Running the Bases with Small Businesses

Chuck's Fine Wines - Wine, Beer and Cheese

March 21, 2022 Randy Rohde & Yolanda Albergottie Season 2 Episode 14
Running the Bases with Small Businesses
Chuck's Fine Wines - Wine, Beer and Cheese
Show Notes Transcript

Running the Bases today with Yolanda Albergottie the Corporate Gift Basket Consultant and Wine Education Coordinator for Chuck’s Fine Wines, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  In addition, she is also the Market Development Manager for BNI® (Business Network International) NE Ohio, and Director of Marketing and Downtown Expansion for WIN (Women In Networking) Cleveland.

Yolanda’s passions are good friends, good food, good drink, cooking, reading, and making connections for people. An information junkie, when she is not curating content for her various businesses' social media accounts she can be found listening to podcasts and recording her own, “Five Easy Things the Podcast” The mom of four beautiful, talented adult children, she resides in Aurora, Ohio with her soul mate Kurt.

We touch base on topics like homeschooling, wine and beer tasting, and the art of networking!

To learn more about Yolanda and Chuck’s Fine Wines visit: https://chucksfinewines.com/

Things we touched on during the show:

Northeast Ohio BNI

Five Easy Things the Podcast

Somm - The Documentary


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Randy:

I'm Randy Rohde and I'm fascinated with entrepreneurs and small business owners. Plus I love baseball. Every show I sit down with the small business owner and we discuss they're running the basis of entrepreneurship. We throw the ball around on strategy management, execution and innovation, plus a little fun baseball talk. Hey, thanks for joining us today. Settle in, grab your cracker jacks and you know what they say, play ball. And it's a great day for a ball game. And today I'm really excited because I think I've been trying to get this guest on the show maybe about a year or something like that. I think it was about a year ago. Uh, we connected and, uh, I think that's when I first extended the invite, even. So she's a hard one to get a nailed down. I don't know what, uh, I don't know what to say there, but, um, today's guest. I am pretty excited though. Uh, and this is a great, uh, intro, um, and I will say this as well. My researcher usually writes all of the intros for our show, but you're the first guest who actually submitted her own intro. And so, uh, my research is like, well, that was awesome. So it made her, uh, uh, job that much easier as well. Hey, Yolanda, I think you're actually muted or something. I can't hear you. Oh, there you are. Oh, you're just laughing quietly. Oh, that was good. Uh, all right. So let me get into this. So our guest today is the market development manager for B N I, Northeast, Ohio and BNI. Great group, been a member for years. I've had several guests who have been members of BNI, uh, which stands for business network international. She's also the director of marketing and downtown expansion for when Cleveland, which is another phenomenal group women in networking. And, uh, we'll ask our guests about that group as well, Yolanda. So there's a hint of our guest is also the corporate gift basket consultant and wine education coordinator for Chuck's fine wines right here in sugar and falls. I think that's probably where we first connected. You're schooling me in some wine or something, which was nice. Uh, her passions are good friends. Good food. Good. Cooking reading and making connections for people. An information junkie when she's not curating content for her various businesses, social media accounts, she can be found at listening to podcast and recording her own five easy things. The podcast, the mom of four beautiful, talented adult children. She resides in Aurora, Ohio with her soulmate. Kurt. So glad to have you on the show. Finally, you'll Lunda Albert Gaddy, and welcome.

Yolanda:

Thank you so much. It's so great to finally be here. We find, oh man,

Randy:

no kidding. Right? I'm not kidding you. I think it's been a year. I was doing, I did something for you with the wind group, and then I'm like, Hey, you know, I'd love to get you on my podcast. And I don't know. It just finally came together. So I am going to start on this though. So on your LinkedIn page. You describe yourself and we're going to hit on this stuff. Do you even know you're probably going to, I dunno, I wrote that like, you know, five years ago, uh, but you describe yourself as the following, using my knowledge experience as a homeschooling mom, master networker fitness instructor, wine educator, to help business professionals build connections, to create the life and business of their dreams. You talk about leadership network, podcasting, professional women and personal development. So I have to start with what must be the hardest of all of those professions, homeschooling mom of four kids. I cannot even imagine I read that. I'm like, what are you kidding me?

Yolanda:

Yes. And I love that you said the hardest question of all, because I'm on a mission. To recoil the phrase at home mom to be professional mom. Yes, it is. There it is. Um, the pay is really paltry, like hugs and kisses, which are eternal and I slipped. Right. But they don't put it on the table.

Randy:

You might get a thank you once in a while.

Yolanda:

Yeah. Once in a while. But I would say the most challenging, frightening, exhilarating, rewarding time of my life was when I was homeschooling my four

Randy:

kids. I tell you, I am so impressed with that. I don't know, I there's a part of me that thinks, so I always thought I was going to go into education. And, um, there's a part of me that thinks, you know, I think I would really love doing that. And the, excuse me, then there's the other part of me that says, oh my gosh, I would be absolutely terrified because all, everything that my kids going to know is because I've introduced them or taught to them or like, oh, I don't know about that.

