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Concentration

Concentrate on Winning

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Concentrate on Winning

Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.
— Helen Keller

What do you spend the most time concentrating on each day? What do your thoughts propel you towards?

Think of the best of the best in any sport, creative or business endeavor.  What do they focus on?  They focus on the gain. Not past performance or what could possibly go wrong, they concentrate on the gain of making it across the finish line.

Saturday, the Fall Equinox happened, and the official days of Indian Summer are in full swing here in Colorado. I am reminded on a daily basis of the seasonal change that is happenings all around us as I find myself flip flopping with the regret of saying goodbye to summer as I think  with anticipation to the change and appreciation of the cooler days ahead.

I should fully be spending my days tending towards business for the winter months ahead but still have the opportunity to spend countless hours in my garden to insure I get the most out of the fall harvest.

What do you want to work towards?

Are you living with regret of what was and no longer is?

Or, are you stuck in the fear of moving forward and getting out of your comfort zone?

Perhaps like me you have your thoughts flip flopping.

I had a student in one of my trainings this past week that had returned from a training the week before.  He told me that he was back partly because of something I had said the previous week.  He shared that it had profoundly affected him.  Of course, as someone who spends her days working to empower others he had my complete attention.

What he shared is that in my discussion about social media, I said there comes a point when you just have to jump off the cliff. You just have to go for it.

I loved the impact of these words for him and it reminded me of an entrepreneur I worked for many decades ago who had an entire wall of his office depicting the Grand Canyon.  When I asked him the first time I walked into the office why – he said it was a reminder to himself every single day that he needed to always be stepping off of the cliff.  Fear could not stop him.

What would change in your world if you focused only on the win?  If you found the courage, and yes courage plays a huge role in all of this, to step off that cliff that has been stopping you (think Thelma and Louise). Or as we went on in the class that day to talk about what if you let go of the side of the pool and swam towards the deep end.

The truth is it’s not enough to just start a business you have to be willing to do those free falls every once in a while.  I have to harvest the herbs in my garden even when the weather is beautiful out because I know that times will quickly change and I want those delicious herbs all winter long.

I hope you enjoy today’s podcast and concentrate on the win!


Courage to Be the Difference Podcast

This week’s podcast is with Helen Williams, Founder and Flavor Master of Best One Yet – Vegan Ice Cream.  Helen is a woman who had the courage to step past her comfort zone and fully start a new business, in a new state, doing something she had never done before. We talk in length about the element of fear and what it takes sometimes to just go ahead and do it anyway.

Helen shares her scary moments that have led her to “the magic of making ice cream.”  A perfect way to start wrapping up summer in a most delicious way.


To Your Success and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Living Unedited

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Living Unedited

Let the first breath of creativity live unedited. Not knowing where it will become or knowing where it will go.
— Andrew Newman

Stories connect people in one form or another. They focus us on a beginning, a middle and an end. They bring us elements of what other beings are up to, being challenged with on their path, and if all goes well bring us to a happy conclusion.

Stories can make us laugh, cry, and feel every spectrum of emotion.

Every story starts with the breath of an idea. There are many directions a story can go whether we are reading it, writing it, or living it. A story can help us to focus on a particular topic and allow the rest of the world to fall away.

A story can let the chatter of our mind quiet down and hear an important message or antidote.

A story starts with a single idea and evolves quite similar to how our lives evolve.

Recently I had the opportunity to have a wonderful podcast conversation with a story teller I had not met before. Andrew Newman is an Author and Therapist who has created a concept in storytelling with his company Conscious Stories

His idea was to create children’s books based on making story telling a beautiful way to end the day once again. To have parents relish that last 20 minutes of the day with their children as together they read through a beautiful story book. Not to make bedtime something to get through but something to look forward to.

Each of his books starts with a mantra for the parent and child to say together:

I breathe for me

I breathe for you

I breathe for us

I breathe for all that surrounds us.

One of the many words of wisdom that Andrew shared is the important element of how a child that is connected with their own innocence just naturally steps into courage. They live with courage as part of who they are because they don’t know to fear. When our innocence gets taken that is when we lose our courage and forget to be a part of our own story.

The power to concentrate and focus on even a simple story has taken on a whole new challenge in today’s world of electronic devices and so many things vying for our attention.

What is the story you want to tell, share and be a part of every day?

Can you devote the time to create the idea that will take you further towards who, what and where you want to be? 

If you are in business you must have a story to share. Your story is your brand and this message is what is going to connect you with your customers.

If you are having a hard time creating stories start a daily practice of writing 5 minutes. If you feel you need more time then give yourself more time to get the daily story out on the page.

