In this episode of MarieTV, we do have some adult language. So if you do have little ones around, grab your headphones now.
Marie Forleo: Hey, it’s Marie Forleo, and welcome to another episode of MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast. So if you’re someone who has been dreaming of starting and growing your own business but you have a little bit of fear around, do you really have what it takes? My guest today is here to prove that you can do and be anything you set your mind to. Mikaila Ulmer is a 15-year-old social entrepreneur, bee ambassador, educator, and student. She founded Me & the Bees Lemonade when she was four years old, and over the past decade has sold over a million bottles across 1,500 stores. Her appearance on CNBC’s Shark Tank at age nine, scored a $60,000 investment, and she’s appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, 20/20, ABC World News Tonight, and CBS News, among others. Her first book, Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid, is available now.
So Mikaila, thank you so much, and congratulations. Your book, Bee Fearless, I loved it. I read it over the past week. I was on the beach, I was highlighting, I was underlining. I have to say, it is incredible, and I believe it’s aimed at young entrepreneurs, am I right?
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes. So I wrote it mostly for middle graders, but I don’t know, from your review, I think everyone really enjoys it from all ages.
Marie Forleo: I’m going to tell you this, and I’m going to make this declaration right here, because we have folks in our audience who are as young as six years old and who write in questions, and we have folks in their 70s and 80s, and who are excited for their next chapter in life. So I am telling everyone listening, I really believe that you should get Bee Fearless if you are interested in entrepreneurship and following your dreams because I think it’s appropriate for all ages. There’s so much inspiration there. So for those folks who don’t know your incredible story, can you take us back to when you were all of four years old and you got those two bee stings in about a week’s time, and it really set off a whole new direction for your life. Can you tell us about that?
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes. So my story started, like Ms. Marie said, when I was four and a half. I am from Austin, Texas, born and raised, and there are two events that were happening. They were both youth entrepreneurship events, and I decided to sign up for both of those, not knowing what product I was going to create, but I decided I would use this summer to figure out what I was going to create and sell. And so, I was trying a bunch of different things, but over the summer I got a cookbook from my great-granny Helen with her favorite recipe of flaxseed lemonade in it, and it was this old tattered cookbook. We weren’t exactly sure what to do with it, so we kind of just put it in the cabinet and we would look at it later if we needed a recipe.
But I also got stung by two bees in one week. One was in my ear, one was in my neck. I was terrified of them, pretty angry at the bees. And my parents said, “Why don’t you do a little bit of research on them before you become afraid of them for the rest of your life?” And of course, as a kindergartener I’m like, “Why would I research something that just stung me? I don’t like them.” And they convinced me, I read a picture book, I watched an animated video.
And they were actually learning with me, but we learned that the bees are really important pollinators. So they’re very important to our food supply and also other ecosystems, but also I learned that they’re dying at an alarming rate. And so, I realized what if I use my business at the business fair to help save them? I could make a lemonade that was inspired by my great-granny Helen’s recipe, and instead of just using sugar, I could sweeten it with honey, because I just learned bees made honey, or honeybees make honey, and that could be my product. I could donate a little bit and that could be my product for the fair.
Marie Forleo: Four and a half. Mikaila, I can’t even. It was like I was researching for this interview, and I’m seeing these videos of you, and in your book, there’s the most adorable pictures. Just so much brilliance though, in that branding, and you have such a natural marketing and storytelling brain, which is just an incredible gift, I believe for entrepreneurs, and you’re such a great example of that. So, okay. So you started selling lemonade at this particular fair, you got into it. Can you tell us what making that first dollar was like and what that felt like to you?
Mikaila Ulmer: So, I mean, even before I made the first dollar, there were a bunch of batches of lemonade that we had to make, and I just remember my mom being mad that there was honey all over the counters, me squeezing so many lemons, and trying recipe after recipe. Some were not great, some were better than others, but when we had that final recipe that I loved and we had written it down, I remember my mom came in with a bee suit and she was like, “It’s for marketing. You can tell people it’s about the bees, while wearing this bee suit, and sell it.” And I wasn’t sure about it. I did the first stand, it was the topic of all the people coming by, but we actually have a picture of the first dollar. I think my feeling or my reaction was more of, “Wow. People actually want to try this lemonade, and people actually come back and get more, and like the lemonade.” So that was pretty amazing where you have a product and you get a customer. I think after that, every customer just makes you smile like, people actually enjoy my product.
