I am so happy to introduce two good friends of mine. Marie Poulin, and Ben Borowski.
Marie and Ben are co-founders of Oki Doki, as well as life partners.
In this episode we take a deep dive into what life is like working with your life partner, starting up a SaaS company, immigrating to Canada, and some really useful techniques and practices that can keep a personal and working partnership running smoothly.
Plus, we have some interesting conversations about scaling the unscalable. Spoiler Alert: We all lean more heavily towards high-touch services, concierge-style customer service, integrity and quality of life as metrics over thousands of signups.
Ben is a product designer and software developer with a fine arts background. After many years in agency-land, he started his own shop in 2010, and, after immigrating to Canada in 2014, founded Oki Doki with Marie. In his spare time he collects vinyl, pets shibas, and is a volunteer firefighter.
Marie helps small business owners bring their digital product & service ideas to life. She is a product and service strategist, and a master digital strategist. As if that isn’t enough, she’s an amazing designer and developer, as well and a permaculture enthusiast in her spare time.
1:15: — Current life situation and how Marie and Ben became life partners and business partners
3:45 — Finding out who has dominant skills in each area, and how to decide who takes the lead on what projects
4:25 — What were Ben and Marie doing before they joined forces.
7:45 — Check out Ben’s journey on his immigration to Canada, taxes and all that’s involved when moving a business across borders
11:10 — What it’s like diving into the build not only of a digital product (SaaS), but structuring a full business with your partner at the same time.
14:00 — Why they choose to sell software as a subscription model, and how they came to solve the issue of the complexity of online courses.
15:45 — Here we dive in to the value that they provide as a boutique operation, supplying a premium customer experience, and scaling the unscalable.
31:00 — How a low cost of entry can lead into lifetime clients spending tens of thousands of dollars for further custom strategy and web experiences.
40:00 — Creating more impactful work, scaling your happiness, flexibility, freedom and building a business on your terms
44:00 — How communication is when you work and live together. What routines and rituals do Marie and Ben abide by to keep on track, and how to handle disputes both inside and outside of the relationship
47:00 — Carrying over organizational techniques from the business into personal life, and vice versa. Work/life integration
48:45 — Routines, entrepreneurship, and setting up your daily routines.
51:10 — Startup and shutdown rituals
54:55 — Thinking about starting a business or project with a partner? Here’s Marie’s and Ben’s tips for a successful relationship both inside and outside of the company.
Where you can find them online:
http://tanyageisler.com/ (Imposter Complex Coach)