Laura Lynn, MA shares why Orlando is a wonderful place for businesswomen and how Orlando has contributed to her personal growth.
Laura Lynn, MA, an Account Executive at Salesforce and the President of The Women’s Executive Council of Orlando, is an experienced sales professional with a passion for customer experience. Lynn has a record of accomplishment within the software advertising industry, in partner and channel sales, and direct business to business enterprise-level sales.
Please introduce yourself!
I am a software sales professional with 20 years of experience in the field. Currently, I work for Salesforce while also serving as President of The Women’s Executive Council of Orlando.
What brought you to the Orlando region? What’s kept you here?
I grew up south of Miami, in the city of Homestead. For my undergraduate studies, I went to Florida State University in Tallahassee. After graduating, I moved back to South Florida, working for The Miami Herald. My boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband) was working as a sales rep for a medical supply company, which required him to travel the state of Florida. Well, I missed him; so, we picked up and moved to Orlando. Living in Orlando, he had fewer overnight trips, which made me happy! The move also allowed me to pursue a master’s degree at The University of Central Florida and continue then continue my educational journey at Rollins College. This summer will be our twentieth year here in Central Florida.
Who or what has influenced you in your career the most?
First, my family. My parents always taught the importance of education and continue to show me unconditional love, friendship, and support. My sister and her family are my best friends, providing me with advice and encouragement. I talk to my sister DAILY! I won the “in-law lottery” when I married into my husband’s family. They welcomed me with open arms, and I love and appreciate them. And finally, my husband and children, who are my biggest cheerleaders and confidants.
In my professional life, there is one person I always credit for providing me a path to begin my sales career, a former co-worker turned leader. One day, while working at The Miami Herald, I was giving a presentation to the newspaper leadership. At the end of the presentation, this person came up to me and said, “I think you can sell.” From there, he proceeded to tell me that I could sell advertising in magazines that go into hotel rooms and if I wanted to work directly for him, he would fly me all over the world. All I would have to do was sell advertising (100% commission by the way – he glossed over that!). I was hooked! From then on, I knew I would be in sales for my career. I thank him often because sales is an extremely exciting and rewarding career, and travelling the world isn’t too bad either!
How would you describe your leadership style?
I am an open book, so if I am passionate about something, I will help others see that vision and work toward a goal with me. They can feel my energy. On the other hand, if I am less than excited, my teams take notice. I try to be as real as possible; I lead by example with energy, authenticity and integrity.
Why is it important for you to be a member of AWE?
One of the main reasons I joined AWE is the mission focuses on aligning resources to help propel women forward. There are many organizations in town and having a central directory is extremely helpful. I became passionate about women’s empowerment while working for CareerBuilder and serving on the CareerBuildHER Board of Directors. It was there where I learned of the unique challenges women face in corporate America, propelling me to use my voice to help women navigate life in the corporate world. Orlando is growing, and if there is an organization that shows women the resources locally that can help them open a business, start a non-profit, find a community to connect with others, or whatever the case may be, I want to support that mission. I am proud to be a part of AWE.
Have you experienced an “only in Orlando” moment? If so, what was it?
I don’t know if it was a “moment” per se, but recently my family had a staycation at one of our amazing local resorts. As we were driving in, I paused and said to my children, “Wow, we are so lucky to live here. People travel from all over the world to experience our area and for us, it is a short drive. Oh, and P.S. kids, not every hotel in the world contains a water park!”
What makes Orlando the right place for women in business?
Orlando is great for women in business, whether you are in corporate America, at a non-profit, in the government, or at a small local company. We have so many resources available to the business community, and clients LOVE coming to Orlando for business meetings! We have a wonderful airport if you need to (or want to) travel and are a short ride to either coast. Orlando also has businesses of all sizes – so if you want to work for a big corporation or a small company, you are covered. There are so many groups you can join as well, providing you with networking opportunities, advice, friendship and education.
Orlando has it all: world class resorts, theme parks, restaurants, events, local farmers markets, amazing shopping and much more.
Finally, what tips would you give other women in business.
1. Watch your language: many women tend to use softer words:
- Just: I was “just” going to ask…
- Maybe: Can we “maybe” meet on Tuesday
- Sorry: I’m “sorry” can you repeat that. I’m “sorry” I have a question.
2. Success is a combination of luck, timing and skill; the one you have control of is skill. Therefore, know your craft, know it well and keep fine tuning. There are so many resources: the Orlando Economic Partnership, online classes, company sponsored training, etc. Dedicate yourself to being the best you can be so that, when the timing is right, and a little luck comes your way, you have the skillset to seize the opportunity.
3. Don’t wear being “busy” as a badge of honor. We tend to think the busier we are, the more “successful” we are. People always say “Oh, I am so busy. I worked from dawn till dusk, I did this and that and all these other million things and I have ten million more things to do.” I am not advocating for slacking off, but I always ask people this question – “If you were in a room for two weeks straight – hunger, sleep, and all other things biological controlled for – and all you did for two weeks straight was work, would you FINISH YOUR WORK?” I have yet to meet anyone that said “yes.” The reason – there is always more work. Take a break. The work will be there.