Marriage as a Master Mind

by Brett & Kate McKay on April 3, 2011 · 60 comments

in Marriage, Relationships & Family

A couple of months ago we discussed about the concept of “Master Minds.” If you remember, the idea of Master Minds was popularized by success guru, Napoleon Hill. Hill believed that when two or more minds came together with positive energy, a definite aim, and complete harmony, a “third mind,” was formed. All the participants in the Master Mind have access to this third mind which helps the individuals in the group form new ideas and receive inspiration. Thus Master Minds meet with the goal of mutual improvement.

While Hill pointed to examples like the Master Mind formed between Andrew Carnegie and his business partners, he believed that “the blending of the the minds of men and women” produced “the most effective alliances” of them all:

“A man and wife may live together, accumulate a fair sized or even greater fortune, rear and educate a family, without the bond of harmony which is essential for the development of a  Master Mind. But all of these alliances might be made more powerful and effective if based upon a foundation of perfect harmony, thus permitting the development of a supplemental power known as the Master Mind.

Plain co-operative effort produces power; there can be no doubt about this; but cooperative effort that is based upon complete harmony of purpose develops super-power.”

In my experience, Hill was right on the money; in our effort to become superhuman and reach our full potential, there may be no greater tool than the Marriage Master Mind.

The Art of Manliness: The Product of a Third Brain

If you’ve been reading the Art of Manliness for awhile, you’ve probably noticed that many articles on the site are written by me and my wife Kate. We run the whole site together, actually. Now, I suppose some folks might find it odd that there’s a woman working on a site about manliness, but I think the results speak for themselves.

Kate is one smart cookie. Her degree in history and experience as an editor have been invaluable resources. And it’s not so much that she has a perspective of manliness from the female side of the fence as that she has an incredible insight into the human experience as a whole.

So Kate and I work as a team in building AoM. She’s the behind-the-scenes maestro, doing the lion’s share of the editing and keeping track of the hundreds of little details that go into running a website. I’m in charge of the direction and voice of the blog, interacting with readers, implementing ideas, doing PR, and generally keeping things manly. We both write, research, find images, and brainstorm.

When it comes to writing posts, whichever of us has been thinking the most about a subject will start it off, and then the other person will take a look and edit, add their thoughts, and trade it back. And that could happen a couple more times. We talk through things and bounce ideas off of each other until a final product emerges which is far better than if just she or I had written it ourselves.

In short, the Art of Manliness you enjoy is the product of the “McKay Master Mind” and would not exist without the creation of this magical “third brain.”

Other Examples of Married Master Minds

“It was at the period of my mental progress which I have now reached that I formed the friendship which has been the honour and chief blessing of my existence, as well as the source of a great part of all that I have attempted to do, or hope to effect hereafter, for human improvement…What I owe, even intellectually, to her, is in its detail, almost infinite…I have often received praise, which in my own right I only partially deserve, for the greater practicality which is supposed to be found in my writings, compared with those of most thinkers who have been equally addicted to large generalizations. The writings in which this quality has been observed, were not the work of one mind, but of the fusion of two.” -Philosopher John Stuart Mill on his “most valuable friend,” wife Harriet Parker

When you work together as a married team, you start to notice that there are a lot of other Married Master Minds out there as well.

Many books are co-authored by a husband and wife team; in fact, Kate and I have married friends working on a DaVinci Code-like novel right now, where she writes the book and he does the historical research.

Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett were the Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning husband and wife team who wrote the screenplays for films such as The Thin Man, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Jared and Jerusha Hess are the Married Master Mind behind Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre; the couple wrote and directed the films together.

Many small businesses are run by a husband and wife team, or “copreneurs” as they’re sometimes called. We take Gus to a doctor’s office run by a husband and wife who are both pediatricians.

In San Francisco, Brian and Irene Michaud are not only married and both cops, but they’re partners as well.

Four married couples have jointly received the Nobel Prize for their scientific research: Pierre and Marie Curie, Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, Carl and Gerti Cori, and Frederic and Irene Joliot.

Trevor and Heather Wurtele are top professional Ironman athletes who are both husband and wife and devoted training partners.

One of our favorite bands, Mates of State, is composed of a husband and wife team who tour the country with their kids in tow.

Johnny Cash and wife June Carter worked and toured together for 35 years. It was she who co-wrote one of Johnny’s biggest hits, “Ring of Fire,” and the couple won two Grammy awards for their duets.

