The following are a few "quick win" considerations to help refresh - or perhaps even jump start - your winery direct-to-consumer efforts in 2010. None of these cost very much to implement, but the return on each can make a big difference to your brand presentation, the experience your customer's have with your brand/s, and even your revenue bottom line.
1.Imagery getting stale? Refresh your product and general site photography. oFor site uniformity, and a user experience that’s easier to browse through and digest, make your product images consistent; i.e. all category page images are label close ups, all product page images are full bottle shots with no context in the background.
2.Get back to basics. Review your site for the fundamentals: clear information, brand alignment, easy navigation, engaging content. oTake a look at other successful winery and retaler websites. Now, review yours. Do you have clear navigation on every page? Clear descriptions of your products? A non-cluttered, brand-aligned experience? Pretend you’re a consumer looking for information. Can you easily find what you’re looking for?
3.Let your customers speak for you. 67% of shoppers spend more online after recommendations from online community of friends (Internet Retailer, September 2009). oIf you’re not already doing it, simply ask your club members what they thought of the latest shipment and post their comments on your website. Or, ask tasting room visitors to fill out a product, event or tasting room experience comment card and post their responses.Don’t forget to ask permission first.
4.Get social. oIf you’re not testing the waters on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or the like, give it a go. Engage in at least one social media community and participate frequently. Start a conversation with your customers and see what happens.
5.Refresh your email templates. oLook at the email templates for the major e-tailers; nearly all have a similar format (logo placement, navigation, header placement, body structure). Now take a look at yours. Time for a refresh? Develop 2-3 new templates for the following messaging types:
Multiple product marketing
Featured or single product promotions
1.Tackle credit card expired and declined rates. oEnlist someone in house to track and manage declined and expired credit cards in your wine club list. Spending just 2 hours a month on this task can make a big difference. For larger clubs with greater turn, consider outsourcing. Even a 10% improvement in your expired/declines can mean critical dollars to your bottom line.
2.Get to know your club members. oSurvey your club members, both during and after they leave your club.There are a multitude of online survey providers out there – all easily used and managed. Find out why they joined, what they like about the club, what they would be interested in seeing more of, what products are their favorites, what types of events they would be interested in participating in. And after they leave – thank them for being a member and ask why they left. Use the information to adjust your Wine Club program and marketing outreach.
3.Surprise and delight. oDo something unexpected for your customers at least once in 2010: Send a mid-year thank you card hand signed by the winemaker, or send a personal birthday wish to your club members. Surprise them with something relevant to your winery or brand and give your customers a reason to remember you outside of the normal shipment frequency.
1.Help your staff engage. oNot everyone is a natural born salesperson. Your tasting room staff may be engaging and witty and fun in the break room, but entirely different in front of customers. They might be overselling your wine club, and under-whelming your visitors. Help them out with training. Write scripts and role play. Take a field trip to other tasting rooms and discuss their experiences. Lead brand discussions so they understand and feel empowered. Give them the tools they need to become better salespeople.
2.Ask for the email address. Your customer list is your most valuable marketing asset. Leverage every opportunity to grow it. oIf you’re not already capturing or asking for the email address during the sale or wine club sign up process, do so. Incentives are common, but not mandatory. If you’re having trouble capturing emails, offer 10% discount on their next purchase when providing an email address, for instance.Let the customer know that an email will be sent to them with the applicable discount code (this will help validate correct addresses).
3.Refresh your merchandise. oIf you’re offering incremental merchandise in the tasting room, is there an opportunity to refresh it? Better display it? Improve signage to provide better information on the products? Is your merchandising relevant to your brand or wines? This is the environment in which you’ve asked your customers to experience your brand and engage. Create an inviting and engaging environment in which to allow your customers to experience your wines… and use non-wine merchandise to upsell.
The remaining 3 in our Top 10 list to building a strong, engaging and lasting brand are basic tenets for running any successful business.
8. Know your FUTURE Establish a Vision Statement and resolve to work towards it. A Vision Statement communicates your brand's purpose and defines its place in the future. It is forward-thinking, establishing the vision of where your business or brand will be in 5, 10 or even 20 years. Your Vision Statement is the destination point your business is looking to reach.
