[EPISODE] The Spirit Of An Entrepreneur
Kevin Herson is the owner & founder of Doc’s Spirits, an NYC-based distillery highlighting artisanal absinthe, among other things.
As you can imagine, he’s also an avid creator – constantly tinkering with things – with a penchant for innovation and growth.
Tune in this Friday at noon to learn more about the essence of an entrepreneur!
Jeremiah starts the show off with a question for the week, “What is behind the spirit of an entrepreneur?”. The guest of the week is Kevin Herson; he owns a NYC based distillery. Kevin begins by talking about his background. He was born in South Africa, and has been in NY for about 11 years. He mentions how he and his wife started the business about 8 years ago. Kevin talks about where his interest/passion in spirits began. He talks of how he has been in and out of the restaurant industry for a while now. His first gig was as a busboy. He explains how he boldly asked his boss about getting into the wine industry because he was tired of being a busboy. He actually bought a ticket to Napa Valley so he could learn more about the wine industry! He developed a hobby of distilling. The guys both discuss how it is extremely beneficial to go after what you want, instead of “waiting” on an opportunity. The segment concludes with Kevin discussing how he got the job as a Wine Captain after learning so much in Napa.
Kevin delves into how he got into the distillery business and the obstacles he faced. He is grateful that laws changed in New York where it would let a normal everyday person get into the distillery business. He started his business with only $5,200. Kevin talks of how he started off his business in his basement in Harlem. The gentlemen then discuss how different types of ingredients can go into spirit in the distillery process. They talk about how the spirit industry started to blow up in New York state. Although Kevin legally distilled his first product in mid-2014, he was selling his product before then. The gentlemen agree that sometimes you have to “get the ball rollin’” and get boots on the ground before everything comes together legally. Kevin ends the segment by telling the audience how building relationships is important.
Kevin begins this segment by talking about his education. He has a chemistry background, which helps him with his current career. Kevin reveals that his first career was actually a chiropractor! Kevin believes that even though chemistry was a great building block for his current career, creativity and passion play major roles in it as well. He talks about the several other jobs that he had before becoming an entrepreneur. Even though he has had several careers, he came back to the distillery industry. Kevin uses his experiences in past careers to help him be successful in his current entrepreneurial career. He learned how to “pound the pavement”, and develop thick skin. Kevin then talks about the sales part of his business. The segment concludes with the guys agreeing on how an entrepreneur should not waste his/her time trying to convince someone to buy their product.
The last segment opens with Kevin talking about the other things that have helped him get to where he is now. He then talks about how he is selling his product in California as well as New York. He is looking to expand his company, but slowly. He says besides social media, and knocking on doors, the community of guys who started the distillery business a long time ago helped him tremendously. He talks of how he makes his product from scratch. Kevin believes legitimacy of his product, made that core group of original distilleries always refer business to him. Kevin talks about how his path to entrepreneurship was extremely hard, but with his passion and determination he was able to make it through. Kevin informs the audience of where you can find information about his distillery. Kevin believes that the spirit of an entrepreneur is being completely nuts and working really hard.