Wed, 25 February 2015
I have long been a fan of Malcolm Gladwell's book Tipping Point, in particular, the "Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen" chapter where he talks about different personality types that impact social change.
So imagine my delight when I met Erica Dhawan the author of Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, with co-author Saj-nicole A. Joni.
They have spent years delving into research about what they term "connectional intelligence" -- arguably the most important skill currency of the 21st century.
In this conversation, Erica and I discuss:
Exerpts from our conversation:
"A lot has changed since Gladwell his book came out in 2006. When he framed that term (connector), he framed that there were three personality traits: Connector, Maven and Salesman that play a central role in the creation of social epidemics. From my research, to be successful, to get noticed, to start a movement, we ALL are entering the category of Connector. The question is not if we are connectors, but which type of connectors are we?"
Buy the book on Amazon: Get Big Things Done
Sat, 18 October 2014
Whenever we set out to make things better in our lives -- improve our career, grow our business, get in shape, make a bigger impact in the world -- fear and doubt creep in.
In her work coaching women and in her own personal life, Tara Mohr saw a pattern emerge, a problem she describes as women "playing small." Women are sitting on their big ideas rather than sharing them, holding back their most provocative questions instead of asking them. They are having a collective hallucination that they aren't "ready" for that bigger role or next step.
She made it the focus of her work to help women start playing bigger -- pursuing their dreams for their lives and careers, and sharing their voices more boldly.
Join me and Tara in this conversation where we explore these themes, and discuss ways to help women (and men) overcome barriers to playing bigger in the world.
Tue, 27 May 2014
When I first started writing about small business marketing many years ago, one of the first people I heard about was John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. John had a great reputation, a solid business and a well-respected and highly trafficked blog.
I referred many clients to his first book, Duct Tape Marketing. Then to his second, The Referral Engine, and his third, The Commitment Engine.
Through the years, we became good friends, and he has been a very trusted and valued mentor in my own business.
I was thrilled that he wrote a new book, this time about selling, called Duct Tape Selling. I could not think of a more perfect person to talk about the new world of marketing and selling than John.
In this 27 minute conversation, we talk about:
Check out John's new book, Duct Tape Selling here. It is a powerful resource for entrepreneurs, marketing and sales professionals: http://amzn.to/1ipwavs
Fri, 28 February 2014
Many entrepreneurs dream of starting a business in their garage, scaling it, then selling it to Google for a billion dollars.
Such things rarely happen.
Stanford professors Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao describe in their exceptionally well-researched and readable new book, Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less that knowing how to scale is a critical skill for the 21st century workplace.
And they have 7 years worth of research, analysis and case studies, consolidated into this great book.
In my lively conversation with Bob Sutton, we discuss:
Bob has been my "adopted professor" and High Council of Jedi Knight member for the last 8 years. I respect his work so much, and hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did!
Thu, 5 December 2013
I have always been a huge fan of underdogs.
He finally landed in a home with a family who gave him the kind of support and encouragment he needed.
He then built an amazing speaking business, reaching more than 2 million teens with live presentations.
He created a television show called Jump Shipp where he pairs a person with a big dream with a mentor and a challenge to make it happen.
His latest book is called Jump Ship: Ditch Your Dead-End Job and Turn Your Passion into a Profession.
In this episode, Josh and I discuss:
I was so inspired to talk to this young man who has done more with his short life than most people twice his age.
Thu, 7 November 2013
When you think about it, navigating your life is a series of negotiations.
In the course of a day, you may try to influence:
How can you undertake these challenges with integrity, not force, and make all involved (especially the new puppy) feel like they got a win too?
Bob Burg, the successful author of such classic books at The Go-Givers and Endless Referrals, tackles this challenge in his latest, and he argues most important book to date, Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion.
In the book, Bob lays out a way to approach negotiations and differences in business, and life, in a way that is mutually supportive and respectful.
In this conversation, Bob and I talk about how our national political discourse (and resulting actions) might look radically different if we took the time to focus on the motivation behind our beliefs, rather than name-calling.
We also talk about how to set personal boundaries without being rude, and handle negotiations in a win-win manner.
Bob says this is his most important book to date, and I agree. I hope that millions of people buy and read the book, resulting in a kinder, more effective and productive society.
Mon, 16 September 2013
There are some people I meet who I instantly feel not just a connection with, but true kinship. Todd Henry is one of these people.
