Home > Career, Environment, Performance Management > Want to teach your daughter a REAL lesson? Sell their Girl Scout Cookies!

Want to teach your daughter a REAL lesson? Sell their Girl Scout Cookies!

It’s Girl Scout Cookie time again. Not only are those cookies worthy of a good glutinous binge, but who can resist that timid knock of that neighborhood girl practicing the fine art of door-to-door sales? It’s also a great way for children to get first-hand exposure to capitalism, commerce, ownership, responsibility, and…hard work.  So what’s up with all of you parents who bring your daughter’s order sheet into the office?  Some people would argue that you’re depriving your daughter of a good experience…that you’re giving them a cop out…that you’re spoiling them.  Others would say your actions border on unethical.  But I say you’re doing them a favor and that there’s a hidden lesson there for any of those daughters who may one day end up in the business world.  And here’s the lesson:

“People who succeed in corporate America inevitably have people in high places who help them get there.”

It’s just too tough out there to go it alone…hard work doesn’t cut it any more…it is mostly about who you know…nice gals do finish last…the “Good ‘Ole Boys Club” is alive and well.  I hate to say it, but it does matter whether you can play golf with the “big guys” (check out PunkRockHR today) or whether you can shoot the shit around the Super Bowl or whether you can smoke a cigar and drink scotch at a poker table.  And it will always matter when it comes down to promotions, evaluations, compensation, and any other “workplace competition” that you have someone in the room who can champion your cause.  Just like your parents are doing when they bring your Girl Scout Cookie order form into the office.  I have two daughters – only one of them is old enough to sell cookies.  We don’t even ask her to go door to door yet – that’s just too much for a 7-year-old.  She gives her pitch to her grandparents and close family and that’s it.  We end up buying most of the boxes, though; and that’s alright with me and my sweet tooth.  And I’m not sure I’ll ever bring her order form in to the office – it still kind of bothers me.  But I’m also not sure it’s such a bad idea either.  After all, helping your daughter – who will most likely one day become a working woman – get ahead in the workplace can’t be all that bad. 

Photo Credit: Factpile

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  1. Jennifer
    January 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Interesting spin on the whole selling of the Girl Scout Cookies. I’m dating myself, but I sold them and I went door-to-door. In this crazy world, maybe that isn’t the best approach, but the child could visit a local nursing home with a parent. They could sell to the workers or the residents of the nursing home (if nothing else, you will make some of the local residents day!) or a Mall. Then they could do their own selling, with your supervision. I guess be creative. I don’t buy Girl Scout Cookies from co-workers, sorry. If someone came to my door, I’d buy more than we can eat though.

  2. Kimberly
    January 27, 2010 at 8:44 am

    When I was younger, my mother never made my brother and I sell anything door-to-door. We would come home with our order forms and they would be strategically placed throughout her office to maximize the potential amount of buyers. This is my 7 year olds second year selling cookies. Both years, I have made her walk door to door and we work through her sales pitch with our 100 neighbors (yes I make her ring every doorbell). It’s a little easier since she knows just about everyone. Ultimately, I believe it helps her work on sales, money, and shows her that if she works hard enough she is rewarded for her efforts with decent prizes. Also, it’s a real ego booster when 99% of our neighbors purchase at least one box of cookies.

    I also bring the form to work, but I only ask coworkers that I speak to on a regular basis and those in my department. I don’t believe in high pressure sales, so I just let everyone know that she is selling them and if they are interested they can stop by. If they are not interested then my feelings are certainly not hurt.

  3. Amanda
    January 27, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I sell my kid’s GS cookies at work. But, she has to create the marketing materials: when she was younger it was just a cute picture; now (she is eight) she types the e-mail, makes flyers, inputs the order form into a spreadsheet, comes into the office to deliver cookies and collect money, and sends thanks cards. Another co-worker’s daughter is now old enough to sell cookies, and he only sent out a basic e-mail. Most co-workers still bought from my daughter and said that they like her hand-drawn flyers and watching her count their change.

    I would add that a record of hard work and dedication, as well as someone in a high place, will help girls achieve what they want. And seven really isn’t too young to knock on neighbors’ or friends’ doors if you know them. I’ve found that a few ‘no’s motivate my kid to keep going.

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