Born and raised in Miami, FL, Lourdes Mola, Owner of Lourdes Mola Solutions, followed a path similar to many employees turned entrepreneurs. From an early age, she embraced and learned the importance of hard work and, after nearly 30 years in the corporate world, Mola decided it was time to share her knowledge and experience with other entrepreneurs.
"I started working at the age of 14 and every job has prepared for my next role," Mola said. "I spent nine years in the Cruise Industry in Miami with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise. When Disney launched its own cruise line, I was recruited for the opening team and moved to Orlando in 1996. After the ships launched, I went on to create 'magic' for Walt Disney World taking on leadership roles in Sales, Business Development, Marketing, Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship. In 2015, I decided to open my own firm and share my expertise to fuel business growth in our community. This is why I love what I do. To create impact in our community and help the next person succeed in her/his endeavors is extremely rewarding."
Mola shared that much of the inspiration to start her own business came from her experiences with the Minority Business Development team at Disney. Her team was responsible for evaluating businesses that wanted to provide products and/or services to Disney.
"These entrepreneurs had great ideas, products and businesses, but they didn't know how to present them to Corporate America," she said. "They didn't know the right way to pitch. Many of them are very good at their craft, but they're not used to dealing with large companies. I knew I could help these types of entrepreneurs."
For Mola, and many employees turned entrepreneurs, the new path is as challenging as it is exciting. As she shared, the most difficult part was the initial transition.
"Just learning how to do things as an owner," she said. "It's about figuring out what you're good at and what things you should hire people for. I immediately recognized this and brought in an accountant and a tech person. This is something entrepreneurs suffer through all the time. They think they can do everything. However, it's crucial to outsource things you don't enjoy or aren't good at."
Lourdes Mola Solutions is a boutique consulting firm specializing in business development, community engagement, marketing, and public relations. Today’s consumers expect a great deal, while marketing in the age of connectivity and social media requires a sophisticated, experienced approach. Mola and her team rise to any challenge by making an emotional connection with a specific target audience, developing innovative partnerships to grow business, taking a cross-cultural approach to business development and community engagement, building trustworthy and lasting relationships with customers and creating authentic, memorable brand experiences.
"I've always been ingrained in the community," Mola said. "For me, much of the growth of my business came organically. It's about building strong relationships and developing a good reputation. As an entrepreneur, your brand is the most important thing you have."
Looking ahead, Mola wants to continue to help companies fuel their businesses and make an impact in Central Florida. Through increased employee engagement and community impact, she sees businesses becoming heroes for the region and impacting more than just the bottom line.
What advice does Mola have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "I would say to seek out a mentor or possibly a board of directors to help you through the minefields," she said. "Be genuine and build solid relationships that can help you personally and eventually grow your business. It's also crucial to have passion and fortitude. Lastly, stay true to your mission and stay focused on your values. There's a lot of noise that comes up. Stay on track and remember why you're in business."