186-1: Building The World’s Largest Wine Brand From 0 with Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are the founders of Barefoot Wine (which is now the number one best-selling wine in the world).

They are also NY Times Best-selling Authors of The Barefoot Spirit.

They travel all over the country speaking on the topic of entrepreneurship. They are two absolutely wonderful people that having achieved some incredible things both personally and professionally.

In this episode we talk about how they got started, their grass roots approach for growing their brand city by city and their discovery of the key principles for success in business.

And lots more.

In This Episode:

  • How a client’s bankruptcy led to a successful business.
  • Learning to sell a product that landed in their lap
  • Asking a client what HE wants leads to a big win
  • How an iconic wine label is born
  • Finding the right niche
  • The risk of souring the market
  • Giving the public a social reason to buy your product
  • Supporting charitable groups leads to instant customers
  • Being in business for yourself is a great self-improvement program
  • The benefits of being young and dumb

Connect with Michael and Bonnie:


Barefoot Wine is now the world’s largest wine brand. Internationally, it has become the Levi Strauss of American Wine. But it represents more than just a wine label, it represents the success of a small start-up that began in a laundry room and wound up in the boardroom of the world’s largest wine company.

Starting with no money and no knowledge of their business, Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey relied on entrepreneurial culture to overcome formidable obstacles in the highly competitive and controlled wine industry.

Their New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit, How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, chronicles their journey from humble beginnings to nationwide blockbuster. Barefoot is now the #1 wine brand in the world.

Michael and Bonnie are sought after international speakers and corporate trainers. They are regular guests on radio and television. They have shared their principles with more than 30 schools of entrepreneurship such as Syracuse, Cornell, Pepperdine and MIT Executive Forum. They are Fox Radio News Network’s Workplace Culture Experts, and they have written hundreds of articles for national and international business and professional publications such as Forbes, Inc., and Investor’s Business Daily.

They recently released a companion book to their New York Times best-seller entitled, The Entrepreneurial Culture, 23 Ways to Engage and Empower Your People.

To make their expertise more accessible to students, startups and growth-phase businesses, they share their secrets in an exclusive, online video series called Spend Less-Monetize Faster with the Entrepreneur’s Guiding Principles for Success (GPS)™. The program features game-changing strategies in brand building and equity; cash flow, personnel and distribution management; exceptional customer service and an ingenious strategy of building a global brand without expensive commercial advertising. Many bonuses are included to shave years off the learning curve for entrepreneurs.

Show Notes:

Michael and Bonnie’s Favorite Book or Program:
— Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
— As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
— How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Michael and Bonnie’s Favorite Tool or Technology:
— Skype

Michael and Bonnie’s Favorite Quote:
“If you want someone to do something put a buck on it”

Download the Full Episode: