Willow Spotlight: Miracle Olatunji
W: What does Black History Month mean to you and do you find yourself reflecting on anything in particular right now?
MO: To me, Black History month is about celebrating the trailblazers who have gone before us and uplifting the present-day changemakers. I find myself reflecting on this and recognizing that while progress has been made towards equity and justice, there’s still more work we can all do to make the world a more just place for everyone. One topic I am especially passionate about is having more inclusive conversations about money and addressing the systemic barriers that impact Black and Brown communities. I have been collaborating and working with different stakeholders and organizations to create more equitable systems and educational resources that pave the way towards building generational wealth.
W: You’ve accomplished so much. You’re the author of Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact and you’re also the founder of OpportuniMe, a mission-driven company that empowers Gen Z and organizations to realize and reach their full potential. What has been your greatest inspiration and motivators?
MO: I find a lot of inspiration from other entrepreneurs and founders. I first got into the entrepreneurial space in my junior year of high school after participating. I also have a lot of role models that I look up to, such as my mom.
W: You wrote a book called Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact, which is a guide to anyone seeking to make an impact on their communities, organizations, and the world. What do you think your purpose in life is?
MO: As I share in the book, your purpose can change over time, and that’s perfectly normal. Over time, as we gain new experiences and learn more about ourselves, we will start to recognize our gifts, talents, passions, and how we’d like to make an impact in our communities, workplaces, and society. Personally, in this season of my life, my purpose is to create and share content that uplifts, educates, and inspires others. I enjoy doing this through public speaking, writing, and creating content on social media. It is so fulfilling to witness the impact it has on other people.
W: What are some of the unique challenges that Gen Z is facing today that differ from your parents and grandparents generations?
MO: We are digital natives; we’ve never known a world without personal tech devices and social media. There are definitely pros and cons to this. We have access to information and the ability to connect with nearly anyone in the world – right at our fingertips. I find this incredible because we can also find educational resources. We can learn about a variety of topics including personal finance. Something that is important to discuss is the mental health implications of social media, such as too much time spent on it, comparison, and more. I love that one of the themes for this month is about self love/care and personally, one of the ways I practice self care is by practicing digital wellness. For example: taking breaks from my phone and laptop. It’s nice to connect in the digital world but also appreciate the present moment and experiences in real life (IRL).
Q: At Willow, our mission is to help women (and their families) confidently achieve financial wellness through personalized financial guidance during pivotal moments in their life. What inspired your passion for financial wellness and empowerment?
MO: When I was 17, me and my mom went to a workshop at the local library about how women can thrive financially. This workshop opened my eyes to the importance of investing and financial wellness. I became very passionate about this topic, and especially helping others learn these important money skills too. When I got to college, I started working at my university’s financial literacy center called Thrive. We hosted workshops on a variety of topics such as credit, budgeting, loans, investing, and more. It was so exciting and inspiring to be able to empower fellow students and help educate on these important topics!
W: This month, we are also talking a lot about Self-Care and Self-Love. How do you find ways to put Miracle first?
MO: That’s amazing! I love the self love focus because it is true that our relationship with ourselves impacts our other relationships. I try to be intentional about making time for self care. I also use the Google Calendar app and it helps me manage my time and see where it is spent the most. You can also get pretty creative with it. I color-code based on what it is I’ll be doing at the time- whether it’s time blocked out for my classes and studying, writing, creating content, meetings, business, social – anything in my life! Another alternative I would recommend is a physical planner or a combination of using both Google calendar and a physical planner. Self-care is also important to me, so I always try to block out time to relax and take breaks.
W: Any final thoughts?
MO: I’ve also been thinking a lot about what it means to be ‘fearless’ and how this impacts our personal and professional goals. One of my favorite quotes about being fearless and courageous is by Oprah. She says that the meaning “is to be afraid, and then, with your knees knocking and your heart racing, to step out anyway—even when that step makes sense to nobody but you.” I 100% agree with this. I believe that being fearless means taking a chance on yourself and your goals. It’s about being okay with being a beginner, starting something new, and stepping out of our comfort zone. The way that we turn our dreams into reality is by taking action steps forward. Those steps won’t be perfect and we will always learn along the way. Progress is better than perfection.