The Barefoot Spirit https://thebarefootspirit.com Founders of Barefoot, a Top Global Brand New York Times Bestselling Authors International Keynote Speakers, Entrepreneurial Coaches. Thu, 15 Aug 2019 16:37:15 -0700 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Pakistan Takes a Stand on Single-Use Plastic Bags https://thebarefootspirit.com/pakistan-takes-a-stand-on-single-use-plastic-bags/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/pakistan-takes-a-stand-on-single-use-plastic-bags/#respond Thu, 15 Aug 2019 17:00:47 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16336 Taking a trip to Kenya? Leave you plastic bags at home or face a $40,000 fine with up to 4 years in prison! Seems a little over the top? Two years ago, the Kenyans suddenly enacted the world’s toughest ban against single-use plastic bags. According to the Kenyans, “A sudden ban is easier to enforce […]

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Taking a trip to Kenya? Leave you plastic bags at home or face a $40,000 fine with up to 4 years in prison! Seems a little over the top? Two years ago, the Kenyans suddenly enacted the world’s toughest ban against single-use plastic bags. According to the Kenyans, “A sudden ban is easier to enforce than trying to collect tax or a fee, because there is no incentive to bribe (your way out of it).”

Drowning in Plastic

According to Pamela Constable of the Washington Post, just yesterday Pakistan suddenly banned all single-use polyethylene bags from their capital, Islamabad. Officials estimate that the city of about 1.5 million people produced and discarded 55 billion plastic bags a year. The bags ended up in parks and vacant lots, clogging sewers and drains, eaten by goats and dogs, and ultimately polluting canals and streams. Sound familiar?

“Something We have to Do!”

According to Malik Amin Aslam of the Ministry of Climate Change, which is spearheading the effort, “This is something we have to do. You cannot burn, bury, reuse, or recycle these bags.” This is part of a larger Green Initiative being pushed by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan. Last year it began with a program to plant 10 billion trees to combat deforestation. The fines in Pakistan won’t be as stiff as Kenya, but will certainly get everyone’s attention: $31 for using one, $63 for selling one, and $31,000 for manufacturing plastic bags. Since the national per capita income is only $1,200 per year, these are still pretty hefty penalties.

Time to Join the Parade

Over 40 countries have now either banned or taxed single-use plastic bags. Interestingly, Americans have yet to do so. We evidently think as a country that we can continue to use them without consequence, even though the “urban tumbleweeds” are right there blowing across our roads, hanging in our trees, and raggedly splayed out on our fences. China stopped taking plastic garbage from the US two years ago. Now, South East Asia is clamping down. Today, it’s our problem. Like the Pakistani Minister says, “You can’t burn, bury, recycle, or re-use them.” Why are we disregarding what other countries already know and are taking action on?

But, where will they Work?

Of course, the manufacturers of plastic bags in Pakistan have protested, citing layoffs of a half-million people. The Ministry is meeting with them to discover how the factories that produce plastic bags can be converted to produce other goods. Perhaps the message to business is why wait ‘til there’s a crisis and an outcry that forces change, like Kenya and Pakistan? Why not anticipate this mega-trend and make moves now to produce alternatives? Why not support fledgling companies who are solving this problem? This is a huge financial opportunity! There’s obviously a market for alternatives with 40 countries now on board. And what about laborers? These new companies will need that labor. The way we see it, producers of single-use plastic bags must change over now or get outlawed and out-sold by their competition that is doing so.

Many thanks to Kenya and Pakistan for showing the world “a brand new bag!”

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 Tariffs are a Bad Idea! https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-tariffs-are-a-bad-idea/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-tariffs-are-a-bad-idea/#respond Thu, 08 Aug 2019 17:00:08 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16304 Trade wars never completely go away. Once a market can no longer afford your products, they shop elsewhere. Once they have established a new supplier or developed a less expensive alternative, you are basically done in that market! The problem with populism is that it is, at its core, nationalism. It’s based on the false […]

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Trade wars never completely go away. Once a market can no longer afford your products, they shop elsewhere. Once they have established a new supplier or developed a less expensive alternative, you are basically done in that market!

The problem with populism is that it is, at its core, nationalism. It’s based on the false idea that we can go it alone, that we don’t need the cooperation of our allies to settle trade disputes, and that we can simply use tariffs to coerce the other guys into behaving. Tariffs are not the way!

