Money Cadence

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Money Cadence

There are people who have money and people who are rich.
— Coco Chanel

With the topic of money always looming around us this is as good a time as any to talk a bit about this normally taboo topic. Every April here in the Victory Circles the principle of Self Control with Money is the topic for discussion.

Last week we talked about challenges and the elements within us to take them on.  I always have loved the question – “If money was no object what would you actually do with your life?” The answer to that question can bring on these further questions:

  • Does money make you happy or just stress you out?  
     
  • Would you call money a friend or foe?
     
  • Do you chase money or does money chase you? 

As you know by now bicycling has become a big part of my life these days. In fact as of this past weekend I have collectively cycled over 500 miles since the beginning of February. I have come to look at cycling (which I have always loved) with a whole new respect for how much dedication the sport requires.   

There is a lot I need to improve on in my cycling game especially when it comes to my speed.  In fact, at this point unfortunately I am one of the slowest on our larger Rocky Mountain team. This has been a humbling experience for me to face my grand idea head on and to accept where my body currently needs to grow.

One of the things that our team coach talked to me about during last weeks training ride is improving what is called “pedaling cadence.” What I learned is that cadence is the rhythm, flow, and power that comes with it when you consistently pedal at a certain rate throughout your ride.  

The cadence that gets a bike down the road is the physical force that you consistently pedal. This is what makes one person go faster than another or have more stamina through an entire ride.

When you apply cadence to money, it’s fascinating to understand why one person’s stamina with money can be so different than another’s. No matter where we are financially, the difference is how the money actually flows and the joy or stress it brings to us.

How could you improve your cadence in dealing with money and assets you want to acquire in the year ahead?  With Tax Day 2018 as marker what will you do differently in the year ahead?  

Acknowledging where you are is the beginning steps to make a change and improve your cadence.  Where you take that next step is completely up to you!
 

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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Catalyst Challenge

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Catalyst Challenge

The best way out is always through.
— Robert Frost

Challenges come in many shapes and sizes.  Some are planned and some can be surprising in how they simply arrive and play out.  This week’s Victory Letter is going to ask you to stop and look at current challenge you may be contemplating or in the middle of completing.

I shared with you a few months back my decision to bring the challenge into my life of taking on a Century (100 miles) bicycle ride in June around Lake Tahoe.  I am doing this not only to challenge my physical and mental toughness – I am also raising money and awareness in the process for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and their cause to eliminate these forms of cancer. 

My mother lost her life to a form of Leukemia called Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and I have wanted to do this ride and fundraiser since the day I said goodbye to her nearly 8 years ago.

The journey to prepare for this over the last couple of months has been a life altering experience I can tell you that for sure. And I share more about it in a Podcast I will share with you this week called Becoming a Pedal Girl.

In the podcast I thank the many who have been by my side through this including those who have donated to the cause so far - some so generously that it has touched me to my soul.

What does it actually take to get through a challenge you have been putting off?


Here are five basic steps that can make a challenge a reality:

  1. Visualize yourself on the other side of the challenge.
     
  2. How will this time be different if you have been putting it off over and over again or just never seemed to be able to get through it?
     
  3. Make the declaration out loud to others to hold you accountable. Share the challenge with 3 - 5 people you trust and listen to their feedback. 
     
  4. Surround yourself with a support team on a variety of levels as you begin to see where your weaknesses lie.  Start with finding the person who can give you the initial steps to get going.
  5. Daily action items that will take you closer and closer to achieving what you most desire. Download my Daily Output Tracker PDF.

I share in the podcast how I have utilized each of these in my cycling training. 

Would love to know your current challenge that sits in front of you.  What is the smallest first step you could take to make the much-needed shift for your life?

If you are feeling courageous there is no time like the present. Email me your answer: cheri@businessvictories.com

Here’s to a great week ahead.

 

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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Beyond the Zone

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Beyond the Zone

People may not really change as far as basic character goes, but all of us are capable of evolving.
— Anonymous

One morning last week I stepped into the early morning outdoors to let my dog outside.  There in the sky above me I saw something I had not seen in a long time: a shooting star!

Shooting stars appear in our sky every 10 to 15 minutes, yet it has been about 5 years or so since I myself have encountered one.  Even though I am outside a lot looking at the moon, somehow I have been missing the grace that a shooting star across the sky brings.

