Well it's the last Monday of the year, finally one last Monday. I don't ever mind Mondays really, this job is 7 days a week, so Mondays are cool with me. Looking back on this year - it has really kicked my ass - but what does not kill you makes you stronger right? Where is all this coming from this morning? I'm working on the 4th annual TexaCali Wine Co. Year in Review for the Inner Circle this morning. As I'm looking back at the calendar and all the moving parts of 2008, I can hardly figure out where to start. 2008 was full of wonderful business happenings, new challenges, beautiful personal memories but marked heavily by business associates that are huge assholes. No I'm not going to call them out here, you'd be surprised.
I encountered the best and worst in human beings this year, all in the name of "helping" market and sell wines and saké that I truly believe in with all my heart. I'm incredibly thankful and fortunate to represent some of the finest folks in the wine and saké business, and even more fortunate to have asked some jerks to please step out of my way. As far as I'm concerned, we (the entire wine supply chain) are all in this together, it takes good choices, solid respect and even better people behind the effort for all to profit. I often think of a certain "buyer" in Texas who sets the BEST example of this every minute of his day. Boy how we can all learn from him, he's in a place where he could be a real SOB, but never ever hangs his hat on that hook.
I know I'm going to hear it from my Mom today about the "tone" of this post. (Sorry Mom) But hey, she just survived an heart-attack on Christmas Day and is home now recovering. That makes me the most happy of all. Our scary Christmas this year with Mom also makes me want to scream from the highest peaks - "Be good and kind to everyone you encounter (and cut out all the BS)."
Life's too short to deal with the egomaniac, selfish, greedy assholes in this beautiful wine business that take advantage of the little guys (or girls). There I said it. Be good to others from here on out - if you are not capable of kindness, integrity and professional respect, then go hole up in a fancy house in the middle of no-mans-land where you can own your little manipulative & pathetic world.
TexaCali Wine Co. has beat all odds, we started up in May 2005 with nothing more than a few bucks from vacation time not taken. I've slept on more couches than I can count to save a buck for that retailer that needs high-margins and for that winery that has children of vineyard workers to feed. More than ever they need you and me to buy their bottles, it is their life, their history, genius wine and saké making skills and their blood, sweat and tears that are golden. The families behind the wine and saké bottles are what keeps me in this game.
Since day one, I've had to make smart choices and difficult decisions about the people I must to work with daily - these decisions were and have been the biggest and the most significant part of my success. I'm far from perfect, but I will work my ass off again in 2009 to continue to bring my best, hope to inspire others and always, I mean no matter what - make choices based on sound ethical business decisions in the New Year. Fired up this Monday Morning...Cheers - Ali