It's been a great year – thanks to all of our amazing Indie Business Network members for riding with us for the past twelve months. As is our custom, we are sharing our annual reflections on some of many ways we had the opportunity to serve you in 2022. For nearly a quarter of a century, the Indie Business Network has supported, uplifted, and mentored American Makers, and after all that time, it still feels like we are still just getting started.
Trials and Tests, with a Healthy Dose of Opportunity
It's hard to believe, but an entire year as passed since we published our last Year In Review. The quick passage of time means that most of the year's activities take place inside of a continuous whirlwind that leaves little room for review and reflection. That's why it is so important to be intentional about doing it.
Throughout 2022, we continued to deal with the trials and tests of COVID-19. As we close out the year, we are also looking forward to what many analysts say could be a slow approaching recession. Regardless of what has happened and what will happen, reviewing and assessing our past provides a platform for our next steps and empowers us to stride confidently into a new year of opportunity.
Taking a look back provides context for moving forward.
Maker Mastermind™ Live Intensive!
IBN's Maker Mastermind live event was hosted in Charlotte, North Carolina this year. Maker Mastermind is a day of intentional and laser-focused work where members do the hard work of creating and tweaking their business plans to lead directly to specific goals and results. Maker Mastermind is an opportunity to turn dreams into goals, and goals into strategies that can be executed — one step at a time. The end result is continuous forward motion toward the life and business we want.
Maker Mastermind is not a motivational seminar. It's a day of doing the hard work that ultimately turns dreams into reality. Next year, it will be hosted live and in person in several cities. A virtual option will be added for members who prefer not to travel.
We will host several Maker Mastermind Live events in 2023. They will take place in different cities nationwide so our members can choose to attend at the venue that is closest to them. I cannot wait to see you there!
Indie Business Network Maker Planner™
Studies show that writing down goals, making them plain, and putting them in front of your face every day maximizes the chances that you'll achieve them. To facilitate increased goal achievement for our members, we launched our quarterly paper planner this year. Our planner helps you:
• Forecast your future
• Create your quarter
• Design your days
Using IBN's planner, you can prioritize the most meaningful work that leads to the achievement of your goals.
Our planner includes the Maker Method, IBN's signature 4-phase approach to entrepreneurship. (More about the Maker Method here.) It includes monthly, weekly and daily spreads to help you stay on track. It also includes a future goals spread so you don't forget about quarters to come, key business metrics trackers, weekly online marketing planning spreads and lots of space to celebrate wins, brainstorm new collaborations, and track high leverage activities.
IBN's planner is currently available exclusively to our members, and only on a quarterly basis. Sales will open up again toward the end of the Q1 2023. Meanwhile, you can take a look at the planner here.
If you like using paper planners, here are five ways our planner can help you build your best business.
Small Business Insurance Information Sessions
We hosted four Small Business Insurance Information Sessions this year to help our members understand the details associated with different types of insurance needed to operate their businesses with confidence and ease. Our sessions covered a variety of the types of insurance IBN offers members through a partnership with an A-rated broker and underwriter. Among other things, we covered:
• General overview of all different types of business insurance for entrepreneurs
• Artisan food and beverage general and product liability insurance
• Handmade soap, cosmetics, candles, wax melts, and jewelry general and product liability insurance
• Cyber-liability coverage
You can see more information about the types of member insurance programs we offer our members at this link.
We will host more Insurance Information Sessions next year.
If you are a member (if you're not, join here!) and have questions about any of the above types of coverage and you missed the live events, log into our exclusive member area and search “Insurance” in the member library, and all of them will come up!
You can also stream the webinars on demand in our private member Facebook Group.
Indie Business Blog and Social Media Features
We are so proud of the way this blog and our social media feeds showcase the creative products our members offer.
This year, the Indie Business Network Instagram feed 45 blog posts showcasing 314 members, along with links to purchase their amazing products.
Here are a few of the most popular articles:
- These Food-Scented Candles Smell Almost Good Enough to Eat
- Book-Inspired Candles for an Enchanting Fall Reading Session
- Explore the Stars With These Space-Inspired Home and Beauty Products
- Surprise a Houseplant Lover With a Thoughtful Non-Plant Gift
- These 9 Unusual Decorative Candles are Serious Works of Art
- Deck Out Your Car With These Summer Road Trip Travel Essentials
Binge all of our Featured Member blog posts here. Go shopping while you're at at — I guarantee it won't take long to find that perfect gift for yourself or a loved one.
Indie Business Network Scholarship Program
The Indie Business Network offers a valuable and transformative entrepreneurial experience, and we recognize that not everyone has the resources to access our suite of mentoring, coaching, and training services, especially when they are first starting out.
