IkaVina Wine and Spirits, LLC: The Hate and the Fear

Hater's Gonna Hate: That's What They Do

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
- Mahatma Gandhi

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
- Bene Gesserit Litany against fear ("Dune" by Frank Herbert)

The first thing that I know to expect is hate and scorn, which in some cases might have envy and jealousy at the root. Some people don't want to see someone succeed and some people wish that the only people succeeding are themselves. There will be the folks who might not like me but don't even really know me at all, or even know me in passing. Al (Chef Al Paris) calls me the connector and he has seen me literally have a person anti-me and then fifteen minutes later we're all buddy-buddy.

And there will be the folks who have something to say because I am not doing things in the typical way. Life isn't typical and I am playing the best strategy for exactly where I am at in life. As far as doing things differently, I can recall the time that I called Fred Franzia (Bronco Wines; Two Buck Chuck, Crane Lake, Franzia box wines, etc) on the phone on a Saturday. I had just read about him in the final issue of Business 2.0 magazine, which was all about disruptors in their respective industries and he was the one in wine. Having read that he works one hundred hours a week, I called up and asked for him and we spoke for about forty five minutes. Hell, I even spoke to the Production Manager over at Ironstone Vineyards once for thirty minutes; I had called the company up to tell them that the website for their Christine Andrew label was down.

My business heroes are people like Chester Carlson, author Frank Herbert and Seal Team Six founder Dick Marcinko. Of the former, while a law student he realized that mimeographing everything was a waste of time and effort and wound up studying engineering on his own. He then invented what came to be known as xerography which is the process of using electrostatic energy and copying what is pressed against a glass plate (platen) onto something else. This is how copiers, fax machines and scanners work. The guy was turned down fifty-nine times – and by some of the biggest outfits who should've realized the genius of his invention – until he finally found a backer.

Herbert put years into writing his groundbreaking novel Dune and after being rejected by every publisher, he went to Chilton's, a company that only produced auto manuals and they wound up publishing it. It was their best seller ever!

Marcinko really needs no introduction, but if you don't know who he is, just read the book Rogue Warrior as well as his two business manuals. It is the philosophy of him establishing a holographic organization which has inspired me to keep learning as much as I can in so many different fields.

I respect every independent artist and hustler, from the guys selling CDs and tapes out the trunk of their cars, to Spike Lee doing "She's Gotta Have It" and Robert Townsend making "Hollywood Shuffle;" I still watch those movies! I love that the Gallo brothers built their empire on a recipe for a simple wine that they got out of the public library.

The fear that I have is putting myself out there so plainly in order to get this done, but this is what I am willing to do in pursuit of my dreams. I have done no less in my pursuit of love; women who worked at the post office and for Federal Express came to know me through my sending packages and letters to a woman I was so much in love with a decade ago. But since this is the path I have chosen to fully embrace, every day the fear subsides a little more. I mean, after writing the/my first book and then going out and selling it, that was a very fearful thing because my heart and emotions were right out there.

This whole thing is the culmination of all of my talents and my passions. The best thing in life is to do what you love and it won't be like work and the worst thing is to have so much of a voice as well as creativity bottled up inside without the ability and avenues to express it all and share it with the world. Like the play "Mama I Want to Sing," I want to sell wine and merge it with the worlds of the arts.

And day by day, the fear subsides little by little. You see, I didn't win at everything I tried, and I don't think that I was meant to. Had I graduated from Annapolis I don't think that I would have even nor ever got back into to computer programming, learning databases, photography, music, etc. I wouldn't have met the people I have met over time, had the experiences I have had [whether good or bad] and probably would have never really gotten into the world of wine. You're not supposed to win at everything as it gives you a chance to see life from other views. Not everyone gets to play the position on a team that is in their dream or was their first choice nor marry the person that their heart initially pined for (I can still remember all of my crushes throughout the years). Failure is not the fact that you fell down, but not getting back up.

In the songs "Dreams" by Little Brother, Phonte raps, "Do you really wanna win or just look good losin?" Me, I want to win, which is why I am here. Every day I get up, and I look at the man in the mirror and I apply myself a little more to make my dreams come true, and with this thing, this thing right here, well this is where I am standing.