Yolanda:

Yes. And you know, I I'm, I'm giving myself away in terms of my chronological revolutions around the planet, but we are talking 27 years ago is when I started homeschooling. Yes. It wasn't a lot going on. There was not, there were not a lot of resources. But I'm very much a go getter. And so I think I would probably my last year at college, I decided unfortunately, or fortunately having been surrounded by education majors, that I could do a better job homeschooling my kids. So fast-forward when it came time to actually have children, I pretty much knew that was what I was going to do. So I am that geek who just looks it up and figures it out. So I actually wrote the curriculum that I use for all of my kids. And each one was personalized for their learning style and their dress. So we had such a good time.

Randy:

I have to tell you I'm so impressed and especially, I'm glad you kind of framed it in a, in a historically w you know, timeline because when you were doing it, uh, the internet was there, but nowhere, nothing as a resource or what it is today. Right? And so even the more challenging and difficult and

Yolanda:

people thought I was crazy because most people were not homeschooling unlike the whole COVID situation where people got their own into doing school at home. I actually chose to teach my kids at home and most people were not doing that.

Randy:

So I know you're a little out of that. So like I have school-aged kids, my kids are in high school and, you know, they did that period of virtual learning. Um, so kind of looking at your experience, um, and then as well, kind of flash forward to today and kids have to do virtual schooling. What did you think about that? I mean kind of looking at it from your perspective.

Yolanda:

So I, I thought it was an unfortunate thing because most parents were not prepared for that. So in my case, I chose to do that. So I had the time that I needed to learn about learning styles, learn about how to write a curriculum. Learn about how to put all that together. I had a whole mission statement, you know, I was prepared. So I can't even imagine what that must be like to all of a sudden now, without any warning, boom, you're doing school at home and it's virtual. Right? So keep in mind my kids with my own curriculum around our dining table, doing what they love to do totally different experience. And I commend all of the parents who, you know, you had to do what you had to do, but plenty of people really did a great job with what they had.

Randy:

Yeah, I think, yeah. What, what a, what a challenge. I think for parents, I think you framed it perfectly because I think so many parents were. Equipped really, and nothing against the parents, but all of us, I would be the same way. I'm like, oh my gosh. I've, you know, and we did so in 20, in the spring of 20, when that, um, you know, when everything kind of just shut down, all of a sudden they were doing virtual schooling, um, uh, my daughter. Uh, came to my office and I had a desk in his space there. And so she did her virtual schooling there. Um, and my son was at home. We don't, you know, the same, all of a sudden we're like, oh my gosh. And you know, what are we doing? And so we really, weren't kind of prepared like, oh, we're going to do this. How are we going to do this? And I had a spare desk in my office. It's like, well, how about one of the kids go here and then one at home. And then we'll just make it work that way. And then, um, and it ended up being actually a wonderful thing because my daughter who was wonderful and she's very self-directed and she can just go and attack and she actually had a great time doing. We would do lunch together. And, uh, so she would have bring her lunch, I'd bring a lunch and then we would watch, um, a, uh, science, uh, this channel on YouTube, but the science guy, um, I think mark Roper or something like that, um, this great guy. And so we would watch and learn about, you know, why does, why is the sky blue instead of pink or, you know, all of this fun stuff. And so it was great, um, doing that with my daughter, we just had a, uh, kind of a blast it at that. And it's funny, we actually, she was just telling, we were just talking about that just even the other day. I'm like, remember we do lunch together. That was so fun. Know. Wow, great.

Yolanda:

Yeah. That's that's uh, so we, we actually, a lot of our schooling was integrated. So, you know, you figure out, got four kids. And so the, the agent is a grade levels are all over the place. So we did some things together and we separated. But the beauty of ha having the ability to homeschool the way that I did is it was structured in such a way that by, depending on when we started by one o'clock, everybody was done with school. Nice.

Randy:

And they had all day

Yolanda:

or they weren't. Yeah. So it was great sometimes depending on what we were learning, there was homework involved. But for the most part, their time became their own, which was really great because it allowed me to observe what they were doing, figure out what their passions were. So I think my oldest son is the perfect example of how it can work really well because he would finish with school and then he would go play the guitar. And he played the guitar from the time school was done until he went to bed. And he is an amazing guitarist as a bat, Howard is playing guitar. So. I mean, I think that's like, yay. That's a good example of how it, how it can work with

Randy:

yeah, that's a good one. All right. So let's flash forward a little bit, uh, as I mentioned you, and I think first cross paths at Chuck's fine wines, which is a great, uh, establishment. I'm not even sure how old chucks

Yolanda:

is legendary honey, 78 years of beverage destination here in chagrin valley. Oh my

Randy:

gosh. Uh, so chokes has been an institution here in chagrin falls. Um, so how did you get there? How did you land at chucks?

Yolanda:

So I, okay. My, my soulmate is Kurt evil and he has been the caretaker of shocks for the past 26 years. And when we first got together, um, I think he probably came home complaining about something or another, and it was a consistent complaint. And usually it had to do with, um, managing people, not the business. So he is a brilliant businessman. Amazing. But people skills, not so much. And I, on the other hand, at that time, fitness was my full-time profession and I was managing all of the Bally's here in Northeast, Ohio in Akron. Wow. So means I had a hundred instructors who reported to me. I managed them their training. So I, I love people. So I'm like, let me come on board and kind of help you. So it took me a while to get him to actually do that. But I figured if I don't do this, I'm going to have to hear this for the rest of my life and right.

