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Honoring Time

Vulnerable Obstacles

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Vulnerable Obstacles

Vulnerability is the best measure of courage.
— Brene Brown

We each have the opportunity to stand in the moment to consider whether to move through the challenges life may present to us, or stay stuck in the overwhelm they bring. When we move away from the stuck place, we face the ultimate fear attached to being vulnerable.

Let’s face it - some obstacles presented by our challenges are small and some are gigantic.

In this weekly letter I have come to share many personal elements of my life with you because we all have stuff going on that makes us vulnerable – myself included. Every morning when we open our eyes anything is possible.

On March 30th after an incredibly valiant fight a dear and sweet little girl who became a cancer warrior, Hazel Hammersley, lost her battle. It was especially heartbreaking because she was only 7 years old.

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Hazel had contracted Neuroblastoma, a very nasty cancer. I knew of Hazel’s journey because she is the grandniece of my dear and lifelong friend Laura, who was my knight in shining armor during our time together in high school.

Hazel’s family including Laura fought long and hard over the past 5 years watching the cancer come and go. What is really unique about their story is how open and vulnerable they allowed themselves to be beginning with Hazel’s initial cancer treatments when she was only 2 years old.

Sharing Hazel’s journey with the world allowed hundreds of thousands of people to connect with them online via social media and at the many cancer fund raisers they participated in and orchestrated along the way. The people they connected with gave Hazel, her family, and many other’s in the cancer battle so much support throughout this most difficult journey.

Hazel’s mother, Lauren, wrote many beautiful and detailed blog posts along the way to keep everyone informed.  Her final Facebook Live broadcast (because as she said, she just couldn’t write the words) a few weeks before Hazel passed showed remarkable bravery as she shared with the world that all hope was gone – the cancer had taken over.

You can learn more about Hazel’s journey on either Facebook or Instagram. My love and prayers are with Hazel’s very special family as they now cope with this huge loss in their lives.

While our own vulnerabilities are not always so dramatic, the fear they activate can stop us from fully living this precious life we have been given.

Taking action of some kind brings with it the much-needed element of courage. 

With a strong dose of courage in hand we can find the way to stop tolerating our need to hide out in the extreme discomfort of our “comfort zone.”

Heading into this week think where the fear of being vulnerable may have you stuck on any aspect of your life.  How can you take action today in order to engage the courage that you need to rise up and do what matters most to you and those who matter most to you?


Weekly ToolBelt


VIDEO

Living Brave with Brene Brown and Oprah Winfrey

In this 20 minute episode Brene Brown interviews Oprah Winfrey. They go deeper into this subject of vulnerability.  I love this conversation between two great women icons of our time that have shown great vulnerability in sharing their message with the world. I hope you find strength in it as well.



Program News

The Victory Program + Individual Courses

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We have been working hard here at the Victory Circles to make some significant changes and updates to our programs in order to make sure you get maximum results for your efforts. We now offer The Victory Program membership, which includes access of all our individual programs plus 2 private coaching sessions with me every month.

Say goodbye to no results, because I guarantee that this program will get you jumping forward towards your own personal Victory. Whether you want to learn how to reach a bigger audience or find clarity in the chaos of business operations, this program is designed to resolve your current pain points and get bigger results with your business.

Looking for a shorter program? We also offer individual courses (Morning Momentum, Marketing Mastery, etc.) for you to learn on-demand.

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Timing Patience

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Timing Patience

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.
— Robert Louis Stevenson

Well here we are today with one quarter of the year down and three to go.  How is the year shaping up for you so far?

Now being that I am a Business Coach you might expect me to ask what your ROI (return on investment) has been in the first quarter of the year? However, my question is what is your SPI?  What are the seeds planted investment you have made in the 1st quarter?

As a gardener I love this time of year because of all the possibilities for this season of spring that pulls us into summer and then right into the fall. On a beautiful spring day, I can be tempted to start planting all kinds of seeds but here is what I know to be true planting seeds requires timing – in both gardening and in business.

