No other work I’ve had or found myself in has taught me more than wine and its industry, the functionality of it business, businesses and the many shade it can assume. First, obviously, conversation, relationships, and having those relationships progress in a truthful and reciprocally educating form. So many talk customer service, swear by it and even judge from their views on its conceptual anatomy, but don’t practice, don’t actuate what they so militantly advocate. When someone walks into a tasting room, or even onto the winery property, I’ve learned to not be in a sales mood and mode at all. Say ‘hello’, ask them about THEM, what their story is, how long they’re in town, and all similar.
Wine’s industry has also taught me that you should never sell. Rather, share passion, educated through conversation, but be present in the interaction with your potential buyer, or just someone visiting. What if they are there, at your business, just to visit, look? You can’t scold them, though I’ve seen some people do just that, their mood changing when learning the person isn’t with intent to brandish a credit card. Market yourself, as a kind human being in business, wine business has taught me.
I’ve also learned from wine that you shouldn’t too much see it, whatever you do for a living, as work, or too much as a chore. It should be passion, it should be love, it should not be—whatever you do for a living, wine’s industry or a dentist, policeman or grocery store owner, anything—horror, something you dread, or wake up thinking “I have to do that.” Whatever your work is, it should be your life’s work, your life, what and who you are. Not merely what you do. Wine tells me not to settle, in business. To write my own story, to be alive and fiery, loud and unwavering, loving and kind to everyone that sets shoe soles on property.