One day as I’m coming home, I pull into the entrance to my neighborhood and I see this little maybe 11,12, 13 year old kid standing there. He has a little table set up in front of him and a red cooler on the ground next to him. On top of his table, there are a bag of fresh lemons, one of those big refrigerator dispensers of Poland Spring water, a big 5 pound bag of sugar and a stack of plastic cups. In front of his table he has this huge beautifully designed signed that says “Fresh Lemonade”. So I drive closer to the kid and as I drive closer to the kid he’s yelling “Lemonade, Lemonade Get your ice-cold lemonade here”. This kid sounded just like the lemonade guys at the fair or just like the beer or peanut guys at professional baseball games. I’m immediately thoroughly impressed by the kid, not just because of how professional he is. I am impressed by the kid because its summertime and at a time when most kids are on vacation and either in the house watching TV or playing video games, this little kid was out here on a mission. I pull up next to the kid and I ask him how much did he want for a cup. He said “.75 cents a cup or 2 cups for $1”. I told him I didn’t have a dollar on me but let me go home and drop off my bags and I will be right out to buy some. I wondered how many people told him the same thing. How many people told him yeah yeah yeah kid, ill buy some when I come back and never came back or did come back and drove right past him. I’m sure the kid has heard that at least 10 times that day. So when I said it I expected the kid to have a look of disappointment on his face. But, I told the kid I would be right back and he said ok as though he really didn’t care if I came back or not. He seemed to just know that I wasn’t the only one who could buy his lemonade. As I drove past the kid I could hear him yell again “Lemonade, Lemonade get your ice-cold lemonade here”. I go inside of my house and drop my bags off I go in and grab a $20 bill off my dresser. I go back downstairs get in my car and pull up next to the kid and I asked him why he isn’t home playing video games or watching TV like the other kids. I asked him what made him decide to do this. With all of the enthusiasm and excitement this kid could muster he told me “2 weeks ago one of my friends made $40 standing in this same exact spot” he said “I’m gonna stand in this same exact spot until I make at least $40 too”. I asked him how much he made so far and he told me he made about $22. I’m impressed and thrilled by this kid so I gave the kid the $20 bill I told him to keep the change. I told him I was extremely proud of him and I told him to keep at it. When the kid told me that his goal was $40, I’m thinking ok he met his goal and now the lil fella would pack up his little stand and go on home and watch cartoons or something. Instead, this kid takes the $20, puts it in his little cash register (Little plastic cup on the table) thanked me a few times and went right back to business. I pulled of to and as I pulled off I could hear the little kid yell “Lemonade, Lemonade Get your ice-cold lemonade here”. As I drive up the street, I look in my rear view mirror and I see 3 cars fly right past the kid and his lemonade stand and not give that kid or his lemonade a second thought. I watched 2 or 3 people walk past him and not even say hello to the kid. The kid could care less.
Being that I am in and have been in sales I thought about this kid for weeks. There were endless life/business lessons that we could all have learned from this little kid.
If you are in sales or starting a business or if you have decided to go back to school or accomplish anything in life, here are a few lessons that I thought we could all learn from this kid.
1) LOSE YOUR FEAR OF REJECTION
I know for a fact this kid got way more rejections that day than he did sales. Some people im sure told him “nah kid, no thanks, I’m on a diet no sugar for me”. Some people told him “No thanks, I got lemonade at home” Some people flat out told him “NO” and some people just drove or walked right past the kid and ignored him completely. But this kid wasn’t focused on those who DIDNT want lemonade. He wasn’t focused on those who weren’t interested. Instead of dwelling on those who didn’t want lemonade he focused all of his energy on doing the best he could to attract and serve those who ACTUALLY WANTED his lemonade. The few who wanted his lemonade were more important to him than the many who didn’t want it. Not everyone will want or need what you have, but some will. You are there for those who do!