Marie Forleo: Yes. And so, one of the other things I loved learning about in your book is your beautiful family, your brothers and your parents, and I just need to give a shout-out, the brilliance of your parents. I just have to honor them for a minute, around the fact that you had these painful bee stings, you were understandably upset. I had a bee sting a couple of years ago and I was just like, whoa, it was right under my arm, and I could not believe the amount of pain. So, but just the fact that they were like, “Hey, before you’re going to stay angry and be afraid of bees, let’s actually learn and get curious about them.” And one of the other things was just, they’re consistently asking you questions after you started selling that lemonade like, “Well, what do you want to do next?” and kind of guiding you to start to make decisions.
Now that you’ve been doing this for over 10 years, do you see the wisdom in how they guided you? If you could tell us the story, even when you started to open your first bank account, and you had some of that money and they said, “No, you’re going up to the teller on your own.”
Mikaila Ulmer: So I think one thing that is interesting is at least when I was getting asked the questions, I was like, “Ugh, I’m just going to go sell at my stand. That’s it. You just swipe the plastic card and I get my ingredients, that’s it. Why are you making me do all this work?” But looking back at it, I am also kind of in that same awe as you are. I’m also just realizing that they probably didn’t expect it to end up where it is today too.
They were going along with the journey as well, and maybe a little bit surprised each step of the way, but they were also, instead of saying like, “Wait,” or a hard no, they said, “Oh, well, how would you do this?” And sometimes it wouldn’t be possible, and I would realize that and I would try something else. Sometimes it would, and we’d move forward. So, I mean, I think from learning a little bit about marketing, because my mom had her own marketing firm, that’s what she brought, and my dad, he was finance at Dell, so he brought some of that, but I was able to learn about business. That was my very first source of learning about business, as well as the guides from the fairs, but yes.
Marie Forleo: Yeah, and it’s a topic for me, I feel like learning about business and then applying your ideas, it grows you as a human being. It grows your humanity and your ability to connect with other people, and the other thing among many that I admire about you is how much you talk about in the book, you love connecting with people and telling them the story of the bees and talking about your mission. And so, have you found over the years that having a mission-rooted business has been a big support in what you believe has helped you succeed?
Mikaila Ulmer: Yeah. I’m going to start with the people coming up to my booth and connecting with me about the bees, because I remember being pretty nervous for my first stand. There was a, I think it was an older couple, they came by and the back of my stand is an empty space, I hid behind there because I didn’t want to speak to them. But I think once you start finding something that you have in common or a common interest, for me, it was the bees and teaching people about the bees. Some people already knew about them and would tell me facts, but that was so amazing, because it wasn’t just lemonade at this point, it was saving the bees or learning more about them. And so, I really do think that having a mission-based brand or a mission-based company is so important, and a lot of businesses now, it’s kind of second nature. People will start companies automatically wanting to help out or help the world in some way.
But for those who are unsure about it and want to start a company, I would say definitely have a cause or mission attached with that business, because people, especially my generation, we’re looking for products that do good in the world, and we’re going to read labels, figure out whether it’s ethically sourced and things like that. So that’s one reason, but another reason is because it’s, like I said, something bigger than just a product you sell. So if you’re having a challenge or an adversity, you have kind of a bigger motivation. For me, it was the bees, but you have a bigger motivation that keeps you going throughout that hard time.
Marie Forleo: Yeah, and like every business owner. I’ve been in business now for 20 years, and man, there are ups and downs. There are always ups and downs. It’s a roller coaster. And I agree with you 100%, when you have something that is bigger than yourself, that you believe in, something that you’re willing to work towards, it is the thing that can carry your heart and your passion through those obstacles, and turn them into opportunities, which brings me to, one of the things I love that you advocate for is the power of dreaming like a kid. Can you tell us about what that means?
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes, but I’d like to ask you a question because you said…
Marie Forleo: Yeah, please do.