The timing of planting seeds is important. Let’s look if I were to plant seeds that were not cold weather crops such as certain lettuce varieties and instead planted something like let’s say basil, a warm weather crop.

More than likely than not in Colorado we would have one of our infamous April snow storms with temperatures varying sometimes by 40 degrees and easily hitting the dreaded 32 degree mark.  While the cold weather crops could survive…not so much with the warm weather crops making my planting a complete waste of time and money.

To see the success with planting seeds we need to plant them when the time is right and then to know when to mulch, water, fertilize and compost.

Same is true in your business where should you be planting seeds right now and how can you further nurture the seeds you have already planted?

If you have read this far, then you can be sure that the biggest asset in planting seeds beyond the right timing is patience.  Something we can run low on in our instant access society.  Understanding your sales cycles just like the weather patterns is critical.

Stop and think about what business seeds you planted during the first quarter that will bloom in the second quarter?  What seeds are you going to plant in the second quarter that will bloom in the third and maybe even fourth quarter of this year? Or, maybe even moving into the upcoming year?

Timing, mixed with patience, and understanding can be such a blessing in our businesses and our lives.

Enjoy this rich and abundant time of year and have an amazing 2nd quarter.


Weekly Toolbelt 

Marketing Warrior Challenge

If you missed last week’s new challenge, it’s available forever. The tools are right here in front of you for you to get the digital marketing results you seek. The missing element is your ACTION. It’ll be here when you decide to take that first step up the mountain. 

Discover the 5 Elements of Victory:

  • Courage (Wind)
  • Creativity (Fire)
  • Customer (Earth)
  • Content (Metal)
  • Consistency (Water)

Sharing the message of your business with the world takes on a variety of elements with the power of action to take them all on. Start this challenge that over the course of 9 days will have you grow into a Marketing Warrior. This content in this challenge will be available to you on-demand for as long as you need it.

Cost: $14
Length: 9 days (new element unlocked every other day)
Marketing skill level: All levels


AUDIOBOOK

There seems like no better time than the annual awakening of spring to talk about the possibility that springtime brings. It is my desire that the ideas shared in this little book will take your business into the next level of success.

If you are a Gardener, you have the ability to be an Entrepreneur. And, if you are an Entrepreneur you need to encompass the mindset of a gardener as you cultivate the elements of what will allow your business to grow.

This audiobook will cover the tools of growth that crosses over from the botanical world and into the business world.

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We Are Warriors

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We Are Warriors

A responsible Warrior is not someone who takes the weight of the world on his shoulders, but someone who has learned to deal with the challenges of the moment.
— Paulo Coelho, Warrior of Light

As entrepreneurs we must possess a warrior mindset in order to fully get our ideas out into the world.  Even the birds that have begun singing again in the morning do it with the mindset of a warrior – they accept challenges that matter most to them and their nest.

5 key elements that are needed by each of us in business to sing our song loud and clear:

  • Courage (Wind)
  • Creativity (Fire)
  • Customer (Earth)
  • Content (Metal)
  • Consistency (Water)

For those of you who have been reading this letter for some time, you know how much I have come to love the quest of the small businessperson, the entrepreneur.

The entrepreneurs who wake up every morning to create a better world for not only themselves and their family but also the people who make their business possible their customers – past, present and future.

I had a number of part time jobs along my way when I started working as a teenager.  My first official career job was a short, painful phase in 1976 the banking world.  I just didn’t feel connected and my days became robotic.

My career really became one I loved in 1978 when I started working for a small backpacking company in Southern California, Wilderness Experience.  Honestly, when I answered the ad for the job I thought I was applying to some kind of customer service position at an animal park in the wild of Southern California.

Quickly I learned about the passion not only of these two brothers who were creating great outdoor gear but the mom and pop retail shops that were selling their gear across the globe.  I fell in love with making a difference by offering a great product that came with great service.

Through that job I found another great love, Colorado.  I moved to Boulder in 1982.  Not long after, I started my first business, Business Answers, a telephone answering service.  I built the business to offer 50 other local small business owners the power of my staff becoming their staff and helping them to grow their business.

