Donatos owner and WKU alumnus talks about hard work on road to success

John Singleton

Success doesn’t always equal making a lot of money. Instead, it looks like hard work.

That’s what 24-year-old Spence Sheldon, owner of Donatos Pizza, told his audience at Grise Hall Tuesday while talking about his journey to success in entrepreneurship.

Sheldon gave advice to young business majors and offered his own personal tips, with a question and answer session following the lecture.

The lecture was titled, “Rolling in the Dough,” which Sheldon joked was ironic because he only had $2,179 in his checking account at that moment.

Before attending WKU, Sheldon said he played basketball for Warren Central High School for two years before shattering his ankle during his junior year. He said he became interested in business after discovering he wanted to be his own boss and drive down his own path.

After a year of rehab, Sheldon came to WKU with a basketball scholarship and played for three years as a Hilltopper while studying business and delivering pizzas on the side.

Sheldon is part of a family of five and his parents owned a business together. He said he has three brothers and a sister. He said all of his siblings had their lives basically figured out while he was just delivering pizzas.

Sheldon said he realized later in college that he was very adequate in working in the food industry it was something he wanted to pursue. He started to think about the term “success” and the true definition.

“Everyone’s definition of success is different,” Sheldon said. “It’s about your mom, your dad; it’s not just about you, it’s about those who are closest to you and how you can make their lives better. It’s respect from those whom you love most.”

Reporter John Singleton can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]