After ten years working as a television news reporter and anchor within the Philadelphia, and New York regions – among other cities – Mindie Barnett decided to use her knowledge and experience in the media to help propel businesses and position companies as thought-leaders. Barnett founded MB and Associates in 2003 and swiftly garnered a great deal of clients in a short amount of time. Because of her vast knowledge of the news business and strong ties with key members of the media – both on the local and national levels – MB and Associates was able to achieve rapid results and obtain countless press opportunities for clients. Due to these attributes, Mindie Barnett is now one of the nation’s most sought-after and respected publicists.
Mindie was raised in South Jersey and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, as well as graduate credits in the field of public relations from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. She’s 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. She is a devout volunteer with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Philadelphia Affiliate, Philadelphia’s Maternity Care Coalition. She serves as a board member of the American Heart Association in Philadelphia and an active volunteer for the global Wigs & Wishes foundation.
Mindie Barnett’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, Anderson Cooper, In Touch Magazine, US Weekly, InStyle Magazine, USA Today and MSNBC, among numerous regional inclusions. Barnett was 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.
Mindie spearheads her public relations and social media firm and is also the author of the self-help memoir “Intermission,” “You Don’t Need to Be a Bitch to Be a Boss,” a keynote speaker, host of “The Race for the Ring” podcast and on-air contributor. She lives in the Upper East side, New York City, with her two children and lovable pups, Max and Parker.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Mindie to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
In 2003, I launched my PR firm and became obsessed with pleasing clients and closing deals.
How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
As a news anchor/reporter working for tv outlets in various media markets. I loved my career but very much was “owned” by the stations I worked for. My name, my brand, my choices, everything was under the station’s ownership.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
I am driven by pleasing people and serving clients. I am also driven by doing my best to mentor my younger team and watch them grow and evolve.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.
Relentless. I am hardworking, never take no for an answer, and always find a way to make something happen.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
Staying connected to the news industry
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Investing in your employees. Not only financially – but with your time, your skill, and getting to know them personally. Once you’ve cultivated a healthful work environment, a team that respects you and likes you – the sky’s the limit.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?
Not having a partner – someone who cared as much as me as was as invested into the company as I was. I seek support from colleagues in the field.
Not having capital when things were slower – I took out an SBA loan.
Not having a business degree or experience in running a business. I have been lucky to trust my gut and make solid decisions.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?
To allow your team to make mistakes – not to do the work for them. While it’s sometimes painful not to take over, you must let them try and if they really mess up – teach them how not to make the error next time. Also: owning my mistakes – not only for the sake of my team, so they see I’m not perfect, but so that I’m seen authentically to my clients, who trust me.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Make the time for self-care and take a break because I tend to keep going.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
To stay the course. The terrain is rough, especially initially, but all good things are worth fighting for. Not to give up and if need be, make your company a side-hustle until you can do it full-time.