In the lead up to Labor Day, we have put together a Q&A series we're calling "Q&Aid" with some of the top entrepreneurs and city/business leaders to get our volunteers' creative juices flowing.
For the latest installment of our series, we sit down with Julia Hobbs Kivistik, president and founder of Human Truth Marketing and a pioneer in the field of cause branding.
Editor's Notes: Julia is an advisor to the Lemon-Aid Project and we thank her for all of her support and guidance! Parts of this interview have also been edited and condensed for clarity.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
20+ year senior executive in nonprofit/profit strategic partnerships to engage consumers/shopper and employees to create movements to make a difference.
When did you know you wanted to do what you do now?
When I quit my job as a mathematician working on the Hellfire missile to meeting the founder of Give Kids The World which fulfills the wish of terminally ill children to visit Disney World. He became my mentor in business and life.
Who is your biggest role model or mentor and why?
Henri Landwirth, the founder of Give Kids The World. He helped me believe that anything is possible and to never give up on your dream. He helped me shape my purpose which is, "To always inspire others to believe in themselves and their dreams. And that anything is possible."
This Lemon-Aid stand is my first entrepreneurial venture… any advice or suggestions?
Think about where people are when they get really thirsty - like the 9th hole of a golf course or after a long run in a popular or favorite park - places where people are thirsty! Pick a retailer that sells higher priced products and you'll be surprised at how much they might pay for your lemonade - which is all to help others in your/their community. Don't ask them when they enter the retailer - wait until they have bought something and and are headed toward their car. Small but important tip :) Find a company that is trying to get people to try their new product and sell your lemonade in a cup to help advertise the new product (ie. new product offering at X company ).
What did you wish you knew when you were a kid that you know now?
That people are naturally good and want to feel good about helping others. Just a smile, a thank you, a nod of appreciation goes a long way. Kindness matters.
What has been your greatest failure and what did it teach you?
My greatest failure is going after something I didn't get - but it taught me that you have to try and when you do, you may not get what you thought you wanted but a big new door opened up for you because you tried!
What drives you to keep going when things get difficult?
My mentors who told me (and I believe) that anything is possible. That no one else can define who you are in life - only you have that right.
How do you feel you make a difference in the world?
To live my purpose, "To always inspire others to believe in themselves and their dreams. And that anything is possible."
Anything else you'd like to share?
Good luck. Be creative and trust yourself and your ideas. And know that you will be great! Thank you for creating an amazing Lemon-Aid Stand to "take a stand for others in your community" by doing something!