The Barefoot Spirit https://thebarefootspirit.com Founders of Barefoot, a Top Global Brand New York Times Bestselling Authors International Keynote Speakers, Entrepreneurial Coaches. Mon, 10 Dec 2018 09:26:56 -0800 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0 Clear the Decks for the Year Ahead https://thebarefootspirit.com/clear-the-decks-for-the-year-ahead/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/clear-the-decks-for-the-year-ahead/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 18:00:17 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15431 We are what we call “architectural determinists.” We don’t know if there is such a term, but it aptly describes our belief that our attitude, behavior, and odds of success are, to a great extent, heavily influenced by our physical environment. Michael originally studied architecture at UC Berkeley. During that short introduction to the curriculum, […]

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We are what we call “architectural determinists.” We don’t know if there is such a term, but it aptly describes our belief that our attitude, behavior, and odds of success are, to a great extent, heavily influenced by our physical environment.

Michael originally studied architecture at UC Berkeley. During that short introduction to the curriculum, he became patently aware of the fact that people were influenced by their surroundings. Sociologists have told us for years that children are particularly effected by their environment. We like to say, it’s harder to act out when you’re wearing a tuxedo.

Clear the decks for battle!

We’re not suggesting that folks all dress like penguins or move into palaces to be successful. We started out in the laundry room in an old ranch house that leaked when it rained. But there was one thing we both agreed on right from the start. Wherever we lived and wherever we worked was going to be clean and orderly. We knew that a messy environment was not going to help us overcome the messy challenges we all face in business.

Every once in a while, when things get especially hectic, we’d slack off on the clean and orderly bit. It didn’t take long before we’d start to get confused and downright discouraged. The good news was that we knew there was something we could do to make a difference. It would only take a few hours, or in the worst case, a few days.

Getting our surroundings back in order always give us the feeling of having a fresh start. That in itself was encouraging. It didn’t solve our problems, but it did allow us more clarity and better focus. It gave us optimism.

The old Navy captains would shout the command, “Clear the decks for battle!” That should be the mantra for this time of year as we finish one year and prepare for the next. This is a great time to clean up and reorganize your office. It’s something you can do that shows a commitment to the future, gives you an immediate psychological boost, and will pay dividends in the year ahead.

Why not schedule one of those days you plan on taking off for the holidays and give yourself the precious gift of order and peace.

10 Steps to a Clean Work Environment

We have a friend who is a cleanup expert. She believes you can clean up any room, house, or office with this simple 10 step formula:

  1. Take the day off.
  2. Put on some upbeat music.
  3. Get out a few large garbage bags. She believes most of the mess you’re cleaning up is trash.
  4. Get out several empty boxes. She believes a lot of what you’re looking at can be gifted to others.
  5. Pick up the first item and look at it.
  6. Do the triage:
  • Do you really need it? If so, clean it and put it back.
  • Should it be tossed? If so, put it in the trash
  • Can it be donated? If so, put in in the donation box.

The idea here is to not put it down until you’ve decided which of the three places is its new home.

  1. Repeat. Pick up each item and make the same determination until you’re done.
  2. Then call the Goodwill and take out the trash.
  3. Dust and vacuum.
  4. Put on some mellow music, enjoy a favorite beverage and gloat!

Now you’re really ready for the New Year! Happy Holidays everybody!

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Entrepreneur – It’s Official: Customers Prefer Sustainable Companies https://thebarefootspirit.com/entrepreneur-its-official-customers-prefer-sustainable-companies/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/entrepreneur-its-official-customers-prefer-sustainable-companies/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 19:53:23 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15417 When we built the Barefoot Wine brand, we lived and died on the latest Nielsen ratings. So if you are in the packaged goods space, you want to pay careful attention to the latest Nielsen report “How and Why Sustainability is Gaining Momentum with Customers.” For the purposes of this report, Nielsen chose to study […]

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Entrepreneur startups and cost of sales

When we built the Barefoot Wine brand, we lived and died on the latest Nielsen ratings. So if you are in the packaged goods space, you want to pay careful attention to the latest Nielsen report “How and Why Sustainability is Gaining Momentum with Customers.

For the purposes of this report, Nielsen chose to study purchases of three of the most common fast-moving consumer goods, coffee, chocolate and bath products, because of their differences from each other. What they found was that products with sustainability claims generally outperformed the growth rate of total products in their respective categories.

