The Girl Scouts have been selling cookies for more than 100 years, and they've created the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world. In fact, more than 200 million boxes of cookies are sold each year, totaling about $800 million dollars.
While the cookie sales sound impressive on their own, they're not the only benefit of scouting. Studies show that former Girl Scouts have higher achievements across the board, including increased income and greater self-esteem.
With a record like that, the Girl Scouts must know something about blending traditional and modern paths to success. Take a look at what Thin Mints and Samoas can teach you about reaching your own goals.
Traditional Paths to Success:
1. Focus on giving. Supporting worthy causes is part of what makes Girl Scout cookies so popular. The money goes back into the local community or to other charities that the girls select. Whether you're selling shortbread or life insurance, helping others to reach their dreams will help you to fulfill your own.
2. Be authentic. The pictures on the cookie boxes are all real Girl Scouts, and the girls are encouraged to wear their uniforms going door to door or staffing their booths. Being genuine with yourself and others will make you more likeable and trustworthy too.
3. Build skills. The Girl Scouts have invented their own 5-part formula for success. It includes goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. While you may choose different wording, it's important to develop the abilities and behaviors that enable you to deal with life's challenges.
4. Look out for your family. The first Girl Scout cookies were baked by mothers and daughters in their own kitchens, and parents still bring cookies to the office to sell to coworkers. Family support helps you to stay strong and resilient.
5. Make friends. Selling cookies takes teamwork. You'll discover more opportunities and make more progress if you network vigorously and consistently. Focus on what you can do for others and follow up when you make a commitment.
6. Leverage your strengths. Would you believe that Thin Mints account for 25% of Girl Scout cookies sales? While it's important to be open to new ideas, your biggest achievements will come from knowing how to use your unique talents.
7. Live healthy. Speaking of new ideas, Girl Scout cookies now come in vegan and gluten-free options. To accomplish anything in life, you need to take care of your mind and body.
8. Appreciate nature. S'more cookies are one sign of how scouting brings cookies and camping together. Outdoor activities are another mainstay of a happy and productive life.
9. Gain confidence. The greatest benefit of scouting and selling cookies may be the increased confidence that Girl Scouts report. Believing in yourself makes you a success in any field.
Modern Paths to Success:
1. Go digital. Caramel deLites and Do-si-Dos took a giant step into the 21st Century with the launching of the Digital Cookies platform in 2014. Embracing new technology enables you to work smarter and stay relevant.
2. Use social media. The internet makes it a lot easier to find out when your favorite cookies go on sale. Build your community by staying in touch and sharing your views on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other channels.
3. Seek balance. On the other hand, Girl Scout cookies are still officially on sale for only about 6 to 8 weeks a year even in a 24/7 society, so girls can participate in other worthwhile projects. It's a good reminder to stick to your own values and priorities.
Girl Scout cookies are a delicious way to treat yourself and invest in your community. Let these young cookie entrepreneurs inspire you to take action and live the life you want.