The Wife Unit once pointed out that I’m an “all or nothing” type of person.  I promptly responded with, “Seems to work for our marriage!”  Of course I had the cheeky grin like I just won the argument of the year.  I took that statement as a sort of mantra for quite some time, using it to guide myself through a flooded home, my work, kids, and even my finances.

The problem with it is that I never gave myself room to practice.  When something came up, I would jump both feet in and either fail or succeed.  I loved failing because I *knew* I would learn more than if I succeeded.

So when it came to finances, I’ve spent money as if I would die tommorow.  And when it came to planning for tomorrow, I always envisioned the worse-case scenario.

My expectation was that one of these jumps would look something like, “Here, hold my beer!”  My worse-case means I leave my family with the burden of life without my paycheck.  So I made sure my “All or nothing” attitude would be protected.  If I die, the most important people in my life will be taken care of.  They will keep the house we rebuilt, take trips to visit my sister, and live the life I wanted for them.

But what if I live?

Wait – you mean there’s a chance that since I survived this long, I might survive longer?

So now I’m scared.  I mean, I have planned for death like it was a birthday party with a bunch of five-year-olds.  With the stupid things I did in my twenties, I felt like the one thing I could count on was not making it to 30.  Now I’m facing 40 and thinking, HOLY CRAP I MIGHT MAKE RETIREMENT!?!?

It’s time for the next stage – I need to build a lemonade stand.  Not just a lemonade stand, but a successful lemonade stand.

Where I can make it soooo awesome, I don’t have to work harder.

My lemonade stand is another way of looking at my business of life.  You see if I want my lemonade stand to work, one of the wildly important goals is that it makes money.  This leads to looking closer at my proverbial lemonade itself,  my customers, as well as cost and profit.

So my lemonade: The product.  Life & Work – am I in a position that I’m maximizing my efforts?

My customers: The people. Wife Unit, Teen, Warrior, Little Miss, my boss, my peers, my audience…that list can be huge!

If the product is not in tune with my customers, why will they want to come back to the Stand?  So my home life needs me to love unconditionally, be understanding and sometimes firm with my attention.  Work life – if I’m not doing my job, why should they pay me?

Both of those lead to cost and profit – Emotionally, I invest in the lives of the people around me and I gain friendship, camraderie, and love.  Pretty good (and yeah, a little cheesy I know).

What about physically?  I think that’s the body, which if not developed and maintained will not help me to carry out all the things I want to do.  So diet is important, activity is important, but also learning and experiencing.

These are all great ideas, but not much without another aspect of – Discipline.  Now we’re back to the “Internal Committee of My Mind”.  Can I use the “income” from these ventures to increase profit, making it self-sufficient even?

If my children learn to love, would they not make the world a better place?  If my boss sees great work, will I be compensated more?  If I invest myself into all of these “customers”, will I find happiness?

So to protect all of that, it’s time for me to build the lemonade stand – To have a discipline to invest – emotion, physical, and mental – so that I can maximize potential and reduce cost.

And if I’ve protected my family in case of death – what can I do to protect them in case of Life?  It’s time to stop spending like no tomorrow, because they say “money can’t buy you love.”  But I think that makes the life I want for my peeps a lot easier to experience if protected as much.  It’s one of the ways I can show them how much I love them.

Lemonade stand?  Let’s do this.