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Definite Chief Aim

102 Ways to Create a Thriving Business

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102 Ways to Create a Thriving Business

Coaching Treasures

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust

Audio Version

Text Version

Last week I had lunch with a colleague, turned client, turned friend.  As we ate some yummy sushi he shared with me that his photography business is celebrating 20 years in 2019.  As he said out loud that the year he started his business was 1999 I thought, “wait a minute… that is the year I started my coaching business!” In that moment I realized that this year I too am am celebrating 20 years of being a business coach. Wow, that went fast!

It also reminded me that it’s been 19 years since we “survived” Y2K - remember when we all thought the world was going to end because the computers wouldn’t know how to change the date to 2000? Now we think the world is going to end because of the rapid rate that artificial intelligence is learning. 20 years can change a lot!

Over the past several days I have dug into the roots of my coaching practice: where I have been, what I have learned, and what has served my clients the best.

As I dug into the archives of my office I began to find many hidden coaching treasures. I had long forgotten a number of programs I had taken and also developed. While some are innately a part of me, the details were sitting on the shelves of my office closet. The experience has been like running into a dear friend I had not seen in some time.


How I Became a Business Coach

I decided to become a coach when I sold my company Business Answers (a telephone answering and executive suites business) after 16 years of ownership. In addition to creating a couple of other business ventures, I decided to follow the work of one of the pioneers of the personal and business coaching world, Thomas Leonard. His book, The Portable Coach, awakened a new fire in me and still sits front and center on my bookshelf.

The ideals in his book hooked me on the potential of myself becoming a coach – something that I wanted to share with other entrepreneurs that I knew could have saved me so much time and money along my entrepreneurial journey. I then took his coaching certification program and started diving in to real world experience.

Powerful Insights Take Time

I have decided to share with you a variety of secret tips that I have found from not only those materials, but also from the many other experts I have had the honor to learn and mentor with over the years. My hope is that you will find this list beneficial in helping you along your journey.

One thing I find for sure with us business folks is that sometimes we run out of ideas on how to enhance our businesses. Fresh ideas are essential to enhancing our business and personal lives. If you need that creative spark, this list will help to get you on the right track! Here’s to cleaning out our closets - which also happens to be #18 on the list!  ;)

Also note that this is the first Victory Letter we are doing in an audio version of, thanks to a request from a reader, Patricia Hope. Thanks Patricia and we hope you and all of our readers enjoy this option!


102 Ways to Create a Thriving Business

by Cheri Ruskus (and friends!)

Quick Method
Select 1 idea from the list below which you can implement today…
The 1 that idea that after reading the list you can’t stop thinking about!

Results Method
Mark an “X” next to your top 25 favorite ideas, then use the “My 25 Ways to Thrive” on the last page of the PDF worksheet version and reorder your top 25 ideas in the order you want to achieve them in.

  1. Ask 5 key clients for referrals - think having more fabulous clients like them.

  2. Lead a workshop for clients, prospects, and public for a very affordable cost.

  3. Join 1 to 2 clubs or organizations that you enjoy and where your ideal clients may also be members. 

  4. Deliver 20% more than your client expects.

  5. Conduct business in an office that inspires you to do your best work.

  6. Offer to help 3 people who are in trouble who cannot afford your fee.

  7. Become a known resource to at least 25 highly qualified and respected people who provide services that your ideal clients need.