For instance, based on sales for the 52-week period ending 3/24/2018, the weighted average of all three categories showed 3 percent more growth for sustainable products. Sustainable coffee 11 percent more, sustainable chocolate 2 percent more and sustainable bath products 13 percent more than the total of their respective categories.

To read the complete article, please visit Entrepreneur 

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Confirmation Is More Than a Courtesy https://thebarefootspirit.com/confirmation-is-more-than-a-courtesy/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/confirmation-is-more-than-a-courtesy/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 18:00:47 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15409 Silicon Valley has become Main Street Disneyland for international technopreneurship worldwide. The top international universities that teach entrepreneurship in its various forms all pay homage to Silicon Valley. They want to immerse their students in this wondrous place of Stanford University, Facebook, Google and other techie attractions, if only for a week or two. Most […]

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Silicon Valley has become Main Street Disneyland for international technopreneurship worldwide. The top international universities that teach entrepreneurship in its various forms all pay homage to Silicon Valley. They want to immerse their students in this wondrous place of Stanford University, Facebook, Google and other techie attractions, if only for a week or two.

Most of the international students are engineers with an extremely technical education. This narrow focus is somehow celebrated in this magical land of startups, V.C.s, burn rates, and unicorns. What can we offer the students that will help them in their quest for entrepreneurial success?

We have no technological background nor are we even V.C.s. We have a few clients with software and high tech products, but we are not their technical advisors. However, we are their business advisors. We help them make better business decisions and keep them on track to their ultimate acquisition. It’s what we’ve done. It’s what we’re experienced at.

So, when we looked at these groups of international tech students touring through Silicon Valley, we realized that the best thing we could do for them was to share a different skill set they need to be successful – soft skills.  These are generally not taught in the technical schools. Nor are they generally shared by the enshrined V.C.s who got rich and famous strictly on their technology.

Soft skills can increase your credit and terms, reduce your turnover, and turn customers into advocates.

In fact, one of our most popular talks is “How Soft Skills Earn Hard Cash.” In this talk, we explore how soft skills can positively affect the three key business relationships; Vendors, Employees, and Customers. We advocate empathy and putting yourself in the other guy’s shoes as the foundational soft skill from which all the others flow.

As an example, one of the soft skills that seems to be disappearing these days is simple acknowledgment and confirmation. Let’s take Bill, for example, a recent Engineering grad. He just got funding for his new tech startup.

When Bill is asked to research something or execute a project, he does not extend the courtesy of reassuring the requesting party that he got the request. He doesn’t give them a date for completion. And he does not notify them in advance of a delay.

By not acknowledging or being responsive, he reasons that he can get to it or not and force the requesting party to get back to him to see if he completed the assignment or dropped it. This may take the pressure off Bill, but it hurts his business, no matter how tech savvy he is.

Many folks who lack soft skill training will actually complete the project but not report. That way if they don’t get around to it, they figure they haven’t committed. Plus there’s a chance the requesting party may forget altogether. But if they have completed, and they don’t report, they figure they can say, “Oh yea, that project, I completed it last week.” It’s as if to say confirmation and status reporting are not necessary because you can count on me, kind of a “just trust me” scenario.

The fact is that the anxiety this work style causes for the requesting party hurts Bill’s relationship with them.

Now the employee, vendor, or client is less likely to extend special considerations to Bill because they feel he is less reliable and unresponsive.

Bill had better get that second and third round of financing from the V.C. (and give up more of his equity). That’s because he will be paying top dollar for everything, have limited or no credit, and a revolving door that his trained people are leaving through.

Bill’s tech business can take a dive because he missed the opportunity to build trust with the very people he depended upon. A simple soft skill like confirmation and timely status reporting builds the kind of trust that can significantly reduce your cost of doing business. This is just one of many important soft skills that can help any business.

Oh, and as far as the tour of tech-campused Silicon Valley is concerned, when they are done seeing all the concrete, glass, steel, and conference rooms, we take them on a tour in the wine country and the redwoods where we share lessons about how soft skills can earn hard cash.  Want to come along?

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Vendors Deserve Thanks Too! https://thebarefootspirit.com/vendors-deserve-thanks-too/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/vendors-deserve-thanks-too/#respond Thu, 22 Nov 2018 18:00:24 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15385 Once again, the Holidays are upon us. Family and friends gather together, and you are showing your gratitude to your employees and customers alike. But wait, aren’t we forgetting someone here? This is a great time to thank your vendors. That’s right, your vendors, the folks you depend upon to supply your business. “Shouldn’t they […]

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Once again, the Holidays are upon us. Family and friends gather together, and you are showing your gratitude to your employees and customers alike. But wait, aren’t we forgetting someone here?

