by Lyle R. Hill
Yes, these are turbulent times in the glass industry … and turbulence
leads to chaos … and chaos leads to worry … and worry leads to self doubt
… and self doubt leads to people questioning whether or not they really
have what it takes to be successful in the glass business or in any other
business for that matter. In fact, I am regularly asked by people from
all walks of life … “Do you think I could make it in the glass business?”
This is not an easy question to answer. In the old days, when I started
out, it was much easier. But now there are computers, and guys with MBAs,
and all that HTS. And “exactly what is HTS?” you ask. Well, my friend,
that stands for HIGH TECH STUFF … see what I mean about how much harder
it’s getting? At any rate, I have now developed a simple, fool-proof,
effective test to determine whether or not you, or anybody else for that
matter, has what it takes to get into the glass business and become one
of its many-fold success stories. It is concise, deadly accurate and takes
less than ten minutes. Also, it is self scoring so nobody has to know
how well you performed.
I spent a great deal of time developing this test and I could probably
sell it for a great deal of money. However, I’m a generous kind of guy
and therefore, I’m only going to charge you $5 to take the test. We’re
going to do this on the honor system. Honesty is very important to all
of us in the glass industry and so is trust for that matter. So now you
must make a choice. If you want to continue reading and therefore take
the test, you must now mail me $5 … cash is always preferred. If you don’t
want to go on, stop reading now and give this article to a friend … preferably
someone who has a lot of money but is also burdened with a lot of self
doubt. I’m trusting you to do the right thing because it is common knowledge
that the glass industry in this country operates under the highest of
moral and ethical standards.
Okay … for those of you who are still with me and have already mailed
in your $5, let me say a word of thanks. For those of you who are still
with me and have not mailed in your money, shame on you. You are a disgrace
to us all and my guess is that you’ll do very poorly on the test anyway.
I have named my test the GLASS APTITUDE GRADIENT … or GAG for short. It
should be taken with a number two pencil or with the second pencil you
take out of your drawer … either one is fine. It is a timed test. You
have exactly eight minutes and 45 seconds to take the test. You are allowed
one timeout for a drink of lemonade because taking this test has a tendency
to cause thirst. I’m not totally sure why. The timeout cannot last longer
than two minutes. Both of your feet must be on the floor and you are not
allowed to use any reference books of any kind. The test can be self scored
but if you would like me to score it and give you an honest opinion of
your individual SUCCESS ASSURANCE PROFILE … or SAP as we in the testing
business call it … you will have to mail me $10 and a self addressed,
stamped return envelope. Allow 45 days for processing. OK … are you ready?
Here we go …
It is early July. You live in a relatively small Midwestern town. You
are ten years old and you have decided to open up your town’s first, and
therefore only, lemonade stand. With help from your big city, drug-dealing,
12 year-old cousin, you do a very thorough analysis and determine that
your cost to produce and prepare a 7-ounce glass of lemonade is exactly
This cost includes all ingredients, labor and overhead allowances.
Select the decision you would make in each of the following situations
… score yourself as indicated. Keep a running total of your score.
You decide to go for it by opening up your first lemonade stand on the
corner nearest your home. You know your cost per cup is 8 cents so you
1. Sell your lemonade at 12 cents per cup. Score 1 point
2. Sell your lemonade for 8 cents per cup. Score 3 points
3. Sell your lemonade for 6 cents per cup. Score 5 points
You are totally shocked to find out that you are not the first or only
lemonade stand in town. You discover that another kid has opened up on
the east side of town and is selling her lemonade for 9 cents a cup. You
1. Open up across town from her and sell for 9 cents per cup. Score 1
2. Call her and reach a price fixing arrangement to sell for 10 cents
per cup. Score 3 points
3. Open up right across the street from her and sell for 7 cents
per cup. Score 5 points
After several months of losing money, your 3-year-old little brother points
out to you that you have been selling your lemonade at a price that is
less than your costs and that you will soon face bankruptcy if you don’t
change your ways. You decide to:
1. Pursue a job delivering newspapers and give him the job of running
the lemonade business because he is obviously more qualified than you.
Score 1 point
2. Punch the little guy in the nose and tell him to stay out of your way
because it’s very obvious that he doesn’t know the lemonade business.
Score 2 points
3. Hire a high-priced consultant, preferably someone who has already
gone bankrupt a couple of times in the lemonade business, to give you
advice. Score 7 points
You begin to realize that the 3-year-old brat was right and that you can’t
go on much longer. Some new, creative program is needed if you are to
survive. You decide to:
1. Purchase a Lemonade Nurse franchise which allows you to do all the
nifty things you’ve been doing but now you get a monthly newsletter telling
you how well all the other Lemonade Nurse franchisers are doing. Score
2. Join a big time network and let them handle all dealings with your
old customers. You then drop your price to 7 cents per cup so they can
continue to sell at 8 cents. Score 3 points
3. Water down your lemonade mix, use foreign manufactured paper cups,
offer free home delivery and lower your price to 6 cents a cup. Score
You opted for choice number 3 in situation number 4 and your customers
are complaining that the quality of your lemonade is terrible and might
even be a health hazard. You decide to:
1. Quickly display decals and stickers that say “Master Mixer Certification”
… Accredited by the National Lemonade Association of America. Score 2
2. Blame it on sabotage by your competitor. Score 3 points
3. Close your business down, move a few blocks away and open up under
a different name a few months later. Score 5 points
Scoring Your Test
If you scored nine or less points … forget the glass business, become
a lawyer or used car salesman.
If you scored 10-20 points … your odds are slightly better than 50-50
of making it.
If you scored 21 or more points … you can’t fool me, you’re already in
the glass business.
And don’t forget, if you need your Glass Aptitude Gradient (GAG) scored
by me personally under the Success Assurance Profile (SAP) plan, send
$10 to me at once and I will gladly be of service in helping you decide
if this is the business you belong in.
© Copyright 2010 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.