Three For Thursday – David Rosen

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“Multi-faceted” and “eclectic” are two terms that immediately come to mind when I think of David Rosen. I mean, seriously, how many people can speak articulately about the high-end wine they broker and then fluidly switch to discuss the time they toured with Peter Tork of the Monkees? I guess you could say that when it comes to David Rosen, “I’m a Believer!”

I first met David a few years back when my daughter, Michelle, thought it would be a great role reversal for her to introduce me to a personal wine broker.  As things unfolded, I learned that David has a number of lives separate from the wine brokering he’s done for the last 30 years with Grove Street Brokers of Healdsburg, CA. We immediately connected over our love for music and David wrote the Epicoach theme song “No More Sighing.” He also added animation, music, and editing to my coaching videos. I grabbed a copy of his debut album “Ordinary Miracles”, which reminded me yet again of all the great, undiscovered musicians there are in the world. 

David does a marvelous job of explaining both wine and music in easy-to-grasp terms. It’s no wonder he was once on the cover of Inc. Magazine, calling him the “Master of the Cold Call.”  David’s Three For Thursday follow.

Listen
Have you ever gone to a party, been introduced to someone and then, two minutes later, you can’t remember that person’s name? Right, me too. I’ve come to realize that truly listening doesn’t always come naturally. So often, I’m thinking about my next comment or question rather than genuinely listening to what someone is saying. I had a profound experience a couple of years ago that really brought this home. I was asked to help put together a video on homelessness.  I thought my role would be as the Tech Guy, but the project leader—an amazing fellow whose life is dedicated to hands-on work with our poor and homeless citizens—suggested I actually conduct the interviews.  My 10+ years of working with homeless folks had been more from the perspective of “me” helping “them” and in his wisdom, he knew that barrier needed to come down. Sitting one-on-one with the initial interviews, I was so uncomfortable hearing their heartbreaking stories that my mind kept trying to think of the next thing I’d talk about as a way of avoiding having to sit with this discomfort. Of course, that meant I wasn’t really listening—I wasn’t being present with their experiences.  But soon, I allowed myself to just be there with what we were both going through.  That was a profoundly different experience.  

Listening is also a key skill in my wine job. If a client tells me she loves Italian reds, I better not offer a chardonnay. Listening is also critical in my musical world. To make great music, musicians need to listen to each other. Musically, I’m a great listener.  This makes me valuable in a group, as a studio player, or accompanying a solo artist.  When I’m playing my own music, I listen inside, to that part of me that can authentically connect with an audience. 

Believe You Can Make the World Better—Starting With One Person
As the government has taken a step back from helping others, I decided to redouble my own efforts. The need in our world is overwhelming, so my antidote is to do something local weekly to make a difference. For me, it’s better to practice helping one-to-one (although I will always give to Amnesty International and Save The Children, because their work is incredible). On highway offramps, I get out of my car to give money and whatever food I may have to any and all homeless folks, rather than just sticking my hand out the window.  It makes a human connection with someone who is so often ignored, and hopefully sets an example for the drivers behind me. Granted, some get irritated and honk, but I’ve also had quite a few people follow me to the next stoplight, roll down their windows and tell me that I inspired them.

Everybody Doesn’t Think or Feel the Way You Do (what I really mean is the way “I” do…)
I feel I’m very intuitive. That’s why I do pretty well as a sales guy. But just because I think I understand someone doesn’t mean they actually perceive things the way I do, and it sure took me way too long to understand that!  Back when I ran a creative agency, I often thought that my ideas were the best way to do things. I became a micromanager and wound up annoying my staff by constantly trying to “improve” their work—but nobody likes working in an environment like that. Humility, learned slowly with age, is key to being a better human. Just because someone does something differently doesn’t mean it’s wrong or not as good.  “Being right” is almost never as important as letting others have their voices heard.

One For The Road…
Meditate.  I began meditating in my twenties and later spent quite a bit of time in ashrams with gurus from India. Recently, I’ve come back to where it all began for me, which is Vipassana meditation, an ancient and unadorned Buddhist practice.  Many people think meditation is about becoming calm and spiritually enlightened. For me, those are nice byproducts, but I meditate to experience my life as it really is. I’m learning how to breathe into all of my emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations—not avoid them. It’s not always “peaceful,” but it’s pretty amazing stuff.

How about you? What are your Three For Thursday? I’m looking for people who are willing to share their life wisdom.  Please email me at bob@epi.coach if you’d like to be interviewed for a future Three For Thursday blog.

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