The entrepreneurial spirit is the spirit of the entire team, and is represented by their commitment to customer service, resourcefulness, and going the extra mile to make sales happen. There is no question in the minds of start-up entrepreneurs, in a garage, undercapitalized, and having to make do with less, that they must make sales happen no matter what or they will be out of business — fast! They all know the customer comes first.

Beyond the start-up phase

Then, if they are fortunate, dedicated, and diligent, they progress beyond the startup phase and into the buildup phase. Now they have a few solid customers that keep them going. Their volume picks up. They begin to see some pressure on production, customer service, and supply chain management. In an effort to satisfy these demands, and in the name of efficiency, they begin to specialize their use of human resources. Thus begins the degradation of the entrepreneurial spirit.

To read the complete article, please visit The Business Journals 


Who Are We.

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 in 1986, to the board room of E&J Gallo, where they successfully sold their brand in 2005. 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 offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful and help corporations achieve entrepreneurial cultures to engage and empower their people.

Currently they travel the world keynoting at universities, corporations, conferences and symposiums. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals; along with being FOX News Radio Network’s Workplace Culture Experts. They are also the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Award from the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University. Visit their popular brand building site at To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
-Barefoot Wine Founders