I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at a wonderful school in Ascot recently. I’d spoken a couple of times to schools, even my own, but this was a new experience due to my audience being full of 12-17 years old girls.
Supper was served in the teachers’ quarters and I had a unique experience (as the mum of a boy) to sit and chat to a group of mature teenage girls about their next steps and what the world requires of them these days. All I can say, thank goodness I’m not going through our education system today! As someone who took the option of the ‘University of Life’ at the age of 17 with my first job in advertising, this didn’t look like it was much of an option for these girls. A’s and A*s seemed to be required to even get offered an interview at good universities!
They were all so beautifully mannered, funny, witty and lovely; I could see I was sitting at a table of ‘girl power’. My talk went down well, as I made sure I was open, honest and truthful. I spoke of the real journey, the ups and downs, the mess ups and the heartache. But, hopefully simultaneously they saw how anything is possible, when you put your mind to it. That it’s important they love what they do and their happiness is a huge consideration.
It was so touching to see, at the end of the talk, a long queue of girls eagerly waiting to tell me about their businesses they were creating in their dorms. From blogs to a bikini range – it was so uplifting to connect with and share business tips with the next generation of entrepreneurs!
I opened my talk by explaining how I would have felt the night had gone well if my story made them ask one question of themselves they’d never thought of before. I think this might have happened.
I came away from the whole experience feeling pretty old (!), but extremely happy to pass my story on to these brilliant girls and hope I’ve added something to their journey.
Pass on your story to the next generation. Book in with your kids schools and offer up your story… You would be surprised how much of an impact it can have on a young persons future!