Steph Tuss is the CEO of the multi-million dollar global coaching company Life Is Now, Inc. The company’s mission is to help entrepreneurs, experts and self-employed professionals gain the trust and find the right mindset to grow their sales and direct their efforts into seven- and eight-figure companies.
Prior to Life Is Now, Steph was a school teacher who became an entrepreneur who started and sold her first business when she was 33. She has a passion for helping others achieve their vision mixed with solid business strategies.
“I had two career changes before I started working with David Nagel.” After graduating from college with an apprenticeship degree, Steph taught elementary school for ten years. Although she enjoyed working with children, teaching was not her appearance. “I taught fifth grade music and it was utterly terrible. All the time I was teaching, I was trying to figure out how to get out of teaching. And it wasn’t because I didn’t like teaching. It was because I didn’t love the institution of teaching. “
Her father was a GM worker for 30 years and my mother was a credit manager for the local newspaper. Steph did not have any entrepreneurial examples from her personal life. “I grew up very conservative, very non-entrepreneurial, very security-oriented. When I got my first teaching job, my parents were glad they didn’t have to worry about me anymore. “
Having a child gave her the ability to question authority
When she and her husband Brandon had their first child, she was very ill. “Nobody knew what was wrong with her. They wanted to do an invasive operation. And at that point I was very trained not to question authority and do what you were told. But there was just something inside of me that said something was wrong here. “
After examining her daughter’s symptoms, Steph found that her daughter’s medical problems were related to food sensitivities. “I was breastfeeding at the time, so it was the food I ate that made her incredibly sick and she couldn’t thrive. I changed my diet and all of her symptoms went away and I thought, “This is really powerful.”
When she wondered how many other parents were struggling with similar problems, she decided to go back to school and do a Masters in Holistic Nutrition.
Leaving the security of their teaching profession
After graduating, she left her teaching job and started her nutrition practice. “That was my first step into the entrepreneurial world.” She went to companies and offered to prepare brown packed lunches. “I’ve talked to people, asked for recommendations, and built my business.”
While she was building her business, she was picked up by professional athletes. “I got pretty popular in the area I lived in and hit a plateau.” Unsure where to go from here, she saw a woman named Allie Brown for advice.
Find your first business mentor
Steph followed Allie Brown and she did this program with David Nagel. “When I first heard David speak, it was like an arrow through my forehead. When you hear the truth, you know that you are hearing the truth and I just couldn’t get enough. “
She hired a trainer and felt she needed a change in her business. Steph sold her business to another practitioner in the area and decided to try something new. David hired her to work in his company.
Women losing their jobs due to COVID
One of the things my team touched on is that over the past year we’ve had so many women who lost their jobs because they had to be there for their children. I want to acknowledge what Steph did in her business and how caring for her child has become a source of income.
Give yourself permission as a woman
Steph says of society’s expectations of women, “It’s a great lesson that girls are taught. Make everyone happy and sacrifice yourself. What you want doesn’t matter. Your worth depends on how many people you can help and what you can do for other people. “
I see it all the time in sales calls. If women gave themselves permission to want what they want but they are waiting for someone to give them permission. You have to give yourself permission.
How to climb the corporate ladder
If you have a job and want to make more money, go beyond your job description. It is one of our core values to always do your best. As if you had to go far beyond that – this is how you grow as a person.
The mindset of a CEO is very different from that of a self-employed person or an employee. As CEO, you will find the edges of growth. Steph says, “I think the biggest head start and the greatest leadership piece wasn’t that difficult for me because I was a teacher.” She recalls her leadership position as a teacher with a passion for developing people, “whether they are small or grown-up people”.
Steph understands that there is enormous responsibility in your position as CEO as you are responsible for making decisions that directly affect the business. Whether you are in a hiring, marketing, or program, your decision will affect others. If you’re an employee, someone else takes responsibility.
Making CEO Mistakes
You have to make mistakes. Steph says, “The hard thing for me was balancing my need to make sure I don’t make too many mistakes with the need to make enough mistakes to learn and be comfortable moving the company forward than it was ever advanced before. “
Fear of responsibility
This fear of responsibility keeps people from growing up and then stepping into this new iteration or role or making a fulcrum. That weight of responsibility is growing very quickly. I’m going to raise my hand here and say that in the past I have definitely avoided some hiring decisions due to weaknesses. Steph says, “We have 14 team members who depend on this company for a living.”
So, when you’re a CEO, it’s about radical responsibility. If someone in your company makes mistakes, it is your responsibility. “Everything is my responsibility. And I think a good CEO sees it that way and takes it very seriously. “
Tips for hiring your team
Stephanie believes that hiring is a skill. There are resources available to suggest the steps you can take to hire people. “The best you can do is really be clear about who you are and what your culture is because I’m a big believer in culture first and skills second.”
Research has shown that if you hire for culture and then skills, you don’t end up with people who are not team players. To grow your business, you need team players. Make it clear who you are as a company, what basic values, core competencies and critical factors the employees you need have.
Goal setting for your team
Everything in the critical outcome is measurable, and at every meeting we go back and find out where we are in those quantifiable goals. How close are we to it? How far are we from that?
Then we break that down into quarterly goals. Our quarterly goals are based on supporting that goal. However, they only have a 50% confidence score. That means we don’t set ourselves goals, we are one hundred percent confident that we can achieve them. This is a trap because you always set goals based on what you think you are doing rather than what you want.
She likes to reverse engineer her solutions to know how to get the company to its destination. Steph says, “We’re starting with our big, hairy, bold goal. So your big, hairy, bold goal is one that is set in 15 to 30 years from now and that you only have a 50% chance of achieving it. “She says her goal is a directional light, a force that will join your team, that everyone is behind.
Creation of a work culture of safety
Stephanie works hard to create a culture of psychological safety for people where they feel they are fighting, disagreeing, or disagreeing with her. It is usually one of the places in a culture that needs the most work because our society is totally anti-conflict and you have to have conflict in a business in the form of debate, in the form of dance, to know if your idea is you short before running is a good idea.