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Kickass Couples Podcast

Mastering Dedication in Marriage & Business: Achieving Success Together – Ep. 92 Robert & Kay Lee Fukui

By March 1, 2023No Comments



kay, work, robert, lee, business, relationship, counseling, commitment, thinking, dinnertime, couples, risk, conflict, appreciation, sharing, dating, people, conflict resolution, married, communication


Robert Fukui, Kay Lee Fukui, Robert & Kay Lee Fukui, Matthew Hoffman, Kimberly Hoffman


Matthew Hoffman  00:08

Welcome back to the Kickass Couples Podcast. We are excited to be bringing a fantastic couple in who really specializes not only in helping couples with their businesses, but in helping them with their relationships. We want to welcome Robert and Kay Lee Fukui to the Kickass Couples Podcast guys. Thanks for joining us.


Robert & Kay Lee Fukui  01:50

Hey, thank you so much for having us.


Robert Fukui  01:53

This is a cool air stream we’re in.


Kay Lee Fukui  01:54



Robert Fukui  01:54

I love it. 


Matthew Hoffman  01:58

You’ll have to come camping before you say it’s really cool. Tight spaces, tight spaces, well. We are glad to be with you all today. And we always like to start off our interviews. And Kay Lee, I’m gonna start with you tell me what you think makes the two of you a kick ass couple?


Kay Lee Fukui  02:17

The two of us, I don’t know, you have any thoughts? 


Robert Fukui  02:17

Good question.


Robert Fukui  02:23

He asked you honey.


Kay Lee Fukui  02:24

No, I think my husband and I, we did a couple years of counseling before we got married. So I think we did a lot of resolve conflict. Yes, over those counseling sessions we do. And so I think that’s really helped us a lot. Because we find out with our customers or clients that a lot of times they get stuck in certain places, and then they can’t seem to get out of that or move forward. And then they start piling up all these things under the rug that we just can’t talk about are off limits. So I’d say that’s one of the one of the things.


Matthew Hoffman  02:59

Terrific. And Robert, how about you? What would you add to that? What do you think makes the two of you kick ass?


Robert Fukui  03:04

Yeah, I think it’s and I want to say Kay Lee, she’s very good about not accepting the status quo in our relationship. She’s always wanted to do better. Even when we only had four dates. When she started to ask, that’s what she did. She suggested I go to counseling.


Kimberly Hoffman  03:23

Already fixing you.


Robert Fukui  03:27

Yeah, exactly. And so I think just, you know, she’s a great partner in that, you know, we can get stuck in a rut sometimes, especially when you’re married. And you know, we’re married 16 going on 17 years. And sometimes over time, we take things for granted. But Kay Lee is very good about not taking things for granted and always looking to improve. And so she kind of pushes me along to do that. And she also knows that, you know, in business, I like to keep making improvements. So she kind of knows how to push that button, and how to improve. And so how to adjust that into the relationship. Because, you know, as you know, you never get to this point where all of a sudden, everything’s perfect, and just kumbaya, and everything’s gonna go well, but you always have to be constantly working at it. So, you know, we’ll do that for our business. But a lot of times, we don’t do it for a marriage. And so Kay Lee is very good about just keeping things moving forward,relationally.


Matthew Hoffman  04:18

I love that. Not happy with the status quo, always. You’ve got an improvement and a growth mindset. That’s great to hear.


Kimberly Hoffman  04:27

Well, I like to ask couples when we meet with them a little bit about their history, because I believe that we are in many cases, a product of the people who raised us, and a product of the environment that we were brought up in and it really plays a big role when we come to a committed relationship. So Robert, I would love to hear from you a little bit about your history, and what love look like in your household when you were growing up? How it was modeled for you 


