Sunday, November 20, 2005

Making lemonade...

In writing my last post about being thankful this thought entered my mind...

"When life gives you lemons make lemonade."

That's a quote everyone is familiar with...I've heard it millions of times myself. In reflecting upon the struggles my family has had to deal with over the past few years I thought of a few things and this infamous quote came to my mind. However, I feel the need to stress a few things...

When life gives you lemons it's really up to you to make your own lemonade.

You have to get out there and pick up as many good lemons as you can. (Notice how I said pick up the "good lemons"--throw the rotten ones away.) Then you need to come up with your own recipe. Figure out what flavors you like and then go get the necessary ingredients. When you're ready take your time and add the ingredients with care. If you rush you could spoil it! Then put your recipe to the test. There's a good chance it won't be right so you'll have to figure out what's not working for you and change a few things. You might have to change your recipe a hundred times before you finally get it right, but do what you must to make it just right for you. And through the entire building process have complete faith in your own recipe.

And another very important point I want to stress is this...don't copy someone else's recipe!! What works for one person could be disastrous for you!

And still another point to remember...we cannot sit and wait for someone to come along and kindly help us out and make the lemonade for us. There's a good chance most people will want to help, but in the end they won't. I'm not trying to be negative, I'm just being honest and going by my own experience. Most people won't help you out, but it's not because they are mean and uncaring. They won't come and help simply because they are busy and overwhelmed dissecting and rebuilding their own recipe for lemonade. They are fretting and struggling just like you...they are trying to figure out how they are going to make their lemonade. And chances are they're thinking that they wish you could help them out because it seems like you're doing so well!

Once you finally get the recipe to your liking then it's time for you to believe in yourself and your recipe--and you MUST believe like you've never believed before! You might think your recipe isn't good enough, but you have to immediately dismiss those thoughts from your head. Don't even begin to let those negative thoughts ruin all of your hard work.

Also keep in mind that there will be lots and lots of people who tell you that you are crazy to even think about selling your lemonade. And some of those people will be the people that are closest to you! You simply cannot listen to them! They aren't trying to be mean--they are just worried about the "what if's" that could come up. They don't want to see you get into trouble. You must understand their position, but at the same time remember what's right for you, keep the faith and move forward.

Next figure out what type of person would want your lemonade and then give them a sample. If they like it then offer them more. Ask them to spread the word about your lemonade and then post some signs about how good it is.

Also research ways to reach the people who like your recipe. Network with people who are selling a complimentary product--something like hotdogs, or hamburgers. Or how about a picnic supply company. You don't want to ask someone who sells lemonade to work with you--that person is your competitor. Someone selling hotdogs or picnic supplies would most likely love to work with you.

Through all of this just use your own common sense, work hard, have faith and everything will fall into place for you.

When those lemons come rolling into your life look at it as an opportunity to rebuild and make your life better. Grab the good ones, squeeze them, add your own kind of flavoring and believe with every ounce of your heart that your recipe is a good one. More than anything else the belief in yourself will carry you through and your recipe will end up being a winner!

Good luck and believe that you have the power to make the best lemonade ever!

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