The Barefoot Spirit https://thebarefootspirit.com Founders of Barefoot, a Top Global Brand New York Times Bestselling Authors International Keynote Speakers, Entrepreneurial Coaches. Fri, 12 Jul 2019 10:54:26 -0700 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 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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Entrepreneur – Taylor Stitch Makes Us Rethink Our Wardrobe https://thebarefootspirit.com/entrepreneur-taylor-stitch-makes-us-rethink-our-wardrobe/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/entrepreneur-taylor-stitch-makes-us-rethink-our-wardrobe/#respond Mon, 08 Jul 2019 14:30:10 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16227 According to McKinsey & Company and the Council for Textile Recycling, the world fashion industry produces 100 billion garments for seven billion people each year, the average American throws out 80 pounds of clothes each year, and 85 percent of all apparel ends up in landfills, even the ones we feel good about donating! Those shocking statistics […]

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Entrepreneur startups and cost of sales

According to McKinsey & Company and the Council for Textile Recycling, the world fashion industry produces 100 billion garments for seven billion people each year, the average American throws out 80 pounds of clothes each year, and 85 percent of all apparel ends up in landfills, even the ones we feel good about donating! Those shocking statistics were seen as an opportunity for an increasingly popular San Francisco based startup.

Why not fashion new clothes out of used clothes and recycled fibers? Why not address the growing number of consumers who are making purchasing decisions based on their desire to preserve and improve their own health and welfare, as well as that of their families and the environment? Why not offer consumers a chance to demonstrate their concern with the very clothes on their backs?

To read the complete article, please visit Entrepreneur 

 

 

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

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

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

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

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

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

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Would You Drink Water Out of a Can? https://thebarefootspirit.com/would-you-drink-water-out-of-a-can/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/would-you-drink-water-out-of-a-can/#respond Mon, 08 Jul 2019 02:04:40 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16213 A New York Times article released over the weekend, by David Yaffe-Bellany, raises some serious practical questions about water packaging we feel need more consideration. Would you drink water out of a can? Or would you balk because you couldn’t see its clarity? Would you buy water in a clear glass container so you could […]

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canned drinking waterA New York Times article released over the weekend, by David Yaffe-Bellany, raises some serious practical questions about water packaging we feel need more consideration.

Would you drink water out of a can? Or would you balk because you couldn’t see its clarity? Would you buy water in a clear glass container so you could see the water inside, even though it would cost more for heavy glass that was inert? Or would you buy it in clear, single-use, light, inexpensive plastic so you could see it even though you knew it was less likely to be recycled and more likely to poison the environment? This is the great dilemma: Convenience vs. Environmental Damage. So far, consumers are voting for convenience and price over safety.

Blind Trust

But now Pepsi’s betting that in order to save the environment, you will give up your demand to see if the water you buy is clear. They are betting that you will trust them to produce it clean and pure, and you will buy it from them in an aluminum can – even though you can’t see it until after you buy it.  It will still be light, convenient, and inexpensive! You just can’t see it. They will be test marketing the concept next year in their purified still water brand, Aquafina.

This is an interesting gamble because aluminum is lightweight like plastic and apparently more inert. And according to the article, is more likely to be recycled due to its redemption value. In fact, worldwide only 9% of all the plastic ever made has been recycled while well over 50% of aluminum bought by consumers is reused.  Pepsi says these changes should eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons of “virgin” plastic annually and 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions.

What’s interesting about the proposition is that, all things being equal, if you trust the producer, you could save the environment from a major source of plastic pollution. Even so, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp., plastic bottled water was up more than 5% in 2018. Consumers still want convenience at the expense of the environment. As of 2016, for the first time, American consumption of bottled water exceeded all other packaged soda combined. There is still a huge and growing demand for bottled water sometimes due to the lack of other drinkable water.

Is Aluminum the Answer?

Single-use plastic water packaging is a growing challenge that needs to be addressed. According to Sherrie Rosenblatt, spokeswoman for the Can Manufacturers Institute,

“In a world that is increasingly concerned about scarce resources, aluminum cans have the ability to be recycled over and over, forever, without losing quality.”

But is aluminum the answer? According to the EPA, nearly half of the aluminum consumed by Americans still winds up in landfill. This and the growth of the market mean more mining. This means more open-pit and strip bauxite mines (the ore from which aluminum is made), with more potential for air, water, and soil pollution. So aluminum is still not a panacea. But it may be an improvement. Never mind that giving up packaged water entirely might be the best thing for the environment.

A Better Way

We’re putting our money on more education, reusable containers, home tap water purifiers, reusable bottle refilling stations, outlawing single-use plastics, and significantly increasing the redemption value of glass and metals.  How does your water get to you?

 

 

 

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

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

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

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

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

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

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Small Towns Stand Up to Big Plastic https://thebarefootspirit.com/small-towns-stand-up-to-big-plastic/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/small-towns-stand-up-to-big-plastic/#respond Mon, 01 Jul 2019 06:29:08 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16183 Just imagine what it might be like to eat a credit card. Now imagine eating a credit card EVERY WEEK! According to the World Wildlife Fund, humans now ingest the equivalent amount of a credit card in microplastics each week! This happens because microplastics are now ubiquitous in our environment from the water we drink […]

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microplastics in drinking waterJust imagine what it might be like to eat a credit card. Now imagine eating a credit card EVERY WEEK! According to the World Wildlife Fund, humans now ingest the equivalent amount of a credit card in microplastics each week! This happens because microplastics are now ubiquitous in our environment from the water we drink to the food we eat.

The trillion dollar plastics industry is opposed to any efforts by the Federal Government and the State Governments to stem the tide of single-use plastics by law. But two states, Maryland and Maine, recently passed laws banning the use of at least polystyrene foam food containers, generally known as Styrofoam.

Meanwhile, in the last decade, in California alone, 120 cities and counties have passed some kind of regulations on polystyrene food containers. It’s evidently harder for the industry to affect the decisions of smaller governing bodies. Sebastopol, small town just down the road from us, recently passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale or use of disposable cups, burger boxes, clamshell containers and ice chests made of expanded polystyrene. This particular type of single-use convenience food and packaging material is especially dangerous since it is brittle, breaks up easily. It is mostly air so it blows around, and degrades into microplastics that get into the soil and waterways. It is very hard to capture.

Level Playing Field

So, what’s the effect on business? Well, for one thing, the regulations will create a somewhat level playing field in terms of competition. All retailers will be held to the same rules. Here-to-fore, businesses could claim that their competition was using the cheaper polystyrene and that if they voluntarily chose compostable products, they would be at a disadvantage because of the greater cost.

Reduced Costs for Compostables

Interestingly, as the demand for the alternatives grows, as we have seen in so many other alternative industries, the costs of those alternatives goes down. Sheer volume creates efficiencies of scale that are passed down through the competitive sales process to the retailer.

New Jobs and Industries

Opportunities for compostable and reusable containers are bound to increase. In the little town down the road, for instance, customers who bring their own reusable to-go containers get a 25-cent credit. All customers have to pay a takeout charge up to 10 cents to defray the costs associated with conversion to compostable lids, cups, straws, or utensils that may be more expensive in the short run. This, in effect, subsidizes the cost of reusable containers and single-use compostables.

Out of Control

So, how did the poisoning of the wildlife, the waterways, the soil, and even ourselves ever become so competitively advantageous to the takeout food industry? Simply, the entire cost of the post-sale packaging, including the hazardous effects were dumped on the environment and the consumer, not the producers. Now we are actually eating it! And because we gave them our money for their products, the producers became so strong, they could fund giant PR campaigns and lobbying efforts to protect themselves against the full costs of their packaging. The polystyrene producers are not fighting the ordinances so much as they are trying to use the government to stifle competition. This is just plain unfair and, as we’ve seen, dangerous!

Conclusion

We are business people and we support business, but not the monopoly of any industry. We think ordinances like this are good for business and innovation. They give new businesses a chance to compete. They raise the big picture issues that have to do with the real costs to the environment and our own health for which we as consumers are being asked to pick up the tab.

As Tip O’Neill, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives used to say, “All politics is local!” When little towns have to pass ordinances against big companies to protect the health and welfare of their citizens, wildlife, and environment, we are witnessing a failure of State and Federal Governments to protect the health and welfare of their broader constituents. It’s not OK to allow big plastic to say, “Eat our plastic!”

 

 

 

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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Problem Solvers Entrepreneur Podcast Interview https://thebarefootspirit.com/problem-solvers-entrepreneur-podcast-interview/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/problem-solvers-entrepreneur-podcast-interview/#respond Wed, 26 Jun 2019 15:38:36 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16179 Michael & Bonnie were interviewed on Entrepreneur’s Problem Solvers Podcast by host, Jason Feifer. To listen to the podcast, please visit Entrepreneur              

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Michael & Bonnie were interviewed on Entrepreneur’s Problem Solvers Podcast by host, Jason Feifer. To listen to the podcast, please visit Entrepreneur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Breakthroughs Are Rarely as Spontaneous As They Seem https://thebarefootspirit.com/breakthroughs-are-rarely-as-spontaneous-as-they-seem/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/breakthroughs-are-rarely-as-spontaneous-as-they-seem/#respond Wed, 26 Jun 2019 13:28:45 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16175 Today it seems like we are hearing about a new breakthrough every day. It’s easy to get the idea that these breakthroughs are instantaneous bolts of clarity from very gifted people. Once in a while there is a sudden stroke of genius that leaves us all in awe. But most of the time the real […]

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Today it seems like we are hearing about a new breakthrough every day.