Robert Fukui  05:01

So at the risk of throwing my parents under the bus they’re both passed away, unfortunately, but, but they would, they would agree to this, but my dad was a pastor. So I’m a PK. And so whatever thoughts, you might think about what a PK does add a little bit of that. It wasn’t totally rebellious, but I’d add a little bit of it. But you know, it’s interesting that, you know, as a pastor, and this is goes across the board, and people in ministry, apparently they don’t teach conflict resolution, and communication in relationship in seminary or Bible college, apparently, because they didn’t do that very well, in our household. Now, they love each other for sure. And they showed us, they loved each other, them to each other, and, and then us as kids.I just have one sister. But unfortunately, what was modeled to me as far as just good communication and conflict resolution, was was not modeled to me, the thing that was model was commitment. And so that I took into everything I do from business and sports to relationships. So the commitment piece was always there, it was just the communication and conflict resolution piece that was not there. And so, you know, unfortunately, like, I’m not, I don’t like conflict as a result. So not just relationally, but just in business, too. And so that’s something I’ve had to work through. And a lot of it came from when Kay Lee suggested I go to counseling, and it became couples counseling within about a month. So all that what did we work on in counseling was communication and conflict resolution. And so as I’ve gotten older and do that, as well as continue to work on it with our own relationship, even after counseling, you know, I just became better at it more comfortable with it, I guess. And part of it was exercising it with Kay Lee. And having you know, as you know, you’re gonna always have opportunities to improve your communication and to resolve conflict. And so that was that was my bit of my upbringing around that.


Kimberly Hoffman  07:03

Yeah. And so not having had that modeled for you when you came to relationship with Kay Lee, I guess there were a lot of red flags. And things were not


Robert Fukui  07:14

Yellow flags.


Kimberly Hoffman  07:18

Yellow, okay. Yellow, caution, caution.


Matthew Hoffman  07:23

 Danger. Danger Will Robinson.


Robert Fukui  07:26

Exactly. Was really her,  Kay Lee’s idea, right? It wouldn’t have been up to me? If it was up to me, I wouldn’t go.


Kimberly Hoffman  07:33

 It wouldn’t have happened. 


Robert Fukui  07:36

But I was trying to impress, you know, this young lady that I just met, literally four weeks prior. And so I said, Okay.


Kimberly Hoffman  07:44

Right. But you all had the foresight to seek help and outside help, which I think is really important for our listeners to hear that it’s okay and in many cases, really good to do that. How about for you, Kay Lee, what what did love look like in your household when you were growing up as a child? 


Kay Lee Fukui  08:02

We had very similar experiences. He’s a PK. I come from a small business family. So entrepreneur, my dad worked six days a week, so he was never home. So the business became the mistress. And it was really challenging on our family. And like, Robert, we, we did conflict differently. We either slammed the phone down on each other, we walk out the room, getting the car and the storm off. So we had all these things that were unresolved. And it was really challenging. It was like so many things we couldn’t talk about, or you didn’t ask questions about it. There was all these unknowns. And so people just walked around, upset all the time, because we didn’t know what to do with all this bottling up emotions, and we just explode on people. And so that was part of the reason of why I wanted Robert to go to counseling. Well, there’s more story to that. But we didn’t have I felt like I didn’t have the tools to resolve things and to know what healthy look like. Because if you’re not raised in that, and even though I love my parents dearly, I just didn’t want the same type of relationship that they had. I wanted more.


Kimberly Hoffman  09:13



Matthew Hoffman  09:14

And was there a time, did you two before you got married? I know you were dating and then you went you went to counseling before marriage, correct? So you all did that kind, okay.


Robert Fukui  09:23

I would even say I would even throw that go. An extra step is that we started doing counseling before I think we were even dating because we only had four dates. Like I just met her. I met her online on a dating site. We had four dates, and then she’s suggesting I go to counseling. So and I’m thinking, Are we even, you know, are we are we date are we really dating or 


Kimberly Hoffman  09:45

Wait, what’s happening here? 


Robert Fukui  09:49

We hadn’t up to that moment, we haven’t even had a disagreement. Like what is going on here? 


Matthew Hoffman  09:56

Proactive, you gotta love that. 


Kimberly Hoffman  09:57

What I love is that you both probably shared your back background, your history. And the way love was modeled. And you decided that if we want this to go forward, we both need a little help to be brought to this relationship so that it can be healthy and successful.


Kay Lee Fukui  10:14

Truth be told, Robert was married before me. He was previously married. And he married somebody that he’d met at church camp when they were in grade school, and they would see each other once a year. And one day, it was right before Christmas, he had married her and she was going to work. It was the last day she was going to work before she was off for the Christmas break. They had all these plans together of all the things they were going to do. She was driving to work, and she got in a car accident. And she died. And I wanted to make sure, I told my friends, my girlfriends, and they said, Oh, well, at least you don’t have to worry. There’s no ex wife. There’s no you know, another woman involved. And I said to them, but he loved her and he would still be married to her. And I didn’t want to feel like I was competing with a ghost. And so when I met him, I thought, oh, my gosh, he has a big heart. It seems like a great guy. I didn’t want to put my whole heart into it to find out a year later, he didn’t have room for me. So I wanted to find out earlier than later.


