Business & Careers

Entrepreneurship Through The Lens Of A Wine Glass

BY Kale Panoho

The world has a love affair with wine.

For those of us who have indulged in a splash of Champagne through to the unpredictable nature of a demanding Pinot Noir all of us have a story that can be told through the lens of a wine glass. Those stories are almost always more exotic and more extraordinary because of that wine and for the lucky few, there even exists a lifelong career and legacy that is dedicated to these moments.

One of those lucky few is entrepreneur, Cathy Huyghe.

Cathy is the founder of Enolytics which is the first company to bring aggregate data from multiple wine platforms, author of Hungry for Wine an incredible insight into both the stories of wine and the creation of the wine itself and is a columnist for both Forbes and Inc. The list of these feats are impressive on their own, but to do this in a niche that is so crowded is a feat that very few have achieved.

Cathy turned her devotion to wine and writing into an entrepreneurial journey that focused on the things she loved and here is how you can do the same.

  1. Practice Patience

A lot of entrepreneurs myself included would love to be an overnight success and unfortunately, reality does not exist to please our wishes. Cathy’s love affair with wine began in 2007 and she had the desire and dream in 2008 to write for Forbes about wine.

This didn’t happen for Cathy for another five years until she published her first piece for Forbes in 2014. This was a diligent and plodding path of consistent work that came from a goal that didn’t come to fruition for another five years as her she monetized her passion with other ventures until the day came where she found success.

In a culture where our attention is hijacked on a regular basis by social media celebrities and a well-timed vacation picture from a friend who only shares what they want you to see, it makes our minds want what others have, right now.

Patience has been dealt an injustice in today’s society because we want everything now and now when we try something once and do not get what we want, most of us give up.

As Cathy told me, “ Devotion is the right word for entrepreneurs, I think, because sooner or later there will be a time when you’re standing alone as the one who believes that strongly in an idea. Without devotion, the idea will crumble”.

Cathy was devoted to a goal and chased this for eight years before she made that break. Do not stop the first time you fail, practice patience and keep working until you reach your milestone.

  1. Cultivate Curiosity

Curiosity keeps us captivated.

It is the biggest driver for innovation of some of the worlds greatest problems.  Whether this is understanding why an apple falls down from a tree to growing a business all these ideas stem from curiosity.

For Cathy her curiosity came from wine and chasing the stories that came along with every glass, every grape and even the terrior that creates the phenotype of the wine.

These things are endlessly fascinating to Cathy, but as she explains this can be a fostered trait

I think curiosity can truly be developed, if you don’t think you were “born with it.” I think it can be learned and taught, and the root of it is mystery.  The link is for each of us to identify a few things that we react to, at a visceral or gut level.

Get deeply curious about those things, and start to practice curiosity and see how it feels. Then slowly expand out to more things, and more things from there.”

Most of us in our roles as professionals seldom take on the job of understanding or exploring something that fascinates us but as people, this is what will keep us motivated throughout the tough times.

If you’re curious about how one person achieves more than another, why one business owner did this way and not another this will lead you to the type of thinking that ultimately drives you toward success.

By consistently being curious you can continue to ask questions and continue to learn and for most of us, this stops after tertiary education. Foster your curiosity and you will foster your ability to solve problems and continue to be satisfied at the same time.

  1. Share Don’t Sell

Most of us are scared to sell anything. We’re scared to sell ourselves, our businesses and our thoughts because we’re not sure if what we’re offering will help.

Here is the difference between sharing and selling.

Sellers offer something in exchange for a reward whereas those who share offer something of value in exchange for something of value. As an entrepreneur, Cathy’s breakthrough in her business came when she realised that what she was creating with Enolytics was genuinely helping others.

Most people are scared to share themselves because they’re worried that what they’re sharing won’t help. When you foster a conviction that what you’re sharing is going to help someone you’re no longer selling you’re simply being paid for the value of what you’re sharing.

Foster a belief in what you’re sharing will help others and you will no longer be afraid to offer your worth because you know when others take it their lives will be improved.

Start by helping others and everything else that follows becomes easier.

These three traits are the drivers of success not just in business but also in life most of us would be better served by following in Cathy’s advice.

If you want to learn more about her career you can follow her work on Twitter and Instagram.


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