Finding Your Childhood Audacity
Or… Remembering Your Inner 10 Year Old’s Bravery.
Do you remember your first lemonade stand? I do. Vividly.
Where I grew up, we had well water. An Artesian Well, which to me always sounded so sophisticated.
Our runoff went into the creek across the street, while my neighbor’s runoff came out of a pipe at the end of his driveway, into the rain ditch. People used to “sneak” up in the middle of the night and fill their containers with this “miracle water”. They came from all over. Eventually, they stopped being sneaky and just boldly would park their cars in our yard, driveway, and even would block our driveway, to go get this delicious water.
Remember, this was the EXACT same water that came out of my tap.
The exact same water I made my delicious lemonade from.
Which I was selling for 25 cents a cup.
So I got really tired of seeing people pass me by to go get this not-so-special “special” water, and not stop to buy my lemonade. Potential customer after potential customer would drive by, smile, even wave at me. And grab some water from the “spring” next door instead of stopping at my stand. So tired of this that I decided to yell over to one man in particular while he was filling up his glass.
“Hey Mister! This lemonade was made with that very same water!”
He looked at me and laughed to himself. I assumed he was going to get into his car and drive off, shaking his head with a smirk or something. Nope, he walked over to me, wiping his forehead with a handkerchief he’d soaked in the cool water first.
My mom had heard me, and of course came outside to see what I was yelling about. The man looked at my pitcher of lemonade and said, “So this WHOLE pitcher was made with the same water as from that spring?”
I said, “Yes, sir. It’s the same water that comes out of my faucet ‘onnacount it’s well water.”
He looked at my mom and smiled, and then asked me how much for the whole pitcher. I tried to imagine just how many 25 cent cups of lemonade would come from that pitcher, and while I was counting in my head, he put a $10 bill on the table and asked if that would cover it.
I looked up at my mom and she smiled. She told me we could always go make more.
He then patted me on the head and said, “Little girl, some day I want you to come work for me. You’re an AMAZING saleswoman!”
As he walked back to his car, I realized that he didn’t even take more than one cup of lemonade with him. He left the whole pitcher.
Now, this can be absorbed with any number of “morals of the story”, but the truth is this: I sold one 25 cent cup of lemonade for $10. Just by being honest, bold, and having audacity.
You HAVE to know that what you’ve got to offer is just as good if not better than what’s available elsewhere. Even if it costs more, even if people prefer what’s free or cheap. By thinking that you have to lower your prices, or just sit there and wait for people to come to you, you’re shortchanging yourself. You’re missing out on your true potential to make money, be successful, and build your business and better yet, your own confidence even more.
I was inspired to write this because lately I’ve seen more and more artists and crafters, even designers and small businesses, just doing the basics (if that) and not going after what they want and deserve.
Is this you?
You need to learn how to market yourself for what you’re worth, regardless what your business is. What you’re worth is what people are willing to pay for your services, and just because your Aunt Sally thinks that you’re charging too much, doesn’t mean you are. Just because other people doing the same thing as you are charging less, doesn’t mean their work is as of high a quality as yours. It doesn’t mean that they have more sales, and even if they do, they’re putting in more actual labor than you are, to make the same amount of money (or less).
I sold a $0.02 (materials cost) cup of lemonade for $10. Just by opening my mouth. By being bold and assertive, all while being honest.
If I just sat there, with my little table, sign, and pitcher that day, I may not have ever sold a single cup.
How can you be more bold and assertive in your business? How can you attract buyers better?