America’s economic strength has always been reliant on start-up businesses and small entrepreneurs for new products, job creation, and the development of new brands. This site is dedicated to those Americans who, by choice or necessity, become self-employed and start their own business.

Here you will find the business philosophies and guiding principles we learned over several decades of success with new ventures. They are presented in summary fashion in our Business Blog. More detail can be found in our Speaking Topics, Group Seminars, and Consulting Services.

We are also writing a book, “The Barefoot Spirit,” which chronicles the experiences and business lessons learned building the Barefoot Wine brand.

Since one of our business philosophies is to have fun, we will include a personal blog and some photos. We will add videos and interviews with like-minded business leaders going forward.

Doubt the Doubts Interview with Paul Blais


Posted on October 26, 2013 by Paul Blais

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Michael Houlihan, author of the New York Times bestseller The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, started the Barefoot Wine brand with Bonnie Harvey in their laundry room in 1986, made it a nationwide bestseller, and successfully sold the brand to E&J… Read More

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Andy Tuttle Interview on “Tuttle Talk” about Millennial Generation

Michael  Bonnie, and Emily Guerra were interviewed by host, Andy Tuttle, on Tuttle Talk about the millennial generation. To listen to the interview, please click the play button below.… Read More

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CBS Interview with Scott West on How to Build a Business

Michael was interviewed on CBS Dallas by Scott West on “How to Build a Business.” To listen to the interview, please click the play button below.… Read More

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5 Ways Businesses Can Reduce “Sick” Call-Ins


Today it seems like there is an epidemic of employee’s calling in “sick” when they really just don’t want to go to work. Does the problem really lie solely with them, or can we as employers do something to improve the situation? To understand what’s really going on, take a good look at your workplace. Your environment, communication, and working conditions can be important contributing factors to bogus… Read More

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Fox News Radio on “Is your Office Millennial Friendly?”

Michael was interviewed by Fox News Radio on the topic of “Is your office millennial friendly?” To listen to the interviews, please click the play buttons below.
Fox News WILM 

Fox News KCOL 

Fox News WHBC… Read More

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Problem Solving, Barefoot Spirit Style


There are many approaches to problem solving, but the one we like best requires a multifaceted view of the situation. Sometimes the key to the solution is in the best definition of the problem. Having just one point of view, or relying on your initial impression, can actually blind you to the solution.
The ideal solution is more likely achieved when the problem is viewed in the context of the bigger picture. For instance,… Read More

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America Tonight with Kate Delaney

We were interviewed on America Tonight by the host, Kate Delaney. Please click the play button below to listen to the interview.

 … Read More

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People-Powered Parks Save Florida’s Barrier Islands


Recently we were the guests of Diana Donlon in Englewood, Florida. She interviewed us in September on her popular Entrepreneurship radio show in Southwest Florida.
When she found out that we were active in conservation, as she was, she graciously invited us to visit her on our next trip there. Little did she know that we were already scheduled to be there the very next month for a speaking tour of 5 schools of entrepreneurship.… Read More

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The Chris Salcedo Show

Michael was recently interviewed on The Chris Salcedo Show by the Blaze Radio Network. To listen to the interview, please visit
 Click here to play file in browser… Read More

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The Shutdown Hurts Small Business and Start-Ups


The recent government shutdown is hurting our economy at every level. Whatever your politics, the inability of our elected officials to come to terms with each other within the entire year before the shutdown deadline has demonstrated the ultimate in misplaced priorities to the world.
We are just now emerging from the worst recession in recent times, with high unemployment and many of the formerly employed giving… Read More

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