Your Vision Statement is different from business and departmental objectives. Everyone in your company should understand what their departmental goals are, and establishing those goals should be done with an eye to the future - or vision - for the company. As Hamel & Prahalad stated in Competing for the Future, "At most companies, employees focus on short-term performance, like improving profitability or process. These are important challenges, but people won't go the extra mile unless they know where they're going."
Finally, be sure your statement is ownable and durable, as well as meaningful to your target audience.
9. Know your PRESENT Create a Mission Statement for your company to define your present state, and give purpose and direction to each of the activities which your company undertakes. If the Vision Statement is the final destination point, the Mission Statement acts as the compass which you use to guide your company in its growth. It should inform the actions and decisions which each of your employees takes towards reaching the ultimate vision.
An example of the difference between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement from Microsoft:
10. Know your BUSINESS Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to help monitor and manage your business. Your KPI’s will help define and monitor the progress your business is making towards the long term goals you have established.
There are KPIs for every aspect of your business, not just financial or marketing activities. You might establish KPIs for your operational efforts, your supply chain activities, your logistics or manufacturing side of the business, or any other core activity undertaken by your business. Have each of your divisional managers define the critical measures in their area of focus as they work towards the long term goals of the business. Which metrics must they monitor to ensure continued success?
Your KPI’s should be SMART. Everyone should have a firm grasp on those business indicators that are critical in keeping your business growing. And, they should be monitored on a frequent enough basis that your team is able to see when issues are arising in certain areas. Establish timely reports to help monitor your KPIs (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly), and use the data your reports show to refine or fine tune your business and brand strategies when necessary.
And finally... a little extra credit:
11. Know your LIMITS If you've attended to each of the top 10 addressed here, you're not going to overextend your business; however it's easy to get ahead of yourself with the next great idea or opportunity to service your market or customer. Keep it simple. Keep focused. Don’t try to be all to everyone. Don’t over-leverage your resources. Establish your top 3-5 business priorities in the near term and maintain that focus. If market, consumer, financial or other conditions disrupt your ability to focus on those top priorities, refine them down to 3, 2 or 1. Recognize your limitations and work with them. It's too easy to be distracted by the next great idea, or the latest trend, but with strong planning, a focused vision, engaged and informed employees, a good understanding of the marketplace, and supportive and empowering leadership, your business and brand can soar.
Last week, in “Time to Clean Your (Brand) House”, we defined 4 critical things that you need to truly “know” to successfully build a strong, engaging and lasting brand. If you’ve taken a look at your brand – and evaluated your position with those first 4 - now it’s time to move onto the next 3.
Without further ado, here we go…
5. Know your CHANNELS As a marketer, your job is to utilize the right mix of channels to build brand engagement and sell your products and/or services. It’s critical that you understand the channels at your disposal and how best to leverage them as unique avenues through which to communicate. Knowing your audience (as referenced in Part 1) also means knowing where they expect to find information, and where they’ll be receptive to finding and engage with brands. But just knowing which channels they’re likely to utilize isn’t enough. You need to know how to engage through them and further, how to evaluate the impact of them.
Each channel has its own rules for engagement, its own metrics to evaluate, potentially its own manager to keep it running. Your marketing mix should be such that each channel can operate independently, however it’s important that you consider the forest for the trees –your customers brand experience is made up of the combination of all touch points, and it’s essential that you create and maintain a well balanced and managed marketing channel strategy.
Make sure you understand the role each channel plays in your marketing mix, how much you can and should expect to get out of each, and what metrics you’re anticipating through the whole mix, as well as the individual channels. It’s important to not only KNOW the right channels, but to UNDERSTAND them and how they are delivering.
6. Know your VEHICLES You’ve decided that direct-to-consumer channel is a viable and important one for your brand. Now it’s time to figure out which vehicles need to be leveraged to most effectively engage in the DTC channel.
* Where are your target users engaging? * Where would they be most receptive to finding you?
Once defined, it’s even more critical that you understand how to use and manage those vehicles. For instance, on social media vehicles you’ll seek to engage with consumers. But with direct mail, it’s a one way conversation that hopefully leads to the engagement. You’ll push information out through one vehicle, while another will be used to (hopefully) get your consumers to pull information from you.
