Picture this: It’s Easter Sunday and after 3 full days and nights of basketball games (a total of 9 games between 2 boys), a team celebration Saturday night with Conor’s team who went 5-0 to win the tournament, and staying up until 12:30am putting together Easter baskets and hiding Easter eggs, the last thing I wanted to do today was set up a Snack Shop so my son and nephew could sell the candy they got in their Easter baskets and Easter egg hunt…
But then again, what else am I going to do today since there aren’t any basketball games and if I don’t do this, I will probably get reeled into some other random activity. Believe me, I had every reason not to go along with their scheme especially since there were several other adults in my house who were throwing out one reason after another as to why this was not a good idea – including whether or not the HOA would allow us to sell items on the street corner. Quite honestly, I think the adult naysayers were the primary reason why I decided this was the perfect idea!
So here’s how the story goes, I recently bought an old fashioned popcorn machine. On Saturday, the boys began talking about selling popcorn, water, and soda in the neighborhood. Then, after they finished their Easter egg hunt and looked at their baskets full of candy, they came up with the brilliant idea of selling their candy (no inventory cost whatsoever since it came from the “Easter bunny”)! And, they were clever enough to think that there was going to be more traffic in and out of the neighborhood on Sunday because people were going to be visiting family members for Easter. So, they made their signs, agreed on pricing, assembled their products and out we went. We thought the best spot would be the corner, near the security gate because there would be a lot of traffic. Within the first 15 minutes of getting everything set up we were questioned by HOA security, “Did we call the HOA in advance, Is this our house, Do we have permission, blah, blah, blah”.
When I went back to the house to pick up some supplies, I could see the “I told you so’s” ready to come out of the naysayers’ mouths. But that obstacle was not going to stand in our way, it just gave us/me fuel to be more resourceful. We decided to move our Snack Shop off the community entrance main street and onto our street. We found a prominent location where we could get the attention of those people going up and down the street.
Within an hour, the boys came back into the house excited that they had exceeded their goal of $30 in sales. They sold $32 of goods, which means they each made $16 profit, since they had $0 costs (thanks to the Easter bunny). When I asked them what they learned, Pierce said that they had to entertain their customers (he really said this!). He said that they were able to sell their products by getting their attention, asking them questions, and getting them to talk to them, which is how they sold their products.
We spend a lot of time where I work talking about innovation, change, creativity and risk-taking. The simple curiosity, vision, and motivation from this story about two nine year-old boys on a Sunday morning with an idea to sell popcorn, candy and drinks is a great example of how we can encourage, support, develop and nurture the attitude and skills to take risks in life! It would have been so easy for me to listen to the naysayers or just squelch their enthusiasm, “because” – fill in the blank. Instead, by taking one hour out of my day to help Pierce and Carter bring their idea to life, I was reminded that creativity isn’t always convenient and it takes us out of our routine and it also doesn’t take a huge investment (time or resources) for a rich reward!
An added side benefit in this scenario, these boys saved me a whole lot of extra calories by selling the Easter candy!