This is the 1st of a 3 part story series, featuring 3 different Women of Substance…
~Women of Substance~
Featuring Donna Maria Coles Johnson.
If you are like me, you are always interested in what makes someone a success? How can I learn form them and incorporate some of their secrets into my business & life?
It is a rare find indeed when you meet just such a woman that has excelled not only in her business but also her personal life, and she is ready and willing to encourage and mentor others. In Donna Maria’s case hundreds of others!
Read on to see what Donna Maria has to say:
Lisa Kasper: What kind of business do you operate?
Donna Maria: The core of my business is the Indie Beauty Network (http://www.indiebeauty.com). From this core emanate numerous additional businesses and activities such as producing and hosting the Indie Business Radio Show (http://www.indiebusinessradio.com), hosting (along with my husband business partner) the Media Is You training conferences (http://www.themediaisyou.com) and a video production company (http://www.indiebusinessmedia.com). Everything revolves around the Indie Beauty and Indie Business brands, which are my trademarks.
Lisa Kasper: What prompted you to go into this line of business?
Donna Maria: I learned how to make my own cosmetics about 15 years ago. I left well paying jobs, and then returned to them, 3 separate times, all the while knowing that my passion was for women and the things that empower us and make us appreciate our beauty. Since I am professionally trained as both a journalist and an attorney, it seemed natural to create an organization to provide business building services and encouragement to people who make and sell beautiful products for a living. I closed my cosmetics business to launch the Indie Beauty Network. It is one of the greatest joys of my life.
Lisa Kasper: What is your Mantra/Mission?
Donna Maria: My mantra is: Enjoy your life, build your business, have your way.
Lisa Kasper: What do you feel sets you apart from others in your industry?
Donna Maria: My complete dedication to serving my members. Also, I produce results. While I’m not perfect and don’t do everything right, my members and business partners tell me that partnering with me is enhancing their lives and their businesses.
Lisa Kasper: What are you doing to promote your business?
Donna Maria: Connecting with and helping as many people as I can. I use social media a lot and have recently increased my travel schedule to enjoy more speaking opportunities.
Lisa Kasper: Has your business grown this year? By what percent? Do you project growth for next year?
Donna Maria: Business has more than doubled over the past 12 months. I project even more growth next year.
Lisa Kasper: What is the market group that you target?
Donna Maria: Women and families who desire to earn a living using their talents and gifts in a small family business.
Lisa Kasper: What drives you to do what you do every day?
Donna Maria: My love for women and their families, especially those in business. Ten years ago, my dear friend Robin was trying to escape an abusive marriage. She had started a Mary Kay business and had found a new place to live. Before she could get out, her husband killed her.
When I helped Robin’s parents sort through her things, I found a drawer full of the handmade toiletries products I had made for her over the years. Robin could never throw anything away, and there they all were. Some like new, others half used and sort of smelly. But all made with love. They were in a drawer where she also kept sacred cards and keepsakes from her children.
I know there are millions of other women with children — not all in situations like Robin was in — who are are trying to create a better life for their children. Robin drives me. She lives inside of me. And when I get tired or overwhelmed, I remember her and her struggle and I become more determined that women from all walks of life can achieve their dreams and surround themselves with people who will help them do so. Thank you for asking.
Lisa Kasper: How do you get it all done?
Donna Maria: I don’t.
Seriously, there are baskets of unfolded clean laundry in the upstairs hallway, the dishes need to be washed, my daughter’s hair needs to be braided, I need to figure out what to cook (or buy) for dinner and my dear husband needs some attention, and yet, I also want to answer your questions because you’ve been waiting so long. I’ll prioritize all of these things. I’ll get done what absolutely must be done. Then I’ll get a good night’s rest, wake up tomorrow, go to church and do it all over again.
Lisa Kasper: What is your biggest accomplishment?
Donna Maria: It hasn’t happened yet.
Lisa Kasper: What would you tell other women to encourage them in the workforce?
Donna Maria: Own a business of your own, even if you have a traditional job.
Lisa Kasper: What would you change if you could go back 10 years?
Donna Maria: Nothing. That’s not because I did everything right or made no mistakes. It’s because it’s a useless thing to think about. I prefer to think about how I will change the future.
Lisa Kasper: And for us because we are nosey…what is your favorite fragrance???
Donna Maria: Pink grapefruit essential oil always makes me smile.
If you could ask your own question, what would you like to ask Donna Maria?