This is a great time to thank your vendors. That’s right, your vendors, the folks you depend upon to supply your business. “Shouldn’t they be thanking me?” you may ask. Sure, and they will. But by thanking them in detail for something they did that was especially beneficial to your business last year, you reinforce the kind of support, allowances, and excellent customer service that you want next year.

Your vendors know what’s going on in the market.

They can save you time and money. They can advise you in advance of what your competition is up to. And they can bring you up to date on the ever changing market dynamics. Did any of your vendors provide you with useful insight this year? Thank them for it now.

Your vendors know exactly how your company can benefit the greatest by using the products and services they have to offer.

They know when their warehouse is sitting on too much inventory and that is when they can give you a sweet deal. They know when their boss needs a few bucks real fast and can offer you a discount. And they might even warehouse for you free of charge if you agree to that large purchase they need to make their numbers. How much can that save you? A word of appreciation from you now can open the door for more personalized attention in the future.

Your vendors can make your life easier with special packaging for a big client, just in time deliveries to protect your reputation, and extended terms to help you grow. Did any of your vendors do anything like this for you this year? Now’s a great time to say thank you!

Make Your Business the “Favorite Call” of Vendors

Having been in sales for years, we know how vendors are generally treated because we were vendors to our buyers. Sometimes we’d wait for hours just to see the buyer. We were made to feel like we were lucky just to get in. The general attitude was, “This guy is here to sell me something I don’t need.” Many couldn’t wait to get rid of us. Unfortunately, that is how many buyers treat salespeople.

That’s why we treated our vendors like our buyers. We welcomed them and even gave them a cup of coffee and a piece of pie! We knew they would look forward to their “favorite call.” And when they did call, they gave us their insights. We got all the latest info on the market, the best buys, the best terms and the most favors. Why? Because we let them know we appreciated them. We respected their ability to understand our business and work with us.

Most vendors are taken for granted or worse, seen as an annoyance. Why not reach out this Holiday Season with a little of that appreciation you lavish on your customers? You may be surprised at the results.

There’s two ways to make a profit: make more money and spend less money. Your vendors can help you spend less and give you a view of your industry only vendors who service your industry every day could have. Why not make your business their “favorite call”? A short, “Thank you for your service this year” is a great way to get started!

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Dependence on Tech Crutches Threatens our Cognitive Abilities https://thebarefootspirit.com/dependence-on-tech-crutches-threatens-our-cognitive-abilities/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/dependence-on-tech-crutches-threatens-our-cognitive-abilities/#respond Thu, 15 Nov 2018 18:00:04 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15356 Long before the advent of the smartphones permanently attached to the end of our arms, we had to use our brains to solve problems. We had to give our undivided attention to a book or a lecture to discover a solution. Our brains had to function! We’d be forced to identify and extract the underlying […]

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Long before the advent of the smartphones permanently attached to the end of our arms, we had to use our brains to solve problems. We had to give our undivided attention to a book or a lecture to discover a solution. Our brains had to function!

We’d be forced to identify and extract the underlying principle behind examples obtained from real life experiences, textbooks or teachers. We knew we couldn’t possibly learn and retain every example. So we had to grasp the principles so we could apply them to future problems. We would have to recall our learned list of principles to discover how they might apply to a new problem that we had never seen before. We used these principles like tools that could be adjusted to resolve challenges and problems we experienced.

Instant Access at Our Fingertips

But, why go through all that trouble if you could instantly access every example on Google or YouTube? So much for looking for the principle and retaining it. MacGyver R.I.P.!

We have friends who have thousands of books downloaded on their reading devices. When we ask, “Why do you have all those books when you know you will never read them?” They say, “Just having them makes me feel like I have sort of read them. I have access to them and that’s a step closer to reading them!” So much for feeling obligated to read a book you bought.

It’s interesting that so many folks are worried that robots will take away their jobs when they already think their “work” is simply to find an example, cut and paste. No problem solving is required for that. Simply oversimplify a challenge, copy a pre-existing solution, and paste a one-size-fits-all “solution.” Isn’t that what robots already do?

Instead of solving the challenge using principles, you might just say, “Like What? Like What? Like What?” expecting and demanding that there is an exact example you can copy and paste. If only someone, usually your boss, would just tell you.  It’s so much easier to not have to reason it out! It’s so much easier to not have to remember things! Besides, why bother when it’s all right there at the end of your arm?

