Book Review: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

This month, we read The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries in the Indie Business Book Club. While the book is old (published in 2002), it proves that certain fundamental business principles really never change. In today's technology filled world, failing to embrace the basics of business is a big mistake. After all, what good will it do to use technology to shine a … [Read more...]

April 2017 Indie Business Book Club: The Fortune Cookie Principle

I am pleased to announce the April 2017 Indie Business Book Club pick: The Fortune Cookie Principle, by Bernadette Jiwa. Thanks to our book club member, Marilyn Schendel of Ritual Waters in North Carolina for suggesting this book. If you're not familiar with the Indie Business Book Club, you can click here for more information. We start reading the new book together on Monday, April 3. Click … [Read more...]

What is Your Pricing Personality?

Have I ever mentioned that IBN's private Facebook group is not just a business community? It is heavily focused on business (as it is designed to be), but we also have fun in a really unique and amazing environment. For example, last week, I posed this simple question in our community: When it comes to your brand, are you DISCOUNT DEBORAH, or HIGH-END HILLARY? I figured our members … [Read more...]

From the Land Down Under: Makers Biz Summit

I am thrilled to be participating this week in the first virtual Makers Biz Summit hosted by Deborah Engelmajer of Tizzit Design Company. Deb's business is located in "the land of plenty" in beautiful Australia. I hope to visit someday, but for now, I have to settle for this appearance as a part of an amazing virtual business event. My topic is Leadership the Indie Business Way: Build Your … [Read more...]

Are You “Product Poor”?

The first time I went house hunting, a friend cautioned me not to get sucked into buying a house I could not afford. More specifically, he warned me not to buy so much house that I didn't have money left over to furnish it. In other words, he advised me not to be "house poor." Recently, it occurred to me that the "house poor" caution is a good one for Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs to … [Read more...]

March 2017 Indie Business Book Club: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

I am pleased to announce the March 2017 Indie Business Book Club pick: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, by Al Ries and Laura Ries. Thanks to our book club member, Rolande Sumner of Butter Angels in South Carolina for suggesting this book. If you're not familiar with the Indie Business Book Club, you can click here for more information. We start reading the new book together on Monday, March … [Read more...]

Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

As you may recall, in January and February, we read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey in the Indie Business Book Club. While some people think this book is just for those who are in business, that's not the case. The 7 principles that form the basis of the book are really about identifying your core values and then engaging in the repeated activities that support … [Read more...]

How to Get Started as an Artisan Entrepreneur

Each week, I receive countless emails and phone calls from people who want to launch a business selling the products they make. I received an email recently from Jill in Tennessee who told me that: "I am really having a hard time finding what makes me unique. Therefore, I am having a hard time defining my target market." Jill is not alone. Her question is part of a much larger series of … [Read more...]

What I Have Learned in 15 Years of Blogging

It's hard to believe that I have been blogging here at Indie Business Blog for 10 years. Here is my first Indie Business Blog post. By the time I published that post, I had been blogging elsewhere for five years. I maintained a "journal" at IBN's first website, before the term "blog" even existed. Afterward, I blogged at a now-defunct DonnaMaria.com site (which will be re-launched in the near … [Read more...]

The Value of Asking for Help

It always saddens me to see a person struggle alone for an extended period of time, without asking for help. If you watch someone do this, you will see frustration written all over their face. You will often hear strings of curse words. There is lots of grumbling and frequently, there is also blaming someone or something else, or worse, explaining the current bad luck by concluding that it's a … [Read more...]