Thursday, November 1, 2018

5 Things This Is Us Teaches Us about Entrepreneurship

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In case you missed it, Girl Scouts made an appearance on This Is Us last night, and we were SO here 
for it! Our iconic Girl Scout Cookie program took center stage on the show as fictional Girl Scouts Annie and Tess, Randall and Beth’s daughters, teamed up with their mom to sell their beloved cookies. 

Even though things did not go as planned during their cookie sale, This Is Us taught us some pretty valuable lessons about entrepreneurship:

1. Always be prepared. 

The Girl Scout motto “Be prepared” is especially relevant to all the Cookie bosses out there! On This Is Us, Girl Scouts Annie and Tess forgot to bring the card reader, so they missed out on customers who were ready to support their cookie biz but didn’t have cash. That’s a valuable lesson in being prepared: if you fail to keep track of everything needed to have your ducks in a row, you’ll miss out on key opportunities to meet your goals. A cookie sale checklist will have everything listed, and you can check it twice to make sure you have all supplies, cash to make change, and the technology needed for smooth sailing. There are lots of moving parts when running the largest girl-led business in the world, so be prepared—it's the Girl Scout way!

2. Be flexible. 

When Beth and her daughters arrived at their first location with cookie boxes and table in tow, they realized a troop had already set up shop there, and had to move to another location. As an entrepreneur, one thing you’ll learn is that things won’t always go as planned. Even with the most thorough of planning, unexpected changes will arise. Part of being prepared is knowing how to handle such changes! They’re no match for a nimble, can-do attitude, and if you combine it with the ability to improvise, there’s nothing a #CookieBoss can’t quickly overcome.

3. Teamwork makes the dream work. 

While it’s great to be self-reliant, there’s strength in numbers! You have to be open to receiving help from others and working as a team to reach the common goal. While Beth might have forgotten to bring the card machine, Tess and Annie also had a responsibility to make sure everything needed for their cookie booth was packed and ready to go. Having clear roles for all members of your team and giving each one ownership helps everyone work well together to get the job done.

A great lesson for Tess, Annie, Beth, and Girl Scouts everywhere is that there’s value in extending a hand to help your team to make sure everything needed gets accomplished and your cookie sale is a success.

4. Keep your cool in times of crisis. 

Staying calm when things go wrong helps you see problems clearly and come up with solid solutions. Annie and Tess couldn’t contain their frustration at the cookie booth, so they lashed out on their mother for dropping the ball on something important. Beth, in turn, lost her composure and yelled back at them. Situations like these make it hard to address the problem at hand and be kind to each other in the midst of chaos. Beth and the girls ended up leaving the cookie sale and going home, but the outcome could’ve been much different if everyone remained respectful and kept their cool.

5. Build a supportive tribe. Be the supportive tribe.

The cookie sale taking a turn for the worse wasn’t all Beth’s fault. Sure, she dropped the ball on an important responsibility, and sure, the girls could’ve taken part in making sure they were fully prepared before heading to the cookie sale. But one thing to notice is that Beth was fighting her own internal battle while trying to help her girls. She lost her job, had trouble finding another, and was feeling less and less like the strong Superwoman she had always prided herself to be. Thankfully, Deja, the exceptional new daughter the Pearson family recently adopted, stepped in to offer encouraging words to Beth after noticing she was off her game. 

“You’re exceptional,” Deja told Beth, echoing the very words Mr. Pearson gave Deja before asking to formally adopt her. It’s in this moment that we see the importance of having a supportive tribe that gets you through the rough moments of running a business. Not only should you have a supportive tribe, but you should also be the supportive tribe for others. It’s the only way to keep calm, work as a team, remain flexible, and stay prepared. The tribe helps get it done.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is an exciting part of Girl Scouting. As cookie bosses, girls learn they can be and do anything they set their minds to, and gain essential life skills that will help them succeed in all areas. Want to know more? Check out our entrepreneurship program.

The This Is Us episode contained many important themes, and not just about cookie sales either. Every character exudes a sense of resilience and strength that is not only admirable, but reminiscent of the very Girl Scouts that make up this Movement.

That’s why we were thrilled to round out our live tweeting session of Tuesday’s show with the unveiling of our newest PSA, All Girl Scout. Our girls are the dreamers, doers, leaders, risk-takers, and change-makers who aren’t stopping until they make this world a better place. Watch it now!

We’re #AllGirlScout...are you?