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Business tips from top Girl Scout cookie seller ; Fast food future = non-meat burgers ; Best destination for zen and adrenaline

"Growing your career or a business is an evolution, not a revolution." — Ryan Alovis
Career tips. Life hacks. Success stories.

Business lessons from America’s top Girl Scout cookie seller

As the Girl Scouts of America celebrates its 100th year, a 15-year-old from Oklahoma City is focused on a goal that has a few more zeros. Katie Francis' milestone: surpassing 100,000 boxes of cookies sold over seven years. This record-setting achievement earned the organization a $15,000 donation from Reddi Wip, presented to Francis during her recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

For any budding entrepreneur, here's a taste of the high schooler's recipe for sweet success.

1. Take every opportunity. During cookie season, Francis is selling each evening and weekend—especially on cold days. "Whenever there's good weather, a lot of girls are always out, so the market gets kind of saturated,” she told CNN. She wields the exclusivity and endures the elements.

2. Show your passion. Francis draws customers with song and dance when selling outside of grocery stores. Her booth's handmade signs help communicate the troop's mission and goals.

3. Build relationships. Year to year, Francis approaches community members to solicit their support. She also fosters friendship, not competition, among other top cookie sellers: "One of the last lines of our Girl Scout Law is: Be a sister to every Girl Scout," she says.

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The best destination for zen and adrenaline

As we strive for work-life balance, so, too, do we find ourselves craving both challenge and relaxation on vacation. This balance is the "yin and yang of luxury travel for 2017," writes Forbes contributor Ann Abel. We yearn for a combination -- whether resting is beach-bumming or a mountainside massage, and whether thrill-seeking is hitting the waves or the slopes. Here, one of Abel's top five picks for a high- and low-energy getaway this summer:

Consider "glafting" (glam rafting), as adventure planner Dan Austin calls it. Along the Salmon River in Idaho, travel companies offer guided rapid-riding by day and plush, riverside camping by night. Don't miss the wine tastings, chef-prepared cuisine and live music.

Running 40 marathons in 6 weeks for water crisis awareness

Last Wednesday was World Water Day, raising awareness of the 1.8 billion people whose only source of drinking water is contaminated with feces. The United Nations' goal is to have universal access to safe water by 2030 by improving practices, like treating wastewater for agricultural purposes and increasing water recycling for safe reuse.

While this is a major issue in developing countries, the crisis remains relatively unknown to most people. One person looking to raise awareness is Mina Guli, founder of nonprofit Thirst. "The world's future and our very lives depend on having enough clean and safe water," said Guli. Last year she began the #Run4Water campaign, running across seven deserts on every continent (equal to 40 marathons) in seven weeks.

"Without changes in behaviors and business practices, by 2030 demand for water will be 40% greater than supply," said Guli. "I travel the world to increase awareness and inspire others to believe that every single one of us can make a difference."

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A juicy non-meat burger may become the fast food patty of the future
The Impossible Burger

The average American meat eater consumes about 7,000 land animals in a lifetime. Not only does this raise the risk of heart-related diseases, but it also takes a massive toll on the environment: 150 gallons of water goes into producing just one quarter-pound burger, and 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to livestock production.

"Meatless Monday" and the Reducetarian movement are ways to decrease meat consumption on an individual level, but having delicious, affordable and abundant non-meat options will be important factors for mass appeal.

Impossible Foods is looking to change the meat industry on a large-scale, with its startup facility that's capable of providing four million meatless burgers per month to fast food restaurants around the country. "The more of a meat lover they are, the more they are our target customer," said founder Patrick Brown to Quartz.

The patties are made from wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and heme, an iron-containing compound. Brown said that while most meat eaters are not willing to give up the original source entirely, having other nutritious and affordable options will woo consumers. "Our definition of success is: We score zero points if a vegan or vegetarian buys our burger."


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