I have been approached numerous times over the years by candy-selling-children. Oh, the reasons vary -- for a school play, a football team, to raise funds for after school activities to keep kids off the streets. I admire these kids spending their afternoons and evenings going from house to house, coffee shop to coffee shop, being, for the most part, rejected along the way. My philosophy is that I can't give money to everyone that needs it ... but, if I have it on me, I'll help them out. That's just me. I'm kind of a sucker sometimes.

The other day a couple of us were having coffee at a little cafe near work, sitting outside and smoking. A young kid walks up to us, sets his big box of candy on the ground and stares at us. He then wrinkles up his nose, and starts waving his hand in front of his face. "You all are going to die." he tells us. "Why are you smoking those cigarettes?" he asked. "They are going to kill you, you know."

Nice sales pitch.

He then picks up one of the packs of cigarettes off of the table and reads the Surgeon General's warning out loud. "Smoking by pregnant women may result in ..." He then looks up at us -- two female, one male -- and says, "I can see that you are all pregnant. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. How can you be killing your babies like that." (Please note that none of us, not even the male, is pregnant.) "How much did you just spend on that coffee?"
He apparently knew that we just spent about 400% more than we should have for our coffee.

Ahh, the criticisms went on and on, and became increasingly funnier. In the end, I just asked him how much his candy was, bought it, and went back to work.

This kid was great. A nine-year-old salesman who's tactic was far more creative and innovative and effective than most of our sales team combined.

So, if anyone is looking for a youthful, energetic entrepreneur, I know where to find one.