Randy:

Some self preservation going on there as well. Yeah, I got it. I got it. Selfish

Yolanda:

motives, right? So I came on board and I loved it. And so I was part-time initially. And then I said, you know, I really want to do this. So I'm going to quit, you know, my fitness and I'm going to do this all the time, which really leads into my BNI story. So I won't tell it until you're ready, but I will tell you Chuck's there is no place like Chubb, right? And there it is amazing. It has its own sort of personality. I guess people come there and immediately they feel at home, they want to hang out. We have to often kick people out, you know, they want to hang out. And you know, when we do our beer tastings or wine tastings, it's a big thing. I mean, it's just really great relationship building a great place. And I think that's one of the things that we did. I think you might have for relationship building event with, with some of your people, right. I dunno, there's something about that place. It is magical. Amazing. I'm so happy that I work there. It's been great. Absolutely wonderful. Well,

Randy:

there's so many great things that you can provide there. And I think, um, you catch it as kind of relationship building. And I think that really is, there are so many instances that I just think about checks where we've utilized chucks. Uh, Different ways. Obviously we go and we buy bottle of wine and enjoy that. Go grab some unique beers. Um, but I'll give you just for my own perspective on how we use check and I'll get to the point. My point is. So I had a friend, we moved here from Chicago. We had a friend of mine came to visit, uh, early on. And, um, I hooked up with, uh, I don't think he's there at Chuck's right now, Mike, uh, the beer Swami and we're like, Hey, and he's like, Hey, I'll come in and I'll do a private Canada tasting with you guys and tour you around. I'm like, I'm fabulous. And we went to the back of the cooler. I mean, it was like a great experience, right? So my buddy from Chicago and I, we did that. And then we walked home with a, uh, a nice, uh, basket of, uh bevies to enjoy the rest of the day. Um, so I've done chucks. Reason, uh, I'm a member of the JCS. And after we do the tree lighting, um, or do the lights, we hang the lights like a few weeks right before Thanksgiving, but we always like to send on chugs and buy some beers and grab some cheese and crackers and, you know, just hang out there at Chuck's, even though that's not really, it's not a bar by any means. Um, but it's like, Hey, we can just kind of hang out there. And then, like you said, we I've had, uh, different, uh, groups where we've come and done a wine tasting where you've done then been the wine educator and kind of toured us around wines. So Chuck's in my mind is well beyond just some retail, a wine and beer store. You really are like a gathering place. And that's kind of what I wanted to get to. I think you're a gathering place in the community and I'm, I'm curious. So you've been there for a number of years, but is it always been that way or have you. Migrated it into that kind of personality.

Yolanda:

I think it was, I think it's always been that way since I've been there. So when I first came on board, Mike, the Swami of studs was still there and he was, he was our beer guy and actually it was his group who sold it to Kurt. So he went on afterwards and he kind of was our beer guy, the Swami of suds, and he's responsible for, so if you've ever been in shocks and you see all of the relics hanging around, Mike is responsible for all of that. Mike's stuff. They're the ones who put that window in the back so that you can look out the window and see the balls. Um, and I think so since Mike's group had it and Mike was there because Mike is the epitome of host extraordinary, right? So I think he was the one who started the beer tastings and that, that whole let's hang out at Chuck's. Bye. I think that started with Mike. Yeah.

Randy:

Well, I don't know. So listeners, if you're cruising through chagrin falls, Ohio, and you've got a swing by checks and just hang out because you could, I don't know, you could probably hang out for a couple of hours and just keep finding and discovering things between the great selection of wines and the very unique kind of beers that you bring into the shop as well. So plus some nice little accoutrements, little food, uh, kinds of things that you guys do. Yeah. So very fun. Um, yeah. All right. So you mentioned BNI, let's tap into BNI. So I, I love to BNI. Um, I've been a member for years. I an. I don't even remember exactly when I've joined, uh, 16, maybe 2016. Um, something like that. Um, how long have you been involved with BNI and w what is this role that you do with BNI?

Yolanda:

Yeah, so I I've been a member for 10 years, and when I joined me and I, I was still doing my fitness. And when I decided to change roles, I was devastated because I left at that point. I loved the, and I, and I couldn't even imagine my life without it. And I realized that I could actually stay and be, and I, if I just resubmitted an application under a different category. So I chose to focus on gift baskets, because as you said, we, we do wine. Well, we do beer. Well, the one thing most people didn't know is that we do corporate gift baskets. So I thought, let me do. Well, and that was also my way to show Kurt that this is actually a worthwhile investment, right? So I changed my, uh, category to corporate gift baskets. And immediately that year, that first year we saw about a 15 to 25% increase in our gift basket business. And from there, it's just been absolutely amazing. Um, after you've been in BNI for a while, I think you either get it or you don't. And so I got it, obviously, you got it. I loved, I love the core values. I love that it's really about building relationships and getting to know like, and trust people. And so I had the opportunity to become an ambassador, which meant I just traveled around and kind of helped chapters do better. Be better, get better connections, find members. And then I was asked to become the market development manager. That's just a fancy way of saying that I help people either find openings in chapters, because if your listeners are not familiar, each chapter has one category, her profession. So let's say I'm a realtor and I want to join a BNI. Good luck with that. You're not going to, I'm going to find that category open. And if that's the case, then you're, you're going to either decide to give up or start a new chapter. And if you're going to start a new chapter, that's where I come in. So I help people been locked out of categories, find or start new chapters. Love it. It's

Randy:

great. Wow. Uh, there's so many things that you are involved with and, uh, you know,

Yolanda:

I'm the pity. I am the epitome of the opposite of nation. I mean, I am like all over the place.

