Carol Arnott from Growth Mindset Yeti of Dundee provides educational material for parents and educators of kids under eight. She tells The Courier about her business journey.
Q. Why did you start in business?
I was working with families with young children and realised there was a real lack of Growth Mindset material for under 8’s.
I had an idea to write a yeti story to get across the ethos of Growth Mindset for young children and to focus on an ‘I can’t do it … YET’ attitude.
In my spare time, I began writing a rhyming story which tells the tale of a little yeti struggling to learn to roar.
I let a few people in the sector see it and their reaction was so positive it made me realise I might have something special.
I work part time as a professional artist, so came up with some illustrations and published my first book which became the official launch of Growth Mindset Yeti. Our material primarily focuses on helping young children understand Growth Mindset concepts and making difficult ideas easily understood and relatable to their own lives.
It helps children gain resilience in learning, making them more likely to be positive about mistakes as part of learning and keep on going when things are tough.
Q. How did you get to where you are?
I trained as a primary school teacher before doing a postgraduate course in Community Learning and Development and worked as a Family Learning worker.
After I launched Growth Mindset Yeti, I talked to teachers and educators who deliver Growth Mindset and created a teaching pack based around our books.
Our characters were greeted with enthusiasm and we’re currently piloting our teaching packs in three local schools, with the Scottish Childminding Association and with various individuals looking for Growth Mindset material.
Now we have a range of teaching packs to compliment our stories.
Q. Who has helped you along the way?
Business Gateway has been fantastic in helping us get our business underway.
Initially they provided help and guidance to create our business plan and provided free training in financial planning and marketing.
They have also been central in providing information on funding and trademarking.
Q. Your biggest mistake?
I started off trying to do everything myself, but I’m not the best at keeping on top of record keeping and paper work.
When things started getting complicated I got my husband involved. He’s very logically minded and has been a massive help.
Q. Your greatest achievement?
It would have to be writing the stories. I didn’t know I had it in me and it has been fantastic to see the positive reaction that my stories are having on kids.
Q. Hopes for the future?
When I wrote my first story I was encouraged to believe it could be ‘global’, so that’s the ultimate aim.
We provide face-to-face workshops for teachers and parents but we will soon be incorporating online training videos on our website, to enable us to roll out our packages further afield.
My website will be up and running soon and my Facebook page is getting increasingly popular.
Once I’ve finished my pilot and evaluated the response I’ll hopefully be able to evidence our materials effectiveness and launch properly, on a much bigger scale.
Q. Do you want to recruit in the future?
Once we grow, definitely.
Q. What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
It’s hard to stop when you’re running your own business.
It’s very difficult to switch off from work mode but it’s essential to remember that doing so will not only help your venture, but you personally.