For more info on strengthening your writing practice during your morning routine check out the journaling lesson in my free morning momentum program. 

Here is to living unedited with conscious stories!


Upcoming Live Workshops

Visit our workshop page to see a number of workshops coming up in the weeks ahead.

Can’t attend these workshops?
Schedule a Marketing Clarity Session at a time that works best for you and boost your business results.


To Your Success and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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You are the CEO

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You are the CEO

The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.
— Michelangelo

This week let’s talk about the the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) that must actively oversee and orchestrate everything in a business. 

While an Entrepreneur can be more of a dreamer and innovator there must be the control of the CEO mindset to keep the Entrepreneur thinking more strategically at times.

The CEO must also insure that the Manager is getting the required tasks completed and all systems are continuously set to go.

The role of a CEO may seem daunting and out of reach – practically speaking it is not. Like any other skill set you simply need to look at what is required and dive in. A CEO puts their shoes on one foot at a time just like you and me.

When you get to the office every morning you must take the birds eye view of everything that is required, dedicate yourself to making everything happen through effective communication, and develop methods for implementation.

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The most common road block I see for my clients in becoming an amazing CEO in their business is the fear of making a wrong decision. This fear of indecision can leave us making no decision at all.  As a result, many critical tasks go undone and the business has a much higher potential to fail. No decision is still a decision… you decide not to act.

If you only call yourself the “Owner” of a business, what stops you from giving yourself the full title of  “CEO” and the responsibilities (and rewards) that come along with it?

Several years back I interviewed Debra Benton author of How To Think Like a CEO – 22 Vital Traits to Be the Person on the Top.  This book has sat on my book shelf for over 20 years and is a great source when I feel I need to buff up my CEO muscles.

Here are those vital traits for you to consider today and ask yourself where you stand with each of them. Some may actually surprise you. ;)

  1. Secure in Self 
  2. In Control of Attitude 
  3. Tenacious  
  4. Continuously Improving
  5. Honest and Ethical 
  6. Thinking Before Talking 
  7. Original Ideas  
  8. Publicly Modest 
  9. Aware of Style
  10. Bold/A Little Wild 
  11. Humorous 
  12. A Tad Theatrical 
  13. Detail Oriented 
  14. Good at Job and Willing To Do What It Takes
  15. Fighter for Your People 
  16. Willing to Admit Mistakes
  17. Straightforward
  18. Nice 
  19. Inquisitive 
  20. Competitive 
  21. Flexible 
  22. Good Storyteller

While these are a lot of traits to try to take on all at once, what if you took them on one at a time? For example, the trait that I need to focus on is to be more detail oriented and that is going to get my full attention right now. What about you?

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In this week’s podcast I dive into each of these characteristics to share a little more depth in becoming the best CEO that you can be for your business.  Tap here to listen.

Here’s to an awesome week ahead!   


Upcoming Live Workshops

Visit our workshop page to see a number of workshops coming up in the weeks ahead. They include a social media overview and 2 workshops on Instagram (an overview and full day intensive).

Can’t attend these workshops?
Schedule a Marketing Clarity Session at a time that works best for you and boost your business results.


To Your Success and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Being a Better Manager

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Being a Better Manager

If you change your thinking you will change your life.
— Annette Matthies

Each of us has to manage someone, something or at the very least some tasks in our life. How we pull off our role in that management process determines whether we get anything done. And perhaps most importantly, whether we enjoy the process of getting things done.

Most especially if we are managing other people.  Because people are not robots or computers, each one reacts to the tune of their own different and unique drum.

I can remember the first time I was given the role of “night manager” at the mom and pop hamburger stand I worked at in high school.  One day, my grumpy boss had asked me to come into the storage room, which also played as his office, telling me that he needed to talk to me.  It kind of freaked me out because he was not the nicest person and was always telling me what I was doing wrong.

Well I stood there waiting to hear what I had done wrong this time when he told me, “You have been doing a pretty good job and so I have decided to make you night manager and close up the place each night.”  And… with it he was giving me a 10 cent an hour raise.

Wow!  Where had that come from because I don’t think he had ever said anything nice to me. I was excited because I didn’t have to work with him after school anymore and could work the 4pm to 8pm shift and be the boss.  Perfect.  Except I really didn’t know what I was doing.

With little instruction I was basically doing the same duties just making sure clean-up happened with one or two other employees.  No guidance, no mentoring, just someone to fill a void that had come to pass.  I did the manager job for about 6 months until I realized I was going nowhere fast, the 10 extra cents per hour was not worth the extra work, and no one gave me much training or motivation so I moved on.