Think about the various DTC vehicles at your disposal: email, direct mail, catalog, social media, your tasting room, and more. Each has its own distinct form of engagement and purpose for your target consumer. Each has its own metrics to be evaluated for success measures, each may have its own manager for daily execution. To most effectively get the end results you’re seeking, be sure you truly understand each vehicle and its purpose and placement within your marketing mix. Establish individual vehicle goals, define the key metrics that you will monitor for each, and define which resources you will need to employ to most effectively deliver your brand and sales goals through those vehicles.
Don’t forget: Like your channel marketing mix, it’s essential you create a balanced mix of vehicles leveraged within each channel, understanding how together they contribute to the whole brand experience, ultimately delivering against your desired end. Your channel will have key performance indicators, and potentially its own P&L for management. Manage at the granular level (by vehicle) with an eye for the big picture (by channel – and ultimately your entire business).
7. Know THYSELF It’s important to understand who you are as a brand; from the visual elements that comprise your brand, to the tone and “voice” your brand takes, to the core values to which your brand adheres. Consistency is especially critical when it comes to the expression of your brand.
Work with your designers or whomever is responsible for the design and development of your brand mark, typography, logo, color palette, etc., to build a standards guide. The standards guide should define for everyone in the company how your brand is represented visually and communicated verbally. It should define the exact color tones, font styles, sizing ratios, placement and usage guidelines for your brand elements. It should demonstrate commonly used business applications (business application templates, website usage, advertising guidelines, black & white vs. color expressions, etc.). It should define how your brand "speaks"; its personality, the tone it takes in communications, and even the ways which your brand will spell, punctuate or capitalize common words (think about the variations available for words like: eCommerce, ecommerce, e-commerce, or online, on-line, on-Line).
The standards guide can also dive into the overall vision, mission and core values for your brand. Once defined, share your standards with everyone in the company and anyone who participates in the communication of your brand. Be diligent about adhering to the standards. If you’ve effectively communicated your brand strategy internally, there should be no inconsistency in use. If there is… work on your internal communication skills.
To successfully build a strong, engaging and lasting brand, there are several things your brand must first "KNOW" about itself. They are the building blocks upon which you will best build and manage a successful business, and they apply regardless of whether you’re selling a product, a service, or simply trying to build up your own personal brand.
The following are the first few in my top 10 list of the most primary (and critical) considerations. Even in the midst of these final few weeks of holiday shopping frenzy and promotional mayhem, it's a good time to do a quick brand audit for your business and see if your brand needs a quick polish - or a complete review. If needed, make a commitment to get your (brand) house in order before the new year... and resolve to stay consistent in your attention to each during 2010; building and managing a brand is an ongoing endeavor.
1. Know your POSITION A positioning statement is a concise statement which defines your business and its reason for being. It should clearly communicate 4 things:
Who your brand is in business for FOR WHOM
The category in which your brand competes WHAT
The benefits that customers will derive from using your products WHY
The proof – or Reasons to Believe – that your brand delivers what is promised HOW
A solid positioning statement must identify the true value gained by the users of the brand, as well as easily understood Reasons to Believe (the HOW). Put each of your RTB’s through a test to ensure they are: ownable, specific, true and memorable. Take some time to discuss each of the above before you jump quickly into the definition of each. You’ll likely find that there may be multiple “right” answers to each, so the challenge is to clearly identify those most impactful, ownable and identifiable. The goal is to define, establish, understand and live your identifiable brand position. Your position should serve as a ‘filter’ through which business decisions and actions are taken. Every person in your organization, every action taken by your business, regardless of department or level, should understand and act according to the position you have established.
Sample positioning statement format.
2. Know your COMPETITION What are others doing to service your customers and position themselves in the marketplace you intend to serve? How are you leading the pack or continuing to differentiate yourself against this competition? If you don’t have a sense for who else is serving your target audience, and how and what they are doing to distinguish themselves, you’re not going to be able to stay in the market competitively.