Tariffs have hurt American businesses two ways:

  1. They have to eat the tariff. This means less profits, less sales, and ultimately less jobs. The stock market knows this and has responded accordingly. The tariffs will kill off many American businesses.
  2. They can no longer depend on income from exports. Countermeasures taken by the other side in a trade war make American goods less attractive. But the other side’s market still has a demand for these product. So they just buy from our competition!

We can tell you from our own painful experience how hard it is to get shelf space in America, let alone in a foreign country. If you lose it, the shelf space doesn’t just sit there vacant, waiting for a resolution and your return. Far from it! It is instantly seized upon by your competitors!

Take the case of American wine, for instance, since that was our industry. It’s taken decades to get buyers in China for American wine. We had to overcome other international competitors in that market. Just when we finally get somewhat established, we hand the market over to the Australians, Italians, French, and South Africans! Then, due to a manufactured “border crisis” and new rules on temporary workers, the cost of labor has skyrocketed. The recent devastating fires due to the climate crisis resulted in all available labor being sucked into the rebuilding effort in California, inflating the cost of labor even more! This year we have a bumper crop. What do you think that will do to prices and the health of this important US export?

Take the case of the soybean farmers. China was their fastest growing market for soybeans. The farmers geared up for it. Then China retaliates for the tariffs on their goods and stops buying our goods. Then our government uses our tax money to prop them up. Farmers would prefer have a real customer. Without sales, they have too many soybeans. They store them, and the price plummets with over supply. Then the climate crisis causes massive flooding in the soybean states and the silos are flooded. Now China is looking to South America and elsewhere for soybeans. Do you think they will ever come back to American soybeans? Will they ever trust us again? Why would they become dependent on products from a country that can use that dependency against them?

The tariffs are having a rippling effect throughout the US market. Ultimately, it will be the consumer who is hurt by the tariffs and the whole economy. We don’t have the nationalist/populist choice to go it alone anymore. The world is too interdependent. Our standard of living is based on our ability as consumers to get the best prices in the world. All that is about to change!

While we oppose trade inequities, dumping, and theft of intellectual property, we don’t believe putting ourselves in an even worse trade position is a good solution. Tariffs hurt business, the consumer, and the economy … permanently. We hope the businesses that supported an administration that uses tariffs  as a trade war weapon finally learn the lesson that economists have known for decades. Tariffs don’t work!

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 NEXT STEP IN BUSINESS AUDIO? ASK THE CROWD! https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-next-step-in-business-audio-ask-the-crowd/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-next-step-in-business-audio-ask-the-crowd/#respond Thu, 08 Aug 2019 15:59:03 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16308 STORY AS COMMUNICATION, FROM CAVEMAN TO WALKMAN When humans listen to a story something amazing happens. each individual in a crowd reaches into their own personal memories to create and complete the scenes in which the action takes place. In other words, they source the props from their own mental inventory. When this happens, they […]

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STORY AS COMMUNICATION, FROM CAVEMAN TO WALKMAN

When humans listen to a story something amazing happens. each individual in a crowd reaches into their own personal memories to create and complete the scenes in which the action takes place. In other words, they source the props from their own mental inventory. When this happens, they tag the story to be more easily recalled. why? Because they had something to do with its telling. They were interacting by embellishing the scenes with their imagination, they were involved in a process of co-creation.

Pre-literate indigenous people would hand down their history and the principles they had learned  about survival, the environment, medicine, and even virtues through story. Fast forward 8,000 years, we are rediscovering the power of story to convey principles. We, the audience, hear the story and draw out the take-aways, principles, and lessons. Through using our imagination to complete the scenes, and even identify with the characters, we can recall and use the lessons in our own businesses and life! This is a type of experiential learning.

PRESCRIPTIVE TEXT

Without story, business books, especially, can seem one dimensional, prescriptive, and even patronizing. The principles are all laid out for you in a logical construct-like outline. “Here are the 3 things to do, the 5 things never to do, and the 15 things your customer wants from you.” Even if the points are made using examples, the mind glazes over by the end of chapter two. And the retention and application of the principles being shared is questionable.

