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Hi. I’m Donna Maria, The Membership Maker (and Mentor).

I founded the Indie Business Network®, the first for profit recurring revenue membership 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 community, freedom and flexibility 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 it in 2000, and today, it’s still going strong. I serve Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs from all walks of life, providing them with access to affordable product liability insurance, and the entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and resources they need to be successful.

But more than an entrepreneur, I’m a …

Family girl, 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. I am also active in my local community, including membership in the local chamber of commerce, an active participant in my homeowner’s association, a member of the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, and a contributing editor to the award winning local publication, QCity Metro, an online news partner with the Charlotte Observer.

I currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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 somewhat of a damper on that, I still enjoy hosting fun events and experiences, and I integrate much of my travel into my business so I can simultaneously enjoy the best of both worlds.

I travel to US cities I love for mastermind meetings and to deliver live entrepreneurial trainings. Since 2011, I have hosted Indie Cruise, a Caribbean retreat to islands like Belize, Cancun, Jamaica, St. Thomas, Haiti, Cozumel, and Punta Cana. This year, we went to Turks + Caicos, and next year, we’ll head to Aruba to celebration Indie Business Network’s 20th anniversary. This picture is of me and the skipper on Indie Cruise 2017 on board a private chartered catamaran in Ixtapa, Mexico.

Oh, and I almost forgot the most important thing …

I love people …

I am The Membership Maker. I help women do what I have done (here’s the story): build and monetize brand communities and establish sustainable recurring revenue membership businesses. My favorite thing about doing this work is that I get to help women create business models that are profitable and allow them to enjoy the benefits of  freedom, flexibility and fun. I love helping people build community around a brand. I love that my work allows me to build meaningful relationships with women entrepreneurs from all walks of life. I meet people at physical entrepreneurial gatherings, inside my Membership Maker Facebook community, via traditional 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 recurring revenue membership business!

What to do next …

Here are a few things you can do next to connect with me:

It’s so nice to meet you, and I look forward to getting to know you better and helping you build your perfect recurring revenue membership business!

Best and success!