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Self Confidence

Negative Free Zone

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Negative Free Zone

Every adversity carries with it the seeds of an equivalent or greater benefit.
— Napoleon Hill

Could you be positive for 7 days in a row?

One night last week I woke up in the middle of the night.  After lying there for a bit I grabbed my iPad to help me fall back asleep (yes, I know probably not the best option).

The first thing to come up on You Tube was a Tony Robbins audio from a few years back called the 7 Day Challenge Against Negativity. The funny thing was that it reminded me of his Infomercials in the middle of the night from years ago.

Before drifting back off to slumber his words deeply impacted me and got me thinking about the negativity that had been slipping into my life.

The next morning when I woke up I decided to take those words to heart and start looking at the sources of negativity that I had allowed into my mind.  I took with me these five keys that Tony recommended:

Key 1 - Decide to create the habit of what is right in your world
To do this he recommended taking the 7-Day Mental Diet Cleanse.  Basically it is this:  when a negative thought comes your way and it will, find within yourself a way to let it go.  Start to avoid the elements in your life that you have allowed in that are just too negative.  Keys 2 through 5 will help you with this.

Key 2 – Become curious instead of judgmental
Understand why others do what they do.  Notice what you do have in your life versus what you don’t have and what that person you might be judging doesn’t have. In other words, judge less and perceive more.  

Key 3 – Appreciate where you are right now
Do some critical thinking and allow the positive and negative to balance seeing the good in something that hasn’t been working for you and how you can change it.  Take an inventory of what is great and what isn’t.

Key 4 – Decide not to be perfect
Perfection is hard if not impossible to achieve – it is an ever-changing slippery slope that causes pain and negativity along with it. Especially, if you are continually beating yourself up for not being perfect.  Doing your best in this day is all you can ask of yourself.

Key 5 – Use the F word: Faith
Create certainty inside of yourself with the power of faith, going beyond fears by using your courage (remember we talked about this several weeks back).  Whenever a negative element arrives say to your self,  “This too shall pass.”

What I discovered was one of my big sources of negativity was getting myself in the habit for the first time in years of watching the “news.”  The constant negative spin from all sources was really getting to me.

What I realized was that I can’t change the news rhetoric, but what I could do was change my contact with it.  

Letting go of this “need to check in” on a constant basis allowed me to get my positive mind back and put me in a more enlightened Negative Free Zone.  Now when I do hear bits of news I know not to engage with the negativity.

Entering the Negative Free Zone requires taking the first step. I would love to hear your progress.  If you have the courage, write a comment of one negative thing you will commit to let go in the days ahead. 

As you move into the days ahead keep a journal and each day write about your positivity level and how best to create your unique Negative Free Zone. 

Be Positive! Be Free!


Weekly ToolBelt


BOOK

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

by Donald Miller

Story is everything when you are trying to get your message out into the world.  And not just your story but how your story connects with your customers (past, present and future) story.  

This is an excellent book that gives you some real world examples and a playbook of how to really examine the story you are sharing. For those of you who have embarked in the Marketing Warrior Challenge this is one more excellent step in building your story. This book gets 5/5 stars.  


WORKSHOP

Discover Instagram

One of the social media platforms that brings to me great energy and joy is Instagram. So much so, that I find my time on Instagram as my positivity breaks.  The content that I share and those I continue to follow is from people who find the good in the world – especially in world of photography.   

Join me and the East Colorado SBDC for this action packed workshop where I will be showing you how to get the most out of Instagram.  


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Find Your Power

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Find Your Power

Passion is your backup generator when all your other energy sources start to sputter.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

Last week in spin class the teacher said three little words that packed a powerful punch. They haven’t left me. The words?  Find Your Power.

These three words are something each of us quite literally gets tasked to do each day if we want to live life to the fullest. Most importantly it’s about finding a clean source of power, one that fuels us in our own best way both individually and collectively.

As important as it is…“find my power” is a task we rarely put on our to do list.

Life has stuff coming at us from all directions. Some things we anticipate and other things that come out of nowhere.

In all that you do from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you close them at night – what is it that propels you to be the best you that you can be?

One of the things that I love about online marketing (and why I have gotten so involved in it) is that the tasks required in the process challenges us to make our best selves shine.

