Jacqui Cherven Bickel

traverse city, michigan |  sister. friend. wife. small-business owner: national sales & marketing.

I am honored to share some wise words from one of my dearest friends and longtime mentor. When I first met Jacqui Cherven Bickle, I was placing her beautiful condo on the market in Sandestin, Florida. As we discussed the real estate market in her living room that overlooked the beautiful Emerald Coast, I noted her business sense, confidence and love of life. She was smart and I immediately wanted to be her friend.

Ten years later we maintain that friendship. Just a few years wiser, Jacqui remains my confidant, mentor and friend. This incredible woman has lost more loved ones due to cancer that it would be understandable if she were angry. But that is not Jacqui. She has a determination that pushes her through life’s pain, creating a “life is short— play hard and make it count” motto. Enjoy this special highlight.


How did you choose the life you lead and was it a conscious decision?

I’ve always been a very motivated person with a strong desire to be my own boss, to make things happen not wait for them to happen. I have a strong desire to shape my own opportunities in an effort to get what I want for myself and for those who are important to me. Yes it was a conscious decision and there have been consequences for the decisions I’ve made.

What is your greatest accomplishment to date?

Building and running a successful business.

What has been your greatest obstacle in life and how do/did you navigate it?

My natural impatience has been and continues to be an obstacle. I’ve learned to use it to my advantage. I really believe that has enabled me to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. That being said, that same impatience creates stress that I have to continue to manage.

How do you bring courage to a challenging situation?

On bringing courage to a challenging situation I try to look at the situation from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on what might happen if I do something, I try to focus on what could happen if I don’t. That has helped me to become a risk taker. If we don’t take risks which take us out of our comfort zone we can become paralyzed by fear, never reaching our full potential.

How do you overcome fear?

The only way to overcome fear is to face those fears head on. Not hiding from them, ignoring them or wishing them gone. Look fear in the eye and analyze that fear. By doing so I’ve often found that it was the element of the unknown that was causing the fear.

Was there a fork in the road that distinctly determined your lifestyle?

The fork in the road that determined my lifestyle was “career or children.” My decision to start and build a business precluded me from having children. Years of extensive travel were required with the business I was building. I could not balance motherhood with the travel.

If you could do one thing to change the world, what would it be?

Get people to be nicer to each other.

What gets you through a rough day?

Counting my many blessings. Being grateful for the wonderful life I have. ( …that and glass of wine with a girlfriend!)

What qualities do you look for in friends?

Laughter, loyalty and a positive attitude.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

Trust your intuition; you’re so much smarter than you think you are. Don’t hesitate. Life is short!

What would you do, if you knew you could not fail?

Fail? It never crossed my mind!

What is the most difficult thing you have ever done?

Enduring the loss of so many family members much before their time.

If you had to grab 2 items out of your closet before it caught on fire, what would you take?

My orange Tori Burch shoes and the blue jeans that make my ass look great!

What is your best advice on how to live a graceful life?

Be the friend you’d like to have and always have an attitude of gratitude.