The Barefoot Spirit https://thebarefootspirit.com Founders of Barefoot, a Top Global Brand New York Times Bestselling Authors International Keynote Speakers, Entrepreneurial Coaches. Tue, 22 Jan 2019 02:03:32 -0800 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 5 Tips to Sell More in 2019 https://thebarefootspirit.com/5-tips-to-sell-more-in-2019/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/5-tips-to-sell-more-in-2019/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2019 18:00:52 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15615 Want to sell more this year? Of course, you do! Without sales, you don’t need production or even marketing. In fact, your whole company is supported by sales. We like to say, “Regardless of what their organization chart says, all companies only have only two divisions, Sales and Sale Support!” in other words, if you’re […]

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tips to sell moreWant to sell more this year? Of course, you do! Without sales, you don’t need production or even marketing. In fact, your whole company is supported by sales. We like to say, “Regardless of what their organization chart says, all companies only have only two divisions, Sales and Sale Support!” in other words, if you’re not in sales, you’re in sales support. You are there to support sales.

 

So how can you improve sales this year?

Here are our top five tips to sell more!

1. Believe in Your Product

Sales is frustrating more times than not. The sales cycle always take a lot longer than you expect. Meanwhile, you’ve got bills hungry for bucks. It can get downright discouraging. What keeps you going? A deep belief in your product and the benefits it will provide your customers.

But it’s not enough for you to believe in your product. Your whole sales support staff has to believe as well. It’s not only what keeps them going – it’s what keeps your people engaged in the sales process. It’s what encourages them to come up with solutions to sales challenges. Everyone they talk to will know they believe in your product.

2. Don’t Oversell

We once had a partner we’re not ashamed to say we parted company with. One time he was pitching our products to a big buyer in North Carolina. The meeting was going well. The buyer was definitely showing buying signals. Finally, the buyer asked,  “When can we get these products in?” It was at that point that our former partner decided to keep on selling with features and benefits and other products the buyer should buy. After about 6 minutes of selling past the close, the buyer said, “On second thought, we are going to pass at this time! Good day gentlemen!” It was 3 years before we got back into that account and we had to assure the buyer that our former partner was no longer with us.

Many entrepreneurs are so used to arguing their selling points, they don’t even hear the buying signals. We like to say, “Know when it’s time to shut up before you get shut out!” In other words, stop selling when the sale is made!

3. Service What You Sell

One major thing that hurts sales is not servicing what you sell. Many entrepreneurs are so desperate to make sales happen that they forget what it really takes to keep their customers happy. Service! With good service, your customers will be more likely to brag you up to their colleagues and refer you to more buyers. Why? Because service is more important than the product.

We tell our clients not to even think about selling until they really understand the cost of sales, not the cost of goods, but the cost of sales. And the biggest cost of sales is service. Want to increase your sales? Double up on service and your reputation will precede you.

4. Don’t Stop at B2B

Too many entrepreneurs think the sale is done when they sell their B2B clients. But we say, “There is no such thing as B2B! It’s more like B2B2B2C because there is always an end-user customer at the end of that alphabet.”

And what does that mean to you? It means that you must take an interest in your customer’s customer’s business if you want your products to sell through. You also want to know how what you sold is being used and if it is being used effectively. If it’s not and you don’t know it, so much for the reorders. Want to improve sales? Get involved downstream from your B2B customer. Take an interest in their success. Remember what happened to the B2B sellers during the last recession. They initially said, “I don’t have to worry. I sell B2B.” They had to worry!

5. Be the Assistant Buyer

The world’s best sale pitch is “I can help you sell your product.” When you say that, you will get a great buying signal, “How?” Now you have the mic and you’re front and center stage. But in order to say such a thing with confidence, you really have to do your homework. You have to know what your prospect’s product is.

We thought our retail buyer’s product was selling food and beverage items, same as us. But we were wrong. That was just on the way to his real product which was shelf space. He wanted to see high turnover. He wanted to buy products that would return on his investment in expensive shelf space. So for him, he was more impressed by the speed of our sales than all our features and benefits.