And that’s just the problem, isn’t it? Today’s tech natives are born with a crutch on the end of their arm that it can threaten their memory and cognitive abilities. Parts of the brain we used to depend upon are getting used less and less. As we become more dependent on technology, we rely less on our own cognitive abilities.

Learning from Stories

Our friend and business namesake, Marilyn Barefoot, writes a compelling and well-researched post on this subject. She reports on growing warnings about how dependence on tech can decrease our attention span, make us more easily distracted, impair our social interaction, and well, get us downright addicted.

Marilyn is an expert on brainstorming and story as a form of learning. In her post “Your Brain on Stories,” she examines how researchers have actually measured the parts of the brain that are activated and the rewarding chemicals released when we listen to a story. It’s fascinating! And it’s hopeful.

People learn from listening to stories. When you create the scene being described together in your mind, you are pulling the props, colors, and moods out of your memory and imagination. Then, you are attaching the action to that creation. Because you are participating in the reception of the story, you have an investment in it. Now you are more likely to recall the principles that the story demonstrated later when you need them.

Experiential Learning Through a Business Audiobook

This is the kind of experiential learning experience we are aiming for in our new Audio Theater Business Book. We’ve taken our NYTs Bestseller, The Barefoot Spirit and actually had it theatrically performed for you, not just read to you. It is a series of short stories in which professional actors play the characters. And we have added an original musical score and sound effects.  We hope to engage your imagination in a true-life business adventure that will entertain and demonstrate time-tested principles that will be at the ready for you to easily recall and apply to your own life and business.

We that dramatic business story-telling just might be the redemption for the technical crutch at the end of your arm! It is a wonderful way to activate your brain while being entertained.

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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With a Little Help from Our Friends at USF https://thebarefootspirit.com/with-a-little-help-from-our-friends-at-usf/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/with-a-little-help-from-our-friends-at-usf/#respond Thu, 08 Nov 2018 18:00:37 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15316 We had the honor of presenting to the MBAs at the University of San Francisco. Professor Thomas Maier gives a unique class on business modeling, research, and development where students form into teams and become their own virtual “consulting” firms. But that’s where the virtual meets the real world. Each team takes on a challenge […]

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The Barefoot Spirit AudiobookWe had the honor of presenting to the MBAs at the University of San Francisco. Professor Thomas Maier gives a unique class on business modeling, research, and development where students form into teams and become their own virtual “consulting” firms. But that’s where the virtual meets the real world.

Each team takes on a challenge brought to them by real companies. Over the term of the semester, the student teams delve into the challenge, doing research and discovering potential solutions. They then deliver a tangible and actionable report of their findings and recommendations. The students get their feet wet doing real consulting work and the companies get the results for “free!” It’s a classic win, win!

Target Audience for The Barefoot Spirit Audiobook

This is our 2nd year participating in the program. This year, our challenge to the students was to discover and access the target audience for our new theater-style business audio book of The Barefoot Spirit. We prepared a short deck that identified what we know about the project. This includes the types of folks who would buy, the media we think they frequent, the unique features of the audiobook, and the various suggested business models.

We were clear that we were not experts in this field. As far as we could see, the field of audiobooks itself was in upheaval with virtual monopolies like Audible finally facing challenges by Apple. The students told us that Google and others were also developing their own audio sales platforms. The growth in audio is phenomenal. We thought the trend was going to video, but video immobilizes your mobile device. With audio, you can commute or jog.

We spent some time describing the selling points, including why our audiobook is unique: It’s the true and humble story of the wine that’s in your fridge; and it’s already a NYTs bestseller in paperback; and it’s presented in a dramatic theatrical style. Audio theater has made its way into many fictional novels. But, to the best of our knowledge, this will be a pioneer audio theater performance of a businessbook.   

Audiobooks and Audio Theaters

That’s where they surprised us. They said that our biggest challenge was to describe what audio theater is, especially when the first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions “audiobook is a narrator reading the printed book to you.

This is also a generation whose only reference to audio theater may be Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds.” Some may have heard Garrison Keillor’s, “A Prairie Home Companion”  with audio theatrical skits like “Guy Noir”. But most folks require a more detailed explanation.

The new style will engage the listeners’ imagination as they put the scenes together in their mind. Like NPR’s “Theater of the Mind,” listeners will enjoy a form of experiential learning from stories dramatically acted out by real actors.  Our audiobook also has an original musical score and sound effects! The paperback book is already written as a series 1-3 minute short stories. It is void of the boring prescriptive lists typical of most business books. So it lends itself to this theatrical format.

