Upon first seeing the name Lola Tomorrow on a faith-based women’s empowerment digital ad, I thought, What a great fake name for branding.
Little did I know that not only was it a real name, but the woman behind it was the real deal.
Since the day she was born, Lola Tomorrow has been surrounded by optimism. The Nigerian-American Chicago native says her family instilled the power of faith in her at an early age. “Tomorrow is my real name,” she explains. “My mom wanted my first name to be Tomorrow, but her and my dad settled on it being my middle name, and it really fits.”
Although teen parents themselves, Tomorrow says her folks always had high expectations for her while she was growing up. “Being Nigerian, my parents’ expectations of me building a career in the STEM fields were commonplace.”
Because of this, Tomorrow attended Illinois State University as an accounting major but says she struggled the entire time she was there. “I was actually on academic probation, then eventually dismissed from the school because of my grades,” she shares with ESSENCE. “When I went away to college, I was aiming to be an accountant only for my parents.”
Little did she know that her natural talents would forge a professional path for her.
“When I was on campus, I was always bringing people together,” she says. “I was holding these large campus events that would draw thousands of students from around the state of Illinois. And one day the event planning department chair approached me on campus and was like, ‘Hey, have you ever thought about doing event planning?’ ”
This simple question was a turning point in her life.
“That got my wheels turning about what I was really called to do.”
After working to get re-enrolled in school, she changed her major to meeting and event planning, earned her degree and almost immediately landed a corporate role working with top executives making $63,000 at just 21 years old. This was a significant amount of money considering it was the early aughts at the time. “It’s ironic because before I graduated, the event planning chair at my school said ‘I want to help you have realistic expectations with an event planning degree—you can expect to make about $25,000, $30,000 at the max.’ I knew that wasn’t enough money for me and it was 2007.”
Fortunately, she learned to set her own expectations throughout her career, and that led to her being tapped by Michelle Obama’s team to work on events for her “Let’s Move” campaign during their administration. “My meticulous nature, aka OCD (laughs), and love for the craft got me noticed by people that work for the Grammy’s, the Oscars and before I knew it door after door kept opening for me,” Tomorrow shares.
After years of working for organizations, she launched her business coaching company Faith Figures in 2018. She says it wasn’t an easy decision.
“I kept hearing God tell me there was something bigger for me out there, which was crazy because I was getting to do really amazing things while working with the White House,” she says. “I’m doing stuff with Beyoncé and Jay Z for the FLOTUS, you name it. So why was I thinking about walking away from this to start something new?”
Fortunately, she made the right decision.
Since the launch of her coaching business, she says she’s netted more than a million dollars in revenue and is projected to surpass her goals this year.
The program aims to equip small businesses with the tools needed to take their companies to the next level. Tomorrow says each participant receives personalized mentorship from business leaders, as well as marketing assistance and professional development tools. These wrap-around services equate to about $1 million according to her website, and packages start at $2000 and go up to $33,000. She believes it’s worth the investment though.
“I am constantly investing into the experiences I offer clients,” she says. “I have forged close relationship with self-made billionaires who are extremely generous with the insight they’ve gained while on their growth journey.” That list of relationships she’s forged over the years includes T.D. Jakes, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Kris Jenner and representatives in the White House among others. She also says that she invests six-figures into her own professional development to foster her own growth.
“This may sound cliché, but I’ve learned that the type of life you want is determined by your mindset. I’m here to help give you the tools needed to make your thoughts a reality.”