Let’s hear it for the Girl Scouts!! March 11, 2019
Downloads: Girl-Scouts-Cover-Letter.pdf

March 12 is “National Girl Scout Day”, recognizing the date on which the Girl Scouts was founded in 1912.  As a girl and young woman, I benefited from the many positive attributes of the Girl Scout program–making friendships, building confidence and learning life skills.

Among the many skills I learned were the beginnings of what would become a strong entrepreneurial spirit as I, like millions of others over the years, sold the iconic Girl Scout cookies.  Learning basic transaction skills, taking responsibility for making my customers happy and applying the proceeds from my efforts toward a good cause are things that have lived with me, forming the basis for a lifelong entrepreneurial drive and informing the business philosophy that I continue to practice today.  Thousands and thousands of girls are selling Girl Scout cookies this year, learning the same lessons I did—the only difference is that the cookies I sold cost only 23 cents per box!

As National Girl Scout Day is celebrated, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you a speech I gave in 2014 at a Gold Award Event.  The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve.  I was honored to present these remarks at this event and continue to be inspired by the fine young women honored that day.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

Whether you were a Girl Scout or know a Girl Scout, please join me in wishing the Girl Scouts a very happy birthday.  And, if you have a chance, maybe buy a box of cookies or two.

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania

Gold Award Event

June 21, 2014

It is a delight for me to be here with you today. Having been blessed with the experience of being a Girl

Scout, I’m excited and honored to be part of this special Gold Award Event. I had no idea at the time how important the lessons I learned and the experiences I had as a Girl Scout were as a fantastic foundation and fertile ground for my later successes. You may very well have the same experience.

As I was preparing to be with you today, I wanted to say something that would make a difference in your life. I wanted to share ideas with you that you can take with you, that you’ll remember, that will come back to you and that will inspire you to continue to strive for excellence in your life – even when things don’t appear to be going your way.

I think that many of us “adults” and/or “parents” want so much to make it easier for you – but unfortunately, the only way you‐ or I ‐ grow, evolve, develop our own character is by making our own decisions and our own mistakes and that, my friends, is the nature of wisdom. Wisdom comes from learning from the mistakes you make. When I look back on the best lessons of my life, they usually involve situations that, at the time, seemed to be catastrophic challenges. One of the best things about

Girl Scouts is that it puts us in a position of having to make decisions, overcome challenges, experience failure AND success BEFORE going “out into the “real” world.” Knocking on doors, selling cookies and experiencing rejection prepared me well for the world of business.

John Luther Long said “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” Perhaps real wisdom is a blend of learning from your own mistakes AND the mistakes of others.

What did I learn from being a Girl Scout? What experiences did I have that formed such a great foundation for successes beyond my wildest dreams? It’s all right there in the Girl Scout Promise and in the Girl Scout Law:

Now, I know that you’ve said this thousands of times… but this time I want you to just listen to the words…

On my honor, I will try: to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl

Scout Law.

Which is:

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

I want to share a personal story with you. When I graduated from college, I started as a secretary for

Merrill Lynch. I was shy and intimidated and so afraid that I was going to make a mistake or do something that would cause someone not to like me. I was SO intimidated that I actually dropped out of an assertiveness training class; I couldn’t even PRETEND to say no. After a few years at Merrill Lynch, one day, my manager called me into his office and closed the door. He said, “There’s someone who doesn’t like you.” I was mortified… my worst nightmare had come true. I said, oh my gosh, WHO??? He said, I don’t know, but someone doesn’t and you have to accept that. He said there are people who don’t like peaches even though they’re magnificent peaches. They may be banana lovers… so just be the best peach you can be and make sure you hang around peach lovers!!! That’s one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the years… just be the best you can be at being you. When I started out as a Financial Advisor, it was largely a “man’s world.” There were very few women in the field. There are still very few women at the top of our field and I would encourage you to consider it. The world of financial planning and financial services is actually perfect for women… especially women who are willing to work hard and who want to make a tremendous difference in the lives of the people with whom they work ‐ clients as well as team members. My “secret mission” is that when clients and team members enter our doors, they are magically transported to a world that is kinder and gentler, warmer and friendlier, and where their dreams come true.

Remember that it is in serving others that we create joy and happiness for OURSELVES – and success comes as a byproduct. Focus on serving others and doing the best you can possibly do. You’ll be happier and you’ll be more successful. I want to offer you a challenge. I want you to pay close attention to the interactions you have in your life. When you shop somewhere, or when you go to an office, or call someone on the telephone, pay attention to HOW YOU FEEL when you leave. When you leave them, or hang up the phone, do you feel better? Do you feel worse? How do people feel after interacting with you? My son, and business partner, has a philosophy of life that he doesn’t want to come into contact with anyone that he doesn’t leave better than he found them. Think about that and the impact it has. Most of us, when we interact with someone, we’re thinking about what they can do for us and we’re wondering what they’re thinking of us. If, instead, we turn that around and think about how we can make them feel better and how we can improve their life, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE IMPACT WOULD BE FOR THEM AND FOR YOU? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it can be a kind word, a smile – it can be a positive thought… just positively focus on the other person. Give Back. Get involved in your community and in your company. Participate. Create synergy and rapport. PAY IT FORWARD!!

And I guarantee you this. If you spend your life helping other people feel good about themselves and helping them get what they want, you’ll go further than you could ever imagine. And you’ll have more real friends than you could ever want. Right back to the Girl Scout law‐”to help people at all times.”

I can tell you that the successes I’ve had in my life have come directly from the same concepts that I’ve talked about and that are the core of the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law.

Thank you very much. Congratulations on being awesome! I wish for each of you fabulous and infinite Success, Happiness, and Fulfillment.


Barbara B. Hudock, CIMA®, CPM®
Chief Executive Officer
Founding Partner

Riverfront March 11, 2019
Downloads: Riverfront-Mar-11-2019.pdf

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