Robert Fukui  11:24



Kimberly Hoffman  11:25

 Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that.


Matthew Hoffman  11:27

I appreciate that. That wasn’t easy for either of you, I’m sure absolutely what I find interesting. So when you all went to the counseling while you’re dating, this is early in, right? Just after four dates, which I think is great. Did you all have a discussion and say, All right, this is what I had and what I didn’t like and what I want. And the other ones say this is what , I did you guys talk about those histories and say, This is what we want to build together? Did that happen before marriage or how did that come out?


Kay Lee Fukui  11:54

He makes it sound so simple.


Robert Fukui  11:55

 I got snickered into this whole thing. So it wasn’t so systematic as that. So what happened was, as Kay Lee shared, right? First was, am I am I in a proper mindset, heart set to actually have a relationship, right? Am I ready to not so much move on from my previous wife, but it’s really to be able to have be open to another relationship and not let that past interfere with our present relationship. So as I started going to counseling, you know, first was just myself. And then she would ask me, I’d pick her up for dinner afterwards. And she would always ask me a seat. Basically, she wanted to recap for my session. And, again, I just went through an hour of this, I do not want to replay this over dinner, right? And so after a couple times, I said, why don’t you just go with me? And then you can ask your questions real time and get answers. And then I don’t have to play this telephone thing, be the phone operator. So, first she said no, because this is your time, and it’s all about you is not about me. And I said yeah, but you have all these questions that I’m not gonna think about someone just asked it there. So she, she did say, Okay, I’ll go. So she started attending with me. From there, it just kind of evolved, where basically, what our counselor did was just take the present communication, the president topics at hand, and just helped us kind of go through it, and resolve things and basically real time developed giving us tools of how to communicate, be open and honest. Not that we weren’t honest, but how to be like, because like, I don’t like conflict. So being able to share something that I think might make her upset, I don’t want to do, right. So that’s the honesty piece is just being able to share it. And then it went into the past. Because as you’re sharing, Kimberly, about our past, our history really, you know, kind of sets the tone of how we do life and how we see things and communicate. That’s kind of what she dealt with. Right? That’s when she started digging into our paths and then start to connect the dots of, you know, what we’re doing the present and what’s creating conflict in the present really stems from how we were raised. So it just kind of evolved, basically. Right?


Kimberly Hoffman  14:10

Did that process bring you closer?



Oh, for sure. I mean, you know, especially when you start to dive into the past, because usually as couples, especially in dating, it’s more, I guess, surface level stuff, talking about, you know, sports and school, that kind of stuff. But talking about the pains of the past, you know, that’s deep right?


Kimberly Hoffman  14:33

 That’s vulnerability, and that’s deep absolutely. 


Robert Fukui  14:36

 First it brings you closer together and also creates the empathy that otherwise wouldn’t be there when we have a disagreement.


Kay Lee Fukui  14:44

I’m like, oh, that’s why he does what he does now.


Kimberly Hoffman  14:48

Right. It gives you understanding. 


Robert Fukui  14:50



Matthew Hoffman  14:51

Right. That’s great. I mean, I’m so it’s fun to hear that you did a lot of this before marriage because you’re going to deal with the past sometime and Maybe all the time. And if it’s not something that you confront with your partner, that person that you’re committing your life to, before marriage, and it’s certainly going to happen during it. And sometimes that can be really difficult because you don’t really know what’s lurking in the back or anything. Especially if it’s unresolved, or if the person hasn’t faced it. So I appreciate you guys sharing that. And it kind of leads naturally in, we have 14 pillars that we think are present in all successful relationships. And we really like to focus on what we call the three C’s. And those three C’s, you’ve already mentioned a lot about commitment is the first communication and then conflict resolution. But I kind of want to start with commitment. And Kay Lee, I love to ask you, in your relationship with Robert, what does commitment look like between the two of you? 


