Announcing 2×4 Live: Nashville

What better day to announce 2×4 Live than today — Small Business Saturday! After nearly sixteen years of business ownership, which was preceded by a long career working for someone else, I have concluded that entrepreneurship is the most rewarding way to provide for yourself and your family while you also have fun and create meaningful relationships that last a lifetime.


But as wonderful as entrepreneurship is, it also can be a very lonely and frustrating journey when you try to do it alone. That's why it brings me such joy to announce 2×4 Live, a new one-time event co-hosted by me and three of the most amazing entrepreneurial and friends in the universe, and designed to help you push the ball forward in your business in a whole new way. There is an early bird rate, but honestly, I think we'll sell out before it ends. There are only 40 spots, and they will go fast.

Register for 2×4 Live NOW!

Why 2×4 Live?

In a word … because there will never be another time when you will be able to leverage me, Anne-Marie, Lela and Kayla at the same time, in person, for the benefit of your business.

We have packed the agenda for maximum workshop value. And as a venue bonus, 2×4 Live is set in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee, near the campus of Vanderbilt University, at the historic Scarritt Bennett Center, a space where individuals and groups engage each other to achieve a more just world.

Together, we bring together 50 years of Maker and Handmade Entrepreneurship together. Branding, blogging, launching, social media, marketing, sales, video, wholesale, winding up, winding down, exit strategies, pivots, successes, failures, smiles and laughter, sadness and tears, husbands, babies, teens, tweens … and even some things we are all sworn to secrecy on. We have been through it all, and the tie that binds us together always is entrepreneurship. And there is more.

Counting all of our experience, we have been advocating on behalf of the handcrafted and home-based industry for close to two decades. Here we are for the very first time together, in 2009.


This picture was taken in Secretary of State John Kerry's office when he was a Senator active in small business issues.

We have collectively launched over two dozen brands … more if you count the ones that have not worked out over the long term. Which reminds me … you need to know about the things that did not work out for us so you know how to handle it when things don't work out for you.

We have laughed together and we have cried together. We have held each other accountable, and we have engaged in some pretty serious disagreements. We have humbled ourselves before each other, and we have held each other up when we cried.

We are each others teachers, and as you know from what we do, we all have a passion for teaching.

Register for 2×4 Live NOW!

Two days, Four mentors, One amazing weekend

It's all yours for the taking. We have such a great time planned, and you will not want to miss it.

Just in case you don't know my co-hosts, here are some images that may nudge your memory.

With Kayla Fioravanti

A few years ago, Kayla and I were so excited to see each other. We met at the airport, and quickly hopped into a cab. Of course, the first thing we decided to do was take a selfie. We couldn't get the picture right, so we asked the cabby to take the picture for us. He took the camera and started to focus, without realizing that he had not put his cab in park.

So the three of us went drifting out into airport terminal traffic. Had it not been for an alert traffic cop, we would have been poster children for all the reasons why cell phones should not be used in cars. We were thankful not to create that legacy. I snapped this fuzzy picture because I didn't care how we looked. I was just happy to be with Kayla as she placed a call to make a very important appointment … because … spa.


Enjoy my interview with Kayla on the Indie Business Podcast.

Check Kayla out at Kayla Fioravanti and Selah Press.

Register for 2×4 Live NOW!

With Anne-Marie Faiola

One day in 2002, Anne-Marie called me out of the blue to ask me what the Indie Business Network was and why she should join. I had no idea who she was, but she had this amazing energy. I gave her my best pitch, she gave it a shot, and the rest is history. While we could not live further apart and still be in the same country, we have become not only business colleagues but also friends. Here were are earlier this year at Central Soapers.


I have learned a million things about entrepreneurship from Anne-Marie. I once read someone describe her body as having a constantly erupting volcano inside of it. That's a good description. She is everything an entrepreneur should be: smart, poised, fit, well read, kind, serious, funny, playful, determined, and relentless. But really, truly and honestly, after all that, she's just my friend. She's also a speaker on Indie Cruise 2016 coming up in January!

Enjoy my interview with Anne-Marie on the Indie Business Podcast.

Check Anne-Marie out at Soap Queen and Bramble Berry.

Register for 2×4 Live NOW!

With Lela Barker

This picture of me and Lela was taken on Indie Cruise a few years back. It's a bit on the fuzzy side, but the sunset makes it magnificent. The private conversation we had before we took this photo was priceless and has helped me steer my life ever since.


Lela has helped me navigate some of the most challenging experiences of life and business. When I am in her presence, there is magic. There is also hilarity and maybe even a tattoo or two.

Enjoy my interview with Lela on the Indie Business Podcast.

Check Lela out at Bella Luccè and Lucky Break Consulting.

Register for 2×4 Live NOW!

More than a Mastermind

What I really want you to understand about this event is that it's more than a Mastermind. It's a collaboration between four people that will immediately benefit you. If all you do is show up in the room, your life will be changed.

Whoops! I didn't tell them I was promising that. But they will agree, I'm sure. It will change everything. Try me. You'll be glad you did.

See you in Nashville!


Are ready for 2×4 Live? Don't miss it! And if you get a chance, please use our #2x4live hash tag and 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.