Turning Lemonade... into Lemons!

Well, it wasn't lemonade, it was rocks.

My kids had set up a stand, selling their painted rocks as artwork, just like a lemonade stand. They had made signs, displayed the rocks, and spent the day at their table selling and painting more inventory. On the first day, they made $210 and split it evenly.

But the next day, things got a little “rocky”.

Tepper, my daughter, came in crying, upset that she had only received $10 from the $200 they had collected that day. Lincoln and Charlie, two of my sons, had made $95 each. And when I asked them what happened, they explained that Tepper wasn't putting in the same effort as they were. Hmmm. While they were selling rocks for nine hours, she was jumping rope and playing on her scooter. Yep... that sounds like Tepper!

But despite their reasoning, I reminded them that they had made a deal with her, and that she was their partner. And that's when I also realized the inherent nature of human greed.

People think that they're contributing more and that someone else is contributing less... and they try to cut them out. It's a six-year-old's understanding of human nature: "I did more, I want more." This isn't something that's taught, even in business school. It's just a part of who we are as human beings.

All my kids learned lessons that day—Charlie and Lincoln learned to be careful when picking a partner. They also learned they have to honor their agreements. Tepper learned that unless she puts in the work, she may lose her share. She also learned that she cut a pretty good deal up front! Good deal… bad partner.

How much money should Tepper get? $10 or $100…

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