Not only should you understand your own position – as stated above – but you should have a sense of the position your primary competitors are taking. List those businesses who compete in your space and identify how they are understood in the market, what they offer, where they specialize -- anything that will help you get a grasp on where YOUR business and products sit in the competitive space. Resolve to own your space and incorporate the benefits and unique attributes of working with your brand into your positioning.
3. Know your AUDIENCE Who is buying your products or services? What do they need? What do they want? To understand your target audience, you not only need to identify who would ideally engage with your brand for its product attributes and benefits, but what other factors influence their lives and help drive their purchase decisions. Customers purchase for product-driven reasons, but they also purchase for emotional reasons. They “buy” into brands that make them feel good, or that make them feel like they belong to a group. As well, consider the cultural influences of your audience, how they engage with their family and friends, what they seek in their lives. The better you understand who is engaging with your brand, the better you can position and compete in the marketplace.
4. Know your MARKET What’s happening in your industry? Are you on top of the general trends and normal fluxuations? Where is the market heading? By understanding the movements occurring within your industry, you can best manage your position and stay on par or – better yet – ahead of the competition. Unless you’re in a unique position of creating a new business paradigm, there should be plenty of resources for you to gain insight; conferences, industry journals, blogs, market research firms. If your business is serving a significant enough portion of your identified market, you may even find industry trends within your own sales and customer interactions.
With all the buzz on using social media and wineries needing to get into the game (see Dec WineBusiness.com article, and any Gary V. presentation), it would seem easy enough to just jump right in and get to “tweeting”, right? Apparently not. No matter what strategic advice the social media Sages provide companies with (“engage with your customers”, “have a two-way conversation”, “let customers feel like they’re getting a peak behind the curtains of your brand or winery”, etc.), I still get the deer in headlights look from many of them, asking literally “BUT, WHAT DO I SAY?”
Without publishing some of the actual words to use (that’s your job, Brand Manager, Marketing Manager, CEO, Social Media Diva, or whomever is leading and leveraging these platforms), here are some thought starters to consider. As well, check out this link to a great presentation with some real life examples of business Tweets submitted by Twits deep in the practice:
So, here are a few ideas on what to talk about (in alpha order… priority order will come from your own business needs). Keep in mind that the base of "followers" that you attract will and should help you determine how to best leverage this medium to engage your audience and grow your business and brand. You'll figure out what to SAY when you begin to engage. Just remember to keep it real. Keep it relevant. And keep listening.
Some thought starters...
Customer Service & Support | Any of your customers having issues with your service/s or product/s? Get a head of the game and notify them of solutions being prepared or under-taken, or solicit any questions or concerns. Make them aware that you’re aware and on top of things. No immediate issues? Simply ask your customer service team what they’re being asked for. Use Twitter to respond or drive links through to articles and solutions.
Events | Share your upcoming events – webinars, winemaker dinners, lobster fest's, whatever they may be, get them out there. But don’t let it end there. Tweet out before, during and after the event. Share pictures, anecdotes from the event, videos taken, etc. Let those who didn’t participate, enjoy the event “after the fact”.
Promotions | Discounts, sales, service promotions, use this forum for any that you’re willing to share. Use a unique code to follow how many people respond and the impact of this platform.
Public Relations | Consider this forum an extension of your PR efforts. Are there company announcements, product releases, new hires, that you’d like to get out to the media?
Research | Need to know something about the industry you’re in, your customers, or information relevant to your services or products? Have a survey you want people to take? Have a question? Ask it! Depending on your followers – you’d be surprised at how quickly others may have the information you’ve been struggling to find.
Human Resources | Use Twitter to attract qualified employees. Post positions, use the platform to engage and attract candidates.
Internal Communications | What can you share with your internal folks, or off-site team members? Clearly there are confidentiality issues with some topics, but keeping open lines and wishing happy birthdays to employees or calling out upcoming corporate events can work. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate that you’re a real company with real people behind the scenes.
Thought and Subject Matter Leadership | The act of putting yourself out there as a Subject Matter Expert in your space can help drive business growth at an accelerated rate. Watch how some of the “experts” you respect utilize this platform. What insight, expertise and thought leadership can you provide?
