Do you have what it takes to run a successful vegan business?
There are four skills that I believe are critical for any successful vegan business owner to hone: discipline, focus, organization and execution. Though these skills may seem simple, it’s essential for entrepreneurs to really understand why it’s worth mastering each one, so I’d like to take some time in this article to talk about each of them in turn.
We’ll start with discipline. When you are your own boss, it is absolutely critical for long-term success that you are well-disciplined since you have no one around, pushing you to get things done. This doesn’t mean only doing the things you love to do; it often means dealing with things that you really would rather not deal with. But if you don’t, if you hide your head in the sand, your business may falter. Being disciplined means following your own rules, setting a structure in place for your business and making sure you are consistent in building and strengthening that structure. It means following a schedule – the good and the bad, and staying within the budget you have set out. If this is a place you know you can improve, don’t delay! Discipline is one of the most important skills a successful business owner can develop.
Next, focus. What’s important in your business, and when and how is it going to get done? As a business owner with a multitude of distractions and demands over the course of a day or week, it is easy to become unfocused. But you must take steps to reduce those distractions. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it (see how discipline comes into play here too?). Reduce multi-tasking – it’s not an effective way to work. Focus on one important task and get it done, then move on to the next one.
Third, organization. We all know that infrastructure and organization are good things. They help us to stay focused and be disciplined, and even to execute our plans. There are many great tools out there for project management and planning, so if this is an area you are falling short, I would encourage you to seek one out that fits your specific needs (you might want to take a look at our list of tool suggestions as a place to get started). Still, a word of caution. Be organized, but not to the point of being rigid. One of the best things about being in business for yourself is the flexibility and the creativity that flexibility often allows. So don’t lose that – find a balance between both worlds and be organized AND flexible.
And finally, execution. This is an important part of your business planning process. How do you actually take an idea in your business to reality? What are the steps it is going to take to realize your goal? Where are you in the process of executing any number of projects that you are working on, and how do you keep track of them all? Once again, great tools can be massively helpful in the process of effective execution, so don’t be shy to spend some time investigating some different options.
You can see that all four of these skills work together and play off of each other. That’s why it’s important to work on developing each of them to create a really solid foundation.
Sit down and assess yourself on each of these 4 skills; rate how good you are at them on a scale from 1-5. Now, take the one with the lowest score and write out three suggestions for how you can improve in that area. And finally, act on it!