  8. Orient at least 75% of your business around your special gift.

  9. Host gatherings with your “competitors.”

  10. Educate your clients about the full extent of the work you do.

  11. Become known as someone people can trust.

  12. Write an article on something new in your profession.

  13. Mentor an apprentice in your profession.

  14. Hire an assistant. Even if it is for only 5 hours a week.

  15. Know and articulate your 3 basic messages.

  16. Tell people at least 10 things you want for them to achieve.

  17. Set your business standards high and honor them.

  18. Clean out your closets.

  19. Send out a monthly newsletter.

  20. Stay connected with clients at a minimum monthly.

  21. Speak to groups at least once per week.

  22. Live in a home you love.

  23. Send birthday and holiday cards.

  24. Write a book that breaks the rules.

  25. Send request emails to positive minded colleagues for coffee, lunch, etc.

  26. Become known for 3 special things, and deliver all you can. 

  27. Invest 10% of your revenue in training, coaching and development.

  28. Dress better.

  29. Be a professional.

  30. Know what you are attached to that isn’t serving you and release it.

  31. Know your vision and be able to share it.

  32. Establish yourself as a center of influence.

  33. Deepen your relationship with 10 centers of influence.

  34. Make your clients and others right even when they aren’t, because they are.

  35. Raise your fees.

  36. Get your personal needs met outside of your business.

  37. Give the right gift for each referral.

  38. Master the skill of converting leads to clients.

  39. Immediately acknowledge a referral.

  40. Don’t just offer your business card as for permission to call.

  41. Focus on having a full business.

  42. Ask, never plead or demand for more business.

  43. Be interested, not just interesting.

  44. Under promise and over deliver.

  45. Do complete work – leave nothing unfinished with a client.

  46. Brand your materials to stun people.

  47. Have something worthwhile to say.

  48. Have referrals call you; don’t chase them.

  49. Sincerely acknowledge others often.

  50. Do more work for your current clients.

  51. Know what services you cannot or will not offer.

  52. Expect a lot from your clients.

  53. Package your services to create an annuity stream

  54. Upgrade your clientele. (see number 35)

  55. Drastically cut personal and business expenses to be 25% more profitable.    

  56. Get more permission than you will ever need from everyone.

  57. Be coachable.

  58. Address the elephant in the room.

  59. Speak benefits not features!

  60. Speak from the You not the I.

  61. Don’t gossip.

  62. Put the relationship ahead of the result.

  63. Establish your value on time. No more useless errands.

  64. Don’t hide behind a brochure (or website or other online marketing tools).

  65. Advance your profession.

  66. Take a vacation each quarter.

  67. Have something to look forward to each evening.

  68. Be straightforward, but don’t spill your guts.

  69. Volunteer wisely – time is important when owning a business.

  70. Know exactly what you can do for others and let them know it!

  71. Invite key people out.

  72. Ask people what they need.

  73. Disqualify prospects.

  74. Take rejection like an angel.

  75. Be fully caught up.

  76. Have time slots open and automate your calendar if your business is service driven. In other words, make it easier for the client to see you and save time.

  77. Automate your client enrollment and follow-up.

  78. Communicate and over inform with great information.

  79. Anticipate and respond to client needs before the client even knows.

  80. Use written agreements in all cases. 

  81. Budget 10% for marketing including advertising, gifts and referral sources. 

  82. Value each client as a key asset: A 10-year revenue stream.

  83. Decide to be attraction based versus promotion based. Givers Get.

  84. Co-design work to be performed let the client contribute to your success.

  85. Think holistic, act specifically.

  86. Align your goals with your values so that you can own them.

  87. Reduce the hidden human costs of delivering your services. 

  88. Automate where needed and use the human touch where needed.

  89. Make a list of your top 10 clients and how they became your clients. 

  90. Design a plan to fill your business quickly.

  91. Introduce yourself in 10 words or less.

  92. Know what would make you irresistible to your ideal clientele.

  93. Serve, don’t sell.

  94. Cut out the distractions.

  95. Plan on having 50% more business than you think you need.

  96. Identify the 20% who can get you the 80%.

  97. Believe in the work you do.

  98. Be responsible for how you are heard, not just what you say.

  99. Dress well, even when you don’t have to.

  100. Smile often, it makes you and those around you feel better.

  101. Feel gratitude every day for what you do already have! 

  102. Create a Morning Momentum practice.

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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


Gain confidence and clarity in your business…

Join the Victory Program!

Need more help with your goals? It’s time to get the confidence and clarity you desire for your business. Hire me as your business coach and in return I’ll provide the strategy, support, and accountability to take your business to the next level in the year ahead. After joining this program you will get instant access to all of my online courses and will be able to schedule your first meeting as soon as next week!

How the program works: we meet twice every month via phone/skype to discuss your pain points along with custom solutions to resolve them. I’ll provide simple homework for you and your team to execute in order to achieve the complex results you desire. This is for committed entrepreneurs only and space is extremely limited. Let’s partner up!

Have a few questions before diving into something new? Schedule a 15-minute phone conversation with me to discuss if this is the right fit for your growth in the year ahead.

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Paying Attention

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Paying Attention

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

As I sit to write this week’s letter my head is spinning. Just 20 days into this new year and already so much has happened that I didn’t expect. This reminds me once again that life unfolds as it needs to and the only option we have is to be ready to go along for the ride.

That is where our goals for the year really become our compass. They give us an anchor to come back to when the seas of life become choppy. I think we all can agree that when we’re in the middle of the ocean and a storm comes, choppy waters simply cannot be avoided.