Mikaila Ulmer: You’ve been in business for 20 years, you had different adversities. Was it the same passion that carried you through that, or did you have different interests or different causes that you were interested in?
Marie Forleo: So for me, it’s actually a little bit of both. A both/and. So I believe in human beings and their potential, and I love seeing people win. That is kind of the deep impetus around coaching, and personal development and business development. I love seeing other people succeed, and in terms of different passions and missions, I remember at a certain point in my company when I knew I wanted to make a difference, specifically for women and girls, around women and girls’ empowerment and helping them gain access to education, and opportunities, and entrepreneurship, I remember thinking to myself, Mikaila, I was like, “I don’t know if I can pick one organization.”
And then I realized I was trying to fit myself into a traditional box that I don’t fit into. And I said, “What if I could partner with different organizations that I really believe in their mission, and then I could take a portion of our profits, a portion of our revenue?” As my platform began to build, I said, “I can use my assets like my online show, our podcast, to be able to shine a light on different causes and different things that I believe that we should care about and that we should work to improve.”
So to answer your question, I’ve given myself permission to be what I call a multi-passionate entrepreneur, which includes the mission. So everything from helping girls gain access to education, especially in the developing world, to the nearly one billion people who don’t have access to clean drinking water, to building schools, there are so many different areas where I find heartbreak and I’m like, “Hey, I think we can do something. I think we can help.”
Mikaila Ulmer: I love that.
Marie Forleo: We can make a difference there. Yes.
Mikaila Ulmer: I actually see myself in that a little bit too, because I think personally it’s kind of hard to pick one thing and focus on it.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Mikaila Ulmer: I think for me at least, I have a bunch of different interests and I want to see how I can nurture each of those. And so, there’s no cookie cutter entrepreneur, and you can do whatever makes you happy because you want to make sure that that passion or that interest is still there, despite you changing your interest in helping out in different areas.
Marie Forleo: Yes, and it’s, I think, important to give ourselves permission to evolve and change, right? As we grow and learn more things, and we’re exposed to different people, and we learn new things about the world, our vision expands and then all of a sudden we’re like, “Whoa, I know this person from over here, and I see this new heartbreak and I have this new asset or new capability that I can deploy in service of a greater good.” So hey, thanks for asking me that question, I love it. Now, dreaming like a kid. Did we hit that, dreaming like a kid? No, I don’t think we actually got into it, because we got so passionate about being multi-passionate. So tell me what dreaming like a kid means to you.
Mikaila Ulmer: Sure. So I think that dreaming like a kid is something that kids always already have, but also adults can dream like kids too. And so, the title of my book is Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid, and I think that dream like a kid is associated with being fearless, especially when it comes to business. So for example, if kids want something, they’re going to do whatever it takes to get the thing done, even if it’s a cookie or some sort of dessert, they’re going to get that cookie or dessert. They’re going to ask grandma, they’re going to get on top of the counter, they’re going to constantly nag.
But I think that sometimes, and not all the time, but sometimes when adults want that cookie, they’re going to first think about the calories that they have to count, or maybe driving there, driving to the cookie shop or like, “Oh, I have too much to do now. Maybe I should put it off and do it later, later, later,” but I think that same kind of mentality could be applied to business too. And so, through my story of dreaming like a kid and how I grew my business with that kid mentality, I’m hoping to teach other people who are wanting to start a business or grow their business, how they can use that as they’re growing their company.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. And for everyone listening right now who’s like, “Oh my goodness. Mikaila is amazing.” Can you give us the quick snapshot of where your company is now? We talked about the fact that you started out with a lemonade stand at four and a half years old, but let’s give people a little taste of this moment.
Mikaila Ulmer: I think it’s so funny, because I’ll be at conferences and I’ll have a badge and I see someone with the same badge, and we’ll introduce ourselves, and they’ll ask me and I’m like, “Hey, I have a lemonade company,” and they’re like, “Oh, when’s your next stand? I’d love to stop by or show some support.” And then I’m like, “Oh no, actually it’s in this many thousands of stores or this many hundreds of stores, and we have this many flavors,” and they’re like, “Oh, got it. Well, which store can I get it on?” So I think it’s pretty funny.