With the renaissance of story, we are reconnecting with what our ancient ancestors instinctively knew all along: if you want your listeners to remember and use the message, wrap a convincing story around it with compelling characters overcoming challenges using the principles you wish to convey.

 

 

To read the complete article, please visit Crowd Sourcing Week

 

 

 

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 Lungs of the World are in Brazil https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-lungs-of-the-world-are-in-brazil/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-lungs-of-the-world-are-in-brazil/#respond Thu, 01 Aug 2019 17:00:23 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16282 As the clock runs out on the world’s opportunity to mitigate the climate crisis, the new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, is poised to continue the destruction of the “lungs of the world,” the Amazon Rain Forest. He thinks the environmentalists in his own government have been lying about the importance of the Amazon to oxygen […]

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lungs of the worldAs the clock runs out on the world’s opportunity to mitigate the climate crisis, the new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, is poised to continue the destruction of the “lungs of the world,” the Amazon Rain Forest. He thinks the environmentalists in his own government have been lying about the importance of the Amazon to oxygen production and carbon sequestration. He ran and won on a populist platform of “Brazil First.” Bolsonaro argues that Brazil’s economy has been held back because of restrictions on the development of the Amazon. He accuses other nations of wanting to develop the Amazon for themselves. He says the Amazon is in “our country” and nobody can dictate to Brazil what to do with it.

Eight former Brazilian environmental ministers wrote in a joint letter in May, “We’re facing the risk of runaway deforestation in the Amazon,” arguing that Brazil needed to strengthen its environmental protection measures, not weaken them.  But Bolsonaro himself has violated environmental laws in the Amazon and has been fined. Since he has been elected, enforcement has been significantly diminished sending a land rush signal to short-sighted developers.

According to the Global Change Biology, 2014 report, 30% of our carbon emissions come from burning the rainforests. Climate scientists Karen Vandecar and Deborah Lawrence report that as deforestation increases, global warming is exacerbated, global temperatures increase, and precipitation patterns are altered worldwide (including in the United States).

Destroying Brazil’s Conservations Efforts

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Amazon Rainforest was in the news. It was threatened with logging for short-term agricultural benefits. Several international groups came forward and mounted a global educational campaign to try to stop the deforestation. They were somewhat successful. Brazil was hailed internationally for its conservation efforts at the time.

But just in the past six months since the populist president Bolsonaro, took office, more than 1,330 square miles of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest have been destroyed. This is almost 40% more than what was destroyed last year. Most of the deforestation takes place in June when it’s drier and cooler. 80% more forest cover was removed this June over last June.  Why? Because enforcement required to protect this fragile area has dramatically decreased.

So the question is: Can one country take action that has a dramatic negative effect on the life and wellbeing of all the other countries on the planet? Can one country destroy life-supporting international assets simply because they are on their soil? And can they do this at such a critical time in our existence when we are already in a full-blown climate crisis? Can they push the planet over the edge to the point of no return? Evidently, they can!

An analogous question might be: How did we, the inhabitants of the earth, forget the importance of the Amazon to our existence? Was it generational change? Was there so much “noise” that we forgot priority? Did we forget history? Or did we get caught up in the reality show of the latest news cycle? Why was is so easy to convince the citizens of Brazil, the long-time protectors of the “lungs of the world” that they could now destroy this life-giving asset without consequence?

Mixing Business & Conservation Causes

We have long been conservationists. When we began our Barefoot Wine business, we were following an opportunity rather than our passion. But we found a way to incorporate our passion into our business with Worthy Cause Marketing. By using our advertising money to support conservation causes, we like to think we made a small difference in the general public’s awareness of the fragile balance between our environment and our health. Our passion is still in conservation and now is a much more critical time. Today we are writing about companies that are making a buck by making a difference. See our monthly articles in Entrepreneur.com.

But what’s driving the destruction of the rain forest? Companies that are doing just the opposite by indirectly supporting and financing the destruction of the Amazon to offer processed and fast food convenience items for the US and Europe.

Nation vs the World

The US, once the moral compass of the world, has not only abdicated that role several years ago, but it has encouraged the opposite message: “It’s OK to be selfish, and it’s a race to the bottom for the world’s resources no matter the consequences.”  Our own administration has negated and dismantled EPA information and protections. Our own administration has an “America First” attitude that is playing out to be counter-productive. And our own administration has left The Paris Accord. So the message is “Every nation for itself!” We are giving the world permission to destroy the environment upon which we all depend. We all need carbon sequestration; we all need oxygen! But who are we to tell the Brazilians what to do?

