Indie Business Network: 2018 Year In Review

As we draw ever closer to 2019, I am reflecting on the many wonderful experiences IBN and its members have had during the past 12 months. This is my 19th year leading the Indie Business Network, and I can honestly say that I have yet to work a single day since January 16, 2000 when I started it. What a blessing!

I love what I do, and I believe so firmly in IBN's mission to empower women maximize their potential through small business ownership, that it never ever feels like work.

In 2018, IBN introduced several new member benefits, watched our membership grow, and saw our members flourish and thrive on their unique entrepreneurial journeys. More importantly, our community is stronger than ever. We continue to support each other through times of ease and challenge. We celebrated each other's victories and lifted each other up when times were tough.

Entrepreneurship is filled with ups and downs, and one of the things IBN does best is ensure that our members never cry alone, and never celebrate alone.

Here's a look back, with great joy and thanksgiving, at some of the ways IBN served our members and the larger Maker community this year.

Indie Business Network 2018 Year In Review: Check out the ways the Indie Business Network served its members in 2018! #ibnmembers #service #makerstoriesClick To Tweet

Donna Maria, Indie Business Network

Launched Maker Mastermind™ Circles!

Maker Mastermind Circles are your opportunity to Stop Making Stuff. Start Making Money.

It's your opportunity to completely slay one audacious goal and two mini goals in a 12-week period, with the guidance of an experienced entrepreneurial Maker Mastermind Mentor and the support of a loving community. You'll replace lackluster mega goal setting strategies with bite-sized heat seeking success steps that help you hit your target — every. single. time.

Each week, and daily inside your curated Circle, you'll move toward your goals one small and steady step at at a time. You'll get the support you need from your Maker Mastermind Mentor and everyone in your circle.

Maker Mastermind™ Circles are open for limited times throughout the year, to both IBN members and non-members (but members enjoy a generous discount of course). To apply, or be notified or be notified of when we are accepting applications, click here.

Hosted Indie Cruise Mastermind Retreat

From January 13 -18, 2018, I hosted the 8th annual #IndieCruise Mastermind at the beautiful Club Med Luxury Resort & Spa, in Ixtapa, Mexico. Our theme was Refresh | Refine | Results, and you can see the photo album here.

I will host the 9th annual #IndieCruise Mastermind next month in Turks + Caicos. You can learn more about the 2019 retreat, and register to join us, at this link.

Launched Maker Journeys

If you have ever dreamed of traveling to a faraway land that allows you to combine your passion for natural ingredients with your desire to create new and amazingly fragrant things, then this is the journey for you. I'm excited to announce the first Maker Journeys trip: France: A Fragrant Odyssey.

I will host the 1st annual #Maker Journey June 2019 in France. You can learn more about the 2019 journey, and register to join us, at this link.

Hosted Virtual Entrepreneurial Training Events

We hosted several virtual member events throughout 2018: Success Calls, Maker Workspace Tours, Master Classes and more.

For those who don't know, our virtual events connect our members with the expertise they need to be successful in all areas of life and business. Everyone was invited to attend live, and for those who could not make it, a recording was made and stored for on demand access in the members only area of our website. IBN members were encouraged to download the recordings and add them to their digital Success Libraries so they can use them for years to come.

Here is a look back at our 2018 virtual entrepreneurial training event guests:

Hosted Master Classes

Donna DeRosa: How to Blog for Success in 2018 and Beyond
• Angelina Darrisaw C-Suite Coach: Introduction to AdWords Express + Google Tools!
• Jessica Williams of Pet Talk Media: Easy Ways to Monetize Your Blog
• Arianne Foulks of Aeolidia: Be A Shopify Ninja
Melinda F. Emerson SmallBizLady: How to Fix Your Business
• Allie Morris Nute of Verb House Creative: Get Social Media Help for Your Biz
• Sommer Poquette of Keep It Real Social: Text Message Marketing and Mobile Ads

Our first Master Class of 2019 is already scheduled, and you can learn more about it here.

Hosted Access Q+A Coaching Calls

One of the Indie Business Network member benefits is live Q+A Access Coaching Calls with Donna Maria and a member guest coach leader with experience and expertise that can help all of our members grow. Our 2018 guest member coaches included a stunning lineup of talent. Meet them now:

• Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo of Scents the Moment in New York
• D’Shawn Russell of Southern Elegance Candle Co. in North Carolina
• Robert Ungemach and Keith Emmons of Opportunity Market in Texas

Hosted Maker Workspace Tours

One of the Indie Business Network member benefits is Maker Work Space Tours. A Maker Workspace Tour is a members only event during which an IBN member shares a live, behind-the-scenes tour of her workspace, retail store, studio, maker space, etc. It was so much fun to see the private pieces of how Makers create amazing experiences for their customers. There's nothing like seeing the “real deal” behind the scenes!

