Recap: #IndieCruise Day 3: Mastermind and Learning

Today was our first meeting and Mastermind day on #IndieCruise 2017 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Our theme for this year is Refresh | Refine | Results, and you can read more about it here. In case you missed them, here are recaps from Day 1 (cocktail party and refresh) and Day 2 (beach and snorkeling).

We heard from three speakers today on topics ranging from contract manufacturing to customer service … and a lot in between. We also enjoyed an ocean side yoga respite outside our meeting room. Here is a taste of the fun, featuring photographs by Nikie Wishnow of Wyn Photography.

Melody Bockelman

Our first speaker of the day was Melody Bockelman, whose topic was How to Add Private Label and Contract Manufacturing to Your Existing Business Model. Melody gave great advice to help us understand the difference between the two types of manufacturing models.

She also shared the names of some of the manufacturers she recommends, along with tips to help us position our businesses to make products for other people. Melody took us on a super deep dive regarding so many things: confidentiality, contractual terms, product labeling, liability, selling on Amazon, and so much more. If you want to explore these ideas with specific regard to your business, Melody is your girl.

By the way, lest you think all Melody did was work on #IndieCruise, here's one of the photos that will prove you wrong.

Visit Melody's website here.

Ronda Porter-Altema and MackLey Altema

As you may recall, the Indie Business Network has partnered with Soude Haiti, a 501(c)(3) organization, to provide support to empower the people of Haiti. This move is very near and dear to me personally because, while Haiti shares the same island as our retreat destination of Punta Cana, it does not share the same blessings.

The leaders of Soude Haiti, Ronda Porter-Altema and MackLey Altema, joined us on #IndieCruise to provide us with an in depth look at how they work to empower the people of Haiti. In addition to learning a bit about the history of the nation and how hurricanes and earth quakes have ravaged the land and the people, we also learned about the strength and dignity of the Haitian people. Here are Ronda, MackLey and I after their presentation.

In addition to money, some of Soude Haiti's other great needs are seeds that people in the village they serve can plant for food and for sale, fabric and foot powered (because electricity is often scarce) sewing machines so that people can make and sell clothing items, seamstress patterns. Please contact us or contact Soude Haiti if you would like to partner with them to offer any donations.

Listen to Ronda Porter-Altema on Indie Business Podcast. Donate to Soude Haiti at this link.

Roberta Perry

Roberta provided a super presentation on the topic of customer service. Throughout her presentation, Roberta emphasized the importance of having an attitude of gratitude. She reminded us, for example, that while email does pile up, the last thing we should do is complain since it's often another opportunity to provide good customer service.

Unfortunately, due to an urgent family situation, Roberta was unable to join us in person, and we are especially grateful that she allowed us to pipe her in via telephone. Here's our high-tech setup: my iPhone 6 Plus, a conference call bridge line, and a Minijambox that played loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

Listen to Roberta Perry on Indie Business Podcast.

Roslyne Johnson

Roslyne Johnson showed us how to use Periscope in our business. Not only did she teach us how to use Periscope from a technical perspective, but she also gave us pointers on how to create a “Scope Schedule,” and how to make it easier to engage with your Periscope audience by using a “Scope Scribe.” Listen to a segment of her presentation here. (You can hear her clearly, but sorry Instagram cut her off. Boo!)

Kim Jones

What would a day of meetings be without an ending like this?

That's Kim Jones of Urban Tranquility leading us in a lovely yoga session. Close your eyes and listen to the ocean breeze and the roll of the waves a few hundred feet away, and you can be there yourself.

Kim offers classes in and around White Plains, New York, but I'm trying to convince her to share her awesome online. Stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, here is beautiful Kim in her happy place.

We have excursions and spa planned for Wednesday, so stay tuned for the fun from all over the resort, and maybe beyond!


What do you think of our Day 1 Mastermind topics? Do you use Periscope? How's your customer service game plan working for you? Yoga? Private label? Feel free to share any feed back or questions, and if you were inspired by this post, 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.