Sean Evans started his first company during his second year of college and sold two companies before the age of 30. Sean has an entrepreneurial mind and work ethic towards life that turned his initial business into further capital to finance his current ventures. My Wine Society is one of the ventures that Sean Evans has started and added to his portfolio of start-ups. Evans is disrupting the millennial wine market with My Wine Society, the app, the Blended Festival live events, and MWS Loyalty Club, a monthly wine subscription that offers gifts and premium wines delivered straight to your home, a much needed service in an ever expanding niche of wine options.
Sean Evans grew up visiting his family cattle ranch every Thanksgiving. That same ranch is now the location of his family winery. The values and closeness of Sean’s early Thanksgivings with family translated to the founding of My Wine Society. The community life that was important to Sean’s upbringing is noticeable in many of the social features of the My Wine Society app. Sean’s creativity and ability to connect with people extends into the MWS Loyalty Club, a monthly subscription box that sends members wine and gifts in a themed box every month.
Davis, California is where Sean Evans was born and raised. Sean went to college in Oregon. He is currently based out of San Diego, California. West Coast wine culture has an influence on Sean – an American of mixed heritages that was instilled with the value of a little elbow grease, the importance of community and family, and the ever lauded California mind state. In addition to My Wine Society, Sean founded Blended Festivals, the world’s fastest growing music festival in the world. Where there was once nothing, Sean Evans loves to identify a problem and create a solution.
How did you get started as a founder?
I’ve been a serial entrepreneur my whole life – I started my first company during my second year of business school in Oregon. When My Wine Society was founded it resulted from the desire to give wine connoisseurs like myself a platform to interact and connect with other like minded wine-lovers in the world. The partners at MWS decided we should form the company to accomplish just that task. Now, it has evolved into a company with expanded services for the wine drinking market segment.
How do you generate revenue as a founder?
The revenue that I see from My Wine Society comes from my investment of time and capital into the company. We generate revenue from wine subscriptions, event ticket sales, and sponsorships.
How long did it take you to start making money as a founder?
The pandemic put a damper on the initial revenue. When the My Wine Society’s wine subscriptions were launched the revenue started to increase exponentially. Before the end of 2020 MWS was starting to be on track to significant profitability.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
The partners and I were skeptical of our own idea for a wine drinking social media platform. At the beginning of MyWineSociety’s inception there was a lingering doubt if it would be a great idea to develop. Luckily, MWS is faring well! It was our passion and love for wine that pushed MWS to the level it’s at today.
How did you get your first customer?
My Wine Society’s first customers came from wine conventions. When we launched the My Wine Society wine subscriptions we found an even larger base of customers to grow our business with.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We are focusing on using content and influencer marketing in 2021. Have all kinds of content everywhere. The internet is a large place. It’s easy to be found if you have a lot of content out there. Working with influencers is a great way to get original, user generated content to use to promote our brand.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
My Wine Society is a fun company. We provide people with wine and wine accessories. It is difficult to have a tough time. The toughest decisions I have to make for MWS are related to budgets, employees, and wine. The decisions aren’t tough when you act decisively.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My success is found in the ability to learn from my mistakes. Successful entrepreneurs will tell you that mistakes are easy to come by. You will hear that people love to point the mistakes out when you make them. I try to take note of where the mistake was made and adjust (or adapt) so I never make the same mistake twice.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Every time that I start or sell a business it reminds me of the time I started and sold my first business. It’s an exhilaration to conduct the sale of a business. The experience of the sale/start-up is just as satisfying each time.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
For years, I would try and second-guess the business — thinking it was going this way or that — but I’ve grown to work with the present flow a lot more. People will always try and tell you what your business is and only your gut knows what you really want it to be.
I am excited to see Blended Festival grow over the years with more events in different states and bigger musical acts. My Wine Society is growing just as fast and we are developing the app to be better and bigger to empower wine lovers.
What business books have inspired you?
Blitzscaling is a must read on my list. If you want to start and grow an impressively valuable and massively large scaled business ultra-fast, Blitzscaling needs to be on your reading list too. The industry insight and exposure of work-throughs for contemporary entrepreneurs proves to be a seriously valuable asset.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be patient. Life is long. If you try to get everything too fast you end up doing a lot of things poorly instead of a few things really really well. Manage and cultivate your relationships as if they were gold. The number one currency in the world is positive relationships!
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I’m available as an Advisory on advisory Cloud. Anyone interested in having me guide them can reach me on the Advisory Cloud website at https://www.advisorycloud.com/profile/Sean-Evans . Let’s work together to find the places where both of us could grow in business.