Last week I unexpectedly found myself in Southern California to give assistance in a precarious situation. Then the tides guided me away from that situation and I found myself riding a Ferris Wheel (literally) above the ocean with my beautiful daughter, Bailey. Talking with her on the phone just 5 days before, I had shared how much I was missing her. Then bam! There I was sitting next to her, totally unexpected and unplanned. Or was it?

It was an incredible, surreal, and wonderful way to remind myself that if we linger in what makes us sad for too long, we miss out on the many beautiful opportunities that life has waiting for us. I even had the chance to extend my trip and we spent 3 more awesome days together!

How is this new year cruising along for you? Are you finding the waters choppy or smooth? How are you doing with implementing the goals you have created? Are you perhaps still just thinking about going after them

During this extra unexpected time in California, I was scheduled to give the first of 12 monthly online Masterminds for 2019. As the powers that be would have it, we experienced technical difficulties and not being in my own office I had to go with the flow. While several members who signed up were unable to join, I went ahead and kept recording the session which was all about goal setting, avoiding that new year fade, and finding your definite chief aim for the year ahead.

Instead of getting caught up in the stress of yet another unplanned turn of events, I once again had to take a deep breath and pay attention to my goal of providing value for those who need help with their goals.

The recording turned out great and after the session I was able to figure out what happened so that all future online Masterminds will be able to run smoothly. I would love to share with you the link to that video recording along with a PDF download straight from my Victory Circles Immersion Program.

If you are looking to sail towards your goals, give yourself some time to really sit with the questions I ask that will assist you greatly in riding any storms that may come along your way.

Get clear, get happy, and pay attention through the waves that are coming on the journey 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


Gain confidence and clarity in your business…

Join the Victory Program!

Need more help with your goals? It’s time to get the confidence and clarity you desire for your business. Hire me as your business coach and in return I’ll provide the strategy, support, and accountability to take your business to the next level in the year ahead. After joining this program you will get instant access to all of my online courses and will be able to schedule your first meeting as soon as next week!

How the program works: we meet twice every month via phone/skype to discuss your pain points along with custom solutions to resolve them. I’ll provide simple homework for you and your team to execute in order to achieve the complex results you desire. This is for committed entrepreneurs only and space is extremely limited. Let’s partner up!

Have a few questions before diving into something new? Schedule a 15-minute phone conversation with me to discuss if this is the right fit for your growth in the year ahead.

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Decision Making

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Decision Making

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Decisions are one of the most important things we do to keep our lives and businesses moving forward. After all, a bird can’t fly if it doesn’t decide to jump!

There are good decisions and bad decisions. The worst decision is no decision at all, as waiting for tomorrow with some kind of enlightenment or magic to happen usually leads to nothing ever coming. We have to go after what we want and the longer we wait to make a decision, the harder it is to make it happen.

My last week involved making a variety of difficult decisions. There were many moments that could have left me stuck, but thankfully I created the following 7 step framework to help keep the momentum moving forward…

7 Steps to Making a Decision

  1. What would it look like if I didn’t do anything and didn’t make this decision?

  2. What are the pros and cons of each option?

  3. How often have I had to make this same decision over and over again?

  4. What has the outcome been when I didn’t make the decision?

  5. What scares me about making this decision?

  6. What excites me about this decision?

  7. Do I have a deadline for this decision? Can I make the decision before the deadline? A goal is just a dream with a deadline.

Any decision needs to be followed up with the word trust. This trust is required so that you feel good about the decision and all parties who are involved. While the outcome of your decision will shift based on unknown factors, it’s time to stop second guessing and make the decision.

As I write this Victory Letter, outside my window are a variety of birds eating from the bird feeder my husband recently refilled. It dawns on me how important it is to use our instincts in making decisions quickly when opportunity knocks.

The birds were hungry and found a source to eat! Simple decision, right? We are quite similar to the birds, as usually we need one person act in a way that affects how the rest of us will live. It’s a domino effect that starts with a decision!

On the road ahead I’m looking forward to making many more clear decisions and trusting the process. How about you?


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


Gain confidence and clarity in your business…

Join the Victory Program!

Need more help with your goals? It’s time to get the confidence and clarity you desire for your business. Hire me as your business coach and in return I’ll provide the strategy, support, and accountability to take your business to the next level in the year ahead. After joining this program you will get instant access to all of my online courses and will be able to schedule your first meeting as soon as next week!