I first met him when he interviewed me about my book Escape from Cubicle Nation on his wildly popular podcast, Accidental Creative. I was intrigued by his work with creatives, where he acts, in his words, as an "arms dealer for the creative revolution." His ideas have inspired people from graphic artists to Hip Hop stars (LL Cool J is a fan).
But I really got to know him when we were both writing our new books for the same publisher (Portfolio) with the same editor (Emily Angell). Our late-night email chats were both inspiring and extremely effective for working through creative blocks.
After being close with Todd in the creative process, I was so excited to read his brand new book Die Empty. It got me tremendously fired up.
In this interview, Todd gives extremely clear, passionate, concrete advice on not only how to get your creative work out into the world, but why it is your obligation to do so. I was shaking my fist in the air during the interview. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
To get the new book:
Check out Todd and his brand new book Die Empty at http://dieempty.com/
If you purchase the book by September 25 (be sure to fill out the pre-order form on the site), you get some wonderful pre-order gifts including:
Access to the Die Empty Book Club
Here's how it works: You ask me questions via e-mail or voicemail, and I respond to them via a weekly 30-60 minute podcast available only to the first-readers. This podcast will be much longer than our typical podcasts, and will add extra perspective to Die Empty. It's going to be a lot of fun!
The Official Die Empty Workbook
A downloadable PDF workbook to help you think through and apply the principles in Die Empty to your own life and work. The workbook also contains exclusive extra content and external sources to help you dive deeper into each principle.
Downloadable PIP Worksheet
A PDF of our very popular Personal Idea Pad tool to help you generate brilliant ideas for your work.
The 147 Episode Secret Accidental Creative Podcast Stash!
It's a series of 147 podcasts we released only to our AC Engage community, but that were never publicly available. You will have immediate access to over 12 hours of exclusive coaching to help you be prolific, brilliant, and healthy.
Fri, 6 September 2013
Many years ago, when I was in the early years of blogging at Escape from Cubicle Nation, I heard about a young man named Dan Schawbel who was writing like crazy about personal branding and millenials in the workplace. His name and face were everywhere, as he wrote for his own blog, as well as grew an impressive byline in places like Fortune, Time and Fast Company.
Dan's first book, Me 2.0, became an international bestseller, and has been translated in 13 languages.
And yet, surprisingly as we discuss in this podcast interview, he had to work really hard to find the right publisher for his brand new book, Promote Yourself.
Listen in to our conversation, where we discuss:
Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success is fresh off the press this week, and not surprisingly with Dan behind the launch, has generated lots of buzz in the business press.
Pick up your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Promote-Yourself-Rules-Career-Success/dp/1250044553
Thu, 6 June 2013
Imagine that you are driving down the road and you get a call from your office that a VC is interested in talking to you about investing in your business, but the only time they have to meet with you is tomorrow at noon. You have never put together a pitch before, and feel slightly panicked. But then you open an app, say "How to make a VC pitch" and immediately get 5 names of experienced VCs. You scan the list, see that one of them is Mark Cuban, and say "call Mark" and in 2 minutes you have him on the phone, coaching you through tomorrow's presentation (of course you scanned the list when you were pulled into a parking lot, because of course you would not text and drive). When you hang up, you would automatically be billed for 15 minutes of Mark Cuban's time.
This scenario is not far from the reality at Clarity.fm, Dan Martell's current company which connects entrepreneurs with questions with experts who have answers. He has the small goal of reaching one billion people with his platform in ten years (!).
In this interview, we talk about:
Wed, 20 February 2013
In 2010, Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson released their first book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, based on their experience leading a "Results Only Work Environment" (ROWE) while they were at Best Buy.
In a results-only workplace, employees can do whatever they want whenever they want, as long as the work gets done. No more pointless meetings, racing to get in at 9:00, or begging for permission to watch your kid play soccer. You make the decisions about what you do and where you do it.
It sounds great, doesn't it? But if you are a manager, how do you make sure that work is actually getting done?
In their second book, Why Managing Sucks and How to Fix it, Cali and Jody tell many stories from companies who have instituted ROWE environments. They provide guidance to managers who are ready to embrace the workplace of the future.
In this 30-minute interview, Pam and Jody discuss the book, and the revolutionary movement to give employees control of their lives back, while creating a productive and dynamic work culture.
