Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid

by Mikaila Ulmer

c.2020, G.P. Putnam $17.99 / higher in Canada 240 pages

Sometimes, a thousand ideas buzz around in your head.

You’re creative, and you like to invent things and come up with fun ideas. That might make you famous someday, and it might make you rich. And in “Bee Fearless” by Mikaila Ulmer, you’ll see how that’s possible now, even though you’re still a kid.

When she was just four years old, Mikaila Ulmer was stung by a bee. A few days later, it happened again but with a different bee. She cried, of course, because it hurt but her parents encouraged her to learn why those things happened. She discovered that bees are in serious trouble, and she became fierce about helping them.

At around that same time, Ulmer saw a flier for the Acton Children’s Business Fair that was being held near her Austin, Texas home. She told her mother that she wanted to be in the fair, and because it was five months away, she had plenty of time to decide what she wanted to sell. Kids in Austin then were participating in a city-wide Lemonade Day to learn about business and Ulmer saw an opportunity. She’d sell lemonade… and to help the bees, she’d sweeten the lemonade with honey!

At first, she made a lot of mistakes in her new business, but that was okay. The thing is that there’s so much to learn about running a business but the two most important things are that it should be fun and you should want to make a difference. After that, there are three steps to actually starting your business: identify a problem that you or someone else has, do your homework on the problem and a solution, and make sure you’re really passionate about the product.

Then, once you’ve found your wings and you’re ready to fly, remember these three words: Give (because it’s rewarding), Save (because it’s good for your future), and Spend (to reward yourself). Finally, work hard, and you can bee successful, too.

If you are an adult, you might be asking yourself why you would ever want to read a kids’ book like “Bee Fearless.” In truth, the reasons are many.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t just for grown-ups, and this book allows you to mindfully be a mentor to a kid with ideas. Mentorship is something that author, entrepreneur, and Shark Tank dealmaker Mikaila Ulmer advocates, and she urges readers to seek wisdom if they don’t know or understand something, which is great advice for any age. For the adult entrepreneur, this book could also serve as a business primer because its kid-friendly simplicity doesn’t diminish a reader. And if you’re hoping your child might follow parental footsteps into the family business, there are plenty of inspirational early lessons available here.

Be aware that though Ulmer was just four years old when she was stung by a bee and bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, this book is really best for 10-to-16-year-olds and grown-ups who want something different. Look for “Bee Fearless,” because missing it might kinda sting.