Founder Spotlight: Dubem Menakaya

Published in
5 min readApr 8, 2024

Meet Dubem Menakaya, the Connection Catalyst — an international transformative leadership coach and artist. He specialises in guiding young, diverse leaders and changemakers through challenges like overwhelm, fear, and imposter syndrome, helping them achieve promotions, increased earnings, and greater impact while fostering inner peace.

Dubem’s coaching reaches across continents, from the USA to Australia, via Germany, leveraging technology for Zoom sessions and conducting over 30 workshops online and in-person. He’s collaborated with organisations such as X+Why, Hubdot, Animas, Foundervine, and WeWork, bringing his expertise to diverse audiences.

Join us as we delve into the inspiring story of this extraordinary entrepreneur.

Dubem Menakaya — Transformative Leadership Coach

Dubem Menakaya, could you share with us the story behind your startup and what inspired you to launch it?

Creating Beyond Imagination isn’t just a business venture for me; it’s a lifestyle. Transformative coaching and facilitation are akin to an art form, reshaping individuals’ perspectives on themselves. During my time as a Work Coach at a job center, I witnessed first-hand the transformative power of conversation. Despite facing despair and prolonged unemployment, my clients always harboured dreams within them. I recall one individual, who dreamt of creating music mixes for elderly homes to evoke nostalgia and joy. Together, we realised his dream within weeks, igniting more progress than he’d seen in years.

Simultaneously, I was coaching individuals outside of work via Zoom, undergoing various training courses and certifications. A common thread emerged among those I served: young, diverse professionals aged 25–35, feeling trapped and disillusioned in their careers. Many had attempted entrepreneurial ventures that failed, leaving them burdened with shame and frustration. They found themselves questioning if this was all life had to offer.

Amidst a culture that glorifies hustle and emphasises action, I realised that beneath the surface, many were deeply unhappy. The perceived problems weren’t always the root issues. By helping them see beyond surface-level challenges, they not only manifested their desires but also enjoyed the journey more fully.

When my contract ended, I made the decision to pursue this path full-time, driven by a desire to empower others to unlock their potential and lead more fulfilling lives.

Tell us about your journey with Foundervine

I discovered Foundervine on LinkedIn through a post by the CEO Izzy and felt drawn to their website. At Wray and Nephew’s end-of-year event in December 2022, I was captivated by the vibrant energy and diverse entrepreneurs present. After making connections, I had the opportunity to run workshops online and later in-person through Foundervine.

Attending various Foundervine events like Founderfest and Founder Breakfasts, I found myself in spaces where I felt inspired and knew I could make a difference. Through Foundervine, I connected with colleagues, who provided access to WeWork for my coaching sessions and workshops, ultimately leading to my involvement in the WeWork Diverse Founders Programme.

Thanks to Foundervine, I’ve met incredible people, explored new opportunities, and created meaningful experiences for others. Their community has played a significant role in shaping my journey and elevating my purpose.

What’ve been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your entrepreneurial journey?

My greatest challenge, and opportunity, lies in articulating my work with confidence and clarity. Initially, I grappled with defining my unique skill set and its significance to others. Through mentorship, I discovered that it’s not just about what I do, but who I serve and the value I create for them.

Understanding that my role is to facilitate the realisation of their desires and explore new possibilities with them shifted my perspective. Central to this journey is my ongoing self-development; I recognise that my personal growth directly impacts the outcomes I achieve.

In transformative coaching, honing my own abilities is paramount. By transforming myself, I unlock the potential for transformative change in others.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting up?

In the journey of entrepreneurship, appreciation is often undervalued. Reflecting on my own path, I realise the importance of cherishing the present moment and acknowledging the progress made so far.

It’s easy to focus solely on where I want to go, overlooking the opportunities and growth available in the present. This insight has been invaluable, and I look forward to exploring it further.

What are some of the important milestones and recognitions in your journey so far?

Signing a client for a six-month contract at a significant fee marked a pivotal moment for me. It validated the value of the countless hours I’ve invested in my craft through reading, courses, and coaching. I recall moments of doubt and numerous rejected proposals, making the achievement even more poignant.

Witnessing the transformation of that client, from feeling stuck to landing a new job with a substantial wage increase, was immensely fulfilling. Coaching allowed me to grow alongside my clients, gaining fresh insights and realisations.

Subsequent milestones, such as working with multiple paying clients and surpassing my previous full-time job’s income through coaching, further affirmed my journey. Leading a successful one-day leadership training in my hometown and being paid by organisations for training were additional highlights. Each milestone has fuelled my passion and commitment to my coaching journey.

Any top tips for entrepreneurs struggling with structure?

It’s crucial not to simply mimic others’ paths. Embrace experimentation and draw inspiration, but ultimately, prioritise authenticity. Ask yourself: What genuinely excites you? How do you envision crafting your daily life?

I’ve come to realise that rest and enjoyment are paramount, often surpassing the importance of being constantly ‘in’ the business. Grant yourself ample time for rejuvenation. Surprisingly, I’ve found that there’s often less urgency in tasks than initially perceived.

In the realm of entrepreneurship, tasks such as social media, marketing, and sales may appear urgent, but in truth, it’s the joy and presence we infuse into each endeavour that profoundly shapes our outcomes.

Entrepreneurial communities can be such powerful support networks — do you have any asks or gives to the Foundervine community?

This year, I’m embarking on an adventure to create £1 million in value. If you’re interested in connecting and discussing your aspirations, I’m here to serve.

Additionally, I’m in the process of developing a leadership catalyst for diverse leaders — a transformative training spanning three days. I’m seeking collaborators to co-create this experience, so please reach out if you’re intrigued.

As for giving back, I’m available for connections and service via email or LinkedIn. Moreover, I aim to impact and train thousands of individuals this year, either online or in person. If you have a group of 20 people or more, I’d love to deliver a transformative talk or session. One such workshop, “The Power Of Connection,” has garnered incredible testimonials and I’m eager to share it with as many people as possible.

Furthermore, I dream of taking my work internationally, so if you have opportunities abroad, let’s explore them together. Every aspect, from pricing to timing, can be customised — I’m dedicated to co-creating meaningful experiences.




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