Crisis Control | In the event of need to manage a company crisis, Twitter can put you in front of stakeholders pronto. Tweet out resources, company updates, or other relevant and timely information sought – or needed– by your stakeholders.
Issue Advocacy | Passionate about a particular issue in your industry or area of focus? Depending on the level of your corporate engagement as an advocate, this may be a good forum through which to share your thoughts, articles, connections, and get others engaged and supporting your cause.
Read a compelling blog post earlier today on the usage of coupon codes and disruption to the check out conversion process. Read the blog here. The point made by the author is that the omnipresence of the "redeem coupon code here" box during the check out process is training customers to expect a discount on products - therefore degrading the value offered for both the product itself, and ultimately the brand. I know I certainly disrupt my own check out process when shopping online to open a new tab in my browser and search for any codes I’ve missed. Some brands I can easily find discounts for, and generally these same brands allow for multiple promotion code application. So, I’ve now gotten the free shipping offer, a 15% loyalty discount, and another 10% I found online. Yikes for the brand. Yeah for me!
Over the last year (or perhaps slightly longer), I've begun to see eTailers actually marketing their coupon codes on the TOP OF EACH PAGE of their website, essentially using the code as their "merchandising" effort to drive conversion to purchase. It's the holidays currently, so discounts and incentives are the norm, with eTailers activating them automatically.
Ask any eTailer (and even more so in this economy), and they’ll tell you that discounting and/or free shipping is simply the “cost of doing business on the internet during the holidays”. Outside of the holiday season, Banana Republic and all of their sister brands offer promotion codes front and center on their sites consistently:
15% off with any purchase of $50 or more. Click here for promotion code!
As well, I’m reminded as I browse their site that I receive free shipping as a LUX MEMBER, at all times. And further, everyone knows you can always find a discount for the Gap or Old Navy. So, now I’ve racked up the discounts and Banana is happy that I’ve converted to purchase. But this behavior not only reduces their margin, and degrades their brand value, but likely doesn’t even pay for itself.
Have these web marketers gotten lazy about learning which products are most relevant or compelling to their audiences, allowing them to neglect traditional merchandising tactics and instead flash discount codes (i.e. wave money in front of the customer’s nose?) to try to entice the sale?
Have the product merchandisers gotten lazy in their quest to find or develop products which their customers will find value in?
Have the business owners gotten lazy about their pricing strategies, neglecting to build and HOLD pricing models which demonstrate value for their products vs. the competition?
Or, have the customers simply won with their demands to get discounts on products?
Likely one or all of the above.
One of the most critical tasks in brand management is in retaining the value inherent in your brand. Consider what you’re doing to that value when turning to discounting in exchange for the short term sale. What does this say to your customer? What does this say about the value of the product? More on brand management to come.
I've spent a long time perfecting my use of PowerPoint. Those who have ever worked with me, know that I'm the PowerPoint "go-to" gal, and regularly consult with me on how to insert animations, adjust formatting, align bullets, etc. My first job as a Media Planner for a well-known ad agency forced me to begin thinking, breathing and - of course - publishing in PowerPoint. Every presentation was made to our clients in PowerPoint. Every internal discussion was led in PowerPoint. And for those who have used PowerPoint for some time - Beanies were FREE back then! And wow, did I use them.
Ok - fast forward to 2009, and I'm still thinking, breathing and living in the damn program. I still love it. And have gotten to the point where I don't just use it to develop presentations to clients or conference attendees. I also use it to design creative mocks for my designers, capture notes and thoughts in it when reading a book or article of interest, or even write my weekly shopping list! Clearly I need help - or to discover Word, or even grab a pencil and paper again.
I've also begun to love SlideShare. I spend loads of time there browsing, absorbing and being generally fascinated by the breadth of information and knowledge shared - via PowerPoint - by many of the world's smartest branding, marketing, sales, tech and such folks.
Another of my favorite inspirations - providing daily "food for thought" is Seth Godin. I think he's mastered the art of succinctly identifying and dissecting some of the most basic and yet thought provoking ways of looking at the world of business, consumer behavior and the like. So, imagine my dismay when I found this article from him today:
Got the new Ambrosia catalog in my mailbox today. Just opened a favorite bottle of wine and am settling down to read through. Let's browse together, shall we?
