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Fully Giving

Happy Friendships


Happy Friendships

There are good ships and wood ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships may they always be!
— Irish Proverb

This past week as I prepared my Christmas Cards to send to family and friends it reminded me of the lovely peace that comes from keeping in touch with the people we care about. Remembering family and friends out loud in one form or another can lift the spirits of all concerned.

Isn’t that what friendships should be all about? Lifting each other up?

Last week I shared the Goals tool for 2019 and one of the 6 categories of setting goals was friendship. Working through that really got me thinking about the how I wanted to spend more time nurturing friendships in the year ahead. I really do believe being a great friend as well as receiving the many benefits of a great friendship is one of the great joys of life. Remember family members can be friends too. ;)

With Christmas just a few days away, my gift to you is in sharing this ABC’s of friendship by Pam Fraser.  My hope is that the process will get you thinking a little bit more about those people that are special to you in your life and how we each can always work on being a better friend.

Always be honest…
Be there when needed…
Cheer them on…
Don't look for their faults…
Every chance you get, call!
Forgive them…
Get together often…
Have faith…
Include them…
Just listen…
Know their dreams…
Love unconditionally…
Make them feel special…
Never forget them…
Offer help…
Praise honestly…
Quietly disagree…
Rescue them when needed…
Say you're sorry…
Talk frequently…
Use good judgment…
Value them!
Welcome them when they need a hug!
Xpress your thankfulness…
Your words to comfort…
Zip your mouth when told a secret… 

Wishing you the love of this season and friendships everywhere you turn.

To Your Success and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Phone: 303-652-1718


Unwrap Your Goals


Unwrap Your Goals

Work is love made visible.
— Kahil Gabran

A family tradition has so sweetly been brought to life over the last couple of years as my grown children have grown older, and that is to sit down and do our annual goals together. Since we were together as a family over the Thanksgiving holiday we went ahead and created our individual one page 2019 goals several weeks ago. Now we can cheer each other on!

It feels good to have my goals ready to go at this point of the game so that over the next few weeks I can plan the action steps I need to take to make them actually happen. Because without goals and the plan that backs them up we can find ourselves shooting from the hip everyday and not getting to where we want to go.

So today I thought I would share with you this goal setting process complete with the download for the one-page goal setting sheet:

2019 Goals Worksheet.png

Tap Here to Download Worksheet

How to Use

Since life is multi-faceted and not all about work or all about play the goals are broken down into 6 areas to cover the whole beautiful thing: 

From Top to Bottom

  1. Health – no mistake it comes first because without it…we are in a mess of trouble.

  2. Love – simply put it does make the world go around.  Who is going to fill your heart this year and how will you deepen the love you have in your life?

  3. Career – That place where we spend most of our waking hours. How will you give it purpose and meaning in the year ahead? Or, enhance the purpose and meaning you already have working for you.

  4. Money – Another key element that makes the world go around. Career helps us to earn it and then what?  How much is enough and what does it mean to you?

  5. Friends – While love is utilized in friendships, this category is about taking stock of friendships and who you are spending time with and why? What do you want to see change?

  6. Adventure – Because yes every life needs a little more adventure from travel to doing something you have never done before. What would get your adrenaline pumping in the year ahead?

From Left to Right

  1. Now - Where are you sitting right now in this area?

  2. Future – What do you want to be your future?

  3. How – How will you get from where you are to where you want to be?

For Best Results

Take the time to sit with those who will give you honest feedback (in a good way) and enjoy the process. The sooner you start planting seeds, the sooner they will grow. Make sure to push through any disagreements that come up and complete the worksheet. Your future self will thank you!

Having trouble completing this worksheet? Schedule a clarity session.

Here’s to making our dreams for the year ahead come true as you begin to unwrap the gifts that goals can bring.

To Your Success and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Phone: 303-652-1718


Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda


Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose. Nothin’, don’t mean nothin’ if it ain’t free.
— Janis Joplin

This past week I shared my last live Instagram workshop for 2018.  One of the biggest concerns that kept coming up for the small business owners and non-profits in the room was time. How would they find the time to add another task into an already full day? Even if it would improve the results of what they were already doing.

As I took the scenic two-hour drive towards home after the event through the beautiful mountains of Colorado, I thought about the element of time and my own desire to implement new ways to improve my business. Especially with the realization that the bright shiny new year of 2019 is just weeks away.