And so on and so forth.

Of course, there are also lots of situations where a husband and wife don’t do the exact same thing, but are in a similar field and can talk shop. And there are cases where the maxim of “Behind every great man…” holds true, and the wife is an unofficial, but essential support in her husband’s endeavors. For example, many politicians will say that their wife was practically their campaign manager while they were running for office. And many a husband, from diverse walks of life, has used his wife as a sounding board from which to bounce off ideas and get feedback.

Every Marriage a Master Mind

But you don’t have to run a business together to make your marriage a Master Mind. In fact, some couples would find the lack of barriers between their professional and personal lives rather undesirable. Kate and I can spend almost 24/7 together without getting sick of each other, but we’ve been told we are unusually compatible. It’s certainly not something for everyone.

But any marriage can be a Master Mind. Hopefully, you’ve already got two of the components of a Master Mind down already: positive energy and complete harmony. You might even have the third leg as well—a definite aim. There can be a lot of worthy goals to have as a couple, but to form a Master Mind, be sure to add this one to the mix: mutual improvement. That is, helping each other grow, expand, improve, come up with new ideas, and have new experiences. A Master Mind marriage is one in which each spouse helps the other become better and reach their personal goals. This process is called “self-expansion,” and it doesn’t just benefit each individual partner, it also greatly strengthens the marriage as a whole. Researchers have recently found that “the more self-expansion people experience from their partner, the more committed and satisfied they are in the relationship.

A true Married Master Mind is achieved when spouses not only grow, but grow together, achieving a powerful oneness. A quote from a recent New York Times article on the subject of marriage and self-expansion explains how this works:

Additional research suggests that spouses eventually adopt the traits of the other — and become slower to distinguish differences between them, or slower to remember which skills belong to which spouse.

In experiments by Dr. Aron, participants rated themselves and their partners on a variety of traits, like “ambitious” or “artistic.” A week later, the subjects returned to the lab and were shown the list of traits and asked to indicate which ones described them.

People responded the quickest to traits that were true of both them and their partner. When the trait described only one person, the answer came more slowly. The delay was measured in milliseconds, but nonetheless suggested that when individuals were particularly close to someone, their brains were slower to distinguish between their traits and those of their spouses.

“It’s easy to answer those questions if you’re both the same,” Dr. Lewandowski explains. “But if it’s just true of you and not of me, then I have to sort it out. It happens very quickly, but I have to ask myself, ‘Is that me or is that you?’ ”

It’s not that these couples lost themselves in the marriage; instead, they grew in it. Activities, traits and behaviors that had not been part of their identity before the relationship were now an essential part of how they experienced life.

All of this can be highly predictive for a couple’s long-term happiness. One scale designed by Dr. Aron and colleagues depicts seven pairs of circles. The first set is side by side. With each new set, the circles begin to overlap until they are nearly on top of one another. Couples choose the set of circles that best represents their relationship. In a 2009 report in the journal Psychological Science, people bored in their marriages were more likely to choose the more separate circles. Partners involved in novel and interesting experiences together were more likely to pick one of the overlapping circles and less likely to report boredom. “People have a fundamental motivation to improve the self and add to who they are as a person,” Dr. Lewandowski says. “If your partner is helping you become a better person, you become happier and more satisfied in the relationship.”

How to Form a Married Master Mind

The key to turning your marriage into a Master Mind is to always be challenging each other to be better and bringing your best self to the relationship.

Take an interest in what each other is working on. If your wife is working on a new project at work or at home, ask her about it. Don’t just nod your head and act like you’re listening–ask some probing questions. Challenge her thinking. Ask your wife to do the same with you about your work.

Help and offer support when you’re able. Even before Kate and I worked on the blog together, we helped each other with our individual endeavors. When Kate was working on her Masters thesis, I read it through a few times and offered suggestions on how it could be improved. And when she started teaching community college, I helped her plan a few lectures where I had some expertise in a particular subject.

And in turn, she helped me. When I was an undergrad, I was a terrible writer. But with Kate’s help, I improved substantially. She helped me edit every one of my term papers and offered suggestions on how I could improve my writing. When I was preparing for the LSAT (the law school entrance exam), Kate worked with me on questions I was struggling with. And when I was on the law review, Kate (God bless her) read and edited my entire 30 page law review article about two really boring environmental law statutes. Bottom line, even though you’re not “officially” working together on projects, you can still operate as a team.