Randy:

Yeah. I, you know, I love it though, because you know, usually, and we have guests of all different kinds and always, probably the one thing that does go through their vein is entrepreneurship. And so clearly some of the stuff that you're, that you do or that you have been involved with clearly has those entrepreneurship roots and one we haven't even touched on either is, uh, I understand as well, you, you had a, and maybe you still have it, the fitness center. Do you still have yo fitness?

Yolanda:

I still do yoga fitness, but now I only teach one class. So when I, um, so Bailey's, if you remember the history of Bally's pro bankruptcy, they finally went up. And when I saw the writing on the wall, I decided to start my own fitness company, which is kind of how I got thrown into be an I, so I don't have a location, but I've always been either personal training and people's homes or teaching classes in various different facilities. So now I just teach currently I'm teaching independently at the town hall in chagrin bombs. I teach Zumba and then I also teach a class at yoga. So I'm still doing it. And if you really, really, really needed a personal trainer and you couldn't find anyone else to do it, I would certainly do it, but I don't do any personal training anymore, but I still kind of dabbled in. No,

Randy:

that's fine. You know, that's kind of fun actually, because then, um, you know, if you don't have a location, you don't have the overhead and all of the headaches that go along with that. So it gives you a little more, uh, freedom to, uh, to experiment and move around, I think. Um, but that's terrific. So I mentioned that because I do want to be sure to get across it. You really do have this entrepreneur spirit and whether it's operating within your own business or helping to engage in supporting. Other businesses. And I think about BNI, I think that's so much of what BNI is. It helps support and generate, um, opportunity for businesses to grow, but as well in the organization that you're involved with, when Cleveland, I think is a terrific organization, I've met so many wonderful, uh, ladies coming out of when, or they're associated with win. Um, and I think that's a great group. Can you just kind of open up and share a little bit about what, when is, uh, what do you do there and, um, um, maybe kind of the growth of wind in that area and nationally even.

Yolanda:

So I think probably there is, um, an underlying thread through all of what I do. So I say I'm not niche, but if you really think about it, I actually am because I'm about helping people connect and build relationships. So if you look at everything I'm involved in from BNI to. To win Cleveland. It is about connecting people and then helping build relationships so that they can grow their business or they can expand their business. So when Cleveland stands for women in networking, Cleveland, we're celebrating 25 years. It was started by a local woman, Barbara Baxter, who wanted to, at that time provide women professionals and opportunity where they felt welcome and comfortable to engage in all the stuff that the good old boys were doing at their networking events. And it has been around and doing that, or maybe five years. What's cool about Wynn is unlike most other women's organizations. We do a combination of things, so we do networking and basically we have three focuses, networking, learning, and then thrive. So the networking is our monthly events. We have two of them that are networking based, but we also do some training and education, which is, we're very thankful that you are involved in that part of it. So you also get that learning element, but the thrive part is the one that excited me the most. And that's why I joined win is because we do choose a women focused local charity, and we collect items for them. And I realized that I could not, I did not have the time based on everything that I do. I didn't have the time to go volunteer at a women's shelter or go down to your at a women's center. But I, my involvement through my involvement when I could be a part of that, because collectively we can do so much. So we focused on local women. So we call ourselves local women, helping local women network learn and grow. So I joined about, oh gosh, maybe it's been six or seven years ago currently, I'm the president. Um, and this is my second term. And what I found is how amazing it is when women get together things that we can accomplish. Amazing, absolutely amazing. And so we've been able to do some really wonderful things. We provide scholarships for women, business majors at Ursuline college, and Ursula is the only college that really focuses on the education of women. So that's why we chose it. And we've been providing scholarships for the past three years, going into four years now. So I love that. And then I love that we, we do find a charity, a 5 0 1, 3 C that is not already being supported. And so for that year, we just take them on and we spend a whole year. Just helping them in whatever way we can with, with items that they need. So it's been a highlight of my time networking. I get to network. So I get to do all those things that I love to do. Right. I get to network, right. I get to help people connect and I have that feel good element of working with, uh,

Randy:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, you're so smooth at it. I think I say smooth, but that sounds a little murky, but you're so natural. I'll say it that way. Um, on connecting and talking and, and making people I think, feel comfortable. So I think it really is your kind of niche, if you would about connecting people and, and, and connecting with, I think is,

Yolanda:

yeah, I like that. I'll take that smooth thing right. When you could be smooth. Right. So I, you know, it's funny because I joke whenever I do like a line of events and I'm introducing myself as a Somalia, and I just joke about how basically what I get do, but I get to do is I get paid to talk and drink. So who wouldn't want that show?

Randy:

I'd

Yolanda:

say that for that one all day. Right. It comes naturally for me. And then I think I am that girl. So if there's a sale at TJ Maxx, I'm calling all my friends here to me. That's not working. You better get to TJ Maxx. There's a sound, right? So it's so easy for me to say, Hey, you need help with your digital marketing. You need talk to Randy. Right. It's just, it's a natural thing for me. So I will receive that compliment.

Randy:

Yeah. So smooth, very account.