Kay Lee Fukui  15:46

Well, I think it started early on, because I didn’t have it really modeled to me growing up. So when he said he would go to counseling, then I knew he was serious. And there was also other challenges along the way of us dating. I didn’t make it easy on him at all. But he stuck around, you know what I mean? Because I was used to people in my life. People like leaving all the time, like they’d get upset and they leave, you don’t know if they’re coming back. So I’d say commitment was a really big one. And I know now, if Robert wants to do something, I really need to think about it. Because once he commits he’s in for the long haul, which is good.


Robert Fukui  17:14

 For good or for bad.


Kay Lee Fukui  17:18

But it’s not like six months later, I’m like, Oh, I changed my mind or oh, I’m bored. I want to do something else? So I’d say commitment was a big one.


Matthew Hoffman  17:26

How about for you, Robert, tell me what commitment, when you think of commitment in your relationship? What does that look like? And what do y’all do for each other that demonstrates that commitment?


Robert Fukui  17:36

You know, it’s just, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. I think just as Kay Lee was sharing. You know, that’s kind of how I was, I was always, I always am just, I’m a loyal person a lot from from childhood, my dad just instilled that in me just be loyal to a fault. And sometimes that creates conflict, because not in our relationship, like not, the commitment between the husband and wife isn’t the issue. It’s the commitment outside of thing outside of home, right, whether it’s volunteer work, or being on a board of directors or something like that, that commitment level sometimes can interfere with with us. But as far as what does commitment look like for us? It’s just that every day, knowing that we got each other’s back, and I think a lot of it comes from our ability to be able to resolve issues. Because a lot of times when you don’t have an ability to resolve conflict, and there’s things that are buried on the rug, as Kay Lee was sharing earlier, and especially depend on your out your upbringing like Kay Lee’s upbringing, was there’s a potential risk for the spouse to leave the home because that’s what happened in her in her family, right? So there’s, and when, so when you have a conflict or a disagreement, an argument or some kind of conflict, there can be in the back of your mind, especially for someone like Kay Lee with that background, that I’m not going to stick around. So I think that ongoing, the commitment, the marriage and the vows is one thing. But I think the ongoing ability to resolve issues just reinforces that I’m not going anywhere. She’s not going anywhere, because we’re going to stick it out. So saying things is one thing, but I think the actions behind what you say is the thing that continues to reinforce commitment, right, because commitment has to be earned. Especially when again, if you don’t come from background, there’s a risk that someone’s going to flee. That in the back of your mind. There’s always that, that thinking if there’s one, there’s an argument, especially so having an ability to resolve issues and being able to constantly share with each other that we love, love you. And I’m sticking this thing out, right, we’re in it for the long haul. And then showing that ability to resolve issues, I think reinforces that commitment.


Matthew Hoffman  19:46

That’s beautiful. Thank you.


Kimberly Hoffman  19:48

You both shared with us a little bit earlier that you’ve already worked on communication and conflict resolution. That’s something you’ve been actively working on as a couple, but I want to separate out communication and talk to you a little bit about communication. How you communicate in your relationship. You all work together, you live together, you play together, how do you separate that time out for communication and stay emotionally connected to each other?


Robert Fukui  20:19

Good one. That’s right up your alley honey. emotionally connected.


Kay Lee Fukui  20:24

Yes. I love that one. Some of the things that we do, we have like weekly meetings every Monday at 330, we meet up and we’ll go over our schedules for the week. So we know what’s coming up. We can go over our budget finances, go over the calendar, like, Oh, we’re having a date night. Or it could be make sure we get on the calendar or could be we got a really busy schedule coming up the next week. And Robert is going to be working a lot. But in two weeks, he’s going to take me out or we’re gonna go do something fun because we love to play, we find that a lot of couples are either too busy, they don’t know how to play, or they don’t want to make time for it. But we love it. And we find that’s one way to connect to just getting out in nature, having fun laughing, enjoying each other, and just relaxing.


Kimberly Hoffman  21:20

Sure, Robert, do you want to add anything to that?


