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In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up a few of the fitness industry’s top power couples. Hear what they have to say about the joys and challenges of running a business with a significant other and how they maintain balance between their personal and working relationships.
Q&A with Rachel Cosgrove:
What’s the best part about working with Alwyn? We bring different strengths to our company, complementing each other as business owners. He’s an idea guy, I’m an implementer. He’s a details guy, I’m a big picture thinker. He’s good at seeing the holes in our game, I’m better at managing people, and so on.
What are the challenges of working with your significant other, and how do you overcome them? You have to designate roles and set boundaries. You also have to switch off the business owner roles and have couple time. We are very good at having a very separate business partnership from our personal life partnership.
What advice can you share with other couples who might just be going into business together? Set boundaries. Designate responsibilities and trust each other. Have honest and transparent conversations about everything. Don’t bring work home.
What’s one fun fact you can share about Alwyn? He loves 80’s music.
Q&A with Alwyn Cosgrove:
What’s the best part about working with Rachel? This is sort of a weird question. I don’t think of Rachel as my wife when we’re at work. This is like asking me what the best part of working with (insert any team member) here. Our whole team is strong and our goal to “change the way fitness is done” drives us forward.
How do you and Rachel complement each other? I’m more of an idea person. I come up with the “game changing” ideas for our programming and our business. Rachel is an implementation expert. She breaks down the idea into executable strategy, which honestly I have no idea how to do sometimes. Then I’ll see details that we can tweak to make things better. We bring very different things to the table.
What advice can you share with other couples who might just be going into business together? Separate the roles of husband/wife and business partners. You wouldn’t call your business partner at 10 at night on the weekend to go over an idea. So respect your husband/wife and don’t do that to them either. Separate the roles. Additionally, it’s important in business to not overlap too much. It makes no sense to have two business partners who are just doing the same thing as each other. Separate your responsibilities there also.
What’s one fun fact you can share about Rachel? She’s a competitive masters athlete for fun!
Q&A with Lynne Nieto:
What’s the best part about working with Augie? Augie and I have known each other since we were 15. When we were in high school, I was convinced that I was much smarter than Augie. Ends up, he’s pretty darn bright! I love the way Augie’s mind works (most of the time) and I have learned so much about the power of reciprocity from him. He knows instinctively the power of relationships.
What are the challenges of working with your significant other, and how do you overcome them? Prior to our diagnosis, we didn’t work together on much of anything. I had my career, he had his. As time has gone on, we work together on almost everything. At the beginning I think we saw ourselves as competitors, not partners. Now, 13 years later I know beyond a doubt that he always has my best intentions in mind, and I have his. We have the added challenge of Augie needing to use his feet to control his computer to communicate most things. This has taught us both the power of patience and of carefully thinking out what one wants to communicate in advance.
What advice can you share with other couples who might just be going into business together? I actually was in business with my former husband. We found it best to keep our responsibilities separate and distinct. I guess you could call “Augie’s Quest” a business. Augie and I rely upon knowing whose strengths best fits the situation.
What’s one fun fact you can share about Augie? Augie’s favorite movie of all time is “Shrek.” He loves watching it with our grandson. He says he identifies with the character, “Shrek!”
Q&A with Augie Nieto:
What’s the best part about working with Lynne? I love the fact that Lynne quite often has a different perspective than me. It forces me to rethink how I approach a problem from a different angle that I hadn’t considered.
How do you and Lynne complement each other? Lynne and I are both “numbers people” — financial analysis and their ramifications come easily to us. Lynne is definitely a “detail person,” where I’m a “big-picture” guy. I consider myself to be a marketing guy, and Lynne is truly an operator. That works well for us — I can come up with the concept and Lynne can execute on the details.
What advice can you share with other couples who might just be going into business/working together? It’s incredibly important that one considers the other’s comfort zones. When we were first starting Augie’s Quest and we would speak in front of large groups, I liked flying by the seat of my pants and made the assumption that Lynne was just fine with that. Ends up, being in front of others is not easy for everyone and it took me a while to get it thought my thick skull that Lynne needed to prep for these speaking engagements. Being an extrovert myself, I didn’t realize that Lynne as an introvert was terribly uncomfortable. I learned that I needed to look at situations from both my and Lynne’s point of view prior to moving forward with plans.
What’s one fun fact you can share about Lynne? Lynne’s “happy place” is on the water on our boat. She says it’s like being in a playpen with your favorite family and friends!
Q&A with Lori Lowell:
What’s the best part about working with Jeremy? Besides the fact that he is my best friend, soulmate, and we get along famously both personally and in business, he is the “I” dotter and “T” crosser. Any vision or creative idea I bring to him, he is able to nail down the details and do all the amazing necessary things behind the scenes. He’s excited about everything and makes it fun.
What are the challenges of working with your significant other, and how do you overcome them? We have been working together in his dental practice and with the fitness business for over 30 years, so it has been an evolution. As long as we keep to each of our expertise, listen and learn from each other, everything works out great. We are challenged when we don’t listen to what the other one is saying. Listening and not interrupting is something we constantly practice.
What advice can you share with other couples who might just be going into business together? Trust the process, enjoy the journey and respect each other. Listen and let the other one grow. Most importantly, practice patience with one another, and do a lot of yoga together.
What’s one fun fact you can share about Jeremy? Jeremy just wants to play and is up for anything all the time.
Q&A with Jeremy Lowell:
What’s the best part about working with Lori? Lori is the most fun loving, vivacious, energetic, dedicated, compassionate and wonderful person I have ever known. She is a complete visionary and has only two thoughts in mind and that is having fun and helping others. Creating careers, empowering everyone she can, finding a way for everything to work out are traits that never cease to exist. She is a gem!
How do you and Lori complement each other? Lori is the quarterback and I am the wide receiver. She keeps me calm when I am frayed and I keep her calm when her vision gets clouded. We constantly look to each other’s strengths and work to conquer our weaknesses. We have grown together over 30 years of marriage and through our relationship and raising three amazing children, we play a constant yin/yang to keep the circle of energy flowing in the right direction.
What advice can you share with other couples who might just be going into business together? No matter the other’s expertise, there is never a king or a queen. You are partners first. Lovers first. Each has something to offer and it is imperative to listen, process and then speak. There is never a “I’m right. You are wrong.” Leave everything out of the bedroom. Make love of some kind every night. Find something to laugh about every day. Always look at the big picture. Always remain positive.
What’s one fun fact you can share about Lori? If she were baking a cake (right…she never bakes cakes) and needed a cup of sugar, she is way too shy to go ask for it from a neighbor. Super outgoing, and super shy at the same time.