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There is nothing more encouraging to me than seeing young people making a difference and pursing entrepreneurship; being the change-makers. They push me to do more and be better. My guest today is an incredibly inspiring young leader named Miracle Olatunji. Miracle is an entrepreneur, international speaker, and the author of the book, “Purpose: How to Live and Lead with Impact.” In high school (yes, high school), she founded OpportuniMe, an education startup that connects high school youth to summer experiential-learning opportunities for passion, career, and self-discovery. Miracle is absolutely that. She is an incredibly inspiring young leader and you’re going to love my conversation with her today!
Miracle’s story starts before she was born. The fact that Miracle is alive today is exactly why she got her name. When Miracle’s mother was pregnant, she started having premature contractions and doctors told her that the changes of her baby surviving prematurely were pretty much non-existent. Despite that grim statement, Miracle was born full-term and healthy.
Her path to entrepreneurship started in a program called The Diamond Challenge, a entrepreneurship contest for high school students. Miracle decided to try it out and pitched an idea with her friends. That experience gave her the confidence to never limit herself based on her age, gender, or anything else.
Through the Diamond Challenge, Miracle started her first organization, OpportuniMe. OpportuniMe helps people realize and reach their full potential through connection to opportunities and resources to explore different career paths and connect with other young people. Miracle’s first book “Purpose” was published in the summer of 2019.
The Diamond Challenge that Miracle participated in is a competition run through the University of Delaware but is specifically for high school students. The program gives students access to video courses about entrepreneurship and the process of turning an idea into reality. There are two tracks to the competition, the business side and the social enterprise side.
Various colleges, high schools, and churches all over the world host “pitch sites.” Students can also pitch their ideas virtually.
Miracle participated in the follow up event after the Diamond Challenge. While in her first year at the follow-up event, she was inspired by the closing keynote speaker who said that one of the key parts of entrepreneurship is solving problems.
When she returned to school in the fall and talked about her experience with the Diamond Challenge, she realized how many of her peers didn’t know about the opportunities out there for them or that these programs existed.
Miracle learned that your passion must be cultivated. It doesn’t fall from the sky and into your lap. She knew her peers simply didn’t have the same access to opportunities that open the doors to interests and passions.
Miracle started OpportuniMe when she was just 17 years old. Since then the biggest lesson she’s learned is the power of her mindset. She didn’t know a lot in the beginning. She had to work on herself push through the fear of rejection when starting things she’d never done before.
She realized that if you don’t ask for anything, you don’t even have the opportunity for a “yes”, “no”, or “not right now.”
Miracle is realizing now in college, that many college students are experiencing the same feelings of trying to discover what they are passionate about and that they are also trying to find purpose. She has extended the mission beyond high school students to also include people who are going to be entering the workforce soon, are entering it now, or have been in it for a few years.
At the start of the new year in 2018, Miracle made a vision board. She researched about visualizations and how things become more real in our minds when we are able to see a picture of it first.
One of the things on Miracle’s vision board was a quote, “Write a book, change the world.” She had always had the desire to write a book, but it seemed overwhelming and she didn’t think it was possible. She decided to stay dedicated to achieving it anyway.
In a community called “NextGen Summit”, Miracle joined a webinar about writing a book. She sent the instructor an email introducing herself and talking about her goal to write a book. The next week they spoke on the phone and Miracle enrolled in the program and stared writing her book!
The program is based around a community of aspiring book authors supporting other aspiring book authors. Each cohort releases their books on the same day. Miracle was inspired to write her book based on her own personal experiences and aspiring leaders from all different walks of life.
Purpose seems very abstract, but Miracle wanted to break that down to help people realize that it can be simplified to personal reflection on your values and what makes you come alive.
You can find Purpose: How to Live and Lead with Impact on Amazon.
As you know by now, Miracle really wants to help create opportunities for others. This summer to (especially now to help offset the effects of Covid-19 on college internships), she’s hiring college students with skills in social media, content marketing, and more. She wants to help students build their skills, learn new ones, and get compensated for their time.
In the future, Miracle also plans to participate in more campaigns like Barbie’s #rolemodels #youcanbeanything campaign to inspire people around the world that they have potential that shouldn’t be limited by any aspect of their identity.
Learn about Miracle’s unusual talent, what her “walk up/hype” song would be, what makes her feel most alive, who she’d pick to play her in a movie, and what she’s learning about herself during Covid-19. Be sure to stay tuned to hear what it means to Miracle to run a business with purpose.
3:43 – “I realized that I shouldn’t limit myself based on age or gender or anything. I should see myself as someone who is able to make a difference in the world because I truly believe that every single person on this planet has a purpose and sunique impact that they can make on the world.”
7:17 – “These programs create a way to explore, and you can’t know if you’re passionate about something unless you try it.”
7:40 – “The thing about passion…is that it takes exploration and trying different things. It would be nice if our passion just fell into our lap, but we have to do the work to figure out what makes us come alive.”
10:52 – “It’s important to not reject yourself before you give anybody the opportunity to give you a yes or no.”
22:25 “You have unlimited potential. You shouldn’t limit yourself based on any aspect of your identity.”
About Miracle Olatunji:
Miracle Olatunji is a student at Northeastern University, entrepreneur, public speaker, and author of Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact . She is the founder OpportuniMe, an award-winning social enterprise which helps the next generation of leaders to realize their potential and make an impact in their work and in the world. At Northeastern, Miracle is a business and finance major with a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, social impact, health & wellness, fashion, and innovation. She’s been honored as one of The Tempest Magazine’s ‘40 Women To Watch Who Are Changing The World’, a Young Futurist and Game-changer by The Root Magazine , and she was selected as a Young Global Leadership Scholar.Her work has also been featured in Forbes, Thrive Global, Technical.ly, BostInno, The CEO Library, ReadWrite, The Female Lead, and other publications. Miracle is also building Her Wallet Media, a new platform for women and girls to gain knowledge and resources on the topics of building their “net worth, network, and self worth” through content, community, and coaching. She was honored as an EXTRAOrdinary Woman by Boston.gov during the International Women’s Day Celebration at City Hall. Miracle was recently part of Barbie’s #YouCanBeAnything #MoreRoleModels campaign aimed at closing the dream gap and inspiring women and girls around the world. She was also part of Melinda Gates and the Harvard Business Review ’s ‘Equality Can’t Wait’ campaign.