Talk about stuff other than work or kids. When Kate and I go out to restaurants, we like to people watch a bit. Something we’ve consistently observed are couples who sit across from each other in silence the entire meal, or if they do talk, they talk about their kids or work.

Sure, I understand. Kids and work become a big part of your life when you’re married and have a family. But I think it’s important for a couple to engage each other in other subjects.  First, it keeps the relationship fresh, but more importantly, talking about varied subjects in a substantive manner can help improve different facets of your life. I can’t count the number of ideas I’ve gotten for the blog from conversations with Kate about random topics.

Need stuff to talk about? Then read! Kate and I are always reading books, articles, and blog posts, and always asking each other, “Have you read anything interesting lately?” Then we’ll have a great conversation about politics, religion, and culture. And of course getting out and doing new things will give you good fodder for discussions as well. Have a little friendly debate sometimes!

Check your pride at the door. In order for any Master Mind group to work, you have to check your pride at the door and be willing to accept feedback and criticism. This can be especially hard in a relationship because it’s easy to personalize criticism–both in the giving and receiving. When we first started working on the blog together, Kate and I found this pretty challenging, but with a lot of effort, we’ve become much more in-sync and understanding of our different working and communication styles. You need to have a mutual understanding that you only give criticism that has the purpose of uplifting and edifying. Each person in the relationship has to constantly check themselves to ensure that pride never rears its ugly head. Also, you can’t be afraid of calling the other person out when you notice they’re out of line. This creates conflict, of course, but you learn to work through it.

In that same vein, don’t make everything a competition. I’ve seen couples where the husband and wife try to one up each other. It’s a recipe for disaster. Be companions, not competitors. If your wife experiences success, be genuinely happy for her and don’t get jealous. You should expect the same from your wife.

Regular meetings and yearly retreats. Kate and I have daily meetings where we discuss not only issues affecting the website, but also our home life. We share what each other has planned for the week and see if there’s anything either of us can do to help each other.  We also discuss finances, assign chores, and make grocery lists. Boring stuff. But it’s at those daily meetings that our Marriage Master Mind syncs up so everything runs smoothly in the McKay household.

Another tradition Kate and I have is to take at least one yearly retreat where we make long-term personal and couple goals. We usually do these on a weekend camping trip. There’s something about the outdoors that recharges and inspires us. We’ll spend the day hiking and talking and then sit around the campfire that night writing down our goals in our respective journals.

Children need a Married Master Mind. If there’s ever a time when you need the power of a third brain, it’s when you have kids. You and your wife have this incredible responsibility to raise these little people to be fully functioning adults. As new parents, Kate and I have seen how useful it is to have two people working together to raise a baby. It’s also funny to see how our gender differences are already popping up in how we approach parenting, but how our differences actually make for better parenting overall.

Marry a woman who’s on board with the Master Mind idea. If you’re not married, but plan on getting hitched one day, you might be thinking, “How do I find a woman who wants to make our marriage a Master Mind?” That’s a good question. I know several men who complain that their wives don’t support them in their goals and endeavors, while their wives expect them to be supportive of their goals. These men are really frustrated and unhappy in their marriages. And who can blame them?

An important key in making the Married Master Mind work is having a spouse who’s on board with the idea. Some people are just so selfish and self-centered that they’ll never want to have a relationship based on the idea of mutual support and encouragement. Or they’re so dull that they’ll never have anything to contribute on their end. No matter what you do, a Marriage Master Mind won’t work with these people. So picking a spouse that will be supportive from the get go is an important factor in the success of a Married Master Mind.

The reason I knew Kate was going to be such an amazing wife was the support, encouragement, and feedback she gave me before we were married. When I was on my two year mission in Mexico, she wrote encouraging letters to me every month and sent me incredible care packages. When we were dating, she offered to read and edit my school papers. And we never ran out of interesting things to talk about.

A Married Master Mind takes work and dedication, but it’s a powerful tool in reaching your full potential. Nothing is better than putting your head together with your wife and forming a magical third brain which spawns fresh ideas and new inspiration about life. A Married Master Mind allows you to grow as individuals and become a strong, powerful unit that’s ready to take on the world.

Are you part of a Married Master Mind? Share your stories and insights with us in the comments!

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John M. April 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Yeah, my wife and I talk a lot about current events, history, spiritual topics, etc. Talking about work is boring.

