In the music world a lot more girls excel at a young age than boys do. Because, like all things that require sitting still and paying attention, girls are better than boys. So my son has a lot of friends who are girls.

Having no girls of my own, I’m always curious about what they do, what they think, what they like. I see myself in them. And I think about them in terms of growing up and having a career.

My son has so much more time to figure out how to make a living from cello than those girls do. Because he has no biological clock. Girls have to do everything faster than boys do. Girls have to sprint after college to accomplish whatever it is they want to accomplish before they start having kids.

Girls have to focus on career much earlier.
I’ve been noticing that women who accomplish a lot before they have kids start doing it right out of the gate. They don’t waste time on traveling, or soul searching, or going to grad school. They have a goal and a plan to meet that goal as soon as they leave college. The goal might change, but the forward trajectory does not.

 

A great example this is Sheryl O’Loughlin who wrote Killing It. I receive tons of business books every week from people who want me to review the books. And when there’s a female author, I go immediately to the author’s bio. Women have to be so careful in their navigation in order to have a career and have kids, whereas men can make tons of missteps and still have a successful outcome (albeit with an intentionally obtuse bio).

O’Loughlin graduated Northwestern, and worked her way up to CEO at Clif Bar. She started and grew a company called Plum, and only then did she take a much needed step back to deal with the demands of raising young kids. Sheryl had an impressive enough resume that she could hop back into a CEO role when she wanted to, though at one point she wasn’t sure she ever wanted to. But by accomplishing so much so early, she was able to weather a resume gap.

Girls have to make better decisions about college. 
They should go to college where students  graduate fast and without debt. Check out Waldorf University: it meets those requirements and also has athletic opportunities. Usually you can’t get all three together. Do all three. Because women who play sports in college do better at work.

Athletes do better because in the work world because like the sports world, you get rewarded for putting  yourself into competitive situations and taking control.  So use your 20s to meet your goals. Don’t dilly dally making incompetent decisions and unnecessary mistakes.

Girls shouldn’t take entry-level jobs.
It’s a big mistake for girls to start at the bottom of the ladder. They should get quick experience to skip over the entry level.  I like Hack the Job Hunt, which is a program developed by Lauren Holliday to teach content marketing. I’m impressed with the site, and my first thought is, why do so many people wait until they hit in a wall in their work and then they take a course like this? Pre-teens can learn content marketing. Teens can make good money with content marketing. Content marketing is everything in a world where everything begins with search.

Girls should be taking these courses way before they actually need a job to support themselves. Or do a similar type of program for writing code or becoming a writer.

And look, this isn’t the path for crazy competitive, money-focused girls. This is the path for typical girls who want to do something significant in their 20s before they shift into family mode in their 30s. This is the advice for the girls who want to spend tons of time at home with their kids. (Just imagine what my advice would be for the girls who want to be superstars.) But you can’t sprint in your 20s if you don’t start training for it in your teens.