A discussion came up at a marketing workshop I taught last week about creating your own content versus curating (sharing) other people’s content.

My answer was and is to find a nice blend always giving the creator of the curated content credit. In fact you can build strong relationships when sharing the creativity of someone else with the world.

You really do want the emphasis to be on creating your own special sauce as I like to think of it. When you create, your power shines because you are sharing a part of you – whether you are marketing or not.

In my opinion, the best marketers are the one's who are real and allow you to feel better from their message as opposed to feeling inadequate or pressured to do something.

Tapping into creativity is a major source of our power as human beings. One that is severely underrated and gets replaced all to often with never ending, brain numbing to do lists. While they can be important... they can also rob us of our power.

You also might be someone who is super creative and can’t turn off your ideas long enough to actually act on them. This can lead you to zapping your power as well. The key is prioritizing what is most important, what feels right and is something you can accomplish. Then put the other ideas on hold for now.

Remember creativity comes in all shapes and sizes from classical art, to cooking, to photography (one of my favorite mediums), to dance, to writing. Where do you let your creative essence shine that helps you find your power?

Here’s the best part … when you tap into your power that’s when you find your passion. And with passion fueling you – you are unstoppable.

Here’s to a week ahead of using your power source.


Weekly ToolBelt


BOOK

CRUSHING IT

by Gary Vaynerchuk

This book is without a doubt a must read for anyone trying to share an important message with the world online. Gary breaks down the actual work that is involved from his perspective as a successful online entrepreneur.

He also shares many real life examples of entrepreneurs who did what it takes to make yourself seen as an Influencer online and make money in the process.

Learn how to master Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and more… You will walk away thinking much differently about the marketing efforts of you are currently putting into place in your business. A highly recommended read!



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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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Focus on Courage

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Focus on Courage

Every time I’ve had a bad performance at an event, I’ve come back more determined and focused.
— Shaun White

When we expect perfection without the practice and mistakes it requires, that is when procrastination can trip us up and stop us from ever getting into the game at all. 

One thing for sure in the Winter Olympics the athletes have once again proven in performance after performance that practice, practice and some more practice makes way for the ability to win gold. 

Some of the athletes have had their failures be part of their practice,failing along their way for the whole world to see. Snowboarder Shaun White is one of those competitors. 

He got back in the game after a number of defeats.  Even one just a few short months ago after a devastating fall that ended up leaving him with 64 stitches in his face.

That could have stopped anyone who was not dedicated to winning the gold.

Two elements required to achieve what you desire … 

The first element is focus.  When you watch Shaun’s final event at the 2018 games he was totally focused on his first run, lost some of the focus on his second run and fell… leaving him in second place. On his third run his complete focus returned and he won the gold!!

The second element is courage. Courage in fact allows for the focus because it removes the doubt that may be clouding our mind with negative self talk.  Courage pushes you past seeing anything but the result you need to get done right now in this very moment. 

The key is not thinking about the past or even the future.  It’s about right now as you mentally ask, “What can I do right now to give me the outcome I want to achieve.”

What could you accomplish out of the ordinary if you allowed your courage to keep you really focused?  What would you need to do to keep the unneeded distractions and negative self talk out of your way?

It’s when we get back up and do it again in our own unique way with focus and courage that we find our own version of perfection.  That “gold medal” that makes us a champion in our own minds eye.

What can you do this week to get you past your fears as you practice getting and actually being better at just one thing in particular?

Know I am here cheering you on and here’s some tools to also help you! 


Weekly ToolBelt


BOOK

The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews

This was the coolest book that a Victory Letter reader shared with me (Thanks again CJ!).  I sat down on a recent Sunday morning and read it in its entirety.   It’s the story of a man who is feeling lost and hopeless.

Without money to support his family and any sense of purpose he journeys back in time to get insights with historical leaders.  From Abe Lincoln to Christopher Columbus he gains insights on the courage they gained to get them through their darkest hours. Because we all have our darkest hours – the difference is how we get past them.