He also wanted to get people into his store, so he was very interested in how we were going to do that. For instance, he wanted to see our seasonal marketing materials that would help decorate his store. So much for features and benefits. Want to sell more? Find out what they are selling and become their “assistant buyer.”

Good luck with your sales this year and use our high five sales tips to make it the best year yet!

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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The Nice Guys Podcast https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-nice-guys-podcast/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-nice-guys-podcast/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 01:29:21 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15588 M&B were interviewed on “The Nice Guys” podcast by host, Doug Sandler. To listen to the interview, please visit The Nice Guys Podcast                  Who We Are Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart […]

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M&B were interviewed on “The Nice Guys” podcast by host, Doug Sandler. To listen to the interview, please visit The Nice Guys Podcast 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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The 5-Slide Deck and the 50 Word Blurb https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-5-slide-deck-and-the-50-word-blurb/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-5-slide-deck-and-the-50-word-blurb/#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2019 18:00:16 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15566 Drawing Investors’ Attention Possibly the biggest challenge that entrepreneurs face is not raising capital. It’s getting the people with the capital to sit still for a presentation! Most of them see hundreds of presentations, have very short attention spans, and may turn down a perfectly good business proposition simply because they can’t stay interested long […]

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Drawing Investors’ Attention

Possibly the biggest challenge that entrepreneurs face is not raising capital. It’s getting the people with the capital to sit still for a presentation! Most of them see hundreds of presentations, have very short attention spans, and may turn down a perfectly good business proposition simply because they can’t stay interested long enough to get through the deck.

We have been working diligently with start-up, build-up, and build-out level businesses to help them better present themselves in a way that gets the attention of potential investors. They typically come to us with multipage descriptions, tons of charts, and a 30+ slide deck.

This approach to “overkill” and “heading objections off in the pass” may work later, once you get their attention and they have asked for more. But initially, it’s a turn off. The key is to give them just enough to pique their interest and compel them to do just that, ask for more!

Keep Your Initial Presentation Short

From our experience, we don’t believe the initial deck should be more than five slides. And we advise our clients to keep the initial blurb at 50 words. Why? Because the reader is more likely to give your initial proposal more time and attention when the end is in sight. This is why the latest trend in audio and video is to state the duration in direct association with the title as if to say, “Don’t worry, this won’t go on forever – you can see the end – it’s doable!”

When someone is reviewing hundreds of applications, a message like this is like a breath of fresh air. The reader is naturally drawn to brevity. The reader thinks, “Now here’s a proposal I can focus on without getting sucked into a lot of details (when I may not even be interested in this type of investment anyway!). Unlike the others, this one doesn’t ask a lot from me up front.”

So, here then is our format for what we think is an effective initial presentation. Remember, the whole purpose of the deck is to hold their attention through the end of the presentation, qualify them as an interested party, and get them to ask for more.

We advise our clients to keep it general. Identify the industry and the point of attack, but leave the specifics that may require an onerous and interest-killing NDA until they’ve committed to wanting to know more (i.e., shown a real interest).

The 50 Word Blurb: 3-4 sentences

In very few sentences, identify the market potential, the unique problem and pain that your product or service will alleviate, how you solve it in general terms, and the benefits your solution provides.

The Deck: 5-Slides

Keep your text uniform. Use 18 font size minimum. Use not more than 3 or 4 bullets per slide. Keep your graphics simple and easy to read with lots of white space. Your ideal slide has a title with 3 points to the left of a graphic. We like white font on a “Twitter” blue background. It’s calming, non-threatening, professional, and easy to read.

Slide One: Identify the problem (and/or the pain caused by no solution)

Slide Two: Identify the industry and its size (Show the potential opportunity for a solution)

Slide Three: Identify what the solution does more than how it works (don’t disclose any IP)

Slide Four: Identify the alternatives and the current competitive options to solve the problem

Slide Five: Call to action (what you ask and what you offer – they can get more info with an NDA)

This approach will quickly identify the few, truly interested parties, compel them to know more about the details of your solution, marketing plans, and business model. The simplicity and generalization of this approach will make it easier for your network to distribute to their contacts. Thus, your initial proposal can reach a wider audience that may be more likely to contain that interested investor you’re looking for!