After 16 years I sold that business and began my journey of self discovery asking what I truly wanted as an entrepreneur. I knew my quest would always involve working with other entrepreneurs and I became a Business Coach. Seven years later I founded the Victory Circles in 2006. 

Many business challenges have come my way to bring me here to 2018. Each leg of journey has evolved me into a marketing warrior. The world is full of challenges and each challenge makes you stronger.  That is why I want to share my knowledge with you!

The messages we share can make all the difference in changing the world around us. Warriors get their message out in a clear and succinct way in a very noisy marketplace.

In today's toolbelt I am sharing an opportunity for you to come on a 9-day virtual challenge with me. However, only those who truly want to be a Marketing Warrior,getting their message out into the world in a bigger and brighter way should join in. This challenge is open to all marketing experience levels and has a very small cost for entry.

Wishing you a week full of strength. Acknowledge your wisdom and accept challenges that matter most to you. 


Marketing Warrior Challenge

Discover the 5 elements of Victory: Courage, Creativity, Customer, Content and Consistency. 

Sharing the message of your business with the world takes on a variety of elements with the power of action to take them all on. Start this challenge that over the course of 9 days will have you grow into a Marketing Warrior. This content in this challenge will be available to you on-demand for as long as you need it.

Cost: $14
Open to all marketing experience levels.

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Moment of Victory

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Moment of Victory

My art is a symbol. It represents the moments where I have overcome the obstacles placed in front of me.
— Travis Ruskus

This past weekend I went to San Francisco to visit my son and celebrate 28 years of being a mom - Happy Birthday Travis!

For those of you have been a parent, you know that it is the greatest job in the world and without a doubt the hardest.

We have such visions for our children and all the things that matter most to us that we want to see happen in their lives and ours. What I know on this side of parenthood is that all those little moments along the way.

Every moment is fleeting and if we don’t make the most either with our children or others that matter to us in our lives, we won’t always have the chance for a do over.

The skill set that serves us best to enjoy those small moments, which can be as small as enjoying a great cup of tea together, is patience combined with presence.

The patience to know that in this moment this is something to pay attention to and the presence to be grateful for possibility in the process.

In one of my early Victory Letters I wrote about how much I loved watching Travis skateboard in our driveway when he was young. Something he would do over and over again until he “landed it.”

Today, I get the same enjoyment when I watch him rock balancein person as he takes the time he needs to make the balance happen, as he also tries to teach me too. ;)

Probably one of the biggest lessons I have learned in business is that this idea of celebrating the little moments is as important in our professional world as it is in our personal lives.

Stopping to celebrate the little milestones in your business just as you would that million-dollar moment of victory. By doing so this mindset allows you to enjoy today just as it is and not always waiting to enjoy tomorrow. Every moment can be a moment of victory!

Here’s to Travis for 28 wonderful years of moments in getting to be your mom.

Wishing you a happy spring that starts tomorrow! ;) (happy dance)


Zen in Rock
by Travis Ruskus

A short film explaining the process Travis uses to create his rock balance artwork on the beaches of San Francisco, CA. This art is a form of meditation to help calm stress/anxiety, develop courage, and stay in the present moment.


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To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus (@victorygirl)
Author, Speaker and Business Strategist
Email: cheri@businessvictories.com
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Time Well Spent

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Time Well Spent

Look around me, I can see my life before me
Running rings around the way it used to be
I am older now I have more than what I wanted
But I wish that I had started long before I did
— Graham Nash

What are the best activities that you do with your time? 

What are the activities that waste your time?

Yesterday we sprang forward and actually lost an hour in the day with the coming of daylight savings time. The good news is spending that hour we will now have longer daylight at the end of our day.

What about the other time we spend during a given day? Those hours that make us feel like our efforts resulted in time well spent.  

Do you feel you are constantly wasting your time?


Here are some top time sucks I hear about from my Victory Circles members and solutions I have found during my time as a Business Coach:

Problem: I am spending my days doing tasks I don’t like doing.
Solution: Look for inefficiencies and outsource the rest.

