Life can be hard sometimes. There are highs and there are lows and from personal experience this seems to be emphasized in an entrepreneurship lifestyle. There is joy and there is sorrow. There is victory and there is defeat. There are times when you are encouraged and times when you are discouraged. These are seasons in life and certainly in business. I continue to find that one of the easiest things to do is be joyful when things are going your way and one of the hardest things to do is be joyful when things are not. “Fete’ing” every day is easier said than done sometimes.
The past few months we have gone through a series of highs and lows. Our business after the holiday season really took off and we were on a roll. Both our Fete Petite Sirah wine and Fete Symphony wines were number #1 selling wines on Amazon in January, February and March. Everything was clicking and it seemed like we were gaining some real momentum. We were super excited to be such a small player and compete with some of the big players and winning in all categories.
Then at the beginning of February we received a call from Amazon to be a part of their Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) program. That means they would start to fulfill for us (meaning we wouldn’t have to pack boxes in our garage anymore), and our customers would gain the ability to buy our wine with prime shipping. This seemed like the break we were waiting for and this was going to be the launching pad to where we wanted to go with the business. We began to plan and it seemed like nothing was going to stop us.
Then it did.
We sent several pallets of wine to Amazon (per their request), we set our marketing plan, everything was in place. Then in the first hours of our marketing launch our plans began to crumble under this new Amazon FBA idea that they invited us to be a part of. Simply put, they invited us to be part of a program they did not have licenses for, but this didn’t become apparent to anyone until launch day.
To make matters worse they also shipped our wine to places they were not supposed to and now much of our inventory is missing and what is being returned is damaged. Our high of thinking this was going to be our big break quickly turned out to be a very substantial loss for our company instead. We are hopeful everything will work out with Amazon, but are bracing for the worse. The hard part has been trying to gain back the momentum we lost while dealing with this whole process.
I struggled with sharing this because I don’t want you to think this is just a “Justin and Becky woe is me” moment I often find daily on other people’s social media. I know this loss does not compare to some of the personal, emotional or business-related losses some of my friends and family have gone through or are currently going through. I also don’t think this will be hardest thing I will ever have to go through. But I hope this can encourage you because I hope to share how I am trying to find my joy in my disappointment.
We often like to dream and live in the “mountain top experiences.” Everybody loves to celebrate and drink wine on the mountain top, but the mountain top experience usually does not last very long and then we find ourselves in the valley again chasing the next mountain top. However, if we only find joy on the mountain tops then we completely lose out on the long journey that comes in the valley and in the climb. If we only live in joy on the mountain tops then we will find ourselves living most of our lives without joy. I don’t believe we are supposed to find joy only on the mountain tops, but we are supposed to find joy in the valleys below too.
I find this all the time selling our wine. People often buy our wine and then wait to drink it because they are still waiting for a special occasion to enjoy it. What if I told you that today is your special occasion? Today we are alive. Today we are free and we have the freedom to love and pursue our dreams. We should celebrate today because we have air to breath and life to live.
Maybe this sounds kind of like la la land. It’s hard to have a world view like this when you have a dragon in front of you that you are battling. No, I am not talking about putting your head in the clouds and just thinking about daffodils and dandelions while the breath of fire is against your skin. I am just saying one way you can find joy in disappointment is to not let the dragon steal your joy, but enjoy the pursuit of the battle and allow it to grow you as a person. Look that dragon square in the eyes and enjoy the process because you know that in battling this dragon you are going to become a warrior who is better prepared for the next dragon that comes your way. The dragon you face today may or may not be the biggest dragon you face, but to get to the mountain top you must defeat the one in front of you. The beauty in this is that now you can enjoy the battle and enjoy the mountain top too.
I feel like this blog is going to be the first in a series of blogs about this subject. I am not sure how many of these there will be, but I hope this encourages you today.
Remember that we have a really great Groupon deal @ https://www.groupon.com/deals/gs-6-bottles-of-fete-petite-sirah
Our sale is also still going on at Fete Today http://www.fetetoday.com and Amazon.
FYI: we are still selling on Amazon, we are just not participating in the Amazon FBA program.
Thanks again for drinking our wine. We hope you will choose to celebrate today as we continue to make great tasting wines.