The Barefoot Spirit https://thebarefootspirit.com Founders of Barefoot, a Top Global Brand New York Times Bestselling Authors International Keynote Speakers, Entrepreneurial Coaches. Fri, 11 Oct 2019 15:29:25 -0700 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 The Move Toward Episodic Content https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-move-toward-episodic-content/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-move-toward-episodic-content/#respond Thu, 10 Oct 2019 17:00:15 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16527 We have just launched our new business audio theater audio book. Its 7 hrs. long, made up of ten, 40 minute episodes. So you can listen to one episode as you commute every day for 10 days, or you can listen to one episode for ten workouts, or binge listen on your next plane trip. […]

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We have just launched our new business audio theater audio book. Its 7 hrs. long, made up of ten, 40 minute episodes. So you can listen to one episode as you commute every day for 10 days, or you can listen to one episode for ten workouts, or binge listen on your next plane trip.

You can listen on demand and tailor your listening time to suit your activity. Yes, “activity.” With audio, unlike print or video, your mobile device (and you) are not immobilized.

This evolution in content absorption is what drove us to producing an audiobook when we already had a printed book, and an e-book. We really appreciated the mobility of audio. But we wanted to do more.

We broke the full book down into 10 chapters or episodes. And then, within each 40 minute episode, we broke it down even further into several one to five minute stories. So now you can stop just about anywhere without losing contextual continuity.

Then, our author, Rick Kushman, came up with a brilliant idea. Why not bring in the founders for an “up to date“ and “in person” interview at the end of every episode for a 2 minute segment, podcast style?

You will have to judge the results for yourself. We would love to get your feedback! But for our part, we recognized the trend toward audio, short segments, and podcasting. We hope you will enjoy it when it fits into your active schedule. Whether you are grabbing a segment on a jog or binging on a plane, we hope The Barefoot Spirit will provide you with a new understanding of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and give you the tools you need to succeed!

It’s all about a brand you know and people who are not that much different than you. We were underfinanced and forced to be resourceful. We were without knowledge of our industry and thus came up with disrupting ideas, some of which nearly killed us. But in the end, we succeeded through hardship, hustle, and heart! We want you to do the same! Oh, and you will definitely get a laugh or two along the way. It’s not just an outsider’s view of the wine industry, it’s an outsider’s view of business itself.

Cheers! And please join our adventure on your next jog or drive!

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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School for Startups Interview with Bonnie https://thebarefootspirit.com/school-for-startups-with-bonnie/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/school-for-startups-with-bonnie/#respond Wed, 09 Oct 2019 17:00:35 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16523 Bonnie was interviewed on “School for Startups Radio” with host, Jim Beach. To listen to the interview, please visit School for Startups Radio      

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Bonnie was interviewed on “School for Startups Radio” with host, Jim Beach. To listen to the interview, please visit School for Startups Radio

 

 

 

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Eliances Heroes Radio Show https://thebarefootspirit.com/eliances-heroes-radio-show/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/eliances-heroes-radio-show/#respond Mon, 07 Oct 2019 15:51:18 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16517 Michael was interviewed on “Eliances Heroes Radio” with host, David Cogan. To listen to the interview, please play the play button below:

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Michael was interviewed on “Eliances Heroes Radio” with host, David Cogan. To listen to the interview, please play the play button below:

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How to Hire an Outside Sales Representative https://thebarefootspirit.com/how-to-hire-an-outside-sales-representative/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/how-to-hire-an-outside-sales-representative/#respond Thu, 03 Oct 2019 17:00:24 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16507 If your company can make it past the startup phase when you are basically running on your savings, credit cards, or investor’s money, you will enter the build-up stage. Finally, you can take a breath of relief because you now have a few big customers paying your bills. You are finally in the black! But […]

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If your company can make it past the startup phase when you are basically running on your savings, credit cards, or investor’s money, you will enter the build-up stage. Finally, you can take a breath of relief because you now have a few big customers paying your bills. You are finally in the black!

But wait, no time for celebration! Soon you realize that those same big customers you have grown to rely on have you over the barrel. They can dictate prices and threaten to discontinue your products and services, thus putting you out of business! You are at their mercy. So, you decide to mitigate your risk by attracting new customers and expanding your territory. This is the critical build-out stage where many businesses fail. It’s not the cost of goods that kills them, it’s the cost of sales! These are all the new costs that reveal themselves as you begin to service your new sales.

One of those new costs is the cost of an outside sale representative. As you expand, you realize that you simply can’t be everywhere. So you delegate the sales and service process to a new person in a new territory. Who is that person? How do you find them? And more importantly, what do they do? You not only have to be very clear about their responsibilities, but you have to develop a performance-based compensation plan.

Let’s unpack these three critical questions in reverse order:

What is the real job?

Let’s start with a critical distinction between what you may think the job is and what it must be in order to be effective. And what is effective? It’s a combo of sales, growth, and profitability. Obviously, if they are not making and maintaining sales in units or in dollars, you lose. If you just sell the same, year on year, you are not growing and you lose. If you grow because your new rep sells your products at too low a price or spends too much in promo dollars and you are therefore not profitable, again, you lose.

In our case, expanding into new territories taught us a painful lesson or two. Maintaining sales was much harder than getting them in the first place. The amount of handholding and actual execution of the nitty-gritty work that we thought the distributor and retailer would do, fell on us. We just didn’t know it starting out. We erroneously thought that other businesses we sold our products to would have a financial incentive to promote and maintain our product because, we thought, it was making them money. We never imagined the real work that made the big difference in the success of our brand.

When people ask us the one thing that was responsible for our success (as if there was only one thing!), we engage them with an answer they don’t want to hear or know about. Our success was a direct result of hands-on merchandising at the store level, period. Now, what if we hired a sales rep who presented themselves as an ambassador. You know, just talk to people, take them to lunch, and do some training? We made that mistake more than once!

Finally, we realized the real job that had to be done, the job that nobody was going to do but us and our company. Now, we had a much different idea about what was needed. Now we knew what we were looking for! We needed someone who would do the dirty work and pick up the slack when and where other’s had failed. We needed a sales rep who was willing to not only ask for the order, but make sure it was delivered on time, priced right, and on the shelf. In other words, more of a policeman and a merchandiser!

How do you find them?

Well, running an ad seemed like a no-brainer, but that only got us everyone who was unemployed or unemployable. Ads may get a jewel once in a while, but you will have to go through tons of applicants. Here’s how we found our best people. We went right to the prospective buyers in the new territory. We asked them who was their favorite sales representative and why? We also went to the store level and asked the clerks who they liked as an outside rep and, again, why? This was quite an education in itself, but it also yield a few qualified candidates.

We found that there was only a few  prospects who qualified for the real work at hand. We then had to figure out how to attract them to our team. They had to see our offer as a step up in their career, in both the areas of income and responsibility. We had to convince them that they would get credit for building our brand and share in our success in their territory. Sure, we have to do our due diligence, tons of training, and give them a trial period to prove themselves, but at least we now had a person the buyers like!

How do you pay them?

This is the million dollar question, literally! Any outside sales rep is going to want a base salary that is guaranteed, no matter if they achieve a commission or not. Basically, you are out the base salary and expenses even if they don’t make a sale, even if they lose sales! Yikes! So how much is that? And how much can you afford out of pocket? For instance, can you afford to start multiple territories at the same time? Most businesses can’t so they borrow or trade equity to finance this expansion. And therein lies the big risk.

We had to start with just one new territory at a time. It had to pay for itself before we could afford to open another new territory. In other words, we cash-flowed our growth. The good news is that with the relative slow growth, the mistakes we made where relatively contained and manageable. We learned from them and improved in the next territory we opened.

The base guaranteed salary is already established by the market territory. You have to discover what that is. But be careful! If you pay too much of a guarantee, you may disincentivize your new rep from performing. If it is too low, you may not be able to attract them in the first place.

The portion of the reps’ income that is commission and bonus-based must address sales, growth and profitability – all three! This is a tricky balancing act. We recommend that no contract with any rep be longer than one year. During that year you will discover what’s wrong with your “best laid” plans and you can apply a patch it for next year. Work with your new rep to agree on the performance metrics of your compensation plan. Sales and profitability are relatively easy to measure and agree upon. But growth, that’s another matter.