To get this new concept across in the marketplace, the students suggested a free chapter to sample the style. Thereby tempting the listeners to buy the entire audio book. They also suggested selling the book in chapters, kind of like an installment plan.

Classroom Learning Meets Real World Lessons

Over the next four weeks, we will be working closely with the students to develop our marketing program.

For us, the interaction with students of this caliber is exciting and rewarding. It’s a truly wonderful opportunity to get the latest on the rapid pace of innovation and applications that can help businesses prosper. We are very excited to see what the students come up with to help us address this marketing challenge!

We feel like we have a state-of-the-art consulting company working for us. So we are happy to return the energy with the benefit of our experience building the Barefoot Wine brand. To that end, our presentation covered our two biggest challenges which turned out to be our two biggest assets: no money and no knowledge of our industry. We also covered the three critical relationships which can turn soft skills into hard cash: your vendors, your employees, and your customers.

Want to know more? Well, it’s all in our new, soon to be released, The Barefoot Spirit audio book which, with the help of the USF MBA students, will start a new trend toward business audio theater.

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Problem Solving, Barefoot Style: 5 Steps to Approach Any Problem https://thebarefootspirit.com/problem-solving-barefoot-style-5-steps-to-approach-any-problem/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/problem-solving-barefoot-style-5-steps-to-approach-any-problem/#respond Thu, 08 Nov 2018 02:10:13 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15311 The success of the Barefoot Wine brand is living testimony to the problem-solving methods Bonnie Harvey and I employed in our early days. You can use these same methods to help overcome the problems your business faces on its journey from start-up to build-up and from build out to enterprise. Barefoot Wine is now the […]

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The success of the Barefoot Wine brand is living testimony to the problem-solving methods Bonnie Harvey and I employed in our early days. You can use these same methods to help overcome the problems your business faces on its journey from start-up to build-up and from build out to enterprise.

Barefoot Wine is now the world’s largest wine brand, but it had very humble beginnings. Bonnie and I started out in a laundry room in a rented farmhouse. We had no money and no knowledge of our industry. But these two apparent handicaps turned out to be the keys to our success.

Because we were underfinanced, we were forced to become resourceful. Because we were unfamiliar with our industry, we were forced to ask lots of questions.

To read the complete article, please visit Strive Magazine 

 

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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To Succeed in Business, Delegation is Not a Choice, it’s a Requirement https://thebarefootspirit.com/to-succeed-in-business-delegation-is-not-a-choice-its-a-requirement-2/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/to-succeed-in-business-delegation-is-not-a-choice-its-a-requirement-2/#respond Tue, 06 Nov 2018 15:24:50 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15303 We like to say, “Do what you do best, and delegate the rest!” That sort of flies in the face of, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” Is there a middle ground that gives you the time you need to focus on moving the company forward using your best skill sets with […]

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We like to say, “Do what you do best, and delegate the rest!”

That sort of flies in the face of, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.”

Is there a middle ground that gives you the time you need to focus on moving the company forward using your best skill sets with

out being disappointed by the performance of those upon whom you rely?

One of the biggest reasons for failure we see as advisors to small and medium-sized businesses is owners trying to do everything themselves. This keeps them from scaling and also keeps the company from doing its best.

When owners try to do everything themselves, they think they’re saving money. Or, they think they’re saving the job from an undesirable outcome. But actually, they’re stretching themselves too thin and reaching beyond their skill set.

To read the complete article, please visit The Business Journals 

 

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Is Your CPG Company on the Right Side of History? https://thebarefootspirit.com/is-your-cpg-company-on-the-right-side-of-history/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/is-your-cpg-company-on-the-right-side-of-history/#respond Mon, 05 Nov 2018 22:09:21 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15287 Because we successfully built a popular consumer packaged goods brand, now known the world over, we are often asked about packaging. Our audiences want to know, “What’s the latest in packaging?” and, “What are the new trends?” After all, the “P” in CPG is “package.” In the 1967 movie, “The Graduate,” a young man, recently […]

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Entrepreneur startups and cost of salesBecause we successfully built a popular consumer packaged goods brand, now known the world over, we are often asked about packaging. Our audiences want to know, “What’s the latest in packaging?” and, “What are the new trends?” After all, the “P” in CPG is “package.”

In the 1967 movie, “The Graduate,” a young man, recently graduated from college, is given advice from his dad’s best friend, “I’ve got one word for you, Benjamin: Plastics.” If we were giving advice to college grads today, we would add one more word, “alternatives,” making the best advice we have to give, “plastic alternatives.”

