You’ve made the choice

If you’re a wine retailer, you’ve made the choice to not have Memorial Day or Labor Day off. You made the choice to work weekends. You’ve made the choice to be in one spot, waiting for customers to come to you. You made the choice to know that every New Year’s Eve, the day before Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve is going to involve lots of grueling physical and mental work.

You’ve also made the choice to be the one to put the wine in the customer’s hands. To be the last line of defense, helping the customers get the best wine for their money. You’ve made the choice to be in the position that tastes the most wine, and that meets with the most wholesalers. You’ve made the choice to be in the epicenter of knowing your local wine market. You’ve made the choice to be a major influencer on your customers, one with a feedback loop that can make you proud.

If you’re a sommelier or work in a restaurant, you’ve made the choice to not see movies on Friday and Saturday nights with your buddies. You’ve made the choice to start most work days late in the afternoon and end late at night. You’ve made the choice to be in the hospitality industry, serving the customer. You’ve made the choice to go through five pairs of shoes every year, and still have achy feet at the end of the shift. You’ve made the choice to work in a part of the industry that is physically and psychologically difficult, and with a work culture that favors the young and pretty.

You’ve also made the choice to get the interaction and pleasure of serving your customers, to get immmediate feedback on the wines you serve, and to be around people that constantly want to learn and grow. You’ve made the choice to have endless options and be mobile in your employment. You’ve made the choice to work in a part of the wine industry where an individual can easily stand out through hard work and networking.

If you’re a wholesale wine rep, you’ve made the choice to pitch a product, to always have skin in the game, and to represent brands larger than yourself. You’ve made the choice to be beholden to your customer’s needs first and foremost. You’ve made the choice to work long and hard hours that involve rejection, scrambling, and endless meetings. You’ve made the choice to beat up your car, putting tens of thousands of miles of hard driving on it. You’ve made the choice to have a part of your career be out of your hands as brands come and go, and wholesalers sell and consolidate.

You’ve also made a choice to have control over your own schedule and to be home most evenings for dinner. You’ve made the choice to be your own manager and boss in many ways, as you create your sales territory and shape it to fit your personality and style. You’ve made the choice to have more opportunity for travel and other such perks of the job. You’ve made the choice to have more possibility of financial growth as your relationships with buyers and bosses matures.

Never forget: you’ve made the choice.

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