I was walking to Starbuck’s today and I saw one of those things we always hear about but never see, like dogs named Fido and men with realistic perceptions of their own anatomy. I saw two little girls with a lemonade stand. It was cute and their money jar was empty and they had probably been out there awhile because their cookies were almost gone and the younger one had crumbs on her face. She looked bored. I stopped and paid a dollar for their advertised 25-cent lemonade and went on my way.


As I walked away I started making note of all the opportunities they weren’t taking advantage of. They were underage with a cute face in a city full of adults in an era where the media glorifies pregnancy but no one really has the resources or time or life partner to take the plunge. They don’t need business licenses. They don’t have to file taxes. I can’t think of one government entity that would have the balls to bring in a couple of 8 year olds for profiting on store bought lemonade. They could make pure profit with no red tape.


And then there were all of the things they were doing wrong. Location. They had a card table set up in the middle of a quiet neighborhood. Two blocks away is a major intersection and in the strip mall at that intersection lies a gold mine. Curves. Who frequents Curves? A bunch of motherly types who have at one point had a hard time saying no to food and most likely to children. Words to live by: Foot Traffic. There are also coffee shops, a higher end grocery store, nail and tanning salons, a dry cleaner, banks and a pet store. All fine places to catch a mother running errands and most likely not too strapped for cash or time to make a contribution to a lemonade stand and leave feeling better about herself.


That’s the second problem. They’ve misdiagnosed their product. They’re not selling lemonade they’re selling altruism. People rarely walk around specifically craving store bought lemonade, especially in LA. Around here we don’t like to drink our calories unless they’re spiked or caffeinated or organic and packed with antioxidants. I don’t see them selling coffee or pomegranate juice therefore the people who buy from them are probably like me and will overpay and throw the cup away as soon as they’re out of sight. Why did I buy you ask? Because I kept the warm fuzzy feeling. It’s the only worthwhile thing I got from the exchange.


With that in mind they need to remember to push cute. They’re approximately six and eight years old. Put a teddy bear in the younger one’s arms. Let one of them get into their mother’s outdated shade of lipstick and put it on messily. The older one needs to brush her hair. Plait it. Put a bow in and color coordinate the outfits. They need atmosphere. Bring their clientele back to simpler times by throwing down a red checked table cloth and making the e in the lemonade sign backwards. Hide the Minute Maid bottle and throw an old fashioned juicer on the table. Go down to the pound and get a black and white spotted mutt. Draw a circle around his eye and tie him to a leg of the table with a bandana. They’ll make the investment back in a day.


The deal closer is all going to ride on the six year old though. She can’t adapt to success. She needs to deliver that same perfect unabashedly happy Christmas morning smile that she gave me when she made her first dollar every time. Now it’s a catch 22. I’ve improved their business model and driven the purity out of it. Two little girls just sold out to cheap consumerism in my head but at least I saved an imaginary mutt from euthanasia.


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4 Responses

  1. Kayden, I thought you were smarted than this. The two crumb crunching entrepreneurs you spotted were doing the only thing they could, as budding businessgirls. Sure they knew they didn’t have the best location, but as with other ventures into capitalism by cuties willing to take a risk, they were simply attempting to stay “under the radar”. Forgoing the wild makeup, cheesy Petey look-a-like and the obvious better local, all in an effort to get a little capital together so they might later actually achieve whatever aspirations were rolling around in those little sponge brains of theirs.
    It took me 5 seconds to find and provide the evidence of what I already knew the little rug rats were doing. Or trying to avoid might be a truer statement.
    Thanks to your bringing them to National Attention, thus alerting the Social Engineering, Fairness and We Need to Monitor Your Every-Fucking-Thought-Movement-Action Police…. My guess is they aren’t there today.
    Next time you’re out stimulating the economy and stumble across what your pretty little ass thinks is a misguided young nubile trying to earn a buck, I hope you’ll not only boost their sales but Allow Them To Fail. THAT, my friend is one of the MOST IMPORTANT parts of Capitalism.

  2. They’re not selling altruism, they’re learning the basic structure of capitalism. The value that that lesson will produce when they’re older is well worth a $1 investment.

    I asked you to stop incorporating superficially-understood Objectivist concepts into your blog posts.

  3. I was actually just reading a book on arguments and fighting and the difference between them. You like to fight instead of argue because you attack things that can’t be debated in a forward manner leading towards a resolution. We obviously have different values at a fundamental level and we are not going to change them. I’m supposed to switch it to the future tense now by suggesting solutions. For example: you could stop reading.

  4. Yes, I could stop reading, but I need to continue for a specific purpose all my own.

    But, I suppose I do owe you enough to at least tell you that it has never been to change your mind.

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