Weaving through my thoughts was the words of a Victory Letter reader who had responded to the last Victory Letter on the topic of implementing ideas. Rick Laughlin, FAPLD, QWEL, UNLA, GWA, WNLA, PPA, NALP is a Landscape Design Architect I had the opportunity to a few years ago to meet at a workshop I was teaching in Salt Lake City.

Rick reached out and said, “For me most ALL of my ideas or goals become reality since I set those goals and never, ever let any one or any thing, or excuses get in the way until I achieve my goals.”

Well of course I had to learn more because as you might remember I had shared last week that only 8% of the population (on average) achieves their goals. I asked Rick to share his top reason for achieving such an awesome way to be. Here is what he shared… it may surprise you, as I know it did me;

“About 15 years ago I had a minor stroke… I changed everything in my life taking control of my time 24 hours a day, not stressing about anything and always sticking to my short and long-time goals... everything else: the interruptions, the negative people, etc. are just inconveniences!!! I am really NOT a part of this modern day, upside down, crazy world that we live time is all mine and I am totally FREE!!!

Thank you Cheri!”

Wow – as simple and complex (if you can’t break free of the ties that bind you) as that.

We speak of freedom often as a nation here in the US but how often do we honestly feel it?

I don’t know about you but as I make my plans for 2019 in these weeks ahead freedom in the form of peace of mind as Rick shared is at the top of the list for me.

No more “woulda, shoulda, couda’s" for this victory girl! Are you in with me? I have some exciting things to share in the weeks ahead about new workshops, a free monthly Victory Circle Master Mind call, and additional coaching programs to assist you in your journey. 

Here’s to making the plans in the weeks we can actually implement.

Latest Podcast Episode

What does it take to create consistent content? This podcast I am sharing this week has me on as the guest in talking with Jon Cook with Keynote Content about what it takes to build momentum with your marketing endeavors.

To Your Success and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Phone: 303-652-1718


Giving From Within


Giving From Within

Some of the best ideas come at the most inopportune times, don’t close your mind to them.
— Brad Feld

It’s always interesting to me when an idea starts to brew for a Victory Letter. Then, if I fully embrace the idea, like a magnet more thoughts from a variety of people and situations gives me rich input on the topic.

This the time of year we tend to turn inwards for a variety of reasons. For many of us in colder climates the weather along with shorter days disrupts our patterns and can leave us feeling more inner reflection.

As the calendar year begins to also wind down there is the reflective pieces of the year gone by that tend to pop up. 

With all of this in mind the question remains…

What is left to be done before the year closes?

Or perhaps, what needs to be re-evaluated that didn’t get done?

What were the ideas that you had that never either saw the light of day or were perhaps never given full wing power to come to life and fly?

As you think about this and observe what you did and didn’t do with the ideas that came your way, I would ask you to think about what ideas died because of the fear to fully implement them?

Specifically, what was the fear that bubbled up when it was time to make the idea a reality?

Did you know that on average only about 8% of the population makes an idea a reality? 8 percent! That seems crazy and is allowing for so many ideas to lay dormant.

Today’s podcast I am sharing is with Eric Hozempa, Director of the Longmont Community Foundation we dive deeper into this topic of Growing Your Nonprofit. Eric shares that in the non-profit world (just like the for-profit world) dreams die because of allowing one excuse after another to get in the way of bringing an idea to life.

One of my favorite moments that transpired within this conversation was what Eric called, “Bless and Release.” The idea of sometimes letting people and situations go for the health of the organization. Listen Now >>

This is where the awareness of giving from within comes into place. As we head into this season of giving what can you give to yourself and then in turn to give to others by digging deep beyond your deepest fears.

Is it…

Fear of change?

Fear of failure?

Fear of what others will say?

Fear of disappointment (either yourself or someone else)?

Who or what could give you the courage to stand up to this fear and take the ideas that are burning inside of you out into the world?

I encourage you to sit with this and write it out. Yes, take the ideas that are brewing up inside of you and write them down on paper. This action in itself will allow you to see beyond what is just clicking around in your conscious mind. By putting it onto paper you can further see what the idea looks even more like in the light of day.

This is one of the reasons that goals are so much more effective when written then just thinking about them. When we write it something begins to shift.

Is this enough? No. The next step is to find someone to make you accountable for making this happen. For asking for help from another human being to keep you from retreating back into your thoughts. To keep you from overthinking an idea until it retreats back where it came from.

Up for the challenge? Ready to give from within? You can and must do this. Remember I am here cheering you on! 