A few years later moving into the corporate environment I came to clearly realize that each of us ticks differently. Sadly, at too many jobs along the way no one seemed to care about the what was in it for me piece, which is one the burning elements that led me to start my own business.  I was determined to find a better way to look at the whole piece of managing by managing my own company.

I would like to say that it was a piece of cake, but many lessons were learned along the way.

A few of the key things I have learned:

  • Never create a position around a particular individuals skill set, have the person fill the requirements needed for the position! This one is huge.

  • When you need to fire someone – do it! Don’t wait because they are like a negative disease that just spreads.

  • Realize what needs to be done and give yourself double the time to get it done.

  • Don’t ever get stuck on an idea, way to do things, or putting up with a persons bad attitude.

  • Create systems that work and constantly be improving them.

  • Find mentors in order to be the best leader yourself. A manager must be able to lead.

In this week’s podcast I had the opportunity to interview Annette Matthies of Aspen Edge Consulting who shares some more juicy tidbits on How to be a Better Manager.  Take the time to listen to the podcast and decide what changes you might need to make.

Your bottomline as well as your sanity will thank you!


To Your Success and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Word of Desire

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Word of Desire

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.
— Robin Williams

This week I want to share a very simple concept with you that can assist you in the quest to focusing better on the things that matter to you in your life.

One of the elements that can start your day in a positive way (morning momentum) is to choose a word that will guide you throughout the day. 

By spending time in the morning to get your head together and gaining perspective for the day amazing things can happen especially around your inner joy.

With all the thoughts that pop into our head each day (50,000 of them on average) this one word will help to ground you.  You could change it on a daily or weekly basis depending on what you are wanting to achieve in your life currently.

Simply either write it down on a post it note that you will see throughout the day or even have it pop up on your phone as a reminder every hour or so.  When the world starts to scatter you throughout the day come back to that word.

For example, if your desire in the day ahead is to insure you have confidence make the word confidence.  Looking for purpose?  Make the word purpose.  

The difference between those who find their hearts desires and those who don’t is not taking the mandatory time each and every day to recalibrate your inner GPS.  By doing so you can figuring out where you in fact really want to go and with whom. 

Start with one word, that’s all… let’s get focused and make it happen.
 

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Sunflower Power

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Sunflower Power

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
— Oprah Winfrey

One of my favorite symbols of summer is the majestic sunflower.  Here are 3 key ingredients that parallel between the power of the sunflower and the power of your business.  

1. Attraction

What I never imagined when I first started growing sunflowers in my garden was how much the birds love them.  Wasn’t even on my mind and it has been one of the greatest joys of this flower.  

Business Power Analogy – Many times we start a business expecting one thing and yet we attract something else entirely that gives us even greater joy.  The key ingredient is to fully pay attention.  

2. Beauty

These are the moments when you think there can’t be anything better.  And then one day the flowers begin to fade and you know that it’s time to move onto something new.

Business Power Analogy – Our businesses have seasons.  Some of us have seasons of customer interactions determined by time of year and then there is a season of product/service life.  We need to be prepared for the next stage of the journey.  

3. Planting

The action of the birds munching on the sunflowers inner seeds actually distributes the seeds throughout the garden. Some people might find it annoying, but I find it magical. I have plenty of players helping to support the growth in my garden and keeping the flowers blooming year after year in places I wouldn’t have thought to even grow them.

Business Power Analogy – How do you spread the seeds within your business?  What is the support you have to spread your thoughts ideas not only within your organization but beyond.  Something tells me my neighbors benefit from the fruits of my gardens labor…who benefits from the spreading of what your business has to offer?  


Wishing you a powerful fall season ahead!
 

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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5 Second Rule

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5 Second Rule

You can’t change the past but in 5 seconds you can change the future.
— Mel Robbins

Today of course is a day in history that those of us who lived through it will never forget.  9/11 has become a day that represents courage beyond our wildest imagination.  It also reminds us how drastically life can permanently change in 5 seconds.

With that in mind, I want to ask you to now shift your thinking in the opposite direction and think about the positive changes that have come to you over the span of 5 seconds. 

Maybe it’s the moment you said “Hello” for the first time to that person who became your significant other. 

Maybe it’s that moment you said “Enough” and decided to quit your previous job and pursue something new.  

Maybe it’s that moment when you step outside in the morning and feel the fresh wind blowing on your face to inspire you for the rest of the day.  

I want to share with you a transformational book that that I just recently read that is a game changer.  It’s based on the idea if you don’t act on something positive in the first 5 seconds it may never happen as you want it to. 

