Get Set Yeti – An Origin Story
Most folk love good superhero origin story and although not bitten by a radioactive spider, my business did begin by accident. A couple of years ago, while working for my local council, I took part in a training session where we were encouraged to try out some Growth Mindset and report back the results. I was working with some local families at the time and thought I’d take up the challenge by writing a rhyming story to help them understand the idea of using ‘YET’ as they were struggling with learning confidence. The story of ‘The Yeti’s Roar’ was born, and with the help of an extremely supportive colleague, it developed into a book, which grew into a learning programme that we successfully trialled in a number of local schools and nurseries.
Developing my programme became my passion as it brought together all the different skills and qualifications I had, to create something I could see make a difference. I loved visiting participating schools and seeing the kids eyes light up as they told me all about what their yetis had been up to!
Word of mouth brought me more schools and I realised that I might be able to develop a ‘proper business’ out of it all, so I made an appointment at my Business Gateway office with divine timing as I was steered in the direction of the ‘Elevator Business Accelerator’ that was due to start the following week. Juggling my day job, my yeti business and the Accelerator was full-on! There were times, with my lack of business knowledge, that I felt like a fraud. I certainly didn’t identify as an entrepreneur to begin with but with Elevator’s amazing support and guidance I came out the other side, by no means an expert, but with much more of a clue.
Through request from a local Head Teacher, our pre-school parent course also came into being and the demand for what I had to offer grew. Around the same time, my council department re-defined its funding priorities and decided to scrap specialisms meaning my team was to have a different role in the communities they served. Delivering learning is definitely where my heart lies so I decided, rather than playing it safe and feeling undervalued, to be brave and work on my business full time. It felt great to put all my energy into something that felt so positive, and in time demand developed to the stage of looking to grow a team in other cities and expanding my reach to design learning processes for other organisations.
… Then Covid hit …
and everything disappeared. We couldn’t get into schools due to closures and distancing regulations and our other contracts were put on hold. To keep things moving, we started updating my books and resources using the lovely digital versions of my yetis, produced by Wayne our web developer.
As time and restrictions dragged on, it became apparent that digital learning was definitely the way forward. We built a new site and ‘Get Set Yeti’ evolved and grew. It’s been a bit of a technological learning curve, but we’ve worked hard this past year to produce three online versions of our current programmes we're really proud of.
I’m keen to keep growing what we have online and have a high-rise pile of potential developments and ideas. I love the organic way the business has expanded and grown, with resources and content ongoingly produced to meet the needs of the schools and teaching staff we work with. There’s nothing I like better than the challenge of a, “How could we ….”!
With Get Set Yeti being available on-line, location doesn’t really apply anymore, and we have ambitious plans to expand both nationally and much further afield. For me, this is all about helping parents and children alike to build their confidence and realise how much they have to offer without fear of failure. Helping people tap into self-belief and learning resilience is magical to watch. It’s the best feeling that something you’ve produced has the capacity to impact a child’s life chances for the better.
I feel hugely lucky. The future is open, yeti filled and full of potential!