This weekend, my wife and I headed out of the city for a relaxing trip. Between short excursions at a couple state parks, we dropped by a local winery for a tour.
When we arrived and checked in, we were in for two big surprises. The first – we were the only ones who booked a tour. And second – the head winemaker himself would be hosting our tour.
Now, we’ve done wine tours before… this one was nothing like those.
For over two hours, their friendly winemaker told us everything about their growing, picking, and fermentation process – from the unique soil qualities of their plot, to the painstaking year-round attention they give their youngest vines.
It wasn’t just good things he told us, either. He was up-front about the winery’s failures.
We can’t grow Cabernet for the life of us. Trust me, we really wanted to make it happen.
He said this frustrates him, especially since other nearby wineries can grow Cabernet just fine.
Before I could ask why nearby vineyards can grow something he can’t, he explained:
Each and every plot of land has its own micro-climate. These “micro” qualities are the difference between a thriving vine and a dying one.
So how does this winery narrow down which vines will thrive on their land? Well, it’s just an educated guess. He knows what’s likely to work, but a test batch is the real tell. They plant a row or two of vines, nurture them for a couple years, and see how they perform.
What does this have to do with indie-hacking? Jordan’s tweet sums it up better than I can.
Instead of asking people what you should be doing, get to work.
No one knows what you should be doing. You don't even know what you should be doing. What worked for someone else may not work for you.
The work (that starts working) is what leads you to the next logical step.
— Jordan O'Connor (@jdnoc) November 9, 2020
When the next step is unclear, asking for advice is often our first instinct. But you’ve got a unique set of skills and qualities. Nobody – even the successful – know what you should do next.
So learn something from this winemaker. Take an educated guess, get started, and nurture what grows.