The Lemonade Stand
The story of a thinker and a doer
One day Jimmy asked Sally if she would like to help him set up a lemonade stand during the upcoming garage sale. Sally was a very creative girl. She had a lot of ideas and she set right to work.
“We need a big sign – what should we call ourselves?” she said. “Should we set it up by the street or by the garage?”
Sally had a million questions:
Homemade lemonade or made from a mix?
Regular or pink lemonade?
What size should the cups be?
Paper or plastic?
Would Jimmy mind if they sold the lemonade in pink cups?
How much would they charge?
She had learned how to make brownies last week; should they sell brownies too?
What if some people are on a diet; should they also sell sugar-free lemonade?
What if someone just wants water?
What if someone likes it sweeter?
As they talked, it got late. The “what ifs” never seemed to end. They still hadn’t finished going through all the details, but Jimmy had to go home for dinner.
The next day, Jimmy got up early. Without worrying about Sally’s million questions, he wrote a simple supply list and went with his mom to the grocery store. He bought cups, lemons, sugar, ice, and a poster board.
He made some lemonade, wrote “Lemonade – 50 cents” on the poster board, and set it all up on a little table during the garage sale.
He sold a lot of lemonade that day. In fact, he made enough money to invite Sally to the movies that afternoon.
Are you one of those people who get so caught up in all the details that you can’t get started on a project? Are you surrounded by people like that?
Like Jimmy, you’ll accomplish the most when you can focus on the core plan, consider the most important details, and then take decisive action.
Being creative and thinking of new ideas is a great quality for brainstorming sessions. When planning out where you want to be in five years and what you’d like to accomplish, it’s great to think in big and broad terms!
But when it comes to an effective course of action, here’s the best plan:
Decide which of your possibilities makes the most sense right now.
Get rid of the fluff. Take action, tackling one detail at a time.
When we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the details, we become paralyzed into a state of inaction and hopelessness. We then lose sight of the big picture.
When you feel that a project is becoming too cumbersome and may never get off the ground, it may be time to reflect on the question: “What is my big picture?”
Once you refocus on your greater purpose, you can work on the important details first, then grow as necessary. Bogging yourself down with an overly complicated plan only opens the doors to procrastination and failure. Don’t let the fine details overwhelm you and keep you from achieving your goals! Throw out those extraneous details and organize the important ideas, taking one step at a time.