Our 5 Questions that Spark series highlights entrepreneurs we admire and insights they share with us and our readers. To kick off the series, of course we needed to let Spark List readers get to know our founders. Here are my 5 Questions below and you can find Summers McKay’s questions over here.

Spark List: How did you get your idea or concept for one of your many businesses?

Lolita: Most of the businesses I’ve built have been born out of a need I had that I couldn’t find in the world or identifying a need that consumers or businesses have. After running a PR and marketing firm for years, I was expecting my first child in 2001 and was looking for resources that spoke specifically to a busy, working mom to be and couldn’t find them offline or online. Since I had been working with digital media companies at the time, I thought, “There should be a website for working moms with advice and community.” So ModernMom.com was born from that need for content and community around when I was going through the transition to motherhood.

Spark List: Is there anything you needed to let go of in order to get where you are today?

Lolita: Control.

I am a control freak by nature but over time, I’ve learned to let go and trust others and their expertise. You can’t scale a business by being a one-woman show and everyone needs help. It can take a lot of time and insight to let go of the reins and give someone else the opportunity to shine, however I couldn’t have achieved what I have without the help of some very brilliant people.  Control goes hand-in-hand with listening – another tough one for me. Feedback and constructive criticism is critical to success – entrepreneurs can be in their own heads and fail to see flaws and errors. Outside perspective is important in business and in personal situations as well.

Spark List: What is your definition of success?

Lolita: Freedom. While people who know me well may read / see this and laugh, because I am a workaholic who often is up all hours and at my laptop on weekends, I choose to work as hard as I do and play just as hard as well. It’s my choice to work hard and it’s my choice to take a breather and enjoy the rest of my life too. As a single mom, it’s also important for me to be present and at home with my kids, while also showing them that hard work is important. I love that I can show them that I have worked – and continue to – work hard to achieve the flexibility I have.

Spark List: What is your favorite piece of advice you have ever received?

Lolita: This is a tough one – I have had amazing mentors over the years, ranging from former bosses, colleagues, friends, family and random strangers who have brought tremendous value and insight to shape who I am and my career.

Perhaps my favorite piece of advice at the moment is from my recent boss when I was VP of Marketing for a technology company – the first ‘real job’ I’d taken in a long time because I was so inspired by the CEO of the company. Despite his Vanderbilt law degree and Harvard MBA, he is an advocate of always learning – he reads multiple books each week, takes courses whenever he can, and has a thirst for knowledge. We can never know enough – I have learned to make sure to always have a book that I’m reading and another on deck, and I’m a huge fan of Coursera and Udemy where I partake in classes whenever I can.

Spark List: What are your must haves?

Lolita: An admitted shopaholic, this is another tough one! I can’t live without my iPad – it’s my on-the-go computer, notetaker PLUS it houses all my books.

I also can’t start my day with my Bulletproof High Octane Oil and Collagen Peptides before my morning workout – they’ve all literally become a part of my regimen where if one of the three (workout included!) is missing, it throws off my day.

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