It was supposed to be a hobby, a small wine wholesaler representing maybe 5 different wineries.
As it turned out, I formed a wine wholesaling business and ended up representing over 40-wineries, with a focus on small and family-owned operations, mostly Napa Valley-based.
The company was called The Wine Collection; I represented small, hard to get wineries – all with great wine.
I had been “collecting” wine over prior years (that really means, drinking some, but storing more for future consumption – which I am enjoying now, by the way.)
As the passion turned to obsession, I wanted to somehow get into the business. By that time, I had been meeting with winemakers, getting back room tours and seeing (and tasting) the business.
Wholesaling seemed the logical option, since I wasn’t about to give up the real estate consulting business.
I found that folks in the wine business were a different breed – they shared an ‘abundance’ mentality, rather than one based on ‘scarcity.”.
Direct competitors were helping each other. They had a collective positive attitude, recognizing that a successful competitor also meant opportunities of success for themselves.
I liked the way they were thinking. These were people I wanted to be around.
Too often, people think someone else’s success means their own failure.
Life is not a zero-sum game.
Each of us has the opportunity to succeed. We just need the initiative and commitment to try.
Each can win, and it’s even OK if someone is more successful than you – that can even serve as a motivator.
Then, after about 5-years in the business, one day, out of the blue, I received a call from Paradise Beverages; they wanted to buy my business. Surprisingly, I talked with them and eventually sold.
I *loved* the wine business, why would I sell?
The answer came to me a few months later.
I took the opportunity to get into public service, first as Hawaiʻi County Deputy Managing Director, then as Director of Hawai‘i State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).
Having the responsibility of the wine business would not have let me do either of these.
It’s interesting how things work out.
The image is my company logo – a bottle and two glasses.
Wine is best when shared.
Good Friends, Good Food, Good Wine … waaay cool.