Tamara Jonah Goka | Ghana | Bet On Yourself!!

https://www.lionheartevents.com/index.html

Creativity has always been an essential part of my life. I remember in parent-teacher conferences; the teachers would say, ‘Your daughter is too creative’, as if it was an issue! I now know that it is my superpower. I had finished my first degree in Sociology and was at a loss for what to do next. My brother, Richard, suggested I take an aptitude test and almost 100 questions later I got a result : Event Planner. It made so much sense, I love seeing people happy and I have the creativity that is needed to build complete experiences. So I went on to get my Master’s in Tourism, Hospitality, and Social Events, at George Washington’s business school and the rest is history. My extensive travel and work experience in the United States, Europe and Southern Africa solidifies my love for the event industry or space. Therefore, when I came back home to Ghana in 2009. I knew exactly what space I wanted to explore!.

 

What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?

Breaking out into the hospitality industry in Ghana had its difficulties. I was one of the first, and the thing about creating your own path is that you have to get others to believe in your vision. It requires a certain kind of faith, from yourself and from those who will invest in your dream. However, I strongly believe that The will of God will not take you where the Grace of God will not protect you: I am where God wants me to be at all times and so I rose to the occasion. I quickly realized I needed to have control over my whole production line, and not just the event planning, if I wanted to deliver experiences that were 100% up to my standard - So that’s what I did. My events company supplies planning, decor, flowers, management, and has a trusted catering partner who I frequently collaborate with.

 

What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?

I do not often have time to read for pleasure but when I do, I spend it on books that enable me to perfect my craft. I am currently reading Jane Packer’s Flower Course: Easy Techniques for Arranging flowers and the classic The Art of Celebration series. Of course, I have a stack of magazines on my desk which I use to source for aesthetic inspiration and stay up to date with current trends. My advice to entrepreneurs would be to read books that aid you in your work, and to keep an open mind- you never know where you’ll find your next idea or learn something that will change how you approach your business.

 

Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?

How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?

Thankfully, I am blessed with a supportive family and community who want to see me do my absolute best. It is so helpful to surround yourself with people who push you and in my case, this is how I energize myself to keep going even when it gets tough.

 

What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?

Definitely my uniqueness. Standing out in a field that has become over - saturated takes thinking out of the box. There is always a new way to approach something or  an exciting idea waiting to happen, my imagination is endless and I am not afraid to take risks.

 

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?

I wish I had gotten more sleep re: SELF CARE. Building something from the ground up means working tirelessly, but it is also important to take care of yourself while you are young: Rest, spend time with loved ones, enjoy yourself...but also work towards your dream.

 

 What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?

Bet on yourself. Before anyone else, you must believe and invest in your ideas so others will follow. Don’t be afraid to dream, nothing incredible has ever happened from playing it safe.

 

 

 

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