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Hi. I’m Donna Maria, The Lifestyle CEO™

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.

While my business is virtual, I believe strongly in contributing my my local community. Among others, I am a member of several entrepreneurial organizations in my local community, including the complementary entrepreneurial community for South Charlotte Women Entrepreneurs. Other local organizations I am active in are: Union County Entrepreneurs, Union County Chamber of Commerce, the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, and the Pink Mentor Network. I am also a contributing editor to the award winning local publication, QCity Metro, an online news partner with the Charlotte Observer.

I currently reside with my family 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. Last year, we went to Turks + Caicos, and this year, we headed to our last and final destination — the beautiful island of Aruba in the Dutch Caribbean. 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 my life …

I am The Lifestyle CEO. I help women do what I have done (here’s the story): build a sustainable brand centered around Purpose, Profit, and Play. 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 lasting and meaningful relationships with women entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

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, I would love to get to know you better virtually.

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 connecting and getting to know you and your business!

Best and success!