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Imagination

Be You

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Be You

My work is an expression of myself.
— Jena Benson

The belief that each of us has the opportunity to express ourselves through our daily work is actually at the core of my own life work and purpose.

In my work as a Business Coach I get to see some pretty cool transformations come to life in all shapes and forms.  And what I know to be true is when each of us are fully expressing who we are … well, the results at times can just seem magical.

Have you asked yourself lately what does it mean to be you and go after the work that you love? What do you do to get into your best flow so you can truly being you?

Then of course the challenge comes when we add in the equation of making money in the process.  This is when we fully begin to think like an entrepreneur.

One of those people who has strived for the opportunity to fill the shoes of a creative entrepreneur is Jena Benson founder and creative force behind A Way With Clay located near Melbourne, Australia. Recently Jena and I had a lovely conversation that is being shared with you on today’s podcast.

I originally met Jena on Instagram and her beautiful artwork has been a delight to see in my daily feed for about a year now. When I read the following post I knew I had to bring her on the podcast because not only because of her work but the work she does with others in opening their creative flow.

Here is what Jena shared:

“I still feel the need to birth new work with function… Through the hand building process I have gained new insight into my practice and the reasons I feel so passionately about the whole notion of ‘creating with clay’.  It has been truly therapeutic process for me with of the emphasis being on 'finding balance,' accessing body and heart through the clay body in what has become my own transformational process.”

The key element that Jena further shares is to not be afraid of expressing  yourself to be fully focused on the work you love in order to bring the dream to life. It may not happen tomorrow or the next day, however, if you keep working hard (as Jena did) through the ups and downs - anything is possible.

Start by giving yourself permission to be you.  Now express the good things you have to give!


Ep. 32 - Be You

Courage to Be the Difference Podcast

 

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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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Creative Visualization

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Creative Visualization

The clearer and stronger your intention, the more quickly and easily your creative visualization will work.
— Shakti Gawain

Wrapping up the discussion this month about the importance of our imagination I would be remiss not to mention the importance of our imaginations in both good times and the bad times.  You could even say that we need our imagination even more in bad times!

Last week the unthinkable happened and my happy place, my garden, was pulverized (and yes that is the best word I can think of) by a severe hail storm.

I was in the middle of hosting the 2nd live webinar of the Good Marketing Vibes series when the storm hit and hit hard. I couldn’t see all that was happening with the storm outside but could hear the pounding of the hail and the thunder and lightning. I ended up cutting the webinar short and sharing with my participants a look outside to the craziness that was happening.

Initially I couldn’t even begin to foresee the devastation that had happened in 20 short minutes.  When I walked outside after the storm has passed, I saw the ground covered with golf ball sized hail. What I saw literally took my breath away! So many of my beloved flowers and plants throughout the garden were stripped down to shreds just leaving their stalks behind.

My zinnia seedlings – my pride and joy in the fall garden - at just 4 inches tall didn't survive the storm.  A few survived, but were barely hanging on.

Today I am sharing this with you not to have you feel sorry for me as I know others in Colorado had greater financial damage (and even tornados touching the ground) but to orchestrate, as I do in this letter, the importance of using our imagination to rise from unplanned mishaps of life.

Our businesses are no less susceptible to bad things happening than Mother Nature’s wrath at times. What brings us our greatest victories is what we do in those unplanned and unhappy moments to allow our imagination to pull us from the ashes.

This is where the elements of creative visualization come into play to help us move forward. The greatest businesses of all time have all had to rise from their falls.

In this week’s podcast I go into this in more depth and here is a quick guide to getting past what is stopping you by using your imagination to pull you through.

Feel
You have to feel the pain before you can deal with it. You just do because it will in turn give you needed strength.

See
Begin to see in your minds eye what you really want and need to do moving forward with the circumstances you have unfortunately been handed.

Create
Use this vision that you see to move you forward.  Use the lessons learned, the pain felt to take you to where you want to go as you create your plan of action step by step.

Do
Take Action - nothing will take you out of the pain of a mishap faster then doing something about it.

