“Fear is an illusion and what I’ve come to learn is that you give meaning to certain experiences and that’s what sparks the emotions you get. I always remind myself that my love for success is greater than my fear of failure.” Whitney Akinyi.
Whitney Akinyi is an entrepreneur, university student and motivational speaker who is involved with social impact and making a difference. While business requires a lot of diligence and discipline, Whitney is among the few young people who have managed to break even in this aspect.
Last year, Whitney was the overall coordinator and organizer of a huge event called Ikigai Festival. This festival was aimed at creating awareness on self-development and financial education. Popular artist DNG was part of the moderators talking about career development and promoting the need for side hustles. The festival was held at her former high school, St. George’s Girls Secondary School. It was hosted by popular celebrities such as Ronoh and Ethic music group who served as inspiration, being young people making an impact in the entertainment industry. The children interacted with the facilitators and moderators and were inspired to aim to be the best version of themselves and the feedback was tremendous.
But that’s not all. Late last year, she wrote and launched a transformation planner that served as a self-guide and to provide soft skills to young people. On top of that, she makes Instagram videos on different motivating topics.
However, Whitney has not always had it easy. She struggled with bullying in high school. She says, however, that she was able to get over the situation. She also did not perform as well academically. Although she eventually ended up with a good grade, she had people convince her that her academic failure would mirror her future. They convinced her that she would amount to nothing. However, she was able to put this script aside and design her own.
I sat down with her to find out more about her story and what inspires her vision to do more.
Who is Whitney Akinyi?
Whitney is a classy young lady who is very passionate about entrepreneurship, social impact and making a difference. I believe in purpose and being intentional in all you set out to do.
I am an event organizer, co-founder of Alpher Projects, author of the Dream Believe Achieve Transformational Planner, travel junkie, lover of soul music and a transformative speaker.
What is Alpher Projects?
Alpher is a company that my friend and I started with the aim of providing self-development and personal financial education among the youth.
Take us through some of the projects that you have done.
In August last year, I hosted the Ikigai Festival. Ikigai is a Japanese word that means finding balance. The theme was self-development and planning and we got about 100-150 students to join us on that day. It was a very successful initiative I must say. I’m looking forward to doing more this year.
I wrote the transformation planner with the aim of instilling soft skills in young people to effect better leadership, reduce the unemployment rate and make people believe in themselves enough to want to do better. All this will have a ripple effect on the well-being of our country and the world at large. In December 2019 I was able to launch this book, and I’ve heard a lot of success stories in the last few weeks because of these organizational planners.
What would you say is your driving factor?
My driving factor would be my siblings, to be able to set a good example to them as the firstborn of four.
I also want to be able to give back to my parents what they’ve sacrificed for me for the past 22 years. That would be a dream come true.
Another thing that motivates me is my need to reach my utmost potential. I’m in constant exploration of how far I can go and unlocking new discoveries about myself gets me psyched to keep pushing. Last but not least, fulfilling my life’s purpose gets me going every single day.
How do you overcome your fear of failure?
Fear is an illusion and what I’ve come to learn is that you give meaning to certain experiences and that’s what sparks the emotions you get. If you accept fear it will consume you and you will never be able to move away from your comfort zone. The thing is, most fears are just perceptions. They’re not always real.
Someone once asked me, “How bad do you want it?”. I had spent a good chunk of my time explaining the problems that I was facing. This question got me thinking of just how much we put aside because of fear. Stop giving in to everything your subconscious tells you. The minute you let your life be guided by fear, you will feel like you have failed.
I always remind myself that my love for success is greater than my fear of failure. Besides, what do I really have to lose?
Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
In the next 10 years, wow vision 2030! I see myself running my own successful company that deals with personal development and life coaching.
I want to have partnered with well-known brands and work on projects to help people, the youth especially.
I also want to have my own talk show on the same. I’ll have had three children and a wonderful home by then. I’m a family person.
Last but not least, I want to be the greatest version of myself and spread my shine all over the world.
Lastly, what advice would you give to people your age who are trying to advance in the entrepreneurship world?
First of all, I would like to let them know that entrepreneurship is like a game. Before you get a hang of it you’ll have failed multiple times. So don’t think you’ll get successful overnight. I cannot even tell you how many times I have tried and failed in this game. I wasn’t just born with it. It’s still a learning experience.
Every single day I get to learn something new about entrepreneurship. The most important thing when you fail, is to pick up the lessons and try again. A lot of us are held back by our fear of failure, but how will we ever succeed if we don’t at least try? It takes hard work, perseverance, and the humility to acknowledge that you know nothing and take that as an opportunity to learn.
Secondly, always seek to learn and organize your finances accordingly. Other than that, try and explore your ideas, you just never know.
If you’re interested in pursuing the entrepreneurial path, find out Five Ways Of Taking Your E-Commerce Store To The Next Level