Hi. I’m Donna Maria, The Lifestyle CEO.
I founded the Indie Business Network®, the first for-profit membership based business on the Internet. Well, let me edit that. It’s the first one that I know of. If you know of one that started before January 2000, send me a link so I can update my claim.
I am a bit of an entrepreneurial trailblazer …
I left a career as an attorney at a Fortune 500 company in my hometown of Washington, DC, to launch a business of my own, and everyone thought I was nuts.
I had no script, no mentors, and no examples to follow. I just knew I valued freedom more than money, so I set out to create a job for myself on my own terms. That “job” is the Indie Business Network. I launched in 2000, and today, it’s still going strong. I serve Makers from all walks of life, providing them with with access to affordable product liability insurance, and the entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and resources needed to be successful.
But more than an entrepreneur, I’m a …
Wife, mother, and leader …
While I love entrepreneurship and the benefits it provides, it is not the most important thing in my life. That position belongs to my family: Darryl, my high school sweetheart and husband of nearly 18 years, our two children and the family dog. I am also active in my local community, including membership in the local chamber of commerce, and a contributing editor to the award winning local publication, QCity Metro, an online news partner with the Charlotte Observer.
While I currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina, my heart (and most of my family) is in my hometown of Washington, DC.
Oh, and one more thing about me …
I love to travel …
One reason I left corporate America is that I could not travel when I wanted to. While having children in a traditional school system puts a damper on that, I still enjoy getaways, and I integrate much of my travel into my business so I can enjoy the best of both worlds at the same time.
I travel to US cities I love for mastermind meetings and to deliver live entrepreneurial trainings. Since 2011, I have hosted a Caribbean retreat to islands like Belize, Cancun, Jamaica, St. Thomas, Haiti, Cozumel, and Punta Cana. Next year, I’m heading to Turks + Caicos and France — among other places! This picture was taken in January 2017 on board a private chartered catamaran in Ixtapa.
Oh, and I almost forgot the most important thing …
I love people …
My favorite thing about being a Lifestyle CEO (a person who values family, freedom, flexibility, and fun over money when it comes to entrepreneurship) is that I get to enjoy meaningful relationships with women entrepreneurs from all walks of life. I meet people at physical entrepreneurial gatherings, via social media, through email introductions, and of course, through the Indie Business Network.
In addition to building my own leadership skills like nothing else can, entrepreneurship also facilitates the cultivation of priceless relationships. I’ve met and fallen in love with some of my best friends as a direct result of my business. I value relationships and experiences over things, and I am especially blessed that my business deliver things that I value way more than money.
If you feel similarly, then let’s work together to launch and grow your perfect lifestyle business!
What to do next …
Here are a few things you can do next to connect with me:
- join me LIVE for the Lifestyle CEO™ Show, weekdays at 10am ET/7am PT
- subscribe to my newsletter
- read my blog
- learn how to work with me
- follow me on Instagram and Facebook
It’s so nice to meet you, and I look forward to getting to know you better!
Best and success!