It’s easy to neglect some of our closest relationships. With the end of the year scramble, celebrating the Holidays, and then all that planning, energy, and the new initiatives we put out in the first quarter of the new year, it’s only natural to become preoccupied, focused, and concentrated on our goals.

But now, it’s Spring already, and before long, the year will be half over. Spring is nature’s “new year.” This is when it’s obvious to everyone that life is returning, and it’s time to grow again. Isn’t it time we renew some important relationships that might have fallen by the wayside in our struggle to grow our businesses? It is so important that we all stay connected, really connected, with our friends who mean the most to us. Let’s call them now!

Old Folks. When was the last time you spoke to the oldest living members of your family? A word from you can make their day! Many seniors feel alone and forgotten. Letting them know that they are important to you can actually improve their attitude, and their health. Sure, they’re unplugged, and technology has passed them by, but that’s all the more reason to reconnect with a personal phone call to make them feel like they’re still part of your life.

New Folks. What about those new folks you met that you liked so much – that you haven’t spoken to since? Take a look at your calendar. Identify the guests you have had, or visitors you have met on the trips you’ve taken in the past year. There is still time to cement those relationships with a friendly call or note reminding them of the good times you shared and that you are happy to have met them.

Old Customers. What about those former customers you are no longer doing business with? Take a look at your accounts over the past year or even two years. Look for clients and customers with whom you have already concluded business. Now is a great time to reach out and say hello. You want them to know that they were more than just a customer. Ask them how they’re doing and what their challenges are today. You may be surprised they can provide leads to even more business.

Foreigners. How about the friends that live in another part of the world you haven’t seen for a year or so? Think about the trips you’ve taken in the past few years to other countries. You met foreign nationals and American tourists. Whatever happened to them? You have that wonderful experience in common with them. They would love to hear from you again. We found that especially with foreign nationals, they can become friends for life if you just stay in touch.

Disabled. Who do you know who’s had an injury you can check up on? Who do you know who had a serious illness or underwent an operation requiring therapy and recovery? While you have been focused on your business, these people were taken out of the action in their businesses for a period of time. Some of them may still be recovering. They feel somewhat isolated themselves knowing that the world is spinning on without them. Spring is a great time to call these folks, wish them well, and tell them you are hoping for their speedy recovery.

As we come out of winter and into spring with the promise of new growth, new opportunities, and new friends, this is a great time to secure the important relationships we already have. Don’t let them drift away or become part of the past.

A simple telephone call or even a short note right now can keep those relationships alive and healthy. These folks will be so glad to hear from you and catch up. Don’t try to do it on Facebook or with a once a year summary letter. It’s too impersonal. Communicate just with them and just for them. Show them you care and still intend to include them in your life. It will mean the world to them!

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