Having the rug ripped out from underneath us is never fun but it is how we will grow in our lives and in our businesses.  We can only cry about what is wrong for so long.  Then we need to get out there and do something about it.  As my sister so sweetly reminded me we have to look for the rainbow after the rain.  

I’m ready for the rainbow… how about you?


Ep. 32 - Creative Visualization

Courage to Be the Difference Podcast

In this week’s podcast I am sharing the importance in getting through the downers in life using our imagination to do so. Creative Visualization is a key component to help us rise from life’s challenges.

 

Good Marketing Vibes - Final Session

Marketing doesn’t have to be manipulative. Marketing (a skill every business must have to stay alive) can be inspirational and positive as you share your product/service with the world. Can’t join the Victory Circle live? Be sure to register to receive the live recordings so you can watch at a time that works best for you. Cost is free, however you must reserve your seat to gain access to this Victory Circle.


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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Truth or Dare

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Truth or Dare

In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
— Maya Angelou

Do you remember the game Truth or Dare?

The objective of this game that many of us played in our teens is to have the choice to share an uncomfortable truth – no matter the question asked. If we didn't want truth, the alternative path was to be dared to do something that made you super uncomfortable.

The process of the game was scary at first yet incredibly freeing to either have the courage to speak your truth or the courage to do something you might never have thought to do on your own. In other words, to get out of your comfort zone.

The simple basics of this game can really make you stop and think especially as you look at yourself as a creative person. We talked about the importance of truth last week with finding your inner creative.

Our fear of what others may think of us can stop our truth from ever happening. Our inability to dare ourselves from doing something new can also stop us in our tracks. 

One powerful tool I have been thinking about alot lately is the ultimate ability we have to love and honor our own unique being. There are many reasons this is so important including finding the creativity inside of us that allows to make all the difference in our world and the world around us.

Last week’s Wednesday Wisdom live stream on Instagram was about the topic of Love Mastery. I discussed these 3 elements I feel are important to allow self-love to thrive!

1. Love Yourself
Dig deep into your heart and discover what you love most about you. Get past the things you don’t like and just focus on what makes you so special and unique.

2. Do the work you love
The definition of work is mental or physical effort to achieve a purpose or result. Without purpose or result our days can become fruitless and draining. Too many people do work they don’t love – don’t allow yourself to be one of them.

3. Forgive Yourself
We all screw up it’s just part of the human experience.  Once we can forgive ourselves for all the little and big things we have done in a perceived “wrong way” then we can truly begin to love ourselves. Then loving the world around us is so much more doable and opens us up to more truth and daring.  


You've read to the bottom - now it's time to play Truth or Dare!

Select one

Truth: Are you happy with your business today? If you answered no, send me an email :)

Dare: Who is 1 person you can call/text/email today and forgive?

As you head into this week ahead look around yourself and see how your own self-love can fully enrich your experience along with the experience of those around you.

 

 

Good Marketing Vibes

Location: Private Webinar
Tuesday, June 12 @ 12-1pm MT (2pm ET)
60 Minutes via Online Victory Circle
FREE (must register)

Please join us on Week 1 of this new online Victory Circle. Over the course of the next 3 weeks we will discover that marketing doesn’t have to be manipulative. Marketing (that skill set that every business must do to stay alive) can in fact be inspirational as you share your product and services with the world. Can’t make it live? Be sure to register to receive the live recordings so you can watch at a time that works best for you.

 

Wednesday Wisdom: 
The Power of Your Imagination

Wed, June 13 @ 12pm MT (2pm ET)
15 Minutes via Instagram Live
FREE

Come spend a few minutes with me live at the half way mark of the week as I share three tools that can unlock one of your greatest internal gifts – your imagination. Bring your energy and questions.


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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Inner Selfie

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Inner Selfie

Go on a journey from self to self, my friend... Such a journey transforms the earth into a mine of gold.
— Rumi

This week as we celebrate our independence here in the United States its seems like a good time to also reflect on our own inner independence.