Problem: I care more about others problems than they seem to. 
Solution: Assist as you can and then let go of the outcome.

Problem: I have too many people demanding my attention.
Solution: Prioritize what is important and learn to say no.


What is one time suck you could remove in your life today that is not serving you?

Today’s Victory Letter no doubt has been full of questions. My request in your answering them to yourself is to encourage you to look closely at your precious time. Doing so will help you to find the best way to spend your hours each and every day.

Here’s to time well spent in the week ahead! 


Weekly Toolbelt

Music is always a good use of time as it soothes the soul.  I have been a big fan of Crosby, Stills and Nash since my teens. Graham Nash wrote the song, Wasted on the Way, in which todays quote shares a part of the lyrics.  With that I thought it would be cool to share with you this 3-minute video of them singing this song. Love their harmony.  While they still have some work around their relationships their music continues to give such harmony.

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Humble Courage

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Humble Courage

Watch and be aware of the opportunities to be humble.
— Helen Knight

Helen Knight is a wonderful spiritual leader I have had the honor to come to know over the last few years.  She shared today’s beautiful quote during the podcast we recorded together that you will find in today’s weekly tools at the bottom of this letter.

Helen was speaking about the 13 days and nights she spent alone on a mountain in South America.

As I write these words for todays victory letter it got me thinking about being humble.  What is it to be humble? It is a foundational state of mind based in gratitude. This allows us to fully appreciate where we are at each stage of our life.

An important benefit is the goodness and virtues humility allows us to then spread into the lives of others.

We each have so much to give each other and what better time than right now to do so?  The world needs your heart, spirit and the wisdom you have to share.

The question to reflect on this week…

Am I showing the deepest respect to the people and environment around me?


Weekly ToolBelt


Podcast

Humble Courage

with Reiki Master and Chocolate Shaman Helen Knight of Dreamtime Healings

Join Cheri Ruskus for a conversation with Helen Knight at her kitchen table as we talk about the power of daring to step out of your comfort zone.  You will hear how she found peace, gratitude and humility for the smallest of blessings in her life.  

Helen shares her recent journey of 13 days and nights she spent alone on a mountain in South America with little more than the clothes on her back and a few items to keep her warm during many nights of rain. Enjoy this heart felt podcast that will get you to appreciate the small things in life again. 



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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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Guilt-Free Zone

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Guilt-Free Zone

Do more of what you can uniquely do and less of what other people can do.
— Gloria Steinem

On this roller coaster of life you have probably felt the feeling of guilt a time or two along the way. 

At this point in my life (having grown up Catholic where guilt seemed to be a daily way of bringing issues to light) I have come to a deeper understanding of the power that good guilt can actually bring. If we can acknowledge the control it may have on us and do something about it then it really is a positive emotion.

Guilt is officially defined as “awareness of wrongdoing” and really is an opportunity to look at a not-so-great situation in order to understand what you want to do about it.  The only person that can stop making you feel guilty is yourself.
 

Feelings of guilt can range from:

• Not feeling in balance between business and personal life
• Being bummed about something that didn’t go well
• That bowl of ice cream you ate last night when you told yourself you wouldn’t. 
 

The trap that guilt can put us in is when you get lost in the emotion itself without resolving the issue at hand.  The worst case scenario can be a form of procrastination that doesn’t allow you to move forward because you are too busy looking over your shoulder.    

Here is an antidote to give us (myself included) permission to move past the guilt when it starts to take over and derail forward momentum. 


G - Get real
What really is going on with the situation and what do you want or perhaps need to get out of what is happening?

U - Understand what didn’t work
Understand what you should or shouldn’t do differently the next time. 

I - Identify the change that you need to make
Something or someone is asking for your attention. Have you perhaps been caught in a comfort zone that is no longer serving you? 

L - Let go of comparing
Don’t waste your precious time worrying about someone else’s agenda or what someone else may seemingly be doing better than you.

T - Tolerate nothing
If a problem keeps happening over and over and over that is causing you guilt, the question becomes “why am I putting up with this?”   


