FemFocused: Mindie Barnett Interview

If you’ve stuck around on the blog long enough, you might be familiar with the Person of Interest interview series. After some reflection on the series, I’ve decided to give it a bit of a make-over – a re-brand, if you will. I’m excited to share FemFocused, a series focused solely on female creatives, entrepreneurs and overall badasses. Welcome to FemFocused!

Meet Mindie Barnett

To kick-off this re-brand, I talked with a true queen of branding. Meet Mindie Barnett, a public relations powerhouse as the President and CEO of MB and Associates, motivational speaker, author, mother, and influencer – just to name a few of her many impressive titles. She is the author of INTERMISSION, an inspirational memoir about her leap of faith into the unknown when she filed for divorce. Prior to her career in public relations, she worked as an anchor/reporter at various television outlets including NBC 10, Cablevision’s News 12 New Jersey, TSM 24-Hour News, NBC in Louisiana and NBC in Illinois.  Basically, she knows the media world inside and out.

Mindie’s public relations credits include landing clients’ opportunities on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, Live with Kelly, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, In Touch Magazine, US Weekly, InStyle Magazine, USA Today and MSNBC, among numerous regional inclusions. She was also named “Business Owner of the Year” by the South Jersey chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Her firm has won “Best PR Firm” by South Jersey Biz Magazine, two years in a row, among many other accolades. Her presence can especially be felt throughout Philadelphia, south Jersey and New York City.

I was introduced to Mindie by a fellow PR professional who I greatly admire – Jaimi Blackburn – and I am so grateful for this introduction.

Mindie has a ton of experience and knowledge in many areas of life, and we recently spoke about branding your business as well as yourself, and finding sanity in a hectic digital world. Sound like your thing? Keep on reading.

Thank you so much for speaking with Positive Publicity, Mindie! To kick things off, what is your advice for being a female entrepreneur? What is something every female – whether they are currently an entrepreneur or looking to become one – should know?

For me, it’s all about psyching your mind up and getting into that game mode. I tend to care a lot what people think about me, which is sometimes to my detriment. But when you’re in business, you can’t be that way! When I was a journalist, and I would be interviewing a lawyer or doing an important press conference, I would psych myself up to get into that “mindset”. I needed to walk the walk, and I would put on my game face, even if I didn’t feel that way on the inside. You need to be serious about whatever it is your selling. Believe in your message, your mission and yourself. 

You’ve recently added motivational speaker to your already impressive list of titles. What makes you excited about motivational speaking? What do you hope your audience walks away from one of your speeches? 

I am someone who has always loved the stage – I loved being in the performing arts! I’m not one to be shy and love to entertain people, and I parlayed that experience into broadcast journalism.

In my life, I’ve had a lot of valleys and peaks – it’s with the valleys where I’ve grown and learned the most. I’m not going to fail, and I have to pull myself out of the valleys.

I wrote my book Intermission because I wanted to use it as a platform to get into motivational speaking. I love to write, and writing this book was very therapeutic for me. I also have recently joined the National Speakers Association, where I’ve learned so much about the art and business of speaking.

Throughout my life, people have told me that I’ve been motivational to them. I wanted to have an impact for the greater good and I want to help people. My calling is helping businesses excel, but my greatest pleasure is being able to give advice that may not even be necessarily business related. I want to have an impact on people who feel like they feel like they can’t achieve.

I also have speaking engagements coming up in 2020 – I’m hoping to have a big impact there!

You have experience branding your business, MB and Associates. Can you talk about branding yourself?

So I started my company because I worked in the news – I’ve worked in television, I wrote for magazines, I have my foot in the door on the media side. And that’s how I position myself in business – it’s important for me to be a thought leader and to be in the media. For example, Cosmo had a radio station, which often used me as a go-to interviewee, where I would weigh in as media-relations expert for celebrities. If that celebrity were my client, what advice would I give them? Is what they’re doing right or wrong in particular situation?

In my book, I talk about not only my career, but also my personal life and how I apply my business skills to my personal life. As a PR professional, I think you need to maintain your presence in the media. If you’re courting a client, they need to see that you’re in the media.

The challenges are – when I first did my book, I needed to take a break because I was working so much. People may not see how much of my personal time I use to work on my business or my personal brand, and may only judge by what they see on social media. Social media can be both good and bad in terms of what you’re sharing – you’re only seeing snippets of what people do, so I’m mindful of what I share. 

Between being a mom, business woman and speaker, are incredibly busy woman. Do you have any tips on staying sane and taking care of yourself? Any books that you turn to which inspire you?

For self-care, EXERCISE is number one – I have a chapter in my book about exercise as a form of medication. It may be the very last thing you want to do, but once you start moving, those endorphins start. I’m in such a better mood after exercise. I’m also a spa junkie. Because of my job and my clients, I’m very fortunate to have spa treatments my fingertips.

I also love reading, because I’m able to learn and escape. A book I often turn to is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. The other is Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, and I’m currently reading Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.

The title of your book is called Intermission. What is an “Intermission”?

I believe an “Intermission” in anyone’s life is when you’re going from point A to point B. And guess what, you can have multiple Intermissions in your life – whether it’s a job change, a break-up – it’s that transition time in between two acts. It might not even be things you have control over, like the death of a loved one or sickness. My book talks about how to how to motivate yourself to get to that next stop in your journey.

Mindie left me (and you) with some parting words of wisdom: “I’m a big believer of women empowerment. I think that history has us as women looking at each other in competition. In reality, if we stand together, we have so much more power. As women we need to lean on each other, not see each other as competition.”

Thank you so much to Mindie for an enlightening, honest and fun conversation. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook. And if you still can’t get enough of her, listen to one of the podcasts she’s been featured on.

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