Read more in the New York Times and do something about it by joining the Amazon Aid Foundation.

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 Climate Crisis is the Biggest Issue for 2020 https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-climate-crisis-is-the-biggest-issue-for-2020/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-climate-crisis-is-the-biggest-issue-for-2020/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2019 17:00:22 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16266 It’s All Climate-Related We just returned from Washington, DC, where we spent the better part of a week. It was hot! Not just hot, but all-time record hot at night! Just when you thought it would finally cool down, nighttime broke all the records for heat. It is hard not to notice that something is […]

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It’s All Climate-Related

We just returned from Washington, DC, where we spent the better part of a week. It was hot! Not just hot, but all-time record hot at night! Just when you thought it would finally cool down, nighttime broke all the records for heat. It is hard not to notice that something is wrong with the weather. Two years ago we watched urban firestorms in our home state of California. And last year the Paradise fire put a pall of toxic smoke in the air statewide for a week. People are still coughing!

Meanwhile, back in DC, they’re talking about the misdeeds of the president, immigration, and healthcare …not the climate crisis! It’s interesting, however, to realize that continued climate denigration is supported by the petroleum industry that seems to have a stranglehold on the Environmental Protection Agency, immigration is driven by crop failures in Central America due to unprecedented and persistent heat, and health care costs are about to skyrocket as the health effects of a hotter planet are further demonstrated. Let’s face it – it’s all climate-related!

Candidate for Defeating Climate Change

When you read the pundits before the Oscars, they always say something like “Here’s who should win the Oscar, and here’s who will win!” That’s sort of how it is right now with the 2020 election. There’s only one candidate who really gets what we are talking about here, but he doesn’t have a chance with all the noise, hype, and distraction. Most Americans never heard of Jay Inslee, the Governor of the other Washington, Washington state. He should win the election but probably won’t.

“Our country’s next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time – defeating climate change,” says Inslee in his March 2019 announcement video. He says he is not a one-issue candidate but sees climate as an umbrella under which all the other issues are affected. His platform is to build a carbon-free economy that will produce more jobs and save us from the worst aspects of the climate crisis. According to the US News and Worlds Report and USA Today, Washington is consistently in the top 10 state economies. Inslee attributes his success to Washington’s progressive views that attract business and especially alternative solutions.

Inslee argues that,

“This is the first generation to feel the sting of the climate change and the last generation that can do anything about it.”

How many more fires, floods, hurricanes and crop failures will it take for the voters to realize that the climate crisis is a real existential threat to our lives, economy, and health? The recent National Geographic Survey showed that Americans are beginning to figure it out, but will we take action in time?

Climate Crisis is Here…

As businesspeople, we support young entrepreneurs with our experience and connections. We want the best future for them and the economy. We don’t usually get political in our blogs. However, we are at a point where we can no longer ignore the biggest existential threat to our economy and national security. We must take the long view to protect those entrepreneurs and their future. The short view will have us spending all our time on simply surviving.

There’s a good reason why the City of New York has joined so many other governments in changing the terminology for what’s happening from “climate change” and “global warming” to “climate crisis.” It’s not gradual. It’s not off in the future. It’s here. It’s climate refugees at our borders, heat strokes and respiratory patients in our hospitals, and giant infrastructure repair bills, all resulting in higher taxes, health insurance premiums, and costs of living. It’s really hard to separate these national (and global) issues form the climate crisis when the low temperatures in the nation’s capital are at an all-time high!

For our part, we have used our platform to shine a light on businesses that are making a buck by making a difference. Check out our recent articles in Entrepreneur.com. What are you doing about 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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Helping Out Your Fellow Humans https://thebarefootspirit.com/helping-out-your-fellow-humans/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/helping-out-your-fellow-humans/#respond Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:30:07 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16262 PARTICIPATION = SATISFACTION In 1996 Jerry Maguire, an aspiring sports agent, repeated a four word request to his first and only client: “Help me help you!” And you know where that got him. The feedback gave him the direction he needed to become the one of the greatest sports agents of all time! Tom Cruise played the […]

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PARTICIPATION = SATISFACTION
In 1996 Jerry Maguire, an aspiring sports agent, repeated a four word request to his first and only client: “Help me help you!” And you know where that got him. The feedback gave him the direction he needed to become the one of the greatest sports agents of all time!