You’re still far from a home run, but if you use these techniques, you’re more likely to get to first base!

 

 

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 – Chewing Their Way to the Top https://thebarefootspirit.com/entrepreneur-chewing-their-way-to-the-top/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/entrepreneur-chewing-their-way-to-the-top/#respond Wed, 09 Jan 2019 18:00:45 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15554 We’ve often said, “If you really want to change things, put a buck on it.” That philosophy has been recently documented by Nielsen, the leader in CPG market data. The biggest mega trend we see for 2019 is being driven by consumers who want to “vote with their purchases.” They are increasingly demanding transparency from CPG […]

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Entrepreneur startups and cost of sales

We’ve often said, “If you really want to change things, put a buck on it.” That philosophy has been recently documented by Nielsen, the leader in CPG market data. The biggest mega trend we see for 2019 is being driven by consumers who want to “vote with their purchases.” They are increasingly demanding transparency from CPG producers …and getting it!

Americans love their dogs. So why shouldn’t they want transparency from the company that provides them with their dog chews? That was the catalyst for Nature Gnaws founders Jay Mokbel and Steve Mamak. The risk they took in 2016 to produce and sell, all-natural dog chews has been validated by stellar growth over the past two years.

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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Manage Smarter 50: The Money Map Every Manager Should Show Employees https://thebarefootspirit.com/manage-smarter-50-the-money-map-every-manager-should-show-employees/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/manage-smarter-50-the-money-map-every-manager-should-show-employees/#respond Fri, 04 Jan 2019 20:33:49 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15547 Michael was interviewed on “Manage Smarter” by hosts, Audrey Strong & C. Lee Smith. To listen to the interview, please visit Manage Smarter       

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Michael was interviewed on “Manage Smarter” by hosts, Audrey Strong & C. Lee Smith. To listen to the interview, please visit Manage Smarter 

 

 

 

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Casting About or Fishing Where the Fish Are https://thebarefootspirit.com/casting-about-or-fishing-where-the-fish-are/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/casting-about-or-fishing-where-the-fish-are/#respond Thu, 03 Jan 2019 18:00:51 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15543 One of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face is not coming up with a good idea as much as it is deciding on which one of their good ideas they want to focus on. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, but you don’t want to be so distracted that you […]

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One of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face is not coming up with a good idea as much as it is deciding on which one of their good ideas they want to focus on. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, but you don’t want to be so distracted that you can’t put the proper amount of energy into the one idea that will bring you the greatest return.

This dilemma is especially perplexing as we begin the new year. We’re determined to make a change. We’re determined to stop beating on dead horses. And we’re determined to seek out and recognize alternatives. There’s been books written about how entrepreneurs on the edge of success have been distracted by the shiny ball. If only they had worked a little harder a little more focused… But no, they were distracted.

Somewhere between the dead horse and the shiny ball is the answer. Is that horse really dead after all? Or maybe there is something in that shiny ball that will save him.

Most entrepreneurs have just completed a year working hard on their main project while, at the same time, entertaining new opportunities. As we start the new year we should take a lesson from the ancient Japanese craft culture. At the end of every year they clean their shop. They do this to show respect for their workplace and it is their opportunity to sort things out mentally and physically.

Take Inventory

By looking at their inventory, they discover what sold and what didn’t sell. Although this simple exercise seems obvious, most entrepreneurs just plow ahead without really taking the time to acknowledge and validate what worked! What’s left in inventory are the un-sold products and slow moving items. Now they’re taking up room in your physical and mental workspace. It’s time to reflect on how much energy you put, and continue to put, into your slow movers. You’ll need that space and mind share in the new year!

Clean House

Pick up everything you’ve made and decide if you want to keep it, change it, or just plain get rid of it. When you look at each initiative you have pursued in the past year, the ones that didn’t work don’t have to be a total loss. What did you learn from each experience? How can those lessons help you when applied to your main pursuit?

One approach is to reorganize. Take your failed and nonproducing initiatives and incorporate them into the one or ones that worked. Have you acquired new skills, new contacts, or new referrals that will help you in the new year? Identify them and make a list to acknowledge them, so you will have gotten the most out of those “shiny balls.”

