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The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America's #1 Wine Brand Paperback – May 21, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Evolve Publishing (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988224542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988224544
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #509,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

New York Times named "The Barefoot Spirit" a Top 10 Bestselling Business Book for June & July 2013

“This is a warm, wonderful, inspiring book that entertains and motivates at the same time.”
--Brian Tracy, Author of The Power of Self-Confidence


"Great read, great book. This story is beyond wine and the love of wine, it's about starting a business."
--Fran Tarkenton, Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback, Entrepreneur, & Sirius XM Radio Host of The Fran Tarkenton Show

"It's an inspiration to see how they broke all the rules and still succeeded against all odds. For anyone contemplating starting a business, there are lessons to be learned here and an entertaining story as a bonus."
--Alan Caruba, Book Reviewer, National Book Critics Circle, Author and Columnist

"I try to read all the books of the authors on my show and am just getting into The Barefoot Spirit.  It’s one of the best books on entrepreneurship I’ve read.”
--Kip Marlow, Entrepreneur & Host of Entrepreneurs Club Radio

"I thoroughly enjoyed The Barefoot Spirit. I will make it required reading because it tells a lovely story and it embodies so much of the entrepreneurial mindset. I loved the 'voice' of the book and storytelling is such a wonderful way to communicate. I believe students will find it a fun addition to their library and in the process they will learn the most important lessons of entrepreneurship!"
--Rebecca J. White, Professor, Entrepreneurship and James W. Walter, Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship Director, Entrepreneurship Center, The University of Tampa, John H. Sykes College of Business Tampa, Florida Outgoing President, United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

“Fun beach reading for small business inspiration. The Barefoot Spirit is an entertaining rags-to-riches story of American entrepreneurship. It’s the first-hand tale of California rule breakers Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, the founders, of the country’s top-selling wine brand”
--Adrienne Burke, Yahoo! Small Business Writer

About the Author

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, authors of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built a Bestselling Wine, started the Barefoot Wine brand in their laundry room in 1986, made it a nationwide bestseller, and successfully sold the brand to E&J Gallo in 2005. Starting with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles and create new markets.
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They were pioneers in what they termed "worthy cause marketing" and performance-based compensation. They held a comprehensive view of customer service, resulting in the National Hot Brand Award for outstanding sales growth in 2003 and 2004.
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They now share their experience and innovative approach to business as consultants, authors, speakers, mentors, and workshop leaders. Their book, The Barefoot Spirit, chronicles the history and lessons learned building the popular Barefoot Wine brand.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
Going to be reading it for our Book Club in November.
Susan
I love the book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great read and a new way to look at business and life!
Jeffrey S Philibin
This book is full of great insights and information, and it is written in an entertaining, easy to read style.
BR

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tchotchke on June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Barefoot Spirit is a fun read that is probably the most honest look inside the wine industry in the popular press.

In the 20 years from 1985 to 2004, the authors fought through the various machinations of the wine industry with creativity and determination.

The book's structure of narrative followed by "Conversations with Bonnie and Michael" for each chapter allows the story to be told, but also allows us to "hear" directly from the parties.

There's more honesty about working with distributors, the alcohol legal systems, retailers, etc. than is found in most wine sources.

When one realizes that this is probably one of three success stories of 1,000 brands launched during that period (my estimates), this book puts this industry in real perspective. Spirit recognizes that this success didn't come with lots of free cash profits during those 20 years.

The concepts of "Worthy Cause Marketing" can be used in many industries. There's just enough of "Your Brick for Today" and a few other Barefoot elements to make this a general business book, too.

The Barefoot Spirit is a must-read for students of the wine discipline, for those considering entering the wine business, and for anyone interested in what the business is really like.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Borutta on July 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
I first came to know Barefoot through their generosity to LGBT causes and events. As the book details, authors Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey believed in generosity from the start, knowing it also made good business sense. Especially for causes related to social justice and environmental responsibility.

The Barefoot Spirit goes beyond Bonnie and Michael's knack for business that carried them through the quagmire of learning the wine business, it emphasizes their humility, teamwork and discipline in "holding the tension" between a great idea for a business and making that idea into a reality. Just as Barefoot is an easy wine to drink (for my money, it is a consistent product) this book is easy to read. Now I know more about the wine industry - when it never occurred to me that I might be able to understand even a small part of what goes into it.

Mostly, I identify with the spirit of the authors' account of success through good deeds, right action, and personal service to customers. It just goes to show that good things happen to good people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Lester on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is hard to put down. Michael and Bonnie tell tell the amazing and amusing story of how they created one of the most recognized brands in the wine industry with wit and wisdom. Anyone who runs a business, or aspires to, will learn more than they can imagine, and be entertained and inspired by Micheal's and Bonnie's enthusiasm and excitement. Their love for each other, and for others in general, for life, and for fun, is apparent throughout. After reading The Barefoot Spirit is the best entrepreneurial primer I have encountered. And it is also the most enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LisaLarter on June 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was fortunate enough to have a copy of the pre-sale book mailed to me by Bonnie and Michael. I could not put the book down, it was a fantastic book, and talks about the journey, effort and attitude one needs to make it in business. It is filled with wonderful business lessons that can be applied to any business with respect to not giving up, how to treat people, how to listen to your instincts, and really how to make lemonaid when life gives you lemons. I love that they shared honestly the challenges they faced in business. In today's world so many people think that their business is going to be an overnight success and that is rarely the case. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - it was fantastic and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, and of course, anyone who owns their own business. Congratulations on making the NYT best seller list!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wulfstan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is not so much about being in the wine-making business as it is about running a business of any sort, and re-starting your life. Inspirational, a guidebook for anyone in business.

Now yes, obviously there was a little luck involved, but still, this is a great story, filled with hints for both business and for life. The Barefoot Spirit is real-life Horatio Alger rags-to-riches tale. It combines the story of Barefoot Wines unlikely success with tips, hints and suggestions for any small business owner- or those that just dream about "being your own boss". (There's a funny story in the early chapters- apparently they didn't even knew that wine came in different sized bottles!)

The story is interesting, I had no idea that the whole winery started as a way to help two businesses that had a debt problem. Michael just had them bottle 18000 cases of wine and said "How hard can it be?"- and therein lies the tale. ("Pretty hard" is the answer, but the journey was worth it, they also say that "making mistakes' can be turned to good effect.)

"You sell more wine wearing a funny hat"

"You and your company are not judged by how well you do when you're good, but by how well you do when you're bad." (Admit your mistakes, learn from them, don't play the blame game).

Easy & fun read.
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The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America's #1 Wine Brand
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