The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America's #1 Wine Brand

· ·
· Footnotes Press LLC · Narrated by Alamada Karatihy, Ed Asner, and Gigi Perreau
7 hr 13 min
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About this audiobook

Full Cast Performance

From the New York Times bestseller, The Barefoot Spirit, Comes a NEW style of Business Audiobook:

Learn Valuable Lessons While Hollywood Actors Perform this Entertaining & True Story of Barefoot Wine.

A Sherwood Players Production, FULL ENSEMBLE CAST ​including Hollywood Legends ED ASNER and GIGI PERREAU​, ORIGINAL CINEMATIC SCORE, SOUND EFFECTS, and BEHIND THE SCENES INTERVIEWS with the REAL Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey (creators of Barefoot Wine) with author Rick Kushman

It is amazing that such an iconic brand as Barefoot Wines began as a startup in the laundry room of a rented farmhouse. Even more surprising is that it was started by a business couple with no money and no knowledge of the wine industry.

They regularly ran into difficulties that nearly killed the brand. It was their unshakable belief in Barefoot's potential that kept it going, along with the use of classic business principles, and a never-say-die outlook. Hardship, hustle, and heart are the essence of The Barefoot Spirit.

This book is a testament to the power of out-of-the-box thinking. It is a guide for anyone in business, and a great read for everyone who loves a rags-to-riches story. Filled with encouragement, inspiration, and empowerment, including:

  • How Worthy Cause Marketing out performed paid advertising
  • How boot-strapping was used instead of conventional financing
  • The surprising advantages of being small and broke
  • How creating a fun, yet hardworking company culture encouraged innovative leadership

If you like wine, the wine country, or a story about how a plucky couple disrupted an industry, what it takes to really succeed in the face of adversity, how to use your core beliefs to build a national brand, then The Barefoot Spirit is for you.

About the author

MICHAEL HOULIHAN Founder, Former President and CEO of Barefoot Wine, NYT's Bestselling AuthorMichael Houlihan helps entrepreneurs become more profitable. Having taken a world class CPG brand from ideation to monetization, he specializes in advising CPG companies about expanding their distribution at retail and becoming an acquisition target. He is a consultant, speaker, writer and sought after media guest. He shares proven and practical strategies and tactics based on his own experiences building a mega brand from the laundry room to the board room of the world's largest wine company. He is the co-founder of Barefoot Wine and The New York Times Best Selling co-author of The Barefoot Spirit, How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Build America's #1 Wine Brand and The Entrepreneurial Culture 23 Ways to Engage and Empower Your People. Michael's articles and interviews appear in many national publications including Forbes, Investors Daily,, INC, The Business Journals (published in 43 cities), and the C-Suite Network. He is the recipient of the wine industry's coveted Hot Brand Award for 2 consecutive years, the Surfrider Foundation's Wavemaker Award, and Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Award from the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University. He regularly delivers keynotes for such International Conferences as SOCAP (Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals), The World Conference on Entrepreneurship (ICSB), and the C-Suite Network, US SBDC's, and The Conference Board. He has clients in the Fortune 500 and the INC 500. He is a Trusted Advisor and contributing editor to the C-Suite Network. His books are used in more than 50 schools of entrepreneurship. Find out more about Michael at & Rick Kushman is a New York Times bestselling author and an award-wining journalist who currently works in the wine industry and is based in Napa as a Communications Strategist. He is also the wine commentator for Capital Public Radio, Sacramento¿s NPR station, and is a contributing host for ¿Insight,¿ the station¿s highest profile locally produced show. Rick is also the creator and co-host of the popular podcast ¿Bottle Talk with Rick and Paul,¿ which is featured on the Capital Public Radio podcast lineup.Rick was a longtime columnist for The Sacramento Bee and his writing has appeared in publications ranging from Time Magazine to Sommelier Journal to Daily Variety. He has served as Co-Chief Judge for the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition and is currently Chief Judge of the State Fair¿s Home Winemaker¿s Competition.Rick holds a Certified Wine Professional credential from the Culinary Institute of America and earned an MA in Journalism from Stanford University and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. He teaches wine classes to professionals and regular folks, has taught culinary journalism and is a popular speaker for Northern California food and wine events.He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Deborah Meltvedt, who's a high school teacher, and with their cat, Anchovy Jack, who, they're convinced, used to be a pirate.

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