Refocus

Use the experiences of the past year to help you focus on your true customer. They may not be the people you have been pursuing. Like a fisherman casting about hoping for a bite, now it’s time to pull in the lines, check your bait, and move the boat in the direction you experienced the most action.

There is a market for what you have sold in the past year. It’s time to move closer by better addressing that market. How did the customers who bought products from you last year find out about your offerings? How can you improve those channels? Identify and endeavor to utilize any new communication skills you have learned over the past year.

Has the market for your main pursuit changed? How can you modify your product and your presentation to become more relevant and compelling? Time to talk to your customers.

We know that years are just arbitrary measures of time. But they also represent a period of work that we can learn from if we take the time to take inventory, clean house, and refocus. So while everybody is feeling compelled to blastoff in new directions, maybe we can emulate those Japanese craftsmen with reflection, analysis, and redirection.

Here’s to a New Year made better by the last!

 

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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The Soft Skills That Boost Entrepreneurial Success https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-soft-skills-that-boost-entrepreneurial-success/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-soft-skills-that-boost-entrepreneurial-success/#respond Wed, 02 Jan 2019 19:32:34 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15540 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.

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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5 Ways to Make the New Year HAPPY ! https://thebarefootspirit.com/4-pillars-of-organic-growth/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/4-pillars-of-organic-growth/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2018 18:00:47 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15529 For the next few weeks, you’ll hear a lot of folks wishing you a Happy New Year! And you, like us, will no doubt wish them the same. Everyone wants something better for themselves and others, and hopes that a fresh start is possible in the coming year. So, this is the time of year […]

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For the next few weeks, you’ll hear a lot of folks wishing you a Happy New Year! And you, like us, will no doubt wish them the same. Everyone wants something better for themselves and others, and hopes that a fresh start is possible in the coming year. So, this is the time of year when people feel obligated to make resolutions, create goals, and plan out the year ahead.

But instead of all those pronouncements,  perhaps what we really need is to return to a few classic principles. Perhaps we can rediscover some daily practices that will actually help achieve that often wished for, and sometimes elusive, truly Happy New Year. Here’s 5 time-tested principles to help make the New Year…HAPPY!

 

Civility  –  Practice Dignity

Value good manners and dignity. Practice respect for others, especially for those with whom you disagree. Shun and refused to participate in language that dehumanizes others. Don’t contribute to conversations that lead to hateful suppositions. Don’t view degrading remarks as amusing but as a threat to the very fabric of cooperation and compromise. Take the highroad and encourage others to join you.

Don’t be a sucker for simplistic views that lead to division and support for demagoguery. Realize that there are no simple answers. Look for and listen to the multiple facets of every challenge. It’s not “just the one thing!” Promote high school civics and the humanities.

Resourcefulness – Do More with Less

Be less wasteful of everything from money, to water, to food, to fuel. Think about the most efficient way to conserve and better utilize the precious resources that we have. Look for more efficient ways to get to work and use less energy. Try to borrow as little as possible, get by with less, and save as much as you can. Are you really hungry? Or is it just time to eat?

Look for ways to solve problems and make a difference with what you have. Stop restricting yourself by excusing your inactivity by stating what you need. Find new solutions with what’s at hand. Look for and use your hidden resources. Recognize what you have and be grateful for your many blessings.

Empathy – Show Respect for Others

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What do they want, and more importantly, why? Empathy is the backbone of cooperation and cooperation is the backbone of peace. By truly understanding the other parties needs you will be empowered to discover and suggest an arrangement compatible to both sides. As Ivan Misner, the founder of IBN, the world’s largest business network puts it, “Take off the bib and put on the apron!”

Condoning or ignoring any form of group marginalization is ultimately self-defeating because it gives permission for that type of behavior to be perpetrated against your own group. What really makes America great is diversity. Let’s embrace and celebrate what each culture has to add to our future as a nation.

Sustainability – Vote with Your Purchases

We all grew up with books and movies that pitted man against nature. We admired the heroes that overcame the forces of nature and “tamed” her. The idea was that nature was there for the taking. The atmosphere, the land, the plant life, the animals and the oceans could all absorb an infinite amount of harvesting and man-made pollution – forever! That notion was promoted by producers who provided us with products whose very manufacture and use assumed that same fallacy.

