Sign up for Donna Maria’s newsletter

Latest on the Blog

Rule No. 1: Don’t Trade Your Integrity

Rule No. 1: Don't Trade Your Integrity Earn Everything The first and most important rule of Lifestyle CEOs is this: do not trade your integrity. For anything. This does not mean you don't make mistakes. It does not mean you don't do things incorrectly at times. But since the brand building actions you take in your business earn you the trust of the people you serve, you should never exchange your integrity for the shiny objects of unearned fame or financial gain. For the last ... Read the Post

A Membership Site is Not A Business

A Membership Site is Not a Business Do You Know the Difference? In recent years, I have noticed an increasing tendency for people to confuse membership sites with businesses. They are not one and the same. The confusion seems to happen when people think that because a membership site may generate income, it must also be a business. Not true. A Membership Site is Not a Business A membership site is not a business. It's a solution to a business problem. A website is just ... Read the Post

The Perfect Lifestyle Business

The Perfect Lifestyle Business Follow These Steps to Create Yours I followed 10 specific steps to create the Indie Business Network, the perfect lifestyle business for me. As I look back, I didn't articulate each step clearly as I went along. Instead, I built the plane while I was flying it. In hindsight, however, I can see a clear road map, and I'm going to share it with you here. Before I get to that, I want you to know that there is a bit of irony in my use of the word "perfect." ... Read the Post

The Community Economy

Recently, I delivered the opening keynote address to the 2019 United States Lavender Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. My topic was The Community Economy, and it was all about how to build community around your brand. Here is the graphic I used to illustrate my three-pronged approach to building community around your brand. The Community Economy I was thrilled to share the secrets of how I have built a solid community over the past 20 years around my brand, the Indie Business ... Read the Post

2019 Lavender Conference Recap

Last weekend, I delivered the opening keynote address to the 370 attendees of the 2019 United States Lavender Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. My keynote topic was The Community Economy, which I chose because of its importance to the success of your business. If there is no strong and engaged Community Economy around your brand, it's not going to last very long. Here I am doing my thing. Photo: US Lavender Growers Association Not only did I get the chance to empower hundreds of ... Read the Post

US Lavender Conference

I'm coming to Charleston. Squee! In a few short days, I will deliver the opening keynote address at the United States Lavender Conference in that beautiful and historic city. I recently read that there are more than 300 independently owned lavender farms in the United States today. How great that we no longer have to travel internationally to enjoy the many benefits of this beautiful herb. If your business includes working in any way with lavender (growing it, distilling it, cooking with it, ... Read the Post

FUN: Laughter Is Medicine

Laughter is the best medicine, don't you think? My daughter and I got a good dose of it on Christmas day. With unseasonably warm weather in Washington, DC, we went outside and had some great laughs as she took pictures of me with the camera Santa bought for her. Here's one of them. I Laugh. A lot. I'm not a model, but I love pretending to be one, and this cracks my daughter up.When I strike a new pose like I mean it, I hear her snickering behind the lens, and she comments on how cute ... Read the Post

FREEDOM: Retreat

Each year since 2011, I've hosted the Indie Cruise Mastermind Retreat where I and other entrepreneurs rejuvenate our souls and re-connect with the energy that allows us to be successful in business and in life. We've been to some amazing places on Indie Cruise Indie Cruise has taken us to Belize, Cozumel, Haiti, Punta Cana, the Florida Keys, Ixtapa, Cancun, Grand Cayman and more.Next week, I'll depart to host Indie Cruise in Turks and Caicos. Have you ever been on an entrepreneurial ... Read the Post

Evolving Friendship

When I launched the Indie Business Network in 2000, I thought I was just starting a business. Little did I know that what I was really doing was leveraging a business to build a lifetime of incredible long-lasting relationships. One of them is with this lady, Jamila White, an intuitive consultant and psychic medium. But it didn’t start out that way. Evolving: Business + Friendship As our businesses have evolved, so has our friendship. Two decades ago, when we first met, Jamila was ... Read the Post