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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

To Thine Own Self Be True...

There is something to be said about the persistence of a child that we as adults could learn a valuable lesson from. My ten year old daughter had set a goal to earn $20 by a certain date. So...we decided to hit some local neighborhoods with a box of homemade triple scented soy candles. (We do not make them, we buy them from a man at our church who sells them to us at cost.)

Anyway. The first cul-de-sac we stopped at had 7 houses. She had rehearsed her little ditty in the van the entire way, perfecting it until she had it "just right". As we walked up to the door, I asked her how she felt and she told me, "Well, I'm a little bit excited." The lady opened up the door and my daughter said, "Hi-my-name-is-Katie-and-I'm-selling-these-wonderful-triple-scented-homemade-candles-for-only-$8. Would-you-buy-one-from-me?" The lady looked confusedly from her to me, apparently trying to digest what she had heard and asked her if she had any chocolate to sell, 'cause if she had chocolate to sell, she'd buy some of that, but thank you, no, she didn't need any more candles right now. K said "thank you!" with a smile and headed to the next house, with me in tow.

At the next house, the lady that answered the door looked right past Katie as she was going through her little spiel and looked me up and down (I wonder if she thought this was how I made my living - sending my daughter around the neighborhood to sell candles?) and when Katie was done, she said (in a very snippy, snotty tone, I might add), " thank you. I'm all stocked up on candles." Again, K smiled a cheery smile and said, "Thanks!", completely unaware that the woman had just dissed us.

Next two houses were dark. (No one was home.) At the fifth house, a 20-something answered the door and when K was finished, she said, "Oh gosh..I make and sell candles and I just made a ton last week...sorry!". Katie said, "It's no problem! Good luck with your candles!" and walked away with a smile and a hint of perspiration on her upper lip, as it was getting warmer by the minute, we'd had no sales, and she was lugging a box of heavy jar candles around this neighborhood.

The final two houses were also dark. As we walked back to the car, I noted that although Katie had not sold any candles, her spirit was not broken. She was excitedly asking where else we could go to maybe sell some of her candles. I asked her if it had bothered her that no one had bought any candles and her reply was, "Well, they just don't know what they are I have to find someone who will try one out!" We ended up going home that day, but only because she had a game that evening and we hadn't started dinner or prepared her things.

I said all that to say this: I wish I had the resolve in my business that my 10 year old daughter had toward selling those candles. She would have kept going all night if we hadn't had to go home. So many times I am tempted to give up after one or two "no's" spirit crushed from the feeling of rejection.

I think I learn more from my children than they could ever possibly learn from me.


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Chilihead2 said...

I'm the same way--it doesn't take much to drown my spirit. But my daughter is much like yours. The few times she's had to sell door-to-door she was as happy as a clam even when they said no. It's amazing, isn't it? I hope they never lose that confidence.

Emily said...

you make a great point. as adults, we're so quick to take rejection to heart.

Amy said...

I tried a soy candle once and loved it. I haven't been able to find any (mostly because I don't actually look for them and I hope that someone will show up on my doorstep selling them.)
I wish I lived in Texas.

bunny said...

That's a very nice motivational story - thanks for sharing. Makes me not wanna give up too quickly now! :)