The Lessons from Unreplied Iyinoluwa Aboyeji Emails – and Missing Opportunities

The Lessons from Unreplied Iyinoluwa Aboyeji Emails  – and Missing Opportunities

This man, one of his continent’s best, wrote to me many times in 2013. He sent a pitch deck and he even followed up, offering me an advisor role in his company. In all those emails, I did not respond. Think about it, I could have been given a small piece in Andela, now a unicorn.

I was stuck with teaching engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  That was the life there and it was to teach, research and run the day. But when a MASSIVE opportunity was knocking at the door, I did not pay attention. I failed the test of observation and awareness because my mind was conditioned on the straight road I was then.

This was the last Iyin’s email to me: “Also I wanted to ask if you are fine with me putting you on as an advisor for our project Let me know”. I did not respond to that email. He followed up via LinkedIn on my CMU classnotes and how I could assist him (I deleted my old Linkedin profile before I returned in 2016 or so).

  • Register here for Tekedia Mini-MBA (Jun 6 – Sep 3, 2022)
  • Pay N60,000 ($140) by May 18 early bird deadline.

I have shared the experience many times with him; he simply laughed! In an Alibaba Board meeting program we both attended last year, I found a way to get into that also.

I am using that experience to mentor people: sometimes, the goal we desire to achieve can come via many ways. That I was a professor teaching engineering and a group of young people with a huge vision wanted me to serve as an advisor would not have been a distraction.

The Lesson: do not ignore the Iyinoluwa Aboyejis in your network as they email you. Most times, what they want is nothing; small guidance. Of course, I do hope Iyin, now that he is a big king, will not ignore emails. All of us who are now privileged should return emails to our young people.


1. Advance your career with Tekedia Mini-MBA (Jun 6 – Sep 3, 2022): beat early bird fee of $140 (or N60,000 naira) before it goes. Click and register here.

2. Click and register for Tekedia Startup Masterclass and master the secrets from start-up to unicorn. Cost is N180,000 naira or $400.

3. Click to join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and own a piece of Africa’s finest startups with a minimum of $10,000 investment.

Share this post

3 thoughts on “The Lessons from Unreplied Iyinoluwa Aboyeji Emails – and Missing Opportunities

  1. Some will not accept connection request, some will never respond to direct message, some shared their email addresses but will never read and respond to mails sent to them.

    We have creatures who are too ‘busy’ to notice opportunities knocking on their doors, until they are out of the picture, then their eyes will partially open…

    Nobody expects you to solve all the problems directed to you, but the minimum demanded of you as a responsible person is to respond to message or mail sent to you, it means a lot to the sender.

    How does it feel when your direct message is sitting comfortably in someone’s inbox for days and weeks, yet the person pops up here to make new posts, comment on others and hit like buttons here and there? We see plenty bad things here, sometimes for reasons ranging from inexplicable to ludicrous.

    We need repentance.

  2. Olatunde Akin-Oluyomi · Edit

    Iyin has comfortably ignored me on LinkedIn, haha.

    It might come with not being mentally prepared for the mentor or advisory role at that time or simply being too busy or considering yourself too busy.

    Besides, it is not only pitch decks that should be responded to. They are many ways to help others up as some are prolific intraprenuers and others simply want to be the best at their jobs.

    There are easy ways to identify these people but it starts with deciding not to ignore them.

    I’m thankful for those that have not ignored me, maybe Iyin will come around.

    I’ll do my best not to ignore others too.


Post Comment