Yolanda:

Wasn't the way you say it, the way you say it. Very

Randy:

smooth, various Meredith. Yeah. Uh, so let me connect with us because of, of what you do and what you're so natural at doing, connecting with people and connecting people. And we've just come through, um, you know, in the last two years have been incredibly difficult and people connecting or have been forced to connect, uh, in so many different ways, you know, some good and, uh, some uncomfortable ways. I'm curious. How did you, I guess either pivot, if you want to use that word, or how did you adjust maybe with what you do and with what you love to do connecting with. Through the pandemic, um, because you know, BNI as an example, I know B and O we didn't meet face to face for like over a year. We just met via zoom or, you know, I don't know what it was like exactly with chucks. Um, I think we could only come in and do a curbside, uh, for a period of time, if I recall, um,

Yolanda:

or short period of time, I would say with my networking in general and my connecting with people, zoom was my best friend, honey. And so when went virtual or a year, BNI went totally virtual for a year. Um, and I was okay with that. I love in-person. But after a while, you kind of get used to just rolling out of your bed and, you know, go into a computer. You don't have any commute time. So that, I mean, I was fine with it. Everybody was zoom, you know, um, zoom, fatigue, not me because I really enjoy connecting with people. And so even though it's on zoom, I still get that connection with people. I still kind of get their vibe. And so I, I wasn't bothered by that. Now with chucks, we were amazed at, um, how many people didn't know that we always provided curbside pickup and we always deliver. So we realized, okay, we got to work on our marketing because how come people don't already know that. So people would say as if it were an inconvenience. Oh, you know, is it possible for you to deliver early? Like, yes. We've, we've always delivered right now. It's it was crazy. So 2020 was crazy. I spent a lot of time praying for our customers live in. Because that phone was ringing off, blah, blah. It was crazy. And we were, you know, we were limited to curbside because we were deemed essential. And then as we opened up, we couldn't go back to our wine tastings because people just were not comfortable with that. And so we, we had to figure out how to navigate that. I did some virtual tastings and I've done some for fundraisers and I'm doing another one, um, for school fundraisers. Uh, we've done that and it's okay. But it's nothing like, you know, when you get into shop. Yeah. It's not the same. So we're excited that we're able to do that again, but we kind of just roll with the punches, you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. Right. That's what makes a small business succeed. That's what entrepreneurs successful. Right? You have to figure out how to roll with the punches or, you know, slide into the basis. If you like with our baseball thing. And you've got to be able to just do whatever it is you need to do to get it done. And so we were, we were fortunately able to do that with everything that I've been involved with, we're able to just, you know, slide into the basis.

Randy:

I love it. So I know you did the virtual wine taste. I know we had one as an event with the chamber. Um, and I'd again, I don't think I knew it was, I didn't attend that one for whatever reason, but I would have loved that. But so the virtual, so are you able, or do you have plans to open back up to do the wine tasting, you know, in, in person? Uh, you're doing it now. Okay, good. Good. We

Yolanda:

started back last March. Yeah. It was a. It was like, cheers, you know, because we know people, we know their names, we know what they'd like to drink. Right. And so it was like people would walk in. It's like Randy, you know, doing, and yes, we're doing a tasting. And so every Saturday from three to five, there was a tasting at ya. And it's, it's a group of people who they've known each other all the time that we've been doing wine tasting. So we have regulars and then we have tourists come in and the tourists who come in are just made to feel welcomed by the regulars. They're like, oh, come here, sit here. And it's just a big, happy family reunion every Saturday from 3,

Randy:

5, 9. I don't know why, but I didn't realize that you did it every Saturday from three to five. I've got to, I got to tap into that. I got to go in and yeah. Uh, my, the last time, the last show that I recorded it's airing right now, uh, that guests know we sat around and, um, we were drinking bourbon together here while we were recording and we should have had, uh, w we should have coordinated and had a wine that we could have, uh, corked out here and tasted together. Yeah. Or beer or beer,

Yolanda:

beer tastings too. So I, and so that's one of the things about being a small, yea is you've got to know beer, you've got to know line my spirits. I'm still working on. I've never really been a big spirits girl. So I would love to pick your brain and. Here are your taste buds opinions that I should be tasting?

Randy:

Yeah. Believe me, get me going on bourbons. I could, uh, I have a group of, uh, buds that we, uh, get together like every other week and, and enjoy different bourbons together. Yes, yes. Yes. So, all right. Uh, Yolanda, do you like baseball?

Yolanda:

I like, I like baseball. I don't know much about the players. I mean, I know the pitcher, blah, blah, blah. I used to play suck law, right?

Randy:

uh, so here we are. You'll love that. So my research team has done a nice job. So here's the question that we're going to come at you in the, in the niche, uh, that I think you'll be comfortable with wine in baseball. All right. So here we go. Get your, get your wine here. You know, you're, you're at a baseball game and you get the beer guys. I like beer here. Beer. We're going to do Hey wine here, right here. So. Uh, I don't know if you know this or not, but, um, just over the last, I don't know, maybe two or three years MLB has really kind of embraced wine and they've, uh, have started kind of producing their own label. It's better. In fact, back in, uh, 2020, they came into an agreement with, um, Woodbridge and Robert Mondavi wines to have a very specific, uh, um, branding and Woodbridge became the wines, uh, the official wine of MLS. And then all of these teams as a way, what a great way to create some additional revenue, right. Um, kind of came out with their own label, um, a version of a Woodbridge wine. So you've got Philadelphia has their 2012 central coast proprietary red wine. The Cubs of get some central coast red, the Yankees have got a nice Cabernet, so all kinds of fun stuff. So, and here's a very interesting story. So you had this guy, uh, uh, Jack Peterson, Jack Peterson, baseball player, uh, one of just like eight other players who, um, every to win back to back world series. With two different teams. All right. So he played for the Atlanta Braves. So in 2021, and he won the world series with the Atlanta Braves. Um, and, uh, I don't know who he played with before. Actually my research. He didn't write that one down. Um, so, uh, but to celebrate the Braves world series, he went out on the field and with a glass of wine and the fans loved it. Right. Uh, so my question for you in your experience, what wine would you'll London drink if you had just won the world series?