Marie Forleo: You’re like, “Let me just tell you.” Yeah. So how many thousands of stores are you in now, Mikaila?
Mikaila Ulmer: Right now, we’re in 1800.
Marie Forleo: Come on.
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes, and honestly it’s been growing pretty rapidly. I never expected 1800 stores, especially when I started out in that one Austin store. But right now, we’re an 1800 stores, sold in over 40 states, and we have five flavors of lemonade, and then we’re making an even bigger impact on saving the bees because not only are we donating to organizations that I love that I know are making a difference, but I also started my own nonprofit called The Healthy Hive. And so through that, I’m doing what projects I think I see necessary, like turning campuses or school land into bee-friendly land, or funding important honeybee research on why they’re dying and what things we can do to help save them. So I’m pretty excited and also very proud that I took what was originally a lemonade stand and the bee sting, into a lemonade company and a bee nonprofit.
Marie Forleo: Yes. Oh, it gets me. That’s why, again, I keep saying, I’m going to hold up your book for everyone. If you’re watching on YouTube, Bee Fearless, you need to get Mikaila’s book because it will inspire you to bee-lieve in yourself and bee fearless. I’m emphasizing that, because I think Mikaila and I…
Mikaila Ulmer: Love the bee puns.
Marie Forleo: Yes, of course, we have to do the bee puns, because it’s smart marketing. So let’s talk about some of the frustrations in the early days, because a lot of folks in our audience are entrepreneurial, and one of the things I hear a lot is folks, understandably, just being afraid of people not liking what they do. They have this creative idea, they’re putting their heart into it, and they would take it really personally if someone either criticized them or didn’t like them. I remember the piece in your book where people would actually give you feedback in the early days like, “Oh, your lemonade’s too sour,” or, “Oh, your lemonade’s too sweet.” Can you tell us about the power of understanding the lesson that you cannot possibly please everyone, so don’t try?
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes. So I think for me it started with everyone just has different taste buds, and your product is probably not going to appeal to everyone’s taste buds, so the best you can do is get recommendations and try to appeal to most of it or to… I don’t remember exactly what it’s called, but the curve?
Marie Forleo: The bell curve? Yeah, yeah.
Mikaila Ulmer: Yeah, exactly, exactly. So we’d get recommendations all the time of like, “It’s too sour, it’s too sweet,” and even though it started with business like, “Okay, well I’ll try this product, but I’m not going to completely change my product for you,” I think I’ve also applied it to life. Being a 15-year-old at school, I’ve applied it, or even public speaking and what issues I want to tackle, I’ve applied that lesson to that area as well.
Marie Forleo: It’s a really wise lesson. It’s a really wise lesson, because as your platform continues to grow, as you know, and you get in front of more people, it’s like, you can honor and respect them for their viewpoints and you can say, “Hey, I’m not going to please everyone.” And one of the things we talk about in our circles, in my circles, is if you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody, meaning it’s okay to be specific, and it’s okay to be bold and brave about who your product is for and not for. And you can do that in a really respectful way, in a really loving way, and it helps people go like, “Oh, okay, that’s great. I’m going to go over here instead.”
Mikaila Ulmer: Yeah. So I have a little story about that, and you speaking just reminded me of it, but we, the company… Here, I’m going to bring the bottle.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. Please show us.
Mikaila Ulmer: I can show you. So the bottle of my product has my face on it, and it originally started as an illustration, but when I think I was probably around nine, we took this photo and we thought this would be perfect for the bottle. So we started producing labels with my actual face and my photo on the bottle, and when we were trying to grow, we were already in one store, but we were trying to grow into more, we would get suggestions from store owners saying, “We’d probably buy it if you put your face on the back,” or even people messaging us or sending us letters saying, “What is this N-word juice?” or “I would buy it if your face was off the bottle.”
And I realized, okay, so there’s this kind of category of remarks saying, “Take your face off the bottle or put it on the back, and we may sell it or support it,” but there’s also this even larger group of people who I, one, am starting and continuing this for, saying, “Your business inspired me to start my own,” or like “I started the entrepreneurship club at my school,” or “Thank you, you’re representing girl power and diversity in this group of awardees.” So it’s scary because it’s kind of like, do I want to appeal to those people, or do I keep my face on the bottle? And you got to kind of remember why you started it and why you’re continuing it, and that’s why ultimately I decided, I’m going to keep my face on the bottle so I can inspire the next generation, or just any Black girl that they can do it as well.
