“Thousands of Entrepreneurs Working Alone, Together” by Donna Maria

No doubt, the way we work is changing. I shared some thoughts on this many years ago here at the blog. As I review that 2009 article today, I am struck by the fact that my life and work are more integrated today than I ever thought they would be. To me, it's a natural state of being.


While some seek balance, I simply seek knowing that, each day, I accomplish what needs to be accomplished. Sometimes, it's mostly work. Other times, it's mostly personal. Still other times, it's neither and also both.

What I do for one feeds the other. What I don't do for one starves the other.

My parents could not have imagined this state of being. Each of them had to be at work at a certain time each day. My father sometimes had late evening meetings which forced him away from the family dinner table, but except for a brief period of time when he was working on his dissertation, I never saw him work from home.

Leverage Your Life!

As I ponder this fairly new way of thriving in life, I become so excited! How wonderful is it to be able to structure your life in a way that suits your personality and your family?

How awesome is it to be able to create work ebbs and flows … to work super hard for eight weeks, and then take it easy for three, and then go back at it again – all according to business and lifestyle goals you set yourself!

How great to leverage a vacation to build your business — and even greater to figure out how to structure things so the business can finance all of it? For years, this kind of living was only available to a select few. Today, thanks to the Internet and thousands of people working alone together, anyone can use a business to create the lifestyle of their dreams.

Meet Marilene Richardson and Danielle Vincent

I see this in our membership here at the Indie Business Network. Consider Danielle Vincent and Marilene Richardson (pictured above), both members working separate businesses in separate states. Danielle (on the left) is the founder and owner of Outlaw Soaps in Oakland, California. Marilene is the founder and owner of Songcroft Naturals in Monroe, Washington. They met last year in our private member Facebook group.

Marilene tells me that, one day, she noticed that Danielle had posted that she was in Seattle to meet with some of her wholesale accounts. Later that day, she posted that she was in Pike Place Market, one of the most popular open markets in the world. Since Marilene didn't live far from the market, she messaged Danielle to see if she had time to connect in person. Next thing you know, Danielle is sitting in Marilene's house enjoying an afternoon of fellowship and fun.

Are you jealous? I am. In a good way.

Says Marilene:

We are very different, Danielle and I, and these differences remind me that we don't have to be cut from the same cloth or from a similar mold to be able to encourage each other in business. I have been a solopreneur many times in the past, and it's hard. But with the Indie Business Network, I always have a business partner to bounce ideas off of and to enjoy my journey with. It really does make the difference in my life.

Refuse To Go It Alone

So, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, if you have a business, you do not have to be alone. I invite you to join the Indie Business Network of course. But if you'd rather join somewhere else, that's fine too. Just be on the lookout for a community (not just a group or an organization) of people who can give you the same secure feeling of community that Marilene described here. It really does make all the difference.

Meet Danielle at Outlaw Soaps online and on Facebook. (And see my new coffee soap I got from her last week!)

Meet Marilene at Songcroft Naturals online and on Facebook.

Best and success,


Question: Do you work alone, together? How do you leverage technology to take action like Marilene did, to create your own support network, so you are never working alone? Share your experiences and ideas below!

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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.