Although she is only 19-years-old, Miracle Olatunji is already making a significant difference in society. Olatunji is an entrepreneur, professional speaker and author of Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact.
As a high school student, she founded OpportuniMe, an award-winning education organization that connected high school students to summer learning opportunities to help them develop their life and leadership skills. Now as a sophomore at Northeastern University, Olatunji is the Vice President of Access & Opportunity for the Women In Finance Initiative and continues to work towards empowering youth.
Olatunji credits her spirit and leadership to the Diamond Challenge, a youth entrepreneurship program she participated in during her high school career. The program helped her develop not only an entrepreneurial mindset but provided her with the amazing opportunity to make friends globally.
In a recent interview with The Tempest, Olatunji spoke about the inspiration behind her book, Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact, and what the term purpose means to her. She also told us of her passion to positively impact others and how she hopes her book inspires readers to do the same.
“For me, my birth and story behind my name story have always made me curious about the concept of purpose and how that related to my existence, and for the existence of everyone on the planet,” Olatunji said.
“I believe my purpose involves helping others empower themselves through connection to opportunities, for personal and professional growth, and to realize their potential. Essentially, part of my own purpose is to help others uncover their purpose and lead with it. If we really want to make an impact, we have to think beyond ourselves. It’s not just about a ‘me’ mentality, it’s about an ‘us’ mentality. Who are you trying to help, empower, or create value for? What are their needs?”
According to Olatunji, everyone has a purpose and that purpose is the central motivation of our life. She believes that one’s purpose keeps them grounded and allows them to “keep going” when they face inevitable challenges.
“You can leverage the power of an inner sense of purpose to guide your life decisions and goals, build impactful organizations, movements and create change.”
Inspired by Mark Twain’s words, “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,” Olatunji wrote her book earlier this year. She shared with us that she believes the ‘why’ in his quote refers to one’s person or reason for existence.
“Although there are billions of people on this planet, every single one of us has a purpose. This leads to one of the greatest dilemmas of all time: the search for that sense of purpose in our lives. For me, the day I was born has a peculiar back story. It has led me to search and try to find out why I was born. What is my purpose? How can I live and lead with impact?” she added.
Throughout her years as an entrepreneur, Olatunji has spoken to various audiences about financial literacy, their career, purpose in life, and education. She also has experience speaking about innovation, diversity and inclusion. Similar to how her talks are relatable for audiences of all ages, she hopes her book reaches a wide variety of readers who feel inspired and motivated for change.
“My book, Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact, is for anyone and everyone who wants to make a difference in not only their lives but in the lives of others, their communities, companies, organizations and the world,” Olatunji said.
“It’s full of inspiring stories and actionable insights for readers of all ages. My hope is that the book will inspire fellow young women especially to realize that, as Michelle Obama said, there is no limit to what we as women can accomplish,” she added.
When asked what advice she would give to someone who is interested in following in her footsteps of becoming an author, Olantunji emphasized the importance of writing or typing out the story and message you’d like to share with others.
“Do a first draft and don’t be too harsh on yourself,” she said. “Just focus on getting the words out, the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.”
She spoke of the consistency and having work reviewed by family, friends and other professionals you can share your writing with. The first step, which is getting started, Olatunji said, is the toughest. “Afterward, discipline and creating the time to write and revise is key.”
To Olantunji the most rewarding aspect of her work is being told she inspires people to make a difference and having the ability to create positive solutions for others. Feedback from her audiences and those who consume her work not only encourages her but reminds her of her purpose and the reason why she does the work she does, Olantunji told us.
When asked what the best career advice she’d been given was, Olatunji shared the importance of creating a support group for oneself.
“Create your own personal life and career “board of advisors” which consists of people who support and push you to be the best possible version of yourself. This may include family, friends, mentors, sponsors, coaches, and more.”
This interview was edited for length and clarity.