According to a recent
study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, a whopping 92
percent of girls think they’re smart enough to be entrepreneurs and
nearly 80 percent say they’re interested in careers in the business
world. Love. This! What we don’t love so much is that one in
three girls feels the stress or risk of failure involved in
entrepreneurship makes it not worth the effort. Another bummer? The
majority of girls think their gender would make it harder for them to
succeed as entrepreneurs.
If you’re wondering why any of this matters, think of it this way:
there’s a lot of power (and money!) in the business world, and if
girls are too intimidated to even give their entrepreneurial skills a
shot, they’re getting locked out of a lot of amazing opportunities.
And even if your girl isn’t interested in calling the shots someday at
her own business, having an entrepreneurial spirit will be important
when she’s doing everything from writing a resume and negotiating her
salary to making smart household purchases.
Luckily, it’s easier than you think to give your girl a business
mindset and confidence in her entrepreneurial abilities. Borrow these
five simple tips to get started.
Let her fail.
Resist the urge to step up and help her
finish her science project at the 11th hour. Let her suffer the
consequences of forgetting her homework at home. It may sound harsh,
but learning from her mistakes will also teach her that she has the
ability to bounce back and do better next time. The more often this
cycle of failure and recovery happens in her life, the more
comfortable and resilient she’ll be when faced with challenges and
disappointments in the professional world.
Teach her to bargain with you.
If she’s angling for a
bit more freedom and wants to stay up later than usual or go to a
party you normally wouldn’t agree to, don’t just say no—ask her to
explain her side and outline why she thinks you should say yes. Has
she been super responsible and shown that she can handle that
freedom? Is she offering to do extra chores around the house in
exchange for this one-time treat? Hearing her out doesn’t always
mean she’ll get her way, but it can help you understand her thinking
a bit better and will definitely help her gain solid negotiation
skills that will come in handy sooner than you think.
Play “Ten New Ways.”
The next time you’re stumped for a
dinner conversation topic or are killing time in the car, play a
round of Ten New Ways, where each person in your group is challenged
to think of ten different uses for an everyday household item, like
a rubber band or a yogurt cup. It’ll make the time fly by and
strengthen her abilities of imagination, resourcefulness, and
innovation—qualities all entrepreneurs need in abundance.
Have her spread the word.
The next time you host a yard
sale or stoop sale, make her your advertising executive in charge of
getting the word out. What does she think will be the best way to
advertise? How can she make your sale seem different or better than
other sales that might be happening in the neighborhood? In
business, no one can buy what you’re selling if they don’t know
about it in the first place. The sooner your girl learns this
lesson, the better she’ll be at running her own business and
convincing others of her worth in the marketplace.
Talk to her about the things she buys.
It’s always a
good idea to make sure your girl gets an allowance (even a small
one) so she can make financial decisions on her own. Take that a
step further, though, and actually talk to your girl about the
things she buys with her own money. If she chose a name-brand over
generic or vice versa, is she still happy with that decision? Did
she compare the prices of similar items? Is she saving up for
something exciting down the road? The more your girl talks about
money and financial decisions, the more comfortable she’ll be
dealing with these topics and navigating that world when she’s