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Interview with entrepreneur Michael Asimos

Mike Asimos has done what many of us dream about; he turned his lifelong passion into a rewarding and challenging career. His love of wine has led to his role as a wine importer, exporter, and wholesaler. A Portland, Oregon native, in addition to all things wine, Asimos enjoys jazz music and travel. Michael Asimos travels to vineyards every chance he gets. When it comes to jazz music, he loves the early musical trailblazers as well as contemporary jazz musicians. His favorites include Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Esperanza Spalding.

How did you get started in the wine industry?

I have always been involved in the wine industry. I love all stages of wine creation from the grapes to fermentation, to bottling, tasting, pairings and distributing. I have always loved tasting different wines, and my pallet was well-developed long before I decided to make wine my career. When I came to a crossroads in my life, I decided the wine industry was my path to take and never looked back. I already knew many contacts in the industry so that's how I got started; I just contacted the people I knew were the right ones and started networking.

Where are some of your favorite regions to source new wines?

I love sourcing new wines in California. They have such a solid wine culture it gives me immense pleasure to introduce new wines into a region with such good taste. The Pinot Noirs known to the Santa Barbara area are unparalleled. The wealth and variety of wineries in Europe are amazing locals to source new wines as well.

How do you stay current with developments in your industry?

It's easier than you think to stay current with industry developments. I suppose it can be said of many industries that when you're in it, it actually seems quite small. I'm pretty familiar with the industry leaders, so new developments often come to me in the form of rumors or news. Networking is important, and with the Internet and business sites like LinkedIn, it is easier than ever to stay on top of and connected to everything.

What's one of the biggest hurdles to success when working with wine?

I would say it's pretty similar to success as an entrepreneur in many industries: plateauing revenue. Naturally, all entrepreneurs want to get to a point where their revenue is increasing, but it took me a while. I had to really learn the importance of having a good marketing strategy before my sales started to increase. Networking is so important, and I was pretty decent at that, but the whole marketing, advertising, and branding side was something it took time for me to work at.

What advice do you have for aspiring connoisseurs out there?

I initially thought I would be a sommelier, but then I realized I had a dream of a larger scale, a broader idea. I've seen 'Sideways' more times than you can count; the characters' passion for wine is exactly what I would advise to aspiring connoisseurs. I would say to follow their passion as far as it takes them. Often, we think what we love is just that, something we love. So many people live their lives in a job they feel nothing for, but there are so many options out there. I think the more passionate and curious a person is about a subject, the more likely it is that they would be successful at building a career out of it.

What's next for your journey in the world of wine?

More travel and more wine. I want to keep importing, exporting, and wholesaling wine. I want to try as many wines as possible, follow any new varieties, explore new regions. I also plan to do some marketing and advertising strategizing. Nowadays, having an online presence is essential to any kind of entrepreneurial success. SEO is a huge part of attracting Web traffic, and it is not my strong suit. I plan to work on this aspect of my personal branding and see how it affects my sales. I love what I do, but still need to make money at it. I plan to keep doing what I'm doing, just hopefully more of it!

Interview with entrepreneur Michael Asimos Reviewed by JaamZIN on 9:42:00 PM Rating: 5
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