Today’s post brings us the husband and wife duo Steph and Brandon Tuss, who took their love of teaching and forged an unbreakable bond together as successful business partners and best friends for life. They joined us on the shores of Lake Norman, North Carolina, to be interviewed in our new podcast studio which is an Airstream trailer “Phoenix” because the last one went up in flames in July.
Steph Tuss is the CEO of a multimillion-dollar global consulting company “Life is Now Inc.” Steph discovered her love for teaching at a young age beginning her career as an educator. She has a master’s degree in holistic nutrition and has her own practice to help families. She hired David Nagle and his team at “Life is Now” as her Health Practices Business Coach. She sold her business at the age of 33. And joined “Life is Now” as the Director of Sales in 2009 before taking the CEO role in 2016.
Brandon Tuss is the director of podcasting for “Life is Now”, the Successful Mind podcast that helps people gain clarity around what it takes to adequately shape their minds and crush it in both life and business. Brandon started off with a successful career as an elementary school teacher but was later led to find his true calling in the self-improvement industry. Over the last decade, he has continued his mission to help others.
This kickass couple took their common love of teaching education and empowering others and have built a deep and abiding relationship that has made them better together forever.
When we asked them what they think makes them a kickass couple, their response was that they’ve always kind of been the black sheep in their families and have always tested the boundaries. They feel they’re a team that shares the same value system and has great communication.
They met as school teachers and Brandon still remembers the first time he laid his eyes on her when he walked into the library. He thought, “Whoa, who is that”? He immediately started making fun of her, because his way of showing love is to poke fun and be sarcastic. One day, she just threw it right back at him and cut him down a little bit. At that moment, he knew she was a keeper because she demonstrated she can take it and, also push it back right at him.
A strong sense of adventure keeps this couple bonded. They want to just experience everything. They are self-proclaimed “experience junkies”. They love getting out there and doing as much as possible like camping, going on cruises, or going overseas on trips. Brandon really appreciates that Steph is always willing to try something once.
Sharing the same value system also keeps this couple close. The things that are important to Steph are the things that are important to Brandon. They’ve been together for 23 years, including three career changes and multiple life changes. Their values and beliefs keep them really strong and grounded.
In college, Steph was reading self-help books and seeing a therapist. She has a strong value in self-improvement and a belief that you can change things that you don’t like or that you don’t want to experience anymore. She remembers that in the first couple of years of marriage, there were some really rough spots, and they decided that they’re either for each other or against each other. They realized there was no in-between and they would either need to grow together or be apart. They now feel like a rockstar couple because of their shared value system. A big part of that value system is personal growth. They are always striving to be a better person in some way, shape, or form.
We agree that personal growth is an important factor in relationships. Not enough of us realize that or we come to that realization when we’re a little bit older. When we’ve matured and we’ve grown up a little bit, we realize what an impact our own developmental journey can make on our relationships.
In addition to personal growth, commitment is another important aspect of marriage and at Kickass Couples, we see it as an entire pillar. Steph and Brandon see their commitment as being based on agreements. They make agreements all the time. They feel it’s about making a unified decision and as they see it, once you decide, there’s no other option. You’re committed. Everybody in every marriage has rough times when their brain wonders what it would be like to be alone and those little voices in the back of their head begin to rebel. However, when you remember that you’ve made a commitment to yourself, to who you want to be, and to another person, those voices begin to get quieter and quieter. For these two, commitment means focusing on the positive, focusing on the solutions, and not focusing on all the things that could be wrong at the time.
Steph summed it up very well when she said, “You have a choice in how you experience things. When you see a pair of socks on the floor, you can either focus on this lazy, crappy, unthoughtful person that left his socks on the floor, or you can just pick the socks up, put them away, and focus on the amazing loving husband that you have sleeping next to you in bed at night. I really think that you have personal responsibility and personal choice on how you both respond, experience, and react to things within your relationship.”
Well said Steph!
Have Steph and Brandon inspired you? Where can you strengthen your focus and commitment to your partner today? It may not be by picking up their dirty socks, but it could be by choosing to use a gentle tone when they’ve had a rough day or filling up the empty tank of gas they left you with because they were in a rush to get home to you the night before. There’s always a positive solution to be found in every situation when we’re committed to finding one.
Until next time. Remember, happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.