How the program works: we meet twice every month via phone/skype to discuss your pain points along with custom solutions to resolve them. I’ll provide simple homework for you and your team to execute in order to achieve the complex results you desire. This is for committed entrepreneurs only and space is extremely limited. Let’s partner up!

Have a few questions before diving into something new? Schedule a 15-minute phone conversation with me to discuss if this is the right fit for your growth in the year ahead.

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Avoid the New Year Fade

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Avoid the New Year Fade

You might not make it to the top, but if you are doing what you love, there is much more happiness there than being rich or famous.
— Tony Hawk

Yeah! We made it to 2019! As a matter of fact as this Victory Letter drops into inboxes across the globe we are actually completing week 1 of this brand new year.

We are on cue to head into the time I have come to think of as “new year’s fade.”

The time when, if we allow it, our new year commitments start to lose the glitter, celebration and hope of the new year.

I believe and have seen it to be true that when a resolution becomes a passionately felt goal, attached to a big vision with action steps it is indeed doable.

My first question of this bright shiny new year for you…

Do you love what you do most of the time?

Let’s face it – it’s hard to joyfully force ourselves to continuously do things we don’t like, from the work we do daily to the exercise routine we follow. We have to find ways to love it!

One day last week I grabbed my iPad and watched a few YouTube videos.

One of them was Casey Neistat interviewing the famous skateboarder turned entrepreneur Tony Hawk. I watched with great interest as Tony shared his passion for his life which turned out to be way beyond his fame and fortune.

Now some might arguably say, “well sure he’s one of the lucky ones who has had success since an early age.” This is true to an extent as he actually bought his first home when he was only 17 from skateboard sales. Tony accomplished it with a passion and love for of all things – skateboarding. A passion that at the time most people viewed as a joke for a career.

His passion eventually led to saying yes to the opportunity to create a video game around skateboard, and the “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” empire has created a following of fans that has taken him to a net worth of $140 million!

Casey asked Tony, “what is the one piece of advice today for someone who is trying to chase down their passion with something that could carry them through their whole life?”

I loved Tony’s response, “To do what you truly love, learn all aspects of it even if the things aren’t interesting to you or as exciting or sexy. Because in the end you are going to benefit from the facets of this thing you love doing.”

He went on to say that if someone asks you the age-old question about how you are, if you can answer, “Living the Dream” and mean it, you have reached success.

I sat there contemplating my own life and asking myself the question, "am I living the dream?" I watched the sunrise outside my window and a smile came to my heart because I could honestly say a resounding “YES!”  

Beyond a fulfilling personal life, every day I get to make a difference in the lives of my clients. I deliberately made the choice years ago not to be the richest coach on the planet and brag about my $10,000 monthly program, but instead to make a difference with small business owners who were struggling to make their dream a reality. Helping someone find the confidence and clarity to follow their business dream gives me a feeling of true fulfillment.

The truth is that most of the times my clients are already living right in the middle of their dream, but they just can’t see it because they are so overwhelmed with all that it takes to run their business. They have stopped having fun and have allowed the fear around money to start killing their dream.

Don’t get me wrong, money does matter – you can’t run a business or a life without it. The key is to get control of your business, put systems in place, get support, tackle the critical marketing elements, and love the parts of the business that brings you the greatest joy.

If you have been struggling to find the joy, stop and take an inventory of where you have been and where you want to go. Get crystal clear why you are moving towards the path ahead to avoid the fading of your dreams. 

There is a saying that goes, “do what you love and the money will follow.” I believe that it is critical to inject into that equation hard work, lots of courage, and finding the people who will support and encourage you on your journey.

Here’s to living the dream!


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


Gain confidence and clarity in your business…

Join the Victory Program!

Need more help with your goals? It’s time to get the confidence and clarity you desire for your business. Hire me as your business coach and in return I’ll provide the strategy, support, and accountability to take your business to the next level in the year ahead. After joining this program you will get instant access to all of my online courses and will be able to schedule your first meeting as soon as next week!

How the program works: we meet twice every month via phone/skype to discuss your pain points along with custom solutions to resolve them. I’ll provide simple homework for you and your team to execute in order to achieve the complex results you desire. This is for committed entrepreneurs only and space is extremely limited. Let’s partner up!

Have a few questions before diving into something new? Schedule a 15-minute phone conversation with me to discuss if this is the right fit for your growth in the year ahead.

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Let's do this

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Let's do this

Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.
— Fred Rogers

Over the last few weeks I asked a variety of business owners what the number one obstacle they felt had stopped them or slowed down their success in the year gone by. 

