Now-a-days it seems like everybody wants to work from home and make six figures in six months! The internet marketing folks are quick to pander to those who are believers. They are also quick to take advantage of impatient and inexperienced views of what it really takes to be successful.

If you think that all you have to do is follow a process and you therefore deserve success, you may as well have a big target on your back with a dollar sign in the bull’s eye. They are looking for you. It seems like every month there’s a new marketer selling a process for success with Facebook ads, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. What they all have in common is some kind of funnel. You build the funnel, start advertising, throw out your net and you find your market. It’s as simple as that. Right? Not so fast.

If they can get you to buy in on their “conversion” metrics, they’ve got you. You see, they don’t want to be held responsible for actual sales. So, for them, a “conversion” is just getting someone’s email. And if you give enough stuff away, you will get those emails. Now they want to get paid because you thought that just getting a bunch of emails was what you needed. You bought into the idea that you must start with a wide funnel of folks and whittle it down to the folks who give you their emails… as if that meant money in the bank.

But wait; there’s more. What about open rates, unique visits, page visits, time on page, shares and the list goes on. No mention of sales. They want you to pay them whether they make sales happen or not. They are banking on your concept that you deserve success if you just follow their process. Typically, they will tell you to expect a very small open rate, and very few people to give you their email. So now you have spent all this money on their process to get a few emails. They will say to expect an even smaller percentage of sales. They will tell you it’s “normal.”

The fact is you don’t “deserve” success by just following a process. And you can’t do it quickly. Success is earned over time. It usually takes a few years just to figure what you are doing right and wrong, who your customer really is, what your customer really wants, and what it is that you are selling that satisfies their needs. The process, by itself, will only give you a format to achieve those non-bankable metrics. You have to add life to the process. You have to aim the process. You have to close the deals. In other words, success is based on sales, not “conversion metrics.”

Have we gotten so afraid to meet people in person that we hide behind these ad-spend processes and pay large sums to just get to our market? Whatever happened to attending conferences, expo’s and educational events?

Meeting people in person will give you the feedback you need to sharpen your pitch, ask the right questions, and clarify your value to your customers. There’s nothing like a real-time, face-to- face conversation with a person who is either more successful than you, can introduce you to the help you need, or a potential customer.

Grab the funnel by the waist, start with a few relevant people, branch out to discover your market, and refine your offering.  Isn’t it about time to go out and shake some hands?

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) & Shelf Smarts courses to help consumer product brand builders achieve success. 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 business site at

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