Robert Fukui  21:23

Yeah, I think that being intentional time as Kay Lee was sharing, you know, we have our weekly meetings that kind of goes over a number of things business and personal. And then there’s just that intentional time of like, say that once dinnertime hits, there’s no business issues, there’s no texting, emails, whatever. No discussion about business from dinnertime on so that we have time to connect, right? Because even if you don’t work together, but there’s always a lot of the conversations a lot of times goes over just routine stuff around the day, but not about what’s your hopes, dreams and visions, that kind of stuff. Right? And what are you dealing with? How can I help you. And so a lot of times, those things don’t get discussed, because they’re just kind of going on the fly without intention, it just just two ships passing a night sometimes. So having those weekly meetings is one thing, but even knowing that when it, once dinner hits, it’s no business talk. And then of course, we have to skip scheduling, even our our date nights and stuff like that. And be intentional with carving out time and protecting time to stay connected. And especially when you’re working together can be very easy to just run. And like even when you’re not working, just be talking and thinking about business.


Kay Lee Fukui  22:40

And then we’ll even do like quarterly getaways for the weekend. We put that on the calendar, because if we don’t get it on the calendar, you’re gonna get busy doing other stuff. So we try and get that on there first before the calendar gets filled up.


Matthew Hoffman  22:55

Blocking out time for what’s important. 


Kimberly Hoffman  22:57

Absolutely. I love hearing also that you are committed to protecting your evening time. I think it’s really easy when we work together to get caught back into those conversations in the evening. And sort of let them slip in but being intentional about not doing that is great advice for our our listeners. 


Matthew Hoffman  23:16

Yeah, I like that kind of 


Robert Fukui  23:17

and you have to hold each other accountable on that too. Because last night, Kay Lee started talking about business I’m looking at her, 


Kay Lee Fukui  23:23

Oh no


Robert Fukui  23:24

I’m like what are you doing. Reset. 


Robert Fukui  23:32

Hold on, hit the buzzer. I like that. Yeah, the idea of the line in the sand because it’s easy to slip into and have you know we work together in this podcast, we don’t work together and everything else. But it’s you don’t want to make work the topic all the time, or you want to make sure that you’re allowing the time but I love the idea of kind of like alright, dinnertime rule here on it’s about us and our lives and 


Kimberly Hoffman  23:55

Family. Yeah. 


Matthew Hoffman  23:57

Leave the business behind. 


Kimberly Hoffman  23:58



Robert Fukui  24:00

So you all talked about conflict resolution a little bit and I’d love to hear, I kind of want to in either of you can take this hit the buzzer first. Can you think of a time when one of you screwed up? And like really stepped in it. And how did you confront that? And how did you guys work through that time together?


Robert Fukui  24:22

So how do you define screw up?


Matthew Hoffman  24:27

 I’ll leave that for you. 


Robert Fukui  24:32

Like, like I was in the wrong, and I have to admit it.


Kay Lee Fukui  24:36

You want to fear you want to hear a funny one? Tell him the chili story honey.


Robert Fukui  24:42

Yeah, so you know one thing is we we don’t tend to remember I mean literally we don’t remember the details of past arguments. 


Kay Lee Fukui  24:50

This happened to us all the time. I don’t know why she asked.


Kimberly Hoffman  24:50

It happens. 


Robert Fukui  24:50

Because we resolve, we truly do resolve them so sometimes a lot of stuff. I know you’ve done these things, and then but it’s only the funny ones stick out right?Because it’s because it’s laughable. I mean, just like, yeah, that was really stupid. It’s not going to create any animosity between the two of us. This was like, that was stupid, why did we even argue about that? But yeah, it’s, you know, we, recognizing we screwed up and being man enough, is always challenging, especially for me growing up in Asian culture. And I don’t know if it’s just an Asian thing. But I think as a man, a lot of times, we don’t want to admit being wrong. And so just being able to being wrong, it can be challenging, but, and I’ve done a specific example right now, except for the chili, the green chili story, right? When we the joke around our house is Kay Lee would come in the office in the middle of day and say, What do you want for dinner? And I would inevitably say, I don’t know. And then she’d get frustrated. So one day, 


Robert Fukui  25:50

So one day, I’m looking through the recipes online, I go, Oh, this looks looks really good. So I go in the dining room, and I say, Hey, honey, I know what I want for dinner. I just found this great recipe. It’s called green chili, beef stew. And so she says, she asked me, Well, what makes it green? And I’m like, What do you mean, what makes a green? Check? What makes the chili green? And I said, it’s grown green. It comes that way. It’s born that way. It’s a green chili. And she’s like, What? What? I don’t get it. So how’s the chili? How do you make the chili green? I feel it’s it’s a green chili. It’s just that’s how it’s grown. It comes out of the ground that way. And she’s just like, so we’ve gone round and round and round. And I ask her, 


Kay Lee Fukui  26:34

He’s like, you’ve seen it before I went no I haven’t. 