Always having thought these shooting stars as signs of luck, I determined there was a great day ahead of me.  As the day unfolded it was not exactly how I envisioned that it would play out.  Just the opposite happened all day long… 

Over the course of that day I kept getting some very loud wake up calls as apparently the universe was really trying to get my attention.

What I knew without a doubt was that it was time for a shake up from my current comfort zone.  It was time to start making some more plans to stretch me just like a shooting star moves across the sky.

Each of us is human and can make mistakes or miscalculations.  The key is paying full attention and changing course as necessary. The hardest and most important part is moving beyond our comfort zone.

One element that keeps people from moving forward is money.  Whether you have a lack thereof or are afraid to touch what you do have, fear can get you stuck in this uncomfortable comfort zone.

Change can be just the ingredient needed when money or other elements happen to stop us in our footsteps.  Pushing beyond our comfort zones moves us in new and improved directions.

Here’s to keeping an eye towards those shooting stars and evolving into our highest form of happiness.
 

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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Guilt-Free Zone

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Guilt-Free Zone

Do more of what you can uniquely do and less of what other people can do.
— Gloria Steinem

On this roller coaster of life you have probably felt the feeling of guilt a time or two along the way. 

At this point in my life (having grown up Catholic where guilt seemed to be a daily way of bringing issues to light) I have come to a deeper understanding of the power that good guilt can actually bring. If we can acknowledge the control it may have on us and do something about it then it really is a positive emotion.

Guilt is officially defined as “awareness of wrongdoing” and really is an opportunity to look at a not-so-great situation in order to understand what you want to do about it.  The only person that can stop making you feel guilty is yourself.
 

Feelings of guilt can range from:

• Not feeling in balance between business and personal life
• Being bummed about something that didn’t go well
• That bowl of ice cream you ate last night when you told yourself you wouldn’t. 
 

The trap that guilt can put us in is when you get lost in the emotion itself without resolving the issue at hand.  The worst case scenario can be a form of procrastination that doesn’t allow you to move forward because you are too busy looking over your shoulder.    

Here is an antidote to give us (myself included) permission to move past the guilt when it starts to take over and derail forward momentum. 


G - Get real
What really is going on with the situation and what do you want or perhaps need to get out of what is happening?

U - Understand what didn’t work
Understand what you should or shouldn’t do differently the next time. 

I - Identify the change that you need to make
Something or someone is asking for your attention. Have you perhaps been caught in a comfort zone that is no longer serving you? 

L - Let go of comparing
Don’t waste your precious time worrying about someone else’s agenda or what someone else may seemingly be doing better than you.

T - Tolerate nothing
If a problem keeps happening over and over and over that is causing you guilt, the question becomes “why am I putting up with this?”   


Now it’s time to take a deep look within…

• In the morning when you look in the mirror who is it that you see looking back at you? 

• Is it someone you love and cherish or someone who you might be a bit judgmental about?

• When you carry on into your day do you find that judgment coming along with you keeping you from getting your best work out into the world? 

• Are always waiting for ”tomorrow“ to be the perfect time to implement something?

• Do you feel ridden with guilt over the feeling of regrets that seems to surround you?

• Are feelings of guilt coming up regularly around how much you do or don’t work versus time spent with those you love? 


I know that is a lot of questions to start off the week. However, I hope that just one of them will spark something inside of you to begin to make the needed change!

As we wrap up our conversation for this month on the topic of Honoring Time, think about what is really keeping you from getting the most out of your time on this planet.

Find the perfect placement for the things you want in your life – and this is key – without always feeling the need for perfection.  It’s then that you will find the unique and perfect placement of what you need in order to live in a guilt free zone. ;)


 

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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Anticipation Formula

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Anticipation Formula

It’s not about having luck or hope – it’s about having the right formula.
— Jeff Walker

I have to say this morning brings a smile on my face that goes from ear to ear.  This morning at 4:28 am here in Colorado… Spring arrived!!  Now begins the chain of events of welcoming my favorite two seasons of the year: spring and summer.

Spring represents anticipation to me.  Anticipation such as when you are about to open a present.  You know it’s going to be awesome and the anticipation of the gift is almost as magical as the gift itself.

