Turning the Page
Sokol Blosser publishes "Letting Go”
By OWP Staff
Susan Sokol Blosser, who recently passed her iconic family winery to the next generation, shares the story in a new self-published book, “Letting Go: How One Entrepreneur Energized Her Business, Empowered the Next Generation and Embraced a Bold New Vision.”
Sokol Blosser co-founded Sokol Blosser Winery in Dayton with her former husband, Bill Blosser, in 1971. She turned the operation over to her children, Alex and Alison, in 2008.
Her website, www.susansokolblosser.com, describes her latest book: “At a time when women were rarely decision-makers in business or agriculture, Susan Sokol Blosser, a pioneer in the Oregon wine industry, distinguished herself in both. For over three decades, Susan managed every aspect of Sokol Blosser’s winery operation ... As president, she saw Sokol Blosser grow to become one of the largest and most innovative Oregon wineries, with national and international distribution.
“Then, at the height of her career, Susan made an extraordinary decision: to step away from the work she loved and transition control of the winery to her children. “Letting Go” is the engaging account of how she made that decision, the surprising challenges she faced, the unanticipated journey that ensued and the good life that followed …”
Sokol Blosser shared a few thoughts about “Letting Go” with Oregon Wine Press.
What inspired you to write the book? How long did it take? Any mishaps?
Transitioning control of the winery was unexpectedly difficult. I started writing about it as a way to make sense of it. I’d write, get discouraged and put it away for months, then come back and rework it. I felt I had something important to say about transition, even about aging, and wanted to say it so people would understand. That wasn’t easy. I spent about six years writing and rewriting. Eventually, the manuscript took on a life of its own and evolved into what you see in print.
What do you hope readers take away from the book?
Here are some points I want to make: (1) All the focus, throughout school and career, is about accumulation. People don’t talk about letting go, but it is equally important. (2) Family business transition needs to be confronted, thought through and executed, preferably with the help of a family business coach. (3) I found that letting go was not the end; it was the beginning. The old concept of retirement is outdated.
Any other books in the works?
I enjoy the challenge of writing and ideas for more projects keep springing to mind. So far, I’ve only written non-fiction. Fiction would be a new challenge and I may try.