Speaker Spotlight: Donna Maria Coles Johnson of the Indie Business Network

Donna MariaDonna Maria Coles Johnson is an award-winning home-based business advocate and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network and the author of “Making Aromatherapy Creams & Lotions.” She has been featured in dozens of media outlets including Entrepreneur Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Global Cosmetics Industry Magazine, ABC World News, Black Enterprise.com, Fortune.com and more.

And if anyone knows what being busy really means, it’s probably Donna Maria. But hold the phone! If you ask her how she balances work and life, she’ll tell you that “balance” is a pretty silly idea. At Central Soapers Workshop 2014, she’ll tell you how she does it with her talk titled…

Forget The Juggling and Just Drop All The Damn Plates!

As small business owners, we hear an awful lot about work/life balance. Well, Donna Maria hates the term. It’s like corporate speak for “I hate my life and I can’t figure out why so I’ll just say I need more balance.” What’s the point? As if you don’t already have enough reasons to feel awful, you’re out of balance too. Can’t you do anything right?

In this talk, Donna Maria is going to share her signature Just Drop All The Damn Plates philosophy and challenge you to take a new approach to enjoying life which has nothing to do with scales … of any kind …

Speaker Q&A

Before sitting down with Donna Maria, and shattering your conceptions of what it means to work your butt off without losing it, we figured you might want to hear some little ditties about her personal life – she’s got some impeccable tastes!

Ice Breakers

If you could travel in a Time Machine, would you go back to the past or into the future?
Into the future, without hesitation. It’s the only place I can make a difference.

Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio

Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
It’s a toss up between Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio or Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

What is one food you would never try to eat?
Any type of organ meat.

What is your favorite things to eat for breakfast?
Bacon and eggs, but it’s a rare treat these days.

Are you a night owl or early bird?
It depends. I guess you could say I’m both a night bird and an early owl.

Do you have any pet peeves?
Yes, the notion that there is such a thing as work/life balance.

How do you make a tuna sandwich?
Open a can of tuna packed in water and drain the water out. Place the tuna in a bowl. Add chopped onion, celery and a little bit of hot sauce (preferably Sirracha). Stir. Add a little bit of Miracle Whip or your favorite salad dressing. Add a few tablespoons of your favorite relish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Dump the whole thing between a few slices of bread. Nom.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

If you had to choose a theme song for your life, what would it be?

If you could meet one person who is no longer living, who would you choose?
Amelia Earhart

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Baked bar b que chicken, sweet potatotes and green beans.

Meat & Potatoes

What one piece of advice you would give an aspiring entrepreneur?
Everything that glitters is not gold.

All that glitters is not gold.What is your biggest challenge in your current job?
To take regular breaks from it. I’m a bit of a workaholic.

What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small business in America today?
People who say that some people are just not cut out to be entrepreneurs.

What motivates you to work every day?
The feeling I get from doing work that I feel is a calling. That’s what motivates me. I want that feeling.

What is the single most important tribute to being successful.
Dying empty.

Get Soapy

I have not made soap in several years, but once a soapmaker, always a soapmaker!

Tell us about your first batch of soap ever?
It was lemon scented from a kit from SunFeather.

Name 5 soapmakers you adore.

  • La Shonda Tyree
  • Michelle Rhoades
  • Rhonda Hodges
  • Alana Rivera
  • Charlene Simon

The Finish Line

Please tell us in one short sentence why we need to hit up your presentation.
Because it’s going to make you laugh so hard that you’ll snort.

Hook Us Up

ON THE WEB: www.indiebusinessnetwork.com
DONNA MARIA on the WEB: www.donnamaria.com
TWITTER: @indiebusiness
FACEBOOK:  facebook.com/indiebusinessfans
PODCAST: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/indie-business-podcast/id543099542


  1. I am so exited that Donna Maria will be speaking at the event! If you have never heard her I encourage you to attend. She has been so supportive of me on my journey with my business and she not only brings her expertise to the table but her passion for empowering other to grow their dreams!

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