Tue, 4 December 2012
Starting a business can be a huge challenge, with a million things to learn, and the uncertainty of landing your first customers.
Once you pass that gauntlet and develop a thriving business, another snag appears -- lack of focus, overwhelm and even burnout from trying to do everything yourself.
In this interview, longtime business system expert Tina Forsyth explains what you need to put in place to ensure that you are able to scale and grow your business without losing your mind. We discuss:
Learn more in her new book, The Entrepreneur Trap: http://www.etbook.com
Wed, 27 June 2012
Popular American business culture says that the more someone "participates" by talking aloud during a meeting or networking event, the more "active," "friendly" and "supportive" they are.
This (erroneous) definition ignores the fact that many quiet, introverted people are also "active," "friendly" and "supportive," just in a different way.
In this interview with Barbara Saunders, a "formerly shy introvert," we discuss:
Find Barbara at http://www.barbararuthsaunders.com or on Twitter @bsaunders
Some books we discussed on the call:
Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs Meyers http://www.amazon.com/Gifts-Differing-Understanding-Personality-Type/dp/089106074X
Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto by Anneli Rufus http://www.amazon.com/Party-One-The-Loners-Manifesto/dp/1569245134
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352145
Susan Cain's TED Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4
Thu, 7 June 2012
A lot of entrepreneurs get all twisted up about branding. Either they think it is some huge, expensive thing that is only for large companies, or they get obsessed with nailing a complete brand strategy before taking the first tiny step in building a business.
Neither extreme is true.
In this podcast conversation with brand expert Liz Dennery-Sanders, we discuss what branding is and isn't, what is critical to know about branding at any stage of business, and how you must pay attention to every part of how you do business if you want your marketing efforts to be effective.
To illustrate what we talked about in the interview, Liz shares this post:
The dirty little marketing secret no one is telling you
By Liz Dennery Sanders
Why is it that some entrepreneurs have clients lining up outside their door and a waiting list a mile long, while others are struggling to pay the rent?
Why is it that most entrepreneurs are busy, busy, busy with their marketing tasks, but only a handful are truly effective?
There’s a dirty little secret in the marketing world that no one’s telling you.
Think about it. You’ve put up a website, jumped on every social media platform that’s come along, signed up for all the “important” conferences and even invested in a cool new logo and business cards.
But your phone is gathering dust and other than a gazillion unwanted solicitations, your inbox has seen better days. You’ve been doing everything you think you’re “supposed” to be doing to market your business, but you’re still not attracting your ideal clients.
Well, here’s the Truth with a capital T:
If you don’t have a strong brand, your marketing will never work.
In order for a marketing strategy to be successful, you’ve got to have a solid brand foundation.
In other words, we need to see and FEEL your awesome in order to connect with you in a meaningful way.
Let me tell you about my client, Margaret.
A self-proclaimed business coach, Margaret came to me because she was unclear as to why she wasn’t attracting clients, even though she was “doing everything right” from a marketing stand point.
To her, doing everything right meant putting up a website, getting on every social media platform possible, attending networking events and conferences and working 60+ hours a week.
Watching her made me dizzy.
Margaret was making the mistake that so many women entrepreneurs are making today: she put the marketing cart before the brand horse.
When we drilled down to WHY Margaret became a business coach in the first place, I found out that, because of her own experiences, she has very strong desire to help other women become successful, especially women over 40 who are either just starting a business or are completely reinventing themselves.
Margaret struggled with a slew of nasty bosses in her 20’s and 30’s, went back to school to get her coaching certification in her early 40’s, and now at 46, has claimed her independence and wants to help others do the same.
When I shared with Margaret that this was one of the keys to becoming more successful – positioning herself to work with a specific group of people – she was initially fearful and concerned.
“But I don’t want to exclude anyone from working with me,” she said, “I’m afraid I won’t have enough clients.”
My response: “Well, how’s that working for you so far?”
Margaret thought that by being available to anyone and everyone, she would certainly attract more clients. Instead, it was actually repelling them.
A confused mind never buys. On the other hand, a crystal clear, passionate message, directed at the right people, makes an emotional connection that leads to a relationship. And a relationship is the first step toward building brand evangelists.