We defined growth as an increase in sales year on year. In other words, what were the sales for the same month last year? And if they complained about an anomaly last year? We took the three month average of the month before the same month, the same month, and the month after and agreed that we would use that number. Now you can use that as a base line from which to measure growth. This is what worked well for us: it was a plan where, the more sales our rep made over baseline, the more each was worth. For example, sell 10 over baseline, they got $1 for each, or $10. Sell 20 over baseline, they got $2 each for a total of $40. Sell 30 over baseline, they got $3 each for $90.

This plan gave them a big incentive to grow the brand over same month last year. Sure, there were details and tweaks we had to add into the plan, but you get the picture.

We found that when you pay your reps right, the non-producers can’t afford to stay and the producers can’t afford to leave! Bottom line: Understand the real job and reward for performance!

 

 

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 Author’s Unite Show https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-authors-unite-show/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-authors-unite-show/#respond Mon, 30 Sep 2019 04:28:47 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16501 Michael & Bonnie were interviewed on “The Authors Unite Show” by host, Tyler Wagner. To listen to the interview, please visit The Authors Unite Show                 Who We Are Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, […]

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Michael & Bonnie were interviewed on “The Authors Unite Show” by host, Tyler Wagner. To listen to the interview, please visit The Authors Unite Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Greta Thunberg, 16-Year-Old Climate Activist https://thebarefootspirit.com/greta-thunberg-16-year-old-climate-activist/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/greta-thunberg-16-year-old-climate-activist/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2019 17:00:50 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16487 16 year-old-climate activist, Greta Thunberg, in her address to the 2019 UN Climate action Summit in New York this week was clear. “You are failing us,” she said. “But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I […]

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16 year-old-climate activist, Greta Thunberg, in her address to the 2019 UN Climate action Summit in New York this week was clear. “You are failing us,” she said. “But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

If you’re wondering what she is alluding to, it’s simple. Governments and businesses that directly or inadvertently contribute to the climate crisis will suffer the consequences. Not only will the future generations hold them responsible, but, if you can extrapolate from Greta’s own behavior, they won’t buy from those who contribute to the climate crisis! Since she started to speak out when she was 14, she has carefully made purchasing choices that support businesses and products that are sustainable. She is sending a message to her generation, the real future of your company’s sales, to think about how they are spending their money!

Business makes the world go ‘round. Or so they say. They also say, “The customer is always right.” We are in the business of teaching and promoting the business principles that made our brand extremely successful. And we continue to write our articles and offer our advice to help others succeed faster. We want Greta and her generation to succeed – AND FAST!

The central theme we continue to espouse is simply to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Sounds like the Golden Rule. Sounds simple. But where it becomes complicated is in the execution, in the practical application, and in the context of your future customers and the ultimate sustainability of your business itself.

Why support businesses that are “betraying young people?” Why support officials who are complicit with the systematic destruction of the ecosystem, food supply, and habitability of the planet? 16-year-olds will be voting in two years and they are buying this year! Why let your company be blackballed by the next generation of potential customers? It’s very short sighted and ultimately self-destructive. In a word, it’s just plain bad business.

According to AC Nielsen, companies that actively tout sustainability are already beginning to outsell those that do not. This is not a fad, a kick, or a trend. It’s a permanent shift! If your company is not getting on this bandwagon now, it’s liable to get run over by it.

Greta is already a social network force to be reckoned with. Her youth climate strikes are becoming louder, global, and more common. Young people know what’s going on and how they will have to pay for the previous generation’s spending habits.

Back in the 1960’s, young American males were subject to the draft to fight a war for which they had no say. They weren’t old enough to  vote and they weren’t old enough to drink. But an empowered “establishment” thought they were old enough to fight, whether they wanted to or not. The idea of being forced into a life-threatening situation just because you are not old enough or powerful enough to be taken seriously caused our generation to never really forgive the one that came before us – the one that allowed an ongoing, no-win war that was physically hurting our generation. In fact, the draft was a major driver in our generation’s view of its predecessor.

Today, we are the predecessors. The next generation is being mobilized by the same forces of self-preservation and frustration. They will hold us responsible for the world we leave them.

What is your company’s answer to Greta and her generation? These new customers demand change. Are you going to give those customers what they want or allow another, more progressive company, to take your customers away?

