The Barefoot Spirit https://thebarefootspirit.com Founders of Barefoot, a Top Global Brand New York Times Bestselling Authors International Keynote Speakers, Entrepreneurial Coaches. Thu, 06 Aug 2020 16:36:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Businesses in Survival Mode Require Faster Problem Solving https://thebarefootspirit.com/businesses-in-survival-mode-require-faster-problem-solving/ Thu, 06 Aug 2020 17:00:10 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17431 After we executed several pivots in a very short period of time, we had a colleague sarcastically remark, “I didn’t know you guys could dance!” to which we retorted, “We didn’t know they could shoot!” Not unlike the scenes in the old western movies where the bad guy is shooting at the boots of the […]

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After we executed several pivots in a very short period of time, we had a colleague sarcastically remark, “I didn’t know you guys could dance!” to which we retorted, “We didn’t know they could shoot!” Not unlike the scenes in the old western movies where the bad guy is shooting at the boots of the hero, we had to learn how to dance and pivot fast …or get hit by those account payable “bullets.”

The chaotic response to the virus has hit small businesses hard. They are faced with everything from learning how to dance fast to learning a completely new act. The bullets keep coming and many businesses are already closed. Those that are surviving are solving problems faster than they ever have.

Our friends in Europe can’t understand why so many American businesses have yet to figure out a safe way to reopen. They can’t believe that the American public won’t at least save their own jobs by taking precautions. This is remarkable for a country that has been the leader in innovation and problem solving. It is doubly remarkable for a country that ended World War II due to their citizens’ sacrifices and discipline.

For what its worth, we though it might be helpful to reiterate our thoughts on problem solving in the hopes that it might help some small businesses survive in this unprecedented environment. We call it problem solving Barefoot Style:

The 5 Steps to Problem Solving – Barefoot Style:

1.Take Inventory

If you were shipwrecked on a remote island, the first thing you’d do would be to take inventory of everything you had available. You would begin to think about how you could use all your assets to survive.

Take the same approach to your business problems. Identify all your assets, including the hidden ones. Think about how they could be used to help you overcome the challenges you face.

Your assets are more than your property, money and products. They are also your partners, your customers and your suppliers. You may have a strategic advantage in a seemingly unrelated area. Don’t overlook any hidden assets, including your own knowledge and experience.

  1. Get Out of the Box

The quickest way out of the box is straight up! Take the 10,000-foot view. Look beyond your walls, beyond your business, even beyond your industry. Check out the entire landscape.

Who has already overcome a problem like this in another space? How did they do it? What similarities apply to your problem? Are you even defining the problem properly?

We believe one way to the solution is the best definition of the problem, so look at it from every angle. Look for different ways to restate the challenge you are facing.

  1. Consider Who Else Will Benefit

If you solve the problem, who else will benefit? And conversely, who is hurt if you don’t solve the problem? By asking these questions you can discover strategic allies. They share an interest in seeing the problem solved. They can help.

For instance, you may have a supplier who benefits by your growth. They may even be amenable to providing additional credit and extended terms to help you overcome a hurdle or grow your business faster, enabling them to sell you more of their products.

  1. Look at Your Other Problems

If you believe, as we do, that the elegant solution solves more than one problem, then reverse the premise and put all your problems out on the table alongside the one you are trying to solve. By looking at them all at the same time, you may begin to see relationships.

It is in those relationships that the solution often lies. We’ve been amazed how this tactic can turn on the lights with breakthroughs we wouldn’t have considered otherwise!

  1. Know the Need

Instead of putting your staff, your suppliers and your associates on a “need-to-know” basis by hiding your problems under the veil of security, practice “know-the-need.”

Involve your stakeholders in the problem-solving process. They have an interest in the solution and will appreciate the respect you demonstrate for their intelligence and creativity when you ask their advice. Wild ideas that come out of a fun brainstorming session often result in problem solving at its finest.

You can’t make all your problems go away, but when you are armed with a process like this, you will relieve some anxiety, sleep more soundly and feel more confident. So bring on the next problem and give this process a try. You may be surprised at the results. If it worked for us, it can work for you!

