The Barefoot Spirit https://thebarefootspirit.com Founders of Barefoot, a Top Global Brand New York Times Bestselling Authors International Keynote Speakers, Entrepreneurial Coaches. Fri, 15 Jun 2018 23:38:55 -0700 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 7 Steps to Engage Your People (And Get the Results You are Looking For) https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/06/14/7-steps-to-engage-your-people-and-get-the-results-you-are-looking-for/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/06/14/7-steps-to-engage-your-people-and-get-the-results-you-are-looking-for/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:00:53 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14776 The Entrepreneurial Culture 3-D Book Image with Transparent BackgroundWhen we sold Barefoot Wine, we received the Wine Industry’s coveted Top Brand award for multiple years, sold 600,000 cases per year in 25,000 stores, were growing in all 50 states and 28 foreign countries, had no turnover for 10 years, and did it all with just 40 employees. We got tons of awards for quality, growth, and innovation.

But it wasn’t because we were so clever, in fact we made most of the big mistakes! It was because our people were engaged and empowered to make a big difference. They came up with most of the clever solutions that got us through the tough times and over the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They did more with less, improved our policies and procedures, and used innovation to disrupt a rather stuffy industry.

At the closing talk for the C-Suite conference in San Francisco this month, Michael shared 7 of the tools we used to build an outstanding team that was engaged, empowered, and committed to the success of our business. Here is a brief summery from the top:

1. Hire Good People, Build Great People.

Hire for hustle, integrity, and enthusiasm. Look for extrapolation learners. Test their comprehension. Be prepared to redesign the job to fit the talents of each employee. On the last interview, you do all the talking. Explain the business process and why their job is essential. Then ask for a summary by 5 pm the next day.

2. Overkill on Orientation.

When the cement is wet, you can move it with a trowel. But when it gets hard, you’ll need a jackhammer! Don’t let them develop and harbor early misconceptions about how the business works, where the money comes from, and how the customer must be serviced to get the funds that go in their paychecks.

3. The Money Map

Show them a “Money Map”. Start with the community from which the initial customers emulate. Show the transactions that starts the money moving as those customers purchase goods and services that effect your business. Show all the twists and turns that the money goes through on the way to their paychecks.

4. The Two-Division Company

Give them a second graphic that shows how your company is organized with the customer on top! Then, right under that, the only people they talk to daily, your sales and customer service people (The Sales Division). Then right under that, everybody else in the company, regardless of specialty (The Sales Support Division).

5. Know the Need

Contrary to the popular Need-to-Know basis that most companies use to keep their people in the dark, practice Know-the-Need to demonstrate respect for their intelligence and commitment to your company’s success. Share your sales and marketing challenges and ask them for help. You’ll be surprised at the results!

6. Public Acknowledgement

Communicate their accomplishment in writing. Copy the entire staff. Get more of what you are praising for. Get them the respect of other staff. Send a “message” that everyone can get the same kind of top level acknowledgement when they perform as well as the one being singled out for admiration.

7. Staff Wide Quarterly Bonus

Reward on a quarterly basis. A year is too long (They’ll forget, sand bag, or give up). A month is to impractical (Months are more subject to anomaly and it’s difficult to get the numbers together that fast). Reward everyone to build team spirit. Make it based on sales, growth, and profitability. We used a variable 401K quarterly match.

Want more details or additional suggestions? Check out our short book on the subject, aptly named, The Entrepreneurial Culture, 23 ways to Engage and Empower Your People. It worked for us. it can work for you. You may just hear them say, “I love working here!”

 

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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GoTime Business & Tech Summit https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/06/11/gotime-business-tech-summit/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/06/11/gotime-business-tech-summit/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 19:46:52 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14761 We’re inviting you to a FREE online event called the GoTime Business and Tech Summit where you can watch 32+ short interviews (around your schedule) of some of the world’s top high growth entrepreneurs and experts.

Kim interviewed both of us at the same time & also individual interviews with each of us.

Michael’s interview will be aired: Monday, June 18th

Bonnie’s interview will be aired: Wednesday, June 20th

Michael and Bonnie’s joint interview will be aired: Tuesday, June 19th

To register for this FREE event, please visit GoTime Learning’s Business & Tech Summit Registration

 

Don’t miss out!

