Rising Through Resilience: “Developing resilience requires positive-thinking, self-awareness, challenge, networking, and goal setting” with Dr. Asli Samanci

Building resilience takes time, and it cannot happen overnight. It requires some understanding, commitment, and energy to accomplish. In my opinion, becoming more resilient needs positive-thinking, self-awareness, challenge, networking, and goal setting.

In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful business leaders. Resilience is one characteristic that many successful leaders share in common, and in many cases it is the most important trait necessary to survive and thrive in today’s complex market. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Asli Samanci.

Dr. Asli Tanugur Samanci is the CEO and Founder of BEE & YOU, an innovative provider of natural BEE products.

A food scientist committed to creating natural and healthy products for the educated consumer, Dr. Samanci is a pioneer to combine science and nature for safer, more effective natural bee products. She created a business modal to contract the beekeepers to prevent bees from becoming extinct. This also allowed her to create and patent the Propolis in its healthiest, most natural and safe form. Her ultimate goal is to make Propolis a consistent product harvested from all the beehives available in the world and introduce the natural healing power of Anatolian Propolis to the world.

BEE & YOU products (Royal Jelly, Propolis, Pure Raw Honey) are antiviral, antibacterial and they are natural energy boosters. They are effective in fighting allergy symptoms naturally and they support the immune system. They are 100% natural; Gluten Free; Non-GMO; Pesticide Free; Free from additives & colorants & preservatives. Bee and you products have innovative taste options for kids and adults.

Thank you” so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I am a Food Engineer, and I graduated from the Food Engineering Department of Istanbul Technical University in 1996. Later, I worked as an R&D and quality director at one of the leading companies of the honey business for 13 years. In the meantime, I completed a master’s degree in the area of bee products at the Food Engineering Department of Istanbul Technical University. I directed and coordinated many national and international projects. Some of those projects were granted achievement awards by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, and Eurowards Turkey. My entire work and research experience have been all about the bees and their valuable products since graduation.

When I began learning more about beekeeping and their valuable products, I understood that I made the right choice. Once you become close to the world of bees, you admire how they live, as each action is a purposeful activity. As much as I learned about their fascinating harmony in a hive to survive, I’ve become more interested in beekeeping. Consequently, I devoted myself to doing research and adding value to bee products. In my research thesis, I aimed to evaluate the best methods to detect the origin of honey. It is very crucial to understand the authenticity of honey as it is one of the ten most adulterated products in all over the world. My research was the first study in identifying the authenticity of Turkish mono and poly-flora honey.

When I was working as an R&D and Quality Director, I struggled with a significant problem. I had a 5-year-old son who occasionally developed a fever condition. For that, doctors prescribed antibiotics each time this happened, causing him developing allergies for antibiotics. I desperately knocked on the door of many doctors to find a solution to this problem. After a long search, a physician told me that the only cure was to improve his immune system. So I started looking for natural ways of strengthening his immune system. Then I came across propolis and royal jelly in numerous literature I browsed. At that moment, I thought it was the most promising chance for my son’s health. While I was so happy with the idea that my son would recover, I had no time to waste to get pure propolis. Since I have been in the honey industry for many years, I could contact some honey producers, and I asked them to produce propolis. They used to throw propolis away. Because propolis is not edible in its raw form, and it has to go through extraction for human consumption. So I developed an extraction process in the lab, and I started giving this propolis extract to my son. The result was amazing. I was giving him the propolis extract alone and also as a mixture with honey and royal jelly every day. As a result, my son had not become sick for months. Based on this experience, I decided to produce propolis as a natural immune enhancer for all the children and mothers who had similar problems.

In the beginning, I convinced Taylan Samanci (Agricultural Engineer), who is my husband and my academic adviser Prof. Dr. Dilek Boyacioglu (Food Scientist), to start our business. So, we started producing propolis and also other bee products for the first time in Anatolia in 2013 at Istanbul Technical University Technology Development Area. The extraction process that I developed for propolis won a prestigious award for innovation from Research Institution. Eventually, I could build up the first plant for propolis extracts in Anatolia. I am so proud that flavonoid and antioxidant contents of propolis extract are at least three times higher than any other competitors’ brands in the market.

This is the short story of my company producing these unique products worldwide with our brands BEE&YOU and BEE’O, serving those who suffer health problems and want to improve their immunity in natural ways.

Can you share with us the most exciting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I’m a technical professional. Years later, I became an entrepreneur with all that technical background. I quickly realized that I should learn more about the sales and marketing side of the business. So, after establishing my company, I had to obtain an MBA degree and learn more detail about running a business. After I became an entrepreneur, I also realized that digital marketing is crucial when growing your business. Every information I discovered later had a cost. If I knew these things at the beginning of this journey, I would be a more planned and fast mover. But I am so happy that I studied business administration degree in spite of my busy schedule.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Well, our products target to make people healthy. After consumers used our products, they immediately shared their observations and experience on their health as feedback, which was very encouraging for me. I knew customers having infertility problems have had a child after using our products. Similarly, parents with children having appetite problems told me that even their kids began eating foods that they did not consume before.

We produce those valuable products correctly and deliver it to the consumer in its most natural form. Our consumers feel this difference when they consume these products and send us messages of thanks and gratitude. While doing all these things, being honest and sincere is also very important. While building our brand, we take honesty and sincerity as a principle besides quality. We are in communication with our consumers all the time. We answer the questions from them with great care, quickly and clearly. We value their opinions. Since we are a company with a scientific background, we inform them about scientific issues. That’s why we managed to become a family. I believe this is behind our success.