2 Karyn W. April 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm

My husband and I are definitely part of a Master Mind. Not only do we have a mental connection which amazes our friends — we can nearly read each other’s minds — we already share our interests and thoughts to such a degree that we, like the friends you mentioned in the article, write novels together. We co-create our stories; we outline together; we write together every night, after the six children are in bed. We have the marriage that all our friends wish they had.

3 Isaac Lewis April 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Wow… you so totally made my day!! Thank you for writing this.

4 Oscar April 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Great article as usual. My wife and I own a martial arts school and we formed our mastermind group with my wife, our daugther and myself as the core group. It’s made a huge positive impact in our lives and the success of our business.

We’ve also noted that although our inner circle remains the same, our outer circle of our mastermind group (senior students) changes as our business and art grows.

We’ve read and re-read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and continue to learn from it and apply it’s teachings to our business.

5 Tony April 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I know many self dev gurus have spoken of the relationship between man and woman and the power of this coupling. I teach guys how to meet women but rarely do I delve in to how to keep them. Thanks.

6 Swimmerman April 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I have been thinking about starting a Master Mind group with another friend of mine. Until now though, I have not realized I am already part of one. My wife and I challenge each other on just about every level. She has made me a better man by challenging me to continually strive for my full potential. Thank you Brett and Kate.

7 Jessica April 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm

This article is totally refreshing! My husband and I are musicians and have played and written together for nearly ten years. We are so close that we think the same thoughts, complete each other’s sentences and even have similar dreams. It is a joy to be with him, he is my favorite person on the planet, and I know that he feels the same about me. To be able to say that about anyone is amazing, but to feel that way and know the feeling is mutual after ten years of partnership is really powerful and our friends hold our relationship up as a model of how to behave and respect one’s partner while keeping love vibrant and exciting. Our mutual thinking has helped us write songs, finish college, achieve career goals and has kept life fun and adventurous. We both love politics and social issues and he astonishes me with his brilliance; he says I’m the smartest person he’s ever met. We worked together for a long time and while that is no longer the case, we were never happier than when we were together all day every day and we’re always brainstorming together, looking for new ways that we can make that happen again and for the long-term.

Thank you for writing this article, for loving your partner so deeply and respecting her for all that she does for you. For all that you do for each other. I adore seeing other couples who love each other so intensely and are moved by the joy their partner brings them. I love that your mutual affection is what drives this creative endeavor!

8 Tracerz April 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm

What a great read!! This is real manliness! =)

I’m half of a Marriage Master Mind – it’s amazing. It’s easy to take for granted, though, so thanks for bringing it to the front of my mind again! I feel like Nebberz and I have gotten so much further in life and have so much more confidence about our decisions than we would have otherwise had. It’s truly awesome.

9 Hunter April 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm

My wife and I have worked together for over 25 years. We run a construction company. Me and my workers do the heavy, dirty work and my wife handles the office work. Though, my wife was right there with me on site in the early days of the business. She’s a pro at framing. She switched to the admin work when she got pregnant with our first child.

10 Phil R. April 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm

How do you balance having a singular purpose as couple while maintaining your own goals and desires? Being your own man? That’s what I seem to have trouble with.

11 Ian April 4, 2011 at 1:51 am

Yeah, of course, when your ‘third mind’ leaves she takes with her your house, your money, and your dignity.

12 Daniel April 4, 2011 at 2:19 am

You are Mates of State fans as well? Hot dog! Great article by the way!

13 Daniel April 4, 2011 at 2:27 am

Sorry, one more thought. Another great husband and wife music team is The Submarines; they “made it big” a few years ago when their song “You Me and the Bourgeoisie” was featured in several iPhone commercials. Anyway, their music is great, and they have a fantastic origin story about coming together as musicians and as husband and wife.

14 Derek G. April 4, 2011 at 2:37 am

Awesome post. My wife and I are both high school teachers. We meet up during the day just to chat and at night talk about how class went and what kinds of ideas and projects we’re planning to do with our students. We brainstorm and discuss. The best part is being able to have someone to talk to when you have a crappy day and she understands completely.

15 Jonathan Manor April 4, 2011 at 4:06 am

Awesome! I truly think people who can’t talk about more than their kids and work have nothing of a connection. I kind of feel like single people who constantly talk about work or people they know are just masking the fact that there’s no real connection between them.

