When Life Hands You an Entrepreneurial Child…
“Mom, can we please have a lemonade stand? Pleeeeeeeeease?” Marissa begged.
“Sweetie, what are you going to do with the money? People might be more likely to buy from you if they know their money is going to a good cause.”
“We’ll donate the money to an animal shelter!”
That seemed reasonable to me, so I shot off an email to our property manager:“My daughter wants to have a lemonade stand and I’m wondering if that’s allowed and where.”
Within minutes I got a response:“I know in the past we’ve seen lemonade stands. Usually the Board doesn’t make an issue since it’s kids.”
Marissa and Dalia squealed with delight. I suggested we also sell some cookies to go along with the lemonade.
Over the next few days, I bought the lemons and the cookie mix. Marissa invited a friend to sleep over and to help out.
The night before the sale, the girls got to work making signs, juicing, and baking.
The following morning, they woke up full of excitement and anticipation. They wanted to set up right away, but I encouraged them to wait until the neighbors woke up 😉
After setting up outside, it took a while before their first customer arrived. She drove up to the driveway, rolled down her window, and ordered one cup of lemonade.
“That’ll be 50 cents,” Marissa said proudly.
The woman handed her $2. Marissa started to figure out her change, when the woman said she could keep it. The look on Marissa’s face was priceless: a combination of surprise, disbelief, and delight. The girls shouted “Thank you! Thank you!” as she drove away.
Over the next hour, several customers came by. A brother and sister even returned three times and bought a total of eight cookies. The girls had fun meeting new neighbors, counting money, and practicing their sales skills.
At one point, they whined and complained that it was too hot outside and business had slowed way down. They wanted to call it quits and go inside, but we were expecting a friend of mine to show up, so I encouraged them to keep going.
My friend finally arrived and I got to hold this little guy while his mom indulged in the cookies and lemonade.
In the end, the girls raised $19.50 for the animal shelter. They learned about preparation, patience, advertising, customer service, finances, endurance, and generosity.
I learned that kids are capable of taking on much more responsibility than we usually give them credit for. And I learned that allowing them to be more independent and putting their own ideas into action can allow them to develop a variety of skills and motivate them from the inside out.
To get a downloadable recipe for our mouth-watering, thirst-quenching lemonade, click here.
In the comments, tell about a time you let your kids take on a project of their own and share the results.
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