):
Right? Absolutely. No, well said. And that’s gonna help everybody all the way around not only their business, but their relationships, their own health, sanity.

Kay Lee Fukui (31:44):

Marisa Shadrick (31:44):
Everything. So, um, what’s one, we’re almost getting to the end of our interview. I’m so bummed. Uh, what’s a a, a takeaway from the book that you’d wanna leave everybody with from Tandem or even, you know, aside from the book, just something from life experience, from writing this book. What’s something that you wanna leave them with? And also I wanna see how we can, how the audience can connect with you. So those two questions, what’s something you wanna leave them with maybe from life experience or experience together that you think is really important to let that linger and sit with them so they think about it? What’s something you’d wanna share?

Kay Lee Fukui (32:23):
So I just wanna encourage everybody to step outside of your comfort zone and live by faith because we just got back from a six week book tour, which some of it was planned, some of it was not planned. And before we went on our trip, the Lord told me, he’s like, okay, that I need to let go of the unknown, having control all my ducks in a row. Cause I had the choice whether I wanted to have a good trip or a horrible trip and ruin Robert’s trip because , he’s like, things are not gonna be all planned and you know, you’re not gonna know everything. And so I had to make my mind up ahead of time and yes, it was scary. There was a lot of unknowns, but it turned out to be a great trip. So I just wanna say, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something different because you never know what can happen. And we met some wonderful, fabulous people along the way. So thankful we didn’t have every minute planned because we had time for opportunities for the unknown. Some people are like, oh, we wanna introduce you to this person. We went to lunch with some complete strangers. Different things like that, that if we had every minute planned out, it would have never happened. Yeah,

Robert Fukui (33:40):
Yeah. Good point. For me, it’s good point. You know, the reason why a lot of business owners face the lack of work-life balance is one, they don’t think it’s possible. . And this is the way it’s gotta be. And so don’t accept the status quo. Right. And as Christians, because we’re here reaching a Christian audience , you know, I think it’s Corinthians or I think it’s Corinthians, it’s like, do not be conformed by the things of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . So we bought in, even in the Christian circle, bought into how the world does business and it’s to accept that you gotta sacrifice everything for the business and then at the expense of your relationships. And that’s become an accepted standard. Yeah. And so it’s like, no, that’s not how it has to be, but if that’s how you wanna do it, fine.

Robert Fukui (34:23):
But if you want something better, don’t accept the status quo and look for solutions to do things life and business better. And it starts with with, there’s one thing you can start with is establishing healthy boundaries between business and home. Prioritize faith and family. And with the other time that you have compartmentalized for the business is figure out how to do it better. How to do business better. Become more efficient. You become more productive. Become more profitable. Like even increasing your profit per transaction. Right. Just simple things like that is how do you become more profitable in time and money in the business with the time that you have. Because if you just figured out we’re gonna fix the business by just putting more time in, then you’re just, it’s just gonna be a blah . Exactly. I heard a great analogy or metaphor is the difference between a river and a swamp is the river has boundaries that keeps the thing flowing.

Robert Fukui (35:17):
The water flowing in the same direction. . The swamp is just, has no boundaries and you just got a mess. . Yeah. That’s good. Right. And that’s what our life is like in business and marriage. It’s just the swamp. There’s no boundaries. Create the boundaries and you’ll see within those boundaries now you can create a, a good flow in instruction of business. So it just works better because now you know what, what you’re working with as far as boundaries and then you figure out what that time you have, how to make it, how to do it better.

Marisa Shadrick (35:46):
That’s awesome. Good words. Good words. And very inspiring. I think that breathes hope into people, right? Yeah. And sometimes the very challenges that they’re facing could be, could be a sign it’s time to stop and do it a different way. . Yeah, exactly. You know, and so sometimes it, rather than look at it like, oh no, one more thing think maybe this, this happened for a reason, maybe there’s a better way of doing this. . Yes. And you know, I’ll give you one quick example. You know, Facebook ads with the algorithm that changed at the end of last year, the beginning of this year, the algorithm changed. I kind of threw a loop. The ads were getting really expensive and I was running a campaign and I thought, oh my gosh. And I was gonna get frustrated and I go, I, this was my year to invest, put more money into Facebook ads more. Right. And I finally said no. And I said, I’m gonna find another way. And here we are down to the end of the year. And I did find another way, and it’s actually simpler and I closed some things, I ended some things and I’m trying to streamline some things to work better and it’s actually my projection for next year is gonna be so much better. Yeah. But had I not gone through that, that challenge, that would not have happened. , I would’ve just continued on and on and on, so

Robert Fukui (37:00):
. .

Marisa Shadrick (37:01):

Robert Fukui (37:01):
So even don’t do the same thing over and over again. Know it’s taking different results. Right. Yeah.

Marisa Shadrick (37:04):
Yeah. Cause even a tandem bike has brakes sometimes you gotta put on the brakes, right? Yes.

Robert Fukui (37:09):
, it’s got a steering wheel

Marisa Shadrick (37:12):
And it has a steering wheel. Absolutely. So, so you just make sure that whoever you have writing the bike is Pedalling, right? , yeah.

Robert Fukui (37:21):
Or just even just shifting their weight the same. Cause there’s, there’s a, there’s definitely a work life balance and work like teamwork metaphor in, in tandem bike. Cause I could actually feel when Kay Lee was, was not working with me or working against me on just, just shifting weight. Yeah. So even though you could be welded together on a bike frame, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have good teamwork. Right.

Marisa Shadrick (37:42):
. Yeah, for sure. For sure. This has been so much fun. Such a yeah. Thanks. Pleasure to have you guys. Thank you. This is awesome. So tell everyone how can they connect with you? What, what’s, uh, what’s a way that they can connect and maybe get a copy of this book? What’s the best way that they can get a copy of this book?

Robert Fukui (37:56):
Yeah, so the book, you just go to And you can even download the first chapter for free. Um, and then just follow us on social Instagram. Facebook is Power Couples by Design

Marisa Shadrick (38:07):
Ah, awesome. Yeah. And the books on Amazon as well. Very good. I’ll make sure to put all the links there. So if I don’t have them me, make sure you send them to, I’ll put all the links in the show notes and then you guys are able to access this book Tandem. It is, it is. Got a lot in there. And like I said, those QR codes even provides more information for you.

Robert Fukui (38:28):
It’s like a course. It’s like an e-course in a book. .

Marisa Shadrick (38:31):
You know what, and I think this would even help people if they’re not not married because you’re talking, talking about conflict resolution relationships business, I think it’ll even help them. Yes. Or they even prepare them before they get married .

Robert Fukui (38:47):
So it’s all, it’s all the, you know, the topics that we chose, even on the relationship side, it’s all the transferrable skills. Right. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it works with any kind of relationship first personal and even business, so. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. For

Marisa Shadrick (39:00):
Sure. Well, thank you so much. Thanks. Thank you. It was great honor to have you. Thank you so much. Thank you for the podcast.

Robert Fukui (39:07):
Your’re welcome.

Marisa Shadrick (39:08):
All righty. Bye-bye.

Robert Fukui (39:09):


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