Now it’s time to take a deep look within…

• In the morning when you look in the mirror who is it that you see looking back at you? 

• Is it someone you love and cherish or someone who you might be a bit judgmental about?

• When you carry on into your day do you find that judgment coming along with you keeping you from getting your best work out into the world? 

• Are always waiting for ”tomorrow“ to be the perfect time to implement something?

• Do you feel ridden with guilt over the feeling of regrets that seems to surround you?

• Are feelings of guilt coming up regularly around how much you do or don’t work versus time spent with those you love? 


I know that is a lot of questions to start off the week. However, I hope that just one of them will spark something inside of you to begin to make the needed change!

As we wrap up our conversation for this month on the topic of Honoring Time, think about what is really keeping you from getting the most out of your time on this planet.

Find the perfect placement for the things you want in your life – and this is key – without always feeling the need for perfection.  It’s then that you will find the unique and perfect placement of what you need in order to live in a guilt free zone. ;)


 

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles
Email me: cheri@businessvictories.com

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Anticipation Formula

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Anticipation Formula

It’s not about having luck or hope – it’s about having the right formula.
— Jeff Walker

I have to say this morning brings a smile on my face that goes from ear to ear.  This morning at 4:28 am here in Colorado… Spring arrived!!  Now begins the chain of events of welcoming my favorite two seasons of the year: spring and summer.

Spring represents anticipation to me.  Anticipation such as when you are about to open a present.  You know it’s going to be awesome and the anticipation of the gift is almost as magical as the gift itself.

As the earth yawns and begins its deep awakening there is such a great reminder of all that is possible.  This reminder includes the fact that all that is possible won’t happen all by itself… confirming that anticipation and the hope it brings will not be enough for a full and fruitful garden.  

Ideas without action lead to broken dreams. We have to do something proactive in order to bring our ideas to life! The time is NOW to roll up our sleeves and productively get to work. 

Yes, there will be cold weather flowers that will start to appear now like magic. Yet to have a fully abundant garden that can stand the heat of the summer months I have to begin composting and planting seeds.   

This is exactly what happens in our businesses to promote new growth.  We can’t just sit around dreaming of what seed we want to plant... We have to get out there and actually plant these new seeds when the timing is right.   

Remembering snow is of course still possible until May, I will start first with planting the cold weather crops such as lettuce seeds.  

Even if I am unsure of what exactly to do with a new crop I am curious about I have consistently found that by simply following the instructions on the seed packets this tells me when and how I should be planting.

The good news is that I am not the first person in the world to grow these different types of seeds :)

Many people don’t plant seeds because they take time and patience to reap the rewards.  Everyone wants the finished product after only one watering.  The reality is that things like lettuce pop up quickly, whereas my beloved Zinnia Flowers will take months of watering and nurturing in order to go from seed to blossom. 

Seed selection and timing of the seasons determines how quickly things will grow.  

The fastest growth usually has the shortest life span.  A tree takes years and years of growth, versus a flower which will live through just one growing season.  

In my work as a Business Coach I see too many business owners wanting to grow a massive tree and are disappointed when they only end up with a small flower.  The difference is because of seed selection, patience, and the nurturing that follows.  

To understand what your growth requires is all about having the correct anticipation formula…


For Gardeners
Seed selection + watering + time = GROWTH

For Business Owners:
Business idea + action + patience = GROWTH


In celebration of this day I want to give you the gift of spring with a free download of my e-book and companion audio recording: Planting Seeds for Business Growth and Success (normally $35!)

In this gift I further share the steps to how planting seeds in your business and life can make such a difference. 

Here’s to your abundance and growth possibilities in the seasons ahead.  Happy Spring!

 

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles
Email me: cheri@businessvictories.com

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Time Zones

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Time Zones

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
— Harriet Beecher Stow

Well we have sprung forward here in the U.S. and daylight savings time has come to pass. Hopefully by now you have been sure to set all your clocks where they need to be today.  While you were at it, have you had a chance to pay attention to what is going on with your inner clock?