 

 

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 – Networking Rule #1: ‘Take Off the Bib and Put on the Apron!’ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/06/11/entrepreneur-networking-rule-1-take-off-the-bib-and-put-on-the-apron/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/06/11/entrepreneur-networking-rule-1-take-off-the-bib-and-put-on-the-apron/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 16:07:52 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14754 As we celebrate another graduating class, we thought we’d give them some good advice to help them turn their dreams of business success into reality. We recently caught up with Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI (Business Network International), the world’s largest business network. Ivan was good enough to agree to an interview where we could zero in on this universal challenge. He gave us some real jewels.

M&B: You’re the creator of the world’s largest business network. Can you tell us why you thought there would be a market for such a concept?

Ivan: I didn’t. I mean I’d like to tell you that I had this vision of an international organization, but the truth is I needed referrals for my consulting practice. I hoped my friends would be willing to refer me, and I was willing to refer them. So, we got together as a group and started passing referrals to each other. So BNI exists because it’s a classic example of necessity being the mother of invention.

 

To read the complete interview, please visit Entrepreneur.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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Acknowledgement, Confirmation, and Status Reporting Demonstrate Responsibility https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/06/07/acknowledgement-confirmation-and-status-reporting-demonstrate-responsibility/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/06/07/acknowledgement-confirmation-and-status-reporting-demonstrate-responsibility/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 17:00:16 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14743 Our friend recently graduated with an advanced degree in Nursing. To celebrate, we invited her and her friends over for a party. A week before the party we went to our friendly neighborhood grocery store where a young man does barbecuing out in front on the weekends. We thought, “Why not keep the money in the neighborhood and support a local merchant?”

So, we went to the barbecue guy and asked him if he was going to be barbecuing the following weekend. He said he would start at 11 AM on the day of our event. So, we ordered several chickens and several sides of ribs, enough for everyone. It was a sizable order. We told him we would pick the order up at 2 o’clock on the day of the event. He agreed and took our name and number.

On the day of the event we showed up at noon to add to the order as the RSVPs had increased. But to our surprise, no barbecue guy! We went inside and asked the store manager what was up. The store manager said the barbecue guy wasn’t going to be there that day and there would be no barbecue!

Yikes! Now we were panicked! We had all these folks coming over and no barbecue. We quickly got on the phone and found another barbecue guy who was barbecuing in the next town. Luckily, they could fill the order by 2 o’clock. We had to drive a one hour round-trip to pick up the barbecue. Problem solved.

Then at 3 o’clock we get a phone call from our original barbecue guy. He wants to know when we’re going to pick up the order. We told him that the store where he worked said he wouldn’t be there that day and so we had to go elsewhere for the barbecue. We felt sorry for the guy but felt we had no choice under the circumstances taking the action we took.

We see this is a problem on the increase everywhere. Many folks don’t think to advise those who are depending upon them about the status of their requests. The local barbecue guy expected his customer to blindly trust that he would perform even though he knew that announcements had been made indicating that he could not. He did not feel obligated to call to reassure us. Perhaps he will next time!

To put this problem another way, some may think avoiding acknowledgement, confirmation and proactive status reports is a type of protection. They may think their silence insulates them from criticism. That way, if they perform, great. If they don’t perform, it’s up to the person who’s made the request to get back and ask where they are. That way they don’t really own the job.

The problem with this line of thinking is that most people who have been disappointed in the past assume their request will be dropped if they don’t get acknowledgement, confirmation, and timely updates. They have to! They have taken responsibility for the action whether or not the person they asked performs.  They do own the job! And they will take alternative actions to meet the deadlines.

We’ve seen this minimalist approach in other forms like, not acknowledging a request, dropping an assignment until it’s re-requested, getting the requested information but not reporting it. These are all forms of not owning the job.

The key to being dependable is not give anyone who depends on you apprehension. They shouldn’t have to ask themselves: “Are they going to do it? Are they going to do it on time? Are they going to drop it? Can I rely on them? Do I have to go around them? Why haven’t I heard from them? And why do I have to check up on them anyway?” Remove all these types of anxiety with acknowledgement, confirmation, and status updates. When it comes to a job that others depend on you for, just own it!

