• Michelle Faust

The Big Squeeze: Creating the Lemonade Stand

Updated: Dec 14, 2019

I am no stranger to turning lemons into lemonade. I’ve done it countless times throughout my personal and professional careers. The breakthrough moment for me was when I earned a pink slip while working in a traditional corporate career in pharmaceuticals. For 20 years, I had earned the status of top sales performer. Yet, when that pink slip arrived, I was told I no longer fit the image of the company. Youth and inexperience won. It was time to get the juicer out and make some lemonade out of all those lemons.

I wanted to share my story of perseverance despite my own personal challenges. However, I didn’t know how to publish it in a way that would reach the people who needed to hear my message. I realized that many of the women in my personal and professional network had a common history of overcoming seemingly insurmountable tragedies to emerge with new-found strength and the desire to help others. I reached out to these brave women with the idea of collecting their wisdom into a book. A book about the lemons that can invade both our entrepreneurial visions and success in life, and how we can come together as a community of support — The Lemonade Stand.

The Lemonade Stand was inspired in part by the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. A legacy we are proud to carry forward with our own special “twist” on a true story anthology. Courage and vulnerability are at the heart of The Lemonade Stand. The Lemonade Ladies are not afraid to use goofy puns and we are not afraid to share our personal stories of hitting bottom. For those who are in the hopeless depths of illness, abuse, addiction, and loss, this balance of humor, wisdom, and honesty is the voice of understanding and encouragement that is the key to a flourishing recovery.

No life is without pain. The realities of poverty, illness, and death are inescapable. However, this abstract knowledge is of little comfort when we are struck down with loss. What we need is to be understood, to know that we are not alone, and to realize that there is an end to the suffering. The short stories within The Lemonade Stand range from surviving stage-four cancer to being sentenced to prison for white-collar crime. No matter how harrowing the ordeal, the commonality of the lemonade stories is that health, joy, and success do return and are waiting on the other side of calamity. This book is a light for those in the dark.

Through the process of producing this wonderful anthology, I found my true calling and rebranded my business with a more specific purpose. I love to connect people, whether through the power and beauty of the written word or through a stimulating guest experience on my podcast, Lemonade Legend. My books, social posts, blogs, and podcast all celebrate the voice of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have tackled lemons and created amazing versions of lemonade opportunities.

#thelemonadestand #lemonadelegend #inspiringwomensstories


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