Here were the most common obstacles:

  • Trusting myself

  • Perfectionism

  • Self-doubt

  • Listening to other people’s bullsh*t

  • Lack of time and focus 

  • Uncertainty

How about you? Do any of these reasons ring true for you?

Are you prepared to handle the obstacles, challenges, and hurdles that will be on the road ahead of you? We can’t avoid these sticking points, but how we handle them decides whether we will meet our goals or not.

Looking at your goals for the year ahead, how will you manage these challenges?

The hardest part about achieving goals we desire is getting honest about facing our challenges head on. Every day can be a fresh start if we can let go of who we “should” be and embrace who we truly are.

There are 3 steps to facing a challenge:

  1. Identify: where you are now?

  2. Dream: where you want to be in the future?

  3. Strategize: how you are going to get there?

The “how” is the game changer. This requires most of our time when really pulling apart what we want to achieve and how we will get there. When we have clarity about our goal and the steps required to get there, the resulting confidence will build momentum to guide us forward. 

Start with where you are right now, then spend time envisioning what you really, really want and deconstruct how you will get there. This desire and passion is critical to carry you though the challenges.

Give yourself some alone time to be honest with yourself and ask the important questions regarding where you have really been and where you want to really go. Let’s do this!

Join the Victory Program

Need more help with your goals? It’s time to get the confidence and clarity you desire for your business. Hire me as your business coach and in return I’ll provide the strategy, support, and accountability to take your business to the next level in the year ahead. After joining this program you will get instant access to all of my online courses and will be able to schedule your first meeting as soon as next week!

How the program works: we meet twice every month via phone/skype to discuss your pain points along with custom solutions to resolve them. I’ll provide simple homework for you and your team to execute in order to achieve the complex results you desire. This is for committed entrepreneurs only and space is extremely limited. Let’s partner up!

Have a few questions before diving into something new? Schedule a 15-minute phone conversation with me to discuss if this is the right fit for your growth in the year 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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Like Yourself First

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Like Yourself First

A meaningful life is not a popularity contest.
— Marianne Williamson

What is it that we do for each other as humans to create fulfilling relationships that in turn give us a meaningful life beyond the social media “like”?

The glue that keeps any kind of relationship together is trust. Trust happens when there is no doubt that the other person in the relationship has your back and also deeply cares for you (as you do for them as well) - flaws and all.

This includes much more than romantic relationships. It includes those special key relationships throughout our realm of family, friends and colleagues.

The best relationships are ones where we can allow our persona to be most vulnerable having a deep understanding of knowing who we are and what makes each other happy.

Social media gets a lot of bashing these days because it can be based so much on just the surface of our personalities. A like here or a brief comment there, doesn’t always allow us to truly feel connected.  Sharing just the best of our selves, and not necessarily our true selves can be exhausting and feel unauthentic.

However, social media can allow for us to do a different kind of exploration of the human condition and observe the awesomeness each one of us has to offer in our very own way. Liking someone to acknowledge your appreciation for them.

The pursuit of these digital likes can make us forget to like ourselves first. I see this happen all the time and today wanted to remind you about the awesome gift that you provide to the world - you.

It's important that you share your gifts with others, and even more important that you do it for the right reasons. Create passionate content making yourself and others smile in the process. That is a job well done.

Wishing you an abundant week of sharing ahead!
 


Challenge of the Week

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What if you reached out to one social media relationship this week and found a way to deepen the connection with a phone call or direct connection of some kind?  Who is someone you have really been wanting to get to know better?  Trust and be vulnerable…

How could you increase the trust others feel with your presence and shares?  


Video of the Week

Sometimes – it just feels good to listen to a video that makes us feel good.  This video is my latest obsession and I feel good every time I listen to it.  


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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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Weak Spots

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Weak Spots

It’s not the load that weighs you down – it’s the way you carry it.
— Lena Horne

If you were to ask the question as to what is your greatest strength, how would you answer it?

How about your greatest weakness? You know that “weak spot in the dam” that may consistently be getting in your way and weighing you down in the process.

The reason I am asking is that it’s about this time of the new year that many goals that seemed so amazing just a few short weeks ago get left on the side of the road and abandoned. After all can’t they just want until … next year?

If you are currently getting weak in the knees about the goals that seem to be too tough to get done… what if we spend a few minutes today looking at some antidotes to make this year one that is different from perhaps previous ones? 