Since none of us got an all-inclusive pass to stay forever when we were placed on this planet… time is an element we look at to monitor our past, present and future selves. 
 

  • Do you spend most of your time thinking of the way it used to be?
     
  • Do you simply notice what is right in front of you in the present?
     
  • Are you always dreaming of what could be in the future?
     

Have you have found a nice balance of all three of these time zones?

Over the course of the past week I have had the joy and opportunity to spend some really awesome time with my daughter, Bailey, while we attended a conference together in San Diego, California. 

What a joy for me at this point in my life to enjoy my children as adults.  Loved them to pieces as kids, moved through the turbulent teenage years, felt the sadness of their leaving the nest, and now I simply enjoy being with them in their new homes whenever the opportunity comes to pass.

Since both of my grown children live in another state, I find these times of connection fuller and richer because I don’t want to live with regret or not get the most out of our time together.

Acceptance of what is and what is possible is a fine balancing act to be sure. Winter turns to spring and life continues to evolve.  The question becomes can we evolve along with the changing of the seasons of our lives?

I would challenge you this week to fully look at how much you are enjoying the present.  No regrets about the past and no angst about the future.  Just enjoying the moments of what is right now - today.

Sitting in the presence of today can actually bring us our greatest joy as we count our blessings, even if it is simply the ability to breathe fully each day. 

With that said, it’s important to still learn from previous failures in the past as well as have a clear vision for where you want to go in the future. Awareness of all time zones will enrich your present moment experience even further.
 

  • Can you look toward the past as having given you just what you needed at that moment in time?
     
  • Will you accept what was, so you can fully be happy with what is?
     
  • What gives you the most joy right now? What restricts you from experiencing it? How can you consistently move past that restriction?
     

Gather up your thoughts of time and relish in the fact that you are still here to enjoy the life you have been given with those who love spending time in your company.

I wish you a week full of happiness… in whatever time zone you are in ;)

 

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles
Email me: cheri@businessvictories.com

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Crack the Code

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Crack the Code

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.
— Maya Angelou

Now I will admit right out the gate here today that I have never been “normal” - to be sure.  In fact, during the formative career days of my 20”s I was fired and “laid off” from 3 different jobs.

These events were not because of lack of talent or not getting the work done in an exceptional way, I was released from these positions because I could not conform to just being normal and robotically nodding my head up and down when given direction whether I agreed or not.

So I did what anyone should do in my opinion at that point – I became an Entrepreneur.  While it was a scary and a much more difficult path than ever imagined I was able to fully be me.  Without a doubt it has been quite a ride.

Last Sunday I sat in the morning sunlight of our new sunroom enjoying the leisurely aspect of the day and reading the book TED Talks by Chris Anderson.

His words were circulating through my head as he shared what I think is a key group of questions that we should be asking ourselves on a regular basis.

In fact, I had shared the words from his book the previous Friday morning at a Victory Circle Master Mind meeting with the women entrepreneurs at the table with me.  

It seems appropriate to share them with you now as we dive into this months’ Master Mind principle of Honoring Time. Those 24 hours in each day that we are given to utilize in the ways that benefit ourselves, and everyone else that we get the opportunity to spend our time with.  

Here is what Chris asked in regards to coming up with a fresh idea:

Think back to your work of the last three or four years; what really stands out?

What was the last thing you were really excited by? Or angered by?

What are the two or three things you’ve done that your most proud of?

When was the last time you were in conversation with someone who said, ‘That’s really interesting?’

If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one idea you’d most love to spread to the other people’s minds?
— Chris Anderson

As you step into the month of March which brings with it the season of Spring what will be your contribution the blossoming and unfolding of a good idea?  What will allow you to crack the code of finding your ultimate joy and purpose in each day?

Signs are all around us sharing the direction we should go if we open our mind wide enough to see them. Just as I knew the path I needed to take all those years ago as scary as it was.  We just need to step out and let our true self-shine.

Wishing you peace in finding your answers.
 

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles
Email me: cheri@businessvictories.com

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