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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Will the Predilections and Prejudices of your Employees Hurt Your Business? https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/31/will-the-predilections-and-prejudices-of-your-employees-hurt-your-business/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/31/will-the-predilections-and-prejudices-of-your-employees-hurt-your-business/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 17:00:45 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14725 Starbucks just found out the hard way. Their own people can take unwarranted, fear-based actions that marginalize an entire segment of the population. They found out that those actions can reflect on their company which relies on the entire population, not a single segment, for its reputation, brand image, and ultimately, it’s very income!

Starbucks simply cannot withstand a boycott by the offended groups or their supporters. There is a real business message here! People vote with their money and they will no longer vote for businesses that marginalizes them or others. We admire Starbucks for taking responsibility and for beginning a sensitivity program that is aimed at addressing this problem. But it is in their own best interests.

With the ability to quickly capture, share, and go viral, events of this nature can dramatically affect business. That reality has every business now thinking about the mindset of those they hire who represent them. It’s not enough to hire on skillset alone any more. Their predilections can turn business away!

Although much progress has been made since the early days of the civil rights movement, recent behavior by our top elected officials has encouraged many with deep-seated prejudices to act out. They somehow feel vindicated. They feel they have been given permission to marginalize people. They see top elected officials name calling, ridiculing, dehumanizing and disrespecting large segments of the population based on race, religion, or national origin – and some follow their example.

ABC found out the hard way. Rosanne Barr’s marginalizing tweet about Valerie Jarrett went viral. They were forced to cancel her show or face a boycott of advertisers who are dependent on sales to the entire market, not just one segment.

So, we seem to be living in a society with a double standard. It’s unfortunately “OK” for elected officials to marginalize folks, but not for businesses. Businesses are held to a higher standard of respect for civil liberties. You might have to wait years to vote out elected officials. But you can vote out Starbucks or ABC tomorrow!

The bad news is that as far as we have come, latent stereotypes, fears, and prejudices are still prevalent in our society. It seems to be emboldened and sometimes taken into action by people who harbor these predilections. Perhaps they are choosing news feeds that agree with those prejudices. Perhaps they want to take the next step backwards. Or perhaps they actually believe that society is returning to a more intolerant time.

The good news is that most businesses must serve the entire society. Unlike politicians, they can’t just play to a narrow base. In fact, their customers, their advertisers, and their suppliers are holding them accountable for the behavior of everyone who represents them. In a way, we think businesses that want to include everyone as potential customers have become the inadvertent defenders of civil liberties.

We like to say, “If you really want to change something, put a buck on it!” Marginalized groups like African Americans, Latinos, or the LGBTQ are now powerful economic forces to be reckoned with. Employee sensitivity training might start with why we are all dependent upon one another, how our very livelihood comes from people of all races, religions, and national origins, and why we need everybody’s patronage to earn our paychecks.

Perhaps, if we started to look at everyone as a customer, we would treat them with more respect. Minorities have huge financial clout. They know if one minority is marginalized, their minority might be next. So basically, it’s just plain bad business to bring prejudice in any form into the marketplace. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

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 Entrepreneurial Skills You Learn in College https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/24/5-entrepreneurial-skills-you-learn-in-college/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/24/5-entrepreneurial-skills-you-learn-in-college/#respond Fri, 25 May 2018 02:05:03 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14716 When you’re in college, it’s not only what they teach that will enable you to be a successful entrepreneur, it’s the skills you acquire just to get through.

About this time of year, many students are near completion of their college year and wondering if they should continue. They keep hearing stories about successful entrepreneurs who gave up on formal education early to get the jump on their entrepreneurial pursuits. They wonder about the value of a college degree in the world of entrepreneurship.

But these concerns discount the more subtle advantages of attending and finishing college.

These advantages are not widely heralded as the primary benefits of completing a formal education, but they are the exact skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur. We’re not talking about the skills that are taught in the classroom, but the ones you must develop and use just to survive in the classroom.

We’re talking about personal discipline, delayed gratification and good judgment. These behavioral skills are all required to complete your education and they are all required to increase your chances of success in business.