Recently I was interviewed by a new podcast called Ditching 9 to 5. I shared with them my challenges along my journey as well as what has kept me working outside of the 9 to 5 format for over 30 years as both an entrepreneur and a business coach. 

I shared some things I have never shared before so take a listen and discover the key elements that has kept me ticking for so long in the world of small business ownership.  

Let’s look at the light of our own inner self to see what currently is working to bring us joy as well of course as what isn’t working so great. Think of it as taking your own inner selfie. 

Now for the inner selfie piece it is always best to ask questions to see what needs to be adjusted.  Because just like the taking a selfie picture with a camera the best ones are the ones that you adjust until you get it right.

The power of writing can bring to surface thoughts we had long ago buried in our unconscious mind.  By learning more about the person you have become you can allow the things you like the most about your inner self to come to life as you really stop to think about the person you have become throughout the course of your lifetime.

Set aside some quiet time to stop all other thoughts or activities to really think about the “who” of you. Schedule a block of time in your calendar and call it “Meeting with Self.” 

By taking a strong hard look at yourself through an inner mirror in answering the questions below it will allow you to see the you of yesterday and the you of today that will take you into your tomorrow’s. 

Remember there are no right or wrong answers to these following 12 questions. Open your mind to all that you truly are as you answer these questions.  Keep your pen or computer keyboard moving and don’t overthink the answers to these questions.  Let your inner self do all the work on this one. 


Inner Selfie Snapshot Exercise

1. What standards for yourself do you hold with highest regard and insure stay important to you? 

 

2. Do you enjoy spending time with yourself? If yes, what is your favorite thing to do during alone time?  If you are currently not spending time with yourself why not?

 

3. How often do you engage in conversations with yourself and what do you talk about?

 

4. Do you talk gently with yourself, or are you critical allowing your Inner Critic to always have the final word?  

 

5. What is your "glow" element? The piece of your personality that allows you to shine the most? This could be your sense of humor, your compassion, your ability to hear and be heard, your business sense, your craving for adventure...the list is long. List each one that applies to you.

 

6. Who are the people of your life that have assisted in the forming of your personality all along your way?

 

7. Who are the people in your life that mean the most to you, those people that hold a special place in your heart. Your heart after all shapes the “who” of you, doesn’t it? 

 

8. Of those people in question who is it that you could tell anything including your deepest and darkest secrets?

 

9. What makes you your happiest and brings you the most inner joy? 

 

10. In thinking through the twists of fate throughout your life – which have changed your course the most dramatically to make you the person you are today?

 

11. List your top five Strengths that you have developed over your lifetime?

 

12. How often do you actually get to use these strengths?
 


If you would like a PDF copy of this exercise click here.


As we move into the 241st year of independence as a country I hope that you are enjoying some independence in being your true self. Wishing you a happy and healthy 4th of July!
 

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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The next great idea

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The next great idea

All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.
— Napoleon Hill

Today I want to ask you to think about the one idea that has been percolating in your mind for some time but you have yet to take action on it.

Yes, my request is to have you stop in this moment and really think about that idea that won’t go away and then answer these questions.

  1. What excited you the most about this idea when you first thought of it?
     
  2. What would change in your world or the world around you if this idea actually did came to fruition?
     
  3. What are the resources you feel that you are lacking to bring this idea to life? (example - time, money, confidence, courage, etc.)
     
  4. What are some ways that you can begin this week to find the necessary resources?

Ideas can only come to life when we get rid of the perceived obstacles. In the process of keeping our ideas hidden we will never know which idea will change our lives and the lives of others until we actually move forward and act on them.

Think back to the best ideas you have ever had. How long did it take you to act on them and what was the catalyst to finally got you to act on your idea?

In order to further encourage you with this “bringing an idea to life process” this week I am sharing with you part two of Hidden Treasures Podcast on Imagination.

This podcast picks up from last weeks interview from the archives and my interview with Cynthia Morris. We discuss how Cynthia brought to life a 12-year idea in the form of a book. See the link below to listen to Part 2.

