As some of you may know, in February, I will be speaking at #IndieCruise, a 5-day Caribbean cruise hosted by Donna Maria Coles Johnson, founder and CEO of Indie Business Network. I have attended each #IndieCruise so far and it is consistently one of the highlights of my year. The time away, the inspiration and education, the friendships and networking (and the chocolate cake) always prove to be some of my most cherished memories and I’m thrilled to be heading back for my third cruise. This year I’ll be speaking on How To Get More Retail Stores To Buy Your Products and I’d love to have you join us!
Recently, I had an opportunity to interview Donna Maria about #IndieCruise. Check out what she has to say about this amazing event, and see why you should join us for some sun, fun, and MasterMinding this February!
Q: Other than fun and sun in the dead of winter, what are the benefits of attending #IndieCruise?
A: #IndieCruise attendees (I call them “Indie Cruisers”) enjoy an experience that is wholly unique when compared to a traditional “on land” event. First of all, being out to sea for a week makes for an intimate gathering where we actually have the time to get to know each other and address each everyone’s individual needs as a person and a business leader. #IndieCruise couples this with the hands-on training and practical advice you need to be gain clarity and achieve specific goals. Not only do we have three dynamic speakers lined up, but each Indie Cruiser is a speaker!
I am a firm believer that one of the best ways to learn is to sit at the feet of your successful peers in a safe and nurturing environment, where guards are down and encouragement and information flow freely. On #IndieCruise, everyone is a speaker, everyone is a leader, everyone is a learner. The formal speakers set the tone, but the real action takes place one-on-one, when we gather to apply what we learn to propel our businesses forward in the New Year.
After #IndieCruise, we use a private Facebook page to hold each other accountable throughout the year.
Q: Why did you choose a cruise ship rather than a conference resort or retreat?
Conference resorts and retreat centers are fantastic, and we will be hosting events there in the future. But #IndieCruise allows you to unplug in ways that are not possible on dry land.
Once we pull away from the dock in Fort Lauderdale, we will literally power down everything. No Twitter, no cell phones, no Facebook, no phone calls. Of course we power up now and then to check on our family members or to Tweet pictures of ourselves doing things like swimming with dolphins, swinging from zip lines or petting sting rays, but for the most part, we are detached — and we get some serious MasterMinding done.
The crystal blue water, pristine beaches, and amazing sunsets move us to tears. The relationships we develop are priceless. You cannot connect like that unless you leave the world behind for a bit.
Q: Where has #IndieCruise previously sailed, and where are you headed in 2013?
A: We have previously sailed to Key West, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. #IndieCruise 2013 will sail from Fort Lauderdale to Cozumel, and then to Belize, February 2 – 7.
Q: What was your inspiration for launching #IndieCruise in 2011?
As IBN’s president for the past 13 years, I recognized that many handmade entrepreneurs (I call them “Indies”) are ready to invest more in their businesses by taking things to a new level of professionalism. Indies are savvy, creative, and passionate, but since they often wear most of the hats in their businesses, stepping away from the day-to-day to work “on” rather than “in” their businesses, is critical.
#IndieCruise brings creative entrepreneurs into a space where they can give, receive and apply practical business and personal development advice in a fun, relaxed setting. We dig deep on #IndieCruise. We have fun, but we also touch each other’s fears and pain points. We slay dragons and tackle demons that are holding us back. And yes, there are tears.
If you only want to scratch the surface of your dreams #IndieCruise is not for you. If you want to make your dreams come true, you belong on #IndieCruise. By the way, what happens on #IndieCruise, stays on #IndieCruise…
Q: But I’m just a teensy business. Is #IndieCruise too much for me?
A: No. Not if you want to challenge yourself, move out of your comfort zone, and be held accountable. If you are passionate about using your business to create the life of you love, and are willing to do the work required, then #IndieCruise is for you.
Q: Do I have to be a member of IBN to join you on #IndieCruise?
A: No. #IndieCruise welcomes entrepreneurs from all walks of life.
Q: You are a wife and mom, and you’ve led your business for 13 years. Is it
really possible to integrate life, family and business, and keep it all together?
A: Absolutely, it is. I won’t lie, and tell you it’s easy. It’s not. But it can be done, if you want to do it. You need a support system, and you need extended times away from the daily parts of your life so you can focus on leading your business. You cannot grow a profitable business if you are always bogged down in the details of it. #IndieCruise is an opportunity to zoom out and see the big picture. It will move you closer to being the leader you need to be, so you can nurture a business that delivers freedom, flexibility and financial success — all on your terms.
A: How can we get more details about #IndieCruise?