Yolanda:

Oh, that's easy. So here I'm like, what is this magical web that you're weaving? That's easy. Champagne. I love, love, love. In fact, Um, we've experienced quite a shortage of all of the champagne that mainstream drinkers drink. So we had a difficult time getting Don Perry home. Yeah. It had a very difficult time getting loved Clicko and yes, it is love because not loop. And it gave us the opportunity to actually recommend the champagne that region, because we don't drink that. So my favorite champion and the one that I would be enjoying when I won the world series would be bill car, Sal moon, which is a beautiful rosy champagne, the vest ever. I mean, I've tasted a lot. It's the absolute best course right now. We can't get it.

Randy:

I was just going to ask you, I have a friend of mine lives in Chicago and she loves champagne. I'm like, Hey, we should swing by and grab a bottle and send it out.

Yolanda:

He might now, um, you know, we'll see. So there has been a serious supply chain issue with champions and we couldn't get Don Perry on and we couldn't get booked Coco. We could get bill cart, Salamone, and now we can get love Caicos and we can get dome very own and we cannot get bill cart SumoMe, but it's absolutely my favorite champion. Okay. All right.

Randy:

Well, uh, we'll, we'll keep pressing to see if we can't get some of that. Here's another question though, for you in regards to this whole kind of line, any idea what drink, uh, Jack Peterson, what the wine was that he was drinking? Probably not, but that's fine. I'll throw this one out for you. Maybe you've heard of it though. The 2012 Bryant family vineyard proprietary red.

Yolanda:

Ooh, he has excellent

Randy:

taste.

Yolanda:

Yes. That is kick ass wine. Well, Bravo. Yeah.

Randy:

Yeah. I don't know. I, uh, I had an earlier this morning I was reviewing the notes that the researcher said, I'm like, wow, what is that one? I went, and so I went online to go check it out. I'm like, wow, that's kinda nice. Ooh, that's a little expensive. I don't think I'm walking out with that one. It's like

Yolanda:

50 bucks or more

Randy:

a wine spectator score of 94, by the way. So there we go. Uh, well, Hey, you didn't do too bad. There you were great. Oh, yeah. All right, well, let's get back into it. , so you mentioned a term and I want to hit you up with this a little bit back kind of along this wine conversation. So are you a true, yay. Have you had the whole training? You're certified.

Yolanda:

So here's the thing. What most people don't realize is, um, being in the court of masters Somalia days is a process. So you start off as an entry-level Somalia, and then you go through this process that needs you to what's called master Somalia. So no, I am on the court of Somalians, but I am not a master Simone yet. That is, uh, within my reach, but not something that I'm actually devoting a whole bunch of time to. However, um, we do have a great relationship with Larry O'Brien who leads. You're in Brecksville and he is a master Somalia. We host a tasting group. So there are several of us who are being mentored by him. And he's amazing. Absolutely amazing. So if you ever see his name on any wine event, wine dinner, Larry O'Brien you need to go check it out. He's amazing. In fact, we did a wine dinner at Walden with him. Um, last year, we're going to be doing some more again, so he's amazing.

Randy:

It sounds fun. I would love to do that even so I'm not, I, uh, I don't know. Uh, several years ago I watched a show. I don't know what channel it was on food or PBS or something. I don't know, but it was about a group of, , People, um, cause there were men and women in this group that were trying for essentially the testing for the masters. So Manye and they were, I don't know, it was like a long process, obviously the, for their studying and being able to do it. But the test, I was like over a period of time, it was like a week maybe, I don't know how long it was, but they went and they were at this location and going through all of this stuff, I was shocked at what they had to know and be able to taste, not just taste in the discernment, in their tastes, but the knowledge of wine where these things were that grape and the geographic, uh, qualities. And I like, oh my

Yolanda:

gosh, If you've ever seen a, so there are a couple of different documentaries. Som was one of them is I think there are several different, that's the one that

Randy:

I've watched.

Yolanda:

And if you saw the first one, Dylan Practer is amazing. And he, um, was having some challenges during that whole process. It is by far the most strenuous thing that any human being would ever put themselves through. In fact, when we go and we test at each level, they always say, I don't know why we torture ourselves like this, but we absolutely love it.

Randy:

Tell me how to, just so you're at, as you said, a court of , so what I didn't realize there were different degrees, so, so entry-level

Yolanda:

and next would be certified. So that's my next step up. Um, I already failed that exam, so I'm like, yeah. And then advanced Astro small. Yay. And when you're at the advanced level, you have to actually be invited to, or. The master's stone

Randy:

exam. I can't raise my hand and say, Hey, I'm ready.

