One of the most important things I think you can teach your children is self-reliance and entrepreneurship. Unfortunately these things aren’t really taught anymore in schools and parents don’t really teach their kids this. Much of modern education is basically about teaching children how to be good workers and not independent thinkers or entrepreneurs. So I’ve taken it upon myself to start working on this my kids. The way that I’ve been starting this is by having him sell lemonade at a lemonade stand and of course he is the one who buys all the supplies. He also will run the operation and interact with customers and provide them with whatever they need.
We started off by driving over to Target to buy supplies. We bought lemonade mix Styrofoam cups, plastic cups, napkins, drink mix and some other things that he would need for his lemonade stand. He took $20 of his own money and paid for the entire purchase. At which time I also got a target credit card, which I will most likely be adding them onto to establish credit for him.
After getting home we made up a sign that said,” Jack and Andy’s lemonade stand.” He colored in all the letters. While he was doing that I made up the lemonade. We took ice and put it in a bucket and then we took the lemonade sign and some cups outside. We put out all the displays, all the food and within about 10 minutes a woman pulled up. She congratulated Jack for being such an entrepreneur and gave him a five dollar bill and said,” Don’t worry about the change and keep up the good work.” After sitting out there for a while, some of the local kids showed up and were begging my son for some free lemonade he refused. They kept asking for more free samples and asked him why he wouldn’t give it to them. His response was “that his daddy told him that he shouldn’t give it away for free.”
Another 45 minutes went by before anything else happened. Another man showed up, he was one of the local workers there and he ordered two drinks and tipped Jack for his hard work with an additional dollar. Jack sat out there for 30 minutes, we sort of chatted about various things. He finally decided that it was time to close up shop. This meant that for about a little over an hour’s worth of work he made seven dollars. He had spent approximately $22 on supplies so 15 more dollars and he’ll recoup all of his initial investment and he will still have plenty of supplies left over making a tidy profit.
This experience definitely taught me a lot. The kids attention span is not very long, so I can only really sit out there for maybe an hour hour and a half max. Also I noticed that the board placement and advertisement is very important. Some of the people who passed by couldn’t see the sign very well.
At the rate that he was making money he would deftly recoup his costs very quickly and as I told him already if he starts making profits than we can take this profit so we can buy toys and other gifts for himself. I think that’s the part that really excites them.
Update: 2 days after the initial set up we were going to set up the stand again. Unfortunately we were going to go outside and sell lemonade however it rained all day. So hopefully tomorrow be a better day.