We’re getting pretty excited! We are about to launch something entirely new. We’ve taken our New York Times bestseller,The Barefoot Spirit, How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, and turned it into an audio theater play. We’ve been working in stealth mode for over a year to bring this to you. But now it’s finally ready, with real Hollywood actors playing the parts, an original musical score, sound effects, and so much more! We even got the venerable Ed Asner to play the part of the snarky supermarket buyer who initially wouldn’t buy Barefoot, but ultimately provided the keys to Barefoot’s success.  We are very proud of the results.

None of this could have happened without the help of our friends and partners at Sherwood Players Productions in Hollywood. They made this production a fun and creative ride. Their choice of a female narrator, talented actors, music, and edits were spot on and gave new life to the stories in our book. Their director, Matt Weinglass, certainly had the right name for a dramatized audio book about a startup wine company! (lol). Matt says, “The Barefoot Spirit business audio theater is cinematography for your ears!” And we agree.

After all, the way we decided to take on a project like this was based on our extensive 10-year career speaking and writing about business principles primarily to 20 and 30 somethings who are keen on starting a business, growing a business, or just curious about what it takes to be successful. We spoke at more than 60 schools that teach entrepreneurship around the world. During that 10-year period, something interesting happened. Podcasting took off!

In retrospect, it makes perfect sense with this new, highly mobile generation. Both video and print immobilizes your mobile devise – AND YOU! Just like the cassettes we used to put in the dashboard of our cars 30 years ago, we could listen and get education while we drove. Smart phones, like the Sony Walkman’s of the past, also freed us up to jog while we were learning. We weren’t really too surprised when our audiences started asking for our book in an audio format. What did surprise us was when they asked for it in an audio playhouse format!

You see, they had grown tired of the way business books have been written for the past 25 years. The books have become prescriptive texts with the 5 things to do, the 10 things not to do, and the 25 things your customer wants from you. Business books have become basically lists in outline format. Not much room for experiential learning here. It’s pretty much all laid out for you. The conclusions are spelled out and the principles are described extensively. Boring…

But what our audiences wanted was something different. They wanted to experience a play with actors, scripts, scenes, sounds, and music. They wanted those scenes to demonstrate the business principles and leave it to them to draw their own conclusions.

As Bonnie likes to say, “The best way to convey business principles is through story. And the best way to convey story is through dramatic acting.”  By experiencing audio theater, the listener is using their own imagination to complete the scenes. They are, in effect, tagging the story with their own props conjured up from their own memories. They are taking ownership. Voila! Experiential learning. Plus, it’s a whole lot more *fun* than just listening to a narrator reading a list.

Over a year ago, we met with our friend and associate Ryan Foland, the noted UCI Communications Expert and creator of the 3-1-3 method. We started sharing what we had learned from our audiences and started throwing some ideas around. Ryan had performed in some Sherwood Players productions back in his college days in Santa Barbara. Interestingly, we actually attended some of those productions because we used to visit Santa Barbara and loved live theater. The Barefoot Wine brand, coincidently, had its roots in Santa Barbara. So, when he told us about the Players and their Santa Barbara beginnings, we had to know more.  Ryan introduced us to Matt and rest is history. Ryan says, “Business audiobooks will never be the same!”

Thus began a multifaceted learning process for us all. How much narrative do we use? How do we bring it all up to date? How do we frame the scenes with script, sound, and music? Heck, how do we sell it? It’s that last part that we are just about to embark upon. How do we get the Barefoot Spirit to as many people as possible? As usual, we asked everyone we knew and many we didn’t. And we want to thank you all for your continuing suggestions on how to best get the many lessons we learned to the greatest number of people. Tune in next week and find out how we intend to get the word out.

Meanwhile, enjoy some free samples and let us know what you think! FLASH! This just in… the audiobook can now be preordered on Google Play!!

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.