Lemonade Day Stand – 2014
May 7 2014

lemonade-day-2014We participated in Lemonade Day again this year on May 4, 2014 (May the 4th be with you).  It was so much fun and a great entrepreneurial lesson for the kids last year (see Lemonade Day Austin – May 5, 2013 – Entrepreneurial Kids), that we did it again at the same location.  The three girls made over $165 in profits this year compared to $91 last year.  We changed our product mix and provided coffee, muffins, and lemonade versus lemonade, sport bars, and muffins last year.  Since we were at the Rookie Triathlon, there were already sponsors that were providing free Power Bars!

My son did it again with two of his friends at the same location they did last year.  I haven’t heard the results yet, but they think they made a good profit as well.

The only downside of doing the stand at a triathlon is having to get up at 4:30 a.m. in order to be there by 5:30 a.m. (hence a photo of the stand in the dark) to get set up before the race started!  A true entrepreneurial experience: odd hours, lots of work, and you have to wait until the end of the day to see if you actually made any money. I’m guessing more money is made in some simple lemonade stands than in many businesses who attempt to get up and make lemonade every day…even when there is a shortage of lemons, or currently limes (The lime panic of 2014).  See also The Lime Shortage: Still Messing With Your Margarita.

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Lemonade Day Austin – May 5, 2013 – Entrepreneurial Kids
May 5 2013

Every year there is a nationwide effort to encourage kids to think like entrepreneurs called Lemonade Day.  This year it was held in Austin on May 5 (cinco de Mayo), 2013 and both of my kids participated with some of their classmates.  One location was at the Rookie Triathlon and the other was at Mueller Lake Park. My daughter’s team made a profit of $91.  They split $90 three ways and gave $1 to the 3 year old sister of one of the girl’s on the team.  Her younger sister is so cute and had a sign that said “buy my sister’s lemonade” that she held while yelling the words on her sign.  She drew in many customers by her sheer cuteness and confidence! Although she deserved more than $1, she is only 3 and thought $1 was an amazing amount of money.  My sister and her friends are 7 and 8 years old…oh what a few years of living does to change your perspective on the value of $1. :-)

My son and his buddy are still calculating their returns, but it looks like they made money after deducting costs.  I’ve told both my son and daughter that no gloating is allowed. I have a feeling my daughter’s team performed better mostly because of Location, Location, Location!

Lemonade Day is a great way to teach kids about the economics of running a little business and was started to help teach kids about entrepreneurship.  The kids create signs and are supposed to figure out what supplies they need and how many drinks/snacks they need to sell to make a profit.  It’s fun for the parents too and gives us an opportunity to talk about business, marketing, and selling with our kids.  Those are skills that will serve them well for life!  Gone are the days of steady jobs that last 20 or 30+ years.  Here are the days where most people will hold 10 to 20 different jobs [infographic] at different companies in their lifetime.  Might as well teach them how to pick themselves into the job/career that they want!

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Life Always Gets Harder Near The Summit (a.k.a. Brandon and the Homeless Dude)
Jul 8 2008

OK, so I’m still trying to figure out how blogging fits in with my full time day job so I’ll continue on the fortune cookie fortune blogging escapade (they make for good post titles) until I figure it out. 

I’m not sure what’s kosher to blog about since I’m still trying to get my mind around the irony of working for a huge university which is gigantically overburdened with process (e.g., 5 copies of agreements need to be routed after being signed in blue ink but need pre-approval before they get routed, 3 documents to get approval to make often routine purchases, etc.) that at the same time helps start-ups.  A slow moving giant pays the staff (including myself) that supports the nimble, fast moving technology start-ups.  It’s mind boggling to think about so I try not to think about it too much. 

So on to the fortune cookie that produced “Life always gets harder near the summit.”  Along with the Lucky Numbers 2, 10, 7, 31, 54, and 12…too bad I’m no longer playing the lottery

I wouldn’t say that life is harder but I would say it’s insanely more a bit more mentally taxing given that after a full day at my day job of running Operations for the Austin Technology Incubator I need to think about and act on activities to promote Babble Soft.  Thankfully, I have an intellectually smart husband who helps out and is currently giving the kids a bath while I type up this blog post, drink red wine, and respond to press queries.  He has to be smart because his current career choice is one of the reasons I now have a day job!

So on to life being hard for Brandon and the Homeless Dude which made the title of this blog post way too long!  Over at IttyBiz, they are running a ‘who can come up with the craziest story about Brandon and the Homeless Dude’ competition as a break from their regularly scheduled home business tips.  So the challenge is to come up with the ‘next step of the journey’ for Brandon and the Homeless Dude.  If selected, my name, company, blog, and dirty laundry will be featured on the ever so popular IttyBiz blog that is normally written by Naomi with an occasional guest appearance by her husband, Jamie.  It’s highly unlikely that I’ll get picked because I’m not following their directions of discreetly emailing Jamie my story but instead I’m writing it on my blog.  I’m not one to regularly follow directions, which makes my day job extra mentally taxing.  So here it goes: 

Brandon and the Homeless Dude woke up under a bridge one day.  They wondered to themselves firstly why the bridge had not fallen on them while they slept given their notorious luck.  Soon after they wondered what they should do for the day.   

The Homeless Dude then asked Brandon why he was sleeping under the bridge with him given that he was not homeless and Brandon mumbled a reply about being a prick (Naomi’s word not mine) to his wife.  As an aside to those who don’t know Brandon, his wife pays the bills for his extravagant lifestyle which includes trying to build an online business. 

After that meaningful brief discussion, they headed toward the closest lemonade stand and asked the kids if they planned to attend SEO school.  The kids stared blankly at them and asked them what SEO meant and oh by the way if they wanted lemonade they would have to give them $2.00 for a tall, refreshing glass of fresh squeezed lemonade with a spoonful of organic brown sugar.  A twist of vodka would cost them $1.00 extra. 

Brandon told the kids that SEO stood for Seeking Extra Opportunities and their eyes opened wide.  Of course they were ‘seeking extra opportunities’ to sell their lemonade because the more money they made the more they could spend on impressing their teenage friends with highly perishable, bad-for-the-environment, alcoholic, dumbass crap. 

The Homeless Dude then told them they were in luck because if they wanted to turn their lemonade stand into an online successful business all they had to do was do what he did which was spend time and money on SEO only to discover that most people did not want to buy lemonade online but oddly preferred to get it from their local grocery store, kid-friendly restaurant, or nearby pre-teen managed stand. 

They immediately realized The Homeless Dude was wise in his homelessness and decided that after they made some cash from their lemonade stand from joggers, bicyclists, parents who thought they were cute, other teenage friends, and old people who felt nostalgic and proud that teenagers actually attempted to do an honest day’s work, they would then open an online business telling other kids how to set up a successful lemonade stand. 

The End.

On the chance you want to read about my attempts to build an online business, while at the same time working at a place that helps other technology start-ups, you can painlessly get free email updates about the continuing saga of a blogging entrepreneur (moi!).

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