When the bullets start flying, use these steps to learn how to dance faster! We wish all small businesses the very best during these trying times!

 

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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Hire Power Podcast https://thebarefootspirit.com/hire-power-podcast/ Wed, 05 Aug 2020 17:07:15 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17426 M&B were interviewed on “Hire Power” by host, Rick Girard. To watch the interview, please click the play button below:               Who We Are Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine […]

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M&B were interviewed on “Hire Power” by host, Rick Girard.

To watch the interview, please click the play button below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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West Coast Happy Hour – Speaking to Influence Interview https://thebarefootspirit.com/west-coast-happy-hour-speaking-to-influence-interview/ Fri, 31 Jul 2020 15:50:19 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17418 Michael was interviewed on the “West Coast Happy Hour – Speaking to Influence” by host, Dr. Laura Sicola. To watch the interview, please click the play button below:         Who We Are Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and […]

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Michael was interviewed on the “West Coast Happy Hour – Speaking to Influence” by host, Dr. Laura Sicola.

To watch the interview, please click the play button below:

 

 

 

 

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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Silicon Review: Improve Customer and Employee Engagement with a Gripping Story: Business Audio Theatre https://thebarefootspirit.com/improve-customer-and-employee-engagement-with-a-gripping-story-business-audio-theatre/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 23:44:15 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17413 The Silicon Review 50 Best Companies to Watch Article Audio, in any form (podcast, audiobook, and music), allows people to escape some of the mundane tasks in life, and absorb knowledge while being active. It is not only the most widely used medium, but it has proven to be more effective than reading a book […]

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The Silicon Review

Audio, in any form (podcast, audiobook, and music), allows people to escape some of the mundane tasks in life, and absorb knowledge while being active. It is not only the most widely used medium, but it has proven to be more effective than reading a book or watching a video. As audio fits into any mobile device and can reach a large audience quickly, businesses have an opportunity to communicate with their customers in an easy and relevant way.

A well-scripted, fully casted, entertaining, and professionally performed audio play in audiobook form is the best channel to reach your employees and target audience as it is highly measurable.

 

To read the complete article, please visit The Silicon Review

 

 

 

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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A New Approach to Protecting the Environment https://thebarefootspirit.com/a-new-approach-to-protecting-the-environment/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 17:00:27 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17408 With all that’s going on right now, we’ve kind of lost sight of the biggest existential threat we face in the 21st century: Climate Change. But according to Isabella Kwai writing for The New York Times, not so with 23-year old Katta O’Donnell, a fifth-year law student at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. This […]

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With all that’s going on right now, we’ve kind of lost sight of the biggest existential threat we face in the 21st century: Climate Change. But according to Isabella Kwai writing for The New York Times, not so with 23-year old Katta O’Donnell, a fifth-year law student at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. This was a back page story that caught our attention because it opens a new front in the battle to mitigate this mounting disaster. We thought it deserved the front page. So we are reiterating it here!

WHAT?!

No, this is not another protest. This is much more sophisticated, and perhaps ultimately more effective in a short-sighted world where money is more important than the environment. In this case, O’Donnell is leading a class action lawsuit against the government of Australia for, get this, “failing to disclose the material risks of climate change to those investing in government bonds”!

According to the Times, this is the first time experts said that such a climate change case has been brought against a sovereign nation. But, we might add, not the last. The climate-change caused fires in Australia are happening here in the U.S. Of course! We are on the same planet! Both the Australian government and the US government and, for that, matter all governments are selling bonds to finance their spending.

Honestly?

Would you invest in US bonds if the US government disclosed the costs to the government of climate-change caused fires? How about the cost of other climate-change caused calamities, like floods, droughts and plagues? Probably not. And how about if the government had to pay or settle the claims for misrepresenting the value of their bonds? This could substantially undermine the governments’ ability to raise funds through the sale of bonds.

But interestingly, O’Donnell’s class action suit is not asking for damages. It just wants the government to step up on its climate change policies. O’Donnell says, “I want my government acting with honesty and telling the truth about climate risks.” According to Jacqueline Peel, a University of Melbourne Professor of Law, “My personal experience with climate change makes everything I read about climate change more tangible.”

