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Ivana Kovacevic | Toronto | Heart of Learning

Tell us about your journey. Inspire someone I had attended about 6 different public schools in my life, inevitably experiencing a variety of teaching styles, academic expectations, peer groups, and societal standards in both North America and Eastern Europe. Aside from social assimilation, I had to learn how to fluently speak, read, and write in two contrasting languages – well enough to succeed in school at a young age without a tutor. Using all my experiences and knowledge, I now aspire to help young and mature learners acquire and hone self-confidence in their strengths and abilities while working on areas for improvement in an engaging and personalized way so that they don’t feel as if they are in it alone. I created my business, Heart of Learning, as an education hub providing tutoring services and English literacy resources for teachers, parents, and students around the world. In the near future, I am looking to expand through podcasts, e-books, picture books, and online courses - something I have wanted for so long that it almost feels like a dream!

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them? The biggest setback I experienced as a young entrepreneur (which I continue to work on to this day) is definitely imposter syndrome. It’s so easy to get looped into your own negative thoughts, questioning your capabilities and expertise so much that you begin to doubt you can achieve those goals you were once set on. I strive to learn from a variety of sources whose aims surround primarily learning to love yourself from the inside out. Aside from my family, partner, and friends, I had invested in a wonderful business coach, continuously read self-help books, refrain from comparing myself to others in my field in a negative light, look back at where I stood a year ago when I began, and affirm to myself how grateful I am for everything I have and to have brought to life something I love doing.

What books are you currently reading? I am currently reading “Upgrade” by Rana Florida, “Do the Work” by Gary John Bishop, and “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy. Overarching topics across all three texts are motivation, manifestation, designing and valuing your time accordingly, and the power of conscious living. I highly recommend all three to anyone interested in either one of these topics!

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started? What I know today that I wish I would have known when I first got started is the importance of strategizing. Though I was familiar with S.M.A.R.T goal setting, I didn’t implement it effectively and continuously. When you wish to achieve something, you must do it in a strategic way that aligns with your vision, brand, and self-concept, all with the right timing in mind. Ask yourself, “What do I want?” “How will I get there?” “How long will it take me to get there?” “What obstacles may I come across and how will I overcome them?” “How can I represent my vision through this project?” “How will I track my progress?” etc. It all begins with an idea - but no matter how much passion lies behind it, it cannot truly succeed unless careful, strategic, and consistent action is combined.

What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

The advice I would give to upcoming youth or local and international talents is to trust that inner voice that speaks to you every so often. Your subconscious mind is telling you something, either directly or indirectly, that you need to hear. You may listen to it at times, but you are not “hearing” exactly what it is saying. Every time I have trusted that little voice, I believe I made the right choice that led me to a better place. Try it.

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