In interviews and podcasts, we are often asked to boil down what we call the Barefoot Spirit to three words that would capture the essence of our business philosophy — three words that thread across everything we advocate, everything we write, and everything we speak about. It’s a tough order!

With the new year upon us, and folks determined to make resolutions that will truly make a difference in their business, health and peace of mind, it seems like this is the perfect time to embrace the Barefoot Spirit with what we call the 3 E’s: Empathy, enthusiasm and ecotherapy.

1. Empathy

Resolve to be more empathetic. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes at every level of business and community.

This practice forces you to understand what the other person wants. It may not be what you are offering, it may even surprise you, but knowing what they want will help you understand how what you are offering better fits into their plans.

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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

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