Married to My Business PartnerBetter Relationship Podcast Episode #017

Married to My Business Partner w/ Reid & Heidi Rasmussen

Show Notes: (by R. Pumphrey)

Heidi and Reid Rasmussen, of Fresh Benies, are true innovators in the health insurance industry. Susie talks with them today about the inspiration for their business, the importance of ‘robust dialogue’ both in marriage and the workspace, and how running a company together can give you new insights into your partner and your marriage.

Heidi and Reid’s Bios

  • Heidi and Reid met through a ‘blind date’ set up by a mutual friend and are now coming up on their 12th wedding anniversary
  • She spent 27 years in the fashion retail industry, starting as a floor associate and retiring as a divisional Vice President
  • He is a passionate and award-winning speaker and writer who started in the insurance industry and is now a 25-year healthcare industry veteran
  • In 2009, he launched Benefit Brainstorm, Inc., anticipating the changes that were going to come with the changes in healthcare under the Affordable Care Act
  • He strategizes with brokers and employers to balance their healthcare programs now and into an uncertain future
  • She joined him in the business shortly thereafter and launched Fresh Benies, a 24-7 service that helps busy families save time, money and frustration with their healthcare

Their Inspiration for ‘Fresh Benies’

  • People are confused more than ever before by healthcare and the system is costing people more money than ever before.
  • The average family of 4 is spending $3900 more per year, on health insurance, than they were six years ago and costs continue to rise.
  • We are on a trend-line where people need to save $100’s-$1000’s on their healthcare.
  • Too many people are not taking care of themselves because of the cost.
  • Fresh Benies is a card that allows customers to get doctor visits and Rx’s over the phone, as well as have a Health Care Advisor to help them navigate the system and negotiate on their behalf.

The Positives of Being “Married to My Business Partner.”

  • When Reid and Heidi were both working in corporate, they spent a lot of time apart due to the demands of their jobs.
  • Although they work just as hard, owning their own venture, they are now doing it together instead of being separated.
  • Working together allows them to put more time into their marriage and gives them freedom to do non-work related things together.
  • From Heidi’s perspective, they have gotten to know each other a lot better.
  • They complement each other’s strengths and approaches-Reid is the strategist and Heidi the integrator.

The Keys To A Successful “Working” Marriage

  • Heidi completely over-hauled the marketing when she came on board, which resulted in a lot of “robust dialogue.”
  • These dialogues helped them define their roles in the company-a key factor in having a successful marriage as company co-owners.
  • They both “move through” issues really fast-they get it out and resolve it.
  • Before they went into business together, they knew how to play fair with each other, knowing they have one another’s best interests at heart.
  • They also both have a great sense of humor, which helps diffuse tense situations,
  • It’s important to treat your spouse with the same kindness and respect as you show any other coworker.

Successful Communication

  • In recent years,Reid & Heidi have not seen many examples of good communication in married business partners.
  • In Patrick Lencioni’s book, “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team” one key point about the value of a team is learning to have strong discussions at work based on mutual respect.
  • Their first employee came out of a work environment that was not as healthy as Fresh Benie’s – it took her awhile to see that robust discussion was not a fight, but healthy debate.
  • Over time, their entire staff has become more comfortable; now anyone can have these strong discussions.
  • The ability to have robust discussion and maintain respect applies to any relationship, not just work.
  • Take the time to get to know your spouse and how they’re wired to most effectively communicate with them.

Their Personal Foundations for Marriage Success

  • Nothing gets in the middle of their “us-ness” – there is no issue or conflict that’s more important than their commitment to each other.
  • They have a foundation of being Christians-which Reid believes gives an entirely different perspective on being selfless and having humility.
  • Heidi says “Choose Wisely”- really know you’re marrying is the right one for you.
  • Make sure that the people you trust in your life also feel the same way about the person you have chosen.

 

Reflecting On Each Other’s ‘Super-Powers’

  • For Reid, his wife’s superpower is her ability to look at a mass of work, see every ‘chess move’ and integrate and implement what needs to be done for success.
  • For Heidi, she sees her husband as a master of communication, who excels at communicating complex topics in a fun and simple way.

Where You Can Find Heidi and Reid

You can find them at their website: www.benefitbrainstorm.com

There, you can also find a link to www.freshbenies.com with an informational video

Additional Resources

If you’re interested in finding out more on Peter Lencioni’s “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team”, go to: http://www.tablegroup.com/books/dysfunctions

Susie’s website:  www.susiemiller.com

Susie’s book: www.listenlearnlovebook.com