Authentic Leadership for Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs

This past weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at the last ever Central Soapers Workshop. Hosted by our member, Kenna Cote of Modern Soapmaking, the event was huge fun, and filled with people who are so happy to be earning a living making and selling the handmade products their customers love.


I received super feedback about my presentation, so I wanted to share it here at the blog so those of you who were not able to join us could benefit from some of the tips I shared. The slides are embedded at the bottom of this post. Here are a few of the main points.

Authentic Leadership For Handmade Entrepreneurs

  1. My definition of a leader. I have never found a definition of a leader that I like, so I made up my own. Based on my experiences as a woman, a wife, mom, entrepreneur, and person who has made it a goal to spend as much time as possible around people I consider to be leaders, my definition of a leader is: “A vessel who serves by creating life changing experiences for the benefit of others.”

    I define leadership very simply as: “The act of serving others from a place of integrity.”

  2. If you own a business, you are a leader. You may not see yourself as a leader, and you may be not be accustomed to hearing others refer to you as a leader. But if you own a business, you are the leader of everything having to do with providing a quality product or service to your customers. The buck stops with you.
  3. Use your life experiences to organize and share your qualifications as a leader. Your skills, education, credentials, certifications, degrees, products, etc., all combine to create who you are as a leader from a holistic perspective. Embrace the amazing things you have done (and will continued to do) to share your qualifications to lead. Doing so will help improve your confidence level and encourage your customers and others trust and do business with you.

Here are the slides I used in the presentation. You can advance the slides by clicking the arrow.

Best and Success!


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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.