Big Effects

According to the Times, “Any risks to the country’s economic growth, value of its currency or international relations, to name a few factors, might change the value of her investment, her suit states.” The suit seeks an injunction to stop the government from marketing bonds before those disclosures are added.

If the sovereign governments have to disclose these costs in order to sell bonds, it will be less likely that they would continue to support industries that ultimately reduce the value of those bonds thus making them much harder to sell. That can do more to effect climate change mitigation than any protest, because now you are threatening the governments’ ability to raise funds. They will be forced to take action to mitigate climate change.

Mitigate or Abdicate

Just what we have seen happening in the past four years in the US, with the reversal and erosion of climate protections by the government is effecting the value of US bonds. The continuing favoring of petrol-fuels has demonstrably added to the intensity of fires in California, Australia and elsewhere. Who is going to pay for those damages? The taxpayers and the bond holders, that’s who.

What we like about this new approach is that it hits the governments where they live, in the pocketbook, and it forces them to disclose what they already know, that their representations of value are dishonest to their bondholders!

Bravo Katta O’Donnell!

 

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 Good, The Bad, and The COVID https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-good-the-bad-and-the-covid/ Thu, 23 Jul 2020 17:00:06 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17403 We’ve been sheltering in place since March 13th.  We only go out for absolute essentials and mask up every time. We are fortunate to have a neighbor that we trade veggies for eggs with and another who shops for us. So we’ve been staying at home. Like everyone else we are continuing to work from […]

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We’ve been sheltering in place since March 13th.  We only go out for absolute essentials and mask up every time. We are fortunate to have a neighbor that we trade veggies for eggs with and another who shops for us. So we’ve been staying at home.

Like everyone else we are continuing to work from home but it has certainly cut down on our speaking and teaching opportunities and income. We miss the visits from our international executive MBA entrepreneurial students. And we expect this to go on for some time as it appears that our countrymen are going to let this thing get stronger every time we make a little progress. So we are waiting for the vaccine.

Meanwhile, we have been sequestered long enough to start making some interesting observations about the new “lifestyle” and its effect on our budget.

On the Decrease:

  • Our dry cleaning bill is down by 80%. Of course, this doesn’t help the dry cleaners, but it has been a savings for us. We now wear mostly clothes that can be laundered without ironing.
  • Our fuel bill is down 90% since we are not driving to the airport, the city, or the stores. So is our automotive maintenance bill since we hardly use the car, except for occasional getaways into nature.
  • We have also reduced our dining expenses to occasional curbside pickups, and our socializing has been limited to on-line meetings rather than dinners and drinks out.

On the Increase:

  • Our soap bill is up because we are washing more dishes and spending more time in the house.
  • We are using more power because we are using the stove and running the vacuum and the dishwasher more often.
  • Because we are home so much now, we are attacking a Honey Do list as long as your arm so our hardware bill is increasing.
  • We are also getting serious about growing our own food, which is healthy and delicious but has increased our use of gardening supplies.

The net is, our expenses are less now that we are sheltering in place. Business travel is over, revealing huge savings. We are doing more chores now on a regular basis, and we have more time to spend with our cats and with each other. We’ve had to focus on our home so we have done several clean-up, reorganization, and repurposing projects.

We learned some simple lessons like don’t go empty handed from room to room and beware of project creep. You start out cleaning the drawer and wind up cleaning the closet …and completely rearranging storage. A one hour project can creep into an all-dayer. We’ve gotten rid of tons of stuff we were not using that just took up space.

And we have continued regular virtual meetings with friends and family. So all in all it’s been a productive experience. We are having a chance to reboot in many ways.

Of course we want to go out and socialize again, but our socially-distant dinners with the neighbors and our virtual happy hours with friends are helping to fill the gap. Our cost are down and the place looks great! Not bad for shut-ins!

