From the time these two were born there have been feed buckets, garden beans, and calf bottles in their hands. We have even joked with Gussie that he is named after the hardest worker I ever knew, and I am not afraid to change his birth certificate if he gets lazy.
We have set very high financial goals for these two. It is not because of the money, but the lessons that the journey brings. The same can be said for college. The grade or the degree should not be the goal, but the knowledge learned along the way. Through hard work and Tesla stock holding up, the boys are headed towards a goal that most would call unrealistic.
When Gussie came to me and said he wanted to buy a Polar Express train we talked about need vs. want and opportunity cost. You are never too young to learn economics. I told him he had to earn the money.
This weekend we treated Gussie and William for doing such an amazing job with their lemonade stand. On our little one-day trip he asked what each thing cost and was surprised how high things were. We explained to him that’s why mommy and daddy work so many jobs so no matter what their dream is, later we can help just like our parents have done for us and theirs for them, all while working equally hard to pave your own path, legacy. That made sense to him as feeding cows isn’t work because it’s fun. We discussed how everyone is different and how being able to do what you love is a real privilege. We even talked about not doing what you love in order to achieve a goal is also a privilege.
During the lemonade stand Gussie and his little sidekick William, better known as Nuggie to most, performed to a level that would make any father and or business instructor proud. They greeted each customer with a smile. They introduced themselves. They asked each customer their name. Most importantly, and a common error many salesmen make, is they asked for the sale.
The last sale of the day was a past student I had from years ago. She gave Gussie $20 for a glass of lemonade. I was shocked and so was he. I tried to give it back.
He asked why she gave him so much money for lemonade. We then had a talk about gratitude and how you treat everyone with honor, dignity, and respect. I asked Gussie and William to please always find that friend on the playground or lunchroom who is alone and go to them. I explained to them many years ago there was a girl who was being bullied by her peers and even adults who knew better. Because your daddy treated her well, she stayed in school, worked hard, and now has the honor of helping others. Because she knows the most important thing in my world is you boys, she wants to help you. I inquired if that made sense. Gussie responded, “That’s so sweet of her” and gave this customer a hug instead of a handshake. I asked the boys if she was a customer or a friend. They said she was a friend.
Many people confuse business as being about creating money and profit. Business is about people and relationships. The money is a byproduct of the people business. The moral of the story is to treat everyone you meet with honor, dignity, and respect. When gratitude is at the forefront of your heart everything tastes better. The best tasting glass of lemonade was consumed at that moment. It had nothing to do with the content of the glass but those holding the glass. It is our hope in the business department of MACC that if you are a student, you join us for learning in and outside the textbook. If you are a parent, please realize your loved one always has a voice in the classroom as this story shows sometimes the best lesson can from the participants, not just the instructor.
Article by: William King- MACC Instructor
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