16 Conrad Gross April 4, 2011 at 4:14 am

Wow, what a great post! I’m getting married about this time next year, and it was really affirming to read this and realize that my girlfriend and I are already on our way to becoming a Mastermind. How encouraging!

17 Charles April 4, 2011 at 5:52 am

We’re not married, but my girlfriend and I are very much on the same wavelength. I didn’t know anything about the Mastermind Phenomenon until I read this post, but I recognize a lot of traits in our relationship. We’re both photographers and have our own photography business. We each have our specialties which overlap in some areas. Some of our best work has come from doing photo shoots together. We each make photos from our own perspective and with our own style and we both end up with a good series of photos, but when we combine our work from the same shoot the series is much stronger. The two styles compliment each other and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

18 Daniel Crandall April 4, 2011 at 6:03 am

This is a nice way of expressing, for those who may not adhere to a Christian understanding of the world, that which is expressed in the Bible, for example: Mark 10: 6-8, “God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.”

The idea that “two become one flesh,” or as so eloquently expressed in this post, a “Marriage Master-Mind” is created, informs us as to why courting your potential spouse is so important.

19 Matthew April 4, 2011 at 6:19 am

Mr. Crandall, you took the words right out of my mouth!

20 Stan April 4, 2011 at 8:11 am

That is an astute treatise on the force multiplier effects of a well-matched, mutually supportive marriage. To your list of examples let
me add the foremost husband-and-wife team of early America, John and Abigail Adams. Her advice and support informed most of his decisions throughout his career and in turn influenced the Revolution, as both the David McCullough biography “John Adams”‘and the HBO miniseries make abundantly clear.

21 Matthew Male April 4, 2011 at 8:55 am

We are producing a Concert on May 20-21 at the chester meeting house:
“The Wedded Singers, Married to The Music” That will feature Married Couples ,performing together on stage, covering songs made popular by other married couples, and originals.
The Small Town Concert Series

22 Strong Man April 4, 2011 at 9:03 am

Good Points! Excellent vision. I regularly write about advice for married couples–A Man is truly not complete without a woman who can work together with him. It doesn’t need to be in a shared business or profession, but they can be very powerful if they’re on the same page!

23 Colin Farrell April 4, 2011 at 9:30 am

My girlfriend, Kate, and I will be running a 10-mile adventure race/military-style obstacle course called the Tough Mudder this upcoming weekend. It’s designed to test mental toughness more than physical prowess. I have run 2 of them before but this will be her first. Instead of running this one to beat my past performances I’ve decided to run alongside her the whole way and help her get through each obstacle–I’m running as a literal form of support as opposed to just cheering her on. Together we’ll run through fire and electrical wires, get over 12′ high walls and low-tension spider nets, swim through ice-cold water, mud, and run up black diamond ski slopes. We’re both excited has all get-out about the idea of taking on this ultimate challenge together with the simple goal of completing the course. (And it’s our 1-year anniversary!)

24 Insomniac April 4, 2011 at 10:10 am

22 Strong Man April 4, 2011 at 9:03 am
A Man is truly not complete without a woman who can work together with him.

I think that’s baloney, or bologna if that’s your preferred spelling. However, I do agree that the husband and wife working together in the manner described in this article is the ideal. However, this scenario:

I know several men who complain that their wives don’t support them in their goals and endeavors, while their wives expect them to be supportive of their goals. These men are really frustrated and unhappy in their marriages.

seems far more common. I also think it’s in large part due to radical feminism, which has conditioned a lot of women into thinking they’re victims who are owed everything by their husbands, and owe nothing in return.

25 Brandon April 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

Having a “Master-Mind” is great, but having a moustache like that is priceless!

26 Insomniac April 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

Agree with Brandon. The ‘stache is epic.

27 Newlywed April 4, 2011 at 10:42 am

This article inspired awe in me, but at the same time was almost discouraging! As a newlywed, and probably with insufficient preparation, my wife and I are on such different wavelengths. I try to encourage her, and she tries to encourage me, and we recognize as much, but most of the time our trying ends up frustrating the other more than encouraging. Maybe some of the more experienced of you could offer clues to getting to be on the same page. I see what you guys have, and I want it for our marriage!

28 Rickster April 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

Thanks for another great post. Much of this resonates for my wife and I who have been building a business together. Agreed, the whole is greater then the sum of it’s parts. And the level and speed of accomplishment is significantly greater than any business only working team I’ve ever experienced. Beyond priority of marriage, family & I see it as a significant competitive advantage. And work’s more fun.

