TBS.07.30.15According to Wikipedia, “The Information Age formed by capitalizing on computer microminiaturization advances. This evolution of technology in daily life, as well as of educational life style, has allowed rapid global communications and networking to shape modern society.” Clearly, this Information Age has given us many tools that have improved our lives.

It’s easy to get carried away with the advances in technology and possibly even come to the conclusion that those who didn’t grow up with it have nothing to offer. But this is far from the truth! Technology has given us tools that make communication easier, but also raises questions of privacy. Automation has made business processes more efficient, but sometimes less flexible. Applications have enabled us to quickly perform functions, thus allowing us rely less on our resourcefulness and cognitive abilities. Social networking has increased our ability to interact with a greater number of people, but has dulled our social and communication skills.

The millennials were born into this incredible information revolution. However, experiencing a day and time before that revolution makes boomers keenly aware of how the technology has, in some ways, pandered to our human desire to work less, think less and insulate ourselves from criticism. Perhaps it is easy for boomers to see this because they come from an era before the information revolution, giving them a more objective view about not only what has been gained, but what has been lost. Some of what has been lost may be critical to the very success of those millennials.

Today it is still hard work, critical thinking, resourcefulness, and a willingness to accept constructive criticism, and even rejection, that foster the essentials of true entrepreneurial success. Growing up in a world where information is so easy to access and people have hundreds of “friends” may have diminished the importance of valuable traits such as innovation, tenacity, and relationship building.

As childless boomers ourselves, and as successful entrepreneurs, we have dedicated ourselves to helping millennials achieve their own success. We want them to benefit not only from technology, but also from the time-tested guiding principles and standards that never change – principles which we learned too many times the hard way. We want to cut the time and money it takes to succeed in half by giving them the benefit of our experience. In the past two years we have spoken to millennials in 40 universities in three continents about the lessons we learned in the hopes that they will apply it to benefit their own endeavors. It’s not the rosy picture of super hero success that makes the news and gets all the hits and likes. It’s more about the real and imperfect world in which we live – and understanding how to best communicate with the people in it.

We give the millennials examples of our own mistakes in real life stories they can relate to. We outline the assumptions we made (much like the ones they now hold) that led us to those mistakes. We give them practical and tactical, rather than abstract and philosophical, advice so they can avoid these mistakes. We get granular and hands-on. When the millennials tell us we “connected the dots” for them, we are thrilled! We know we have made a difference with this great generation of new entrepreneurs! It’s what we as boomers have to give that will improve everyone’s future.
Technology is even better when we add in the experience of the pre-techno generation. Millennials are invited to check out our new webinar series we created especially for them. Here we share the guiding principles for success that we used building the Barefoot Wine brand. Some things never change!

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.