Yemi Orogbemi (USA) signed up as a mentor on MicroMentor.org with the intention of helping small businesses get their finances in order. With over thirteen years of experience in financial planning, modeling, budgeting, cash flow projection and strategy, Yemi knows full-well the importance of sound financial management and is confident in his abilities to help businesses get on the right track. But after mentoring for just four months, Yemi has discovered that he has more to offer his mentees than just his technical expertise: He is also a source of motivation and accountability and an active participant in their entrepreneurial journeys.
Over the course of his career, Yemi has worked with the likes of Macy’s, Coach, and Christie’s as a member of dedicated financial teams, as well as with a handful of smaller firms such as Pace Gallery, where he was the lone financial planner. As he recalls from his experience working with one such smaller operation, “I realized that they had no clue what they were making and what they were spending, they had no insight into their numbers”. With this in mind and a will to help support small business “create value in the world”, Yemi signed up with MicroMentor, where he hoped to find individuals in need of his skills.
“I want to see what adds value for my mentees and how I can help them succeed”
On MicroMentor.org, Yemi continues to provide financial analysis and planning for his mentees, but he says the most important role he plays is that of an accountability partner. He continues to advise entrepreneurs on strategy, pushing them to consider things such as what value their product or service will add, what their target market composition looks like, or how they will set themselves apart from their competitors. But he also encourages them to be more strategic, and helps them hold themselves accountable to these newly created goals.
Often, Yemi’s mentees just need someone to bounce ideas off of, or talk through a new challenge with. Going into business alone is a daunting task, especially without the support systems of managers and other resources found at large companies. According to Yemi, success requires pushing through fear, a lesson he has learned through working with individuals anxious about the financial risks associated with entrepreneurship. “For someone putting up their own money, there is more risk and challenge…there is a lot of fear, and I help them deal with that fear”. Yemi first provides this missing support, and then provides structures against which his mentees can execute their plans.
Yemi hopes to continue empowering entrepreneurs to achieve their goals, so that they might create value in their lives and the lives of others. Going forward, Yemi says he will stick with his current mentees, focusing on their specific plans for growth and goals for success. “It’s a learning process for me as well”, he admits, “I want to see what adds value for my mentees and how I can help them succeed”.