I want to share a woman’s cancer story. In those days, she was undergoing cancer treatment. After she reached me, she decided to consume propolis as a supplement. Meantime, her physician recommended doing the surgery. Six months after she began to consume propolis regularly, she gave me the good news. She said that surgery was not necessary anymore. Tumour became smaller. From that day on we became good friends. Based on this experience, I believe that it is priceless to create such a difference in people’s lives.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I feel so lucky to start this journey with Mr. Taylan Samanci, who is an Agricultural Engineer and my husband and also my academic advisor, Prof. Dr. Dilek Boyacioglu. I am so proud of my business partners that we achieved this success together. I knew I wouldn’t have the courage to start this journey without them, so I do appreciate their contribution very much.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

I can describe resilience as being cool when dealing with problems and bouncing back from the troubles. I believe that resilient people have a more positive vision, and they can cope with stress more effectively.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

The first person that comes to my mind is, definitely, Oprah Winfrey! Looking at her early career, I understand that she never gives up, although she was told to be unfit for television news at the beginning. However, she moved on and became the best-paid female in the entertainment industry. She demonstrated to the world that achievement is possible with love, determination, and hard work. And, she is a dreamer. After decades of her famous show, she quit and started her own broadcasting network as the next episode of her life.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

At the beginning of this journey, I was somewhat discouraged. Many people said that trade is a different and challenging game, and my qualifications might not be enough to succeed. Then, some criticized my decision to leave a corporate life on a fixed salary. But I continued to advance in line with my dream. Inevitably, being an entrepreneur creates some financial and moral dilemmas. Still, they never scared me, and I never gave up even when I was in difficulty.

I believe that knowledge is essential when growing your business. I overcome most of the problems with the help of my network based on my expertise in the beekeeping area. Establishing a successful business depends on working hard and, sometimes, taking risks. I am sure that there is no reason for someone not to be successful under those conditions.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

In the beginning, even small obstacles seemed to be big problems for me, and I was somewhat discouraged. Then I realized later that they were just common problems in the journey of entrepreneurship. Well, of course, I became tired and even exhausted from dealing with those problems. But I followed up my dream to come true; I developed myself and worked hard, and I never gave up my goal!

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

I love my job, beekeeping. The bees and their medicinal products from their unique world are exceptional for me because they helped my son recover. The most valuable part of my job is to provide a healing option to people. Thousands of encouraging messages I receive from our customers receiving medical treatments and people with increased life comfort. I love what I do with every person we touched.

I firmly believe that self-confidence and a great desire to achieve the goals in spite of the risks contributed to building my resilience. All we need is to be aware of what we know while working hard.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

Building resilience takes time, and it cannot happen overnight. It requires some understanding, commitment, and energy to accomplish. In my opinion, becoming more resilient needs positive-thinking, self-awareness, challenge, networking, and goal setting.

I always hope for the best. As a positive-thinking person, I tried to find a way to fight with the immune disorder of my little son in spite of my frustrations. Bee products became my biggest hope to cure my son years ago. Besides, I was totally confident in my experience and knowledge of those awesome products of nature. I knew that I could achieve to find a solution through my skills and expertise developed over the years.

On the other hand, I knew propolis isn’t edible in its original form; it is supposed to go through an extraction process. It was challenging for me to develop the most suitable method without losing any health benefits. Last but not least, networking is vital to building a business in the bee products sector. I needed a network of beekeepers to reach out to good quality propolis. I was fortunate to develop such a network over the years. My success story got spread around initially among my friends and family and then to their friends and so on. Then, I set a goal to help people experiencing similar health problems and seeking help from natural and healthy solutions. I saw that there was a vast gap for such bee products in the market. To make those products available to others, who were not as lucky as I was, I aimed to build a team depth-in knowledge in areas of beekeeping and functional food science with a research background. I am so thankful that I could find a way to help people and contribute to their life quality with those valuable bee products.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The most important movement is saving the bees and contributing to sustainable agricultural practices. The bees play a critical role in pollination as they provide about 80% of the pollination of plants. Pollination means a lot for plants, animals, agricultural production, and living things. It is so simple; when bees are not alive, then there will be no life. The bee population is vital for the natural cycle of life.

We contribute to the development of beekeeping in the world with our practices and research studies in the field. That is the basis of our “Contracted Beekeeping” business model. The most significant benefit of this model is that it enables us to apply the “Fair Trade” principles. So that we can contribute to the development and sustainability of beekeeping with an environment-friendly model. We commit buying the harvested products of beekeepers and encourage them to produce bee products other than honey while guaranteeing a regular income. We ensure the purchase of their products under this contract. Thus, our beekeepers can focus only on applying proper beekeeping practices, and they can improve their work without any worries about how and where to sell their products. Also, each time we sell a product, 10¢ goes directly to beekeepers. This fund returns to our beekeepers to supply beekeeping equipment and materials.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

I admire Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful women in the world. She is a journalist, talk show host, and actress. She is doing what she does best, and she runs after her dreams.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can follow me on social media via @propolisexpert and @beeandyounatural. Also, I want to thank you for your interest and support for women entrepreneurship, Anatolian propolis, and beekeeping. You can find our products via www.beeandyou.com.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Rising Through Resilience: “Developing resilience requires positive-thinking, self-awareness… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Recommended Posts