When you put yourself in the shoes of the 16-year-olds whose lives will be preoccupied with just surviving the climate crises, and when you feel their frustration over climate inaction, what products and services do you think they will buy? How do you think they will vote? We have a saying in business, “The customer is always right!” Maybe it’s time to listen to what your new customers are saying.  Listen to Greta’s full address.

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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Business Alliances Happen at Eliances! https://thebarefootspirit.com/business-alliances-happen-at-eliance/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/business-alliances-happen-at-eliance/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2019 17:00:03 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16481 As you all know, this month we are deep in the launch of our new theatrically performed audiobook, The Barefoot Spirit. And as you also know, we’ve been writing and talking a lot about it. But we were challenged yesterday in Phoenix at the Eliances “Grand Table” Event where we were honored to be presenters. […]

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As you all know, this month we are deep in the launch of our new theatrically performed audiobook, The Barefoot Spirit. And as you also know, we’ve been writing and talking a lot about it. But we were challenged yesterday in Phoenix at the Eliances “Grand Table” Event where we were honored to be presenters.

We presented our offering to their members of over 300 entrepreneurs – and we were allowed One Minute!! Not only that, but we had to do it in their “3-G” format, “Got, Give, and Get.” What have you got? What do you give? And what do you want to get? And the time limit is strictly enforced with two members in the back of the room who hold up flags at half-mast when your time is just about out, straight up when your time is out and wave them profusely when you are over time.

The reason for the strict structure becomes obvious when you experience the event. There are 50 presenters, all VIPs from government to Hollywood, from startups to captains of industry. They all get their chance to engage the members in an intense networking session right after all the presentations are complete. Founder David Cogan and his team have done a masterful job of executing such a comprehensive event for so many attendees, with fastidious attention to logistics, details, and protocols. And it works very well!

We meet tons of folks and have tons of follow-ups. And we learned a tremendous amount from the other presenters. We were honored to be among such an august lineup! This was all thanks to our friend Mark Boundy, an Eliances member, who heard us speak in San Francisco at the C-Suite Network conference. He not only sponsored us as presenters at the Eliances Grand Table event, but he generously invited us to stay at his beautiful Scottsdale home. He knew this would be perfect timing for the launch of our new audiobook, and it was the perfect audience!

So, what about that 60-second Got, Give, and Get pitch?  Well, it definitely forced us to get right down to business and state our proposition in succinct terms. It took us over an hour to get it down to 1 minute. But, for your consideration, we are offering it to here in the hopes you will share it so others will benefit from our message:

GOT (MICHAEL) 20 sec

  • Every one of you has a story to tell
  • We took our story, The Barefoot Spirit,and transformedit into an audio book.
  • Not just anyaudio book, but one dramatically performed by  Hollywood actors, complete with scripts, skits, sound effects and an original musical score.
  • We NOW have a professional, experienced team who can help you tell your story in a theatrically produced audio book.

GIVE (MICHAEL) 15 sec

  • Listen to free snippets at barefootaudiobook.com
  • We have free, signed, paper book copies to give away!
  • Now you can tell your story in a format others will hear and remember!

GET  (BONNIE) 25 sec

  • Download The Barefoot Spirit audiobook TODAY! Please!
  • We guarantee that you will be entertained AND educated!
  • Imagine how you will feel sharing your legacy using this NEW & IMPROVED style of storytelling.
  • We have the production team and the actors and we can help YOU tell YOUR
  • THANK YOU!

Well, it was short and sweet, but it got us over 100 business cards from Eliances members who wanted to discover how we can work together to utilize this new form of business audio theatre. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this enthusiastic and heavily networked community. We look forward to working with all our new contacts to demonstrate the viability of this new format and attracting others who want to have their story performed! www.barefootaudiobook.com

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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What Is The Barefoot Spirit Anyway? https://thebarefootspirit.com/what-is-the-barefoot-spirit-anyway/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/what-is-the-barefoot-spirit-anyway/#respond Thu, 12 Sep 2019 17:00:04 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16445 We called our New York Times Bestseller “The Barefoot Spirit.” We call our business “The Barefoot Spirit.” We call our website, www.thebarefootspirit.com. And now we are calling our new theatrical- style business audiobook “The Barefoot Spirit.” So, what is the Barefoot Spirit anyway? When used in terms like “team spirit,” the word “spirit” identifies a collective […]

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We called our New York Times Bestseller “The Barefoot Spirit.” We call our business “The Barefoot Spirit.” We call our website, www.thebarefootspirit.com. And now we are calling our new theatrical- style business audiobook “The Barefoot Spirit.” So, what is the Barefoot Spirit anyway?

