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.

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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!  

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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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Step by Step

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Step by Step

Everything big starts small.
— Peter Thiel

No matter what daily obstacles flare up, each one of us has the power to make positive changes happen in our lives and in the lives of other human beings we serve in the process.

In a time when everyone has found the easiest route towards complaining and feeling powerless, it is the power you possess inside of you which can set you free.  

Remember way back… 30 days ago to be exact… when we welcomed in a brand new year?  Along with it we had our hopes, dreams, and goals to get us there. Those beautiful ambitions that made the year ahead seem a whole lot more inspiring!

Well here is the deal: goals take a whole lot more to achieve than just thinking about them.  They take focused work and attention to the details as we have been talking about all month.

The reason 92% of the people never complete a new goal is because they don’t know how to take action step-by-step, inch-by-inch. 

If you are having trouble creating goals in the first place, here is a link to our free Goal Planning Worksheet.

Once you have the rubber meeting the road, it’s time to take those goals and start building them into small pieces that you can actually drive towards. Use the Race to Victory Productivity Worksheet to keep the momentum going.

If this year is the one where you want to make a difference no matter what else is going on in this crazy world of ours then keep asking yourself – “if not now, when?”

To take it one step further, world famous photographer Chase Jarvis had a great little video I stumbled upon this week in which he asked, “What if every time you found the words I don’t have the time coming out of your mouth in response to doing something you responded to yourself loud and clear this is not a priority for me right now.”

When we find the time for what matters most to us, then what matters most to us happens. Look at your calendar… when are you actually making your new years goals a priority in your daily life?  

You also to believe so strongly in your idea that you can look past the naysayers (including your own inner critic) to go ahead against adversity and make this the year you make a difference in a whole new way!

If you are having trouble completing these exercises by yourself I am more than happy to help you with some custom strategy and support.   Simply send me an email with your current pain points and we can talk about how to take the next steps forward. 
 

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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Energy Remedy

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Energy Remedy

Life gets busy.  There is always so much to do when you are fully in the game. 

Energy by definition is the “ability to do things, vigor, forceful effort, power supply or source, capacity to do work.”  

As I sit to write todays letter to you, these three words are the message I am clearly hearing – and how they affect the energy we walk into each day possessing. 

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Measured Practice

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Measured Practice

What would you say has been your greatest masterpiece to date?

As we craft our year ahead and take the needed look how we want it unfold, it is important to plan out the race before you and insure your masterpiece takes on a new flow in the year ahead.  

There will be shifts in the planned road for sure – and that is when the good stuff begins.  

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Obstacle to Opportunity

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Obstacle to Opportunity

As we move into the second week of the year there has more than likely been an obstacle or two that has already in some shape or form found its way towards blocking some of your path.

It could be something such as acts of nature like the huge dumping of snow we had here in Colorado last week to elements within your business that have stopped you completely in your tracks.

You know, those things that have made you to rethink where you are headed and why?

We are getting dangerously close to the 15th of January. That is the day when 92% of the people abandon their goals primarily because of the obstacles (big and small) that get in the way.

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The Eight Percent

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The Eight Percent

The calendar has reset itself and along with it our hopes and aspirations for the year ahead.

On this 2nd day of the year I think it’s important to note the significance of January 15th. That’s the date that most people abandon their goals and resolutions for the New Year.  For a variety of reasons we only make it 15 days out of 365.

My question for you in the first week of this bright and shiny New Year: Are you going to allow yourself to be included in that 92% of the people who don’t fully embrace the work required behind achieving goals? Or are you going to be part of the 8% that fully achieves their goals?

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Customer Appreciation

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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?

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The Entrepreneur Before Christmas

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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.

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