Art of Boundaries in Relationships with Cathleen and Ryan McMahon

by | Apr 5, 2022 | Podcast | 0 comments

*Written transcript to come

One of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic has been arts and culture, and touring musician Ryan McMahon and former musician manager Cathleen McMahon desribe their journey over the past two years that took them from being partners in business to Cathleen resigning from her role as Ryan’s manager and finding a new path that better suited her personal growth and desires. This wasn’t easy, but the effects of this change have provided remarkable growth for both Cathleen and Ryan, as you’ll hear in this interview.  We talk about fact-checking ourselves, how to maintain boundaries with spouses who are also business partners during non-work time, and the idea of “emotional prenups” for musicians and artists who are collaborating on projects.

Ryan McMahon has played solo for over 20 years. He has a number of albums under his belt. He was also in the group Lion Bear Fox. You can hear his music and learn more about Ryan here.

Cathleen McMahon has spent most of her career as a music industry professional, and she’s blended her music and communications knowledge into charitable organization campaigns to increase awareness for childhood cancer, and our veteran community. She holds a bachelor’s degree in professional communication, and she’s also currently enrolled in a master’s in professional communication. Cathleen’s focus for her research is the influence that music and pop culture have on the human mindset.

To reach out to Merideth Bisiker, host of the Bound for Change podcast, you can email


6:29 Cathleen’s defition of boundaries: An open instruction list on how to deal with Cathleen

11:29 Ryan’s definition of boundaries: Doesn’t want to try to define them

12:48 How shifting social rules and conventions cause us to sometimes slip up and cross others’ boudaries

14:13 “Updating your shit” and being called out when we jokes about subject matter related to members of marginalized groups

18:09 Calling people safely into conversations about why some things we say aren’t appropriate

19:52 The burdens of working together and how difficult it was to separate work from home life

25:54 How Ryan took on the role of manager after Cathleen stepped away from that role, and the personal and business successes that came from that

26:59 How Cathleen delivered the news to Ryan that she was resigning from the role of being his manager

33:09 Ryan’s tenacity that helps him push past the “I’m to old for this industry” story and continue to meet more and more success

39:20 The challenges that come from collaborating with other musicians

46:20 Emotional prenups for artist collaborations

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