Sometimes, the most empowering experiences come out of the word “no.”
We’ve all experienced it: that moment when you really, really want something to happen, but it’s clear from the beginning that it won’t be a quick and easy path.
And yet, in many instances, that “no” can be one of the best things that can happen.
“No” inspires creative thinking and problem solving (what can I do/create/attempt in order to overcome this obstacle?).
“No” encourages perseverance (I’m not going to give up until I figure out how to overcome this challenge.)
“No” often empowers a person with courage (I never thought I’d be brave enough to do this, but it means so much to me…).
Think about all of the amazing things that would never have happened if the courageous men and women who lived before us had stopped at “no.”
We’ve talked on this blog before about how small, smart steps can lead to Big Dreams. Every choice we make, every response or reaction we give, every small action builds on the last, forming a foundation of how we will naturally make big choices or responses or actions down the road.
It is in that spirit that I am proud to introduce to you our HoneyBee Heroine of the Month for February, nine-year-old Hailey (actually, she notes, she’s almost nine years old).
Hailey is a typical third grader: she loves to jump on her trampoline, play with her sister, and do arts and crafts. But her deepest love is dance.
Almost every day, Hailey excitedly gets off the bus to head to one of her dance classes (which include ballet, tap, modern dance, jazz, and singing dance, and additionally a gymnastics class). “I feel very happy when I dance,” she says. “It relaxes me.”
Yet late last year, her love for dance was met with a challenge.
“My mom told me that I had to pick some dance classes to drop because costumes would be too expensive,” Hailey explains. And yet that “no” didn’t seem like an acceptable option to her. “I loved all my dance classes and didn't want to drop any.”
It was time for this almost-nine-year-old to get creative.
After pondering her options, Hailey decided to start a mini-business to pay for her costumes herself.
She collaborated with her little sister Brooke, and together they decided to bake and sell apple treats at her school’s holiday boutique. Using apples from their own backyard apple trees, they peeled and cooked hundreds of apple treats (including some of the best-looking cinnamon rolls around!).
After hours of baking and individually wrapping each treat, they had to conquer another crucial step before making their entrepreneurial debut: naming their business.
Hailey and Brooke decided to name their business Apple Tappers, inspired by Hailey’s favorite dance class. With the help of their mom, they even created a Facebook page to help spread the news about their apple treats in their local community! They were just about ready.
The final step to ensure Hailey would have enough money for her dance costumes was likely the most important one: she had to figure out exactly how much each Apple Tapper Treat had to cost in order for her to actually make money from the venture.
This was the point where I first heard about Hailey’s story, because her mom reached out to let me know that she had been following our Girl-Preneur Power series to help her price each product accurately. I was so happy to know that we were able to help Hailey with this exciting venture!
The day of the holiday boutique came, and—not surprisingly—the Apple Tapper Treats were an unbelievable success.
“We made lots of money to pay for our costumes,” Hailey remembers excitedly. “It was my favorite part of the holiday season…and someday we hope that we can donate extra money to our dance center for a costume scholarship fund.”
This aspect of creative thinking when faced with a “no” will certainly serve Hailey well throughout her life. For now, however, she’ll be enjoying dance every single day through the end of the season—complete with costumes she bought herself.
We’re proud of your hard work, Hailey!
Do you know a young girl who is interested in learning how to start her own kid business? Check out our entrepreneurial series, Girl-Preneur Power, for more info!
(And pssst….our Lip Balm Kit is a great place to start if you’re looking for an idea of something to sell!)