Cover Ok, appealing brands. Dot whack with an offer (shipping included on orders over $100), and boldly displaying their 800# and URL. Nice. And a little Christmas feel in the photography. Clearly telling me it's the holiday. As usual, I flip it. I go front cover - to back cover, and then backwards.
Back Cover Reinforcement of the offer (Shipping included in bold caps across the center), and two gift sets advertised at appealing, if not high price points, but known brands (Silverado and Divine X). Chocolate included. I'm intrigued. I don't know the Ambrosia business, but the price points are appealing. Generally back covers will carry some enticing, well priced, easy buys (i.e. affordable for the average price point of their customers).
They also laser printed a message to me (my keycode - the identifier for my customer segment likely - allowing them to track my behavior, as well as the text block to send me a unique message). MIne? "Check out our Top Selling Best Buys, Pages 22-23." I have never bought from them, so they could have used this to pitch a personal offer ("Get 10% off your first purchase!" or something similar and yet based on whatever they knew of me or consumers like me). Sure, I'm interested to see their best sellers - but a missed opportunity.
Best Practices * All left hand pages carry the URL, all right hands carry their 800#. Check. * Categorized spreads: "Holiday Best Buy Samplers", "Limited Cellar Selections", "Our Top 10" are appealing, and easily understood by the consumer for their value and presentation. * Pricing is clearly identified in all instanced with an icon identifying incremental savings ("Combine both samplers to make a case $179.99 MGKBESTC".
Room for Improvement * Photography is pretty dry . Makes me think of bottles photographed in my garage, not enticing and sitting on my table, engaging and interesting my guests and family members. I think the back page picture was taken in the CEO's office. Yikes. I need to dream and be inspired! * A few spreads (combined left and right pages) are of singular offers. This is managed typically by catalogers who understand that the "real estate" value of the two pages will pay for itself with the sales generated by the product featured. Ok. Maybe. But this is a $465 product on this single spread. Is their average order value this high? Wow. * Opening page: the opportunity to "tell the story" and really sell me. I got a snippet telling me that "Memorable Wines make Memorable Gifts". Ok. And that I can buy a "Taste of Napa Valley" for $149. Strong brands, but same thing I just saw on the cover. Missed opportunity to draw me in. * The middle spread is selling me on their Wine Club. A few different club options to choose from. Nothing enticing, though. Same price points, with tasting notes, recipes, standard discounts included in membership.
Web Integration Visited the Ambrosiawine.com website. No mention of the catalog, however a clear tie in to the product offerings. In fact, same product experience in the catalog is given throughout the site. They get "integrated marketing". Check. However, no unique offers and no distinguishable value prop. More importantly, nothing drawing me into the site: no imagery inspiring me about the product, putting my mindset into a place where I must have these products.
Social Integration I went to follow Ambrosia on Twitter and facebook and see how they integrated with their offerings. Surprisingly, they have 14 followers on Twitter - but NO tweets. Couldn't find them on Facebook. I won't continue to look for other social integrations. If they're not in these two...
My take I could have just opened up the Wall Street Journal or Zagat Wine offering mailings I just recieved. Ambrosia may understand basic (read: 1990's) catalog mailing tactics, but they aren't leveraging a unique value proposition, showchasing their offering in a way that engages me, or leveraging their alternate channels to engage their consumers. I'm a wine enthusiast. I drink the brands they're offering. Somehow they found me. But I'm not intrigued.
Wow. The next generation of mobile apps puts a whole new perspective on reality - as experienced through your phone. Using the gps, compass and markers identified by the app, viewing the world around you becomes something completely different. Imagine walking down the street and having the app identify visually everything around you (restaurants, buildings, streets, etc.), with all the content, user reviews and the like available in front of you. This is ripe for the retail world - imagine seeing 'inside' stores and retaurants to identify products, promotions, user rated and available inventory to help drive purchase decisions.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”
The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.”
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.
The sand is everything else; the small stuff.
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.” “Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. Do one more run down the ski slope. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.
The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.”