Michael was outstanding! One quote he made was particularly impactful to my audience of 100+ Orange County CEOs, entrepreneurs and business executives who are in the Critical Mass for Business Community. The quote was 'If you are not in a place, you can't fail.
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey started in their laundry room with virtually no money and no wine industry experience. Facing bankruptcy the first years in business, they bootstrapped a novelty brand and revolutionized their industry by employing innovative ideas to overcome obstacles and create new markets. Along the way, they also helped many nonprofits that represented environmental and equal rights causes among their personal passions (besides their family, friends, and cats, of course).
When their nationwide bestselling brand became a top global brand, they wanted to share their business adventure story to help other entrepreneurs. Their book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America's #1 Wine Brand , became a New York Times Bestselling Business Paperback; and is recommended by CEO Library in CEO Forum and now used in more than 40 schools of entrepreneurship worldwide. In the book they discuss their rags-to-riches story and the humbling experience of pioneering worthy cause marketing and performance-based compensation; along with receiving awards for their comprehensive view of customer service including the National Hot Brand Award for Outstanding Sales Growth in 2003 and 2004.
Since successfully selling the brand to E&J Gallo, their passion is to share their expertise with Fortune 500s and start-ups alike to help others avoid the costly mistakes they made early on, and to spend less and monetize faster. One of their clients made the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies and the Inc. 5000 list the third year in a row.
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) TM. 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.
They were honored to be the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Award from the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University and Voted #1 Speakers at National C-Suite Conference. Michael Houlihan is also grateful to California State University, Long Beach for recently awarding him the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Michael and Bonnie have been privileged to keynote at prestigious venues that include 2014 SOCAP Symposium (Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business), National C-Suite Conference, the 11th Annual Customer Experience Conference hosted by The Conference Board, 2014 World Conference on Entrepreneurship (ICSB) in Dublin, Ireland and AuTT (Australia Trade Tasting) 2015. They also feel it's important to help startups and the next generation of entrepreneurs at Speaker Series including University of Texas at Arlington, Florida Atlantic University, University of Tampa, Bradley University, and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Bonnie was excited to be invited as the keynote speaker at the ICSB 2014 TESS Women's Entrepreneurship Forum.
Michael & Bonnie are honored to share their innovative approach to business as dynamic consultants, authors, speakers, and corporate trainers. They are sought-after workplace culture experts in both print and broadcast media with hundreds of interviews and articles in professional and national publications. They co-author weekly, no-nonsense, business blogs at www.thebarefootspirit.com & www.thebrandauthority.net.
Their new book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways to Engage and Empower Your People, is a companion to The Barefoot Spirit written specifically to help the C-Suite. They were thrilled both books were featured in the premiere network launch of Jeff Hayzlett's C-Suite TV and C-Suite Book Club in September 2014.
Conference chairs, business leaders and professors of entrepreneurship alike highly recommend them as inspirational speakers, role models, and entrepreneurial thought leaders. They are an excellent extension of business education into the real world of practicality to motivate, enlighten and inspire!
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
Featured Keynote Programs
Graduate Business School and Leadership
The 3 principles of effective leadership and creating a dynamic company culture that ignites entrepreneurialism, productivity and innovation within an organization. The keys to an entrepreneurial spirit to boost the bottom line and engage and empower people to think like owners.
The 3 Core Competencies: Cash Flow Management (Resourcefulness and Leverage), Distribution Management (Sales and Relationships), and Personnel Management (Company Culture). How to keep departments working as a team to boost sales, profits, and success in global commerce. Driving results with performance-based compensation models in sales, growth and profitability.
Marketing and Social Entrepreneurship
How marketing can work with sales departments to revolutionize successful branding. Worthy Cause
Marketing strategies and how it can build a top global brand (without paying a penny in commercial
advertising); while benefiting numerous nonprofits and making the world a better place in the process.
Entrepreneurship, Small Business and Services
Comprehensive customer service and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. The customers
between the company and the final consumer: from distributors, jobbers and middlemen, retailers to
their clerks and the general public to their communities. The 7 levels of distribution any product is
funneled through to bring it to the mass market, and how to serve each level for success and longevity.
All presentations can be promoted with purchased copies of the NYT’s bestseller, The Barefoot Spirit
and/or its companion The Entrepreneurial Culture, 23 Ways to Engage and Empower Your People.
Michael and Bonnie's story tells the audience the all-too-brutal truth about what one really has to do to succeed.
Thank you so much to the Barefoot Spirit team! I sure enjoyed the talk.
Voted #1 Best Speakers at the C-Suite Conference!
Michael and Bonnie inspired the attendees with news they could use. Their delivery was both compelling and entertaining. I continue to get nothing but praise for their Keynote! We want them back!
It was a great pleasure to have them speak at our EO Alchemy 2014 conference in Las Vegas.Our members were very pleased with their participation and greatly valued your keynote speech.
The Barefoot Founders were a big hit at the Northwest SOCAP Chapter meeting in San Francisco. Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are truly charming and engaging presenters! They shared stories of the challenges they faced founding the Barefoot Wine brand and how they overcame them by putting the customer first and creatively responding to their needs and wants. Their tag team approach was refreshing and kept us entertained while delivering this important message
Michael and Bonnie's speech gives a whole new meaning to going Barefoot!!-- it now means Entrepreneurial Success at its finest! They rock!
"I really enjoyed their presentation! The honesty they showed in telling their story of failures which led to success, was great and a breath of fresh air. Nice to hear when good people succeed."
"The International Council for Small Business (ICSB) held its World Entrepreneurship Conference in Dublin in June 2014 and it attracted an audience of 876 delegates from 61 countries. Michael and Bonnie were Keynote Speakers at the conference but they also gave talks at dedicated workshops for Irish Entrepreneurs and at the Women's Entrepreneurship Forum
"OUTSTANDING speech! Better yet, PERFECT. What an incredible way to end this conference."