It’s easy to get the idea that these breakthroughs are instantaneous bolts of clarity from very gifted people. Once in a while there is a sudden stroke of genius that leaves us all in awe. But most of the time the real breakthroughs are years in coming and the result of much cooperation and analysis.

Sure, there are the “Why don’t we just…” moments, but most practical and lasting breakthroughs require a team. Here’s what we experienced with several breakthroughs that occurred in our business.

1. Other industry practices

We had a problem with keeping our advertising signs up on the supermarket shelves. The competition, or the cleaning people, would take them down regularly.  Sometimes we couldn’t even get our marketing materials to the shelf. They were thrown in the dumpster by our distributors. We were spread so thin we couldn’t cover all the stores with our own limited staff.

One day we noticed that some soup cans had an award medal affixed right to the can to communicate value to the shoppers. It took us two years to work out the mechanical issues necessary to put our award stickers on our bottles, on the bottling line. That meant that finally we had at least one piece of merchandising material that made it to the shelf every time and couldn’t be removed.

 

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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Infrastructure or Extortion Structure? Economies of Scale or Monopoly and Coercion? https://thebarefootspirit.com/infrastructure-or-extortion-structure-economies-of-scale-or-monopoly-and-coercion/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/infrastructure-or-extortion-structure-economies-of-scale-or-monopoly-and-coercion/#respond Tue, 25 Jun 2019 07:35:09 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16156 We have personally seen the effects of climate change with warmer oceans, more evaporation, heavier rains, higher temperatures, increased grass and brush growth, longer, hotter, and more frequent heat waves, toasting effect, increased dry fuel, heavy winds, downed power lines, wildfires, urban firestorms, unhealthy air quality, loss of life, loss of  housing, loss of business, […]

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power infrastructureWe have personally seen the effects of climate change with warmer oceans, more evaporation, heavier rains, higher temperatures, increased grass and brush growth, longer, hotter, and more frequent heat waves, toasting effect, increased dry fuel, heavy winds, downed power lines, wildfires, urban firestorms, unhealthy air quality, loss of life, loss of  housing, loss of business, loss of forests, loss of infrastructure, higher taxes, higher utility rates, higher insurance premiums. OUCH!

The idea of a centralized power and distribution infrastructure sounded like a great idea a hundred years ago. Lots of cheap power and the cost of the infrastructure was spread out over time. In the ’50s and ’60s, the power companies were even telling you to use more power. It was cheap so why not?

But by the ’90s the conventional power generation and the aging infrastructure were starting to need some big bucks. But since the now monopolistic power company was the only game in town, they were in a position to just raise the rates. By the 2000’s they were telling us to cut back, and well we should because the costs kept going up.

The Elephant in The Room

As the system expanded, they decide to go with overhead high tension lines through forests because we were told, “undergrounding is too expensive.” Ironically, the overhead lines were responsible for phenomenally expensive liability. They were blown down and caused fires. So, now is the cost of undergrounding still “too expensive?”

Meanwhile, the regulators allow the power companies to increase their rates to stay in business saying they were “too big to fail” – sound familiar? We even read recently that the power company agreed to pay the municipal jurisdictions for their costs during the fires. But where is that money coming from?

The bottom line is that when an infrastructure-based service company becomes big enough, they can simply raise rates. The regulatory agencies are going to allow it.

Silver Lining

The good news in all this is the movement to simply go off the grid. Our local Sutter Hospital just completed covering their parking lot with elevated solar panels. According to Shaun Ralston, hospital spokesman,

“The impetus is really sustainability and self-reliance, so that we don’t have to rely on PG&E.”

He goes on to point out“There’s a desire to be off the grid because we don’t want to deal with the vulnerability.”

This is certainly food for thought for any business (or home). The Sutter solar can produce enough power to service the needs of 500 patients.

Meanwhile, back to the fires and the wires. Not only is the power company going to charge their customers for their own short-sightedness in developing a dangerous overhead infrastructure, but now they are cutting off the power during periods of high fire danger. Hospitals have to run 24/7. They can no longer afford to be tethered to a system that is unreliable.

Also, don’t we need power to pump water from wells to put out the fires? And what about electrically operated doors and gates that can block our escape? What about folks on life support? Power shut offs are just plain dangerous, but now that the vulnerable infrastructure is built and we are relying on it, shutoffs are the lesser of two evils.