As the earth yawns and begins its deep awakening there is such a great reminder of all that is possible.  This reminder includes the fact that all that is possible won’t happen all by itself… confirming that anticipation and the hope it brings will not be enough for a full and fruitful garden.  

Ideas without action lead to broken dreams. We have to do something proactive in order to bring our ideas to life! The time is NOW to roll up our sleeves and productively get to work. 

Yes, there will be cold weather flowers that will start to appear now like magic. Yet to have a fully abundant garden that can stand the heat of the summer months I have to begin composting and planting seeds.   

This is exactly what happens in our businesses to promote new growth.  We can’t just sit around dreaming of what seed we want to plant... We have to get out there and actually plant these new seeds when the timing is right.   

Remembering snow is of course still possible until May, I will start first with planting the cold weather crops such as lettuce seeds.  

Even if I am unsure of what exactly to do with a new crop I am curious about I have consistently found that by simply following the instructions on the seed packets this tells me when and how I should be planting.

The good news is that I am not the first person in the world to grow these different types of seeds :)

Many people don’t plant seeds because they take time and patience to reap the rewards.  Everyone wants the finished product after only one watering.  The reality is that things like lettuce pop up quickly, whereas my beloved Zinnia Flowers will take months of watering and nurturing in order to go from seed to blossom. 

Seed selection and timing of the seasons determines how quickly things will grow.  

The fastest growth usually has the shortest life span.  A tree takes years and years of growth, versus a flower which will live through just one growing season.  

In my work as a Business Coach I see too many business owners wanting to grow a massive tree and are disappointed when they only end up with a small flower.  The difference is because of seed selection, patience, and the nurturing that follows.  

To understand what your growth requires is all about having the correct anticipation formula…


For Gardeners
Seed selection + watering + time = GROWTH

For Business Owners:
Business idea + action + patience = GROWTH


In celebration of this day I want to give you the gift of spring with a free download of my e-book and companion audio recording: Planting Seeds for Business Growth and Success (normally $35!)

In this gift I further share the steps to how planting seeds in your business and life can make such a difference. 

Here’s to your abundance and growth possibilities in the seasons ahead.  Happy Spring!

 

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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Time Zones

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Time Zones

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
— Harriet Beecher Stow

Well we have sprung forward here in the U.S. and daylight savings time has come to pass. Hopefully by now you have been sure to set all your clocks where they need to be today.  While you were at it, have you had a chance to pay attention to what is going on with your inner clock?

Since none of us got an all-inclusive pass to stay forever when we were placed on this planet… time is an element we look at to monitor our past, present and future selves. 
 

  • Do you spend most of your time thinking of the way it used to be?
     
  • Do you simply notice what is right in front of you in the present?
     
  • Are you always dreaming of what could be in the future?
     

Have you have found a nice balance of all three of these time zones?

Over the course of the past week I have had the joy and opportunity to spend some really awesome time with my daughter, Bailey, while we attended a conference together in San Diego, California. 

What a joy for me at this point in my life to enjoy my children as adults.  Loved them to pieces as kids, moved through the turbulent teenage years, felt the sadness of their leaving the nest, and now I simply enjoy being with them in their new homes whenever the opportunity comes to pass.

Since both of my grown children live in another state, I find these times of connection fuller and richer because I don’t want to live with regret or not get the most out of our time together.

Acceptance of what is and what is possible is a fine balancing act to be sure. Winter turns to spring and life continues to evolve.  The question becomes can we evolve along with the changing of the seasons of our lives?

I would challenge you this week to fully look at how much you are enjoying the present.  No regrets about the past and no angst about the future.  Just enjoying the moments of what is right now - today.

Sitting in the presence of today can actually bring us our greatest joy as we count our blessings, even if it is simply the ability to breathe fully each day. 

With that said, it’s important to still learn from previous failures in the past as well as have a clear vision for where you want to go in the future. Awareness of all time zones will enrich your present moment experience even further.
 

  • Can you look toward the past as having given you just what you needed at that moment in time?
     
  • Will you accept what was, so you can fully be happy with what is?
     
  • What gives you the most joy right now? What restricts you from experiencing it? How can you consistently move past that restriction?
     