WORKSHOPS

Digital Marketing Trends For 2018
Feb 21, 2018, 11am – 1pm

How To Create Engaging Content
Mar 13, 2018, 1pm – 2:30pm

Social Media Essentials: How To Amplify Your ROI
Mar 14, 2018, 9am – 11am

Leveraging The Power Of Instagram
Mar 20, 2018, 9am – 11am

Creating ROI With Facebook And Instagram
Apr 17, 2018, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


VIDEO

Mens Halfpipe Gold Medal Run - 2018 Winter Olympics

with Shaun White

Here is a short video of Shaun Whites Gold Medal Run mentioned earlier in this victory letter. It is only about one minute long and I really like in this one how he is actually talking through the final run with us and sharing what that incredible moment feels like.


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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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Love, passion, and confidence

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Love, passion, and confidence

Passion illuminates the darkness.
— Danielle LePorte

What is it that you are most passionate in your life that fully lights you up?

The way you spend your time and the people that you do it with that bring you the greatest joy. 

This week we pay a special homage to love and the passion that brings it to life. A tradition that has been around since early Roman times that became what we now know as Valentine’s Day. 

Without a doubt I deeply love my husband, my children, extended family and friends and will be sending them valentines. My work however gets to the core of my being and calls at my heartstrings in its own special way. As cliché as it might sound – it gives me great purpose – especially when I light others up in the process. 

By honoring our passions both personally and professionally happiness can be ours for the asking – especially when we are lighting up the world for others in the process. 

Being an entrepreneur and small business owner is without a doubt one of the most difficult professional roles to take on and… one of the most fulfilling in my opinion when it comes to bringing your passion to life. 

Love, passion and confidence go hand in hand. When you are doing what you love and hanging out with those you love - confidence reins supreme because you are in your passion place. 

Passion is a process – it ebbs and it flows. What is most important is if we can bring it to life daily if possible. 

This weeks tools are designed to assist in finding your passion and keeping it working strong for you during the moments when you start to question if you are on the right path. 

Here’s to a great week of love and light ahead! 


PODCAST OF THE WEEK

Passion Brings Confidence

Courage to be the Difference Podcast with Cheri Ruskus

Get your passion engines fired up as we explore 10 easy ways to bring value to others while firing up your own inner passions.


VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Do What You Can’t

by Casey Neistat

Passion takes courage, confidence and saying yes, I can! I love this video and often share it with my live workshop audiences as a reminder that we can do anything we put our mind to. 

Think about what you have been aching to be passionate about and what you would be doing in this video if you could. Enjoy!


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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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Hear Your Prayers

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Hear Your Prayers

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
— Aristotle

Throughout your busy workday how often do you call on prayer to quiet your mind and help you along your way? It’s important to remember that for each of us prayer comes in all shapes and sizes and is really a light when we come into the darker elements of our lives.

In other words, if your hand is closed in a fist you cannot receive the bounty of abundance as shared in the Spirit Animal Medicine Cards Book that was given to me as a gift from my daughter several years ago.

The animal that came to be my spirit animal for 2018 is the Buffalo, an animal that was greatly revered by Native Americans. They believed that seeing a white buffalo the most revered was indeed the sign that the Great Spirit was hearing their prayers.

How do you know when your prayers, thoughts and dreams are being answered?

Keep in mind that prayer is not begging for something to happen - it is deeply listening with gratitude to what is all around you.

Here are some questions from the Medicine Cards book to ask yourself to see if you might want to think about opening the fist of your hand a little wider as you look closer towards finding the light you may need in your life right now.

  1. Have I forgotten my eternal partner, the Great Spirit? (whatever that represents to you.)
     
  2. Am I pushing myself too fast in the physical world and keeping myself from seeing the importance of reunion with the source of all life?
     
  3. Have I forgotten to honor the ways of others and to afford them the same respect that I wish to receive for myself?
     
  4. Am I feeling like my life is being used for the highest good at this time?
     
  5. Have I forgotten to be grateful for my life, my possessions, my talents, my abilities, my health, my family, or my friends?
     
  6. Is it time to make peace with another, or to make peace with some inner conflicts I have so that I may walk in balance again?

Sit for a few minutes with one or more of these questions and see what comes up for you.  See how a little prayer in the form that works best for you may soothe your soul.

Have an amazing week ahead! 

