Meet David Bowen, founder of Bordeaux Undiscovered. Wine and its nearly endless variations and fascinating history are the love of his life. While other young men chose to idle their twenties away in pubs and clubs, he traveled to France to learn how to become a sommelier to feed his thirst for wine-centric knowledge.
Having spent most of his adult life working in and around vineyards he started Bordeaux Undiscovered as a way to share the deepest, richest reds and light, refreshing whites that are freely, and readily available.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to Valiant CEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
David Bowen: I’ve been a professional sommelier for over a decade and about a year before the pandemic began, I started a wine tasting business that was designed to help to educate people about wine, and then COVID arrived, and I had to find a way to keep the business afloat, so I moved in online and bordeaux-undiscovered.co.uk was born…
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and how did they impact you? How did that lead to where you are today?
David Bowen: There was a sommelier on UK television called Oz Clarke, and when I saw his shows, I just wanted to be like him,.. I’ve met Oz a couple of times in my professional life, and he was every bit as charming and knowledgeable as I hoped he would be. He was and is my idol and the sort of person who I aspire to be.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us, particularly for businesses. How did the pandemic impact your business? Please list some of the problems that you faced, and how you handled them.
David Bowen: It completely changed my business from a wine-tasting expeditionary force of seven to an online information staff of three. I hope things will one day return to the way they were, but I don’t know if it will ever happen.
The pandemic led to a myriad of cultural side effects, including one that was quite unexpected that is informally known as “The Great Resignation”. Did this widespread trend affect you in any way?
David Bowen: It hasn’t happened in the UK, so I couldn’t possibly comment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. How do you feel about this trend? Explain.
David Bowen: I suspect it’s the law of economics, and people seeking a better life and more money for their labour. My father used to say that you get what you pay for, so if you want good workers, it seems that these days you have to pay accordingly. Which is the way that things should always have been, but unfortunately never were.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, Employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. That can be quite an alarming rate. What advice would you share to increase employee retention?
David Bowen: Better pay and better working conditions. More holidays and time off. Make the job more appealing to workers and they won’t leave.
According to a Nature Human behavior study, In 2020, 80% of US workers reported feeling that they have too many things to do and not enough time to do them – a phenomenon known as “time poverty”. What is your take on the work-life balance? Explain.
David Bowen: I’ve always believed that it is should be fifty and fifty and that if you enjoy what you do, it’ll never feel like work. We weren’t born to just work, and at the end of the day the reason most of us work is to be able to afford the things we want to spend our free time doing and enjoying.
A more recent survey by Joblist asked about 3,000 respondents if they’re actively thinking about leaving their job. That survey found that 73% of 2,099 respondents who answered this question on their employment plans are considering quitting. How are you preparing for the future to counter this potentially persistent problem?
David Bowen: I have no idea, at the moment I’m just looking forward to getting back to wine tasting and dividing the business between the real world and the online world again!
Thank you for all that, our readers are grateful for your insightful comments! Now, if the Great Resignation isn’t your greatest concern, what is the #1 most pressing challenge you’re trying to solve in your business right now?
David Bowen: Trying to overcome the importation difficulties that Brexit has created. It’s made what used to be easy into a colossal headache and I can’t understand why it happened.
Before we finish things off, we do have one last question. If you had $10 Million Dollars to spend in one day, what would you spend it on?
David Bowen: I’d buy my own winery and vineyard and create my own bespoke wines.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank David Bowen for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
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