The extra hour

This morning, many of us woke up earlier than we normally do. We woke up with energy at a time that we normally slog. We went to bed a bit earlier last night than we normally would. Daylight savings time is one of the best magic tricks out there. And like any good magic trick, Read More…

Milestone Dates

Happy October 1st. To most people, maybe all, it’s just another day. But for me, it’s October First, The Milestone Day. A milestone date is a marker. It’s a particular date when something eventful, positive, negative, traumatic, celebratory, life-shaping, or just plain big happened to you or because of you. It’s a date that as Read More…

The list of quick improvements

This is a good exercise. Grab a piece of paper. Turn off the inputs and interruptions. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Namaste. Now answer the question: “What can I change, improve upon, upgrade, do, or fix in just one or two minutes, that will have a lasting impact on my work?” A Read More…

A seven year (payment) plan

How far forward do you plan? Some very smart people insist that five year and ten-year goal setting is not realistic. That there is no way to project that far and know what will happen with the economy, your industry, or even the state of the world. I see their point, but they are wrong. Read More…

Looking backward …

… rarely helps. Yes, you can learn from the past. But you can also think too hard about it, too often. Try this: think about the past and the mistakes you or your company made (“We hired that lazy good for nothing that derailed the team and sucked down morale”). Make a full list. It’s Read More…

Being relevant

To be relevant in an industry is the simple goal for most workers and most businesses. To be a restaurant that gets mentioned in the “top 10” lists. To be a wine that retailers are asking for, not being loaded upon. To be an employee asked for an opinion on an internal matter. To be somebody Read More…

You have permission …

… to take the simple path instead of the complicated path. … to take time off to rebalance and think big thoughts. … to find success while others struggle. … to put your own name and identity out there before your company. … to take a break after reaching goals. … to work smarter instead Read More…

The Bourdain Tragedy

Foodies, chefs, and lovers of all things food and wine got the terrible news on the morning of June 8th 2018: Anthony Bourdain was no longer with us. That it was suicide was particularly tough to hear and made it all the more frustrating and heartbreaking. Bourdain was one of those great characters on the Read More…

Screwing up (gracefully)

You dropped the ball. Screwed up royally. There are no excuses. Somebody is going to be mad. The owner’s manual on screwing up gracefully reads pretty simply: Own it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t try to hide. Apologize. Hope for the best. Then apologize again. Too bad more people don’t have a copy of the owner’s Read More…

What work should you do today?

The answer is pretty simple, really. Do more of the work that proves to work well for you. Do less of the work that proves to not work well for you. More of what works, less of what doesn’t. Take the time to think about that as you make decisions on how to spend your Read More…

Bird Brains: Proof that there are always haters

If you try to appease everybody all the time you eventually spend an inordinate amount of time appeasing the lowest of the low. In the wine business, there are legendary thugs and bullies that own liquor stores around the country or buy wine for such shops. They harass, they intimidate, they threaten, they position themselves for Read More…

Simplifying networking

“Connection points” and “synergy” are terms often bantered about when it comes to networking. Heck, there are easily 12 other overused buzzwords I could list here. There are whole books, blogs, video series, and courses based on the Art of Networking. At its core networking sounds so easy: The idea that you can help them and they Read More…

The chemistry of learning something new

Let’s put brain chemistry to work for us in the wine sales industry. No, I’m not talking about even more sampling and drinking. I’m talking about learning. Turns out the release of dopamine in the brain — the trigger that happens when you have the first sip of a really great wine, or hear coins Read More…

A simple formula

Here’s the simple formula for success: Exceed expectations. Again and again and again and again and again. There. Done. Simple as that. (Moral of the story: you don’t have to complicate things to achieve success in business.)