Tom Cruise played the role of Jerry Maguire in the movie of the same name, and here’s a clip where he uses the phrase.

 

 

Fast forward 20 years – as our friend Ivan Meisner, likes to say, “Take off the bib and put on the apron!” He believes this is the first rule of networking. Today, he is the founder of the world’s largest business networking franchise, IBN.

Networking, whether it’s online or in person, is crowdsourcing at its finest. But having the right mindset to not just borrow from but also contribute to the collective intelligence makes it the most powerful.

The Road to Participation

We’ve been using the crowdsourced navigation system “Waze” for years. It not only gets you to your destination, but it engages the other drivers to report driving conditions, hazards, and even police you can expect along the way. It’s free! And we have been basically wearing the “bib,” just taking the information the other drivers provide, without ever putting on the “apron” and participating by contributing the information we see to help the other drivers behind us. That is until recently.

Evidently, one of the drivers ahead of us alerted the drivers behind her that there was a serious road hazard. She saw the hazard and participated with the app by entering it. It must have just happened because it popped up on our screen just seconds before we were on top of it. The last minute warning came soon enough for us to slow down and avoid it. Otherwise, with cars on either side at 65 miles per hour, we would have hit it. We looked at each other in relief and said, “Wow!” That was fortunate.

 

To read the complete article, please visit Crowd Sourcing Week

 

 

 

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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Avoid Corporate Survival Strategies and Keep the Ball Rolling – In Your Direction https://thebarefootspirit.com/avoid-corporate-survival-strategies-and-keep-the-ball-rolling-in-your-direction/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/avoid-corporate-survival-strategies-and-keep-the-ball-rolling-in-your-direction/#respond Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:00:59 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16254 Has this ever happened to you? After a series of meetings with the big organization, suddenly there’s a new person in the room, they monopolize the meeting, and set the progress back to square one.  “I’m not convinced we should do this!” they say and then spend the rest of the meeting trying to shoot […]

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corporate survival strategiesHas this ever happened to you? After a series of meetings with the big organization, suddenly there’s a new person in the room, they monopolize the meeting, and set the progress back to square one.  “I’m not convinced we should do this!” they say and then spend the rest of the meeting trying to shoot down the proposal. Translation? They were unprepared for the meeting and are using this tactic as a smokescreen.

Or after a year’s worth of back and forth with the group you have been working with, you finally get to a new group who will be actually using your solution. Guess what? They are unprepared. They don’t even know who you are or why they are having the meeting. For them, it’s start-all-over-again time.  They haven’t been thoroughly briefed by their bosses on the history, the reason, or the authorization to proceed. Or worse, they were briefed, but didn’t read it! Why? They are overloaded and projects can easily fall through the cracks. Communication tends to be minimal and last minute.

Different Strokes

Entrepreneurs must be “hustlative.” They must be thoroughly briefed. They must keep a consistent and comprehensive view. And they must stay focused. Their income depends on it because their future is not guaranteed. Entrepreneurs must see the big picture to succeed. They need to know the whens and whys.

Many employees working for big organizations chose to do so for financial security. They are working under much less pressure so don’t expect the word “urgency” to be in their vocabulary. They get paid whether your project goes through or not. That is, unless they lose their job! So, is it any wonder that for them Job Security is Job #1? Any perceived threat must be attacked. Any implication that they are not performing must be squashed. Hence, politics! It’s just the nature of the beast.

Interestingly, there’s a big support group for this kind of thinking that starts with the division of labor and professional specialty associations and ends with inter-organizational comparative salaries.

Big organization employees often specialize in only one area of the job and may see everything myopically through that lens. Their big concern is, “Will this make my job easier?” and not necessarily,  “How will this improve the bottom line of the company?” Specialty work tends to isolate and insulate employees from the sales process.

Also consider the fact that the employee may be just putting in their time at the big organization just to get the experience on their resume so they can move on with their career. Or the organization may suddenly move the employee to another position within the organization. And where does that leave you, the entrepreneur dependent on the big organization’s blessing? That’s right – start all over, even if you have already been at it for a year. There’s typically no urgency or continuity on the other guys’ part.