This month we will be exploring the power of confidence and the courage it takes to really put it to work for us in positive ways. If you have been desiring to up your confidence game both of this weeks tools will be very beneficial.


Podcast of the Week

THYROID by Kristin Savory

To lead us on our monthly topic of confidence, the podcast I am sharing this week is from my client Kristin Savory. 

Kristin is an extremely gifted and respected health professional who combines her love for Kaiut Yoga with her 15 years of experience as an Acupuncturist.

Running a business can be stressful and we can frequently create imbalance in our hormones. Kristin's podcast episodes are great for short, simple, and informative tips that can help us learn to master our hormones and live balanced lives. Start off today with her lastest one - Sukhasana to quiet your body as you feel instead of think.


Book of the Week

The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris: A guide to overcoming Fear and Self Doubt

When we lose our confidence we begin to see gaps in our success patterns. Confidence gaps, especially as entrepreneurs, cause us to lose our momentum - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot and sometimes all together.

This book is a rich audio read in understanding the need to acquire confidence by letting go of worrying, perfectionism and self-doubt while practicing your best skills and becoming mindful of the negative inner talk that could be wearing you down.


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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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Pedaling Forward

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Pedaling Forward

It doesn’t matter what the tool is, it’s what you do with it.
— Casey Neistat

I bet every single one of us has known someone who has lost a cancer battle.

In fact, just this last week  another friend of mine lost his life to a multi-year battle with cancer.  His passing further enforced the need to find a cure for the many cancers that are still out there. 

Eight years ago right around this time of year I heard the word leukemia in a way that I had never heard it before.  

The word took on a whole new context as my mother’s Oncologist shared with us that my mother had Acute Myeloid Leukemia for which there was no cure.  Her 3-year battle with ovarian cancer and all the chemotherapy that had come with it had produced this new form of cancer within her. 

When my mother left the planet just a few short months later I vowed to do something to help the organization that had helped me to understand more about the disease.  

The LLS.org organization has a program called Team in Training that does physical challenges such as marathons and long distance cycling events.  

Having been a bike enthusiast most of my life, the idea of riding my bike in honor of my mom as I raised money for the cure has been with me all these years.  It has taken me 8 years to get to the courage to register for this ride that is way out of my comfort zone.

The time is at hand to go all in and I am completely focused with the training that is required to complete the 100 mile ride around Lake Tahoe in a single day on June 4, 2017.    

It is now completely clear to me as someone who asks others to step beyond their fear levels on a regular basis – that it's time for me to do this thing that brings up so much fear and emotion in me.  

With that I need your help and support.  There are two aspects to this ride… 

The first one is 100% on me and requires intense training. I have started in full force and will have to continue to increase in the months ahead.  I will be keeping you posted at the bottom of each Victory Letter of my weekly biking miles I have traveled to have you help me stay accountable to do the work.

My long time friend Erica (@bonosgrl on Instagram) has joined forces with me and together we have formed a team called the Pedal Girls.  Erica shares my passion because she too lost her beloved sister to cancer. 

The second piece of this effort is the fund raising commitment to help support this amazing non-profit.  If you are reading these words and any of this is resonating with you, I am asking for your help.  Check out our Pedal Girls website for more info and a link to donate.  

I want to ask if you donate and also have someone you loved that who lost his or her life to cancer to let me know via email: cheri@businessvictories.com . Share with me their name and story of how they made a difference in your life.  I will be riding for them as well on June 4th.  I would also like to share their story on our Pedal Girls website! 

My bike is going to be the tool that brings this home for me along with those who donate and share their stories.  I hope that you can ride along with me.  

Here is to a week of pedaling forward!


PS Here is one more tool that will be of benefit to you if you are looking to increase company profits.  My good friend and colleague Mike Michalowicz is releasing tomorrow his revised and expanded copy of Profit First – an amazing book that started a bit of a revolution in the way that small business thinks about the best way to look at profits.


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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Love the Work

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Love the Work

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
— Confucius

As a kid I fondly remember Valentines Day.  It was a big event in our lives growing up.  The annual class Valentine Party where you shared gifts of sweet little cards with wishes of love and friendship on them.  

The cards along with the sweetness of candy always made the day special because it allowed everyone to freely share how much they cared.   

