At Lemonade Stand, one of our core values is simply “Smile.” We believe that smiling is a total game changer!
Our founder, Greg Trimble, learned the value of smiles while he was in college. Around his college there was a McDonald’s. I know, super exciting, right? Well anyway, what made this location special was a little sign that was up at the drive thru. The sign said “Smiles are Free.”
Everyone loves free stuff, right??
Well, because of that, every time that he would go through the drive thru (and he was a college kid, remember? So this was probably pretty frequent . . .), he would ask if he could have some of their free smiles.
He noticed an improved level of service after asking for (and receiving) a few extra smiles to be thrown in with his meal. People give a lot better service when they smile.
This is now something that we promote to our own team members. Everyone could use an extra smile in their smile, so why can’t we be that smile for them at least today? Smiling at people makes you like people more. It makes you want to help them more. Generally, it also makes them smile a little bit! The more you make them smile, the more that they will go on to make other people smile throughout the rest of their day!
Smiles are contagious!
We like to spread as many smiles as we can around this wonderful world, so we’ve turned it into one of our company’s core values.
How a Smile Can Make a Difference in an Interview
I first caught on to the vision of this value when I had my very first interview with the company management before I came to join this incredible team.
First of all, the interview process was just amazing. Every single person I talked to had a smile on their face. Not a fake “oh I have to do this to look good” kind of smile—a genuine, loving, kind hearted, and fun smile! It was awesome! I had never seen a group of people so happy to be together at work.
Honestly, it was kind of weird. I was really shocked!
It made all of the difference to me, though. I instantly felt comfortable with them and was able to actually enjoy myself while in a job interview! I didn’t even know that was possible. Job interview and fun had never been put in the same sentence before by me, but that’s just how it was!
That was all made possible, I believe, by how much effort they all put into living this incredible core value. Smiling is a powerful thing.
Smiling also tends to lead to laughter.
This is where life gets really good. Laughter is the greatest. Our company president, John Rowa, has a laugh that’s really the greatest. That’s what I really remember from that first interview. Something set that guy off, and he was caught up in a fit of laughter for like five minutes straight. There was absolutely no tension whatsoever in that interview. I could not have been more at ease! A few kind smiles and some good laughter set people up for success.
I’ve heard countless stories from our other team members detailing the same exact thing. I actually now have the privilege to be on a lot of those interviews and to be one of those smiling people who makes the person on the other end feel valued and helps to calm their nerves during the generally nerve-wracking situation that is a job interview.
We also try to pick out good culture candidates by seeing how often someone smiles when we’re talking to them. It’s incredible what you can learn from how often and how genuinely a person smiles at you.
We’re all about happiness over here, and we look for that in every single one of our team members.
This all translates directly over to how we interact with our clients. We do everything we can to encourage our team members to smile when they are with our clients. We really care that the people who support our company are having a great day and a wonderful time when they get to meet with our team.
This all started from a simple little sign outside of a McDonald’s, and it is now one of the defining traits of our company. One person, our founder. One smile, has turned into hundreds of thousands of smiles delivered straight to our team members, potential team members, clients, potential clients, and a bunch of other random people who we’ve been able to interact with in any capacity.
We live for smiles!
How Can You Live This Core Value?
I’ll be honest, this isn’t always the easiest core value to live by. We all have those rough days where smiling is the last thing that we want to do. So how do we do it? How can you do it?
I’ll sum this up into two words: effort and care.
Smiling can take a lot of effort and practice! If you have lived your life sulking around the office because you have no desire to actually be there, then it might be really difficult for you to adopt this value. It’s going to take a lot of effort, and it will be a consistent choice that you will have to make multiple times a day. Smiling isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing that you can do once when you wake up in the morning and then forget about for the rest of the day. Every time that you interact with someone, you might have to remind yourself to smile at them.
This is ok!
Keep trying! At some point, you’ll realize that you don’t even have to think about it anymore. You’re smiling all of the time, and you are genuinely more happy! The people around you will also be happier, especially when they get to be around you!
The other advice for living this value is to care for people. Learn what it means to truly care, and then apply that knowledge wherever you find yourself throughout the day.
When you care about somebody, anybody, you’re going to want to make a difference in that person’s life. One of the easiest ways to make a difference for someone (and one of the most natural ways I might add) is to just smile at them. Give them one of those free cheesers, and their day will be that much brighter!
You’ll find that if you care about someone, when you get a chance to chat with them or even just walk by them, you’ll probably naturally start to crack a smile at them! It can really make someone’s day to know that if they walk in the room, it will make you smile! They feel that they’ve brightened your day, and you have just filled them with absolute joy!
Think about what kind of a difference that can make in the world.
Smile at somebody today. Then smile at the next person. Then the next. It’s pretty contagious and addicting. You won’t want to stop, and you really shouldn’t ever stop!
If you want to get yourself some of our free smiles, reach out to a member of our team. We’d love to make you smile!