We wish you all safety, good health, and hope you too will make the most of 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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How Resourcefulness Can Help Your Business Survive Major Disruptions https://thebarefootspirit.com/how-resourcefulness-can-help-your-business-survive-major-disruptions/ Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:05:01 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17400 Since some of us are still locked down, we may as well have some fun perfecting one of the two most commonly heralded ingredients of entrepreneurial success, resourcefulness. The other one is tenacity, and together they make an unbeatable duo that most successful entrepreneurs will readily credit for their success. But for now, let’s just […]

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Since some of us are still locked down, we may as well have some fun perfecting one of the two most commonly heralded ingredients of entrepreneurial success, resourcefulness.

The other one is tenacity, and together they make an unbeatable duo that most successful entrepreneurs will readily credit for their success.

But for now, let’s just explore resourcefulness (or self-reliance).

Spoiled?

This is almost a lost skill when we live in an age of “push button — get banana” and “write business plan — get financed.” What happens when the buttons don’t work so well and the investors starts to pull in their horns, sort of like now?

To read the complete article, please visit The Busines 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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The How to Entrepreneur Podcast with Dylan Menter https://thebarefootspirit.com/the-how-to-entrepreneur-podcast-with-dylan-menter/ Fri, 17 Jul 2020 13:48:14 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17396 Michael was interviewed on “The How-To Entrepreneur” by host, Dylan Menter. To listen to the podcast, please visit The How-To Entrepreneur              Who We Are Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine […]

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Michael was interviewed on “The How-To Entrepreneur” by host, Dylan Menter.

To listen to the podcast, please visit The How-To Entrepreneur 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

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

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

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

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

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

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When The Hospitals Fill Up, The Economy Shuts Down https://thebarefootspirit.com/when-the-hospitals-fill-up-the-economy-shuts-down/ Thu, 16 Jul 2020 17:00:02 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17392 It doesn’t matter how you view the pandemic. It doesn’t matter if you believe in crowd immunity, if it’s political, or whose fault it is. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s an imposition on your freedom. What matters is whether or not you can get medical treatment when you need it. It matters if […]

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It doesn’t matter how you view the pandemic. It doesn’t matter if you believe in crowd immunity, if it’s political, or whose fault it is. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s an imposition on your freedom. What matters is whether or not you can get medical treatment when you need it. It matters if you die of an appendicitis or can’t get your broken leg fixed. It matters that the hospitals are overwhelmed and you can’t get in for “regular” medical issues. And that’s what’s coming – and in some areas, it is already here.

Every time that happens, the authorities have to shut the economy down. It matters that you can lose your job, hurt the economy, and really lose your freedom, not just by having to wear a mask, but by being ordered to shelter in place again. These developments are happening regardless of your opinions.

Sure, looking back there’s plenty of folks to blame, but that doesn’t matter now. The only thing that matters now is that we increase our hospital capacity and follow the European lead – short-term pain for long term gain: Super cautious reopenings with disciplined mask wearing and social distancing. It can be done. It has been done. But not so in the USA.

It’s getting harder to face our European friends on international Zoom calls because we look like fools for our lack of resolve, our selfishness, and our lack of discipline. Our national behavior of repeatedly filling up hospitals and getting closed down is undermining our credibility on other levels. Why should others listen to us when we continue to damage our own health and economy?

Where we live in Northern California, we have seen the community pull together to fight, contain, and rebuild after huge climate-caused and out-of-control wildfires. One, in our region, was the size of the city of Sacramento driven by 90 mile-per-hour winds that destroyed more than 6000 structures.

We could have blamed the power company, the utility oversight body, or even the oil companies for raising the temperature. We could have, but it wouldn’t have mattered. What mattered was getting the fire under control – and fast.

We could have whined and belly-ached about our loss of freedom when the firefighters closed down our freeway and evacuated us, but we all knew we had to cooperate to overcome the threat. There’d be time enough for blame and politics later, but now we had to save our lives and our economy, and everybody knew it. The result? Short-term pain for long-term gain. We got the fire out and are rebuilding our communities.

