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Chris LoCurto

By

July 29, 2011

7 Year Old Entrepreneur

Recently I tacked a couple of days on the front-side of a trip to LA, to go back to my home in Lake Tahoe. It was a much-needed break, and a fabulous time of reflecting and relaxing.

On one of my many trips around the lake, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Doing 40 miles an hour, I saw on a side street what appeared to be a lemonade stand. If you know me at all, you know that I am absolutely crazy about kids. And kids trying to make something of themselves, even more! A kid setting up a lemonade stand, when they could be playing Wii, there’s no way I’m passing this up!

So I had to find a place to turn around. I drove back slowly trying to figure out what street it was that caught my eye. And then, there she was. The cutest little entrepreneur I had ever seen. As I pulled over to park, I noticed that she was serving two bicyclist. In fact, she was sitting at the top of a hill where the street meets a bike path. Her dad was sitting on a log off to the side just watching.

As I walked up, she was finishing her “current transaction” with the bikers. As she handed them their items, she bit her bottom lip as if giddy that she had made another sale. You could tell it had been a good day. I said “Hi”, and asked her what her name was. “Charley!” she said. “That’s a beautiful name!” I said. “How do you spell it?” “C..H..A..R….L…….E.Y” Ok, I’ll admit it, I melted.

I told her that I would like two cookies and a lemonade. She peeled back the plastic wrap from the cookies and let me know that I could choose which two I would like. She started to pour my lemonade from her little glass jar with the press down spout. She then stopped, and her eyes got big as if she remembered something. “Would you like ice with that?” she asked. “No thanks.” I said. She continued to pour.

The total was $3.00, so I gave her $5.00 and told her to keep the rest. She didn’t get that, but then again, she’s seven, and adorable. Once again, she bit her bottom lip with satisfaction. I then walked over to her dad and told him that I teach entrepreneurs and leaders, and I write a blog on leadership, and could I write a post about her? He asked a couple of good dad questions, and they said yes.

I asked how she came up with the idea of doing a stand. This was actually her second time. The first time was when her parents were doing a garage sale and she thought that the people coming might want some lemonade and cookies. Come to find out, she was right. So she then asked her dad if she could do a stand at the top of the hill on their street where the bike path is. The reason for that location? Because she noticed that the bikers pedal to the top and are tired. I love it! seven Years old and she understands about location, location, location!

CLo – “What are you going to do with the money that you make?”

Char – “Wedding Build-A-Bear.”

CLo – “Nice! Anything else?”

Char – “Mmmmm…a car.”

CLo – “HAHA…that’s awesome! Did you make the cookies and lemonade?”

At this point she reaches down, grabs her foot in her flip-flop and pulls it to her back. Standing on one leg she bites her bottom lip, this time from thought process.

Char – “Mmmm…no. Mom made the cookies ’cause of the oven. I made the lemonade.”

CLo – “What else do you like to do when you’re not running a business?”

Char – “Ski….and inter-tube.”

CLo – “Well thank you Charley for taking the time to talk with me. I really appreciate it.”

Char – “You’re welcome.”

And then she shook my hand. OMG!!! I turned to her dad, shook his, and thanked him. He said: “The funny thing is that I have the boat on the lake ready to go, but I can’t get her to leave.” About that time, Charley picked up the sign and began to tilt it back and forth. “Oh yeah,” her dad said: “She put sticks on the backside of her sign so she could spin it like the guys on the corners.” That’s it, she is officially entrepreneur of the year in my book!

Question: Simple, how cute is she?!

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  • http://www.cabinart.net Jana Botkin

    Painter!?! Like me, or house painter??? (sorry, just got a little overly excited there.)

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      hahaha…house painter.

  • http://www.cabinart.net Jana Botkin

    She shook your hand!! I’m just dying to know what her folks do for a living – they MUST be self-employed for her to have picked up such good ideas and manners.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Her dad’s a painter. He was a really cool guy to talk to, and you could tell he was all about TEACHING his baby girl. Somewhat uncommon in parents nowadays. Don’t know about her mom.

  • http://lgthaxton.wordpress.com Louise Thaxton

    What an absolutely COOL story! She is adorable, smart and THINKS …..more than some adults I know! And she is already using STRATEGY at 7! Wow – would love to hire her in about 15 years!

  • chris

    Great story. And she’s cute as a button and sharp as a tack. Thank you for sharing this future leader.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      My pleasure!!

  • Kim Little

    LOVE this Chris! My Marine was a Lemonade vendor when he was young. Set up, tear down, and managed sales all by himself! Probably explains why he does what he does now. :) Great post!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I have no doubt!

  • Dave

    Ah the memories! I can’t remember the last time I saw a lemonade stand. Maybe I need to look harder…and I will stop.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I may make it a quest. :-)

  • http://joelfortner.wordpress.com Joel Fortner

    This made my day! Great thinking to interview her for the post. It just goes to show that for some people business….er…..serving people (that’s better) comes naturally, which makes for a great foundation upon which to build a business. I don’t think I read all day will top this.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      She was the highlight of my day!!