What Does Success Look Like To You? – Steven Vanroboys

What Does Success Look Like To You? – Steven Vanroboys

Steven Vanroboys is a dynamic entrepreneur from Thamesville, Ontario, with extensive experience in trucking, agriculture, and real estate. As the President and CEO of Vanroboys Trucking Ltd., he leads multiple businesses, including a large-scale greenhouse operation and a property management firm. Steven is deeply committed to sustainability, integrating green technologies across his ventures to reduce environmental impact. He is a passionate community advocate, actively supporting local sports, educational programs, and various philanthropic activities. Steven’s leadership philosophy emphasizes ethical business practices, community engagement, and innovation. His dedication to both business excellence and community development marks him as a prominent figure in his industry and community.

Q&A with Steven Vanroboys: Insights from a Multi-Faceted Entrepreneur

Steven, what inspired you to enter into such diverse fields as trucking, agriculture, and real estate?

Growing up in Thamesville gave me a unique perspective on the needs and opportunities within our community. I saw trucking as essential for connecting markets, agriculture as a cornerstone of our local economy, and real estate as a means to invest back into the community. Each venture addressed a different need but collectively, they allowed me to contribute more holistically to our area’s growth and sustainability.

How do you balance innovation with tradition in your businesses, especially in sectors like agriculture that are deeply rooted in traditional practices?

It’s all about respecting the past while boldly stepping into the future. We integrate new technologies and methods carefully, ensuring they complement rather than replace the tried and true practices. For example, in our agricultural operations, we blend traditional farming techniques with modern technology like data analytics and precision farming. This approach helps us improve yield and efficiency without losing the essence of traditional farming.

Can you share an example of a particularly challenging moment in your career and how you overcame it?

One significant challenge was the global economic downturn, which affected all my businesses. We had to quickly reassess our operations, prioritize our expenditures, and find innovative ways to sustain operations without compromising our workforce. My team and I focused on diversifying our service offerings and finding new markets. It was a tough period, but it taught us the importance of agility and preparedness, which have since become central to our strategic planning.

What strategies do you use to ensure that all your businesses operate cohesively?

Clear communication and shared values are key. We hold regular strategy meetings where leaders from each business unit come together to discuss their challenges and achievements. This fosters a sense of unity and allows for synergy across different ventures. Additionally, we align all our business operations with our core values of integrity, community, and sustainability, ensuring every decision supports these principles.

How do you see your role in the community, and how do you integrate community service into your business model?

I view my role as both a leader and a servant to the community. Our businesses are actively involved in local initiatives, from sponsoring sports teams to participating in environmental clean-ups. We also host community events that bring people together and promote local culture. By integrating these activities into our business model, we not only give back to the community but also build a strong, supportive local network that contributes to our businesses’ success.

What future trends in the trucking industry are you most excited about, and how are you preparing your company to adapt to these changes?

 I’m particularly excited about the advancements in electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. We are actively exploring partnerships with tech companies to pilot electric trucks in our fleet. This aligns with our commitment to sustainability and positions us at the forefront of the industry’s shift towards cleaner, more efficient transportation solutions.

With your vast experience, what advice would you give to young entrepreneurs starting out today?

My advice would be to focus on building a solid foundation of values and purpose. Your business should solve real problems and have a clear value proposition. Don’t be afraid to start small and grow steadily. Most importantly, embrace learning – from successes, failures, mentors, and even competitors. Continuous learning and adaptation are the backbones of any successful business.

What’s one thing you do every day that you believe sets you up for success?

Every morning, I take some time to plan my day meticulously, setting clear priorities and goals. This practice keeps me focused and productive. I also make it a point to read something new every day, whether it’s industry news, a leadership article, or a piece of market research. This habit keeps me informed and inspired, which I believe is crucial for staying successful in any field.

Finally, what does success look like to you?

Professionally, it means building sustainable businesses that not only thrive financially but also contribute positively to our community and environment. On a personal level, success is about maintaining a healthy balance between my work and my family life, ensuring that I am there for my family’s important moments just as much as I am for my business’s. Ultimately, if I can look back and see that my efforts have improved the lives of those around me and paved the way for future generations, then I would consider myself truly successful.