What’s Wrong With Making Money?

It’s a simple question, really. Is there something inherently wrong with making money? The answer is most definitively no. Unfortunately, making money is often confused with greed and the two are quite distinct from one another. The real truth behind making money is that you consider a good or service to be worth something in exchange. If something is valuable to you, you pay for it.

Life Lessons

With that in mind, teaching children business fundamentals should be something celebrated in Canada. Hard work and business knowhow are extraordinarily important skills to possess. So if parents wanted to, say, teach their children those skills by having them run a lemonade stand then it should be commended.

One Ottawa family decided to do just that and had their daughters run a lemonade stand so they could earn their way to summer camp. The family’s goal was to have them learn the true cost of the camp by earning it themselves because not everything in life is free.

via @HfxRegPolice on twitter.

“He just wanted his daughters to learn that everything in life isn’t free, and that they can achieve their goals – and a few dollars – through hard work.”

Definitely an admirable goal and something most would be proud of. ​

The Lemonade Debacle

For those not currently in the know check out this article via CBC on the takedown of this lemonade stand. Allan Fotheringham had referred to Ottawa as the “city that fun forgot” and the NCC shutting down a kids’ lemonade stand isn’t helping that image.

Having a lemonade stand to earn money to go to camp was a great life-lesson in progress. It was immensely positive and teaching two young girls responsibility and entrepreneurial skills. Luckily we weren’t the only ones dismayed by this decision.

The NCC Buckles

As one would expect, bureaucrats metaphorically stomping on the lemons of small children didn’t go over well. There was immense public backlash. The thought of someone stamping “DENIED” on a permit for a children’s lemonade stand just doesn’t sit well with most reasonable people. So the lemonade stand was reinstated, much to the relief of the general public.

However, the NCC in its eminent wisdom did impose a few stipulations, of course. A good chunk of the proceeds would be delivered to charity, which is pretty great considering they’re due to receive a big bump in business thanks to this publicity. And of course the sign would need to read “Lemonade/Limonade” to be compliant with NCC regulations. Bureaucracy exists for a reason, but it frequently stifles and limits entrepreneurship and innovation. Red tape aside the stand is back in action, but what does that say about the bureaucracy and the entrepreneurial spirit?

What Does It All Mean?

Selling lemonade to raise money to go to camp had the potential to be a great lesson in value creation and it did end up getting there in the end, but in a rather convoluted manner.

What lessons did the young entrepreneurs learn?

Did the NCC help or hinder the parents in teaching entrepreneurial lessons?

If you look at the BIG picture what are the lessons learned on how government should facilitate entrepreneurship?