#327: [Owner Success Story] Starting, “Betting The Farm” on a Pivot, and Selling Mindware with Jeanne Voigt

November 17, 2022 01:21:10
#327: [Owner Success Story] Starting, “Betting The Farm” on a Pivot, and Selling Mindware with Jeanne Voigt
Intentional Growth
#327: [Owner Success Story] Starting, “Betting The Farm” on a Pivot, and Selling Mindware with Jeanne Voigt

Nov 17 2022 | 01:21:10


Hosted By

Ryan Tansom

Show Notes

Today we have Jeanne Voigt on the show to talk about her experience starting, growing, and selling MindWare, a catalog and online retailer of educational toys.


Jeanne started MindWare after leaving the corporate world when she was 39. Today she dives into detail about her initial go-to market strategy, why she realized her business model needed to be restructured, and how she “bet the farm” to grow a company that she would eventually sell after getting an out-of-the-blue offer she couldn’t refuse. 


Even though the offer was one she couldn't refuse at the time, Jeanne reflects during the interview about what worked and what did not and the things she may have done differently.


WATCH THE INTERVIEW ON YOUTUBE: Intentional Growth™ Podcast


What You Will Learn





Jeanne M. Voigt is the founder of MindWare, a catalog and online retailer. She sold the company in 2003 but continued as president until 2007. She currently serves as a consultant and board member for the company and is also CEO of a startup decorative arts licensing business in Minneapolis.

Prior to MindWare, Voigt was an executive at First Bank System (now U.S. Bank), where she held positions in operations, cash management, and strategic planning. She is active as both a funder and volunteer for the Jeanne M. Voigt Foundation, begun in 2003 to further women's economic development in emerging economies.

Voigt has an undergraduate degree in music education and a master's degree in business finance, both from the University of Minnesota. She has been active in nonprofit endeavors, including the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Minnesota Dance Alliance, and Destination Imagination. She is a member of the Minnesota Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Metropolitan State University's Center for Women Entrepreneurs.


Interview Quotes:

09:50  - “There was sort of this risk aversion thing. In fact, when I left my corporate job, my dad was really concerned. He could not understand why I would leave a corporate job where I was making really good money, I had respect. So that was a tough thing to do.” - Jeanne Voigt

11:45  - “You know? I don’t want to just sell this stuff. I want to do something more. I want to learn more about it.” - Jeanne Voigt

22:43  - “If there is a regular process that’s in place and the job is to simply follow it, that’s not the job for me.” - Jeanne Voigt

48:35  - “I was good at hiring creatives. I’m good at hiring them, I’m good at working with them and keeping them motivated.” - Jeanne Voigt

53:12  - “It is that thing with entrepreneurs where we go along and we say, ‘I believe in this. I believe in it.’ Then when it does happens, you’re like, ‘My God! I really did it!’” - Jeanne Voigt

55:05  - “Every year that it got bigger at Christmastime, it was riskier. Because any I could be blown out of the water.” - Jeanne Voigt

01:11:53  - “It’s not all about money. We’re invested in these companies totally. They mean something to us and the people who work there mean something to us.” - Jeanne Voigt


Links and Resources:

Jeanne Voigt email: [email protected]


Arkona Website

The 5 Intentional Growth™ Principles (5 Videos to Help Clarify Your Vision)

Intentional Growth™ Financial Assessment

Fractional CFO Services


You can also reach out to me via email at [email protected], or on my LinkedIn.

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