Ultimately, true freedom is some form of on-site power production, or at least micro-grids with local generation. The sooner we get there the better.

Rethinking Corporate Power Infrastructure

Climate change and terrorism are making us all rethink our dependence on corporate infrastructures. We simply can’t afford to support their mistakes any longer. And interestingly, we can all now afford some kind of alternative home power generation. The cost of solar is at an all-time low and with the subsequent and progressive increases in power costs, it will pay for itself even faster.

Fuel cells running on biogas, advances in wind power, and new and better batteries are all knocking at your door. Maybe it’s time to pull the plug!

Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in old California. Maybe the new gold has been discovered at Sutter Hospital. Most of us have cut the cord to cable TV and land-line telephones. Is the power cord next?

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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Wildlife Corridors Are Our Responsibility https://thebarefootspirit.com/wildlife-corridors-are-our-responsibility/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/wildlife-corridors-are-our-responsibility/#respond Sat, 15 Jun 2019 08:39:18 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=16139 Restoring an abused paradise Our home is on a piece of property which was victimized for over a century by the insensitive and environmentally destructive practices of its former owners and neighbors. When people see it now, they remark on the bucolic nature trails and pristine creek. Some say, “You guys are pretty lucky to […]

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wildlife corridorsRestoring an abused paradise

Our home is on a piece of property which was victimized for over a century by the insensitive and environmentally destructive practices of its former owners and neighbors. When people see it now, they remark on the bucolic nature trails and pristine creek.

Some say, “You guys are pretty lucky to find a piece of property like this.” But as Bonnie is quick to point out, “Luck had nothing to do with it. It was over a decade of clean up and restoration!”

You see, in the early and mid-1900s, it was believed that you could kill two birds with one stone when you threw a broken appliance, dead vehicle, or even discarded plastic, glass, and metal right in the creek! The idea was that you got rid of the unwanted items and you slowed the creek down to prevent soil erosion.

It took us more than 15 years, one segment at a time, to lovingly restore the creek and surrounding land. One day, for instance, we and two helpers picked up 100 32-gallon bags of glass, plastic, and metal. We removed much of the invasive blackberries and poison oak. Over the years, we replanted native plants, ferns, shrubs, and trees to the specs of several creek restoration and native species experts we invited for advice.

Then we were rewarded!

The birds and animals returned. Native azaleas sprung up and bloomed. We now have a beautiful nature trail we share with clients and students. Our cats no longer require all those expensive vet visits for paws sliced by glass shards from 100 years ago!

We didn’t find this lovely piece of property, we had to reclaim it.

Meanwhile, we noticed a significant uptick in wildlife including the occasional bobcat bopping along the creek. Our property was returning to its original wildlife corridor status. We were thrilled!

Recently, we were with some friends on our Nature Trail with our Bengal cats who behave more like dogs and follow us everywhere. Sometimes they anticipate where we are going and run down the trail in front of us. This was one of those days.

All of a sudden, both cats stopped in their tracks and blew up! Every hair got as far away from the others as possible. They were like porcupines! They made themselves appear as large as possible. Their tails were straight up like giant bottle brushes and their eyes popped out like walnuts.

Then we saw it.

A young mountain lion less than a year old had just cleared the fence in a single bound and was lumbering down the trail in front of us. He was reddish brown with long lanky limbs. We were totally awed by his presence. We nicknamed him “Teddy.”

We all looked at each other in disbelief. Very few people, even those living in the country, ever see a mountain lion in the wild! We felt very fortunate and we were grateful that we could actually witness a scene like this. We knew, too, that somehow we had a hand in the restoration making it possible for Teddy, the top of the food chain, to look here for new territory.

Our cats spend the next two days indoors watching vigilantly from the windows for Teddy.

Then we heard the news.

A juvenile mountain lion matching Teddy’s description had been hit by a motorist not more than two miles from our place. We were shattered. The reality of our modern world came crashing down on our idealistic dreams of nature. The cars were really at the top of the food chain. They were the predators for the big cats.

Teddy was severely injured when the Highway Patrol got there, so they took him to the animal shelter. We called the next day and found out that Teddy’s injuries were so severe that he didn’t make it. This is a story that is too often repeated as we encroach more and more into the native habit.

It’s heartbreaking stories like this that commit us more than ever to the preservation of open space and the creation of wildlife corridors that connect these islands of nature so wild animals can hunt, migrate and breed without being forced to cross busy roads and risk their lives. We need the big cats to keep the balance in nature and remind us of our natural roots!

Support the bill for wildlife corridors

Please join us in our support for the National Wildlife Corridor Act to give majestic cats like Teddy a chance! It will not happen without us.

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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