In less than a century, that type of thinking has resulted in detrimental climate change, micro-plastics in our food supply, and threats to our own health and welfare. Even if we can’t compete with the powerful lobbies that have rolled back environmental protections, we can vote with our purchases for sustainable products. And we are thrilled that according to Nielsen, our “votes” are beginning to influence the producers!

Healthy Living – Take Care of Yourself!

Know when it’s time to put the phone down, walk outside, stand up straight, look up, take a deep breath, go for a walk, and appreciate nature. Just 3 walks per week significantly improve the mental processes. So it will improve your work as well as your memory.

Take public transportation, bike, or walk to work whenever possible. Shop local and visit your farmers’ market. You’ll get to socialize in real time with real people. It’s more fun than shopping online. And the food is better for you, your community, and your environment.

Develop an interest in doing something that inadvertently puts you in a natural environment, like photography, hiking, jogging, birding, climbing, or gardening. Anything, really, to get outside, exercise your body, clear your mind, and get your eyes off the screen.

Here’s to a truly HAPPY New Year!

Cheers!

M&B

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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Happy Holidays to One and All! https://thebarefootspirit.com/happy-holidays-to-one-and-all/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/happy-holidays-to-one-and-all/#respond Thu, 20 Dec 2018 18:00:26 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15515 Before we get all excited about the year ahead, we thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of our highlights of the past year. We’ve been blessed with many new opportunities, new friends, and positive developments! Sustainability is Spreading As you may know, we are environmentalists. However, our background is building a successful consumer […]

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Happy Holidays from Michael and BonnieBefore we get all excited about the year ahead, we thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of our highlights of the past year.

We’ve been blessed with many new opportunities, new friends, and positive developments!

Sustainability is Spreading

As you may know, we are environmentalists. However, our background is building a successful consumer packaged goods product (CPG). The “P” in CPG stands for packaging. Today we see clearly that irresponsible single-use plastic packaging threatens our environment. So, this year we are especially grateful to see the Nielsen ratings finally confirm that people now prefer to buy products that are made and delivered with sustainable practices! The good word is spreading! And – it shows that being sustainable increases sales! What could be better.

Your Outdoor Classroom in the Wine Country

We are so jazzed that our initiative to share the lessons we’ve learned with students of entrepreneurship has expanded this year. Two more highly-rated international universities are interested in taking a break from all the tech, campus visits, and VC talks on their Silicon Valley tours. They will spend the day with us in the bucolic Sonoma County talking about such things as “How Soft Skills Earn Hard Cash!” We refer to our presentation as “Your Outdoor Classroom in the Wine Country.”

Business Publications Contributions

This past year we were also happy to expand our contributions to such important business publications as Entrepreneur.com, The Business Journals, and the C-Suite Network. We believe we’re bringing a down-to-earth, back-to-basics, practical and empathy-focused approach to solving business problems and marketing products.

The Barefoot Spirit Audiobook

We also started two new exciting projects this year! One is a theatrical audio book version of our New York Times bestseller, The Barefoot Spirit. Actors voice the parts of the characters and listeners are entertained by stories with lessons. Produced by The Sherwood Players and scheduled to be released in early 2019.

Online Course

The other new project is an online course on how to get the entrepreneurial spirit in your business. It offers tips on how to hire, orient, train, compensate, and acknowledge your people to reduce turnover and engage them in problem solving. It is multimedia and interactive. It is scheduled to be released in 2019.

We are thrilled to be able to help startups and small businesses avoid some of the mistakes we made and benefit from the lessons we learned building the Barefoot Wine brand! We are most grateful that we have been in a position to make a positive difference in people’s businesses. All of our clients have made significant steps forward toward their goals. We congratulate all of you on your success!

New Friends All Over the World

But what we are especially thankful for is all the new friends we have made in education, business, and conservation from all over the world. We are all working together to encourage the next generation to bet on themselves and create sustainable businesses that benefit their customers and the world at large.

And thanks to all our readers who have encouraged us to continue to celebrate businesses that provide healthy alternatives we can support with our purchases.

