Life Lessons Learned From a Girl Scout

04/09/2015 04:04 pm ET | Updated Jun 09, 2015

My 9-year-old neighbor, Carly, inspired me. She taught me that if we're open to receiving lessons, they will come to us. I learned several from this spunky, intelligent 9-year-old girl, and would like to share five of them with you!


1. Don't be afraid to do your own thing
Carly was involved with a local Girl Scout troop and was looking forward to this year's cookie sales. When her mom found out that the person in charge of cookies decided not to order any for their troop, they made the joint decision to pull Carly out of the troop and make her a Juliette. This means that she is independent of a troop, but can still sell cookies and earn all the rewards. This was a bold move, and one that has paid off greatly for Carly!


2. Always have goals
Carly knew that goals were important. She set short, medium and long-term goals (or as she called it, her "big goal") for her cookie sales. Her short term was 300 boxes, medium was 800 and long term 1,000. She ended up surpassing her goal, as I knew she would, selling 1,056 boxes!

When I asked her reason for setting the goals where she did, she responded that she just wanted to go to summer camp and have it paid for (and the iPad mini at 1,000 boxes was also a pretty strong motivator). She has an adorable handmade goal indicator sign that she proudly displays at her booths to help promote sales!


3. It takes a village
With Carly no longer in a troop, her mom and grandmother jumped in to help with booths and the community helped with door-to-door sales. I offered to have Carly set up her booth outside of a networking meeting, where she sold almost 50 boxes alone! She had a total of 14 booths throughout the month where she patiently sat and sold cookies! She also offered "delivery service" to our neighbors (I mean, who doesn't love seeing a cute little Girl Scout in her sash bringing you a box of cookies.... or five?!). Additionally, going for walks through the neighborhood with her little brother's stroller full of cookies sparked everyone's interest and was a great marketing tool to sell cookies!!


4. Dedication pays off
Carly didn't let her troop's lack of planning get her down. Between her cookie booths and door-to-door techniques, she has almost made her big goal of 1,000 boxes. She never once faltered, even when her mother was ill for a few days or had to take a week off from cookie sales to travel to her grandfather's funeral. She contented to have a huge smile on her face and a positive attitude the entire month, and was set on reaching her goal and going to summer camp!


5. Just have fun
Every time I saw Carly with her cookies, she had a smile on her face and a giggle in her voice. I know her eye was on the prize, but she never once made it seem like "work." Not having a troop to hang out with afforded her some quality mother-daughter time, and she had a blast selling Samoas, Tagalongs and ThinMints, one box at a time!!

Excuse me now while I go eat my cookies...