Marie Forleo: Mikaila, you just lit my heart on fire and I just want to say, A) I’m so sorry that you had to receive that feedback. That is never… I just can’t even, I don’t even have words, and B) how much I adore you and how much I am championing you for going, “No, my face is going to be on here, because you know what? It is an inspiration,” and you are an inspiration, not only to girls, but to boys, and to all of us. So I just want to tell you that I’m continuing to be your champion, and I will have your back as you continue to move forward and build, because again, you are 15 right now?
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes.
Marie Forleo: Yes. You are a powerhouse. So just consider yourself having a friend over here who’s going to continue to support you as you soar, and inspire millions of people into the future.
Mikaila Ulmer: Thank you, and same here.
Marie Forleo: So I want to talk about Shark Tank and the opportunity when that came up. Were you and your family nervous? Because it’s like going on reality TV, and six million people watch the show. What was that thought process like when the opportunity came up?
Mikaila Ulmer: So originally, when the African American Chamber of Commerce in Austin contacted us and said, “Hey, Shark Tank is holding auditions at our offices, would you be interested?” my parents’ original reaction was “No, no way. We’ve seen the Sharks, and they can be pretty brutal sometimes.” Even if it’s kids, less often when it’s kids, but they can still be brutal to the people in the businesses that are pitching. And so, I remember really wanting to go on the show anyways because I’d watch it, and also we all knew that the business needed funding if we wanted to actually grow or scale the company, but originally it was like, “No, I’m not really sure about this.”
And so, they were holding auditions at the studio for maybe one or two weeks, and it was the last day, and we got a call saying, “This is the last day, would you be interested in maybe just doing the first round of auditions?” And we were pretty unprepared, but we came in, we had our pitch, the same one that we used for when we were pitching to stores, but we were just pitching to Shark Tank judges now, I guess. And we talked about our product and before we knew it, we were on round, and then elimination round after elimination round, and we were getting paperwork given to us, asking whether we would sign it, whether we were interested, and just talking with friends and family that we knew, lawyers that we knew.
And it was just a lot, it was really overwhelming, but ultimately, and obviously since the show’s already happened and aired, we landed a deal with Mr. Daymond John for the company, but it was also months of pitch preparation and going over and over, and pitching to peers, getting peer reviews, doing it again. And I learned a lot from the process, but I think it was pretty nerve-wracking. I call it nerve-citing.
Marie Forleo: I like that. You’re really good, you know that. Your ability with marketing and words, it’s excellent, specifically around linking up cute things together and really smart things together. My brain, similarly, I’m always trying to make up new words. I created a… My mom actually did, called figureoutable, and I wrote a book called Everything Is Figureoutable, and it’s not officially in the dictionary, but I think it will be.
Mikaila Ulmer: It could be. Yeah.
Marie Forleo: It could be, right? And I like that. So, nerve-citement?
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Mikaila Ulmer: It was just, it was nerve-wracking because there’s a bunch of millionaires, some millionaires staring at you like this.
Marie Forleo: Yes. Mr. Wonderful, right?
Mikaila Ulmer: I know.
Marie Forleo: Like Mr. Wonderful.
Mikaila Ulmer: And then it’s also just limitless opportunity to grow your company or increase your audience, so that’s why it was a mix of those things.
Marie Forleo: So let’s talk about that news that you got after Shark Tank. The reason I want to bring this up, is because so many business owners, I think when a hard time happens or when a really big unexpected challenge comes up, at least my experience has been like, “Oh my goodness, I’m the only one to ever go through this,” or “Oh, I must not be smart enough or good enough.” So tell me about the news that happened after Shark Tank that wasn’t so great, when someone had the same name as you.
Mikaila Ulmer: Yeah. So Shark Tank aired, and just even before the news, Shark Tank aired, there was national coverage, so potential customers were reaching out, “How can I buy this product? It’s really expensive to ship online. How can I get it?” We said, “Hey, go talk to your stores and see if they would carry it.” Then stores started contacting us, and we started seeing more stores carry the product, not just in Texas, but around the country.
