Yesterday, while driving home from work, I saw 4 young girls around the age of 12 operating a cookie and lemonade stand with a sign. Part of me wanted to just keep driving, but I admire anyone out there trying to share a product, service, or idea, so I stopped my car and talked to them. They were very upbeat, but I didn’t have any cash on hand to buy their product. I told them to try dancing, waving there sign, and to try and learn what made people stop and then wished them well and went on my way.
As I drove off, something didn’t feel right. These four young girls were outside trying an idea and I just drove off. They even gave me a couple free cookies just for stopping by. I had my two young daughters and two nieces in the car with me and decided that we should get some cash and go back. So I found a supermarket, bought some chips and got $20 cash back and we drove back to where they were and fortunately, they were still there.
I pulled up and got out along with my daughters and nieces. I gave them the full $20 and said we’d like to buy everything they had left. This was a couple cups of lemonade and about 5 cookies to pass around to my daughters and nieces. We hung out for about 20 minutes with them talking about their lemonade stand and I gave additional words of encouragement and advice. I told them they are entrepreneurs. They didn’t know what that meant so I told them an entrepreneur is someone who tries new things to help other people. I also told them the following:
- Keep trying – you will learn every day you keep trying.
- Don’t give up – you will stop learning if you give up.
- Some days will be good – you will celebrate success.
- Some days will suck – things will go wrong – don’t let it stop you.
- It takes courage to be an entrepreneur and not give up – it separates you from “the crowd”.
I feel good about giving them $20 – much more than the cost of the rest of their supplies. They packed up after we left as they had no more lemonade and cookies to hand out. I’ve been trying to find a place go give money and this felt right to me, more so than any donation I’ve made elsewhere in the past. My hope is that the seed planted through this visit with these young girls will stick in their mind and that throughout their lives, they will feel encouraged to continue to try out new ideas and services to better the world we live in.
It really is about that to me – that as people, we have the chance to use our gifts to create things that make life better. The more people do this, the faster and better things will become. I wish these girls well and perhaps again in the future, I will see them and be able to offer further encouraging words and advice.
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