Gather up your thoughts of time and relish in the fact that you are still here to enjoy the life you have been given with those who love spending time in your company.

I wish you a week full of happiness… in whatever time zone you are in ;)

 

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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Crack the Code

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Crack the Code

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.
— Maya Angelou

Now I will admit right out the gate here today that I have never been “normal” - to be sure.  In fact, during the formative career days of my 20”s I was fired and “laid off” from 3 different jobs.

These events were not because of lack of talent or not getting the work done in an exceptional way, I was released from these positions because I could not conform to just being normal and robotically nodding my head up and down when given direction whether I agreed or not.

So I did what anyone should do in my opinion at that point – I became an Entrepreneur.  While it was a scary and a much more difficult path than ever imagined I was able to fully be me.  Without a doubt it has been quite a ride.

Last Sunday I sat in the morning sunlight of our new sunroom enjoying the leisurely aspect of the day and reading the book TED Talks by Chris Anderson.

His words were circulating through my head as he shared what I think is a key group of questions that we should be asking ourselves on a regular basis.

In fact, I had shared the words from his book the previous Friday morning at a Victory Circle Master Mind meeting with the women entrepreneurs at the table with me.  

It seems appropriate to share them with you now as we dive into this months’ Master Mind principle of Honoring Time. Those 24 hours in each day that we are given to utilize in the ways that benefit ourselves, and everyone else that we get the opportunity to spend our time with.  

Here is what Chris asked in regards to coming up with a fresh idea:

Think back to your work of the last three or four years; what really stands out?

What was the last thing you were really excited by? Or angered by?

What are the two or three things you’ve done that your most proud of?

When was the last time you were in conversation with someone who said, ‘That’s really interesting?’

If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one idea you’d most love to spread to the other people’s minds?
— Chris Anderson

As you step into the month of March which brings with it the season of Spring what will be your contribution the blossoming and unfolding of a good idea?  What will allow you to crack the code of finding your ultimate joy and purpose in each day?

Signs are all around us sharing the direction we should go if we open our mind wide enough to see them. Just as I knew the path I needed to take all those years ago as scary as it was.  We just need to step out and let our true self-shine.

Wishing you peace in finding your answers.
 

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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Ten Love Truths

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Ten Love Truths

Self-esteem is made up primarily of two things: feeling lovable and feeling capable.
— Jack Canfield

Today’s quote seems pretty spot on to wrap up the Master Mind conversations this month around self-confidence.

Love along with the ability to live our life within our own unique skill sets is pretty ideal.  Add in a few trips along the way outside of our comfort zone and the uncomfortable can soon give you a great deal of confidence.

The key truths I have discovered about love stems from accepting all the individual things each of us loves as we find a way to joyfully co-exist.  Here's 10 little truths that can make all the difference...


Ten Love Truths

1.     Be grateful for what you have in your life right now.

2.     Be grateful for what is all around you in a given moment.

3.     Calm down - not necessarily slow down.

4.     Take the time to share your love with those who matter most to you. 

5.     If things aren’t going so well – take a nap (or maybe a bubble bath).  If anything, at least take some long deep breaths… breathing out the negative and breathing in the love.

6.     Reach out to a good friend by having lunch, a glass of wine, or even a quick conversation over the phone.  

7.     Appreciate the talents you have been given just as they are right now.

8.     Savor every little laugh, smile, and song.

9.     Don’t forget those who love you the most by thanking them on a regular basis in whatever way you choose. 

10. Enjoy the ability to dare to dream as you build for tomorrow and all that is yet to come.  


It was an interesting self-confidence experiment I engaged in this month through my social media posts joining the #28daysofLOVE challenge on Instagram. 

Today’s pic at the top of this letter was the number one post that was liked the most by my Instagram followers!  

Now I need your love… I had a goal to hit 1,000 followers this month on my Instagram (@victorygirl) and currently as of this writing I am at 968 with 2 days left.  If you haven’t joined my journey on Instagram, I would love to have you be part of the tribe of my first 1,000 followers!

Here’s to opening up yourself to LOVE of all shapes and forms as you unlock the confidence it brings!


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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Pedaling Forward

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Pedaling Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is to a week of pedaling forward!


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


To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

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

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Love the Work

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Love the Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
 

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

Happy Valentines Day!  


To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

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

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