Entrepreneurs Michael Houlihan + Bonnie Harvey
Co-founders,Barefoot Wine Sonoma County, CA
What brought you together?We met at a rhythm and blues dance club, and discovered that we both wanted to move to the wine country, and had an interest in business. Sarcasm and humor are the keys to our compatibility.
Does working together keep your marriage rich and healthy?Our business gives us an opportunity to travel together and see places and meet people we would never otherwise have seen or met. Having a “traveling companion” enriches our lives with joint memories—and more importantly, helps keep the recollections straight.
What are the challenges of being two powerful people at the top of your professional game? Knowing when to shut off work and just relax, and keeping the workspace out of our living space. We “argue” our points to be sure they are understood. We know that the other person has our best interests at heart.
Advice for other couples: Not all couples can work well together in business. If you can, do what you do best, and refrain from interfering with your partner, who is doing the same. Don’t let your business become the only topic of conversation. And abide by the cardinal rule: No business talk in the bedroom!
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Who We Are
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 email@example.com.