This new book is called The 5 Second Rule – Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Courage by Mel Robbins.  I urge you to either pick it up hard copy, eBook, or Audible audiobook (one of my favorite ways to read these days).  

What is one thing you have been saying you want to do that you keep finding excuses (time, money, courage, etc.) that keep you from getting it done?

How would your world change if you acted within 5 seconds of having the desire to do something? 

What positive desires come to mind as you read this? 

Ready?  5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  Go!  
 

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Hurru for You

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Hurru for You

The point of power is always in the present moment.
— Louise L. Hay

Hurru (verb): Move with haste. Let love guide you and be confident that you will arrive as you are needed.

Change is an inevitable life phenomenon that we can either embrace or fight. 

The key I have found in this life-long journey so far is to pay attention to enjoying life as it is today, ready to fully embrace the possibilities that tomorrow brings. In the process, to find ways to keep stress and worry from taking over whenever I try to stop the change that happens when the unfolding of life events don't go as planned.

You know the ones that make your stomach gurgle and your head start to hurt...maybe a little and depending on the situation maybe a lot.

Have you ever felt that somehow you lost control of a situation?

In the past few weeks as many life and world events have unfolded I have been paying very close attention to the ways we collectively handle stress. Especially in the process of continuing to get everything done and be everywhere we need to be at the same time.

In all of this a brand new word has come into my vocabulary that was created while I was rushing to an event on a recent Saturday afternoon...

A client, who was hosting the event texted the word “Hurru” to me as she mistyped the word “hurry.” 

The reason I paid attention to the typo was because I was in deep reflection that day and that word “hurru” kept coming up again and again. Throughout the event, which was one of deep spiritual reflection and meditation, "hurru" really implanted itself in my mind. So I decided to give “hurru” my own definition (at the top of this letter).

This past week I had the opportunity to put the word to a tough test as I headed to speak to a group at a college facility I had not been to before. Life already had me heading there without my usual 30-minute grace period buffer when it became apparent that I was at the wrong campus and the one I needed to be at was 15 minutes (at least) away. 

Having relied on my GPS, which had let me down big time, I continued to give it my trust as it continued to send me down the wrong roads because it simply did not know where this particular campus was located.  As the minutes quickly ticked by I knew I would be at least a half hour past the time I was due to be standing up in front of the room. 

At that point I felt like I was in a dream which I had experienced so many times. In the dream I am trying in vain to get to a presentation – knowing there was a room filled with people who were waiting for me!  It was happening now in real time.

I could have completely freaked out in that moment but not only was the coordinator of the event awesome assuring me she would keep the audience engaged, I also remembered to repeat the word “Hurru” over and over.

Doing so gave me the wear with all to toss the GPS, along with the stress aside and find my way to the right campus - giving the audience the very best of my expertise without skipping a beat.  

So can you “hurru” too? I believe you can.

No, this doesn’t give you permission to blow things off, continuously procrastinate, or be constantly late to everything... it instead gives you permission to forgive yourself when you do screw up, something we are all guaranteed we do. Just take a deep breathe and remember that time marches on without us at times and that’s okay.

In all of this I can’t help but think of Louise Hay who passed away this past week at the age of 90. She had forgiven herself many times over and inspired the lives of so many in the process. If you have not read You Can Heal Your Life I would highly recommend you put it on your reading list. She has sold over 50 million copies.

As Louise said many times over - "Let's roll."

Give “Hurru” a try this week. Forgive yourself and remember you are human with imperfections. Love yourself for staying in the game with grace even when the going gets tough. Every storm eventually leads to sunshine.

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Gaining Torque

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Gaining Torque

This time of year can be exhausting as we leave the quieter days of summer behind. The noise of our life can be distracting, including the “dirty feet” of others who pull us into their wants and needs as Gandhi shares in today’s quote.

Cuddling into my sweaters on these cold mornings brings a new essence which makes me look further into the changes within the inside world of my mind as well.

To honor the summer coming to a close I attended a yoga retreat with my daughter in a beautiful spot here in the mountains of Colorado.

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The Endless Chase

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The Endless Chase

Hopefully you have had time over the weekend to quiet your mind and are now ready to get back into action with all the tasks that need your attention. 

As you look at your week ahead, what are the absolute items that you must achieve in your life to make you feel satisfied? Perhaps it’s that big project that must be started, the content that needs to be created, or maybe those people you recently met that you want to follow-up with.   

It’s great to put together that list at the beginning of the week and feel motivated to get all those to-do item done, but as is true with my own life it seems that there are always a few things at the end of the week that even with 12-hour work days I just can’t seem to check off the list. 

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