An entrepreneur who was pregnant and homeless at the age of 24, is back to share secrets of her success with the launch of a new book, writes Sam Hopkins.
Yemi Penn returned to her hometown of Brixton to release her new book, Did You Get The Memo? which features her fascinating personal story as well as revealing her top secrets to success.
Her story involves much of her hardship, including living on the streets with an unborn baby.
It all started when she was made homeless after her Nigerian parents disapproved of her pregnancy outside of wedlock.
Yemi spent time sleeping of friends’ sofas before declaring herself homeless to the Lambeth council.
She said: “One night I slept on the doorstep of the town hall. It was a harsh reality, sitting on the stairs hoping nothing bad happened to me.
“I was scared for my unborn daughter. It sounds extreme, but I was worried about being stabbed and going into premature labour.”
By the time she got pregnant, Yemi had a degree in mechanical engineering from Brunel University and was working on a graduate scheme at a chemical engineering company.
“I realised I had hit rock bottom. I went to the council begging that they would move me somewhere else,” she said.
Yemi’s road to success started from using a dating app, where she met a man in the US Air Force.
She started off by selling a range of exclusive hair products in the military base, and from then onwards it has been an upward spiral.
Yemi has dramatically turned her life around 13 years on, and now makes a staggering £900,000 a year.
The relentless hardship that Yemi experienced has helped fuel her hunger for success.
Yemi now has three prosperous businesses – an engineering consultancy, the F45 gym in Brixton and W Squared Coaching – spanning across the UK and Australia.
Yemi said: “I’m really passionate about getting people from victim to victorious. I would tell other women thinking of starting a business to just do it, especially if they’re mothers, because that is a skill second to none.”
“Whilst circumstances can make you feel like you have no escape, it’s how you react to things that may be out of your control that ultimately define your future. Shifting your mindset when faced with challenges, grief, loss or failure to be empowered and enriched is a proven strategy to live a more fulfilled life.
“The book shares tips, tools and mindset hacks to rip up the memo and create the life you want.”
Did You Get the Memo? is published by Pickawoowoo Publishing and is available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and at other book shops.