I STAGGER INTO THE YEAR 2001, feeling a blustery wind not at my back but in my face, a confusing, swirling wind, not the powerful gust that has in recent years propelled me forward. I feel unsteady, unsure of literally where I stand. The wind in my face lashes me, causing me to teeter and nearly topple, forcing me to grab on to the closest railing and hold tight while I steady myself and figure out my present and plan my future.
I have meetings with myself. These take the form of long walks alone or during silent, somber early morning workouts at the gym, or quiet meditations at my church. Yes, I pray. I pray for guidance and strength and clarity. I think about where I am, reflect on where I have come from, and contemplate where I want to go, where I know I will go, because truly and fundamentally, I have faith. Faith pulled me out of a foxhole alive. Faith gave me the strength and vision to start a crazy new career in my mid-40s without second-guessing myself. Too much. I’m confident now that faith will sort out the Seagram to Diageo handoff and show me the proper path.
I have to have faith because I have no money.
Seagram, I know, planned to nudge the Bulleit brand forward in baby steps, introducing our new look, new glass, new package as they simultaneously tried to reintroduce the idea of bourbon itself. They envisioned a slow, steady build, starting in two markets, increasing to four, as opposed to a buckshot approach, banging a mythological distribution ...