29 Rob April 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

So wait, you guys are Mormon? Cool.

30 ThatDudeChris April 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

Great article, although I wonder, do you feel that this type of equation is applicable to same-sex couples?

31 Steve-Personal Success Factors April 4, 2011 at 11:59 am

Love the concept of the Married Master Mind. And I also love the idea that the goal of each spouse is to work on his/her own personal growth while supporting and being actively involved in the growth of his/her mate. Also love the idea of regular meetings to touch base on personal growth, the marriage, and the family.

32 Jill April 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

This is such wonderful advice. My fiance is an avid reader of your site & I have enjoyed many articles that he has forwarded to me. We are getting married in 2 months and have been thinking of what we will vow to each other. Now, we’ve got it. We will vow to become a “Marriage Mastermind”!

33 Jeff! April 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Excellent article, Brett and Kate! At first, this mastermind idea sounds something like groupthink, but seeing it ‘in action’ in a marriage brings it into better perspective for me.

You mentioned the Curies, which reminded me of a comic from the webcomic “Hark! A Vagrant”. It shows Marie Curie asking Pierre ‘is it love, or toxic radiation?’ To which he replies ‘Baby it’s both, but who cares.’.

@ThatDudeChris above- I don’t see any reason why a homosexual man wouldn’t want a mastermind sort of partner. I think the idea is that a man and woman will have a more different life experience than two men, but two heads are better than one, regardless of gender.

34 ThatDudeChris April 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm

@Jeff! I don’t see why anyone, regardless of orientation, wouldn’t want a mastermind situation. Although, I’m curious to hear other thoughts on it, particularly the author’s since the article is so “traditionally” focused.

35 Nathan April 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Wonderful article! My wife and I are a “Master Mind” marriage! Didn’t realize that until now but what a great way of putting it! She and I often help eachother on our ministries… she helps with my preaching and I with her devotionals. It’s a great thing to be married with someone that shares a vision and can add to that experience.

Thanks again for the article.

36 Daniel Comp April 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Angelina and I appreciate your team-work, as we know what it takes to overcome the challenges ourselves. We are mates, business partners and best friends… which leaves little time for personal insecurities and child-like habits. Personal transformation is an absolute demand of having a master-mind marriage, as well as becoming a great leader. Thanks for your personal sacrifices to keep your ‘mission’ going.

Angelina are organizing our fourth expedition together, a 5000 mile cycling challenge with the purpose of helping men turn their challenges into championships. I wish for all your readers to take on the challenge of masculinity and manliness, which recognizes the absolute value of the women in their lives.

Well done Brett and Kate!

37 Angelina Musik-Comp April 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Hi Kate and Brett,

Thanks for you the opportunity for couples to share as ‘masterminds’. As Daniel is making my breakfast I thought I would drop a note. Such a good husband to feed his wife! [talk about role reversal] : )

Daniel and I have different strengths and through that we’ve created a program to help others do the same where traditional counseling has failed. It’s God designed and amazing how we will share the restoration that is going on in our personal relationship, and our family, one child at a time.

Our tri-coastal bicycle ride this summer of 5000 miles we are calling ‘Ride for a Change’ [] – as it’s a grassroots approach to encourage, empower, educate and recognize couples and entrepreneurs making a difference in their community around ‘job creation’.

The guys do the pedaling though on this expedition. And I hope wives will step up to the plate to encourage their men to go on even a small piece of the ride. For a weekend, or week or month.

It’s taken us two years to mastermind creating this with lots of personal emotional risks with each other through personal growth and development, prayers, and redesign.

Keep up the awesome work and Brett join Daniel if you have a chance.

Angelina Musik-Comp
Founder MOMtrepreneurs / Red Dress Society

38 -- April 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I’ve been a big fan of Kevin Smith’s SModcast network of podcasts. The latest one he’s done is called “Plus One”, which is him and his wife riffing for an hour on any number of topics. It’s a great example of this type of thing.

