Get to know Netta Dobbins, CEO and Co-Founder of Mimconnect, as she walks us through her mornings and talks about what inspires her.
What does a typical morning look like for Netta?
Wake up. Grab coffee. Hop on my laptop to check my calendar. I usually start working or taking meetings around 9 am ET.
Have your mornings changed since Covid?
Yes. I’d usually work from a coffee shop or coworking space. It’s forced me to make a workspace in my home -- which I’ve actually come to enjoy.
Now that the separation between work and home has blurred for many of us, how are you creating separation and protecting your work time from your non-work time?
I DO have post-work activities that help me “complete” my day and log off. I will close my laptop and weather permitting, sit outside on our porch. Being back in the south, I have a large yard and different areas to sit. I can sit on the front porch in the rocking chairs. On our deck patio in a big swing. Or near our pond in wooden swing. I typically have a glass of wine and read a couple chapters of a book to complete my day.
Any tips or tricks for staying organized and focused and achieving your goals?
Write. It. Out.
I write down everything. Goals for the week and tasks for each day that will get me to accomplish the goals. As a business owner, I’m also doing weekly summaries on how well the business is doing and what we need to keep doing to scale/pull back bc it’s not working. Working from home and not having places to go can make it feel like time is stagnant, but despite the barriers you have to keep moving forward so these are self imposed ways for me to make sure we’re making strides daily/weekly.
How do you take your coffee?
Prior to Covid, I’d drink it with Oat Milk. For some reason, when I make coffee myself at home and put oat milk in it, it doesn’t taste the same lol. So I’ve been using flavored creamer. No sugar!
Tell us about your favorite mug!
I’m living in my parents house now because of Covid and my mom has a set of these ceramic red mugs. I love the color of it, and also the furniture in my “home office” is red too so I feel like it matches the aesthetic. I also typically work with a red blanket draped around my body….. But I promise my favorite color isn’t red lol.
How are you releasing stress?! I saw some of your sketches… ;)
Definitely trying to use this time to be more creative. Before Covid got really bad, I went to Michael’s and purchased a bunch of art supplies. Then I started watching YouTube videos and practicing my sketching… surprisingly, I turned out to be not half bad! So when I’m feeling anxious or trying to think through some things I’ll grab a glass of wine and sketch. I’ve also just been spending ALOT of time outside. I love nature and the sun really energizes me.
You have been READING girl! What are some of the best books you’ve read during quarantine? Give us an inspirational quote please.
Lol yes I’ve been reading hella books. Also a good way for me to unwind. I just finished Awkward Black Girl. Issa Rae released it years ago and I’m just now getting hip to it — primarily because it’s the next book my book club is reading. I really enjoyed this because Issa is HILARIOUS and I feel like with quarantine everything has been so drab and serious. It was great to be able to read something that was just for entertainment and not meant to spark a great debate within myself or with my friends.
Not sure if you know this, but I’m moving back to Nashville permanently. I was going through an emotional dialogue with myself about this and if I was making the right decision. In the book, Issa talks about how hard of a time she had in NYC and didn’t put things into perspective until she had a conversation with her friend. The excerpt goes like this:
...one of my friends turned and asked, “Jo-Issa why are you still in New York?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You got robbed. You’re broke. It’s like you’re willingly struggling for no reason,” she continued. “Everybody you know is in Los Angeles. You should just come here. We could do so much together.”
I thought about it for a minute. “I can’t just get up and leave.”
They laughed. “Why not?”
The question haunted me. What was really keeping me there? It wasn’t like I had a husband and kinds I was tied to, or an amazing high-paying job. Why was I still there? I was young; I didn’t have to be tied to any one place.
I told them I’d thinking about it, and I did…
That July, I moved back to L.A. with plans to take the reins on my life once more. I didn’t make it in New York, but hopefully the assets that were stolen from me will help someone else make it.
It’s not really inspirational per se. But it does speak to this moment in my life where I’m going through SO MANY life transitions. I love NYC and I wouldn’t say that I had a terrible time or wasn’t “making it,” but I don’t think it’s where I have to be for this next phase of my life. And, knowing that you can thrive elsewhere (albeit Los Angeles is a good place for a filmmaker lol) gave me a little comfort.
You’re incredible at building community. Tell us more about Mimconnect and what inspired you to create an organization built on lifting others up?
Thank you! Mimconnect is all about helping professionals of color navigate their careers and I started the company basically from a void I felt in my professional development. Being a transplant to NYC, and fresh to the workforce, I didn’t see too many people in the office that looked like me and had my same experiences. It was formed as a way for me to initially build my own personal network, but noticing that others were struggling with the same issues, it morphed into a community built on helping each other succeed.
With Covid, we had to rework our business model a bit. Prior to it, we were building partnerships with companies to help recruit and retain diverse talent. While we’re still doing that, budgets have been cut drastically for companies around the board. We recently launched our premium membership that unlocks opportunities for our community members to access career coaches, tactical masterclasses, mentorship opportunities and more — all aimed at helping them be over prepared for their next opportunity.
I think when you create something that adds value to people's lives — and really hone in on your unique value proposition — you automatically build a community that supports you and rallies on your behalf. The interesting thing about Mimconnect is that we’ve grown only through word of mouth. We’ve never really spent money on advertising and that’s a key indicator that people really rock with us.