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Key Idea: Work Long, Hard Hours for Years

One college course in wine tasting and Bob Orenstein was in love for life. His hobby became his business when he quit his job running the tax department at American Airlines to become an entrepreneur.

Key Question:

A: 

Start a business if you are unhappy at work. Life is too short.

Or, if the shoe doesn't fit, get a new one. So many people are unhappy in their work but they just keep doing what they're doing because it's easier to put up with the known than try unknown.

Q: Why did Bob leave American Airlines?

A: He said, "I think I was an entrepreneur--you know, born to be an entrepreneur. I was the oldest child. I was the one who was always responsible. You know, when I was younger, I sold Army-Navy clothes, surplus, when it was hot in the '60s. I was always, you know, inventing things. I was always involved with moving forward and doing different things in life. And I never really fit in the corporate culture. I did--I succeeded. I moved up four or five times in American Airlines. I had a good job, good reviews, but, you know, sometimes in your heart, you know you don't belong. I never belonged in the corporate world."

Q: If Bob was born to be an entrepreneur, why did it take him so long to succeed?

A: Making money is the result of the right idea executed properly at the right time. He said, " We trudge on, regardless. It's like going through a blizzard. You're probably going to freeze to death, you're probably going to die before you get over to the other side, but why give up? This was the only path to take. I was just going forward 'cause there was no turning back. And it worked. And I think that you get all the way to the point where you really start making money, and then it's time to re-evaluate again."

If you study Darrell Van Citters of Renegade Animation, you'll see him say about his own business, "I had to do this." Debra St. Claire of EcoNatural said she's a business owner because she can't take direction from others. Wanda Brice of Computer Directions said she has to be the boss. Money is just not the big point for most of us. The big point is freedom to pursue our ideas without having to ask permission.

Think about it

Are you willing to work morning, noon and night for years to build a business?  Do you have a business that did not take you long hours to build?  If yes, what was your secret to success?

Clip from: International Wine Accessories (IWA) and Bob Orenstein

Dallas, Texas: Meet wine enthusiast, Bob Orenstein; he started his business to serve people who, like himself, love fine wine. But, it was not easy. Learn how perseverance paid off. Slowly his company served hundreds of thousands of customers around the world. He  became the  authority on wine accessories and his customers began to depend on him to find items they could not find elsewhere.

From a spare bedroom of his condominium in 1983, it took him over ten years to break into the domain of the fast-growing businesses. He talks about business basics -- delivering quality products and extraordinary service.

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International Wine Accessories, Inc. (IWA)

Robert Orenstein, founder

10246 Miller Road
Dallas, TX 75238
2143496097

Visit our web site: http://www.iwawine.com/

Office: 2143496097

Business Classification:
Home products

Year Founded: 1988

Work Long, Hard Hours for Years

HATTIE: (voiceover) Bob Orenstein's International Wine Accessories happens to be located physically in north Dallas, but with mail, phone, fax and the Internet, most of Bob's customers don't even know where he is, they just know he has what they want.

BOB ORENSTEIN: This is the top-of-the-line, most aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional, glass made today.

HATTIE: This glass is for Pinot Noir.

BOB: ...and you would only fill it up to about here.

HATTIE: This glass is for Cabernet Sauvignon.

BOB: Notice the difference in the design.

HATTIE: Right. Funny, I didn't know it mattered.

BOB: A bowl such as the Pinot Noir, the wine is more delicate. So you need it to open so you can get the full nuances of it.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) One college course in wine tasting and Bob Orenstein was in love for life. His hobby became his business when he quit his job running the tax department at American Airlines to become an entrepreneur.

BOB: And that's it.

HATTIE: Pops it out.

BOB: I think I was an entrepreneur--you know, born to be an entrepreneur. I was the oldest child. I was the one who was always responsible. You know, when I was younger, I sold Army-Navy clothes, surplus, when it was hot in the '60s. I was always, you know, inventing things. I was always involved with moving forward and doing different things in life. And I never really fit in the corporate culture. I did--I succeeded. I moved up four or five times in American Airlines. I had a good job, good reviews, but, you know, sometimes in your heart, you know you don't belong. I never belonged in the corporate world.

The first thing I'd like you do is I'd like you to just pick up this glass, roll it a little bit, and try to smell the aroma.

OK, now I want you to try the other glass, OK? This is the one that's made for this wine. Remember, a Pinot Noir's very elegant, it's somewhat fragile, it's got a very nice bouquet to it.

HATTIE: It does smell different.

BOB: You may notice it smells more open.

HATTIE: Smells more floral in this glass.

BOB: And it comes up--the bouquet comes up, the floral nature of it.

What started in the spare bedroom of his condominium in 1983 now generates $18 million in sales, employs 20 people, while outsourcing printing, database management and catalog design.

BOB: My dream was the American dream. I was going to start this business, and within several years, I was going to make $1 million.

HATTIE: OK, what happened?

BOB: Well, to my dismay, I found that I had to work. I went from 65 hours a week to 80, to 85 hours a week. I did everything, everything, from packing boxes to typing the invoices. Remember, back in 1983, '84, there's no computers. I mean, we just used typewriters.

I did all the ordering. I answered the phone. As a matter of fact, the phones were in my bedroom, so we had the 800 numbers come in, I'd wake up at 3 in the morning, 4 in the morning. The phone would ring I would pick it up and from a deep sleep and say, `IWA.' It was almost insane.

HATTIE: Your wife's saying, `Wait a minute, I'm trying to sleep.'

BOB: No, my wife was very supportive in those days, extremely supportive.

HATTIE: Well, good. So it was like the phone rings and you're excited because it's an order.

BOB: That's exactly it. I mean, in those days, we were lucky if we did $2,000 a week in sales. Lucky.

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