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Kim Niemi on Mentors, Being a Working Mother and the Life of an Innovator

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That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much. – Robert Louis Stevenson

When I think of my guest today, Kim Niemi, I think of a life well-lived. I’ve had the honor and joy of knowing her and her family for some time now. (Her son, Shane, was one of my closest bud in high school and still is a friend I cherish a lot.) There are people you meet in life that attempt to put a façade. However, when I see my guest and her husband, I see love. When I see her with her family, I see love. When I see the way she talks about God and the youth she desires to reach, I see love.

From growing up in a ranch to becoming the Senior Vice President at NBCUniversal, her life has been quite the adventure! In today’s episode, she shares with us with her fascinating story. And she gives a look into some of the things that were instrumental in her success, including mentors and trusting God.

NBC Universal Executives

Kim Niemi has over had quite the trajectory, as it relates to entertainment and entrepreneurship. She served as the Vice President, Product Management for Capitol Records for over 11 years. There, she was in charge of of film and soundtrack releases, including some big ones like Goodwill Hunting, Hope Floats, Romeo & Juliet, Clueless, and others. (The latter three where each certified multi-platinum!)

She, then, went on to serve as the Senior Vice President at NBCUniversal for over 14 years. Overseeing the DVD, Music and Consumer Products division for most of her time there (which included the media company’s cable channels as well), she is known as the person that brought merchandizing to NBCUniversal. So, if there’s Heroes-based action figures, Biggest Loser cookbooks, Jimmy Fallon mugs or any other products that are based on NBC’s programs, it is because of Kim Niemi. She, now, finds herself in an exciting season with multiple, new ventures, including a restaurant, a product line, a film and a consulting firm.

Prior to becoming Vice President at NBC, Kim worked at Capitol Records for over 11 years.

Prior to becoming the Senior Vice President at NBCUniversal, Kim worked at Capitol Records for over 11 years.

3 Big Takeaways:

  1. Mentors are valuable at any age. There is much wisdom and insight to be gleaned from the life experiences and expertise of others. Regardless of age, mentors are invaluable, offering moral support and even life-altering perspectives. Not to mention, an example to follow. Kim identifies mentors as a big part of her success both on a personal and professional level.
  2. Ask Questions. In everyday life and in your career path, it is vital to ask questions. Questions will help you better understand where your loved ones, partners or clients are coming from us see the perceptions of others. Once you know where others are coming from, that will help you better serve them. 
  3. You’re life’s journey may not look like other people’s journeys or what you expected it to be, and that is OK. You may desire for your life to look a very particular way. And you may have a distinct image of what it means to be a spouse or a mother, for instance. Nonetheless, as long as you are truly attending to the things that really matter, don’t get hung up in the guilt or shame of your journey not turning a certain way. God may carve a unique path for you, your spouse and your family. 
Kim with her husband of over 28 years, Joe.

Kim and her husband, Joe. They recently celebrated 28 years!

Some questions I ask:

  • How have mentors been instrumental in your personal and professional development? (40:40)
  • How did you navigate the challenges of being a working mother with many responsibilities? (49:48)
In middle school, Kim garnered a standing ovation for performing a song titled, "Parents Just Don't Understand". This was one of the most formative events of her life.

In middle school, Kim garnered a standing ovation at a Parent Night for performing a song titled, “Parents Just Don’t Understand”.  She says this was one of the most formative events of her life.

Sneak Peak of More:

  • Early milestones in Kim’s childhood and teen years (3:36)
  • The amazing decade at Capitol Records and the leap of faith to NBCUniversal (22:50)
  • The shift from being a corporate executive to entrepreneurship (1:01:37)
  • A BIG announcement (1:18:00)

 

The Niemi's are the proprietors of Shredded Tacos which is a Mexican Fast Food Restaurant with an Italian Twist.

The Niemi’s are the proprietors of Shredded Tacos which is a Mexican Fast Food Restaurant with an Italian Twist.

Enchantails celebrates a new world of mermaids with products such as slumber bags and children's books. (Partnering with , one of Niemi's latest ventures alongside Mark and Tristy Viniello, this is one of Niemi's latest ventures.)

Enchantails celebrates a new world of mermaids with products such as slumber bags and children’s books. (Partnering with Mark and Tristy Viniello, this is one of Niemi’s exciting, new ventures.)

 

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