Mike Asimos is a native of Portland, Oregon who works with wines in the importing/exporting industry. Wine has always been a passion of his starting as a hobby, and later leading to a full-time profession. Being from the west coast, he has grown up with fantastic vineyards and wines; the industry came naturally to him.
In addition to his passion for the wine industry, he also loves traveling and jazz music. In regards to jazz music, Asimos definitely considers Esperanza Spalding as one of his favorites. Spalding was made popular by her skilled bass, cello, and singing ability.
Mike Asimos takes every chance he can to travel and explore. Whether it is a weekend trip down the west coast or across the Atlantic to Europe. He especially enjoys traveling to locations known for their wines and vineyards. There is no greater enjoyment than being able to travel.
Mike Asimos has a refined pallet and a true knack for the wine industry!
How did you get started in the wine industry?
I have always had a knack for the wine industry. I love everything from the grapes, to the fermentation, bottling, tasting and, of course, the pairings. It’s been a passion of mine just trying, sampling, and referring different wines. I came to a crossroad in my life and wanted to move forward with a job that I loved.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day differs to be honest. It depends. Typically, I find a new wine that I truly like, get in contact with the winery or distributor and gather all the information I can. Then, I educate other people in the wine industry, restaurants, and customers on the wine. This includes its profile, what to pair it with, and, of course, its price point.
As I said before, every day differs. Some days I have showings at different liquor stores or restaurants. And, some days, I just travel locally to different vineyards and wineries to get a sense of what is soon to be on the market. One of the biggest keys to success is just staying on top of the markets every move.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Well, in my industry it’s pretty transparent. I’m a great communicator and a pretty savvy marketer. Between those two skills, I easily am able to get product and make a living.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
A trend I love is a booming one in the food and wine industry. People are starting to look for smaller, local sources for their food and wine. This is so exciting for me. In the wine industry, bigger commercial wineries can’t take as many risks with their products as a smaller unique vineyard can. I love bringing my clients special wines, it’s exciting.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’d have to owe a lot of my success to my drive and will. I am always looking to get one step ahead of my competitors. I have always been driven and have really paid off.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job I’ve ever had was in my early 20s; I was bagging groceries at the local store. I hated it. I worked the worst hours, was always on my feet, and had a communication-lacking boss. Even though this was a miserable job, I learned a good work ethic. I was always on time, never complained, and exceeded expectations. That work ethic has stuck with me over the years.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
The only thing I’d change is getting into the industry earlier. I love what I do and wish that I made these decision years before I did.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Actively engage your customers/clients is a major key. Your clients are the lifelines of your businesses success, by actively engaging them you get necessary feedback to make adjustments and continue succeeding.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
I utilize social media to its fullest. This has definitely been a huge help to the livelihood of my business. It allows me to engage my customers, stay up to date with the industry trends, and the reach is incredible. I don’t know of another service that provides the reach that social media does.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’d have to say a failure I had to deal with as an entrepreneur, was plateauing revenue. All business minded people want to steadily increase their numbers and I had some real issues getting to the next level. After some serious brainstorming and marketing strategy, I was really able to increase my sales and take my business where it needed to go.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A business idea that I would share is to not be afraid of failing. Trust me every successful entrepreneur has had a tough break; it’s the way the industry works. Use that experience as a learning model and don’t let that same mistake happen again. It’s that simple.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent was on a new camera. I told you I love traveling and one of my favorite aspects of traveling are the memories. There’s no better way to capture these memories then by camera. I love it!
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I’m big into the social media space. Social media has definitely been a huge advantage to the business world. I just love being able to connect with customers in real time and absolutely am amazed at the reach of certain social media platforms.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
A book I really enjoy is “The Bear Comes Home” by Rafi Zabor. The book is praised as one of the most honest and realistic jazz novel. It’s an amazing and inspirational reader for any true music fan. I definitely recommend it!
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
A huge inspiration of mine is the late great Louie Armstrong. Armstrong is considered one of the most important figures in American history. He was able to not only shape the music but also the culture. He is an extremely respected and influential gentleman. I am just happy to have been introduced to his music.