2) DONT HARBOR ANY FEELINGS OF BITTERNESS, ANGER OR RESENTMENT
I wondered how many that day told that kid “Give me 5 minutes and I will be right back” and never showed up. I wondered if the kid ever got excited thinking about all the money he was going to get when these people “Came right back” and if he was disappointed and mad and angry and bitter when they never showed up. if he was you certainly couldn’t see it on his face or hear it in his voice. He treated every new customer like they were his first and only. He never got angry or bitter or negative he let those who lied to him, fronted on him go and he kept selling. How many of us during our process of building something, had people tell us “Yeah Yeah, I can help you, I’m gonna do this for you I’m gonna do that for you, I can do this, I can do that, I know this person I know that person” and when it comes time to help they are nowhere to be found. Wont answer your calls, wont respond to your texts and we get angry, bitter or resentful. DON’T worry about them, stay with it and eventually you will attract and come across individuals who will really support and help you. STAY FOCUSED AND STAY POSITIVE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
3) HAVE SPECIFIC GOALS
This kid wasn’t out there randomly or haphazardly just saying “Well hopefully I can sell as much lemonade as possible or make as much money as possible”. That kid had a hard number or goal of $40 that he was striving for and he was determined not to leave that spot until he hit it. Having a specific goal is what enabled him to endure the rejection and endure the fake supporters. Because he focused on those who could help him achieve his goals and didn’t have time to even think about those who couldn’t or wouldn’t or didn’t. His focus on his goal and his determination to meet his goal wouldn’t allow him to be sidetracked by anything else. He focused on his goal and he actually exceeded it.
4) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH “POSITIVE AND SUCCESSFUL DOERS” WHO WILL ENCOURAGE YOU TO “DO” IT TOO.
This kid said the reason he was out there selling lemonade was because he had a friend who DID what he was trying to do. He said if she could DO it, then he knew that he COULD DO IT TOO. He knew that he wanted to succeed so he simply found out what those who have succeeded before him did and then he did it. Imagine if his friend would have told him that she joined a gang or started selling drugs and she made money doing it. It’s quite possible that instead of lemonade he might have ended up in a gang or selling drugs too. The kid was associated with a positive successful entrepreneurial mind, that set an example for him of what was possible for him. He had clear evidence in his face of the possibilities of success and it gave him the confidence to know that HE COULD DO IT TO. The confidence enabled him to GO DO IT TOO.
When that kid went home that night and told his friend that he made more than the $40 that she made, if he told the story about me giving him the $20 if his friend was like most people she probably said “Oh you just got lucky”. I have learned that LUCK IS WHEN PREPARATION MEETS OPPORTUNITY! I have learned that THE HARDER YOU WORK, THE LUCKIER YOU GET! If that kid was at home or decided to “Take a break” or if he was at home watching cartoons or playing video games or if he was at home procrastinating saying “Well I’m just going to spend today designing my sign today or perfecting my recipe and I will wait until tomorrow to actually sell the lemonade. If that kid had been doing anything other than out there selling his lemonade at the time I drove up, we would have missed each other. He was ONLY LUCKY BECAUSE HE WAS OUT THERE, HE WAS PREPARED AND HE WAS IN THE GAME!
6) DONT BE SCARED TO FAIL
There are absolutely no guarantees that because you are a cute little kid selling lemonade that people are going to buy it from you. He wasn’t the only lemonade stand in town. We are in a tough economy. He is going up against the big guys like Country Time, Newman’s Own , Minute Maid etc. They got pink lemonade and raspberry and peach flavored lemonade . With sugar concerns and health consciousness on the rise many a little kid lemonade stand folds and goes under everyday. There is more evidence or more reasons for this kid to stay home and not even try. All of the evidence says kid you’re gonna fail, don’t even try. But, evidence be damned! This kid was prepared, he believed, he set a goal and he hit it. PLEASE DO NOT BE SCARED TO FAIL!
I can go on and on about this little kid, but I think you get the point. As you think about your dreams and plans and goals. There will be obstacles, roadblocks, disappointments and setbacks etc. BUT NONE GREAT ENOUGH TO STOP YOU FROM ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS OR TURNING YOUR DREAMS TO REALITY! So when it gets tough, when it gets difficult, when you think about giving up, DONT! Just keep thinking and shouting out in your mind “LEMONADE, LEMONADE, GET YOUR ICE-COLD LEMONADE” AND KEEP GOING!
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
THE WORLD IS YOURS!