Yolanda:

No, you cannot. And you have to be recommended by several different Simonia's who are already masters. Yeah. So

Randy:

well, good for you because you've gone far beyond anything that I could do. I'm certain of, um, well, let's move forward into one of your other passions, which is running your own podcast, five easy things, the podcast. , so tell us about that.

Yolanda:

So it's, it's funny. I really I'm, I've always been an auditory person, right? So, um, I love listening to books, right? And when I started working at chucks, I lived in Lorain, Ohio. It was a 60 minute commute, one way. So back then I just slipped my cassettes and then CDs in and listened to, you know, a book or whatever. So when podcasting became more popular, that was like a no brainer. Right. So I listened to podcasts because I am an information junkie. I, I mean, it's a problem, Randy, I'm telling you, like, I have probably subscribed to, I don't know how many different newsletters he newsletters, right. So much so that I'm like, okay, I need to get rid of some of these. So then I, you know, unsubscribe and then the end of the week, I'd resubscribed to some other ones. Right. Because there's just information that I don't want to miss. I got Cuomo. It comes to information. Right. So most of my podcasts listening is informational. So like your podcast where you get to hear people talk about. Their passion, share their insights, secrets to running a business or being an entrepreneur. That's what I love. Well,

Randy:

thank you for listening.

Yolanda:

What I found, unlike yours, which gives a little bit of both, right? You get a little bit of story about the person and you get a little bit of information. It's a nice combination, but often what I would find is I'm listening to this podcast and it's all about, let's say it's all about marketing, right? So halfway in, we haven't talked about marketing at all and I'm waiting. Right? Cause that's what I'm here to hear about is the marketing. So 15, 20 minutes in now we gotta do, you know, the sponsor thing. Right? And now we finally get to the little bit of information that the guest is going to share, and then there's all this other, and you know, I'd be listening and I'd be so frustrated. I'm like, you know what, anybody got time for this? Just tell me what I want to know right now. So, meanwhile, I kept thinking I want to do a podcast. So, um, a friend of mine opened up a podcast studio in Treemont called golden ox studios. And so when he was starting that process, he said, you know, I really think you'd be great. I'm like, yeah, but I don't know what I would talk about. And I don't wanna do a drama and I don't want to do all this stuff. He's like, talk about whatever you want. And then my little brain business brain is like, yeah, but that's not niche. If I just talk about whatever I want. And he's like, just talk about whatever you want. And I'm like, okay, I love wine. I love beer. I love business. I love marketing. That's a lot of stuff. And then it occurred to me when I did an event, a women's event here in Aurora, we called it five easy things and we had five different experts come and share. I thought, you know what? That's great. That's perfect. I'm going to, so I decided to do that with my podcast. So it's five easy things. The podcast guests come on, they share five tips or tricks. That will help you as a business owner, help you as a parent, as a wine taster or whatever it is. There's so many topics, but the one thing in common is everybody shares five tips or five hacks, and it's about 15 minutes and then you're done love it. I'm my favorite. I'm my most favorite fan. I listen to my podcast all the time.

Randy:

Oh, that's great. I love it. Well, you've been added for a while. I mean, you started back in December of 1967 episodes, which is phenomenal because I know how hard it is to continually to churn out a podcast. Uh, and so that, that really is,

Yolanda:

it's harder for you. It's easy for me to take a break. So I, I, I, I, uh, I guess still 2020, it was crazy, right? It didn't really hit me until 2021. And I took a little hiatus because it was just, so there was so many, 20, 21 was a weird year. Don't you think it was like trying to get back into the group? What is the group? Right. And so with that, I have going on I'm like, I can't do another damn thing. So I put that on hold for a minute. And then I, I finally said, all right, in 2022, I'm going to get back into it. I had already recorded about 18 episodes that had never been released. So I was able to earn it. I'm going to get on this consistency thing because consistency, I think that's still one thing in business. That's the thread with everything. If you want to be successful, you have to be consistent. If it's working out, running a business, whatever it is, marketing, especially. Right, right. You got to be consistent. And so I'm like, I'm going to do this and I'm going to be consistent. So having that little bit of cushion has helped me to really be. But honestly, Brandy, all I do is show up at the studio, sit in front of that microphone and let people shine. And what a lot of people don't know is I usually don't know what the guests are going to share because I want it to be an authentic exchange. Kind of like what we have right now. I had no idea what you were going to talk about, but it makes it so much more engaging and authentic that way. So I never know what they're going to say. And so my response is my authentic response and I listened to it sometimes and I have to laugh myself because I'm like, I can't believe I just said that. Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I think it's a much more natural, um, authentic conversation. Yeah. I almost always can tell when the guest has been coached and they kind of know. I dunno, it just seems okay. Right. It just, so I love this. I love that I had so, okay. Y'all Randy had no idea what's going to come out of my mouth. I'm being a really good girl. No, I just love it. I think it's much more natural, much more, um, listeners can relate a lot better. Right. And for me, I'm not the star of my podcast. Right. I am just there facilitating. Right. So it's really an opportunity for me to allow my guests to shine. So they get to pick the five things that they want to talk about. And then I get to respond and then we get that little exchange that is just enough to fit into that short but sleep. You know, I got what I need things. To get on with my day and, and, um, I'm good to go. So I love it though. Don't you love podcasting?

