SEIZE THE MOMENT!For new brands, seizing an opportunity when it presents itself is key to success. One of the big advantages small start-ups have over their big, corporate counterparts is their ability to quickly take advantage of openings in the market and time-sensitive circumstances.

We have found that it’s better to make a move when you are 75% prepared than to wait until you are 100% prepared and miss the window of opportunity altogether.

When you are under-capitalized and facing a constant cash flow battle, you really can’t afford to miss any chance to build your brand. For instance, while building the Barefoot wine brand, whenever we won a wine contest anywhere in the country, we had signs made, distributed, and in the marketplace within three days – everywhere. Sure, they were slap-dash and hand-made, but they were on the shelf!

Being fresh and current with information about your brand and striking while the iron is still hot provides the attention a fledgling brand needs to catch the eye of an overloaded market. Any salesperson will tell you that they need fresh news every time they speak to a buyer. It makes the salesperson more interesting, and is a break from the same-old pitch for the buyer.

Being first to enter into a market to satisfy a pop-up demand or add a new twist to an old one is always advantageous. All the advertising in the world for the second entry won’t make up for the momentum the first one can gain by simply being first. Waiting for the perfect solution will often put you behind the imperfect first solution.

When you are quick to get to market, other advantages start to present themselves. Now that you are in the flow of things, you can see the market’s concerns and learn lessons that weren’t possible when you were “getting ready.” For one thing you’ll notice that the market itself is ever-changing, constantly morphing into new definitions, iterations and expressions of what it wants. So, the faster you become part of this dynamic force, the better. You can be a market leader if you move fast to satisfy its current demand. Because you are already in motion, you will be more likely to see the opportunities and changes as they occur and take full advantage of them.

And what about being only 75% prepared? You will learn and apply the other 25% faster when you are already in the game. Plus, you will make tweaks in your product or service on the fly. Once you are already moving, you will use your experience to make decisions that will be far superior to the ones you would have made before you jumped into the market. In fact, you likely will need to undo and change many decisions you made in the planning stages. All the focus groups in the world will not provide the intelligence you will gain by actually doing it. Getting real feedback from real customers in the real marketplace will give you the other 25% in a hurry.

Don’t be the company that plans and plans and keeps testing the waters while the opportunity fades away. Get started and don’t be surprised if you pick up what you need to be ‘perfect’ from the market itself.

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