When I was a little girl, I found my parents’ old card table in the garage and dragged it arduously down our long driveway. I mixed up a big batch of Country Time Lemonade, cracked some ice out of the trays and opened my first business. We lived in a fairly rural area, and the people who drove down our street all lived there or were lost. As each car approached, my excitement for a sale would grow. I filled a mason jar with quarters from my customers and I was hooked! I was a baby entrepreneur.
I knew many kids who had paper routes, sold cookies door to door, had chocolate bars or wrapping paper they sold for school. They too were baby entrepreneurs.
The interesting part of this is that they are the same kids who grew to become adult entrepreneurs. I would challenge you to ask your friends who own their own successful businesses if they had a lemonade stand, most will tell you yes.
The skills that the baby entrepreneurs were learning selling lemonade:
1.) No one is going to hold you accountable to lug the card table to the street or make the lemonade
2.) You’re in charge, you don’t have a boss. You can get the other neighborhood kids to help and be bossed around by you.
3.) You manage your own time. You can sell it all day or go play.
4.) You can control what you make. You can shut down the lemonade stand when you have made enough money to buy some candy or you can sit out there longer.
5.) You’re in charge of your own marketing of the lemonade: Signs, waving at cars, smiling, or going door to door with flyers. Or you can get the neighborhood kids to do it for you and begin leveraging your time.
6.) Not every car is going to stop and buy. Some may act too busy or not even look your direction.
7.) It may take a while, a long while, for a buyer to show up. Some days it may rain or be hot outside.
8.) Some days you will not sell lemonade.
9.) Some people will not like your lemonade and complain (like your brother or other family members)
10.) You can improve what you sell. You can add discounts, increase you price by adding cookies, do BOGO’s, or promote frequent lemonade buyer cards.
These baby entrepreneurs, sitting by the side of the road are developing a skill set that will build the foundation for their entrepreneurial futures.
The baby entrepreneurs learned a resiliency about business that becomes invaluable as an adult. I am now in the Network Marketing Industry. In this type of business model you “own” your own business and distribute goods or services. I find people become frustrated because so few people who join their businesses are successful. In fact the failure rate is astonishing in the industry, with over 50% failing within the first year
Why is that? Because that 50% did not own lemonade stands. They have not owned their own business or been in commission only sales before. They probably have been hourly or salaried workers in their lifetimes and have not built the skill set the baby entrepreneurs were learning curbside. It’s about a skill set and a mind-set that entrepreneurs must develop to become successful. That is the missing link.
If you’re in NM and are looking to find other people who might be interested in joining your business. Think about who is already business owner or been in commission only sales.
Who do you know that had a lemonade stand as a kid?