Nora Shelago-Hegna is in fourth grade at Otter Lake Elementary, and she runs her own business—an advice stand.
Nora got started on her advice business in the summer of 2017. Her mom was experiencing side effects from treatment for cancer. “When my mom had cancer, she needed someone to listen to her. I have my advice business so that people can always have someone to talk to. And I remembered the Charlie Brown movie with Lucy’s advice stand,” Nora explains.
“The interesting thing about it is that I get to talk to so many people,” says Nora. People are going through so many things.”
This past summer, Nora had her stand outside Pizza Man in White Bear Lake.
Nora says that many people ask for advice about work issues. “They ask things like, ‘Should I quit my job?’ or ‘Should I ask my boss for a day off?’ ‘Is my job a good way to make a living?’” she explains.
Nora has rules for herself before she gives advice. “First, I ask myself, is this rude to say or is it ok? Then, is this the best advice I can give? Then, will the person be able to use the advice?” she says.
Nora has the person asking the question do some reflection. “Like if someone asks me, ‘Should I break up with my boyfriend?’ I ask why. They give me the pros and the cons,” she says.
Advice from Nora costs 50 cents for five minutes. She donates some of her proceeds to the VFW. “My Grandpa Willy was in the Vietnam War. After the war, he needed a wheelchair and didn’t have money to buy one. The VFW gave him a free wheelchair. And the VFW gives every penny they get to the veterans,” says Nora. “They were kind to my grandpa, and I want to spread the kindness back.”