If you have an idea that you have brought to life in the form of a business, book, etc. and you would like share with the world please reach out in our contact form. I am currently putting together my schedule for new podcasts in the months ahead and would love to collaborate and share your courage to be the difference with the world.

In the meantime, hope you are enjoying all the blessings of the summer season and letting your imagination have it’s place in the sun.

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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Hidden Treasures

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Hidden Treasures


I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain.
— Dr. Seuss

Opportunity is out there

Don’t know about you, but I took the question “what’s next?” from last week’s letter and really did some soul searching to begin to look within myself for the answer. 

I knew clearing my schedule as much as possible in order to allow a new way of thinking to emerge would let my imagination get involved in the process. There is something about an over the top schedule and rushing around to complete a never ending to do list that can squish creativity at its core. 

Think of it as the left analytical part of your brain partnering up with the right creative part of your brain to create a balance that allows you to step into new directions. However, the rational thinking brought on by the left brain can get us so caught up in those to do’s that we can just stop creating opportunities. 
 

Let's be realistic

You might be saying to yourself – hey that’s nice for you but I have to do all that I have to do to keep all the balls in the air! Keep in mind what our beloved Dr. Seuss has to say here in today’s letter about waking up the brain. Sometimes a little radical move, a little initially perceived nonsense, is just what the doctor ordered.  

With the summer solstice and the official arrival of summer arriving with the longest day of the year tomorrow (June 20th) I hope you take the opportunity during this magical time of year to explore a new way of thinking in regards to what matters most to you.  Can’t think of a better time to let your imagination come out and play.

Let me share a snippet of what unfolded in creating my “what’s next plan.” 

Tired of always reinventing the wheel, I took a strong look at the assets I have created over the years, identifying the ones that could enhance the lives of others through work I have already produced.
 

Hidden treasures

A variety of answers came to life that I am working through and one in particular put a large smile on my face and in my heart. I started to listen to the recordings from the radio show I did several years ago.

As I started to listen to those saved recordings I realized what a hidden treasure were in these interviews with a wide variety of experts from around the globe.  The rich topics are as relevant today as they were then. 

These shows included guests who were near and dear to my heart as well as others that I had the pleasure and opportunity to meet for the very first time during the interview process.

With imagination the Master Mind Principle of the month here in the Victory Circles I decided to start with interviews I had done on that topic. What a better place to start than one of my creative mentors, Cynthia Morris

So for your listening pleasure this morning as you think about ways to open up your imagination listen to part one of "Hidden Treasures: Your Imagination."

In this shorter and condensed version of this previous interview, Cynthia and I discuss the power of using the analytical skills of left brain in conjunction with the creative capacity of your right brain to bring your imagination fully to life. 

Enjoy the conversation and here’s to a creative summer 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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What's Next?

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What's Next?

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
— Zig Ziglar

Funny thing, when you hit a big goal like I did with my century ride last week it left me asking, “What’s Next? What is the next big thing I want to accomplish?”

The many miles that I have been spending on my bike have given me lots and lots of time to think about the answers to this question.

While this new fitness habit is one I aim to keep, arriving home from Lake Tahoe I reflected on what it took to get there. There are so many metaphors between my journey as a cyclist and my journey as an entrepreneur over the past 30 years.

I am happy to share today that the Victory Letter hits 16 years old!  16 sweet years of Monday morning inspiration. That’s 862 letters and thousands of relationships that I have fostered through this journey as a writer.  

In order to for me to write the best content for you as we move forward I would  love to get a better idea of what you are thinking when it comes to the top marketing goals in front of you. Please answer the following question in the comments below:  

What is the top marketing goal you are looking to achieve?

A) Increase revenue 

B) Develop a long-term strategy

C) Gain a stronger following of fans

D) All of the above

The ongoing desire through my coaching work is to have others share their thoughts and ideas with the world.  I have some upcoming workshops starting this week and you can get more info here. As you will see they are either free or very cost effective.  

Thanks for being with me on this journey and here’s to us enjoying what’s next!


