Many people paid $0.50 for their cup of lemonade, and remarked on how cute my kids and their friends were for selling lemonade during Babson College’s “Lemonade Day Boston” last Sunday.
But for my son, this was serious business.
After all, he put his hard earned money on the line.
You see, last year I funded my kids’ lemonade stand and let them keep all the money – but then I wondered to myself:
“What kind of lesson am I really teaching them?”
So this year, I took a different approach.
Before we went to the store, I sat my 6-year old son, Branson, down and said:
“I’d like you to pay attention because I’m going to give you a very important choice to make.
Daddy will go to the store, buy the lemonade with Daddy’s money, and pay you $4.00 to work the lemonade stand. But it’s my business and I get to keep all the money at the end…
Or you can go to the store with Daddy, you buy the lemonade with your money… and you keep all the money you make at the end of the day because it’s your business.
What do you want to do?”
Branson happily chose to own his own business.
So we drove to the store and he used the money he earned from his prior lemonade stands, his $2.00 a week allowance for feeding the dog, and his birthday money to purchase the necessary supplies.
It cost a whopping $25 for everything!
That’s a big cash outlay for a Lemonade stand!
But he also wanted upsells (a man after his dad’s heart!) …like a case of water, which cost $3.99, and premium lemonade (not the powdered junk).
Did it pay off?
He grossed $56 dollars for a $31 profit in only two hours!
Sure, because Branson, Sage, and their friends are so young, even if I had to gorge myself in lemonade, I was going to ensure they broke even… but fortunately, they attracted a bunch of happy customers on their own 😉
At the end of the day, both he and Sage exclaimed:
“Oh my gosh! I can’t believe how rich we are!
We can’t even fit all our money into our wallets!”
You see, the reason I gave my kids a choice is because a couple years back, I visited Michael Holthouse and Julie Eberly during “Lemonade Day Houston.”
During this event, I came across children whose lives were utterly transformed by the simple act of selling lemonade.
In fact, there was one girl who was operating a lemonade stand that said:
“This is my 3rd year running a lemonade stand. When I was a kid, my mom gave me up for adoption. It wasn’t because she didn’t love me – it was because she said she couldn’t afford me.
When I started my first lemonade stand, I realized I could make money! In fact, I think I even made more money faster than my mom ever did!
Then I realized, I will never have to do what my mom had to do to me because I can make my own money! I’ll never have to give away my kids!
So every year, I make a bigger and better lemonade stand, and every year I remind myself and how lucky I am to have figured out that I can do it myself.”
And I met a 12-year-old blind girl who said:
“All my life, I never thought I’d be able to do anything on my own. Then one day, someone asked me if I wanted to run a lemonade stand. With the help of some friends, I decided I’d do it and now look at me!
I’m a 12-year old blind girl accomplishing more with my life than many adults do!
And you know what? I know I can do more! I figure I’m going to go to school and find a way to be a lawyer! I can do it, you know!”
This is exactly what happens when you empower people.
Furthermore, they’re learning the essentials of creating a successful business:
– Find a market of eager customers
– Give them what they want
– Better marketing = better results
– Invite them back for more
And it doesn’t matter if they go off and start a consulting company, metal fabrication company, telecom business, photography, personal coaching, retail business, or become the next tech superstar – the principles of creating a successful business are the same.
They could have had the best lemonade and the cheapest price – but if they didn’t market themselves effectively, they’d be going to bat without a pitcher.
Marketing drives sales and awareness.
In your corner,
P.S. A special thank you to Michael Holthouse and LemonadeDay.org – thousands of kids around the country will see possibility and potential where others see impossibility!