– Lourdes Mola Solutions –
– By Keith Landry –
As an entrepreneur, you have to hold on to hope and believe that something better is just over the horizon. That’s the philosophy of Lourdes Mola, president and CEO of Lourdes Mola Solutions.
Mola has been helping small-business owners kindle their entrepreneurial spirits for more than 25 years. She has helped an impressive array of Fortune 100 companies connect with their customers, solve public relations problems and refine business models for nearly three decades.
Her can-do spirit and problem-solving abilities have helped her grow the influential, successful business consulting firm she started five years ago in Orlando after a lengthy career at Walt Disney World. She also was tapped in November to become the new executive director of the Gateway Orlando District, where she will oversee revitalization efforts for businesses along the Semoran Boulevard corridor near Orlando International Airport.
For Mola, the mission to help entrepreneurs is all about creating jobs for families. Her optimism propels her to achieve results for her clients. “The entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive in Central Florida. It’s the backbone of our community and of the American economy as a whole. Business owners deserve our gratitude and respect for having courage to persevere, even through the toughest of times.”
Mola believes entrepreneurs trying to grow their businesses are being tested like never before during the COVID-19 crisis. “Being an entrepreneur is challenging in the good times, but when you have a global pandemic, something we have not experienced in our lifetime, there is no playbook or planning for this. It’s a difficult time for entrepreneurs. My hat’s off to these companies that are pivoting and adapting in these unprecedented times.”
Adapting is precisely what Mola has done since she was a little girl. Her parents came to the United States from Cuba after Fidel Castro stripped them of their possessions. The dictator could never take away her parents’ determination and work ethic. “My dad never missed a day of work in his whole life,” Mola said. “That made me appreciate people’s hardships and inspires me to do all I can to help them get through. It’s a way for me to pay forward all the opportunities afforded my parents and to honor their memory. Every time I go into a business and talk with the owner, I am reminded of all the struggles my parents overcame. If I can help a struggling business move forward, it’s a personal and professional victory for me.”
She sees some bright spots ahead for steadfast entrepreneurs facing these challenging times heading into 2021. One of her clients has been able to hire 100 people during the pandemic because of the way the business pivoted to meet changes in the market.
“Look at the market and look at your product,” she said. “See what is working now. What can you do to make sure you’re fulfilling a need in our community? Look at your capabilities and see how what you can offer fits with what people need right now. There are still a lot of opportunities if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to think creatively.”
Mola invites individuals to remember what inspired them to take on the challenges of starting their own businesses. “Entrepreneurship means you have a passion and a drive to help others and to make a difference in the community or industry you serve. It’s about service. Service is the driver, and you need to have that passion. You need the talent, but you have to want to serve others.”
That’s what Mola has spent her entire career doing. As former chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, part of her mission has been to help minority- and women-owned businesses win larger contracts with government agencies and Fortune 100 companies. She believes this is an important step toward creating an economy in Central Florida that generates strong opportunities for everyone trying to grow a business.
She continues to challenge herself to make a difference for other aspiring entrepreneurs. “The question is, ‘How can I serve the whole community with the talents I have to create opportunities?’ The City Beautiful has to be beautiful for everyone.”
“The entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive in Central Florida. It’s the backbone of our community and of the American economy as a whole. Business owners deserve our gratitude and respect for having courage to persevere, even through the toughest of times.”
— Lourdes Mola
Photography by Julie Fletcher
As seen in November/December 2020 i4 Business Magazine