MEET Mimi Osman
Why would you recommend Mimi et Mina?
When I moved to London, I was looking for a salon for Afro hair. There is a plethora of salons in London, but I wanted something different. Mimi et Mina appeared on a Google search, I liked the look and feel and decided to book an appointment. It was a pleasant experience from the first moment. Mimi is genuinely interested in providing the best service and experience and that’s why I’ve been going to her ever since. Her clientele is divers and interesting and I always meet women at the salon who are doing extraordinary things. It’s a relaxing environment and Mimi has a charming and bubbly personality so you can expect lovely chats and laughter while getting your hair done.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (background, studies…)
My journey started in 1978 in Accra, Ghana, where I was born to a Ghanaian mother and a Nigerian father. We lived in Hamburg and Togo and eventually moved to The Netherlands in the late 80’s. Haven spent 29 years in Amsterdam, it has a special place in my heart. It’s where I grew up, studied, met some of my best friends and started my career. Two years ago, I felt it was time to do something new. An opportunity in London opened up at my company, which I pursued and I’m excited to be living and working here. I’ve been at LinkedIn for 6 years in different roles and currently work as a Consultant, advising Fortune 500 companies on how to use our platform for their employer branding in Europe, Middle-East and Africa.
I’ve always wanted to find different ways to express my creativity and it’s fantastic to be living in a time when we have access to different social media platforms which allows us to share content and connect with people all over the world. I’ve kept a journal since I was in high school so blogging feels like an extension of that. It’s a great way to share my perspectives on different interests. It’s a springboard to other pursuits in the future which I’m excited about. The topics which I’m currently covering are Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty and the science & technology behind it. The blog is only about a month old and I’m very much enjoying the process of creating content and building readership.
What drives you in Life?
There are a lot of things that drive me such as the sacrifices my parents made, the obstacles I’ve overcome in life to get here I know that no matter where you find yourself in life, having strong belief, a vision for yourself and working hard can create miracles.
When I reflect on my life, I see certain patterns and what I realise is that you don’t always get to choose which challenges come your way. The only thing you have control over is how you deal with those challenges. I face them head-on, because I know they are here to teach me something valuable. I’m driven by the idea of our unlimited potential and that every challenge along the way is there to build you up in order to prepare you for future opportunities and success. The meaning of success is changing and people are deciding for themselves what that looks like. The linear path of getting a degree, finding a job, getting married, having children, saving and waiting for your pension is antiquated. For me, success changes over time and means building Wealth. My own definition of Wealth goes beyond financial success. It means good health in body, mind and spirit, connection with loved ones, being your authentic self, creative expression, joy, freedom, having awareness, being emphatic and continue to learn and grow. These things don’t all come at ones, they happen over the course of life. I believe that when we are at the end of our lives and we look back, we will not be thinking about our investment portfolio, shoe and handbag collection or how many houses we own. We will be thinking about the lives we touched, no matter how few, the risks we took, the ones we didn’t take and the joy we experienced.
As a leader today, how do you give back? How do you empower others?
Growing up in Amsterdam, there were few highly successful women of colour that were visible. Apart from my mother when we were in West – Africa, Claire Huxtable and Oprah, it seemed like our destiny was to become either a housewife, teacher or nurse. Although these are three of the hardest and most undervalued jobs, it was not the path I wanted to take. Fast-forward to now and it’s thrilling to see so many women of colour excel in different fields. There is still a long way to go and we all have a responsibility to contribute to that visibility for the younger generation.
Before I moved to London, I was mentoring 2 young ladies who were living challenging lives. Our conversations allowed them to see the potential in their lives and find a way to navigate through their challenges one step at a time. It ultimately lead to one girl going back to school and the other finding a job. I believe that we all already have the power within us and just have to be reminded of it, encouraged and inspired to tap into it. There are more opportunities than ever before, at the same time, those opportunities are not equally available to everyone. I’d like to continue connecting with young women and help remind them of their power. By living my life as authentically as possible and projecting that, hopefully I’m contributing in a positive way.
What are your success habits?
I think it’s important to feed my body, mind and spirit in order to give my best self. Over the years, I’ve changed my morning rituals and have kept 3 things that I do consistently, which are giving thanks, meditating and working out. After a hiatus, I recently started doing Tracy Anderson Method again most mornings, which is an online streaming workout I can do anywhere from any device. Transcendental Meditation which I’ve been practicing for the past 4 years has been transformative. I try to read one book per month and make time to read articles, journals, watch documentaries and listen to podcasts, audiobooks and interviews of leaders I admire. What’s also important to me is connecting with new people from different backgrounds. It allows me to learn more about the world from various perspectives.
Keeping a journal has been part of my daily activity. I used to write in note books, which is still my preferred method, but in recent years, I’ve switched to my phone. It allows me to reflect on the day, write down my thoughts and ideas. I attend events and Talks whenever I can, which is a great way to network. In addition, I have a great group of friends, mentors and elders in my family who feed me with a wealth of knowledge in business and my personal life. Traveling and enjoying time with my friends and family are the things I look forward to the most. I’m also learning to accept that it’s not a disaster if I’m unable to do all these things all the time.
How do you push through hard times?
What works for me is facing difficulties head-on! I try to see it for what it is, why it happened and what I can do about it. In business, I leave out emotions and work through challenges the best I can. There have been some though times in my career. What I always found is that through perseverance and faith, things get better. I travel to Ghana regularly. Seeing how people handle adversity with grace puts things into perspective. Practicing gratitude, especially in difficult moments, changes the energy of a situation. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
My family and friends help me through challenges with tough love and lots of humour. I’d also like to believe that my positive attitude gets me through rough patches and my deep belief that everything, will always, always be alright!