Now let’s say that your goal is one you have looked at for a number of years and just can’t seem to get your arms fully enough around to make happen. Let’s look at even one of the commonest goals of getting healthier and losing some weight.

This was one that I had for many years and last year in 2017 I killed it (in a good way)!  Why?  Because I created a goal that spoke loudly enough to my heart that I could get it done.  Through it I looked at my strengths as well as my “weak spots in the damn” in attaining this goal.

The goal for those of you who remember was to ride a Century Ride (100 miles) around Lake Tahoe in June of this past year.  This required right around 1,000 training miles to get it done.  No small feat to be sure.

My strengths – a love for cycling, a desire to do this in honor of my mom and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and my good friend Erica who agreed to do it with me as we formed our riding team – The Pedal Girls.  I also really wanted to drop some pounds and feel good in my body again.

My weakness – Beyond the fact I had been putting this particular goals off for 8 years, I also do not have such a great track record as an athlete.  In fact overall I have a dislike for “working out” just to work out. 

Probably my biggest nemesis of the all was cycling in the mountains (of which there were a lot of them in training and in Tahoe).  This weakness alone had been a huge block for getting the ride done.

My strengths were there to assist me and then the support team I put around me were there to assist me with my weaknesses.  I lost 30 pounds, accomplished one of the biggest physical goals of my life and learned so much about myself in the process.

Here are my 7 secret steps to achieve any goal:

1. Get absolutely clear on your goal and the steps it will take to get there.

2. Give yourself a strong passion for the goal and those steps.

3. Get extra clear on the weak spots that have stopped you before.

4. Give the challenge to the weak spots as you create a new path.

5. Get your accountability buddies ready to step in when you falter.

6. Give yourself the needed time to do the hard work and buckle down.

7. Get crystal clear on the vision of crossing the finish line.

Now we are currently looking for the Century Ride that is going to take the Pedal Girls through 2018.  If you know of any please let me know because we are currently deciding which one to do. 

So again, think about that goal and what you need to get your there. Here’s to leaning into doing what you love while pushing past those weak spots!


Video of the week

One Thing – Develop Your Strength with Marcus Buckingham

Marcus Buckhingham has been a favorite of mine for along time as he shares the a different perspective on our strengths.


Challenge of the week

Strengths Worksheet

This quick assessment tool takes just a few minutes to have you look at strengths you may have forgotten along your journey. Just imagine your strengths assisting you with the goals you have in the year ahead.  What have you got to lose other than 5 short minutes of your time.


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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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Where do you stand?

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Where do you stand?

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.
— Lao Tzu

As you continue to take the important action steps towards your goals this month for the future months ahead, it’s important to remember your lessons learned and special memories from the year(s) gone by.  Then you can begin to turn your focus onto what’s happening right now and fully understand where it will lead you into tomorrow.

A gift from the past

Most of us have pictures from our life gone by that bring us back to another space in time just by a single glance.

Recently as a gift for my grown children I gave them photo albums from their school days - preschool through high school.  This was no small feat for me to be sure that took several months this past fall. It required that I go through a multitude of boxes that were full of pictures that were not so greatly organized I am sad to say... but are now! 

My kids grew up just before the dawn of digital photography so I would develop pictures, get their school photos each year with multitudes of copies, as well as sports, dance and other extra curricular activities that all eventually ended up in these boxes. 

With raising a family, renovating our home, and growing several businesses I found myself too busy back then to organize these pictures in albums. Saving them as I did in fact turned out to be a blessing and a treasure chest of items to give to Travis and Bailey.

What was interesting is that when I spent too much time in a single day working on these albums it would put me into a funk of sorts.  It gave me an aching for my babies that would never be again, the little people who I cherished who no longer existed in that form. Basically, I found myself getting stuck in the past.

While it at times was depressing, it was worth it in the long run because of the smiles it brought to their faces when they opened the photo albums.  As I looked at them as adults enjoying the fruits of their childhood in those albums it shifted everything for me to the present and the ability to enjoy the wonderful adults they have become today.

Stay in balance

The process of it got me to thinking about the danger of living in the past as Lao Tzu speaking of in today’s quote.  In fact this past, present, future part of our thinking is such an intricate balancing act all by itself within our human psyche.  Too much of one can throw the other two out of balance.

The past can be filled with great memories and with great memories can come great sorrows for those people and places that may no longer be in our lives or great times that will never be again.  

There is also a danger if we spend too much of our energy and efforts only living in the present because we might not be paying any attention to the road ahead or enjoying the riches of our past. 

