Find out how the book Mindset by Carol Dweck has helped shape Founder & President of Milestone, Inc., Benu Aggarwal. We have control of our mindset. To have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. What mindset do you have? Listen to the 10X Growth podcast to learn more about how you can change your mindset from self-harming to a continual growth mindset.
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Podcast with Benu Aggarwal
Welcome to 10X Growth Strategies podcast. In this episode, we will review the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.
Our guest today is Benu Aggarwal, Founder & President of Milestone, Inc. A highly recognized expert in digital marketing solutions, Benu oversees product development, customer success, technology, and strategic vision for the company.
1. Tell us about your career and key turning points along your journey
My Career started in India – almost 27 years back. I worked for a few years in the hospitality industry in India, came to the US (got married), and worked for a few years before starting Milestone.
The turning point in my career was really when I had my kids. I was looking for more flexibility, more fulfillment – started Milestone as a consulting firm and slowly pivoted into a Digital marketing software and solution company. Almost 25 years of making it an amazing journey.
Another key turning point is when Anil, my dear husband, joined Milestone almost 16 years back. He was looking to start something after wrapping up his first start-up. We decided to work together. We never looked back after 25 years.
2. Why did you choose to read the book Mindset?
Many times, as an entrepreneur you realize there is not a fallback option while going through the rough patches in your career, or even your home life. I used to get into self-pity or justification mode. However, we need to remember, we are our own best friend. My mentor (Chip Conley) suggested I read this book. Mindset.
Our success or failure depends on us, our passion, our grit. Our ability to learn from our experience and embrace the failures as success. No one is born a genius. Our mindset is what makes us successful even in the toughest days because every problem we encounter is one more opportunity to gain experience and be better.
3. What are your top three takeaways from the book?
- People with a growth mindset truly believes the future presents an opportunity to grow, even during most challenging times. Every problem is an opportunity to become better. Challenging status que, staying outside your comfort factor is key outcome of this mindset.
- Company executives who hold a fixed mindset and regard themselves as geniuses do not build great companies. Great companies are built when we really get our hands dirty, spend time in discovering right challenges and never afraid of failing.
- Personal front – Praising kids for efforts they put in and truly staying away from praising intelligence. Children who are praised for their intelligence often tend to adopt a fixed mindset and reject new challenges. They want to be known for success and stay away from challenges.
4. Can you talk about the 2 mindsets discussed in the book- fixed mindset and growth mindset?
A growth mindset is about constantly learning – Whatever problems come your way. Enjoying the process of discovery, solving, failing, learning constantly. Failure is an opportunity for learning and improvement. With this mindset, you never give up because you are really learning from each failure.
Celebrating small successes and embracing each failure. In this mindset, true inspiration comes when you see that other people are also successful. You are not afraid of making mistakes.
The passion of stretching yourself and sticking to it even when it is not going well is the hallmark of the growth mindset. (You do not need confidence in a growth mindset and this kind of mindset gets frustrated when they are not learning, solving the problem, growing. Mozart worked for a decade before he wrote anything memorable. In this mindset, it is ok to make mistakes and there is no need to apologize for making mistakes.
Fixed mindset – Too much time is spent proving a point and proving who is right or wrong. Feedback is always personal. They are not comfortable venturing out into a new area. A common belief in this mindset is failure is the limit of my abilities or proof of unintelligence, so it becomes personal. No point trying because we give up. Sometimes we defend in this mindset and avoids challenges, “the world is out to get me” kind of mindset.
For kids, let’s praise them for the effort they put to solve harder problems. Children who are praised for their intelligence often tend to adopt a fixed mindset and reject new challenges. They want to be known for success and stay away from challenges.
5. Why is it important to embrace a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset? Can you share any life experiences?
The growth mindset professionally helped me in sailing through covid. Came up with Crisis Recover & Growth (CRG) framework. We did several webinars, rolled out a new framework for all our customers. One of our customers was featured in Forbes for its implementation of the CRG framework.
At the company, every software we created was centered around what is the problem we are trying to solve. With kids, constant coaching on how it is ok to fail. How it is ok to try different things. In a leadership role, it is critical to move fast and gaining vast experience across the various domains. A growth mindset helped me juggle so many priorities, departments, and disciplines while constantly learning and growing.
6. How does one change from a fixed to a growth mindset? Focus on what did you learn today? How and what did you do to stay out of the useless debate and keep going. Gravitate towards folks with a similar mindset.
7. You have built a thriving business from scratch. Tell us about your company and your core values. Can mindsets help shape the success of the company? Have a feeling of gratitude, avoiding self-pity also helps in moving from fixed to growth. Keeping a laser-sharp focus and do not be afraid of challenges.
Establishing core values was critical. Here are few core values we established early on:
- Focus on what you can improve.
- Truly care for employees and customers.
- Understand the need and solve the problem.
- Keep learning and growing.
- Find positive even during darkest time.
- Communicate effectively.
- Any additional words of wisdom for the audience?
- Trust your own ability.
- Your mindset can help you get beyond your dreams.
- Life is amazing, celebrate and take every challenge as opportunity to learn / discover something new.
- Embrace failure.
- Be a lifelong learner – success is always there.
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