To Your Success and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Phone: 303-652-1718


What remains unwritten?


What remains unwritten?

What is the new move that you are going to add to your game that will maximize your talent?
— Hasan Minhaj

A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  As we approach the last few days of 2017 what has been your story to tell?

Is it one you think you will remember in years to come? What is the end of the 2017 story looking like as you wrap it up in the days ahead?

Perhaps it’s too late to change the story much… however here’s the good news… You can start writing the new story for 2018 (if you haven’t started already).  What do you want the beginning, the middle and the end to look like?

And I do mean literally writing the story down as you begin to visualize how you want to see this next year of your life to unfold. Many studies have brought to light that dreams and goals have as much as a 43% or more chance of happening when they are written down.

What do you do if you feel like you have been blocked with writing or perhaps have been procrastinating doing the process?

A great exercise is to sit down do a type of writing that is called a free write.

This process of writing changed my life. What it allows you to do is remove not only the judgment from your writing – but also gets you past the procrastination piece that can crop up when we think to much about the process of actually doing the writing.

A free write allows you to just write as the thoughts move through your mind.

How to free write:

1) Start with a prompt such as: "What do I want for my life in 2018?" or "What is my intention for the day ahead?"

2) Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Simply say go! and start writing.

3) Write non-stop either in a journal or in a document on your computer. Be sure to get away from all distractions including your phone. Have fun with it and let your imagination go wild.

4) Let the words go as they flow out onto the page. When the timer is done, put down your journal/computer and move on with your day.

This is also a great group activity to do with a friend or loved one. See what you both come up with at the end of the 10 minutes of writing together! You don't have to share with each other, but you can if you want. 

Imagine if you and your family made it a thing to write for 10 minutes before the chaos of the day starts. It's a great way to open up communication and compassion for you and your loved ones.

If you free write alone, please have the same open compassion for yourself. As you put the words on the page you will begin to see how you talk to yourself and how you talk about your life. Over time you will notice patterns and how you follow through with your goals.

When think too much before we start writing, the judging elements of Inner Critic can get in the way and knock down our ideas before they can fully emerge. That's why it's so important to set a timer and go!

I think it's time for us all to fully maximize our talent and write the story we want to see unfold in the year ahead. Wishing you a happy New Year!


Believe in the work


Believe in the work

To believe is to know that every day
is a new beginning.

It is to trust that miracles happen,
and dreams really do come true.

To believe is to see
angels dancing among the clouds,

To know the wonder of a stardust sky
and the wisdom of the man in the moon.

To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child’s eyes
and the beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.

To believe is to find the strength
and courage that lies within us.

When it is time to pick up the pieces
and begin again.

To believe is to know
we are not alone,

That life is a gift and
this is our time to cherish it.

To believe is to know that wonderful surprises
are just waiting to happen,

And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.
— Unknown

This final Victory Letter before Christmas has me reflecting about the power of belief and the critical role it plays in having a joy filled life.  If there is a skill set I could wish for you more than any other it is to consistently fill your spirit with belief – both personal and business passions.

I came across this poem a number of years ago and love the insights it shares that can to take us closer to believing.

Belief in our world… as scary as it seems at time. Belief in those we love… though they can challenge us.  Belief that our dreams matter… even when we hit bumps along the way.

Standing up against the odds to do what you know in your heart and soul that you must do is not easy. It’s hard work!  However, the rewards are so amazing not only for you but the people whose lives you touch in the process.

During this holiday season it is perhaps the most precious time of the year to remember this amazing power within each of us.

Wishing you much joy!  

To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Phone: 303-652-1718


Embrace the Magic


Embrace the Magic

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.
— Napoleon Hill

One of my goals these past 16 years with the Victory Letter each Monday morning is to share thoughts and ideas to assist you in contemplating the varied directions that life can lead us.

Directions that will allow us to always come back to the essential element of enjoying the process of this journey that life is taking us on. Remembering as we do so to stop and celebrate our victories both big and small on the way to our varied destinations.

The reason that I founded the Victory Circles in 2006 was to assist entrepreneurs to feel fully heard by their own concise thoughts and also by the thoughts and ideas of their peers. In doing so removing the feeling of isolation that can occur when running a business.

To use the power of the Master Mind process to act as a mentor coach and facilitator. To assist the small business owners that I love to work with in strategically reaching towards their victories with strength and determined focus. Again, while finding ways to enjoy the journey.

When members are fully engaged and do the required work it is a time to further explore and celebrate what we discover together.