We wish you all a very Happy Holiday! Please join us in our New Year’s goal of promoting a sustainable future for all.

Cheers! With love and appreciation – Michael and Bonnie.

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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Zoie Reams Proves You Can Succeed with Hard Work, Dedication and Determination https://thebarefootspirit.com/zoie-reams-proves-you-can-succeed-with-hard-work-dedication-and-determination/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/zoie-reams-proves-you-can-succeed-with-hard-work-dedication-and-determination/#respond Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:38:51 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=15489 When we were building the Barefoot Wine Brand, there were too many long days and sleepless nights. We often went without breaks, even on the weekends which was the best time to visit the stores, do tastings, and work nonprofit fundraisers. We were exhausted! At the end of one of those especially trying years, we […]

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When we were building the Barefoot Wine Brand, there were too many long days and sleepless nights. We often went without breaks, even on the weekends which was the best time to visit the stores, do tastings, and work nonprofit fundraisers. We were exhausted!

At the end of one of those especially trying years, we decided to take a two-week vacation, no matter what, to a favorite place in Southern Baja California. It was nice to get out of rainy, cold Northern California for Feliz Navidad on a warm, sunny beach and do some hiking, sailing and snorkeling.

After about a week there, we decided to take a plane across the Mar de Cortez (Gulf of California) to Mazatlán on the mainland. We probably should’ve stayed in Baja. By comparison it seemed very touristy with lots of in-your-face poverty. Every day we were confronted by no less than 50 vendors. The good news is that “no” is the same word in Spanish as in English. Just add gracias!

After several days, we became homesick and wanted to find an American newspaper to catch up on what was happening back home (this was before the Internet). So, we set out looking for an American newspaper. We figured we could certainly find one at the best hotel which catered to mostly American tourists. We saw an African-American couple dressed to the nines across the lobby. They were surely Americans!

We walked up and asked them if they knew where we could find an American newspaper. We never did get that newspaper because we stood there and talked to each other for the entire afternoon! Like us, they too were entrepreneurs. Like us, they too had been working their fingers to the bone. Like us, they needed a break from their winter, which was a Chicago winter, much more formidable than any California winter. And all of a sudden, our vacation became interesting, informative, and quite enjoyable.

We became friends with Corky and Stephanie Reams for life. Whenever Michael went to  Chicago to sell Barefoot Wine, they wouldn’t let him stay at a hotel, but instead, put him up in their home not far from Lake Michigan just south of downtown.

Michael visited twice a year over 10 years. One year, there was a new member of the family, Zoie! As a baby she had a scream that could break glass. In time lapse, Michael watched her grow up. When she was 5, she was competing with much older kids in a recital, several years later she was a docent at the Chicago Public Library.

Meanwhile, we asked Zoie if she would like to come and visit us in California. When she agreed, we called her dad for permission. His response surprised us, “Zoie’s going out to California visiting her Godparents.” That’s when we knew that we were Zoie’s Godparents. We had her out year after year and watched grow from a child to a young girl and from a girl into a young woman.

At age 11, she announced, “I can’t get the kind of education I need here in Chicago,” and she began her search. She applied for and received a scholarship to live and attend high school at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota. It was there that Zoie put those former shrill baby notes to work! The school discovered that Zoie had a operatic singing voice! She studied like crazy and eventually entered their Music Conservatory and sung a time or two at various public venues.

After high school, Zoie chose the music conservatory at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin,  where the classes were small and she could get the kind of personalized training she needed. Again, she was able to garner a scholarship that covered many of her expenses. To help protect her from student debt, we chipped in with the difference. During that time she did several professional performances including at the Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis.

Then, you guessed it, she got yet another scholarship and was accepted for a master’s program in music, this time at the Music Conservancy at LSU. Fast forward, she has sung at the Houston Grand Opera, several European Venues, Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, Upstate New York, and just recently at Carnegie Hall!

All this from a shrill little girl from South Chicago with a lot of determination to do well. Zoie is one of the jewels we were rewarded with when we were in the trenches building the Barefoot Wine brand.

You can find out more about Zoie at  https://www.facebook.com/zreams

 

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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