To read the complete article, please visit Entrepreneur 

 

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Immigrants Built Our Economy https://thebarefootspirit.com/immigrants-built-our-economy/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/immigrants-built-our-economy/#respond Thu, 01 Nov 2018 17:00:20 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15273 Michael’s grandfather, John Francis Houlihan, came over from Ireland in the late 1800s. He was 19 years old. The only passage he could book was above deck on an ocean steamer headed for New York loaded with cattle in the hold. All the immigrants had to make the crossing above deck, exposed to the inclement […]

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Immigrants Built our EconomyMichael’s grandfather, John Francis Houlihan, came over from Ireland in the late 1800s. He was 19 years old. The only passage he could book was above deck on an ocean steamer headed for New York loaded with cattle in the hold. All the immigrants had to make the crossing above deck, exposed to the inclement weather of the North Atlantic. It was cold and windy and at night, the immigrants would huddle next to the smokestacks for warmth. It was a long trip. It was there that he met Michael’s grandmother Nellie, also a teenager at the time, and they fell in love.

When they got to Ellis Island, they were incarcerated in separate prison-like housing until they could prove on paper that they had gainful employment. Communications took forever in those days, so they remained imprisoned for several months. Finally, the word came from San Francisco that John was offered a job cleaning stables at the Sutro Stables that housed the San Francisco Police Department’s horses. John knew horses, but wouldn’t leave until he secured a job for Nellie as a washerwoman in a boarding house in San Francisco.

When they got to San Francisco, they were met with open hostility and prejudice against Irish immigrants because they would take lowly jobs at very low wages. Further, they were viewed as unamerican “papists” because of their Catholic religion which emanated from the Pope in Rome.

In the years that followed, they scraped together enough to make a down payment on their own boarding house. They studied the constitution diligently and became naturalized citizens earning the right to vote. John worked his way up in the stable to become the head horseman. Nellie worked managing room rentals and provided cleaning services for transients.

In 1906, an 8.6 earthquake and ensuing fire destroyed the city. The Sutro stable caught fire. All of the horses perished except the mayor’s prized Percherons. In the confusion and calamity, John had the presence of mind to save them. The mayor asked John how he could possibly thank him. John replied, “Make me a beat cop in the Irish ghetto,” which was the Mission District at the time and the place John and Nellie called home.

John served as a beat cop, walking the streets of the Mission District for 40 years, serving the people of the Mission, keeping the peace, fighting crime, helping in the emergencies, and putting his life on the line. He saw the reconstruction of the City. He attended the Panama Pacific Exhibition in 1915. The Palace of Fine Arts is the only building left standing from the World’s Fair that showed the world that San Francisco was back in business and now; through the newly opened Panama Canal.

John saw World War I and the influx of Italian immigrants that came into the Mission immediately following. He saw prohibition force average Americans to break the law. He saw the Great Depression, the Repeal of Prohibition and World War II. All that time, he saw wave after wave of immigrants come into the Mission and work their way into better lives.

During that time, they had three children. Two died in childbirth. One survived. The survivor, Michael’s father; John Charles Houlihan, was a public servant. Michael’s father worked with others to develop containerized shipping which revolutionized the shipping industry and reduced what they used to call shrinkage, or pilfering by dock workers. The containers were now locked. This alone cut the cost of world commerce significantly. Several container ports sprang up all over the world in the 1970s and ’80s. Shipping was now efficient, safe, and dependable. It became a standard.

Immigrants Don’t Take Citizenship for Granted

Michael grew up spending summers with his Irish grandfather who constantly reminded him of the great opportunity the United States offered to get ahead. He told Michael that hard work paid off in America. He extolled the virtues of American citizenship and expressed deep gratitude for his chance to get ahead in the United States until the day he died.

John and his son gave back to the country in different ways, but their lives improve the lives of many Americans. Think of all the jobs that containerized shipping created, and for that matter, Barefoot Wine.

Immigrants are the backbone of the economy and are why America is so “Great”! Let’s welcome the immigrants who want to work and show their appreciation for having been given the chance. In order to become naturalized citizens and gain the right to vote, they have to learn about the constitution, the divisions of government; and why they exist as well as the checks and balances they provide. Native-born Americans have no such requirement. They can just vote without that knowledge, or not even vote at all. Immigrants generally don’t take citizenship for granted. They understand our government and they vote.

Let’s rethink the value of immigrants and let’s all vote! Democracy is not something immigrants take for granted. Why should we?

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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