Member Login

tbs092916“What? Aren’t you a millionaire yet? Don’t you have an international best seller yet? Well, step right up! Have I got the quick fix for you!” Or so it goes with most hype-sters pandering to your impatience and human laziness. We all want it faster and easier, and we’re all sure there’s a secret or a shortcut that will give us instant success.

There’s an entire industry out there blowing up your inbox with carefully worded emails promising everything from a 4-hour work week to a bestseller in a weekend, from hundreds of thousands in speaking fees to online riches in an instant. They think we all are so afraid of doing any real work, spending any real time or growing slowly but surely, that just the thought of all that work, and all the patience it requires, will surely discourage us. They think we will bite like groupers on any bait that has the promise of instant millions. They’re always sure to hold up a few examples of howling overnight successes just to get us going. It’s like the winners you always hear about in Vegas, never the vast majority who are still plugging away.

What’s really alarming is that there’s yet another industry out there. It’s higher up on the food chain, training those solicitors how to push our buttons and how to use just the right words in the subject line to get us to open that email. It’s training those solicitors how to craft the first sentence to catch our attention, how to structure the sales letter to appease common laziness and fear, so we’ll read it, and how time is running out. So buy now! Every month there are hundreds of new players, sending out hundreds of new emails, blowing up everybody’s inbox! Most of the solicitors have bought into the idea that everybody wants overnight, instant, effortless success, all at their fingertips.

It’s like a big chain letter. Don’t be the last person to buy it! Here in California we have a saying, “The people who got rich in the gold rush were selling shovels to the miners.”

We have a colleague who spent seven years building his email list to over 100,000, then over thousands of emails, funneled it down to 500 who were actually buying. But now they are buying less and less and demanding cheaper and cheaper products. And what about the 95,500 who got all those emails they didn’t want? Nobody’s talking about those relationships that have certainly been compromised.  But the people who sold our colleague the infrastructure, gave him the training, and took his money are the ones who made the real dough. And they will continue to do so as long as there is an email marketing “gold rush.”

So where is this going? We’ve already stopped opening 80% of our emails! How about you? Sure there are a lot of well-meaning solicitors out there but they are being drowned out by the sheer number of irrelevant offers. It’s hard to know who to pay attention to any more.

Most real successful people will tell you that it took many years of concentrated effort. Sure, there’s a hint, a tip, or a lesson they can share that will save you time and money, but ultimately,  success requires hard work, patience, and tenacity! It did for us. Sorry, it’s not the shiny-ball promise of overnight success you read about in your inbox. It’s the tried-and-true approach that has a much higher chance of real success. Find out what the real work is, get a good gold map, commit to a long slog, and watch out for the shovel-selling hype-sters!

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

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact