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Get Your Lemonade Here!

The Alaska Girls selling lemonadeThe popular refrain is one almost any American has heard at the ball game, state fair or other gathering of lots of people. But it often starts in neighborhoods.

We’ve all seen them. Lemonade stands run by young people eager to earn some money on a warm summer day.

It all started here the other day with a knock on the door. Three adorable young girls offered this flyer to my son. It was 5 o’clock in the afternoon, so they were drumming up business for the next day.

Who could pass it up? So, after lunch, we took a walk to the corner where they’d set up shop. Our neighbor was already there offering his encouragement.

Throughout the afternoon there would be a steady stream of neighbors supporting the ingenuity because … that’s just how we roll around here.

Ranging in age from 4 to 9, these young ladies have quite the business going. I believe they are future business leaders and it’s our job to support and encourage them.

Last week, some of that was grandma’s job but the neighbors helped as well.

When the girls offered my husband cookies for $0.25 each, or three for a dollar, he was quick to ask if they had done their math correctly. Not to be mean… I mean, we paid them $2 for lemonade and cake that was $1 according to their sign. That’s not the point.

We need to show that we recognize when it’s not quite right. And it all got corrected with a laugh or two.

the women entrepreneurs of tomorrowAs we were leaving, we asked what they were earning money for…assuming it was something like a toy their parents said they had to earn. These young girls were raising money for cancer. There went another dollar just to show them we supported their efforts.

As women in business we need to help others succeed, no matter how young, no matter how inexperienced, no matter how much help they need or how busy we are.

Because I know these “Alaska Girl’s” (sic) will be business leaders in about 10 years. The more we teach them now, the better off we’ll all be.

So, go on out in the sunshine and find the little entrepreneurs in your neighborhood. Show them you care. It’s kind of fun!

Images © Mary Deming Barber, used with permission

Mary BarberMary Deming Barber, APR, Fellow PRSA, is president of The Barber Group, a communications consultancy created in 2000. She has counseled clients in Anchorage and San Francisco for more than 30 years. In addition, Mary has worked with variety of food organizations and been a key team member on two successful US Senate campaigns, most recently that of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s 2010 write-in campaign. The campaign won a 2011 Silver Anvil award from PRSA (the Public Relations Society of America), of which Mary is an active member, past national board member and chair-elect for its College of Fellows.


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