When someone would ask Margaret what she did for a living, she used to say something like, “I’m a Business Coach,” or “I help entrepreneurs thrive in their business.” Her website and marketing materials had more of the same: Non-committal and often confusing content that was trying to be all things to all people. Not exactly a client magnet.
Now Margaret’s response is something like this: I help women over 40 either start a business or completely reinvent themselves – sometime it’s both! As a Business Coach, Entrepreneurial Evangelist and someone who has gained my own independence from the corporate world, I will help you find the passion AND the profit in your business and help you grow.
The next time you find yourself whiplashed by the latest and greatest bright, shiny marketing tools, first make sure you are clear about your brand and confident about the value you provide. This is a necessary step to make sure your marketing will be effective.
Liz Dennery Sanders is a brand and creative strategist, personal development coach and the founder of SheBrand.com, a global online business dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs build their confidence, their brands and their bank accounts. Previously, Liz garnered millions of dollars in press value for brands such as Escada, Hale Bob, Anastasia, Blue Cult and Elyse Walker, and connected them directly with A-list celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Kelly Rutherford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Garner, Cindy Crawford and Marcia Cross. A member of the Vogue 100, a hand-selected group of 100 influential decision makers and opinion leaders across the country, Liz is known for her distinctive taste in style, design and culture.
Liz is offering a brand new class to help you unlock your brand superpowers. It starts Monday, June 18 - Details here: http://theawesomebrand.com/
Mon, 21 May 2012
This is the week of talent show finals: Dancing With the Stars contestants will be smiling and swirling on stage tonight, and American Idol contestants will sing their hearts out tomorrow for a chance at the grand prize.
If there were a reality show for Nicest Person on the Internet, Bob Burg would be in the finals, graciously Tweeting and writing his way into the hearts of millions.
Professional speaker and author of bestselling books Referral Engine, The Go-Giver, Go-Givers Sell More and his newest book, It's Not About You, Bob has built his career around teaching people that the very best way to be an effective and successful businessperson is to constantly and consistently focus on adding value to peoples' lives.
To say his perspective is a breath of fresh air is an understatement!
In this 50 minute interview, Bob and I discuss what are the underpinnings of a successful referral business, as well as specific strategies for attracting clients.
You can find Bob and all his books at http://www.burg.com/
Thu, 26 April 2012
Becky McCray and Barry Moltz have just released their new book Small Town Rules: How Big Brands and Small Businesses Can Prosper in a Connected Economy. It is a fascinating resource with genuinely new insights for everyone in business.
In my 20-minute interview with Becky McCray, we discuss:
I am extremely passionate about this topic, and will engage more of my own local business community in the coming year to learn how to make my own business more effective and more enduring. When we connect all size businesses, we ALL win.
You can find the book at all fine retailers, and at http://www.smalltownrules.com
Thu, 9 February 2012
In a departure from my normal entrepreneur interviews, in this podcast, I talk with Yum Brands CEO David Novak who talks about how to create a great culture for your startup. Although he is the head of a huge corporation, he talks about core building blocks that apply to any stage of business.
His book Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen breaks down the critical things you need to keep in mind to build a great business culture with happy employees, customers and shareholders. In our interview we discuss:
In perhaps my favorite part of the interview, I asked David what he thinks about corporate employees (even in his own organization) who are doing a side hustle in addition to their day job. His answer may surprise you.
All proceeds from David's book are going to the World Food Program to help in the fight against hunger.
Mon, 6 February 2012
Those of you who have been following my work for awhile know that I have been heavily influenced by my coach mentor Dr. Martha Beck. Her book Finding Your Own North Star changed the course of my life when I read it nearly a decade ago, and eventually led to my Escape from Cubicle Nation work.
Martha is a Harvard-trained sociologist and bestselling author. She is Oprah's life coach in residence, and writes a monthly column for O Magazine.
In this interview, I talk with Martha about her brand new book Finding Your Way in a Wild New World. Building on the research she started at Harvard many years ago, she explains how an encounter with an angry rhinoceros in Africa triggered an entirely new direction in her life, and led to this book. Rather than thinking your way to your right work, why not track your right life? We discuss:
Find Martha at http://www.marthabeck.com
Fri, 26 August 2011
Who has not fantasized about being a professional public speaker? Can you imagine how great it would be to fly to exotic locations and get paid large sums of money for a one-hour motivational talk?