Robert Fukui  26:36

Yeah. I said haven’t you seen a green chili before? And she says no. And I get totally frustrated. I go, we’ve cut with us. Like on weekends, we’ll cook together. So weekdays she cooks? Well, let me work all the way up to dinnertime. But on weekends, I’ll take the lead on the menu, and then we cook together. And I know we’ve we’ve used green chilies before. And so when she said I don’t, I’ve never never seen one, I got really frustrated. And so that’s when I stop. And I’m like, I pause and I step back. And I asked her so what are you thinking about when I say green chili. And she was talking about the


Kay Lee Fukui  26:59

So it was in the month of March St. Patty’s and you know how they have green beer and all the different green foods. So I’m thinking of green chili beans, you know like with the firemen,  the firemen make the fire station that have had like, the dish that have had like green food coloring or something and in my mind, but he’s totally thinking


Robert Fukui  27:30

 The vegetable.


Kay Lee Fukui  27:31

 Yeah. And so we almost got into a complete set with me. He’s like, I know you’ve seen it. I’m like, No, I haven’t.


Robert Fukui  27:42

Because I’m like, in my mind, like, we’ve cooked with Greenshields before it’s submitted. She said, No, I’m like, what? And so that almost turned on to something. But you know, that goes into clarification, right? That you can literally we talk about the same


Matthew Hoffman  27:56

You were able to step back, right, you step back, you read. Got clarification and just said wait a minute. This is we’re arguing about, we’re not even arguing about the same thing, right?


Robert & Kay Lee Fukui  28:07

 We’re arguing over the same words , but different opinions. 


Matthew Hoffman  28:13

Well, it’s funny, because that kind of goes to, you know, in couples and relationships. Everybody has their own vantage or viewpoint or opinion or feeling on something. And they’re both right. And they’re both right, right. Kay Lee was thinking this is what I know. And I know, I’ve seen green stuff before. What do you mean green chili? And Robert, you’re thinking no we’ve cooked with this thing? It’s green. It’s a chili Come on. So you each had your own viewpoints and in your own mind, they were correct. Right. And that’s a hard thing to work through. Because you feel absolutely that you’re not crazy. And that you know what you’re thinking or talking about. 


Robert Fukui  28:48

I thought it was quite crazy though. Like am I married to the same woman? So it’s amazing how little things like that can become really big issues. I mean, if you look back, most of them are, you know, arguments are kind of silly. Like if you’re on the outside looking in, you’re like you’re why are you arguing about this, right? And so, like, even one time, it goes back, it goes both ways. But sometimes she’ll start arguing, and I’ll stop and and I asked her, do you really want to argue about this? And she’ll be like, No, I’ll do the same thing though. And she’ll say it to me, and I’m like, don’t throw that in my face. No, I don’t want to argue about it. But I want to be upset right at the moment. Give me 10 seconds. And then we’ll get over it because I’m like, yeah, it is stupid. But you know. 


Matthew Hoffman  29:41

Yeah. But but so yeah, I mean, the key in that situation, right is to change is to step back and get a different perspective. Or you ask the question, saying, What are you seeing in your mind when I say green chili, right, and it could have been, it could have been, you know, a totally different subject but if you Say, Hey, wait a minute, when I say that, what are you thinking it’s going to be versus what it is. And so if you got to the root of it, and even though it was a funny, silly thing, you’re able to move it to the side and laugh about it, as opposed to having it be an argument that you know, create.


Kimberly Hoffman  30:15

Well, we have, in addition to our three pillars that we just talked about 11 more that we believe are important in any successful relationship. And I think you may have that list in front of you. Of those 11 remaining pillars. And to ask you, Kay Lee first, is there one that really resonates and sticks out to you one that’s really important to you, and why?


Kay Lee Fukui  30:40

I they’re all important. But the one that really sticks out to me is fun, because I’m all about life is too short, and you need to go have fun, and laugh. Enjoy yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And yeah,


Kimberly Hoffman  30:55

So give me an example of a way that you have fun. What is something you like to do to have fun together?


