Life Without Lemons Is... Just Water

Life Without Lemons Is... Just Water

I have often wondered where the saying - “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” - originated. 

Well, thanks to Mr. Google and Ms. Wikipedia we now know.

And I quote... 

“The phrase was initially coined by Christian anarchist writer Elbert Hubbard in a 1915 obituary he penned and published for dwarf actor Marshall Pinckney Wilder

The obituary, entitled The King of Jesters, praises Wilder’s optimistic attitude and achievements in the face of his disabilities:

‘He was a walking refutation of that dogmatic statement, Mens sana in corpore sano

His was a sound mind in an unsound body. 

He proved the eternal paradox of things. 

He cashed in on his disabilities. 

He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.’

Although the expression was coined by Hubbard, many modern authors attribute the expression to Dale Carnegie who used it in his 1948 book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Carnegie’s version reads: ‘If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade.’”

They say your biggest growth moments happen during the hard times. 

For the purposes of this blog we will call those “lemon moments”. 

Starting a business is chock-full of learning, growing, and a massive orchard full of “lemon moments”. 

Even if you work for “the man” or “the woman”, believe us, the founders/owners know what it is like to not sleep, to run out of money, and/or to put everything on the line to make their dreams come true. 

Not once have we met an entrepreneur who has had it easy. 

Those entrepreneurs who have built something from the ground up have most certainly gotten dealt their share of lemons. 

Even if you were born into a business, or “entrepreneurialhood”, I can assure you the scrappy person behind the idea, the one who laid the first brick on the foundation, had “lemon moments” filled with intense doubt and fear. 

Especially if they had a family to take care of, or employees who depended on them. 

For the past five years, we have focused on entrepreneurs and their journeys, interviewing close to 200 entrepreneurs on our podcast GSD Entrepreneur, and diving deep with over 100 entrepreneurs with our coaching/consulting firm, A Salty Rim. 

One of the common denominators are the “lemon moments”... like losing a big customer who was a nightmare, but ultimately seeing it open up bigger opportunities, or having to let go of an executive team member only to find out they were a big cause of angst for the staff, and the big one of 2020 which we all know too well…Covid.   

We have seen a lot of “lemon moments” for others, and have often felt like we ourselves have taken up residence in a dang lemon orchard. 

But truth be told, we have also seen a ton of lemonade being made. 

Really delicious lemonade.

So the next time life throws you lemons, take those lemons, squeeze them in glass, add ice and water (or vodka) and enjoy the fruits of your labor!


Stace + Jules

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