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Sun Yong Kim-Manzolini Speaks on Overcoming Personal Insecurities and Marital Abuse

Written in Partnership with Luke Lintz

It is often said that where there is a will, there’s already a way. One of the hallmarks of successful people is that they push forward through personal handicaps and difficulties. Sun Yong Kim-Manzolini, co-founder and CEO of Lush enterprises, has seen her share of troubles in her journey to where she is today.

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Even though Sun Yong can boast of earning seven figures from her business in any given year and can afford to go on expensive vacations traveling in first class, that’s not quite how the story began.

It was a long way up the stairs for Sun Yong. From living as an orphan in her home country, Korea, to being adopted by her American parents at the age of 14 and brought to start a new life in the US, Sun Yong is an embodiment of resilience, tenacity, travails, and triumph. She has gone through domestic, physical, and sexual abuse at various times in her life.

Sun Yong admitted she had struggled as a child. She lived for many years feeling insecure and worrying about what the other kids in the orphanage thought of her because she had a type of physical defect in her lip that made her very self-conscious. She was born with a cleft in her lips, what she described as a hair lip. According to her, that bit of anomaly on her face was a big blow to her self-confidence.

“I was just born with a minor hair- lip,” she says, “and so I had a big issue with the self-confidence.”

Aside from having the condition with her lips, Sun Yong struggled to walk as a child. She never walked properly till she was 6 or 7 years old, after taking up to 3 years to learn. Of course, most other kids growing up with her in the orphanage had one form of physical handicap.

But the big issue for Sun Yong was her lips. It stuck out like a sore thumb when she tried to laugh or smile. Therefore, she never looked in the mirror while growing up in the orphanage. Although they didn’t have any mirrors in those days, the primary reason Sun Yong never bothered with a mirror was that the other kids made fun of her, and she was afraid to see how her lips looked as well.

Eventually, though, she muscled up the determination to look in the glass of a building near her orphanage to see what made the other children laugh at her. The image she saw was startling, and she understood for the first time why the other kids acted the way they did around her, even though she was around 13 years old.

“I was shocked,” she admits. “Now I understand why kids made fun of me.”

Then the next phase of her life came, and Sun Yong Kim-Manzolini found herself in America by a stroke of fate. But coming from a background of insecurity and tragedy, Sun Yong says she was reluctant to trust people. After all, she thought that if her birth family could abandon her, she couldn’t realistically expect love from anyone else.

When she would get into relationships and marriage many years later, Sun Yong had to cope with physical and mental abuse from her partners. This led to the crash of her first marriage, a union that had lasted for 14 years.

After retiring from a rewarding career in nursing, Sun Yong devoted her time to learning options trading. She never wanted to be a liability to her kids or society, so she put a lot of time and resources into learning how options trading worked.

 Indeed, Sun Yong was never someone to accept defeat. She leaped and did everything she could to rewrite the script of her life and change the trajectory of her destiny. And she did just that. Today, Sun Yong Kim-Manzolini not only runs a successful business in options trading, but she is also empowering many others with the skills they require to succeed in business. 

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