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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Has Life Become De-Valued in America? https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/24/has-life-become-de-valued-in-america/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/24/has-life-become-de-valued-in-america/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 17:00:36 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14708 We are set up to answer questions on Quora. It may not be a good match for us because our experience is in a relatively narrow niche, entrepreneurial brand building in the CPG space. Most of the questions have to do with things like, “How much money does Elon Musk have,” and “Why do they call it duct tape?” But recently, there was a question that caught our attention, “How do you protect yourself from a school shooting?”

The answers were well thought out, professional, and involved the tactical and practical actions that students could take to avoid harm. We were reading the list of suggested tactics which included: drop everything and run; get into a classroom and block the door; and hide. But there was at least one thing that we think should’ve been added to the list: “Vote!”

We admire the students for refusing to be silenced about violence. But there are issues beyond gun-control that can make a difference. They have to do with the not-so-subtle ways that our children are influenced about the value of life itself.

Whether it’s the old time western shoot-em’-ups or gangster movies of the ‘40s and ‘50s, American movies have always been violent. People are shown being shot without a care.

But in the 80’s and 90’s things got even more bloody with a fascination for violence against teenagers in chain saw massacres and horror movies. Now the victims were innocent and young, not just the old “bad guys.”

Imagine being young and impressionable and being submitted to that kind of “entertainment.” How can movie actors walk with the student in protest, and then take money to perform in movies that cheapen life?

But wait! Then comes the video games that quickly go from Pac-Man to you-are-the-shooter. The games have become wildly popular with teenagers. This experience of easily blowing people away is now becoming available in virtual reality. Should we be surprised about the increased instances of violence when “reality” is in the name of the experience?

We were in our friendly neighborhood pizza parlor last week. It’s just a couple blocks from our local high school.  Video games were screening and screaming. They were vying for teenage attention, shooting one person after another, without consequence, and the player was pulling the trigger.

Then comes the constant news feeds that are deliberately designed to get our attention with headlines that feature death and destruction and other threats to our lives. This comes to us daily on all platforms and inundates our young people with messages that de-value life.

We’ve all heard that most young people know that this is all “fantasy” and that they can easily distinguish this from “reality.” But what about the mentally depressed, isolated, and psychologically imbalanced? They are constantly and visually exposed to this violent avenue to demonstrate their frustration.

What about the impressionable, unstable, and risk tolerant aspects of the still -developing teenage brain? And what about the reduction in mental health funding? Now let’s add to that the “copycat factor,” and you have a real “hot mess!”

Certainly, reducing easy access to firearms is a big part of the answer. Invoking parental responsibility can significantly reduce the instances of school shootings and other atrocities.

But don’t we have a responsibility to hold the entertainment and video game industry to task as well? We’re not advocating censorship, just good judgement and sensitivity. When entertainment producers deliberately go after teenage dollars with violence that diminishes the value of life, shouldn’t their actions be subject to public scrutiny?  We think it’s hypocritical to stand with the students while making money depicting violence and devaluing life.

We work with students every day. Many of our events are in schools. We owe it to them to speak out against this ominous trend in teenage “entertainment.” Let’s show them why life is precious. Let’s get them into the parks. Let’s show them the wonders of nature. And let’s teach the values of empathy over enmity.  Let’s all agree to set good examples for others to follow, especially our youth whom we know emulate what they see.

 

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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Force Brands – Brand Building Secrets Interview https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/21/force-brands-brand-building-secrets-interview/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/21/force-brands-brand-building-secrets-interview/#respond Mon, 21 May 2018 16:57:30 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14689

Founders Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey didn’t set out with the intention of creating the world’s largest wine brand. At the time of Barefoot Wine’s founding in 1985, they both lacked the money and the industry knowledge necessary to launch a brand of any kind. Instead, they relied on innovative, entrepreneurial tactics that would later prove to be more than successful.

Their unconventional approach to brand building led them to disrupt the wine category with a unique perspective on retail; leverage an alternative to commercial advertising; and forge partnerships with 25,000 retail stores across 50 states and 28 countries.

Read on to discover the story of Barefoot from its founders — the things they wish they knew then; how they approached hiring; and why they believe that a brand’s reputation is the key to its success.

