“This is a warm, wonderful, inspiring book that entertains and motivates at the same time.”
--Brian Tracy, Author of The Power of Self-Confidence
"Michael and Bonnie started the tradition of Worthy Cause Marketing and for well over a decade used their winery, Barefoot Cellars, to support the Mono Lake Committee’s grassroots efforts. Their approach helped spread the word about protection, restoration, and education at Mono Lake—inspiring people to get out and get involved."
--Geoff McQuilkin, Executive Director, Mono Lake Committee
"Michael and Bonnie took a chance on potentially losing sales when they supported our cause with Barefoot Cellars in the early 1990's. Their co-promotion with the League to Save Lake Tahoe took a strong position on a very controversial issue involving the development of the Lake Tahoe Basin. They helped us get the word out about our cause through wine shops, markets and restaurants in California."
--Darcie Goodman-Collins, PhD, Executive Director, League to Save Lake Tahoe
"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
"I thoroughly enjoyed The Barefoot Spirit. Since we just started classes this week, I decided to make it recommended reading for my entrepreneurship classes. (After it is out in print I will make it required reading). Why? Because it tells a lovely story and it embodies so much of the entrepreneurial mindset. The books was so readable (I loved the "voice" of the book and storytelling is such a wonderful way to communicate) and it was so intimate – it made me feel like I was on the journey with you. Both of you come across as such real and honest folks who were not willing to compromise your values to succeed. But that is not the BEST part of the story. You, in fact, were able to use those values to succeed in unconventional ways. One of the most important lessons I took away from this was that you were absolutely focused on excellence but you were able to combine that with fun! I love that – I agree with so much of your philosophy. For some reason many professors try to keep the fun out of learning. Consequently school becomes laborious. You worked very hard but you had fun. That is and has been my goal in my classroom. I think we need the barefoot spirit in education! When young children in kindergarten are asked how they can be creative – can they solve problems, dance, draw, sing, etc. – they all say yes – watch me! By the time I get to my college students – most of them are too fearful to have fun and try new things. We have to change our system! But enough of my soapbox. Needless to say I think I am a "barefooter"... and I feel so blessed to have read your book. THANK YOU! I have already used more than one quote in my classes the first day already! Some of my favorites: "At some point when you're an entrepreneur, you're a passenger on your own adventure. You adapt and ask, how do we make this work?" "[we] also had to decide regularly if what appeared to be money-making opportunities were real, or whether they would just create new problems." "When you are struggling, discipline can be painful." "...it is like biting from the apple of knowledge. There is no going back." In sum, I loved this book. I also enjoyed the fact that it was a partnership story. (My husband and I are both educators and work as a team) and I loved that there was such a strong female in this story. Sometimes that is hard to find in entrepreneurial stories. Bonnie – you are quite a role model in this book. Thanks for that. It was easy and fun to read (just like the barefoot spirit), it made me smile and 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! Thank you for approaching this book with the same attitude for excellence and fun. I loved the book."
--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, founders of the country’s top-selling wine brand.”
--Adrienne Burke, Yahoo! Small Business Writer