First published on Entrepreneur.com on 07/29/2017

We were broke. We were looking for every way possible to save money even though we didn’t have any. We had no choice but to be resourceful when we started Barefoot Wines. It wasn’t long before we realized that the best use of our limited funds was simply to improve the quality of our business relationships.

Did our customers, suppliers and employees like us? Did they know us? Did they trust us? If so, we could get more done with less. If not, it would cost us significantly more money and limit our opportunities to grow.

One of the greatest lessons we learned during our adventures creating this top-selling wine brand was to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Sounds simple. But it’s not. We learned that we really had to probe deeply to find out what each group wanted. It wasn’t always what we thought. We asked tons of questions, and after a while, we began to understand their needs and help them achieve their goals.

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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 www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.