Kay Lee Fukui  31:01

Gosh, I could do just about anything but snow skiing, we’re gonna go to a Park City and go snow skiing. So we’re really excited about it.


Robert Fukui  31:11

In three days. 


Kay Lee Fukui  31:12



Kimberly Hoffman  31:13

Nice. Very nice.


Matthew Hoffman  31:16

Wow! coming up soon. That’s great.


Kimberly Hoffman  31:17

So a trip together. Sounds awesome. How about for you, Robert? Is there a pillar that stands out to you that you resonate most with?


Robert Fukui  31:26

Yeah, I knew you were gonna ask us this. And I was looking at this before we even got an interview. And I was like, I figure you’re gonna ask me something like this. And it’s so hard. I mean, trust and honesty, patience, intimacy, lasting love, selflessness, unity, servant leadership, faith, moral code, appreciation, security, fun and humor. And I’m like, how do you choose one?


Kay Lee Fukui  31:45

 I know.


Robert Fukui  31:46

 And so I think sometimes it’s a season that you’re in, one will stick out more than the other. And so for me, right now, as you’re asking me today, I’d say appreciation. And, and that’s kind of goes along to my my word for the year, which is intentional. And I just know that, you know, as high achievers, a lot of times, we don’t stop and smell the roses. And being able to appreciate even the small things, it’s not just the big accomplishments. And a lot of times we wait to show appreciation or celebrate, when we’ve hit some major milestone, instead of really appreciation, appreciating the everyday, even small things like, you know, being able to, you know, just being able to go, you know, be able to golf in the middle of winter here in Southern California, or be able to take the dog for a walk and not freeze my chili beans off, you know, like some parts of the country are at the moment. And just those little moments we get to do together to work together, to live together. Right. So right now, as you asked me the question today, it’d be appreciation.


Kimberly Hoffman  32:52

So what’s the best compliment you’ve gotten from Kay Lee lately?


Robert Fukui  32:55

I have to say, she’s way better at that than I am. She’s just much the encourager, I’m, I’m much more the Okay, we got this done. Let’s move the next task. And I think it goes back to it goes back to what I just said about using appreciation having that stick out so I can show appreciation even to her. And Kay Lee is very good at that. But the thing that I think she does, she did very well, and I’ll just go back to kind of early on in our marriage is she would always basically say that I know you’ll make the best decision for us. And there was it this may not sound like a big deal. But you know, a lot of times we’re in the middle of an argument, especially as husband and wife, we’re like, dig our heels in. And we’ve got to be right or I gotta be right. And then the moment she said that one time that I know, you’ll make the best decision for us, stopped me in my tracks. And it no longer became about my my ego and my, what I thought was the best thing to do or what I thought was smart. It became, yeah, is this the best decision for us, right now? I’m thinking for two and you think I would know that, but it didn’t you know, especially in an argument, you’re already thinking about yourself, you’re in survival mode. And but the minute she said that, I’m like, oh, okay, I had to really think things through. And I actually ended up whatever her suggestion was, I remember we’re having a disagreeing about something. But I ended up gravitating to her what she thought, you know what her suggestion was? Because as I started the process, what is the best decision for us and was no longer about me and my opinion. And then I realized, Oh, I think what she had to say was actually valid, but that and things like that. But she says as built me up as a husband as a leader, because and too many times we’ve seen in relationships, where the wife will just tear the husband down and call them good for nothing or stupid or you’re always doing this, you always make the wrong decision, whatever, just all these kinds of things. And then Kay Lee was always good about encouraging me up. And to me, I’d say I’m, I’m a better leader today. And more self confident about myself because of how she, she raised me, or how she kind of built me up with her words. 


Matthew Hoffman  35:23

Sure.That’s beautiful. That’s a great example of appreciation. And when your spouse builds you up like that, and makes you the best that you can be, and also speaks to her commitment. And so, Kay Lee I have a question for you. If you could go back to your unmarried self, and give yourself one piece of advice. What would that be?


Kay Lee Fukui  35:46

I would go back and I say, take more risks, step out and try new things. And that kind of happened with with you, honey because when I was single, I remember dating different people, and it didn’t work out. And then all of a sudden, I had to change my mindset and say, You know what? I told my girlfriends, and I meant this in a healthy way. I said, you know, what, set me up with with anybody that you know that single because I’ll go out with anybody wants in a healthy way, not like, I don’t want crazy or anything like that. So I had to open up in my horizons and go out with somebody who I’d normally hadn’t gone out with. And that was Robert, and I’m like, Oh, my gosh, boy was I surprised? So all I have to say is I would have liked to have made, stepped out more and taken more risks.


