Today we’d like to introduce you to Obioma Okonko.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Obi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After graduating from Long Beach State in 2008, a sudden run-in with the law coupled with the recession of the country changed my total trajectory for my career path. I had great expectations of being a cop post-college. I applied, took all my tests and passed with flying colors. Who would’ve thought a night of celebrating that would end with a DUI. With a pending record, I took a job as a substitute elementary school teacher. What was supposed to be a temporary gig turned into a full-time position and seven-year opportunity.
A sudden turn of events but everything was on the up and up. But although I enjoyed teaching the youth I had an entrepreneurial itch that I couldn’t seem to scratch. I was working long hours that hindered me from attending networking events I believed I needed to expand my network. I also had friends that would always ask me for resources to help them with their projects. My co-workers and I would often stand in the parking lot for hours venting about work and talking about the entrepreneurial goals we had for ourselves. It was at that moment that I thought how cool it would be to have a designated place to sit and unwind while creating our own space and community to network. Teachers Lounge was born.
Since then Teachers Lounge has grown into a multitude of things. We are a social platform that builds community through entertainment and educational workshops. Creating a community that not only unites millennials but helps to teach the important things high schools didn’t in regards to life and finances at 30. This has also lead into consulting projects for both personal events as well as global brands such as Subway.
As a serial entrepreneur, I’ve created several other brands as well. Airbnb, franchising, automotive, and tech investing I’m always thinking about what can be better and how I could make it better. And as my ideas continue to grow I have grown with them.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been everything short of a smooth road. The misconception of it being smooth is what makes it long. Over the years I’ve had to rid myself of what an “overnight success story” looked like and embrace MY process. Understanding that everybody’s timing/process is different was a huge challenge. After putting in blood, sweat, tears and long hours and not receiving the results you want when YOU want them can be frustrating especially when people around you are celebrating theirs. Doubt has creeped in many of times.
I’m not on the right path because if I was I would’ve been there by now. I’m supposed to be a millionaire right now because I’m doing all this work! When I dropped that mentality I then learned that my projects weren’t for the sole purpose to make money or for my audience to enjoy but to also grow and develop me as a person. I’ve been stretched, torn up and spread thin, but most importantly I’ve been renewed. What I’ve realized is that the prize for overcoming the challenge- is another challenge. And the sooner you can understand that and embrace it the faster you can continue to run your course.
Tell us more about your work.
I’m a serial entrepreneur with a hand in various projects and industries. One in particular that I’m proud of is my Teachers’ Lounge platform which is an exclusive network for forward thinkers committed to self and community education. We are a relaxed, familiar environment for quintessential entrepreneurs, professionals, and cause-organizations.
Our platform is designed to highlight entrepreneurs across industries through non-conventional means of social networking. TLounge90210 is creatively building a sense of community uniting brands, young professionals, and entrepreneurs through a deeper sense of purpose and awareness. I think I’m widely known for this as well as just being an all around good guy. Insert charming smile here.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think the most important quality attributed to my success would have to be my perseverance. I’m a Taurus so I guess that makes me stubborn. Some might see it as a weakness but I think its been my strength. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everybody. A smidge of some of the things that I’ve been through would make a person whose heart isn’t in its fold and that’s a fact! I don’t know if it’s my ego, an angel or God but right when I’m ready to throw in the towel and turn it all in for a traditional 9-5 (no shade) a tiny voice just says “keep going.”
- Phone: 3237862760
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: (personal) @ookonkoo (airbnb)@e.s.c.r.o (social networking platform) @tl90210
RC of @Rseephotography