when a seed is planted

There really is nothing as magical as watching a seed grow.  I have talked about this simple yet amazing phenomenon nearly every spring since I started writing the Victory Letter 13 years ago. It is what hooked me on gardening several decades back: the idea that if you plant good seeds growth will eventually emerge from the confines of the earth.   

In our recent Master Mind sessions the Ladies of the Victory Circles were given pots with dirt in them - and asked to find seeds to plant in them and begin the process of making them grow.

In doing so, I reminded them that in our roles as entrepreneurs we are given the tools to grow a business and we must then have the patience and foresight to decide on the seeds we want (marketing and sales), envision the results (victory) to come, and go about watering and nurturing (implementing results) in order for it to come to fruition.

Cheri Ruskus 30 year entrepreneur

This week marks a big anniversary for me.  On Thursday – yes, April Fools Day - I celebrate 30 years of entrepreneurship from the day I started my first full-fledged business (beyond drama productions and popsicle stand endeavors of youth). A business where I was the sole creator of my own destiny and what an amazing journey it has been over all these many years. 

While that first business endured 16 years before I sold it, there have been many ups and downs and lessons to learn as I have awaited various business seeds to grow.  Some grew most excellent and others not so well.  It was the patience of knowing the importance of any body of work that makes all the difference.  When to wait and when to know it perhaps was not such a good seed after all. 

Even when my friend and colleague Debbie Krueger and I decided to begin walking the streets of Downtown Louisville (where my first business was located) to start-up the elements of creating and co-founding the Downtown Business Association we were planting seeds among our colleagues and peers.

It was interesting at the time when “the good old boys” of our town first saw what Deb and I were doing they patted us on the shoulders and basically placated these “young ambitious women.”  It was clear they thought our efforts were pointless and would fizzle into nothing. 

What changed was when we kept doing the work, year after year (watering and fertilizing the seeds) making things happen that had not happened in that business district for many complacent years.  It was then that they started to fully pay attention to us. 

I will never forget when Percy Conarroe, the owner and editor of our small town newspaper, walked into my office unannounced one day and asked for my opinion on an important town decision.  I knew in that moment of time that I had made a difference.  It was needless to say a victory I will always honor and cherish. 

Though my business dealings took me away from Downtown Louisville, Debbie still walks the street today and continues to give so much.  It was the ability to get the passion of many others involved that has allowed that organization to thrive and subsequently, and to our great joy, have the businesses in that once economically threatened business area (that will always have a soft spot in my heart) to fully have the opportunity thrive.

One aspect of my business ventures along the way is that I have always had the opportunity in one way or another to work with entrepreneurs.  Two elements that entrepreneurs always seem to be in lack of are a) time and b) money. 

This week we transition from March into April and here in the Victory Circles we are transitioning learning more about about the Master Mind Principle of Honoring Time to the Principle of Self Control with Money. Important aspects and how you manage both of the growth process.   

As I step into this next decade of entrepreneurship I am delighted to be on the journey with you and am so eternally grateful for all those who have helped me to nurture my seeds along the way. Those who believed in me and even those who didn’t and made me work even harder.  ;)

Here’s to a great month ahead!  Happy Planting! 

To Your Successes and Victories,

- Cheri