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5 Lessons I Learned From Selling Kool-Aid

If you read my bio, you know that I made over $1000 one summer selling Kool-Aid. It’s a true story that ignited my obsession with entrepreneurship. Here’s my top five takeaway lessons from that business…

1. Be Willing To Take A Chance – Many people these days are unwilling to try new things to earn an extra $1000/yr. Yet, little old 7 year old me was able to do it. All you have to do is be willing to take a chance and put yourself out there. What’s the worst that could happen? Somebody says no they don’t want to buy Kool-Aid? Figure out the worst case scenario and be prepared to accept it or make it work and then take a chance!

2. Accept Advice – Without my parents I would never have sold Kool-Aid. At best, I might have sold lukewarm lemonade like the rest of the kids. Thanks to their guidance and advice I was able to craft a product that my customers genuinely wanted. Ice cold and sugar heavy Kool-aid to quench the thirst of a construction worker on a hot summers day in Chicago. Thanks to my parents advice my product sold like crazy.

3. Know Your Product/Market – After a short time of selling Kool-Aid to my local construction workers I learned about them. Their preferred flavors, serving time, and who to deal with. I know who liked heavy sugar and that one group in particular was diabetic and preferred sugar-free. I catered to their needs and delivered consistently. Knowing my product and market was the key to my success that summer.

4. Have Motivation – Sure, my motivation was a Super Nintendo. It’s admittedly better motivation than most things. Point is, you need something to keep you going. Set goals and achieve them. Once you achieve them, set new higher goals. Have some motivation and never settle for anything less than achieving your goals.

5. Be Prepared – The most valuable lesson I learned from my Kool-Aid sales was to be prepared. When summer was over and the construction was done. So was my market. I wasn’t prepared that time to sell Kool-Aid anywhere else. Even though I exceeded my goals, it still hurt. When I tried to sell Kool-Aid the following summer on the corner it just wasn’t the same. I told myself that my next business venture that I’d be prepared.

Hopefully this story inspires you to sell some “Kool-Aid” of your own. I’d love to hear your stories of how you made money as a kid in the comments! If you thought this story was interesting, check back next time to find out how I made $1,000/day when I was only 15. Now, that’s a good story!

  • I remember that summer like it was yesterday! Did you sell something when you were a kid? How did it end up?