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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The Victory Line

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The Victory Line

The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.
— LLS, Team in Training

This morning as I write to you with the beautiful surrounding of Lake Tahoe still in front of me I am full of both emotion and wonderment. My body is totally exhausted, which I know will pass, leaving the memories and lessons learned to get me past this huge milestone of my first century ride.

With my mom’s spirit guiding me over the 100 miles that took a little over 10 hours, here are the 5 top takeaways from this both physical and mental challenge.  This event was the real culmination of a goal I have been contemplating in riding with Team in Training for the last 8 years since my mother died.


1. Gratitude Wins All

On the ride I took the list with me of all the people who were in fact riding with me.  In addition to my mom and others who have lost their lives to cancer were the people who contributed to put an end to this nasty disease both in money and encouragement for me to get the job done. As each mile passed I thought of them individually, the memories we have shared along our mutual journey and my extreme gratitude to have them in my life.


2. Find your own way to climb the mountain

Over the course of the ride there were many ups and downs (literally) with several climbs of over 2,000 feet.  Not being a big hill climber, I had to find my way to get over them.  The magic formula was in taking the advice given by others and then creating my own individual game plan to get the job done.


3. Joy is in the journey

My sister, Robi, gave me a bracelet before leaving Colorado to wish me well on my ride. On it were the words, “Joy is in the journey.” And as I reflect back to not only the ride itself but the over 1,000 training miles that got me there, there is no doubt that I will cherish this event all of it all the days of my life.


4.  Don’t go it alone

My Pedal Girls teammate, Erica Bolsover was my rock through this journey.  Knowing she was there on those cold winter and spring mornings when we had to ride – always pulling me forward to keep up with her pace. The Rocky Mountain Team in Training also shared their deep experience in having done this ride for over 10 consecutive years - which was invaluable for me on my first ride. 


5.  The last 15 miles

To say I was exhausted at mile 85 is putting it mildly.  I had just climbed one of the most rigorous climbs of the day (not to mention in my life) and I knew there were 15 miles still left to go.  

Coming around a corner in literally the middle of nowhere was the surprise of my family ringing the cowbells and cheering me on. It deeply touched me and was the fuel I needed for my fire to get me to the finish.  I realized in the moment so clearly how I was not riding just for me – I was riding for them as well.

It touched me even more to learn that for 2 hours before they saw me my family was cheering on many other bike riders who needed that positive boost at this point before the final summit.

Goals can transform you...

Funny thing is as I reflect this morning on the gains and sweet rewards this ride gave to me, I realize that they were not at all what I had anticipated initially. The initial goal simply was to raise the money for the LLS organization that had been so helpful and caring when my Mom was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  That was achieved as this ride raised over $3 million collectively from all the bike riders - $4600 from Erica and I’s effort. 

I also am in probably the best shape of my life with a bonus 25 pounds lost in the process.

When you look at your own next big hairy audacious goal that might have you a bit frightened, and perhaps finding yourself procrastinating on as I did, ask yourself what will matter most when you look back after having achieved it?  I hope your answers make you smile as fully as I am this Monday morning.

As always…

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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Major Celebrations

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Major Celebrations

Yes my friend this is a very special edition of the Victory Letter today.  I have two major things to celebrate and one of them involves you. They both involve how each of us has a story.  

That story contains a beginning, middle and at sometime it will have an end. It’s those people who fill in all those blanks in between that make all the difference in our lives.  

I want to share with you today one of those people who has filled 30 years of my life with happiness.  This would be my husband, Ed, who tomorrow I get to celebrate 30 years of marriage. How time really does fly by! Our wedding day seems just like yesterday.

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Creative Confidence

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Creative Confidence

How often do you put “time to create” or something to that effect on your calendar? 

I am talking about both the things you create within the scope of making a financial living and the things you create as a way of having a joyous life?

All this month we have been talking about the power within our imaginations. This is a huge component in what I really love about the way marketing works today. This power gives us abundant opportunities to create something that was not there before.

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