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salesmanship at the lemonade stand

I biked home from church on Sunday, since I had to stay later than the rest of the family. Besides giving me a few more items to add to my list of judgements, riding the entire length of the bike path on a sunny Sunday afternoon offered an insight into the entrepreneurial spirit of the youth of America as it manifests itself in that classic of childhood capitalism, the lemonade stand. As I went along I noticed at least four optimistic youngsters who had set out stalls along the way. I didn't stop at any of them myself, since I was headed to a birthday party, but I slowed long enough to compare their offerings. Two stood out as a comparison of what to do and not to do in the trail-side drink sector.

A teenage boy, slouched in a lawn chair alongside the path, in the middle of a moderate stretch between street crossings, was offering bottles of "ice-cold" water for a dollar each. He may have had headphones on. Two elementary school girls had their stand set up in the center of Lexington just before an intersection, and were standing up and encouraging passers-by to try a glass of their 50-cent lemonade, of which they had a big pitcher. You can probably guess who was doing more business.

Our own boys were doing some selling on Friday with their friend from next door. Set up on our front walk, they weren't likely to see much foot traffic, but on the other hand they were unavoidable for anyone who wanted to come into our house. Harvey and Zion were selling "something like lemonade" for a dollar a glass (a small glass!), while their friend offered cups of water for ten dollars each (water which her mother reported she'd been stirring with her hands; though that wasn't part of her pitch).

Harvey and Zion (both looking grumpy) with a friend and their lemonade stand

do cheerful faces bring in more customers?

I don't know where either of those stand in comparison to the extremes of the last paragraph, but Harvey must have been doing something right, because he ended the day with two dollars in his pocket. He used it to buy a kite, and it really works!

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