To help offset the challenge for as many as possible, each quarter, we award a member scholarship for a year of membership. Scholarship awardees enjoy private group coaching one-on-one email coaching with our founder, Donna Maria. Click here to meet a recent scholarship award recipient.
If you or someone you know is interested in exploring scholarship opportunities, here is the link to apply for our 1Q 2023 scholarship opportunity. (The deadline is coming up fast, so apply NOW if you are interested!)
Coffee with Donna Maria (38 episodes)
We continue to provide our members with live weekly coaching with me, the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network. These hour-long sessions feature a valuable business message shared only with our members, followed by a Q+A session where members get real-time answers to the toughest issues faced in business right now.
We do not discuss theory during these live sessions. We discuss challenges and solutions and after a quarter of a century in business, I have encountered a lot of both. I am thrilled to meet with my members every week for this exclusive mentoring opportunity.
Indie Business Network Plan With Me! Quarterly Planning Party
In 2022, we hosted four quarterly Plan With Me sessions — one for each quarter — using our new planner. Our Plan With Me sessions are guided planning tours led by me personally where members appropriate IBN's goal setting process in order to maximize success and productivity on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
Participating members were empowered to create a simple, powerful, quarterly plan that made it easier to take the steps that actually produced results.
Indie Business Network Maker Planner™ Weekly Review + Planning
In 2022, we hosted dozens of Friday planning sessions where we reviewed the current week and planned the next one. These planning sessions usually lasted no more than about 30 minutes, but saved attendees hours of time by being intentional about identifying and scheduling those tasks that lead directly to the accomplishment of specific goals.
Indie Business Network Maker Workspace Tours
A Maker Workspace Tour is a live, behind-the-scenes studio, retail store, and/or workspace tour hosted by one of our members. We hosted five of them this year, and they were so much fun. Our member hosts were:
• Maggie Ghanem of Formulator Sample Shop (North Carolina)
• D'Shawn Faison of Southern Elegance Candle Co. (North Carolina)
• Nieves Rathbun of By Nieves (California)
• Arricka Harrison of Black Kettle Soap Co. (New York)
• Anne Lawoyin of Anne's Apothecary (North Carolina)
If you are a member and you missed them, be sure to log in and check them out in the member area at this link. Search “workspace” in the Library to find them.
If you're not a member, you're missing a real treat by watching so many members share how they make product, store and access ingredients and supplies, pack and ship and more! Join here.
Indie Business Book Club
One thing I know for sure is that nothing nourishes an entrepreneurial mindset like books on business and personal development. This year, we read several books on topics that help us be more successful in our businesses and in our lives. Here are the books we read, with links to more detailed information:
• Company of One: a great example of business as a lifestyle
• Tribes: confirmation that you are a leader, and that your brand community needs your leadership
• Get Different: great ideas to help you implement marketing ideas that don't look like everyone else's marketing ideas
• Best Day Ever: strategies on consistently doing the work required to have a great day every day
• The E-Myth: how to own a business that doesn't own you
• Anything You Want: bite-sized nuggets of entrepreneurial wisdom from the founder of CD Baby
• The Compound Effect: confirmation that whatever you do daily compounds to create whatever kind of life you end up with
• YouNicorn: a reminder that what makes you unique is also what makes you successful
• To Sell is Human: a study on how to use our natural talents as sales people so we can sell anything we want
• Live What You Love: a book to inspire you to achieve ultimate life contentment by doing work you love
• Marketing: a love story: filled with stories to help you acquire more repeat customers through marketing fueled by love
• The Richest Man in Babylon: a basic primer on the fundamentals of acquiring and investing money
Indie Business Network 2022 Holiday Gift Guide
Our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide featured member products and editorial content to uplift, inform and inspire you.
For each product, you'll find a lovely picture of the featured product, with a direct link to where you can easily and quickly drop it into your shopping basket. Many featured products include coupon codes — some of them are still active as of the date of this post, and since it's so late in the season, you may be able to take advantage of even more year-end pricing adjustments.
Check out the 2022 Indie Business Network Holiday Gift Guide.
In Closing …
Before I go, I want to tell you — our dear IBN members — how proud I am of you.
You have triumphed through challenges. You kept on creating. You surmounted every obstacle and you accomplished things you never thought you could. You have created new products, set new prices, hosted new events, launched new brands, acquired new customers, tried new things, and set new boundaries. You have grown and you have thrived. You have helped other members and other members have helped you.
It is the joy of my life to be on the front line with you, and I'm excited to do it again next year.
Happy New Year!
As great as this year has been, the new one will be even better.
Indie Business Network members, we love you, and we 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!
By the way, did you miss out on all of this goodness by not joining Indie Business 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!!
Bring on 2023! We are so ready over here at the Indie Business Network!