Ep. 12 - Dean & Diony McPherson - College Friends to Tech Industry Sweethearts

Today’s phenomenal guests are joining us all the way from Sydney, Australia. Dean and Diony McPherson went from being college sweethearts to thriving entrepreneurs. They now co-own and run the tech company, Paperform, but the two still feel their greatest accomplishment is being parents to their young family. We’re digging in with Diony and Dean on their journey through changing careers and industries—all while juggling entrepreneurship, family, love and passion projects along the way. Our conversation is chock-full of incredible stories and advice that you won’t want to miss!

Love definitely began the story for Dean and Diony McPherson. The two met in college when they became neighbors in student housing, but were just friends in the beginning. In fact, Diony—who’s a few years older—never really considered Dean in a romantic way until one day he stopped her dead in her tracks and the rest is history!

This pair got married young and always knew they wanted a big family, but were open to seeing where the road led as far their careers and lives went otherwise. And while entrepreneurship wasn’t where they originally envisioned themselves with Diony’s background as a museum curator and Dean’s double major in music and philosophy, they absolutely love the life and company they’ve built together.

From ancient history, philosophy and music to becoming tech industry geniuses, these two had such unique and powerful insights to share. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation together: 
  • 9:33 | Having a background in something outside of your field can actually give you an extremely applicable framework and mindset to work from. Don’t discount the knowledge you have—it may be a more logical jump than you think. 
  • 14:30 | Whatever your industry, but especially in tech, do your research! Always consider the user—what they need and how to best deliver it to them. Yes, you should look at competitors, but they aren’t your primary focus. 
  • 15:46 | If you’re looking to bump up the SEO of your blog posts, treat them like research or formal publications. Do your homework, add in your links and you’ll stand out in searches.
  • 17:20 | There’s a time and place for everything. Take strengths from you and your partners’ personalities and experiences and find where you can use them both. 
  • 18:46 | Put your ego aside and don’t get too personal about the way someone is thinking. It’s just their process. You need to communicate your process to your partner, but don’t take it as a personal attack.
  • 21:25 | Do a weekly team sync—even if it’s just the two of you.
  • 32:07 | Consider the practical way you operate, but also what really drives your business. Get crystal clear on your definition of success because it doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. 
  • 37:15 | Recognize that work is really important, but your people are more important.
  • 41:30 | Hire people who really want to be there who you can invest in—not just people who have a traditional background in your industry. Look at their personality and not only their resume.
  • 44:03 | Get help! Hire a team. Hire a part-time nanny to help with your kids. There is no guilt in asking for help. You can’t do everything yourself.
  • 51:37 | Argue well. Learn how you communicate and think about it intentionally. Fight for what is important and what you believe in, but always with the utmost respect for your partner in mind. 

In Mixing Business With Pleasure, the pleasure was truly all ours with this couple! We promise you’ll love our chat with this hardworking, fun and humble pair. Their advice and insight into working together and loving each other well are truly fantastic. Tune in now! 


More From Our Couple
  • Learn more about Dean & Diony’s business, Paperform.


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Dean & Diony

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