Sunday, February 23, 2014

Entrepreneurial Escapades (by: Kelsey)

So, some of you guys know my sister Kelsey is an amazing musician. Some of you know she is stellar at ping pong. Some of you know she's a great cook, has fantastic humor, and is a killer athlete.

But did you know she is an extraordinary writer? (I know, she's good at everything. . .)

This past year, I have had the privilege of being Kelsey's English teacher. It has been so rewarding to watch her grow and develop her skills in written communication. Full of raw talent and humor, Kels makes my job super easy and makes me look like a pretty good teacher.

 Anyways, last week, I asked my class to write a 500-800 word story about an experience they had. When Kelsey read hers I just knew I had to share. I laughed when she told me about her experience last summer, and I laughed even harder when she described it on paper. Below is her finished draft, along with some insight  from Kels on being an entrepreneur.

She's hilarious.

 Entrepreneurial Escapades 

            “Today is the day I go from being a pauper to a prince!” I announced at the breakfast table one sunny summer morning.

            By this, I meant that today would be the day I would start my milk business. I was as confident as David facing Goliath and as inexperienced as a bird that has not yet left the nest. After breakfast, I eagerly went “all out” and made some of my world-famous-Kelsey-original-chocolate-chip cookies, determined to make the day a success.

            “Load up!” I called to my two little siblings, whom I recruited for the sole purpose of adding the “cute factor” to my operation.

            Rummmmmmm. Our truck engine rumbled to life and off we roared. I was prepared to conquer the world—so I thought.

            Thump, Thump, Thump.

            I boldly gave the door three hearty whacks with the dingy, brass knocker. Impatiently, I waited with pitcher in one hand and a plate of uncovered cookies in the other. My two siblings stood timidly behind me. The whole idea of selling milk to strangers was still a little daunting to them. Finally, someone opened the door.

            “What do you want?” crabbed an overweight, pajama-adorned woman.

            I noticed the cupcake design on the flannel pajama bottoms.
            “I’m here to offer you some of the best raw cow’s milk in Wasco County. No hormones, Klarabelle is grass fed, non-GMO, not treated with rBST and the best thing about it is it’s 100% organic. Good for you and good for the planet!” I crowed.

            The lady appeared unmoved by my thrilling speech even though I offered her my most salesman-like smile. She must have been kind of interested though, because she grudgingly called one of her grungy children to come taste it.

            “Here you are!”  I said enthusiastically, thrusting a half filled paper cup of the liquid toward him. I watched as he took one swallow of the milk and made a face like I’d given him poison. He muttered one word “Yuck!”

            His cupcake-clad mother grunted, “Not interested,” and slammed the door.

            Needless to say, I didn’t make the sale.

            Stop number two, three, four, five and six generated similar results but my hopes were still as high as a soaring eagle. I comforted myself with the saying that “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” or in my case, fortune was not made in a few hours.

            Sticky summer smells wafted to my nose, reminding me of a hamburger cookout. Flies buzzed around my head, and the now warm jug of milk, as I approached my seventh house.

            Knock, knock, knock! I was cordially greeted by a woman who looked like she was attempting to be Ms. America—forty years too late. She was all sparkles and glam—the full package, complete with face-lift, hair extensions and fake nails. I knew at first glance the idea of raw cow’s milk would sound a little too natural to this fine specimen of cosmetic confection . . . hmm, I mean perfection. Nevertheless, I gave her my sales pitch.

            My suspicions were confirmed when she replied in a sugar coated voice, “Not today, honey.” The flutter of her long, false eyelashes and gushy smile made me sick. It was my turn to mutter “yuck” as I turned away.

            Six discouraging stops later, I was beginning to wake up to reality. Things weren’t working out the way I had hoped. As I marched down Main Street to my last stop, a friend drove by and waved. I felt kind of dumb trudging around town with my cookies, milk, and two siblings. Especially when all I had to show for my effort were some tired children, a few less cookies, and what I thought at the time: wasted sweat and energy.
            However, I was still persistent. A little too persistent. I’m sure I knocked on some back doors when the front ones didn’t open. I also applied my knocking abilities at one unlucky individual’s door for at least a minute and a half before a very disgruntled old man answered my call. He looked as big and angry as a bear that has just come out of hibernation.

            “Would you be interested? ” I asked sweetly before giving him my spiel.

            What a spiel it was! I had it down by this time and it rattled off my tongue as smooth as butter.

            “No thanks, kid!” was the angry reply.

            He slammed the door and I imagined him ambling back to his den to finish the nap I had obviously interrupted. Slowly, I trudged back to the truck discouraged, and broke as ever.  In the truck cab, my two weary followers and I sat in stony silence, mourning the loss of prosperity.

            Suddenly, I shattered the silence with an explosive laugh.

            “What’s your problem,” muttered Barrington sullenly.

            Grinning at my surprised siblings I chirped, “No worries guys. There’s always next time. Wanna cookie?”

             As I thought about the day’s events, I decided I could look at my first entrepreneurial escapade in two different lights. I could see it as a complete failure, or I could see it as a learning experience (the later being the wiser of the two options.) Even though I didn’t succeed in recruiting one customer to my cause, I learned many wonderful life lessons such as putting my best foot forward, investing in presentation, and putting myself in a larger market where I had a better chance at being accepted. This little adventure has just added more fuel to my entrepreneurial fire, and only deepened the desire I already had to succeed.