Raising my own kids I did the same thing and added in my own version of ideas from heart shaped pancakes or French toast to even a heart shaped meatloaf for dinner.  

Little unexpected gifts of love were always there as well as helping my kids create the cards for their classmates.  

Sharing love is simply a cool thing to do.  Which is why it’s nice that we make a day just for that reason.  Especially right now with the lack of love that seems to be in the air.  However, that seems to be shifting too!  

Be sure to join me in #28daysoflove over on Instagram.  

I was impressed by the number of Super Bowl commercials this year that focused on love – as did Lady Gaga’s brilliant performance.

Love is not just for our personal lives – it slips into our business lives when we love the work that we do and who we get to do it with. 

This week as my valentine gift to you I have a bunch of new "love the work" mobile wallpapers for you to download and enjoy throughout your busy moments when you look at your phone!

 
 

The thought is this … Life can get crazy… and in the all the “doing” we can forget the blessings our work provides us each day.  It starts with the things that our work gives to others and to ourselves.  The icing on the cake is when we actually enjoy the act of the work itself.  Let’s love the work!  I know I do and hope you do too!

Happy Valentines Day!  


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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A Special Gift

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A Special Gift

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars you have a right to be here.
— Max Ehrmann

The End Leads to the Start

Sometimes when least expected the universe can hand us a nice beautiful gift that gets us to thinking differently. 

This past week – my husband returned home from a boy’s only, week long “epic” ski trip to Telluride. We then sat at one of our favorite restaurants sipping on margaritas and munching on tacos as he shared the stories and pictures of the amazing time he had with his east coast buddies.


Self-Confidence Has Many Forms

As one discussion lead to another I got to thinking about self-confidence in it’s many forms including the ability to head down double black diamonds with others of your same skill level (something I know nothing about). 

As my mind wondered looking towards this month and our focus on the tool within our psyche that serves us best – self confidence - the words from a poster that used to hang on my wall as a teenager popped into my brain.

I was originally thinking of it with the wrong words – no less than the moon and the stars you have a right to be here. I can remember looking at that poster (super cool at night with the black light on it) and feeling there had to be a reason I was put on this planet. Many nights I looked at it for hours through a blaze of tears trying to not feel so unraveled and alone. 
 

Searching for the Light

Finding positive connections back then was super critical for me as I tried to get through the craziness of my parents divorce and all that came along with that life crisis. All the while I was dealing with being a teenager as well. To say I was an extremely lost soul at the time is putting it mildly.  

Fast forward to our return home after our taco feast that night I scoured the internet trying to find this poster from the late 60’s early 70’s. Sadly, the original beloved poster was not to be found.  However the origins of the words were. I really love the discovery process Google can put us on at times even if we can’t find what we were originally looking for.    

It was then that I discovered the full writing of this poem called Desiderata that somehow has missed coming into my life other than that one line on the poster.  

So the rest of today’s Victory Letter is my gift to you in sharing this beautiful poem Desiderata – Latin for “desired things.” Enjoy it and I urge you to share it with someone who could use a little boost this week.  Remember in doing so - the more we can boost the self-confidence of others the better we can be fully in step with our own. 

It’s the little things like these words from a poem or a meal with a loved one that really matters most.


Desiderata

A Poem by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.   

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


Cheri Gift Bitmoji

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

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

P.S. Join the #28 days of love challenge on Instagram!

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The Courage to Compliment

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The Courage to Compliment

When was the last time you gave a sincere and heartfelt compliment?

What is your reaction when you get one?

Do you brush it off, making excuses why it may not be true?

Or do you soak it up like a warm ray of sunshine : )

This was the topic for conversation in this week’s Courage to be the Difference Podcast.  I had the great opportunity to interview New York Times Best Selling Author of the book, Picture Your Prosperity, Ellen Rogin. 

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Getting Around To It

When it comes to honoring time, we all have one single component in common. It is the fact that we all are given the same amount of time in each day. We all get 24 hours, but how we use those precious hours makes all the difference.

Finding yourself saying “I don’t have time” usually leads to suspicion to whether it is that you don’t really have the time to complete the task, or perhaps if there is rather a complete lack of desire.

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