David Stannard has just launched his second book “It’s Not About the Dirt”. Following on less than 12 months from the release of his first book “From Cabbage Patch to Cabernet Franc” we sent our Paradise Rescued columnist out to interview our Founder Director on site in Cardan, Bordeaux.
Q: Firstly David welcome back to Cardan. What does it feel like to be back in Cardan?
DS: Thank you. Unbelievable as always! To be back “home” as I call it is hard to explain. This is where and why Paradise Rescued was founded so it is always good to be back in the heart of it. The welcome from our village, neighbours and friends is also very special. It is nice to be doing something so unique and worthwhile with such a special group of people. There is also so much great work going on here by our Operations Team that it is a real pleasure to be able to recognise their initiatives and efforts.
Q: Congratulations on the publishing your second book “It’s Not About the Dirt”. How come you have published a second book so soon?
DS: (Laughing) The truth is that I wrote so much for the first book “From Cabbage Patch to Cabernet Franc” and couldn’t stop. At a certain point we divided the work into two parts, published the first part as Book 1 and continued working on “It’s Not About the Dirt”.
Q: We loved reading the new book David. But it is very different from the first book. What was your objective this time?
DS: Yes that’s true – it is quite different! The first book is essentially a personal biography that tells the story of how a specific sequence of events led to the start of Paradise Rescued. “Its Not About the Dirt” goes much deeper into the business and what we learnt whilst still retaining a strong historical story line. You can read it as a continuing story of Paradise Rescued or as a business leadership book packed full of experience and learnings as our sustainability project developed. It has turned out very well.
Q: Although you are diplomatic in your style, you haven’t held back in any way with your style and messages. Was this deliberate?
DS: (laughing again) The style is very much mine. Just in the last week or so, I have read two other leadership books. Why write 300 pages when 130 or so will do? The storyline is still strong and very open. As the Founder of a company based on Sustainability principles, I believe in being as open as possible so long as individual people are not impacted. I try to tell it as I saw it then or still see it now. I hope that keeping it simple and straightforward makes it easier for readers to grasp the principles and then start putting them into action.
We want people to read it. There are an enormous number of leadership, business and management messages in it. By making it short and to the point, I hope that people will be encouraged to read say one chapter a night – an investment of ten minutes maximum – and in two weeks they will have gained an invaluable insight into how a niche brand and company was put together.
Q: Do you have a specific message that you want readers to take away from reading the book?
DS: I think the best summary has to come from our quick tag line of “Mission Vision Passion”. Our experience has shown that this combination of three key factors – strategies if you like – was fundamental to our success is establishing Paradise Rescued as a successful niche wine company. Furthermore I believe that if all organisations or companies could fully embrace these three strategies, they would have a very sound basis for building a successful and sustainable ongoing activity.
Many people completely confuse Mission and Vision and then fail to sufficiently define and communicate why their organisation exists or where it is going. Once these factors are clearly understood, passion is almost inevitable which in turn feeds back to reinforce the Mission – why we do something in the first place.
Q: David, will you be out and about promoting the book and talking about the three key strategic principles in “It’s Not About the Dirt”?
DS: Of course I will! I love sharing the Paradise Rescued story and using that as a strong case study of why these principles work so effectively. The initial reaction to the book has been extremely positive and we have a couple of organisations looking to work with us to develop the learnings from the book chapters into a small business success seminar format.
I also look forward to a number of planned speaker engagements and opportunities to share the book and the Paradise Rescued story. I hope that some of our passion to overcome the seemingly impossible can inspire others to also create something unique and valuable to their communities, families and the world in general.
Q: David, how long will you be in Cardan, Bordeaux and when can we expect another exciting progress update of what’s happening?
DS: We will share the news and an update on the 2016 vintage wines with our Club members over the next few days and then publish another blog in a couple of weeks time. I look forward to sharing the latest stories and progress from the winery and vineyards.
Q: Thank you David. Safe travels and I wish you much success with “It’s Not About the Dirt”.
DS: Thank you, it was a pleasure.
David Stannard is the Founder Director of Bordeaux based niche micro wine brand Paradise Rescued, winner of the 2016 International Business Award Silver Stevie for Small Budget Marketing Campaign.