So that was the first thing that changed, and then, because Shark Tank was the first example of national television, there were more new stations that wanted to carry the story. Because I mean, the titles were like 11-Year-Old Girl Lands Deal With Daymond John on Shark Tank, and things like that, and they wanted to share the story as well. So I realized that there was a really big growth in the company, really big growth in people who knew about it and people who were buying it, and I was so excited to just keep on seeing that growth. It was kind of unbelievable, where you’ve been working at the stand for this long, and then suddenly there’s this big opportunity that comes, and you take advantage of it.
But I remember it was maybe a couple months after the show aired, and after my parents put my younger brother Jake to bed, they sat me down and they said, “We have some bad news. There’s another company with a name similar to yours that wants you to either change your name altogether, or keep it and borrow it for a couple million dollars.” And as a 10-year-old, I didn’t have a couple million dollars to borrow a name. I’m not really sure what 10-year-old has a couple million dollars to borrow a name.
And so, originally we were like, “Okay, let’s go get the lawyers that helped us with the Shark Tank paperwork, figure out how we can fight this case and keep the name. They can’t just take the name away from us.” But it was really expensive, so expensive, really hard and time consuming, my dad said, “Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war,” and I was lost. I realized what he means now, but we realized if we changed the name, we can kind of go into areas that we weren’t able to do with the name BeeSweet.
So when I was presenting to an agency in California, I shared with them my dilemma, and they were so eager to help, they came up with 500 different names. This was in a marketing agency called Team One, but they came up with 500 different names, helped me narrow it down, helped make branding and visuals. And this is one of the lessons that I’ve learned, but ask for help, because there’s always help back at the hive. You thought that you were the only one going through that issue or challenge, you’re always going to have help back at the hive, or people who believe in you or your mission. And so, we were able to take the name change, this is the new name, Me & the Bees, but I like it because everyone is the me in the Me & the Bees, or my mission to help save them. And I think the branding really did it for me, because when you flip the bee over, it turns into a heart, and when you take the wings off, it’s a drop of honey. So that’s probably one of the reasons why I loved it as well.
Marie Forleo: I think it’s brilliant. I love it so much, and when you told the story in the book and then it had the visual, I’m like, you know what, this is one of those things where from something that’s initially devastating, you actually can extract the biggest blessing, the biggest growth and something so beautiful. And of course, your previous name and the previous branding, it was lovely and it was awesome for that time and where you needed to go, but I think it’s just such a great lesson for all of us that sometimes when we hit an obstacle, and at first it almost feels like a heartbreak and like a punch in the gut, or we can feel angry, or upset, or like, “No!” If we surrender and have faith, and look at it as an opportunity, look at it as a possibility, sometimes the most beautiful things can be born.
Mikaila Ulmer: I agree, and it was really hard changing the name. It was taking the product that was in stores and replacing it with the new branding. I mean, we still have grandmas that are calling it BeeSweet and forget that we changed our name, but after the whole process of changing the name, we actually got an award, the Jay Chiat Award for the name, the brand change. And I was blown away, because we were awarded with other brands like Kraft Mac & Cheese, just these huge multimillion-dollar companies, and then there was my little business, Me & the Bees, that got an award for changing the name.
Marie Forleo: So good. Okay, now we have to talk about the Obamas. So I got so excited when you were starting to tell those stories. I know you’ve met them a few times, you’ve even introduced President Obama, who kind of asked you for a job, let’s just be real. That would make anyone nervous, getting those opportunities, and I love that you shared being nervous means that you care about something. Can you tell us about those experiences were like?
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes. I think being nervous means you care about something. Those butterflies in your heart means you care about something. I don’t remember exactly where I heard that from. It was a really long time, because I’ve been saying it for a very long time, but I agree being nervous means you care about something. And so, the first time I was nervous was when I was invited to… Well, the first time was Shark Tank, I think, or maybe the first customer. But another time was when I was invited by Miss Michelle to attend the Kids’ State Dinner, and that was part of her Let’s Move! organization. There were kids from each state that had submitted recipes, and even though I didn’t have my own recipe, I still had a healthy beverage alternative, so she invited me because of my beverage, and I was honored.
