The Icee Bribe November 20 2009

I'm not too proud to tell you that when my children were younger, and it was difficult to get through a shopping trip without a meltdown on someone's (anyone's!) part, I used to bribe them. I learned quickly that the best bribe was an Icee; something that I couldn't make at home and that was only available in a few select stores. So, I would head out with 2 kids in tow promising a wonderful, sweet, cold treat if they would just be good through the stores that lead up to the one that had the Icees.Icee

This strategy worked like a charm... until I went to South Africa for the first time. While on that first trip to South Africa I spent a lot of time thinking about what it would mean to start a beadwork business. What would it look like? What would it take to be successful? How would we measure our success? Eventually, I landed on the key question:

What does it cost to feed a person in South Africa for a day?

I became obsessed with gaining an answer to this question and understanding how the answer would fold into the (potential) business of Beaded Hope.

$3/day

That was the answer. For just $3 a day you could feed a person in South Africa. Granted it would be a very simple, basic type of food but still, it would only cost $3 a day. With this knowledge in my head I returned home and set out on my first shopping expedition with my children. As was our routine, I bribed them to be good until we got to Target where I would buy them an Icee. They were. I did. And then the unthinkable happened; they whined about the Icees that I'd just bought them.

Those Icees were a treat! Those 2 Icees cost me nearly $3!

Now, of course, I didn't tell me children how appalled I was that they could consider wasting the $3 that it cost to buy them their Icees. Instead I turned the thought inward and wondered how often I have frivolously wasted $3 (or $6 or $9) without even thinking about it. Today, as you browse our website, you'll see how this experience has influenced the way we measure the success of Beaded Hope. A days' worth of food on an artist's table is a success. A weeks' worth is an even bigger success. Over 6 years' worth of food (that we provided last year) is an amazing success. Our perspective on success has changed, all because of a silly little bribe.