We’ve lived through the Dot Com Bust and The Great Recession. We recovered (to some degree) after each one of them. Basically, the government printed up money to try to bail out companies and stimulate the economy. But in each case, the result was inflation that actually punished the folks who saved their money. Crazy?

How about this for crazy? The folks who stay in their homes and respect social distancing are less likely to get the virus and, thereby, less likely to have the antibody to the virus (at least until we get a vaccine). In Italy and Spain they are considering letting people who have the antibody out first and keeping those that have never had it at home presumably until the vaccine comes out in 2021. This, on its face, appears to be punishing the folks who followed directions. Never mind that a person with the antibody may still carry the virus and infect others or may not be immune themselves. We still don’t know for sure.

This is the classic conflict of an over-populated and under-educated planet battling between life and the economy. But does it really have to come down to that? How about a new economy based on what we have learned? We must start with the concept that popular and entertaining figures may not possess the competency and objectivity required to see mega challenges, like approaching pandemics and climate crisis – before it’s too late! In other words, we must choose leaders who exhibit competency over entertainment!

In this human crisis (like the environmental crisis), we don’t have the luxury of acting in a medieval way and just lifting the draw bridges. It obviously will take more than a moat (or a wall, or even an ocean) to keep the virus away. And, even if we could stop the virus from coming in, what about our goods and services? Who would we sell to? Who would we buy from? We are not self-sufficient as the Nebraska farmers found out during the trade wars.

The world must act in unison. It won’t. Some countries will let their people out early in a rush to re-start their economies.

New outbreaks will be popping up all over the planet like time-bombs that go off 4-6 weeks after the release from lockdowns. States that did not heed the expert advice will be reinfecting states that have at least temporarily overcome the virus with strict sequestration. This chaos will keep happening until we have the vaccine (about another year or so). The markets know this and will be super cautious for at least a few years.

So when they let us out, will we have to go back in again? And if so, does that further damage the economy? In other words, the economy is directly liked to our physical health and can’t run very well without it!

But let’s say we do get out and we somehow get beyond the pandemic. What kind of a world is it now? Well, remember all that money that got printed up? It will erode the value of your savings because it will buy much less. Plus taxes will obviously have to be increased to cover the high costs of caring for our citizens. And really, will $1000 to each person solve the economic situation?

The last time people could not make their mortgage payments, the lenders put all those foreclosures of properties on the market at the same time, driving down the value of all properties. It took 5 years to bring those values back. We can only hope that the banks learned something and will not repeat their previous response.

The new world we will enter will have some other dynamic changes. People who figured out how to make money from home, whether as cottage industries or on-line businesses, will also discover they don’t need to travel as much. Folks who have learned how to get food and other supplies delivered won’t drive so much. And bigger draws like movie theaters, live performances, conferences, and conventions will now be on-line and a whole lot cheaper.

In other words, our sequestration has taught us how to eat, work, be educated, and entertained at home, and at a lower cost. This can’t help but have a dampening effect on the value of commercial real estate. Ironically, with all the inflation, home values should return (after the banks sell off the delinquent mortgages) and surge as folks seek shelter from inflation.

OK! OK! It might not be that dire! But true entrepreneurs must consider the consequences of what is happening. We believe that entrepreneurs will jump on all the aspects of these potential changes. Certainly there will be big markets for home delivery, increased band width, economy-sized everything, underpriced value products, and increased online purchases.

Plus, if you have noticed, the air is a whole lot cleaner worldwide! Perhaps a new generation, one that has never seen this level of clean air and water, will demand it in the future, now that it’s clear that human activity has been the culprit. We see big markets for everything electric, alternative electric energy production, and vastly improved electric energy storage.

And lastly, as we emerge we hope that folks world-wide will realize that competency in leadership is not just relegated to your pilot or your surgeon! Leaders should not be there to entertain us, but to lead us to a better world.

We are all in this together. We will get through this and come out wiser!

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.