Su Birch - Life Coach And Owner, Thinking Seahorses Marketing Consultancy (Sth. Africa)
Years in the industry:
Altogether about 25 in the liquor industry. I was the marketing manger of the spirits division of a company called SFW for several years, before going back into advertising. Then, while I was working in the fruit industry, I was asked to help develop a wine for the UK market. The brand was Arniston Bay, South Africa’s first post-apartheid big brand, and from then on, I was “hooked." I spent 13 years as CEO of Wines of South Africa (WOSA) before starting my own marketing consultancy. One of my current projects is designing the programme for the annual Business of Wine & Food Tourism conference. I qualified as a coach last year and am now coaching young managers in the wine industry.
My Biggest Challenge to Wellness:
When I was at WOSA it was the constant stress of trying to meet the diverse needs of all our wine industry stakeholders; the politics were quite intense. Running huge pavilions at fairs like Prowein and shows like Cape Wine on shoestring budgets was stressful because I was determined not to let anyone down. I also struggled with attending the many producer launch events - I can't work in the afternoon if I have had wine over lunch.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
What kept me sane during my WOSA years was my magnificent team who always supported me. Working with a personal trainer 3 times a week meant I stayed strong and could cope well with a demanding travel schedule. I try for less coffee, more green tea, less meat, more vegetables, and I’m strict about limiting how much wine I drink.
I wish I had known In my WOSA years about all the tools I have learnt in my training to be a coach. These days I bring balance into my life by meditating daily, doing yoga twice a week, walking at last twice a week and helping little ones with reading at our local township school. My cell phone is programmed to remind me every evening to think about gratitude, and that puts my whole life in perspective. I have so very much to be grateful for, especially in South Africa.
You can connect with Su online at her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.