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.

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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

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact