What Indiependence Day Means To Me

Today is Independence Day, or “Indiependence” Day for all you Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs out there. It's a day where I personally celebrate not only the birth of my home country, but also my own personal birth as an entrepreneur.

Indiependence (1)

In 2009, following an article I wrote about my Indie lifestyle, I received an email message from a man in China named Bens Pong. Bens described himself as bored because he could not “arrange his freedom.” We exchanged emails a bit and I eventually wrote this blog post about him. (Sorry the blog post is so old that the image of Ben did not transfer when I switched to my new blog platform several years ago.)

Despite Bens' broken English, his heart shines through in his emails to me. Even after six years, I still think of Ben regularly. I think of him especially on the 4th of July.

I Can Arrange My Life Freely

Unlike Bens, I live in a country where I can “arrange my life freely,” as Bens so eloquently put.

I quit my job when I felt like it so I could open a retail store. I went back to work when my store did not work out the way I wanted it to.

I worked for a while, then quit that job to start another business, the Indie Business Network. I got married without asking anyone for permission.

I had children when I was ready to have children.

When I didn't want to live in Maryland anymore, I moved to North Carolina — and no one asked me any questions.

I am so grateful for the privilege to arrange my life freely.

My experience as a woman, as a wife, as a mom, and an entrepreneur bear witness to the fact that I can and have arranged my life how I want it to be.

I realize that not everyone has this freedom. I realize that, even in America where everyone is supposed to have this freedom, not every has this freedom.

And I realize that this freedom can be taken from me personally at any time.

I do not take it for granted, and I am inspired to continue to live in ways that bear witness to the great unspeakable gift of the ability to arrange my life freely.

Happy “Indiependence” Day to you all!


How do you celebrate Independence Day? I would love to know your thoughts and feedback in the comments below, or 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.