lessons from the lemonade stand and big refrigerator boxes

Don't find fault, find a remedy. Henry FordYesterday I relearned a lesson from my children that I want to share with you.

Lemonade Stands.

My daughter and her friends sat on our neighborhood corner, with their neon pink signs, homemade lemonade and danced and sang and encouraged everything that went by (and within hearing distance) to come over and try their lemonade.

They were nonplussed by the number of cars that drove by without pausing or the number that slowed down and kept driving.

I know, they have a lot going for them… they’re kids.  You would think that it would give them the advantage, because normally adults enjoy encouraging children in their financial endeavors (i.e. as evidenced by the unending fundraisers at school).  We look at things like this personally, w think it’s more about the child and less about the money it is costing us to buy the lemonade.

A child doesn’t view the lemonade stand as an extension of themselves, or their worth, but rather they simply see a table with a product. They simply do not accept or allow any possibility of a negative implication from the the person that didn’t stop, because they understand… that consumer didn’t want the product.

For the child, this lemonade stand has never been about them… it has always been about the lemonade.  They happily accept that not everyone wants, needs or is interested in lemonade and they move on to the next potential customer, with a song, a dance and joy.

As it turns out, my kids make a really great lemonade from lemon juice, sugar and spring water.  They usually have a few regular customers and on really hot days, repeat customers.  Their product is great.  Their packaging average… but their marketing is outstanding.

The girls draw attention to themselves and their product as they dance and sing their lemonade song all afternoon.  At the end of the day, their hard labor is split- up and they usually come away with about $15.00 each. (Yesterday was three girls, and they all got $10.00)  At 50 cents a cup, that’s no laughing matter.  Of course, there are always the generous types that pay well over the asking price in their effort to encourage the young entrepreneurs.

What is the lesson?

No one knows… what they don’t know.

If you have a really great product, but can’t seem to find anyone to buy it, you need to “put out the table, and start doing the song and dance to draw attention” 

AND

You are not your product.

That is the most important bit…  when people pass on what you have to offer, make sure you understands IT’S NOT PERSONAL.   This is a lemonade stand, there will be plenty more people walking by or driving by.  Just keep singing and dancing and someone is going to stop in for sip.

BIG BOXES

We’ve had 4 really huge refrigerator size boxes in the house waiting for a nice dry summer day that the kids could go outside and create, “Box City”.  The kids took markers and decorated each one, then we cut in windows.  After a while of pretending to be in houses they started just simply rolling each other around in the boxes.

There was always someone on the lookout for a potential lemonade customers and as soon as the rumble of a distant car was heard they scrambled back to the table, but I’m writing about the boxes for two reasons.

First: They made the decision to have fun.  They decided to have fun in-between the work.  They decided that in addition to being one thing… the lemonade sales-person, they would also be another thing… the kid having fun.  They did not see a conflict of interest in fact, they knew their job, they were doing their job and they were filling in the empty time with joy.  

Second, the boxes were not computers, tablets, iphones, or any other electrical device that kids today seem to believe is required in order for them to have fun. 

They laughed, they were challenged, they played with each other… they weren’t on a manufactured team, they chose teams.  They weren’t dropped off for a manufactured 2 hours of fun, this fun just popped up and happened.  Spontaneous fun with friends.

Our lesson from big boxes is obvious, fun is where we look for it. Joy is where we put it.  We are completely and totally in control of where we look for things.  Things like success, love, fun, fulfillment and joy. 

If you are looking for any of those things and you haven’t found them… then ask yourself “Where am I looking”. It’s like looking for your lost keys,  if you have checked the kitchen table, and they aren’t there, then why would you continue to check the kitchen table.  I understand, you go there because once, you remember putting your keys there… but you check, the keys aren’t there now.  It’s time to pause… take a deep breath… and consider other possibilities.

Have a great day!

 

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