Over the weekend, our daughter decided to set-up a lemonade stand. And, as is her tradition, she wanted to donate the money she made to a charity. Previously, she’s raised money for a cat rescue. This year, she had her sights set on charity: water, an organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. I heard the founder Scott Harrison speak last year at WDS and brought his story home to my family. My daughter was inspired. So, we baked chocolate chip cookies and made lemonade, set up the stand and away she went…committed to raising enough money to provide clean water for at least 3 people ($60).

Our strat plan looked a little like this:

Hot day + cute kid + good cause + quality offering = buckets o’ dough

The weather was spotty, so we didn’t see as much foot traffic as we would have liked, but she is pretty damned adorable, and it is an exceptionally good cause so she did manage to raise $70.75. She was pleased.

It was that “quality offering” variable that got my husband thinking later that evening.

Him: I wonder, if we underpriced and undersold the lemonade. Me: How do you mean? Him:  I think for $0.50 people are expecting lemonade from frozen concentrate…not hand squeezed lemons sweetened with a simple syrup infused with vanilla beans and sprinkled with garden-fresh mint, y’know? Me: But that’s just how I do it. That’s just how I make lemonade. Him: How would anyone who hasn’t met you know that about you, T? Me: Ah, crap.

Check out the sign.

Lollys lemonade

He’s right. How would anyone know exactly what care, time, attention and, yeah, I’ll say it…LOVE that went into our pitchers of lemonade, that very symbol of summer’s ease?

Indeed.

Time and time again, we undervalue that which we don’t recognize as special. And the clue often lies in our “just”s. Listen for them, then look into them.

What are you downplaying? I’m willing to bet it’s the very thing that people are often thanking you for…like the care, time, attention and love I put into most of my pursuits…lemonade and beyond (though clearly not the aforementioned sign).

I suspect that buried in that dismissive 4-letter word is a linchpin to the wheel of your very essence. All that is wholly, uniquely and wondrously you. Love it up, Love.

My dear friend and the woman I turn to before every product launch (with lemonade being the notable exception) Tara Gentile has this to say::

"Give yourself credit for what differentiates you (or your product) and why that's important to you. Then consider why what differentiates you is important to others and communicate that value clearly. It doesn't help to fixate on features or process (or degrees, credentials, portfolio pieces, etc...) but it does pay to know what makes you stand out and why that's important to the people you seek to be in service of."

Yeah. In business and in life, tell us about the vanilla beans. Tell us how you do what you do. And why. That’s precisely what makes you and your offerings so entirely delicious to us.

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