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  • Writer's pictureKelly Bailey

What a lemonade stand taught me about business

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

From a very young age, I learned that if there was something I wanted, I had to work for it.

You see, I was a kid who always knew what I wanted, and around the age of 8 – I came to realize that making money meant I could get these things.

So began my entrepreneurial journey. Oh and what does an 8 year old want? Candy from the corner store obviously!

So my first business plan was to set up a lemonade stand – however we didn’t have lemonade in the house – so I decided that Koolaid would suffice.

So I set up a little stand at the end of my driveway and could not wait for the people to come and buy this lukeward Koolaid, I had certainly overdosed with sugar (Keep em’ coming back… am I right?)

I remember sitting there forever (honestly it was probably 10 minutes but that’s forever when you’re a kid) just waiting for the boom to happen.

It didn’t.

So because I grew up near the corner of a busy street – it struck me that if I moved my stand to the corner – I would maximize my exposure – and more importantly my Swedish Berry count.

So off to the corner I go – with my warm Koolaid, winning smile and a goal in mind, and did I bank my millions? Honestly no – but certainly more people saw me – just didn’t feel like pulling off a major road for juice.

I would like to point out, that at 33 I will always, always stop and always overpay, because I think rewarding young entrepreneurs helps their drive. Please if you learn anything from this post – do the same!

So in 1993, with a sugar high on my mind, more customers, but a not a heck of a lot more – I got creative. I had to sell this juice STAT, so I could get on with my day – so I created a new trick to my prices. I would charge 10 cents a glass, but for two it would be 25 cents. Correct. It would cost more but I didn’t care because have you ever tried Sour Grape candies? 2 glasses of Koolaid equals 5 of those bad boys, and that my friends is worth some risk.

I can actually still remember the chant I sang,



2 FOR 25″

And you know what – it worked.

In fact some people would only take one glass and let me keep the whole quarter (I hope those generous souls live in Maui now and have their own Mai-Tai machine)

I remember being on a high because I had created my own standard, and my own little business and was rapidly reaching my goal, when one person said – “You know the second glass is supposed to be cheaper, it should be 15 cents for two.”

Side note- what a jerk, but alas this is an important and quite obvious law in business.

However through my shyness, and unusually inherent need to always be polite – I recall mustering up some courage and responding somewhere along the lines of; “Tell that to my quarters.”

This story always cheers me up and reminds me that the entrepreneurial spirit in me has always been strong. Also that I was always trying different angles, and that my goals, support systems and social skills have helped bring me to where I am today.

ALSO – that my 33 year old needs to learn my 8 year-old Jenny’s discoveries.





Originally published October 9, 2018

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