Category Archives:Stepping Out of the Office

Stepping Out reflects my observations when I am outside of the office exploring the wine and hospitality industry.

What’s Your Forecast?

Is it sunny, slightly overcast or down right nasty in “your world”?  Well that may depend on what I am referring to.  My blog always has a business spin but this time I am asking about you.  That’s right you, the dad, mom, daughter, son, aunt, uncle, sister, brother.  I know you must at least hold one of those titles.

Personally, I have moved from slightly overcast to bright and sunny.  How about you?

That’s right, I am done with doom and gloom that has surrounded so many people …

Fresh Start

 

Here we go again.  Another year has begun and we all are looking forward to brighter days.  So what are you doing to make today better than yesterday?  Yes, it is up to you to make change happen.  If you really think the government or anyone else for that matter is going to save the day, you need to wake up and do a reality check.  In other words, quit making excuses and start doing something to improve your situation.

I believe that as our society has grown, it …

Fire or Hot Air. Which Do You Have?

How will you do in 2012?  I think the key to your business’s success is pretty simple.  It all comes down to execution.

For many, this is easier said than done.  You’re either  going to dig deep inside and turn the switch from pilot light to ON or you will move through 2012 with a lot of talk about what you need to do.

Step 1:  Ignite the pilot light

Step 2:  Turn the switch to on

Step 3:  Prepare for lift off

Step 4:  Set your sights on immediate …

Walking in Another’s Shoes

The Napa Valley is a buzz with harvest in full swing.  I recently had the opportunity to join a grape harvest crew.  Let me clarify, my camera and I followed along to observe  the hospitality team  jumping in and helping the vineyard crew with grape picking.  It reminded me of the times when I was a kid and would get real excited about getting to do a “grown-up” task.  The anticipation was always more exciting than the actual work.  Sure, the first hour was fun but …

How Will Your Sun Set?

Retirement, future

Looking into the future, I wonder what retirement will look like.

What about you?  What do you want to do?  Will your time be filled with travel, helping in the community or just not having a schedule?  All of the above sounds like a start but what else?  Obviously, I am not ready to retire because I am still worried about having a list to check off.

Recently we had a family vacation in Maui.  My kids are young adults which made this vacation …

Sailing Away from the Storm

What direction are you sailing?  The wine industry is showing positive signs that the storm has passed and a bright future is just beyond the horizon.  However, I don’t think the industry can fall into a false sense of security that it is going to be the good old days again.  I have heard a lot of chatter that the customer has changed.  They are looking for a deal or not purchasing.  I think there is something else at play.

The day of order-taking is over!  The perception of value …

Are You In the Hunt?

Hunting for success

Why is it that young pups believe the next big customer lies just around the corner?  What’s not to love about this optimism?  For in it exists the creative drive often needed to reach people. 

I just read a report that said social media had no impact on retail sales.  Does this mean we should all abandon SM?  Of course not.  SM is still very young and there is a lot to be learned.  I would argue that SM is a unique platform for connecting with people.  More importantly, it is …

Growth Can be a Bad Thing

Growing your business is what you’re supposed to do, right?  Talk to any business leader or member of academia — they will tell you that without growth you will eventually die.  Sure, if your business never grew and your expenses continued to rise you would eventually lose money.  But what about right NOW?

With the economy starting to move forward, most companies are happy to see any sign of growth.  But how do we define growth?  Typically we look at sales year over year.  …

Fresh Start

 

It was sunrise the day after Christmas when I captured the picture above from my son’s kitchen window.  How appropriate that the morning began with a fresh layer of snow.  There is something peaceful about seeing the snow drape the trees. For me, there is no better way to close out 2010. 

With 2011 just getting underway, I can’t think of a better time to clear the slate and have a fresh start.  This past year has been challenging for the wine industry but there are many positive signs that the economy is moving forward. 

I …

Breaking Away

This little fawn sure looks attached to her Mom.  As she grows, the fawn will watch and  learn and pick up all  of the pointers she needs to survive.  Eventually it will be time for her to break away and venture out on her own. 

In the current economy,  the day to day challenges of doing business have caused many owners to rely on instinct.  They resort to practices that have worked in the past. For some, past approaches will prove to be useful.  For others, these approaches could prove to be their downfall.  For example, if you were lucky …

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