BFW PicWe play a game every morning at our house. It’s called “Find the Good News!” When we read the news of the day over breakfast, we find and share only the stories that are helpful, fun, and positive.

We look for stories of success, solutions, and humanitarianism. Admittedly, some days it’s a real challenge. One time we had to actually resort to reading the advertisements because all the news articles were so negative!

In many ways, we are environmental determinists. That means we believe that you are, to a large degree, influenced by your immediate environment and habitual behaviors. And that’s the good news – because you can do something about those influencers. You can clean up your desk or your backyard, you can paint your room or vacuum your car, and you can listen to classical or heavy metal.

These are all choices that have a physical and psychological effect. All of these and more are environmental choices we make actively or passively. To exhibit control, we must take control. Too often we take our surroundings  as a given. It is so easy to get into a routine that puts us in a rut. It can affect the way we think, our outlook, and our emotional attitude.

If you believe, as we do, that like attracts like, you have to consider what the effect daily bombardment of bad news must have on one’s day. If you are looking for good things to happen and expect to see solutions to your challenges, you will be more likely to see them. If you are filled with negative stories, you will be more likely to overlook the good things because you won’t expect them to happen. Even when you are looking a solution right in the face, you might not see it because you don’t believe it’s there. How do we get to that point of negativity where we are actually blinded to what’s right in front of us? We believe it’s the news.

The news is a business like any other. It needs to give the customer (you) a compelling reason to buy it. News editors know “If it bleeds, it reads!” They know that our prehistoric brains are prewired for survival. They know we are always on the lookout for anything that can harm us. They know how to work this psychological defensive mechanism by assaulting you with fear and danger on a daily basis. But what does this do for you, first thing in the morning? Are you more positive and cheerful, more trusting and more expectant for great things to unfold during your day, or does it leave you more cynical and defensive, expecting the worse? You know the answer.

This is part of your environment over which you do have control. So what are you going to do about it? Do you want to saturate yourself with negativity right before you step out the door, or do you want to set the tone for the day on a more positive note? Take charge of those precious few initial hours that can affect your whole day. The news that you need to survive will come to you anyway sooner or later, but for now, try to play the “Find the Good News” game. You will be the winner!

This is not religious or woo-woo. This is a practical, proven way to open your eyes and ears to opportunities that you may otherwise overlook. Not only that, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun!


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