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How a traumatic childhood inspired a Perth woman to champion young people

Lynn Erasmus wearing a Become Unstoppable tshirt in Perth's St Paul's Square.
Lynn Erasmus, founder of Become Unstoppable.

Just months after arriving in Perth from her native South Africa, entrepreneur Lynn Erasmus is using her personal plight to inspire young people.

Lynn’s Become Unstoppable programme builds on her experiences of growing up and working with youths in her hometown, Port Elizabeth.

“I’m here to help young people realise their own worth, build their confidence through personal development and teach them about entrepreneurship,” she says.

“I felt really lost, like I didn’t fit in anywhere, until I found myself and entrepreneurship.”

Helping young people build businesses

Originally a journalist, she started a community newspaper in Nelson Mandela Bay and through her reporting found groups of disenfranchised youths with little access to help.

“I was shocked, even coming from South Africa, how little they had and how little access to information they had.

“That shifted my focus to where I wanted to help them.”

Lynn created an entrepreneur workshop and hosted an annual event where young people showcased their business ideas to attract funding.

The events became successful, but after experiencing extreme burn-out, she took a long break and closed the newspaper.

Lynn Erasmus wearing a Become Unstoppable tshirt blowing bubbles.
Lynn’s events ran for many years raising funds for young entrepreneurs.

She says: “I didn’t know I had been living with untreated post-natal depression for three years.

“It was time to face the music and deal with my mother’s suicide which had led me down a dark path of self-destruction.

“I told myself a lie from a young age – that I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t worth loving – because if your own mother can’t love you, then who can.

“I stopped drinking and relearned how to love myself, and this made me unstoppable.

“If you can love yourself unconditionally, then nothing and no one can touch you, because you are enough.

“And this is my message to the youth out there.”

After turning her life around, Lynn started a coaching business where she coached the local business chamber’s 1,000 members.

New business ventures in Scotland

With two successful businesses, Lynn, her husband and their two children, aged 13 and seven, had no plans to leave South Africa.

That was until a harrowing experience – when the family home was broken into in the middle of the night – they changed their minds.

“We woke up with a flashlight in our faces,” she recalls.

“Thankfully no one was hurt, but we knew it was time to go.”

Lynn Erasmus wearing a Become Unstoppable tshirt in Perth's St Paul's Square.
After moving to Scotland, Lynn has studied to improve her English as her first language is Afrikaans.

At the end of 2019, the family moved to the Netherlands, but they did not feel at home.

Lynn was offered a job in Edinburgh and they arrived in Scotland in May 2020.

Just months later she lost her job and wrote a book, Break Those Damn Rules, about her journey of self-discovery.

For the past year, she has studied to be a keynote speaker and the local cultures while improving her English.

She says: “Everything happened as it should, because if I didn’t lose my job I wouldn’t have published my book.

Lynn Erasmus holding her book Break Those Damn Rules.
Lynn’s book Break Those Damn Rules came out in November 2020.

“I’ve now set up my business where I offer keynote speaking, training and coaching.

“As part of the social enterprise Become Unstoppable I can match fund my services.

“For every corporate that uses my services, I can give it for free to a school or youngster in need.”

Become Unstoppable ready to make an impact

The family moved to Perth in the summer and Lynn’s husband Daniel has opened his own shop in the city centre.

With her business The Path Finder up and running again she is excited to develop Become Unstoppable further.

The programme will encompass entrepreneurship, fitness, mental health and more.

She says: “The more I’m reaching out to people, the more I realise how many of us want to help these youths.

“But can you imagine what these poor schools must go through at the same time?

“Everyone is knocking on their door saying they want to help their kids, but how do they know who can actually help?

“That’s why I’m creating a hub of support for the youth, so schools get one knock from a one-stop shop of all the services that can help.”

Lynn Erasmus sat with her laptop working on Become Unstoppable.
Equipped with her laptop and personal experiences, Lynn is more than ready to support Perth’s young people.

Lynn has already started collaborating with Dundee firm Take Your Marks.

If all goes to plan, she can roll out the programme in January with even more resources available.

“I am so in love with this country, everything is geared up for growth, all you have to do is pitch up,” she says.

“I’m here to encourage people to speak out and to not be ashamed of how they feel.

“I’m going be here forever, I’m going to make the impact that I need to make and the people that need me will find me.”

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