Randy:

I do. I find it just, I, I would do it much more frequent, but it is hard work. It takes time, uh, you know, the number of hours to do a show. The way that we do it anyway is, you know, it just takes a number of man hours. And so, yeah, I, I would kick them out more frequently, but again, it's all around time. I love your show because you're so eclectic in it. I mean, your first show was about wine pairing during the holiday season, but then you've done stuff about, um, how to launch a product, start businesses, uh, five things to keep your mind about voiceover acting even. I think your last one was five kitchen tools. You couldn't cook there, live with that. I mean, you run the gambit, know you run the bases on subjects in your podcast. I think that's great. I, you know, I think it keeps people coming back. Like what is that Yolanda got to talk about?

Yolanda:

It's crazy. Isn't it? I do love it, but that's because I have so many interests and I love information. Right. I love learning new things and. It's just an easy, quick way to learn new stuff. So, yeah, I,

Randy:

yeah, well, that's, I'm very, very similar to that. I love learning. I love just digging in. I'm similar in as I spend, I have a, a period of time in my day that I just kind of carve out like 30 to 45 minutes of just where I can read and read newspapers, read all of these newsletters I get and see, you know, and learn stuff. And just, if I don't, I there's something that's missing. So I have to feed that inquisitive, uh, nature that I have. So, um, so what do you see around the corner for ULA?

Yolanda:

That's a great question. So I know that I'm spending, I have decided to carve out that time, like you were saying, you really do have to carve out time to be really consistent with my podcasting. So that I see as, as remaining the same, I've got one more year as president of wind Cleveland. And then I don't know what is after that, but I always want to be a part of helping women, especially business professionals, um, do whatever it is they want in terms of find their voice, uh, help them with their business or even all of my philanthropic interests. So I don't know where that will take me, but I'm, I'm excited about that. Um, Chuck's is chocks and I can't even imagine my life without shots. So I'll always be involved in that. Although I am only there three days a week now, because. We have a great staff, amazing staff. And so I don't have to be there and I can pursue my other interests. Will I pursue my master's Somalia thing? I don't know. That's like on the bottom of that, but I will

Randy:

often practicing though. Right?

Yolanda:

I love it. Love it. I will. And that's what I was going to say. I will always be a student of wine, always be a student of beer. I'm just geeky that way. Right. So I am that person who tastes a beer and I'm like, what is that happened? How was it? Then I got to know where's this hops grown. And where did it come from?

Randy:

So fun. We'll keep, keep, uh, keep pushing, I guess. Right. Keep pushing on. So Yolanda is here. We are. We're at the bottom of the ninth time goes so fast. Right? Um, so this is where I always ask our guests. Uh, what advice do you have for rookies in the came? So those starting out in business, or maybe those folks who've been in business for a little bit of time already, and they're just looking for some additional guidance or some words of wisdom from folks who have been around and can provide some thoughts. Uh, so what would your advice be?

Yolanda:

So my, my two thoughts, um, one, something I preach to my kids, although rarely ever did they have it? Do your homework. Okay. That's so important. So before you plan on starting a business, or if you're wanting to take your business to the next level, do your home. Do the research. And it's so easy because we have the internet, like you were saying earlier, right? Can just Google or YouTube, anything at this point and find out whatever it is you need to know. So do your homework. And then the other part of that is you have to network, you have to have to network and networking is about building relationships and making connections. It is not about DM-ing people on LinkedIn and trying to sell them stuff. That's one of my biggest pet peeves, right? That's not networking and networking is not showing up at an event talking to all the people that you know, and then throwing a whole bunch of business cards. That's not networking. Learn how to network because those connections can change the trajectory of your business, your success. One reason, you know, that one really good connection can bring you a report. That can change your business's life. So

Randy:

great words of advice. I love, I love the, do your homework, because you mentioned about like YouTube as an example, I throw that to my kids all the time. They asked me, dad, how do I do this? I'm like, you have got the most incredible resource at your disposal. You could go spend 30 minutes on YouTube and learn how to do anything. I think it

Yolanda:

is amazing. True. My, my oldest daughter is, uh, she was on her way to a modeling gig. He's gorgeous. And she, she texted me a picture of her on the side of the road, changing her time. She's like, I looked it up on YouTube and I changed my own tire. I'm like you go

Randy:

girl. Yes. She learned from mom. Good for her, man. I love that. That is terrific. All right. Well, listen, Yolanda, thank you for being on the show. Finally, getting you roped in.

Yolanda:

I cannot wait to have you on my show and this has been so much fun. So this is my, this is my debut as a podcast guest. Okay. I'm glad that you were the one who kept cheering.

Randy:

All right. I'm glad we could be that a player there. Uh, very good. All right. Well listen, and best success to you. I know you've got so many great things going on in your life and things you're involved with. And I just say, thank you for all of the things that you are involved with, because I know you've got a big impact in our community and I just really appreciate it as a member of that community as well. So, and, uh, yeah. Keep listening, keep, keep pumping out the podcast. So, all right, folks, that's the ball game. Thanks for joining us today. And they feel like to show, please tell your friends, subscribe and review, and we'll see around the ballpark. Running the basis with small businesses is brought to you by 38 digital market. A digital marketing agency committed to client growth with lead generation higher conversions and increased sales connect with us today 38digitalmarket.com.