April 1, 2023

Kass & Mike's LifeOS

The code below is our first draft as of today. As always with us, it will evolve over time.

Like our DNA, each of us has one and each of ours is different. The best way to understand your own operating system is to write it down and spend time thinking about it. After many, many hours discussing the topic, Kass and I have written down our operating system and shared it here in hopes that you will do the same.

We have kept it simple and we urge you to do the same so that you can easily print it on one piece of paper. The goal for us is to have an operating system that is easily understandable and that we can rely on to propel us forward and to protect us from making bad decisions when things get tough.

Do the right thing, always.

It is impossible for legal agreements and contracts to capture life’s chaos. So much is unknown. We do what is right regardless of what the contract may say.

Embrace transparency.

We have many flaws individually and as a couple. These flaws make us unique. We do not hide them. We put them out there as our differentiating factors.  We talk about them.  We own them.

Stay in your lane.

We have strengths and we have weaknesses. We focus on our strengths and trust each other and stay out of the other’s lane.  This also applies to those around us.  We seek out help from others who fill in our gaps and are not intimidated by others’ expertise and strengths.

Make decisions quickly.

If we need to make a decision, we make it quickly with the data available. Postponing decisions, perseverating over decisions, and talking ourselves out of our gut has only ended in bad decisions.  As Kass’ Dad has always said, be “quick and decisive.”

Be all in.

Once we commit, we are all in. Our word is our bond only if the behaviors that back our words match. We do what we say we are going to do, and usually more.

Be generous with all you have and give back.

We give what we can – money, time, expertise, kindness, love, enthusiasm, and always encouragement. In return, we have received much more than we have given. The two are connected even though we give for no other reason than giving.

Live fearlessly.

Jen Goodman Linn taught us many years ago to not let fear hold us back. Fear is a nasty virus that can turn you upside down. We live without the weight of fear preventing us from moving forward.  Without fear, we can more easily assess risk and take more of them.

Be grateful and celebrate the wins.

Life is chaotic. Wins are hard to come by and usually are based on hard work and a ton of luck. When we win, we are thankful for all the hard work and luck that made the win possible and celebrate them.  Usually with cupcakes and dancing.

Belly laugh as much as possible.

Laughter is one of the best drugs in the world. We seek it out. We surround ourselves with people who love to laugh and not take themselves seriously at all times.  And when possible, we like to scare the shit out of people.

Earning results through hard work.

Working hard does not guarantee success in whatever you are trying to accomplish. But working hard is a virtue regardless of the outcome. Some think you can fake it until you make it. We think working hard is the best way to get what you want.

Invest in your team.

Whether you want to believe it or not, who you surround yourself with is your “team.”  For us, that’s some of our biological family, friends who have become our chosen family, those who have helped us and supported us through the years (trainers, therapists, mentors) and more.  Your team is the most important thing you can not only build and nurture.  We invest time in relationships that matter, relationships that fill our cup.

Be a deal maker.

We had a saying at all of the companies we started, “We want deal makers and not deal breakers.”  Deal breakers are just big complainers and nay-sayers.  Rather, we live by being a deal maker, and try to surround ourselves with people who come to the table with solutions not just complaints.  They see opportunities and paths forward.

Keep your powder dry.

We use this phrase a lot, especially Kass.  It basically means less reaction and more listening.  Listening is key.  Taking up too much airtime, reacting and overreacting are no good.

The code above is our first draft as of today. As always with us, it will evolve over time. Most importantly, we look forward to your feedback and hearing about your LifeOS. And it goes without saying, feel free to take any of these that work for you as we will take those from you that resonate. However, be vulnerable and really challenge yourself to figure out if each line that makes up your operating system is represented in your behavior, the how.

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