We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Mimi Nartey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dr. Nartey, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor of my success is that I am willing to let go of the past – including past successes! Often we hear people advise us to put the past behind us if we want to move forward, and typically they are talking about past failures. In reality, we can be held back by past successes as well because we are afraid that we won’t be as successful in our next process as we were in our last process. I have been able to move from being a World Cup soccer player to an award-winning college professor to a a successful social entrepreneur because I have had the courage to be a beginner again. I think many more people would find more happiness and purpose if they were willing to leverage what they are good at to pursue what they could be great at.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I retired from professional soccer in 2003 and went into academia. After nearly a decade of teaching and research in environmental science and public health at some pretty amazing institutions in southern California, I decided to step away from the academy to pursue social entrepreneurship. As a social entrepreneur, I am consulting building organizations that can address social problems in innovative ways. In this space, my success is not just measured by profit, it is also measured by social impact. I also engage in philanthropy, and I run our family’s youth sports non-profit, The Nartey Sports Foundation. The scope of my day to day activities range from writing books and articles, speaking at conferences and events, designing and teaching workshops, appearing on the news as an expert consultant, and even planning fundraising events and consulting with non-profits. I have eventful days! It hasn’t been easy because there is no blueprint for scaling my brand. In a traditional job, there are often clear pathways to promotion. Even as an entrepreneur in other businesses, there are often many examples and resources to help you grow your business. In my case, the same lack of boundaries that make this field appealing also making it tough to grow, but I have been able to overcome this challenge with lateral thinking. Because I have so many diverse experiences and such rigorous professional training in diverse fields, I have an amazing toolkit to create innovative frameworks and solutions to address challenging issues in our society, such as social inequalities and empowerment. My interdisciplinary background makes my brand extremely unique, and I rely on that same interdisciplinary perspective to figure out ways to grow my brand and increase the scope of my impact.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We live near the beach in Playa Vista, and I cannot overstate how much I love this community! It is really diverse and walkable and different from many other communities in L.A. — and we are beach accessible. A week long trip should definitely include a walk or bike ride to the beach from Playa Vista. We also love taco Tuesday in our neighborhood at Sol Cocina with live music by Justin Hopkins every week! I love spending time a the beautiful museums we have access to – especially the Getty Villa and the Getty Center. I recommend trying to get to the Hollywood Bowl for the world music series. I also suggest shopping at the Century City Mall (with lunch at Javier’s). Finally, you have to get out to Terranea Resort to have a sunset dinner at Nelson’s!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout my family. My husband and I are both entrepreneurs so we have a very dynamic family ecosystem that is filled with support, love, and a whole lot of fun! My crew really keeps me encouraged and inspired!

Website: www.MimiNartey.com
Instagram: @MimiNartey
Youtube: Mompetitor by Mimi Nartey

Image Credits
Spectrum News 1

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