Lola Tomorrow is a woman once behind the scenes who is now stepping into the spotlight. She has an extensive history as a corporate event planner with a resume worth gawking at. Lola has successfully curated large events for corporations, but she’s also worked on popular industry ceremonies such as the Grammys and the Oscars. Perhaps, most notably and impressively, Lola spent about seven years planning events as an aide to former First Lady Michelle Obama before deciding to leave the glitz and glam behind for a shot at entrepreneurship. Since becoming an entrepreneur, she has continued to coordinate events successfully but on her own terms and with her own vision in mind. She has also created a non-profit organization, iGlow Girls, focused on exposing young teen girls to “activities and experiences that enhance their skills” and prepare them to lead. We talked with her about her journey from working in Hollywood and in the White House to taking the leap of faith on her own to make her entrepreneurial dreams come true. This is how she made it, and she offers advice on how you can, too.
MadameNoire: For a lot of people, working with Michelle Obama, on the Grammys and with large companies would seem like a dream job and one you wouldn’t want to leave. For you, it seems like it was just the beginning. What made you jump into entrepreneurship after having achieved such success?
I’m surrounded by people who are proud of me, but they aren’t impressed by me. So, one of the things my mentor said to me when I finished working with the First Lady was “What you’re not going to do is be one of those NBA players that used to play professional ball 20 years ago and that’s the only highlight of their career. This is not about to be your identity.” I thought to myself, yes, it was an amazing part of the journey, but what’s next? I’m around people who are constantly challenging me on what’s next.
I’ve been really blessed to have an understanding that though the First Lady is great, the Grammys are great, that was a part of the journey and not the destination. Entrepreneurship was a part of God’s plan for my life; I stumbled into it. On accident, I was making multiple six figures on my business without strategy. Once I stumbled in it, I was able to get clarity that this was something I was anointed to do. So it now comes with more ease. Until you really rest into your God-given purpose, you will spend your entire life searching.
Event planning, it seems, is a part of a larger God-given purpose for you as you mentioned. If you could sum it up, what do you think is your God-given purpose?
I am on Earth for this very clear reason: to be a connector. My purpose is to connect women of faith in business to their “next.” I have to help women of faith in business begin to generate multiple six or seven-figure deals in business. We are created to be the extension of God’s hands on Earth so when catastrophes happen, we can pray, but we can also write a check. I’m here to connect people to their next so they can ultimately do the work they were created to do. I heard God tell me, “I am creating you to be the bridge. I am giving you access to the tables, opportunities, and resources because you will be the bridge to get people to their ‘next.'”
Is your purpose the motivation behind your upcoming online event experience, TMRWLive! featuring many powerful, accomplished women such as Sarah Jakes Roberts and Kris Jenner?
Yes, TMRWLive! Is an online event focused on helping women of faith begin to tap into their superpower in business. For so long we’ve kept our business and faith separate, but we’re going to teach women how to merge the two without being overly religious. I wasn’t interested in your average church conference. I wanted to create something that had more power. I intentionally sought out different speakers. I wanted to intentionally teach women that they can learn from different people without putting limitations on who they could learn from. Pastor Sarah Jakes is coming to lead the faith segments on how God is your business partner. Kris is coming to give the strategy on how to get the “next” by giving those game-changing strategies and insider tips on what’s needed for your next level. Really, what I’m creating is the breeding ground for faith-driven millionaires full of women in community who don’t feel bad about wanting more.
In terms of dreaming big and wanting more, what would you say to women who are working 9-to-5s with very big dreams that seem inaccessible?
That’s a great question. The first thing I’d say is this because I wish someone would have told me: Nothing just happens, even what seems unplanned. If God is intentional, then if you are at a job that means there is something you’re supposed to be getting while there. For some, the job’s purpose may be to fund the vision. You may be there for character development or personal development. Either way, you are exactly where God wants you. You are not behind.
What is to come is directly impacted by your obedience in the “now.” The call on your life is bigger than you, so it’s going to come to pass. God works on you while you’re hidden.
I’d also say the same faith and courage it takes to jump out is the same courage and faith it takes to stay in. I’d tell these women to surrender by doing your part, but understanding it is God’s job to magnify your efforts. Your success is not in the big celeb endorsements or any of that. Your success is in your adherence and obedience to God. You get blessed as you go.
So, it sounds like you would tell women to start and to keep going. For women who are discouraged without anyone to speak life into them, how would you encourage them in their process?
This journey is really difficult and it looks easy. You have to learn how to be kind to yourself. From Beyoncé to the person standing on the corner, we are all trying to figure it out. No matter where you are in life, you’re trying to figure it out. When you’re in very vulnerable seasons, sometimes you’ve got to cut off social media because we sit and compare ourselves to people’s “perfect” lives they’re posting. My mental health is the most important thing in my life. I think women need to identify their seasons. You are not in this by yourself. We are all in the same process even if it looks different. Zone into your inner power. For me, my inner power is Jesus, but inner power looks different for a lot of people. Whatever it is, zone into that.
Do it afraid. Feel the insecurity, feel the doubt, but still get it done. The problem is, we feel it and we let it cripple us. We feel it and we cancel the show. Feel that fear, insecurity, and doubt and do it anyway. This is an everyday process. That’s my advice.