I’m a big fan of days that celebrate love and happiness. I know some have mixed feelings about days like Valentine’s, but the core message always rubs me the right way! There’s nothing like having a day to celebrate love, and that doesn’t just have to be the love you have for a spouse or partner. I think about this every February when Valentine’s rolls around, because for me it’s not just about showing love for my husband, friends or other family, but also for my vegan business!
Since many of us started our businesses out of love for animals, the planet or our community, I love the idea of choosing a day (whether you pick February 14th or another day) to celebrate the love you have for your business. Intriguing idea? Here are a few ideas on how you can do it:
#1: Reconnect With Your Love For Your Business
As you navigate the daily grind of making your business successful, it’s easy to shift your focus away from your passion and toward the issues, problems or challenges that you may be facing in your business. As you strive to offer a better experience for your customers or improve your products/services, most of your energy may be channeled toward getting “better.” Those of us in vegan business NEED to dream big and look for ways to constantly improve, but it’s equally important to spend some time reflecting, appreciating our triumphs and remembering who we’ve helped.
So, on your chosen date (or this Valentine’s Day), create a list of things you are proud to have accomplished in your business and frame it. Hang it on the wall so you have a daily visual reminder of all those positive achievements. Then when you have a hard day, you can look at your list and be reminded of the good the impact you have on the world, and be encouraged to persevere!
#2: Create An Annual “Passion” Goal
Most business owners and leaders spend time in January identifying goals for the year. This year, take another look at your list of goals and make sure you have one that supports the original reason you started your business. This should be something that speaks to the passion or flame that inspired you to start your business. Make it something fun and rewarding. Even if it’s not huge (adding a ton of work to your pile is not the objective), it should be something that you know you can complete, and that will help you take a direct step toward your bigger passion. Then, make an action plan for how you are going to achieve it.
#3: Open Your Heart
This is a fun but serious one: write a love letter to your business! Open your heart and share your story with your employees and customers telling them why you started your business. Include your hopes and dreams for the future of your business and outline how you will celebrate the good your business has done so far, and the amazing experiences that you and your business have shared. If you are a small business with up to 15 employees, write an appreciation letter for the employees who have helped you through hard times in the past year. Recognize customers or people who have helped or changed your business for the better.
#4: Pamper Your Business
Make sure you reinvest in your business. Since many of us, as the owner/operators of small vegan businesses, rely on our businesses for our income, you may often find yourself pulling all the resources from your business. So choose a day at least once a year and, big or small, make an effort to reinvest in your business. Identify something that will help your business run faster, smoother, or more efficiently. Find a way to put something in that will give your business a boost, or help it soar! You might be thinking, “Nice idea, but I don’t have a suitcase of cash just sitting around.” I get it – we’ve all been there.
I’m not talking about going overboard or investing outside your means. If you don’t have a lot of resources to spare, think of it as a DIY Spa Day for your business. Just as taking the time to do a home pedi can make you feel pampered and new without costing a lot of money, look for ways to clean up, fix, or correct small things in your business that don’t take a lot of cash, but maybe just a bit of time and focus. Maybe it’s something you’ve been meaning to fix for a long time and just haven’t gotten around to.
Celebrating love is ALWAYS a good thing, and it not only improves the object of the affection, but it makes you feel good too. So be sure to show your vegan biz a little love, and the results will come back to you tenfold.
Think back to when you first started your vegan business, and try to recapture some of that love blush. Choose the action above that appeals to you most, and that will help you to remember why you started your biz in the first place, and do it!