Last month, I had the privilege of hosting the 5th annual #IndieCruise MasterMind. Our theme this year was Unleash Your Awesome: Branding Breakthroughs for Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs. We sailed to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Coco Cay. A fabulous time was had by all. I made a big and completely unexpected announcement at the end of our sailing, and in this post, I'm letting the world know that #IndieCruise 2015 was our 5th and final sailing.
But wait, there's more! #IndieCruise is not over!
While I am sailing the ship to permanent dry dock, there is good news. But before I get to that, I want to say “thank you” to everyone who has set sail with me on #IndieCruise for the past five years. Many of you planned a good part of your year around this women's entrepreneurial event that has been so much fun and gained so much traction over the past five years, and I am deeply honored. It was a tough decision, but I decided to bring #IndieCruise into port for good.
Why I am Putting #IndieCruise in Permanent Dry Dock
- When it's time, it's time.
Sometimes, you just know that it's time. Even when you cannot explain it in terms that others can readily embrace, you know when your instincts are telling you that it's time for a change. Over the years, I have learned to listen to my instincts even when I do not completely understand them. I am doing that now, and I feel confident that this decision, though difficult, will make way for some serious awesome in the coming months.
- Letting great things go makes room for greater things.
I would like to make room in my life for some new business and personal projects, and being on a cruise ship for a sixth year straight just didn't fit in well with them. I am a firm believer that greater things rarely materialize if great things are in the way. In order to make room for the greater opportunities I sense are coming my way, I had to eliminate great things. #IndieCruise is one of those great things.
- We ran out of ports.
After five years, our merry band of cruisers had hit every single port in the western Caribbean. This means that, if we continued to set sail, we would have had to start repeating ports. While they are all beautiful, life is too short to sail the same seas over and over again.“
Donna Maria, Founder & CEO, Indie Business Network
There are two ways to avoid this dilemma and still be on a cruise ship sailing to tropical ports. First, we could start sailing the eastern Caribbean every year. The problem with this, as we discovered last month, is that, as beautiful as the eastern Caribbean is, sailing there requires at least 7 days and most of us do not want to commit to that much time away from business and family for a business retreat.
Our second option is to start flying to foreign ports and sail to exotic destinations from there. As exciting as that sounds, it requires even more days away, and lots of exhausting travel, so that idea never got very far.
I made this announcement on board the Freedom of the Seas during the final hours of #IndieCruise 2015, and it came as quite a surprise to everyone. I want to thank all of this year's cruisers for honoring my request not to share this information until I gave the OK.
I wanted to be ready. Now, I am.
I am extremely blessed to by surrounded by the love of the entrepreneurial women who I have sailed with over the past five years.
I have incredible memories and I have formed relationships that will last a lifetime.
That is rare and it is beautiful, and I am so grateful.
Stay Tuned For Another Exciting Announcement Soon!
As I mentioned above, there is some really good news, but I am not quite ready to share it yet.
I need a few more days to put the finishing touches on it.
I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will like it.
I hope you will stay tuned for the next few days.
Best and Success!