Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Startup, Volume II Paddle 305


Eric and I participated at the Hart Davis Hart Burgundy wine auction at Tru Chicago a few weeks back.  More specifically, we were there with a client, assisting them in their burgundy bids.  Most of the auctions that we help clients with are conducted over the internet.  But this was our first live auction!  The action was crazy fun, even bordering on maniacal.  In fact, writing about it now, I’m feeling that nervous gut all over again.

But I digress.  This whole nervousness about the Startup is at once aging me and keeping me young.  With a bootstrap business we wear all hats:  writer, techie, wine geek, handyman, social media person, presenter and the list goes on, but you’re in it, learning on a daily basis–I love it!  It’s an exciting time, but damn, I’m nervous and agitated about everything now and rightly so. (I think Eric hides it much better than I do.)

So it’s been a ridiculously busy past few weeks: Chicago for a multi-million dollar wine auction, a presentation to the Virginia Wine Board in Charlottesville, then to San Diego for a cellar drop off.  It’s funny though:  I was spectacularly nervous about the whole thing, renting a cargo van, driving around with about 20 cases of wine, particularly a 1959 Maison Leroy and thinking, “Hey, my parents were married in 1959!” In that one moment when I thought about my parents, I realized that I had a connection with this wine without even drinking it.  I can picture myself in that van, smirking, because even though Eric and I are crazy busy, we’re also crazy happy in this business.  And we’re just getting started…

Tina and GUY
Partners, PROTOCOL wine studio


The Startup, Volume 1

The funny thing about a startup’s journey is that it forces us to look beyond our comfort zone. The whole process seems to take on a life of its own and the more power we give it, the better the rewards. Don’t get me wrong though, by rewards I’m not talking monetary, but those elusive personal rewards of becoming something better than your original self.

We start on this path towards something and think we’re moving in a certain direction, but in reality there is always the inevitable “fork” in the road.  Your ideals and dreams remain unchanged but the getting there alters. We’ve made so many mistakes, but the funny thing about mistakes is that if you surround yourself with good people, those mistakes won’t cost you everything. Yes, they’ll sting something awful, but you’re still safe.
A startup is about having a business partner who has the same ideals, albeit with different twists, but that’s part of the fun. This is also about our life partners who believe in us, no matter how crazy the day unfolds. It’s a journey of discovery, finding geek wines and sharing the story of each wine and the people who bring it to glass:  taste it, share it, live it!
Come along for the ride and get “forked.”
Tina and GUY
Partners, Protocol Wine Studio

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