218. Your Go-To Expert to Harness the Power of Video in Your Business
Mimika Cooney began building her reputation as the go-to video expert in her native South Africa. Today she is also a skilled videographer, photographer, TV host, author, speaker and coach. Her passion is helping entrepreneurs build their businesses with video, branding and online marketing strategies. Now based in Charlotte, North Carolina, she has run four successful businesses in three countries and is the host of her own web show Mimika TV. She is the founder of “Video Creators Hub,” a membership platform that teaches entrepreneurs how to harness the power of video.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
In Mimika’s senior year in high school, in 1994, apartheid was ending in South Africa and Nelson Mandela was coming to power. She remembers it as a time of great unrest and uncertainty, and thought she might not be able to study art or find a career in a creative field. She settled for an office job, but soon landed a job with a TV production company and married the soul-mate she had met at age 15. “I fell in love with this whole medium called TV production,” she recalls, but, “I realized the only way you make your way in a TV production company is to start at the bottom, which means taking a huge dive in salary.” So, newly married at 21, hoping to start a business and a family, she created a web design company from her home. “This was in the days of Netscape and Front Page—which were so clunky and slow—and dial-up internet.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
When she was 10, Mimika’s parents divorced. At 13 she had to deal with bullying. “Because I was very much a non-conformist — I wouldn’t go with what the trends were — I unfortunately found myself getting slapped around by a whole bunch of 13-year-old girls.” She decided, “Either I can cry in the corner or I can pull my socks up and do something about it. I’ve always had a very stubborn attitude of, ‘Don’t tell me what to do, and don’t tell me I can’t do it.’ I used the experience to say, ‘I’m not gonna let that define me.’ I wasn’t going to give in to rejection or fear.” Later, her mother transferred her to another school. “This totally changed the trajectory of my high school years, which was great. So I had a positive ending.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“We were super early adopters trying to get other early adopters and visionaries to buy into this idea (of our web design business). My husband and I realized we wanted to make a go of this, so he left his day job. His father is an accountant, so you can imagine the conversation: ‘You wanna do WHAT? You want to quit your day job for a WHAT?’ They thought we were super crazy. But we saw an opportunity, especially in South Africa, because the country was three to five years behind the rest of the world, especially in adopting new technologies.” Now, after nearly a decade in the United States, Mimika and her husband continue to be early adopters.
Steps to Success from Mimika Cooney
1. Have the courage to stand up and say, “This is what I want.”
2. See your life as a tapestry instead of a puzzle. “With a tapestry, you can change the design along the way.”
3. Stop making excuses about what you have not yet done in your life. The only one that can make a difference in your life is you.
4. Develop a bigger vision. It’s not only about you. Start giving back and helping others.
On Her Bookshelf
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Who Switched Off My Brain? Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions, by Dr. Caroline Leaf
Connecting With Mimika Cooney
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