Navigating Blockage

This same type of corporate blockage can occur in many guises, but the bottom line is that you, as the entrepreneurial outsider trying to get something done at the large organization, have to be proactive, even to the point of redundancy when it comes to background briefing. And you must do it in advance of every meeting.

While building a major brand, we constantly had to work with many large and lethargic organizations. Some were governmental and some were large corporations. There were too many times when we had to do the other guy’s job, being careful not to tick them off, thank them profusely, and then recommend them to their boss. Seem crazy? It’s all about getting the job done.

Here’s our prescription to help you get through corporate blockage:

  1. Once you have authority to pursue a solution and have been handed off to the first executive, confirm in writing that you have in fact been given permission to proceed. Explain again why you are presenting this solution, how it affects the bottom line, and the date certain that a decision must be reached to maximize the benefits for the organization. This will become important later when the executives play musical chairs.
  2. Once the executive hands you off to the division chief or manager, thoroughly brief them again in writing before any meetings. Be sure to add the higher-ups to the email string and make it clear that you are not coming in out of the blue. Keep it on the same email string or Google Doc.
  3. Right after you meet with the division chief, thank them, summarize the action items, and send everyone on the string the next steps and deadline dates.
  4. Before you meet with the division chief’s selected group, identify everyone who will be in the meeting. Yup, send them the string with the reasons, agenda, and prospective outcomes well in advance and again right before the meeting. At the meeting present the agenda again. Do you best to stay in control and make sure everyone knows why the meeting is being held, is thoroughly briefed, and understands the milestones. Don’t forget to introduce yourself and thank them. Don’t let the meeting be about why you are having the meeting or spend the whole time bringing someone up to date!
  5. Immediately after the meeting, summarize the meeting with all the action items, deadlines, and don’t forget to thank them again. They will see that their bosses are copied and see you as promoting their jobs, which is ultimately what you have to do to get anything done!
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 5!
  7. Repeat!

Conclusion

You can throw up your hands and have a good laugh at the Scott Adams’ “Dilbert” comic strip, or you can do something productive to successfully navigate corporate blockage. Remember, you are the outsider. They can easily circle the wagons and stall or kill your project. You are at their mercy. The more you know about their motivations and the more you support them, the better. Show them how your solution will make their job easier (even if it will save their organization millions!). Start from scratch with each new face. Don’t assume that anyone has been adequately briefed. Document everything, stay on the same string, and pray! Corporate blockage (which we sometimes refer to as “corporate constipation” because nothing is moving) will eventually break down and, with persistence, due diligence, and remedial briefings, things can get moving again!

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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Bricks and Mortar is Dead. Not So Fast! https://thebarefootspirit.com/bricks-and-mortar-is-dead-not-so-fast/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/bricks-and-mortar-is-dead-not-so-fast/#respond Fri, 12 Jul 2019 10:53:40 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16241 Younger Generation That Shops at Bricks and Mortar Stores If you were born between 1997 and 2012 you are referred to as “Gen Z.” Makes you wonder what’s next since “Z” is the last letter of the alphabet. But that aside, this new generation prefers to shop in old fashioned bricks-and-mortar stores. Why? Because it’s […]

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bricks and mortar is dead?Younger Generation That Shops at Bricks and Mortar Stores

If you were born between 1997 and 2012 you are referred to as “Gen Z.” Makes you wonder what’s next since “Z” is the last letter of the alphabet. But that aside, this new generation prefers to shop in old fashioned bricks-and-mortar stores. Why? Because it’s entertaining and fun! Does this mean the death of retail has been greatly exaggerated? We think so.

What’s interesting here is that, according to a new study by Morning Consult, “(They) will be the largest, most ethnically diverse, best educated, and most financially powerful generation ever.” Gen Z‘ers were spending their first dime when two-day delivery was common. They were making their first purchases when the convenience of home delivery was the latest thing. So, why didn’t they jump on the online bandwagon? Is there something missing in e-commerce that these first-timers noticed? Was it that when they looked at these two shopping experiences side by side, neither was new nor shiny? They were simply what was available. And when they looked at these two options, why did they choose bricks and mortar?