Before you quit your day job, Nick Morgan, Harvard-trained communication expert, founder of Public Words and author of Trust Me and Give Your Speech Change the World has some hard-won advice on both creating quality speeches and making it in the hyper-competitive world of professional speaking.
In this conversation, we discuss:
Fri, 8 July 2011
I had the great pleasure of interviewing Todd Henry, author of the new book The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice.
After years of putting together teams of highly creative people, Todd learned that there were some secrets and patterns that helped them be happy, healthy and productive. He formed a consultancy to help organizations be more effective and started The Accidental Creative Podcast in 2006 which quickly shot to the top of the business category.
He synthesizes lessons from this intensive work in his book which combines special insight into the creative mind, as well as specific tips for harnessing creative energy.
As someone who creates for a living, knowing how to structure my life for maximum output and flow is a hugely attractive.
Book links in this post are affiliate links. Thankfully, I don't live in California anymore. :)
Wed, 29 June 2011
Before I interviewed CD Baby founder Derek Sivers, I asked my Twitter followers "What questions do you have for @sivers?"
Someone asked "How extensive was his business plan?"
When I asked him that question, he started laughing, because the founding of what would become a multi-million dollar powerhouse in the world of music distribution involved no planning at all.
In fact, as a professional musician Derek only started the company so he could sell his own CDs.
The lessons he learned from "anti-planning" and growing a business that eventually sold for $22 million dollars are summed up in a wonderful new book from The Domino Project called Anything You Want.
I loved Derek's fierce focus on freedom and happiness, two values that resonate with deeply my own business journey.
Enjoy our 30-minute conversation, and pick up Derek's brand new book Anything You Want (which comes with 200 of his favorite songs) on Amazon here. (my affiliate link)
Find out more about Derek at http://sivers.org
Tue, 17 May 2011
Two years ago, when I was on my book tour, I had the great fortune of speaking at a management conference in Estonia. There were a number of other speakers there from Europe, including Morten Lund and Alexander Osterwalder.
Alex's presentation was about business models, and I was immediately drawn in by the clear and simple way he explained them. He was a fantastic speaker, and I was very intrigued by his book, Business Model Generation.
We rode together in the car from the conference site back to Tallinn, and he told me the story of how he had created this book with the help of over 450 co-authors including business model designers, academics and enthusiastic students of business. They chose to self-publish, and took the risk of creating a very visually rich design, not the norm for most business books.
Fast forward to 2011, and I was sitting at a table in the blogger's lounge at South by Southwest, preparing for a panel about blogs to books. One of the people on my panel was from Wiley, and he talked about a great success they had recently with a book that had originally been self-published. "It has sold over 100,000 copies already," he said. "It is called Business Model Generation." I just about fell off my chair when I heard that, since I never would have imagined the world would be so small. I was thrilled for Alex's success.
I recently spoke with Alex while he was at the Miami airport, fresh from a 3-day consulting gig in Medellin, Colombia. He is very busy working with companies to implement the ideas in the book, as well as spearhead a larger mission to demystify business model planning, and make it accessible to the masse so we can create true innovation.
One of these ways is a very cool iPad app which lets you quickly sketch out and prototype different business models, just as if you were writing on the back of a napkin. I think it will be the hit of every entrepreneur conference!
I hope you enjoy our conversation, and begin some serious experimentation with business models.
Find Alex on Twitter @Business_Design .
Direct download: Alexander_Osterwalder_on_2011-05-06_at_11.18_002.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:59 PM
Wed, 27 April 2011
I have been in business for myself for sixteen years.
I can't count the number of fun projects, amazing clients and life-changing opportunities this path has provided for me.
But it wasn't until yesterday, when I was reading John Warrillow's Built to Sell, that I got the profound feeling that I was a total beginner in the world of preparing businesses for sale. I had never really asked myself the question "Do I want to stay in this business for the long term, or sell it and move on to something totally different?"
If I were to try to sell it today, I learned from the book, there would not be much tangible value in my business. It is much too dependent on me personally.
John Warrillow has started and sold four companies, and now lives a semi-retired life in France with his wife and kids, writing books, drinking wine and writing columns for Inc. Magazine. Yes, it is fair if you are all jealous of him. But he really knows what he is talking about when it comes to preparing businesses to sell.
