This Business, It’s Personal
The best part of having your own home-based business is that you get to decide how it fits into your life.
Is it your full-time job, your supplemental income, your fun, money-making hobby?
Do you work during the day, in the evenings, on the weekend?
Do you concentrate on selling your product or building your team or just learning something new?
The answers to these questions are different for every Traveling Vineyard Wine Guide because, ultimately, their direct selling business is entirely personal and tailored to what they need, to what fits with their lives. The only direct sales daily schedule they have to follow is the one they set for themselves.
We work with some remarkable people and can’t wait to share with you the ways they’ve found to make their Traveling Vineyard business fit into what they need.
First up: Rhonda Long.
Rhonda Long has been with Traveling Vineyard since 2007, so she’s seen it all – from the old days through the rocky times and into the new era. She’s stuck with it through thick and thin because, as she says, “This is my fun job.”
She also works (more than) full-time as a project engineer for Lockheed Martin, so she’s learned a lot about balancing and organizing the two very different sides of her life. She’s also very active in her community, passionate about cycling, and she still manages to find time to walk the dog.
Rhonda the Wine Guide
For Rhonda, Traveling Vineyard is more of a hobby than a job. While she likes having the extra income to do extra things for herself, she’s spent her years as a Wine Guide primarily having fun, learning about wine, and making “really, really good friends.”
Her focus is on learning and teaching about the wine – her favorite tastings are the ones where people come in only drinking Moscato and the sweet wines and leave having tried and loved some serious reds – rather than actively promoting the business.
She has a small team and most of her events are leads from the company or repeat events from former hosts and guests. That said, she’s so active and meets so many people – and always introduces herself as “The Wine Lady” rather than the project engineer – that virtually everything she does ends up being networking for her business.
Tastings with Rhonda
She spends about an average of 5 hours a week doing prep and outreach work and averages 4 tastings a month.
Rhonda says she spends about at least 15-20 minutes a day reaching out and maintaining her social media, following up on customer care, and talking to her team and mentor.
She’s been a Wine Guide long enough that she doesn’t need to do much before each tasting other than gather her materials and get in the car, and she’s got a routine for her interactions with the hosts.
In the weeks before a tasting, she coordinates the number of guests, the wines, and the food suggestions with the host, mostly via email. She arrives at the tasting 30 minutes early to help with the set up. Afterwards, she sends out thank you notes and re-order reminders.
She’s got it down to an art. Almost like it isn’t work at all.
Daily Life with Rhonda: Carefully Ordered Chaos
Rhonda admits that she tends to thrive in the chaos, which is for the best, since a day in her life looks something like this:
- 5:30 am: Wake up
- 6:30 am: Out the door
- 7:30 am: Arrive at her full-time job
- 8 am – 5:30 pm: Work
- 6:30 pm: Home, walk the dog
- 7 pm – 11 pm: Varies day-to-day:
- Finishing up work from the day
- Traveling Vineyard work
- Organization meetings (she works with the alumnae of her sorority, sits on the board of a foundation, and is part of the leadership of the Top Ladies of Distinction)
- Gym time (5 days/week)
- Andy Griffith re-runs
- 11 pm: Bed time
She only schedules tastings for the weekends and usually finds time to go on 30-60 mile cycling ride, too. (Not to mention walking the dog, as needed.)
And it isn’t only her time that’s full: her home office is her dining room table, which, at any given time can sport up to three different laptops and a host of paperwork.
She manages the chaos with strict calendars, extensive lists, and a lot of willpower. “I just decide which things I want to do and put them on the calendar. You have to be good at saying no.”
It also helps that she’s in charge of her Traveling Vineyard time and commitments. Sometimes her full-time job requires travel or extra hours – the flexibility of Traveling Vineyard and her well-worn routine allow her to balance the two pretty easily.
Rhonda’s Personal Traveling Vineyard
Though Rhonda certainly likes having a little extra income, her other job covers her finances. That’s not what Traveling Vineyard is about for her.
What Traveling Vineyard does for Rhonda is this: it makes her happy.
She loves the people that she meets, she loves learning about the wine and showing people that it’s not as mysterious as they think it is.
Having Traveling Vineyard as her home-based business makes her happier. And for Rhonda, that’s all it needs to be.