Matthew Hoffman  36:41

Great. Okay. How about you, Robert, if you went back to your unmarried self, and put your hands on your own shoulders and said, Here’s the one thing, piece of advice I can give you? What would that be?


Robert Fukui  36:51

Yeah, this is gonna sound like a cop out. But it’s the same word risk, because and I actually got, I was asked the same question on another interview, and I said, Yeah, risk, I’m very risk averse. And I was raised, risk averse. So you know, my dad just said, you know, go to school, get a job, and get a good job, you know, plan for your retirement, basically, that was about it. But you know, doing your own business was not part of the plan. It was never, that was never something instilled in me. And just in general, just wasn’t a big risk taker. So you know, working with Fortune 500 company was nice. You know, it’s less risky. There’s relative job security. But you’re, you know, you get a really good paycheck, you get your bonuses, and, you know, company cars, and all that kind of stuff. So when it came to the thought of starting our own business, you know, it was, it was kind of, you know, it was interesting not to take a step back and go, Oh, my gosh, this is a big deal. And, and now, even with our own business, now, that’s not the big deal. Now, it’s even in business, some of the other things that we’re doing with our book, and some other things that we’re venturing into, there’s more and more risks. And I’ve been over the years has been taking more risks, calculated risks, not just the not just be a renegade and just be, you know, just just all over the all over the board, but taking calculated risks, but willing to pick ticker tape, get out there and be a little bit vulnerable, right? Because it’s as new, it’s not safe. What if it goes wrong, right. And so just being able as, as I’ve gotten older, and as years progressed, I’m taking more and more risk and are seeing that everything worked out, works out, but most of them do. But in the end, you’re, you’re progressing so much greater and faster, when you’re able to step out and get out of your comfort zone. Right? So it’s not just in business, but it’s just in life in general, because some people play it safe just personally not want to travel. I mean, we know people that just don’t want to even leave their state or their city. Right. Just that’s, that’s a risk for some people is just getting outside of your own city borders. And so just stuff like that anything. So when I’ve seen risk, it’s not just about business. It’s just about in general, stepping out there out of your comfort zone. Yeah. And it’s so yeah, and life is so much better and richer outside of your little bubble. 


Matthew Hoffman  38:53

That’s great.


Kimberly Hoffman  39:14

Love hearing that. Well, thank you both so much. This has been an excellent time together. We have really enjoyed hearing all the great pearls that you’ve had to offer through your relationship. And we’re just excited that you were willing to sit down and share all of that with us and with our listeners. 


Matthew Hoffman  39:34

We appreciate that if people want to follow you learn more about you and see what you do. Where should where can people find you?


Robert Fukui  39:42

Well you got our main website is ‘’ So we do serve and help entrepreneur couples, greater work life balance and then we also on Instagram and Facebook are handles  ‘@powercouplesbydesign.’ So you can follow us that way as well. And then on our website, there’s a number of different free downloads you can have as well as our own podcast, ‘Power up Your Marriage and Business.’


Matthew Hoffman  40:05

Terrific. And you have a book you have the book Tandem, correct, also? If people want to read and learn a little bit more about working together.


Kay Lee Fukui  40:14

Yes. ‘’


Robert Fukui  40:17

is the website. Yes. ‘Tandem: The Married Entrepreneur


Kay Lee Fukui  40:22

 Guide for Greater Work, Life, Balance.’ 


Robert Fukui  40:24



Matthew Hoffman  40:25



Kimberly Hoffman  40:27

Love that!  We have really listened to, and have learned a lot about people who are, you know, working together, living together, that is becoming a very common scenario for us. So if you’re out there and you’re listening and you’re doing the same thing, I would suggest you look these two up, it would be a great learning opportunity.


Kimberly Hoffman  40:49

Thanks for joining us today, guys. We look forward to connecting again soon. 


Robert Fukui  41:16



Kay Lee Fukui  41:16

Thank you.


Robert Fukui  41:17

Thank you. Thank you for having us.


Kimberly Hoffman  41:33

Take care.