In 2018, we toured:

• The Grapeseed Company in Santa Barbara, CA.
Scrubz Body in Farmingdale, NY.
Oyin Handmade in Baltimore, MD.
RG Wax in Oshkosh, WI.

Launched Indie Method

The Indie Method is a sequential, step-by-step, immersive entrepreneurial curriculum created and taught by me. As you can see, it breaks up the entrepreneurial experience into four distinct phases: Emerge > Engage > Evolve > Expand. We covered Emerge + Engage in 2018, and will cover Evolve + Expand ins 2019. I am so pleased to be able to offer the entire Indie Method entrepreneurial training as a value added experience, included in IBN membership. Learn more about the Indie Method here.

Launched Indie Business Fit Club

I launched Indie Indie Business Fit Club on the heels of the tragic suicides of entrepreneurs Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, in order to help our members address and handle the burnout and stress that is a natural part of the entrepreneurial experience. You can earn more about the Indie Business Fit Club here. Our 2018 classes included:

• Larissa Lewis and Teri Lang Patterson hosted the launch of the Indie Business Fit Club.
Anne-Marie Faiola discussed Everyday Fitness for Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs.
Vanessa Nixon Klein delivered a fabulous belly dancing class.
• Kim Jones of Urban Tranquility taught us Yoga moves to wind down from a busy day.
• Larissa Lewis gave tips for biking for fun and fitness
• Teri Lang Patterson went through a 20-minute work out and stretch.

Launched Subject Matter Experts

The Indie Business Subject Matter Expert Team is a carefully curated group of successful Makers who have made their entrepreneurial marks in specific areas of expertise. While they easily qualify to help you grow your business in many arenas, they have been tapped for their experience and proficiency in a specific area where their skill and competence overlap significantly with their personal life passions. Learn more about our Subject Matter Experts here.

Hosted Content Calls

In order to help our members craft and publish content that converts to sales, our Christine Laureano of Ba6 Marketing was our guest on three Content Calls. Each specifically focused on helping IBN members create the kind of engaging and consistent content that attracts and resonates with their target audience.

Members, if you missed any of these events, all of them are available for you to listen to and download and save to your Success Library in the private members only area of our site.

Hosted Maker Mastermind Live: Chicago

In April, I hosted Maker Mastermind Live in Chicago. Here is a one of the pictures from the event.

Click here for a recap of the Chicago event.

Maker Mastermind Live has evolved into Maker Mastermind Circles, and you can read more about them at the top of this post.

Hosted the Second Annual Artisan Product of the Year Awards

We hosted the Artisan Product of the Year Awards this year! A carefully curated group of influencer judges, Damaris Lewis, Jamie Schmidt, and Sommer Poquette, evaluated and scored each product, and the winning products were named in November. In case you missed the award announcement, you can catch it here.

The Artisan Product of the Year Awards will take place again next year, so stay tuned for that!

Hosted the Artisan Made Show

The Artisan Made Show makes it fun and easy for you Meet the Makers | Shop the Brands. Here are the recaps from our episodes.

April 2018: Premier Recap
June 2018: Father's Day Recap
July 2018: Summer Sizzle Recap

Hosted the Indie Business Podcast

We featured two inspirational Maker Stories on the podcast in 2018. Each is worth listening to for the tips and insights our guests shared.

Enjoy the 2018 episodes of the Indie Business Podcast:

• Episode 64: Michael McPolin of Birch Main Candle in New York
• Episode 65: Joanne Voelcker of Mt. Airy Lavender in Pennsylvania

Subscribe to Indie Business Podcast

If you enjoy the Indie Business Podcast, please subscribe so you can get each episodes as it is released. You can subscribe on iTunes (on iPhone) or Stitcher (an Android or iPhone app).


Well, there you have it. It's not a complete overview, but it covers our major events and achievements. Did you miss out on all of this goodness by not joining IBN this year? Not to worry, you can click here to learn about our member benefits, and join today at this link so you don't miss out on anything else!!

Indie Business Network members, I love you, and I love serving you!

Here's to a great new year and the achievement of all of your wildest entrepreneurial dreams and goals. I am so proud of every one of our members!

Bring on 2019! We are so ready over here at the Indie Business Network!

Question: Are you ready for 2019?

What are you most looking forward to in the new year? If our achievements inspire you to beak all the rules, build your own corporate ladder, and create the life you live, please share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.