Subsequently, if we spend too much time thinking and working only towards our tomorrow’s we can stop enjoying today!

3 questions

If you are feeling out of sync and out of balance with the past, present, or future elements of your life stop and take a few minutes to journal about these three questions below.  It’s a great wake up call to begin thinking about changes you might want to contemplate.

1. How much time lately have I been dwelling in the past with regret and/or sadness knowing fully well that going back is not an option?

2. What is the coolest thing about my current life circumstances that I should spend more time enjoying? How am I allowing myself to feel in the present?

3. How can I continue to plan for the future without it causing me stress and anxiety – especially if there is a lot of work to be done to get me to where I want to go?  How can I look towards enjoying the steps that will take me there?

For those of you who want to dive deeper there is an online assessment in the tools section of this letter to get some deeper psychological feedback on where you stand. 

I would recommend doing the journaling first as it will warm you up for the many questions in the assessment.  It’s free with immediate results and no email required.

As you discover where you currently sit on this topic it can assist you to make the appropriate adjustments.

Wishing you the peace of enjoying the present moments in this year ahead by finding the clarity and purpose for your tomorrows, driven by the joys and life lessons of your past.


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Workshop of the week

Marketing Confidence Webinar
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
12pm MT (11am PT, 2pm ET)

  • Create your Five-Minute Marketing Plan that will change the way you look at marketing.
  • Zero in on your target audience, learning to appreciate why it's so critical.
  • Understand the power of a content calendar and design it to get your message out in front of the people that matter most - your customers and potential customers.
  • Gain insights, stats, and case studies from those who are fully into the game.
  • Begin to build stronger relationships from the ground up - beginning with your marketing efforts. 

Anyone who has attempted to create successful marketing tactics knows how challenging it can be. From email marketing to social media, this webinar will give you a step-by-step action plan to move forward with the confidence that builds bottom-line revenues.

Be sure to register to get the on-demand recording.


Book of the week

Judgment Detox
by Gabby Bernstein

Release the beliefs that hold you back from living a better life. This is a great book that takes you on a deep dive into how the judgment we have for others and ourselves can affect our life. In addition, how others judgments towards us have effected us along the way.  Learning to love yourself as you let go of those beliefs that don’t serve you. 


Challenge of the week

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The Zimbardo Time Perspective

A quick online assessment (takes about 15 minutes) to see where you mindset sits in a whether positively or negatively as you spend time in your past, present and future. 

Created by two acclaimed psychologists from their book The Time Paradox.


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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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Yes I Can

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Yes I Can

For most people, the sky is the limit. For those of us who fly, the sky is home.
— Capt. Lynn Rippelmeyer

When I had decided back in early December that “I Can” would be my go to words for 2018, I of course had no idea how much these words would be needed for me to lean on immediately heading into this new year.

This is the cool thing about motivational words: they give us something to fall back on during the times when life hits us right between the eyes with the unexpected.

I want to say thank you to all the outpouring of kind and loving words that came my way from last week’s Victory Letter.

If I have not gotten a chance yet to personally respond to your reply email that headed my way know that I will in the week ahead. They were greatly appreciated and so needed as my sweet dog Izzy said her final goodbye to us last Wednesday morning, January 3rd.

Through the sadness of losing her I am thankful to share with you that she did it on her own terms and with such dignity right here at home. The love of our family and friends was all around her.

After a death in our lives finding the new “normal” is probably one of the most difficult things to do, as we must move through the grief at the same time. The world keeps on turning and we must move right along with it.

I believe this is where having work that you love along with people to support you makes all the difference. Pushing forward past the seemingly impossible obstacle of grief can happen with a little less difficulty when a life purpose is moving you forward.

There are a couple of things that we did as a family – myself, my husband and our two grown children – that helped us to begin to undertake recovering from this great loss we have been dealt.

First, a few hours after Izzy’s passing with some pretty nice Colorado weather in our favor we decided to hike Mt. Sanitas in the mountains above Boulder. We needed to get out of the house and “Sanitas” as it is known well by the locals here is a pretty tough climb and was one of Izzy’s greatest mountain conquests.  It felt good to get out in the open air and push our bodies to the limit. Today’s pic came from that hike.

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Over the course of the next couple of days we then decided to sit down and work through our goals for the year together before Bailey and Travis headed back to their homes in California. The idea was that we could support each other even more as we each face the year ahead.

