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Their mission: Help Colorado Springs couples with 'Mission Date Night'

July 20, 2015 Updated: July 20, 2015 at 8:04 am
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It's almost showtime, so Rob and Janelle Alex sit around the kitchen table in their makeshift sound studio, put on headsets, lean into microphones and press the record button. The familiar jingle plays and a British-accented voice asks the intro question: Will you accept your mission?

The local couple's spy-themed podcast "Mission Date Night" gets roughly 1,000 listeners per day and recently broke into the iTunes top 200 for podcasts.

Their mission? To "obliterate" relationship myths - and have fun along the way.

"There's a mindset that once you're married, it's all downhill from there," Rob said. "It doesn't have to be that way."

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Together, they're no strangers to starting from scratch. Rob owned a company as a teenager, and Janelle opened a dance studio when she was 19. They've both held other jobs, been married to other people and gone through divorces. So, when they married in 2002 (on a pirate boat in Florida), it was time to merge their business minds.

Before they founded "Mission Date Night," Rob and Janelle lost everything: their first family business, their house and their car. They lived in Janelle's parents' garage for two years.

"It was a really traumatic time for us, but the amazing part was that we got closer as a couple," Rob said. "A lot of people would've started blaming each other and pointing the finger, but we did the opposite."

That's when they got the idea to share their pointers, stories and corny jokes with other couples.

"This is something we were already doing, so we wanted to pick it up a notch," Rob said. "We're very transparent, and we encourage couples to not settle for good or OK or mediocre."

"If you listen, we're just us; we're not some weird gurus," said Janelle, who studied psychology in college and holds a doctorate in counseling. "We're playful, and we'll banter about how I like country music and he doesn't."

They've written more than 100 books in the past decade, with titles such as "Richer Together," "Mission Date Night Adventures" and "Sexy Challenges series."

Their podcasts have featured interviews with authors, counselors, a Playboy bunny and actors.

Rob's goal is to gain more sponsorships and break into the top 10 on iTunes.

But it's not all about the numbers.

"The big thing is we're so passionate about this message, this is our lives' work," Rob said. "We light up when we get to help couples."

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