We think it’s the spontaneity of retail, one of the prime ingredients for fun and entertainment. We also think it’s tactile contact with the products that can only happen at retail. And, we think retail satisfies a social need, whether its “retail therapy,” dressing up, or just seeing and being seen. They are going to see and interact with real people. They might find something they were looking for, or they may discover something entirely new!

The Beauty of Bricks and Mortar

Having built a major brand at retail, we as producers can appreciate the power of bricks and mortar. We had the opportunity to offer our products in a wide territory to the retailers existing customers. We received one big check for one big shipment of thousands of products (unlike the onesies and twosies direct-to-consumer business). Our brand had a chance to be discovered on the retail shelves and floor displays. Online buying patterns lead to the repeat purchases of the same brands over and over again. Very little chance of discovering a new product or brand here! Time savings and convenience win over discovery!

Online commerce is a race to the bottom pricewise, where price, not necessarily quality, becomes the determining factor. Both the producers and the customers know that quality is much harder to fake in a real bricks-and-mortar store.

Shopping for Fun

According to the report, two-thirds of Gen Z shoppers go shopping for fun at least once a month. Walmart and Target, two of the largest bricks-and-mortar retail stores, were listed among their top ten favorite “brands.”

It’s interesting that “free delivery” is a widely held misconception that has propelled the acceleration of e-commerce. But everybody who was working for the USPO, FedEx, UPS and DHL still got paid! Who paid them and where did that money come from? It is the online merchants who either figured shipping into the price they charged or they “invested” in the cost of delivery in their attempt to compete with bricks and mortar stores. Ultimately, the consumer pays for delivery one way or the other. On the other hand, bricks and mortar will meet you halfway. You drive to their store and they can offer you prices that don’t include that last leg of delivery to your home.

It’s interesting that what the Boomers knew all along about bricks and mortar retail is being rediscovered by Gen Z. Don’t let them have all the fun! Let’s go shopping! We’ll meet some people and discover something new!

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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Fresh Air Improves Productivity and Your Bottom Line https://thebarefootspirit.com/fresh-air-improves-productivity-and-your-bottom-line/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/fresh-air-improves-productivity-and-your-bottom-line/#respond Wed, 10 Jul 2019 18:21:38 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16237 What your people to be more productive? Here’s a novel idea: open the window. That’s right. Give them some fresh air. According to Joseph G. Allen, assistant professor and director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the air quality in your office affects your employees productivity. He […]

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What your people to be more productive?

Here’s a novel idea: open the window.

That’s right. Give them some fresh air.

According to Joseph G. Allen, assistant professor and director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the air quality in your office affects your employees productivity. He is the principal investigator of the Cog Fx Study lead author of 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building.

These studies prove what we’ve known for years, there is a direct relationship between ventilation and a worker’s ability to process information, make strategic decisions, and respond to crises.

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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How Crowdsourcing Built The World’s #1 Wine Brand https://thebarefootspirit.com/how-crowdsourcing-built-the-worlds-1-wine-brand/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/how-crowdsourcing-built-the-worlds-1-wine-brand/#respond Mon, 08 Jul 2019 14:39:35 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16229 Hi! We are Michael and Bonnie, the founders of the world’s largest wine brand. Did you know that we used crowdsourcing to build Barefoot Wine? Sure, it wasn’t called “Crowdsourcing” back then, but it was the secret to our success! If Necessity is the Mother of Invention, Being Undercapitalized is Surely the Father! It all […]

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Hi! We are Michael and Bonnie, the founders of the world’s largest wine brand. Did you know that we used crowdsourcing to build Barefoot Wine? Sure, it wasn’t called “Crowdsourcing” back then, but it was the secret to our success!

If Necessity is the Mother of Invention, Being Undercapitalized is Surely the Father!

It all started with an opportunity to turn a debt into a business. Our friend, a grape grower, hadn’t been paid for his grapes for three years. The only thing we could get out of the winery that owed him the money was a trade: debt for goods and services. The goods were bulk wine, and the services were bottling services.

We were undercapitalized and astonishingly deficient in industry knowledge. Then, all of a sudden, we had $300,000 worth of grapes and bottling services, but no clue as to what to do to convert those assets into cash. We were humbled. We started asking questions, lots of questions. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were crowdsourcing.

To read the complete article, please visit Crowd Sourcing Week

 

 

 

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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