39 Tia Sparkles Singh April 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Not yet but I’m holding the vision for a married mastermind for when I meet my man :) Just found your site today and featured it on my facebook page. Fantastic work, Kate and Brett, looking forward to peeking around more. Cheers! Tia

40 Ken Payne April 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

When I was in junior high my father became a partner with two other men in our town in the Napoleon Hill Academy. It was a franchise operation to establish seminars and workshops around the country to teach the principles of “Think And Grow Rich.” It was very successful for several years until Napoleon Hill died and the business passed to others who weren’t as committed to the principles of PMA and DMP. (Read the book!) Anyway, the point of this is that, at age 16, I got to meet the great man himself when he came to speak to hundreds of folks in Portland who were involved in the Academy. He was a consumate gentleman, small in stature but with a fire in his eyes like I’d never seen before nor since. I’ll never forget how he held the hall spellbound with the stories of his life’s work. When I shook his hand I was very conscious of the fact that I was shaking a hand that had shaken the hands of Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Charles M. Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, William Wrigley Jr., John Wanamaker, William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Jennings Randolph, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Now there’s a list of manly men for you. Pretty heady stuff for a kid in high school.
I wish I could say that I grew up in a home where the Master Mind was the order of the day, but alas, my mom never caught the vision of it. She was of the generation that wanted to be taken care of by her man and didn’t want to be involved in the planning and goal-setting. As a result, when my dad died mom was completely lost and adrift and has been dependent and miserable ever since. I’m blessed with a wonderful wife and companion of 38 years who’s been the other half of our Master Mind all that time. What a blessing it is. True manliness comes from a successful Master Mind with true womanliness.

41 Tuck April 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Hooray for a Mates of State mention!

42 Jon O' April 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Although Napoleon Hill had some nutty ideas (I really don’t believe, like he obviously did, that a REAL third mind was formed- but I do agree there is an incredible sort of “synergy” that is formed from the power of ideas), this is a great post. A really awesome book (possibly my and my wife’s favorite), A SEVERE MERCY by Sheldon Van Auken, tells a story of a couple that tried to accomplish this perfectly. GREAT book. I highly recommend it for anyone married or hoping to be so someday.

43 Brandon April 4, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some of the horror stories keep a lot of gentlmen away. President Buchanan was the bachalor president. So if you choose, choose wisely! Remember, she gets half your stuff. . .

44 Mason April 5, 2011 at 1:36 am

Hey guys, I’ve been reading your blog quite a bit lately and this article got me particularly suspicious, and then I got to the part about your two year mission in mexico and my suspicion proved accurate… :)

Anyway I’ve had many of the same thoughts, though much more vague, about what a marriage relationship should be like and as single man I’ve been on the look out for a woman compatible enough with me to form that kind of a relationship. Thanks for illustrating and expounding on it!

45 Darren April 5, 2011 at 8:56 am

I run into a lot of men who are in their mid to late 20s who are not considering marriage anytime soon. There is a sense of arrested adolescence that wasn’t present to the extent it is now a generation ago.

I understand the worries of commitment, fear of not being able to work out a relationship in this economy, fear of it not working our somehow. So here’s my take.

When we came back from our three-day honeymoon in San Diego (no Hawaii or anything else exotic), we had $22.00 in our checking account. So we went and got jobs. Hey, we were poor apart, so why not be poor together?

Looking back to that $250 a month efficiency apartment, those were some of the best years of our lives. It’s a cliche’, but it’s true. Nothing is as good as a marriage that brings out the best in people. A mastermind, so to speak.

This month marks our 27th Anniversary. If you really want to p*ss off Wife 1.2, just tell her “You guys wouldn’t understand…you have the perfect marriage.” What she usually says is a) you have no idea how our marriage is, and b) you think it just got this way by magic? It’s a lot like work.

But it’s wonderful. The best thing in the world.


P.S. Mason, we’re everywhere. Italy, 1981-1983.

46 Matt C. April 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Great article. My wife and I share a lot of interests, including music, so we collaborate a lot. We also dream and plan together on goals for ourselves, our marriage, and our family. I would definitely say we have this kind of relationship.

47 Gal @ Equally Happy April 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm

It’s that “check your pride at the door” rule which I found to be the most important. I’ve been blogging for around 7 years now and when I mentioned a few ideas to my fiance, my first reaction to her feedback was “well, what does she know anyway?!!” This was absolutely the wrong approach (for both a master mind project and for a relationship in general).

Now I make sure to take the time and give her ideas the attention they deserve, as she does for me. The result has been a much better blog and several new business ideas.

48 Prabu Rajasekaran April 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Brett & Kate,

This article has come in at the right time for me; I’m getting married to a wonderful woman soon.