To read the interview, please visit Force Brands 

 

 

 

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10 Questions Our Clients Ask https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/17/10-questions-our-clients-ask/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/17/10-questions-our-clients-ask/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 17:49:57 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14666 Our clients come to us because of our credentials as the founders of the largest wine brand in the world. They want to know how we began (in our laundry room), how we were financed (we assumed a debt which we traded for wine and bottling services), and how we overcame the challenges of personnel management (we paid for performance).

All that and more is covered in our New York Times’ Best Seller, The Barefoot Spirit, How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. It contains the lessons we learned told in a humorous business adventure story. It answers the top 10 questions start-ups and business owners need to know on their way to success.

And we are really excited to announce that we are currently recording it in an audio book! Like the paperback, it will be fun. Instead of having someone read it to you, we have engaged a live troupe of actors who will dramatically act it out for you. You will enjoy the unique format and learn from their interactions. We will be releasing it in the fall!

So, here’s the short list of a few of our favorite answers to the question – “How do I…”:

  1. Start a business without financing?
  • Trade for goods and services
  • Use your buyers as banker by offering quantity discounts for cash
  • Use your supplies as bankers by earning extended credit and terms
  • Use the assets you already have, such as a spare room, family members, or contracted services
  • Pay for performance rather than for attendance
  1. Start a business with no experience in the industry?
  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Work for someone who is already doing what you want to do
  • Talk to everyone who will be working with your product or service
  • Use your suppliers and vendors as teachers
  1. Find, hire, train, and keep good people?
  • Look for hustle and integrity
  • Overkill on orientation
  • Give them appreciation and time off
  • Pay for performance
  1. Get my product to the market?
  • Start in a small area to learn your lessons
  • Offer samples, tastings, etc.
  • Ask the buyers what they need
  • Get the reputation, even in a small area, of being a “Hot Mover!”
  1. Give my brand a soul?
  • Identify what your brand offers its users that they love
  • Identify what your brand and your company stand for beside the mercantile product you are selling
  • Work with your community on your shared goals
  • Be inclusive and earth-friendly
  • Treat your people right
  1. Build a brand without advertising?
  • Donate your products or services to community fundraisers
  • Build brand advocates who will sing your praises to all they know
  • Attend farmers’ markets or other social events where your customers can be found
  • Do many in-store demos
  1. Think outside the box?
  • Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes in every position of responsibility
  • Meet regularly with everyone on your staff, with your suppliers and your buyers and ask them what their challenges and goals are
  • Be open to new ideas, especially those that seem to be contrary to your own
  • Practice “Know-the-Need” instead of “Need-to-Know”
  1. Get the most out of my people?
  • Use performance-based compensation and share the wealth
  • Share information freely; share your goals, challenges, and opportunities
  • Give employees your respect by asking for their feedback and advice
  • Acknowledge their successes in writing and copy the entire staff
  1. Use outsourced services?
  • Communicate your needs clearly and in writing
  • Pay only if your project has been completed to your specs
  • Oversee their work on your project to assure quality control
  • Look for long term relationships
  1. Sell my business?
  • Talk with a business broker who recently was involved in a sale or purchase of a business like yours
  • Put your peanut in front of the elephant
  • Work towards the metrics required to become an acquisition target and ultimately monetize the brand equity you are building
  • Organize your filling system according to your future acquirer’s due diligence

As advisors, we help our clients identify and move toward their goals. We learn about their business, their challenges, and their opportunities. Then we meet with them regularly to help them stay on track. They get the many benefits of our 20 years growing the Barefoot Wine brand.  We learned a lot of lessons – most of them the hard way!

You too can benefit from the knowledge we gained without having to go through the time, mental anguish, and money that it took us. Think of it as saving $300,000 or more on mistakes and 3 years or more in wasted efforts. Here is to your success!

 

 

 

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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Misfit Entrepreneur Interview https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/17/misfit-entrepreneur-interview/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/blog/2018/05/17/misfit-entrepreneur-interview/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 17:48:42 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14669 We were interviewed on “Misfit Entrepreneur” by host, Dave Lukas. To listen to our section of the interview, please  click the play button below and the interview starts at 2:20.

 

 

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