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.