I’ve spent a lot of time this year talking to women my age who want to know how they too, can be an entrepreneur, and it’s something I really love to talk about. Surprisingly, I’ve also met quite a few younger girls this year who asked me about how I got to where I am and how they can too.
I’m pretty shocked that nobody is teaching girls that they can grow up to be entrepreneurs. It’s high time that has to change.
I’m lucky, I know it. I grew up in a family where my Mom told me every single day that I could grow up to be anything I wanted, and she was quite entrepreneurial. My first company was a dog cookie business I started as a kid, and my Mom sat down with me and helped me figure out what my costs were to make each cookie. “Work hard, and the money will come.”
This was one of her absolute favorite sayings, and she imparted to me that I could grow up and have my own businesses or pick a path that the school guidance counselors told me would amount to nothing, and so long as I worked hard, I could be successful.
I didn’t have to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a nurse, or a lawyer to be a success. I didn’t have to pick a traditional path. Needless to say, I didn’t. I only applied to FIT in Manhattan, as my school guidance counselor chastised me and my Mom cheered me on. I graduated with a degree in Textile/Surface design and went on to start my own accessories company.
I’ve met enough people now at nearly 28 to know that nobody grows up like that. Nobody’s Mom tells them they can own their own company as a little girl. Nobody’s Mom encourages them to go to college for something off the beaten path. I’m lucky to have the Mom I have, and I want other little girls to grow up knowing the important things she told me.
Even if you don’t have children of your own, or don’t plan on being a Mom, you can still inspire the little girls around you to want to grow up to be entrepreneurs. Here are some of the most important traits an entrepreneur can have, and how we can inspire girls to have them:
The Ability To Solve Problems
Solving problems comes with the territory when you’re an entrepreneur. It’s something you end up doing on the daily. If you don’t have a problem with an employee, you have a problem with a customer. Or your technology. Or your suppliers. It’s always something, and you quickly learn to not only think on your feet, but make decisions quickly too.
How can you teach the ability to solve problems to little girls?
Outline the problem, and then discuss it in detail. Brainstorm five possible solutions to the problem. Make a list of the pros and cons of each potential solution. Let that little girl decide on what the solution will be. Don’t be afraid to let her experience adverse reactions to her solution or consequences from making the decision she did (as long as, she is of course safe). The good news is, if her initial decision doesn’t work out, she can pick another solution from the list she made. Welcome to real world problem solving.
How To Make That Money
I feel like I was pretty much born with the burning desire to make money. It’s entirely due to how my Mom raised me. I got an allowance from the time I was 3-years-old, and I of course had age appropriate tasks I could complete to make that money.
One of my Mom’s favorite stories to tell about me is the time she wanted to take me to a local craft fair. I was 3. I emptied out my bunch of dimes from my allowance into my hands and asked her how much it would cost me to go buy things at this fair. She told me I would have to spend all of it, and I promptly put it all back in my bank. She not only molded me into a high earner, but quite a saver too.
The bottom line here is children sure appreciate the money they have to earn far more than any money you give them.
How can you teach little girls how to make money?
Give them chores. Give them an allowance. You can start as young as my Mom started me. It’s really as simple as that. Teach them that if they want something, they have to work for it and save up. My Mom encouraged me to work hard and make my money so I could go on to buy things I really wanted, like a horse.
I went on to save up all my money and even though she bought my horse for me as a Christmas present, I had to support him. I worried about making sure I had enough money to pay the farrier before I even hit puberty.
The Value Of Customer Service
The value of customer service is paramount. As an entrepreneur, your success absolutely comes down to how happy you can keep your customer.
How can you teach little girls the value of customer service?
Encourage them to get a job where they have to learn customer service and interface with customers. I worked as a secretary at an animal hospital as soon as I was legally allowed to have a part time job. That job taught me an endless amount about customer service, because at the age of 15 I was on my own in the front of the office having to calm people down, deal with issues, get yelled at when people didn’t like the company policies, answer phones, and wipe up dog pee, all with a smile on my face.
How To Network & Interact With People
It takes a village, and building a business is no exception to that rule. How to network and how to interact with people are more critical skills every entrepreneur needs to master. Whether you’re pitching your business, seeking advice, looking to hire employees, it all comes down to how you network and interact with people.
How can you teach little girls how to network and interact with people?
You need to encourage children when they’re little to be interested in people, because they’re not going to just develop that interest on their own. As a very little child, my Mom would encourage me to interact with adults. We would be at a party and she would say, “This is Mr. & Mrs. So & So. Go up to them and introduce yourself and find something nice to say.”
Off I would go, and I quickly learned how to make conversation, let me tell you. This is singlehandedly one of the most useful life skills my Mom imparted to me. You can encourage little girls to sit around while you adults make conversation, and have them not only listen, but add to it too.
How To Be A Leader
Leadership skills as an entrepreneur? Self explanatory. Learning how to be a leader sets you up to be the owner of your own company.
How can you teach little girls how to be a leader?
The easiest way to teach girls how to be leaders is through babysitting. Or, until they’re old enough to babysit on their own, they can be encouraged to help out and be responsible in taking care of younger siblings. I still use some of the tactics my Mom taught me to get the children I babysat to behave on my current employees.
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
Today she operates her own luxury label Bre Avery, and is also the Chief Chick at Chipchick.com which reaches millions of women each month.
Bre is passionate about keeping women informed of the latest technology trends and products to improve their lifestyle and believes in providing real, useful information and advice to her readers.
Chip Chick was provided with this product for free, in exchange for our honest feedback. All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own and not influenced by the company and/or its affiliates in any way.