How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Neil McGuigan from McGuigan Wines.
Current gig: CEO, Australian Vintage wines and Chief Winemaker, McGuigan Wines
Location: Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, NSW
Current mobile device: iPhone
Current computer: iPad
One word that best describes how you work: Slowly (or as my PA says, loudly and painfully)
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Our company weather app, Weather Link, which allows me to dial into every weather station we have on our vineyards around Australia 24/7.
What social network do you find the most useful?
I much prefer to talk to people one-on-one – that’s why my ‘social network’ is down at Harrigan’s Pub at Broke Road, Pokolbin.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
The harder you work, the luckier you get. My brother established our business and gave me an outstanding base with McGuigan Black Label, and what I’ve tried to do is enhance Black Label and take those consumers on the wine journey – from our ‘five o’clock wines’ like this, all the way through to our super premium Philosophy, which retails for $150 a bottle.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
If you can motivate the people around you to have the same passion and vision for your brand, what can be achieved is truly amazing. And it is amazing that these people not only are good employees and colleagues, they end up becoming good friends as well.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Driving a tractor.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I can sleep anywhere, at any time. I’m usually asleep before the plane has taken off!
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Surround yourself with people smarter than you are in their area of expertise (I’ve found that very easy to accomplish!)