Thank you very much. You’ve made it an excellent day for me.

49 Guy April 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm

This is a bit off topic, but exactly what model is the motorcycle in the opening picture?

50 Brandon April 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I love Johnny Cash, he and June Carter were a great team. They loved performing music together, they shared a unique vision and a passion for their work and because of that they had a long and happy marriage.

51 Huntfishski April 7, 2011 at 1:43 am

I totally agree!! I just regret that I had to get an ex-wife before I found what I think is a Master Mind partnership. I can say that an involved, ACTIVE partner is an awesome thing to have. My ex was incredibly smart, but she’d rather be fat and lazy than stay married. My GF is smart, fit, ambitious, and has spine enough to go toe to toe with me! Man that is such a turn-on! I would encourage a spin-off article: Identifying a quality woman… help some singles avoid the trauma of marrying the wrong partner.

52 Aaron April 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

I have read many articles and many comments and never left one myself but I think comment 51 may have the best suggestion I have seen. Firstly, I want to second that being with someone who will not always just cow down but stand up to you and challenge you and have her own thoughts and ideas is a major turn on. Secondly, let’s be honest, many of us young men come from broken homes. We don’t know what a quality marriage looks like or maybe even a quality woman in some cases. Personally I am in a long term committed relationship but I find myself every once in a while question my choice of significant other.

53 Caathy Chamberlain April 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I really enjoy this site. I find it better than so many women’s sites, and find it interesting that it is co-written by a woman. The articles are great and I share lots of them with my two sons. Keep up the good work!

54 Harland April 12, 2011 at 7:53 am

A fantastic article, one of the best in the last while. My wife and I try to live this philosophy, and although we have a ways to go, I can see the benefit! Thank you McKay’s for Sharing.

55 Ravi Kishor Shakya April 13, 2011 at 3:18 am

Nice article McCays!

56 Daktari April 24, 2011 at 9:13 am

Great post. My wife and I are in widely disparate fields, medicine and logistics, ad frequently experience what I will now call a Third Mindlessness. Some great practical tips here! We will continue working towards our ideal: togetherness. Thanks for sharing.

57 DJ June 13, 2013 at 3:33 am

Does anyone else ever notice (unlike this site, and I commend it for this) that most of these copreneurial articles DON”T give the reader the option to comment. They only deal with the fraction of copreneurial couples who don’t eventually divorce – also they usually talk only about those who have businesses that have succeded to the point of having franchises or millions in sales. That is simply not reality for most people. For most, marriage is hard enough without running a business on top of it. That’s the reality.

58 Eddie August 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm

DJ is right. If there were statistics on “copreneur” divorce, they’d probably be super-high. Working with someone all day and then being with them all night would drive almost any marriage to divorce. All these articles on “copreneurship” give all this advice to keep the marriage together. But, date nights get old. How long do you stay best friends when you have to be together almost all the time? Little getaways turn into “I wish I could get away from him/her.” Seperating work from home becomes impossible. You’re not in love anymore but either pretend to be or hide the fact that you’re not because you have a business together. Eventually, you admit to yourself that all that is really left is “the business”, not the marriage.

It would be interesting to know, with the huge upsurge in “gray divorces” – how many of them were “copreneur” divorces. I’d bet the number would be very, very high. After years and years of being in that situation, and with people living much longer nowadays, even if you’re 50 or 55, do you REALLY want to spend the next 25-30 years with this person? What is the common sense answer to that question? And DJ is right on another point. Most of these “copreneurial” websites DON’T allow you to comment. The ones that do will most likely “moderate” your comment and keep it off the site if you don’t agree with what they say.

59 Alex March 28, 2014 at 11:53 pm

I’m lucky enough and proud to say I recently got hitched, and I feel blessed to find this article when our marriage is young. I’m really excited to share this article with my wife.

You’re comments about couples that co-author together and the inspirations that come from nature remind me of John and Stasi Eldridge. They write Christian themed books but whether or not that’s for you they reveal many insights to becoming a better man and having a better relationship with your significant other, as well as the importance of spending time outdoors. I would suggest starting with “Wild at Heart.” This may give you many ideas for future manly articles.

Big fan of AoM!

60 Daniel April 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Love this! I wish more couples would do this because there are far too many couples pushed further and further apart. But I guess there’s always stuff like this to help those people:

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