I think I was at my grandmother’s house at the time, and so my mom met me there, we flew to the White House. We had to get a last minute… Actually, the last minute dress was when I introduced former President Obama, but it was amazing because I got to hear about her program, and she’s just become such a big inspiration, and I also got to shake hands with President Obama, and that was pretty cool. I thought that was going to be the last time, but I actually got invited again for the Easter Egg Roll, and that’s when I was changing my name, so I was serving my lemonade to thousands of people at the White House Easter Egg Roll.
And then the next time was for the United State of Women Conference, and so that wasn’t actually physically in the White House, but it was a huge conference with just amazing, like you said, amazing female powerhouses. And I was able to share a little bit about my company, but also introduce such, I think, an amazing person, an amazing and inspiring person to me, and so that was amazing. And I fist-bumped him beforehand.
Marie Forleo: Yes! Well, first of all, you are one of those female powerhouses, and I agree with you completely. I have the deepest admiration and respect, I love Michelle and I love Barack Obama too. So I got really excited to read your stories. So before we wrap up, I just want to read something that you wrote in your book that I found so inspiring and it really moved my heart. You said, in part, “I know that if we all go out into this world looking together at the possibilities of things, rather than just the problems, our future will be a whole lot brighter.” So for anyone listening as we’re wrapping up, and they’re thinking about starting their own business, no matter what their age, what would you tell them so that they can really believe in themselves?
Mikaila Ulmer: I would tell them that when you’re starting a company, it’s all about the possibilities. That’s the time where you can brainstorm hundreds of ideas, you can think about the possibilities, and think about what problem you want to solve or need you want to address. So I think now’s the time where you can adopt the dream like a kid mentality, and be fearless. Find a mission that you believe in, go and read books and listen to podcasts. I mean, you’re already listening to this one, so. But just listen to podcasts, ask for advice, and take that leap that you may have been nervous about, but now you can.
Marie Forleo: Mikaila, I just adore you, I appreciate you, I respect you and admire you, and I am just so happy to be on the planet at the same time. I’m actually going to go out and find your lemonade, because I will tell you, I’m thirsty and it looks so delicious, and you are just an incredible human being. So I’m excited to continue to watch you soar, and I’ll tell you, let me know, anything you need, any way that we can support you and The Healthy Hive Foundation, you got a friend in me. Thank you so much.
Mikaila Ulmer: Okay. Thank you. And can I add one more thing?
Marie Forleo: Of course you can.
Mikaila Ulmer: So for the book, this is the book, and it’s part memoir, part business guide, but right now, I’m working on creating a workbook. So the workbook is a business plan guide, and it’s super fun. I’ve had a lot of fun making it, but it goes through coming up with an idea, it goes through making a budget for it, finding a name, what is target market, what is competition? But if you have a kid or if you’re a kid who wants to start a business, and you’ve read the book or you’re reading the book, you don’t know exactly what your next steps would be, I’m really excited to offer this for free, if you read the book. So that’s going to be coming soon, and I believe it’s if you preorder.
Marie Forleo: Great. And so, where can people go to learn more if they want to find out more about that guide?
Mikaila Ulmer: So my website, Me & the Bees, is kind of the hub for the book, for the Buzzness Guide. What’s it called? It’s called the Bee Fearless Buzzness Guide.
Marie Forleo: I love that.
Mikaila Ulmer: Yes. And then also just about the nonprofit and how you can help if you’re interested in saving wild, native, or honeybees.
Marie Forleo: Amazing. So for everyone, we will make sure to include all of the links in the description below. And again, Mikaila, thank you so much for making the time today. Congratulations on Bee Fearless, congratulations on your company and what is undoubtedly a super bright future. You’re the best.
Mikaila Ulmer: Thank you, you too. Bye-bye.
Marie Forleo: Hey, you having trouble bringing your dreams to life? Well guess what. The problem isn’t you. It’s not that you’re not hard-working or intelligent or deserving. It’s that you haven’t yet installed the one key belief that will change it all. Everything is Figureoutable. It’s my new book and it’s out now at everythingisfigureoutable.com.