We had the good fortune of connecting with Ivana Kovacevic and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ivana, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I remember laying on my bed, exhausted after an 11-hour workday, thinking to myself, “What are you doing to yourself?” I was so overworked, unappreciated, and dismissive of my own well-being.
So, I picked up a book from my “to-read” shelf once I finally decided to set aside some me-time. As I got deeper into the text, my mind was suddenly fixated on a single, specific phrase. I remember rereading it over and over again to the point where I set it as the screensaver on my cellphone (which it still is to this day).
I fell in love with its messaging, even more so because it spoke to me directly at that moment in time. It correlated with my current emotions and thought processes and will forever stay with me because of that connection. Due to its powerful implications, I cannot recall the author, though I hope it resonates with as many readers as possible.
It goes something like this, “You must find time to be in our element; to do what gives you energy, rather than what takes it from you”.
How beautiful is that?
To me, this means living my purpose and pursuing what I thoroughly enjoy as much as possible. Life is short; we have to make the best of it whenever and wherever we can.
What should our readers know about your business?
In the Fall of 2020, I launched an education-based business called “Heart of Learning”.
One of my missions includes providing personalized services to students, regardless of their challenges and areas for improvement. I strive to assess factors that may be contributing to their difficulties, set customized strategies, and track their progress so that we can work towards improving their knowledge and academic skill set.
After 8 months, with the help of my wonderful business coach, I have managed to create connections with a large network of clients, learn how to navigate social media for business, create a website, make a landing page, conduct print marketing, and much more. With that being said, I am very proud of how far I have come in such a short period of time.
To answer your question… no, it definitely isn’t easy, but it’s totally worth the obstacles. It’s important to see mistakes as spaces for learning opportunities; they come and go, providing us with new perspectives of simply what works and what doesn’t through trial and error.
Aside from many, here are some of the main lessons I’ve learned on my journey as a young entrepreneur:
1. Don’t be afraid to take the leap – if you have a passion for business, creativity, and leadership, leave the corporate world.
2. Ask for help when you need it – you can’t do everything by yourself and that is okay.
3. Treat yourself – you deserve you-time whenever your body and mind tell you that you need it.
4. Remember that you are enough – refrain from comparing yourself to others; your notion of success is what YOU make it.
These are some of the practices I live by.
Ultimately, Heart of Learning is a long-term passion project that has wondrously aligned with all aspects of my personality and this is truly reflected and noticed by my clients within the services and products that I provide.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting for a week, I would definitely take her to Greektown, a neighbourhood filled with lively music, wonderful cuisine, and welcoming people. I’d book a reservation at Mezes on Danforth Avenue, followed by a break at the plaza of Alexander the Great and a walk down Broadview Avenue to Riverdale Park to gaze at the breathtaking view of Toronto. Finally, we would grab a cup at Rooster Coffee House for some indie, chill vibes.
On another day, I would take her on a ferry to Toronto Islands; there are so many beautiful beaches, boardwalks, cafes, and parks to stroll through! Even the homes are incredibly unique and picturesque, mirroring those depicted in fairytales.
I would also take her to Yorkville if she’s into European-style outings!
Another one of my favourite areas to visit is The Beaches on Queen Street East. I absolutely adore seeing the small businesses selling their products outdoors, the historic library and fire station, the vibrant landscaping, and the laid-back, humble community.
That would be one of my ideal ways to spend our week.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Both my family and my boyfriend have always been a part of an incredible support system in my life.
Here’s a short, recent story:
Back in 2019, I was a Master’s graduate having completed nearly 7 years of post-secondary schooling in Toronto with various internships and formal teaching positions locally and abroad within my portfolio. Eager to be employed by an organization that valued my skill set and credentials, I applied to about 36 different positions in the city.
What was the outcome? Crickets. No calls, no emails, nada.
Finally, I was lucky enough to get a promotion from my part-time teaching position to a full-time Academic Coordinator role at a College I was working at. Though this was very exciting at first, I consistently felt as if I wasn’t working towards my full potential. My responsibilities had become repetitive and gradual growth wasn’t evident, making me feel stagnant at a time in my life when I aimed to excel professionally.
After a year, with a briefly mapped-out backup plan and no part-time role to lean back on, I told them that I was giving in my resignation letter and that’s that. Without hesitation, they agreed and provided full support.
What I love about them the most is that they know me like the back of their hand.
They know who I am and what I stand for, so they understand and trust my decision-making process.
Other: Clubhouse – @heartoflearning Podcast – Behind the Behaviour or #BTB (Coming soon!)