When used in terms like “team spirit,” the word “spirit” identifies a collective attitude of confidence, comradery, and common goals. When used to describe the tenacity it takes to overcome obstacles, we say, “That’s the spirit!” Or “She’s got great spirit!” So “spirit,” in the context of goal achievement is a term we all use to describe the components of drive and strategy. Drive keeps you going and strategy gets you there.

Sounds simple, but it’s not. It’s not just any attitude that supplies drive and it’s not just any strategy that gets you there. The Barefoot Spirit is a specific type of drive and strategy that we promote which includes a philosophy, an outlook, and a set of principles anyone can apply to overcome obstacles and achieve goals sooner – and with much less money and anxiety!

We learned most of these principles the hard way. We acted on many commonly held misconceptions that nearly killed our brand. But over the years, and over the many lumps we suffered, we discovered how things really had to be done, what the best practices really were, and how to build and maintain a loyal, productive and engaged team. When we finally sold our business and monetized on our brand equity, our team implored us to write a book that encompassed the Barefoot Spirit.

At first we listened to the experts, the business book writing gurus. They told us to make the book a procedural outline and textbook. You know, the 5 things to do, the 3 things to never do, and the 28 things your customer wants from you. Pretty standard …and pretty ordinary! But we initially followed their advice. What did we know? We had never written a book before. But then, when we looked at the draft and started to doze off ourselves, we asked, “How can we expect anybody else to really read this, let alone remember it, and apply the lessons to their business?

So, we literally threw it right in the trashcan.  We decided to rewrite it in a more entertaining way, using story to convey the principles instead of relying on prescriptive text. We were blessed to meet a wonderful and humorous writer, Rick Kushman, a Stanford grad who had achieved awards in journalism and was columnist for the Sacramento Bee. We gave him our stories, and he wrote it for us. This time it was much more entertaining and much more memorable! It became a New York Times bestseller! We were thrilled when the book become a case study at more than 50 schools that teach entrepreneurship.

But still, most people only read the first couple of chapters. We were looking for an even more compelling and entertaining format that could bring the stories to life in a way that more folks would remember the lessons and apply them to their businesses.

We began to notice, over a period of just a few short years, that the folks we were trying to help were suddenly all wearing ear buds. At first we thought they were listening to music. That is, until we started asking them what they were listening to. To our surprise, it wasn’t music at all. It was podcasts and audiobooks! They were learning while working, exercising, or commutting. Podcasts were on fire and audio books were increasing in sales.

So we thought, “Why don’t we turn The Barefoot Spirit into an audiobook?” We started listening to business audio books to see what was popular. We found that most audiobooks were simply narrations of the printed book. This was a great advance and certainly enabled true mobility while listening. But narration, even by your favorite celebrity, seemed one dimensional.

Whenever we are driving on Saturdays, we tune into the local Public Broadcasting Stations and listen to a Prairie Home Companion episode. The audio skits are fun and entertaining. Like the old 1940’s radio theatre of the past, they created scenes and action in your mind’s eye. With the help of music, script, and sound effects, a printed story can come to life in a way that you will remember. That’s when we knew what we had to do.

We converted The Barefoot Spirit into what we call, “business audio theatre.” We converted the dialogue into scripts and found Hollywood actors to play the characters and act out the stories, added sound effects, and an original musical score and brought The Barefoot Spirit to life!

It was a big gamble. This approach to experiential learning is relatively new and unproven. To our delight, initial reactions from listeners is overwhelmingly positive!

Our goal is to get the Barefoot Spirit to more people in an innovative format that is both entertaining and educational. We hope you will enjoy The Barefoot Spirit audio theatre, now available everywhere audiobooks are sold, or get a special rate at our author’s direct site. And please, tell us what you think! We would really like to hear from you on our latest new endeavor!

