We are one of the few countries in the word that sets aside one day a year to stop, take stock, acknowledge and celebrate the blessings for which we are thankful. No matter what your religion or philosophical belief, it is widely recognized that acknowledging what you are thankful for focuses your attention on preserving it and manifesting more of the same. So gratitude in itself is a multiplier of abundance!

As we close a year of worldwide, national, and local turmoil, with a life threatening pandemic out of control, ignorance and misinformation gone rampant, jobs and savings accounts wiped out, and a huge environmental crisis on our doorstep, it’s hard to get into the mood to be thankful. We all have been projected into survival mood, wonder where our next dollar will come from, and question if we will outlive the virus.

So, to help get us started on a list of things we ought to recognize and be thankful for, we offer some categories and some of our thoughts. After all, we want to bring more of what we are thankful for into our lives.


For most of us who have been sequestered by the virus, we have spent more time with our immediate families than ever. Whether it was in person or over a video call, we all became a little closer to the ones we love. In good times, we tend to get carried away with our careers, and it seems like business becomes the top priority. But not this year! This year we had the time.

And those of us with kids, the intense time we spent with them will be a memory we will never forget and an impact on their development that will help them throughout their lives. We are thankful for more time with our families.


We are fortunate to have made many friends over the years. Some we got used to seeing or talking to frequently. And others with whom we have lost touch are suddenly back in our lives. We are catching up on video calls and becoming reacquainted. And in doing so, we remember why we were attracted to them and continue the relationship like old friends. We are happy to have them to share our lives with now once again. We are thankful for close friends and renewed acquaintances with old friends.


We are all learning how to conduct business in the 21st century, ready or not! We are discovering that we don’t necessarily have to work in an office at the end of a long and expensive commute. We are learning how to work with and satisfy customers in this new virtual environment. And in the process, we are discovering all the extra time we now have that used to be spent traveling and commuting. Most of our associates are making the adjustments and giving us a chance to do the same. There is a new type of comradery with regard to understanding and using technology. We are thankful for the technology that allows us to talk and see each other from our own homes.


Everything is coming to your door! The boom in e-commerce and the explosion in fulfillment services are now delivering to us most of what we used to go out and shop for. The infrastructure that provides this support and the production behind it has survived the upheaval and even grown stronger. Now we are looking around our homes and taking care for those endless cleanup projects with products and services we can get online. Now we are taking more responsibility for our own health and buying a new and ever-widening range of health products online. We are thankful for e-commerce.


This year we saw democracy in action, and even with the threats of foreign interference in our election and the claims of rigging, the system worked! People were able to vote by mail and vote early. A host of inspectors and investigators could find no tampering. We had a fair and honest election. The process worked, even with widespread misinformation on social media, even with foreign powers trying to interfere. We still live in a democracy! We are thankful for democracy!

Medical Research

We now have at least two potential vaccines for the virus, both with 90% or more efficacy. Sure, it will be a while and a challenge to distribute all those vaccinations. Sure it may take another 6 months to a year before all our countrymen are inoculated. But the fact is, there is an end in sight! And that alone has created increased investment and planning for a brighter future. It means that we can see the day when businesses will return and we will be able to socialize again without distancing. This glimmer of hope will be the incentive for the country finally pulling together on mask wearing and the other precautions we need to follow so we can be part of that bright future sooner. We are thankful for medical research.

Happy Thanksgiving!

All of us have many other things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but this is a good start. We hope this post made you feel hopeful and more thankful for what we all have going for us. There really is a lot to be thankful for in our lives. Be safe. Be healthy, body & soul. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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.