Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiana Jovana.
Tiana, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I had a difficult childhood. I was raised by a single mother who struggled with drug addiction and had a tough time holding down the household bills. Seeing an eviction notice on our door was a normal occurrence and we moved at least once a year until I was in my teens.
I was always the new kid in school and had to teach myself both, how to cope with things most children don’t encounter, and how to quickly make friends so I didn’t find myself isolated or feel singled out.
I was extremely good at blending in and not letting people know what was really going on in my home, so as a coping mechanism and a way to deal with the truth I couldn’t share with my peers, I began to write. I always loved reading and writing, and I used books and my journal as an escape from my reality.
Eventually, my mother was arrested and jailed for stealing food from the grocery store and I went into child-protective custody at 15-years old. For the next year, I endured various forms of abuse and neglect while living in foster care. She was released just before I turned 17, and after completing rehab and receiving a clean bill of health and sobriety, the state reinstated her custody rights and I moved back in with her.
My life changed dramatically for the better after that. I finally had a mother who was clean and sober, a stable home life, and changing schools again wasn’t in my foreseeable future for the first time in my life. I went on to become the first in my immediate family to attend and graduate college after graduating from high school.
I knew, as a teen, that I wanted more for my life than the example I had been given as a child. I made a conscious decision to not continue the cycle or fall victim to the circumstances that I had grown up in. My adult life is a stark contrast to my childhood, and I am so blessed to have been able to have come so far from my beginnings.
Today, I’m proud to call myself an author and internet radio/podcast host. I finished my first book: “Dating Advice from a Manwhore” in 2017. I’m currently writing the second book in what I hope to be a trilogy, titled, “Relationship Advice from a Manwhore.” I received my certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming in 2017 and since then, I’ve also been working to help others resolve past issues that seem to be hindering their ability to live their best lives. Self-empowerment is very important to me and I love assisting others to find their voice.
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?
I think, like many, I am my own worst enemy. I tend to stand in my own way and second guess myself. I’ve overcome a lot of that, but self-doubt will still rear its ugly head on occasion.
Also, staying disciplined when motivation is lacking is another challenge that I struggle with. In writing, motivation and inspiration are the fuel to most fires but they aren’t always present in abundance. Being a busy woman, wife, and mother, it’s important to be disciplined enough to stay the course even when I may not necessarily be inspired to work on my writing or my business in the moment.
Refocusing, making sure to maintain self-care, and employing the help of friends to motivate me in the midst of all the work is extremely helpful in keeping me disciplined and on task.
I’m also TERRIBLE at self-promotion and I NEED to get better about actively putting myself out there.
Aside from myself, figuring out the right formula for how to move forward in my business hasn’t always been easy. No one in my family has ever owned their own business so I don’t have any real personal resources to go to. Other business owners are not always so forthcoming or willing to help navigate all the important ins and out of owning or growing a business. It’s all just trial and error and that can be tough.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m an author. My motivational memoir, “Dating Advice from a Manwhore” was an Amazon bestseller in its category when it debuted in 2017. I’m currently writing the second book in the trilogy titled, “Relationship Advice from a Manwhore.” The final book, “Marriage Advice from a Manwhore,” will release in 2021.
I’ve been the co-host of the internet radio show/podcast, “The Kickback Show” for nearly six years now along with my husband (DJ Swivll) and two other close friends (Faahz and Brandi). We play primarily hip-hop music and interview artists, producers, and influencers of all kinds.
I also have a small client list of people that I work with to help them with self-empowerment and overcoming mental blocks from past experiences so they can move forward successfully, though I stop short of calling myself a “life coach.”
I suppose it’s my unique life experience that sets me apart from others. For better or for worse, I had to grow up and adapt ahead of my time. I encountered situations as a child that most adults never find themselves in. Not to get to “Liam Neeson-ey”, but for whatever it’s worth, those experiences have awarded me a particular set of skills that I’m able to use to help people overcome their current or past circumstances whether they pull it from my writing, hear it at a speaking engagement, or get it one on one.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Outside of finally making the decision to write my story and publish my first book, I can’t say that I’ve had ONE BIG, proud moment. I do, however, have lots of small moments that are filled with pride. I feel proud anytime someone I work with tells me that something panned out for them because of my advice. The moments when someone tells me that they enjoyed my book, or it helped them in some way make me proud. When someone approaches me after a speaking engagement and tells me that my words hit home, make me light up. The fact that I can say I’m living my passion and I’ve helped people while doing it, makes me proud.
- Website: tianajovana.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: TianaJovana
Photos where I’m wearing red: DV3 Photography; Photos where I’m wearing yellow: Michael Cruz; Photos where I’m wearing black: Peter Chaney