Congratulations to Lily (Meet Lily on LinkedIn), the winner of our Spring 2019 SDL365 Achievers Scholarship! Her inspiring story of becoming a CEO of the Sweet Bee Sisters when she was only 9 years old impressed everyone on our team! We encourage you to read her essay about The Event That Significantly Changed Her Life and discover all the hard times that she had & her winning attitude towards failure. We are honored to offer her a $500 Scholarship to help pay for college tuition. Congrats, Lily! May your business blossom!
I am a driven student, entrepreneur, and artist. As the oldest of seven children, I am very “type-A” and continuously strive to be the best I can be. I am proud to maintain a 4.53 weighted GPA, run my own business, and express myself as an accomplished artist and performer. I am always pursuing growth, and this comes with a dedication to challenging myself. I am eager to continue my pursuit of personal growth and improve the world around me through my efforts;
My life has been a constant pursuit of success through a dedication to growth. Many decisions have impacted my personal development including the decision to start my own business, to persevere, and to use my experience for the greater good.
When I was nine years old, my sisters and I founded our own skin-care business called Sweet Bee Sisters. As a child, I always enjoyed earning money so embarking on an entrepreneurial journey was very exciting to me! I loved making the skin-care products. Initially, we sold lip balms. But later we expanded to a plethora of other products including sugar scrubs, lotion bars, pet care products, men’s facial care products, body butter, deodorants, and many others. Nevertheless, I found my true passion was selling to and interacting with customers.
Shortly after discovering my passion, I began overseeing all of the marketing and communication that was involved in running our fully functioning business.
As Sweet Bee Sisters grew, we began pursuing new retail opportunities and eventually were supplying products to twenty-five stores throughout Colorado. Additionally, we started bringing in significant online sales and were invited to sell our wares at numerous events. Amid all this growth, Sweet Bee Sisters received several significant media opportunities including a CNN article, a Hulu short film, and many news interviews! We even had the honor of having a book written about us!
Today, Sweet Bee Sisters is performing better than ever. We have a vast product line and a very loyal community of customers. Additionally, we have had the privilege of working on several corporate orders with large companies including Snooze (a breakfast restaurant), Workplace Elements (a corporate furniture supplier), Denver University, and others. We are very excited about how far our business has come and about all the potential for future growth!
Though I have encountered great success throughout my journey as a business owner, I have also faced many challenges. One of my most consistent trials has been remaining motivated to pursue growth. Because being a business owner is not a traditional hobby for a student, there is a relatively small community of supporters.
When I was younger, none of my friends understood the significant amount of time and energy I had to invest in my business consistently. As a result, I sometimes experienced isolation and loneliness. I enjoyed success when it came, but in the behind-the-scenes work, I frequently felt unmotivated.
My mindset changed one day during a conversation with one of my business mentors. He gave me some simple advice: “There is no growth in your comfort zone, and there is no comfort in your growth zone.”
In the light of this concept, I know that when I experience situations in my business that make me uncomfortable, I am growing not only as a business owner but as a person also.
It takes dedication to success to attack an uncomfortable work situation or to put aside the opinions of people who do not support me. With my new growth mindset, I have transformed my mental dialogue to think with the end in mind. I am intentional about setting goals for my business, my education, and for myself as a person. No matter what trials I encounter throughout my entrepreneurial, educational, or artistic journeys, I will stand firmly planted in an attitude of perseverance, determination, and growth.
I am committed to using my accomplishments to benefit and help my community and ultimately the world. My business has given me a significant platform to champion the cause of youth entrepreneurship. As a result, I have spoken at a number of events, served on several advisory boards, and participated in many interviews, encouraging other students to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset.
I feel that I have gained so much knowledge and life-experience from my entrepreneurial background and I deeply desire for other students to benefit as I have. I believe that a commitment to success is something that is learned and can be passed on. My dream is that through the pursuit of my own entrepreneurial success, I can build a testimony that other students can look to and learn from.
My entrepreneurial journey, full of tough decisions and trials, has shaped me. I owe much of my personal development to my acquired knowledge and experience in the business world. As I am only eighteen, I am eager to press on towards more significant growth in the coming years.