#MakerBizChat No. 15: Donna Maria’s Philosophy on Different Stuff

On Wednesday evenings from 8 to 8:30pm ET, I host #MakerBizChat, an Instagram event to help Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs build a solid business foundation, increase your income, and use your business to create the life you love. Our topic tonight was DONNA MARIA'S PHILOSOPHY ON DIFFERENT STUFF.

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I chose this topic because some random things have been on my mind, and since none of them could carry and entire #MakerBizChat episode, I decided to put them all in one place.

You can read the full transcript on Instagram, including questions, tips and resources from the Maker community, at this link. Because Instagram is designed for mobile viewing, the entire chat on Instagram, which has dozens of comments and some great questions and discussion, is best viewed on a mobile device. Here is a summary of last night's #MakerBizChat.

Q1. WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON MOM ENTREPRENEURS?

A1(a) I am a mom and an entrepreneur, so I have the ultimate respect for other mothers (and dads too!) who own and manage a business.

A1(b) Mom entrepreneurs wait too long to get help. My first child was born in October. I hired help in January (and that was almost too late). Not only did doing so save my sanity, but it is also the chief reason I am still in business. It also partially explains why it did not take me forever and a day to start making a profit in my business.

A1(c) Mom entrepreneurs should not expect a “break” because they are moms. Don't tell your customers that their order is late because your son is sick. Don't schedule most meetings when your daughter (or cat or dog or cuckoo clock) will be screaming in the background. Don't use the kids (or any other life problem) as an excuse to provide your customers with less than the best.

A1(d) Don't try to start a business when you have three toddlers and no one to help you with them. Don't do that.

Q2: WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON MARRIAGE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

A2(a) Do not marry someone who does not fully support your entrepreneurial drive. They don't have to understand it, but they must fully support it. If they don't, don't marry them.

A2(b) If both your marriage and your business are important to you, do not sacrifice your marriage for your business.

A2(c) If both your marriage and your business are important to you, do not sacrifice your business for your marriage.

A2(d) Do not compete with your spouse.

A2(e) Try to find to combine your collective talents, gifts and passions to create a fun and profitable family business.

Q3. WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON LEADERSHIP?

A3(a) If you own a business, you will become a business leader. You'll either be an effective business leader or you will be an in ineffective leader. But either way, you will become leader.

A3(b) Everyone is a leader. We all just lead differently, and we all lead different things. A parent is a leader, regardless of whether or not they call themselves one.

A3(c) If you have a Maker business, you are a leader. Embrace that. Step into it.

A3(d) Leadership skills can be improved. Confidence builds leadership skills, and leadership skills build confidence.

A3(e) While everyone is a leader, not everyone is an effective leader. You do not need specific qualifications to be a leader, but if you want to be an effective leader, you must do three things: (1) put yourself around other leaders; (2) take the time to train and develop yourself personally; and (3) practice being a leader.

A3(f) If you are teachable, entrepreneurship is the best leadership training in the world, hands down.

Q4. WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON WHETHER OR NOT EVERYONE CAN BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?

A4(a) I am sick and sick and sick and tired of hearing that “not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.” That's poppycock. It's a lie told to us by the industrial revolution and the people who made (and continue to make) billions upon billions of dollars while Americans punch clocks buying the lie that they are only cut out to punch a clock.

A4(b) There is nothing wrong with having a traditional job, but don't believe the lie that you are not cut out to be an entrepreneur. You can learn to be anything you want to be. You are cut out to be whatever you want to be.

A4(c) Yes, entrepreneurship is hard. But so is life. And we don't tell people they are not cut out for life, do we?

So get over it if you think you are special because you are an entrepreneur. You are not special. And if you are an entrepreneur, you should make a difference not only by selling your products, but also by teaching others to sell theirs.

Q5. WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON TRYING NEW THINGS?

A1(a) Everyone should try new things, and all the time.

A5(b) Things that are low risk can be tried with little planning. Things that are high risk require more planning.

A5(c) When you try something new, and it works, keep doing it. When you try something new and it does not work, stop doing it.

A5(d) When you try something new, and it works, but you think there's something out there that's better, then stop doing the good thing so you can make room for the better thing.

A5(e) Putting my philosophy to work in real life now, I want you to know that this is our last #MakerBizChat. It's fun and it works, but there's something out there that's better, and I'll be bringing that to you soon. Stay tuned!





Donna Maria, Indie Business Network

Question

I hope you have enjoyed this final episode of #MakerBizChat. Thank you for joining me for 15 weeks of fun, sharing, and growing together. Please share your thoughts and feedback on my philosophies, and share your own) 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.