It was surprising how much emotion this activity brought up for us.  Some topics were heated with anger, some were sorrowful with vulnerability, and other moments were filled with big smiles and laughter from everyone. Throughout this activity we were pulled together with the great love we have for each other.

The process was cleansing and the word that brought us together to finish the task after three days was the word empathy. Having empathy for each other as we get back to the living of our collective and individual lives.

This is the greatest gift we can give ourselves in the memory of our beloved Izzy.

Whose memory drives you forward?

One of my goals for the new year is to give you some extra tools each week to assist you in with areas that you may be a struggling.  Support is key to success and finding the right tools is always a bonus for those of us who are eternal learners! Check them out below.

Cheers to you and a memorable journey in 2018!  Yes, I Can… how about you?

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Podcast of the Week

Yes I Can
Courage to Be the Difference Podcast

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Captain Lynn Rippelmeyer for the Courage to be the Difference Podcast.  I had met Captain Rippelmeyer at a recent conference and just loved her “I Can” career story.

She became one of the first female commercial pilots in the world after being told for years in her role as an airline stewardess that women could not fly commercial airplanes.

How perfect to share her inspiring story with you this week as the reality of 2018 fully sinks in. It’s time for each of step up our game to make this year what we want it to be. No time to shrink back the world is waiting for the difference we each can make.


Transform Thursdays on Instagram

Each Thursday afternoon I share 3 ideas live on video on the Instagram platform to assist you in transforming your thinking and assist you in growing your business.  Simply follow me on Instagram and you will be notified when I go live at 4pm this Thursday. 

Haven’t started playing on Instagram yet?  Now may be the time to do it.  It’s a great place to hangout both personally and professionally! 


Challenge of the Week

Make it Happen (Goals Worksheet)

This one page worksheet is designed to put your goals into action.  The top reason for goals not being achieved is because there is not clear action steps for implementation.  Put your goals to the test right now.  Why wait?


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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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Curves in the Road

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Curves in the Road

Before you cross the street take my hand.

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
— John Lennon

2018 has arrived! Wishing you much abundance, love, and joy in this year ahead.

As we head into this brand new year remember to take those breaths you have in you a little deeper, hug those you love a little tighter, and be sure to make your plans accordingly. 

Life can make some sharp and unexpected curves in the road - even in the freshness of a new year.

We try with all our strength to straighten the unexpected twists in order to continue the journey. Sometimes, all we can do if the curve is tight enough is to find meaning in what is happening around us and navigate accordingly.

Last Thursday morning as I recovered from the joy of Christmas with my family I began my multifaceted plans for all that I want to accomplish in 2018.

Life had other plans. I found myself in the Veterinarian’s office that afternoon as my dog Izzy had started the day having difficulty breathing and not wanting to eat. She is a Yellow Labrador who cherishes every morsel of food so I knew something serious was wrong.

As I stared at the x-rays they took of her my “planning for 2018” crumbled. My Veterinarian shared the devastating news that sweet Isabella had one week left on the planet. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer that was working its way into her lungs. Cancer was once again rearing its ugly head in my life.

Nothing else really seemed to matter in that moment in time. Nothing. My sweet Izzy needed me to be there for her.

Then I had to share the devastating news with my family – those other people in her life who love her deeply as well. It was equally crushing to my heart to have to crush their hearts with the news. 

Izzy has been my rock over the last 8 years since she came into my life. She has been in countless Victory Letters as she has guided me through so many life changes, arriving as a puppy just a month after my mother’s death in 2009.

Now I am dealing with the reality that my life may have to go on without Izzy.

As the days continue on since her diagnosis, the question of course I have been asking myself is how do I keep up with planning and being optimistic about the year ahead with the possibility of my dear companion no longer at my side?

My grown children Bailey and Travis were instantly on a plane to be with her. It’s interesting what love can do to shine a light on everyone’s spirits. Being together to rally through this has been an amazing gift to give each other.

As I write this to you she is laying here at my feet as if everything is normal. A positive outcome from this is that we have upgraded her diet from kibbles to steak and eggs :)

We are looking into alternative medicine along with standard western medicine. If you have any recommendations I would love to hear your thoughts. Simply reply to this email.

The future is uncertain for each of us and it is times likes this I am reminded once again that each breath of life we are given needs to be appreciated every single day.

As I finally start to embark on my “planning for 2018” what I want to talk about a lot in the next 364 days is the critical importance of a positive mindset to get us through the roughest roads.

Here’s to my sweet Izzy who continues with her battle. Every day of her life is another blessing.

Onward we go into this year of 2018!


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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