That’s what we have to do now, with the same conviction and the same resolve. They say, “Only fools fight in a house on fire!” No matter what our opinions may be, let’s all at least agree that overwhelming the hospitals is something we must work together to prevent. This virus is spreading like a wildfire! Let’s not go out and set new fires by not wearing a mask or social distancing. Until we have a proven vaccine, the authorities will continue to shut down the economy and order us to shelter in place every time that red light goes off on their dashboard indicating that the hospitals are filling up.

A country’s reputation is ultimately defined by the determination of its people. If we show ourselves to be foolish while overwhelming our hospitals, we will certainly look that way to others. We can tell you from being in business for decades, “It takes many years to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute!”

Compassion should be driving our resolve to put out this “fire”! As the song say’s “…and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.” Where is the brotherhood these days? But if all you think about is yourself, why foolishly lose your health, your economy, and your international reputation? Others have controlled this wildfire. We can do this!

 

 

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.

The post When The Hospitals Fill Up, The Economy Shuts Down appeared first on The Barefoot Spirit.

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Health and the Economy are Inseparable https://thebarefootspirit.com/health-and-the-economy-are-inseparable/ Thu, 09 Jul 2020 17:00:37 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=17384 Michael’s mother was a young girl in 1929. He asked her about The Great Depression which most folks think started right after the Crash. Surprisingly, she said things didn’t really get bad for a few more years. When asked why, she pointed out that it was how long it took for most people’s savings to […]

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Michael’s mother was a young girl in 1929. He asked her about The Great Depression which most folks think started right after the Crash. Surprisingly, she said things didn’t really get bad for a few more years. When asked why, she pointed out that it was how long it took for most people’s savings to run out and the full effect of unemployed to trickle up to every business. Are we in that kind of a free fall right now?

For years we have been saying that there’s no sanctuary in B2B because all businesses have a C (the customer or client) at the end. Better stated, the general public customer is the beginning and the foundation of all so-called B2B businesses. Once the general public stops buying, the entire system will simply collapse.

Interestingly, Sweden’s stay-open policy during the first months of the pandemic ultimately hurt their economy. They are much worse off now than their neighbors who honored a strict shut down and very gradual, cautious, and measured approach to reopening. Why? Because the Swedes simply stopped spending.

We shouldn’t have to say this, but unemployed people, people on fixed incomes, and retired people have to stop spending sooner or later to conserve what they have left to live on. Once enough folks stop spending, businesses close, then the businesses that support those closed businesses close, and then the businesses that support those businesses close and so on until the entire economy comes to a halt.

That’s why even those who don’t care about the health of their fellow humans should at least consider their own economic welfare. Their job, their food, their entire standard of living are all at stake. Likewise, their own personal health. You simply can’t have a healthy economy if the folks around you stop spending. Sooner or later the absence of their dollars will close the business you own or are working for and there goes your income.

We write primarily on business, but business cannot survive without healthy customers. From a strictly selfish stand-point, undisciplined and irresponsible behavior are directly hurting the businesses we all depend on. No one is truly insulated. It’s a real shame that our leaders have failed to educate the populace on this simple fact.

Like a small fire that could have been kept under control, the positive virus cases were once small. However, they were allowed to spread to such proportions that it is consuming the news of the day, drowning out the health and human survival stories now found in the back pages of the newspapers.

On page 7 of our local newspaper was a short story about the intense and out of control fires in the Artic that are releasing methane gas into our atmosphere – while we reduce environmental standards at home. On page 8 was another short notice about an 8-inch thick algae that came out of nowhere and is engulfing the Hawaiian coral reefs – while we continue to “drill baby drill” and throw our plastic in the ocean.

Other news is still happening, but now we’ve taken our eye off the ball, pretending like it’s not happening. Will we allow those fires to get out of control as well? For the sake of our livelihood and our lives, we must take all necessary precautions now.

Leaders who pander to short-sighted populism for personal gain have undermined the very foundation of our business and security.

Let’s return to science and demand real leadership that educates and protects us. There’s a whole new economy just waiting for us to clean up this mess. Let’s get to 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.

The post Health and the Economy are Inseparable appeared first on The Barefoot Spirit.

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