Growth mindset is a term that gets thrown around a lot—but how do you actually foster and implement a culture that rewards those who thrive on challenges and are always looking for opportunities to stretch themselves? Max Heineman, the co-founder and CEO of toldright, joined In the Details host Karen Allen this week to talk about how he became an entrepreneur and built that experience for his employees.
Growth Mindset Applies to All Areas of Life
Given the three jobs he held during summers growing up, Max has always possessed an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to work hard. But it was his wife and three children who made him realize that the first step to embracing the growth mindset was applying it on a personal level—being an entrepreneur will have a significant impact on your family dynamic. The more you’re in lockstep with them and have an understanding of where the next step will take you, the better.
Seniority Doesn’t Dictate Organization or Ideation
In March 2020, Max launched toldright, a video production company that brings together creators from the gig economy to help tell a brand’s story. toldright brought on many senior executives from large media companies who were used to a vertical, top-down leadership style. Max didn’t believe that anyone at the entrepreneurial level would succeed that way. Instead, he structured his company to a horizontal management style. Whether you’re entry level or top management—if you see something, say something.
Growth is about both learning and unlearning. While practice makes perfect, it also can make permanent. You have to untrain your brain to think in new ways, and one such way might be that you consider employees your colleagues or your equals. You never know—the next best idea might come from them.
In this entrepreneurial structure, there are also a lot of reverse mentoring opportunities, and toldright adopted a vacation policy that allows employees to take time off whenever they need it. The best ideas can come when you’re not in the office. But not everyone is suited for this flexibility, so it’s important to recruit people who want to grow and stretch in this manner. To that end…
How to Look at Star Ratings and Experience
Max’s network of video producers include those who have reached the highest echelon of their fields and are looking for new and different opportunities. These top-tier talents are not the only creators toldright employs.
Let’s say someone was a four star, with not as much experience. They weren’t yet considered a five star, but they desired to become one. The fact that an individual wants to learn and grow makes them a five star candidate.
Perhaps they were recently in school, and are more familiar with or more willing to learn new technical skill sets. They may also be more compatible with the marketplace. But one thing is for certain: They have to have the right mindset—a growth one—in order to find success at toldright.
Preparation Builds Confidence
When Max was preparing to launch the company, he took into account the challenges that might arise and the potential impact it could have on his family. To counter these possibilities, he employed a constant risk audit.
By analyzing your business through an unbiased lens and understanding what’s at stake, you can create a plan to mitigate risks. Your employees are a great resource; they may encounter potential issues daily.
If you’re not prepared for hitting a speed bump, the first one could derail you. The road to success is always under construction, which means you have to be ready for any possible failures along the way.
Don’t Get Too Far Down the Rabbit Hole
When conducting the risk audit, you have to separate negative thoughts from intellectually honest ones. When combating negative thoughts, you can meditate, recall past successes and express gratitude to find your way back to a more balanced frame of mind. And think of scenario planning and being honest about your business as having a hurricane season kit: even if you don’t use it, you’ll feel better when storms are on the horizon.
Jill McDonnell is a Chicago-based content writer and communications professional. She has a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul University. She is currently at work on a psychological thriller novel.