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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Mind Your Business with Yitzchok Saftlas https://thebarefootspirit.com/mind-your-business-with-yitzchok-saftlas/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/mind-your-business-with-yitzchok-saftlas/#respond Wed, 11 Sep 2019 17:00:01 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16420 Michael & Bonnie were interviewed on “Mind Your Business” with host, Yitzchok Saftlas. To listen to the interview, please visit Mind Your Business           

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Michael & Bonnie were interviewed on “Mind Your Business” with host, Yitzchok Saftlas. To listen to the interview, please visit Mind Your Business 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last Night at the Pink Taco https://thebarefootspirit.com/last-night-at-the-pink-taco/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/last-night-at-the-pink-taco/#respond Thu, 05 Sep 2019 17:00:43 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16427 Last night at the Pink Taco, on the Sunset Strip in, you guessed it, LA, a very special group of Hollywood actors gathered in a reserved table for a very special celebration. The production they had been working on for over a year was finally completed and launched. They were celebrating! And well they should! […]

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Book cast from left to right: Middle row: Case Williams, Jennifer Van Heeckeren, Robert Weiner, Alamada Karatihy, Mary Benedict, Lizette Santiago. Back row: Ruffy Landayan, Matt Weinglass

Last night at the Pink Taco, on the Sunset Strip in, you guessed it, LA, a very special group of Hollywood actors gathered in a reserved table for a very special celebration. The production they had been working on for over a year was finally completed and launched. They were celebrating! And well they should! What they have been working on is no less than a breakthrough in business education, a new application of experiential learning, and the creation of a whole new genre of business audio books, Business Audio Theatre.

The actors weren’t in a movie, but they were in a “movie of the mind.” They performed in cinematic scenes with sound effects and an original musical score. They acted out real life situations that occurred in the early days of the founding of what is now the world’s largest wine brand. And they did it all in audio, where an outstanding female narrator set up the listeners for each scene with descriptions of the sets, the challenges, and the mentality of the characters. This was a private launch party for the Sherwood Players who produced The Barefoot Spirit Business Audio Theater.

We are very proud of the professional job they did as performers. They definitely brought our New York Times bestselling paperback to life in a new, fun, and exciting way. Some of them are starting their careers. Others are seasoned veterans. We hope this opportunity will help them all move forward.

The venerable Ed Asner plays a very convincing skeptical supermarket buyer who originally refuses to take on Barefoot Wine, but ultimately paves the way for its success. Gigi Perreau, the longtime Hollywood actress who actually performed on original radio theater, plays Mabel,  Bonnie’s mom and a WWII Rosie-the-Riveter, salt-of-the-earth type, who comes to live with us and pitches in with physical and emotional support.

Our narrator was Alamada Karatihy who beautifully carries the story through all its ups and down, twists and turns.

Interestingly, one of the actors, Tom Malloy wrote his own business book, Bankroll, to help Hollywood actors gain financing for their projects.

The original musical score was the brainchild of Tyler David Gilbert who also did a masterful job of editing… and re-editing! Thank you Tyler!

But like any team, its performance is only as good as its coach. In this case our director, Matt Weinglass, was responsible for leading his troupe! Matt understood what we were trying to do, which was to bring our business biography to life and demonstrate through dramatic performance – and a generous dash of humor –  key business principles that can help others succeed. He artfully and skillfully brought all the pieces together to create continuity, purpose, vision, and team spirit. And after all, that’s what the story is all about …spirit!

Many thanks to Sherwood Players Productions and our dear friend and colleague Ryan Foland ,who encouraged and supported us in this new venture!

So now it’s up to you. We produced this new style of business audio book in the hopes that more of you would benefit from the many lessons we learned the hard way – so you don’t have to!  Just experience what happens to us in this modern seat-of-your-pants, cliffhanger adventure story about a brand you know. We’d love to get your comments and we would be thrilled if you would recommend it to your friends who can benefit. There’s ten, 40 min chapters with a short “live” interview with us at the end of each, perfect listening for your next jog or commute.

Hear a few scenes from The Barefoot Spirit, now available on our Author’s Direct page and at audiobook retailers everywhere!

To your success!

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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