Self-made, single mother millionairess Yemi Penn is a name to note.
Not just because she has achieved a level of business success unexpected, for an individual made homeless aged 24 having fallen pregnant. But because the legacy she is intent on leaving in the world goes well beyond imparting business tools.
Yemi Penn is living testament to the power of owning our story, stepping out of our shadow and finding our voice.
Today Yemi is a Life and Business Coach and Management Consultant who has provided leadership and strategic direction to a range of clients and industries including: Network Rail, Sydney Metro, Transport for New South Wales, BMW, University of Technology Sydney and F45 Training.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
My name is Yemi Penn, I am an Engineer by profession and an Entrepreneur by passion. I manage three businesses with a number of passion projects and have recently published my first book! I manage my Management Consultancy firm in Sydney, Australia where we manage projects within the infrastructure space. I also own and operate my F45 studio in Brixton, London with an amazing team, last but not least I am the CEO of W Squared Coaching, which is a space/platform I have created to empower individuals and organisations, guiding them to change their mindset to bring about superior results.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Kind of, my parents wanted me to be a lawyer as my father was but something pulled me into Engineering. I loved the idea of creating something physical from a mere idea and concept. I do remember grappling at GCSE/ ‘A’ Levels on choosing the right subjects as it felt that this would determine the course of my career and therefore life! Scary concept in my opinion.
As time has gone on, I’ve decided to keep challenging status quo and now define my own version of a career, which is ‘whatever sets my soul on fire’ (in a good way that is!)
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Ha! That would be a yes. Mainly limiting beliefs and finance, this is partly why I am now a transformational coach, if only we realised that the real imprisonment for a lot of us is within our own mind. I had to dig deep to believe that I was worthy of everything I dreamed of and wanted, that I could achieve what I set my mind to. There was so much ‘unlearning’ along the way and I still invest in obliterating my limiting beliefs because the concept of ‘fear’ appears real.
Finance was another big challenge, on so many levels. It truly feels like ‘catch 22’ as we all have great ideas, however where we haven’t all started at the same line in this race, it is a bit more difficult for some than others to get the bank loan, investment or a job. In this instance I had to work on my money mindset, which ultimately had me get extremely more resourceful than I had ever been.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
As cliché as it sounds and in a humourous but truthful way, it has to be keeping my two kids alive and healthy (in mind & body). It really is a daily celebration when I myself have not broken from the challenges of our world but to do this and have my kids go to sleep relatively happy? I am winning at life.
The other achievement would have to be writing my first book, this was a major mental battle. I had managed to convince myself I wasn’t a writer as I am more of an engineer with a mix of an analytical/creative brain. It therefore felt that this would be a manuscript that never gets published but it did! My daughter who is 12yrs old said to me, ‘oh my gosh mum, this is real, it even has a barcode at the back!’ I knew I had arrived when she said that 😊
Oh, and building, opening and operating a fitness studio from the other side of the world
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
My growth mindset, hands down this has allowed me to literally shift what appeared to be immovable mountains. I know personal development is the big thing at the moment, however when you find the right coach, mentor, mastermind group, the results are phenomenal. Like anything that needs training it is about consistency and momentum. I truly believe in nourishing the mind but also being open to the concept that we all have ‘blind spots’. This fundamentally is why I founded W Squared Coaching.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I think mentoring is a really valuable concept, however it is tough to maintain as most people are mentoring alongside having a busy career, family and other commitments. It therefore requires dedication on both the mentor and mentee’s part to make it work.
My mentor at the moment would have to be Tony & Sage Robbins, I am part of their Platinum Partnership group and although I don’t receive the mentorship one to one (yet) I gain incredible value by being surrounded by a small group of amazing humans who are not only growing but contributing. I think everyone needs a group like this, which is why I am launching my mastermind group in 2020 to bring the best of me to people who want to learn more and grow.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
I would change how we market ‘women in xxxx’ events, we are at risk of doing the same thing men did and have done for centuries, which is exclude another gender. Where I completely appreciate the need to highlight a minority group, it is just as important to clearly state (where feasible) that the conversation is open to all for the world becomes a better place when we are ALL seen and heard.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Fail on my terms and no one else’s for it become feedback for the future, better version of me
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Oooh this is a good question because I was thinking of putting this project to the side but as I am about to speak it into existence I will have to see it through.
I have two passion projects. One is around female hygiene and technology working together and the other is about using technology to connect minorities to products and services that aren’t readily available in mainstream stores and supermarkets.
My hope for the future is equality, its such a big ask for a world that is riddled with ‘unfairness’, however staying in victim mode serves no one so my motto is to create the world you want to see and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.