Have you noticed all the noise around you that only gets louder and louder inside your head the busier you get and the longer the "to do" list?

This time of year it seems to get even louder, especially when we fully realize how many weeks are actually left in the year. Yes, we can ask ourselves to go faster and faster - increasing our inner noise levels in the process or, we can also stop and listen to our inner intuition.

By doing so we can remember what put us on our current path in business as well as the other areas of our lives.

The key is to get past the noise by finding the patience available in the quiet moments that allow us to put our best foot forward.

As we do so, in the few short weeks that remain in this year we can prepare to go into the new year ahead stronger than ever.

Asking for the help of others allows our true self to shine a little brighter.

This week as you are hopefully putting some thought into the year ahead before all the holiday celebrations begin in earnest, I thought I would share with you more about the Power of the Master Mind.

Today’s podcast above can open you up to looking at ways to explore the 12 Master Mind Principles gaining access into the deeper potential within yourself.

Find the quiet, get past the noise, and embrace the magic that can be found during the last few weeks of the year.

Meeting room 4.jpg

NEW! Join our exclusive 2018 Master Mind

Accountability from peers can drive results. Get a 25% to 180% growth in your business with our monthly online modules based in the core Master Mind principles and Marketing Mastery Program, two monthly 1-on-1 coaching sessions, and a monthly in-person Master Mind meeting with like minded entrepreneurs.


Apply now to reserve your spot! Must be local to the Boulder/Denver area. Space is extremely limited.

Program: Marketing Mastery
Monthly Investment: $416

Serious applicants only. Application does not guarantee entry. Registration closes Jan 15, 2018 & will reopen Dec 2019.


Question Everything


Question Everything

What would this look like if it were easy?
— Tim Ferriss

An interesting question I heard this past week that I thought you would enjoy pondering as you think about the challenges you have ahead of you in 2018…

“What would this look like if it were easy?"

The question was posed by Tim Ferriss in the promotion of his new book Tribe of Mentors.

Think of a challenge you are currently facing.  How can you get maximum results with minimum effort?

Looking at the way you desire it to be be versus the way you have always known it to be allows you to design the ideal solution.

In other words what would it look like if you didn’t allow your challenges to define you? Fear of the path ahead can stop us in our tracks when we allow that fear to become our story.

For example: 

If you wanted to make a million dollars per year, what would this look like if it were easy?  

If you wanted to get a regular morning routine, what would this look like if it were easy?  

If you wanted to get a regular exercise routine, what would this look like if it were easy? 

If you wanted to go to the south of France, what would this look like if it were easy?

In order to gain the needed courage to head forward with strength and tenacity we must put in the necessary thinking time into how best to give our gifts to the world around us. Give yourself the needed quiet time away from “to do” lists to actually open up to all kinds of possibilities.

A free write is when you just sit down with a journal, piece of paper or maybe even your computer screen and begin to write without judgment or worrying about being perfect or even close to it. The goal is simply to answer the question from all that is floating around in your unconscious mind.

What would this look like if it were easy? Put fear to the side and just allow your best life to emerge in your minds eye with the writing instrument of choice.

Remember the more we question everything that might be in our way the more we can allow the light in.  

If you don’t have time right now to answer this question fully, open your calendar to make a date with yourself sometime this week (yes, no time like the present) for a minimum of 10 minutes.  The truth is if we don’t open ourselves to giving  the gift of our own time we can lose out on the best we have to give.

Mark it on your calendar as thinking time and prepare to answer this question in the form of a free write.

More about how writing can assist us tap into the treasures in our unconscious mind in next week’s Victory Letter.   

Until then be bold!  Do the unthinkable and ask the questions you need to ask.


Customer Appreciation


Customer Appreciation

For those celebrating Christmas and Hanukah I hope that your holidays over the last few days have been meaningful with moments that fully made your inner lights glow.  

As we head into week 5 of our exploration into what makes a Marketing Warrior, keep in mind that we have previously explored CreativityClarityConsistency and Content.  

Today we look at the element of being Customer Centric, which means making your customers the greatest priority in your business.

With this element in mind, I want to also ask you to think of how this critical fundamental that will make your business thrive in 2017. As you begin to get serious this week in putting the final polish on your goals for the year ahead how do your current customers fit into the equation?


The Entrepreneur Before Christmas


The Entrepreneur Before Christmas

For today’s letter I am going to share with you both a written and audio version of my rendition of Clement C. Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas” as my form of content this week I hope that you enjoy.