In Hawaii, they say, “If you cross someone’s property on the way to the beach, be the first to smile and wave.”

This is great advice on so many levels. It shows that you are willing to take the first step to give the other person permission to take the second. And that’s how defense barriers come down and friendly relationships follow.

In our digital world we find ourselves vying for attention in a sea of overly simplified sound bites. We have a tendency to become minimalist as a form of efficiency. “Just keep it to business,” seems to be the order of the day. And its corollary, “Put your best foot forward,” seems to make sure that our image is photoshopped to perfection.

It seems ironic today, with the big trend toward transparency, credibility, and authenticity, that many of us have found ourselves clothed in pretentions that inadvertently create barriers to the very trust we seek in business.

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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