Interview with Simple Continuous Improvement

ryanQ&A With Michael Annese, Author of The Victory Cycle

So The Victory Cycle is a book for anyone looking to achieve their full potential?

Yes, the idea behind the Victory Cycle is that you can apply it to any goal you want to achieve. I wanted to create a system that was simple to identify with but was deep enough to make lasting change. Victory is an acronym: V-Vision, I-Inspiration, C-Commitment, T-Timed Steps, O-Obstacles, R-Rejoice, Y-Yearlong Adjustments.

Let’s look at a real example, understanding of course that this is about as brief as it can get. Say you’re looking to start a business.

It all starts with your “Vision.”  You would look deep into what you want your business to be about. What kind of business, what kind of service or product would you create? Remember back to when things seemed totally possible and you had all the optimism in the world within you as you decide what to make as your new business. Your Vision of your business would be a direct reflection of who you are. Make your business your “purpose.” So, you would certainly want to make money, but more importantly you have to really love what you’re doing otherwise it just becomes work, right?

Next, what’s your “Inspiration?” Basically, what is it that is inspiring you to open this business, what makes you want to get up out of bed in the morning and chase it down? In essence what’s your “Why?” Once you find that inspiration, hold onto it tight because you’ll need it later when things get tough, and they always do.

Now, commit!  Your “Commitment” is your how. In truth, it’s your sheer determination of getting this business off the ground. The level of commitment we’re talking about is almost life or death, because without deep seated commitment you will lose your grip on your dreams. You must absolutely commit fully to this new business venture or it will fail.

Your “Timed Steps” is your plan. You must time out some steps in order to track and hold your progress, otherwise you’re just drifting along. Planning along the way creates organization, and with organization comes real progress. That’s what we’re looking for. Small steps add up to giant leaps over time, don’t bite off more than you can chew, make them significant but manageable.

“Obstacles” are just that, things that show up in your path to Victory. Anticipate them, overcome them at all costs, but don’t let your train to success become derailed as a result of them. Think about some potential obstacles that may show up within your business plan.

“Rejoice” is enjoying life along the way. You must celebrate what you’re doing and your progress up to this point. Life is to be enjoyed and so is all of your hard work.

“Yearlong Adjustments” are all about checking your course during your journey. If you don’t check what’s working with this new business and what’s not working you’ll just end up in a more challenging situation later if you don’t address it early. Capitalize on what’s going well and fix what’s not working.

Of course this is a cycle, so all of this must add back up to your “Vision” back at the beginning. Keep cycling through and polish your Victory until it becomes real and strong. You could apply the cycle to weight loss, finding a job, getting a promotion, or running that marathon you always wanted too. Virtually any goal or mission can enter the cycle and you can break it down within the concept.

Leading people through an emergency situation takes quick decision making – how do you step back and improve for the next time?

At the fire department, we do something called a Post Incident Analysis (PIA), where we discuss what went wrong and what went right. Also discussed are ways to improve and prevent situations from happening in the first place. It’s really a session to learn and grow from. There’s always something that can be learned from reviewing what happened. Same thing happens in the “Y-Yearlong Adjustments,” review what’s going well and what you can improve on for the betterment of your goal over all.  Make those changes and try again.

You have a lot of motivating visuals in your book – did this develop from what you saw in the line of duty?

The graphic of the cycle was created as a result of my education with personal development. I liked the idea of a repeatable concept for success. We are basically constantly re-inventing ourselves, growing and changing.  The circle of fire represents birth and rebirth of who we are.  Particularly when it comes to the “O-Obstacle” portion within the cycle. Simply stated, that’s where we earn our character, that’s where we are forged into the man or women we truly are and become as a result of our failures and defeats. Similar to a sword that is heated and cooled for strength, so are we within our challenges and obstacles in life.

You’ve been on tour promoting The Victory Cycle – what’s a recent decision you’ve made to benefit your readers?

The main decision I have made is to really strive the issue of urgency. All too often we hear a good idea, we like what we hear and even agree. Too often though, we leave a class where we learned something good and waist time getting started. The Victory Cycle is about immediate action, in other words what are you going to do today towards your goal? No matter how small a step, take at least one, and plan the next one tomorrow. Feel the urgency of your dreams in your heart and soul. Chase them down with a sense of urgency, don’t let them fade away into the past. You can do it, just believe in yourself.

Head over to and get started on your Victory Cycle!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Read All Testimonials

I don’t remember who suggested Michael Annese to speak at the 2016 National Fire Academy 27th Executive Fire Officer Graduate Symposium, but I am glad they did.

After attending all the EFO Symposiums and helping to develop the content, I can count the number of speakers I chased down after their presentation and bought their book on one hand. Mike is one of them his book is The Victory Cycle.

Thanks Mike. I hope others read your book and invite you to present The Victory Cycle...

Michaels’s passion for his work came through the instant he began to share his personal experiences that guided him to conceive of VICTORY, an acronym that stands for: Vision, Inspiration, Commitment, Timed Steps, Obstacles, Rejoice, and Yearlong Adjustments. Recently I attended an event at Cucina Caruso Italian Market in Oakland Park, sponsored by the Italian American Descendants Business Network where I had the opportunity to be present at Michael Annese’s inspirational and motivational...

Five Stars! An enthusiastic personal guide to a new you!

- Stanley O.

Mr. Michael,


It was an honor and pleasure to have you in the presence of our teen group here at the Marti Huizenga Boys & Girls Club. Our teens range from ages 13-18years old; to be frank, they were not up to hearing yet another presentation. Mr. Mike, (as the teens would call you) you came and encouraged them to get involved mentally. Not only were you able to get them involved but, you were also able to grasp and keep their attention on the SEVEN STEPS to VICTORY. Read Full Testimonial

The workshop benefits every aspect of development; personal and professional.

- Debbie S.

Just read The VICTORY Cycle! To say that it was “Inspiring” does not do this book justice. I actually started the journal suggested in the book. I have already noticed that in the beginning of my journal, I started statements with “I hope to….” and “I would like to….”, etc. By the time i finished the book, my journal entries began with “I am going to….” and “I will….. “. I am so ready for VICTORY!

Read Full Testimonial

I cannot believe the change I am experiencing! The Victory Cycle is so simple to apply and slowed me down long enough to remember who I am and who I want to be! I am now charging ahead to my Victory, Thank you Victory Cycle for clearing my mind and filling my soul!

- Kelly Z.

I’ve never felt lighter, I just begun working towards my Victory and that mountain seems so close. Too many years have passed where I was afraid, and not focused, just plane lack of belief in myself. After reading the Victory Cycle for just two days I found myself looking up again, I was starting to think not only could I make the climb to that mountain top but nothing will stop me! I have started training, and without trying I am losing weight already, I can’t wait to reach the s...

Read Full Testimonial

At first I thought that was another book just like everyone else in the market, however there was something different on the cover of the book that forced me to buy it, and I don’t regret it. I recommend it to everyone, because additionally of win a great book or a manual full of experiences and solutions, that inspire and motivate your daily life, we gained a friend and an adviser, that with his experience and his beautiful soul and heart, he has a great vision to be a beautiful light ...

Read Full Testimonial

Revealing, insightful and effective – I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, though I knew it was worth a try since I’ve lost control of things, a while ago actually, and I need change. I am so impressed and very grateful to the author for the lessons to be learned here. This book teaches you how to make changes for the better AND gives you the tools and the knowledge to do so, and what I found most helpful was the Victory cycle itself, the model that the author uses t...

Read Full Testimonial

The workshop reminded me what my vision is for myself.  It made me think about the obstacles I need to overcome or work around in the business and in my personal life.  Seeing the cycle helps me stay on track.  Going through the exercises really opened my eyes and writing everything down made it so real.   Even successful people need a coach!

- Lily C.

We all have goals we want to achieve in this life. Some are big and some are small, but they are all important to our journey. For me, I’ve not been doing well I’m achieving my own because of my own fear or fund restraints. I honestly needed motivation to get back on track with them. The author gives us seven steps to follow in order to achieve them. I felt like Michael Annese understands that life happens. We all have things that pop up in our lives that prevent us from staying o...

Read Full Testimonial

This book is beyond inspiring! Not only does it make you want to dive right into your goals, but it gives you the tools to do it. The author is so positive and motivating. The examples he gives are very easy to relate to. He gives you the step-by-step path to start TODAY to reach your goals. I suggest the reader keep the journal that the author suggests, as it is very helpful. This book shows you that you don’t have to be a superhero or “wait till the time is right” to start...

Read Full Testimonial

I really enjoyed your workshop.  It helped me remember what was really important in my life and how to focus on it.  It’s all up to me and that’s a great feeling!

- Chris C.

A must read guide to a better life – A must read for everyone who wants to change their lives with simple yet sure ways to look at life and work differently. Author Annese has written a step by step guide, if you will, to look at yourself, see who you are and where you want to go. Then, following his clear language guide, get on the “cycle” and make yourself better at work, school, and life utilizing proven management tools that can be extended to any area you choose. Annese...

Read Full Testimonial

This book “The Victory Cycle” by Michael Annese, is truly inspirational and moving. It was easy to read and had a major impact on my psyche. Usually I don’t buy into these self help books, but this one is totally different. It seems to motivate you as you are reading it and being interactive makes the reading that much more pleasurable. I think the author has struck a nerve and I am intent on following the path that he leads us down. All I can say is “Thanks for writing it..!!!”

Read Full Testimonial

I love the cycle itself.  It just makes me feel powerful when I look at it.  7 steps and 7 letters, makes V-I-C-T-O-R-Y is easy to remember and keep me on track.

- Rob Y.

If anyone wants to truly lead themselves to a better life, then this is the book to read. There is no way I could give a review that would do justice to Michael Annese’s book. Be prepared to learn a simple 7 step process to overcome the obstacles that life presents, all while gaining valuable leadership skills and tips on how to manage and overcome the fear of failing. This book is an easy read that will help you set and obtain goals with tips on how to self-analyze and make adjustments...

Read Full Testimonial