If you are hot to buy the book, John has a special promotion until April 30 -- buy one copy, send in the receipt and you will get $65 worth of goodies, including a one year subscription to Inc. Magazine, a BuyBizSell valuation report (where you can get a clear picture of the market value of your own business), as well as access to a 2-hour group conference call with John. He wil also donate $25 to Kiva.org in your name. He is really a fantastic resource - I encourage you to jump before the end of the week! See promotion details here.
Buy Built to Sell at any fine retailer, including Amazon (my affiliate link).
Enjoy the conversation!
Wed, 20 April 2011
Few people know the subtle horrors of creative blocks like professional writers. Steven Pressfield is a master at naming, and slaying, the beast called Resistance. The author of many bestselling novels like The Legend of Bagger Vance and Gates of Fire as well as the masterpiece The War of Art, Steven's new book Do the Work breaks down in detail how to get past creative blocks and get great work done.
Enjoy our 30 minute interview! I was totally inspired after the conversation, and got tons of work done.
Find Do the Work exclusively on Amazon here. It is a great book, which should be kept right on top of your desk for quick reference.
Tue, 8 March 2011
Those of you who have read my blog for a long time or have heard me speak know that I often reference a key moment in Escape from Cubicle Nation's history, when one incoming link from venture capitalist and blogger Guy Kawasaki turned my tiny audience into a massive wave of new subscribers.
It certainly was a moment of enchantment for me, as I watched the power of connecting with a ripe market of my ideal clients.
Today, Guy's brand new book, Enchantment, hits the stores.
It is based on his decades-long experience as a venture capitalist, and deep understanding of business evangelism and customer relationships.
A couple of weeks ago, I talked with Guy about the key concepts and stories in the book. In this 30-minute interview, we talk about both the light and dark side of enchantment. When someone is skilled in the art of customer seduction, you can fall prey to unscrupulous tactics. We also talked about how being enchanting does not mean that everyone will like you. To the contrary, when you take a strong stand on doing something a particular way, you will polarize your market.
Great conversation aside, the most enchanting part of the interview for me was hearing Guy describe the scene in front of him as he was trying to talk with me. Two of his kids decided to come in his office and bring the dog. Having experienced the same scene numerous times myself, his humor and ease with parenting made me appreciate him as a father.
I really, really enjoyed the book, and think you will too. Although you can glean the highlights from the infographic below, it is worth reading in depth. Whether you sell shoes or high-end software services, learning how to create deep, real connections with your market is the skill that will set you apart in the 21st century.
Buy the book here.
Tue, 22 February 2011
"Didn't you ever want to get up from your desk one day and just walk away, not to go get a latte, but I mean walk away and not come back?"
So asks Margaret Roach in her powerful book trailer, and powerful new book, And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road.
Margaret left her mega-powerful job as editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and had been a New York Times editor.
She set out on a long journey to get to know herself -- in her farmhouse in rural New York.
Her book trailer tells the story better than I ever could with words. (YouTube link here)
Margaret's purpose in writing the book was to tell her own story, but to also encourage others to stop and make time for things they love.
"Just remember, we are finite creatures," she says.
If you never make time for things you love, time may run out.
Her book is out this week, and is a delightful read. Buy it here
Wed, 2 February 2011
If you had been a fellow passenger on the Green Line train in Washington DC, looking at handsome young lawyer Warren Brown staring out the window, you may have thought he was composing his next great novel, or thinking about scaling Mt. Everest. Instead, he was formulating a new recipe for chocolate cake:
Warren's cake dreams turned into a baking "side hustle," which occupied all of his precious time outside of his busy law career. He slowly built his baking business to the point where he was able to quit his day job and open a bakery, Cake Love, in Washington D.C. Fast forward nine years and Cake Love has seven locations, and Warren has written two books, Cake Love: How to bake cakes from scratch, and United Cakes of America, with a third in the works.
Listen in on our 40-minute podcast where Warren discusses the hard work required to turn a passion into a business, and a start-up into a solid brand, and why entrepreneurs have to be a bit crazy if they want to succeed.
Wed, 26 January 2011
I had the good fortune to meet Patrick Thompson at my Portland Escape from Cubicle Nation workshop in 2009. At the time, he had left his corporate job as a software development manager and was working on a speed-reading app called QuickReader.
Patrick said that at 46 years old, he realized that it was the right time to try and see if he could replace his corporate income with his own business developing mobile device applications.
Fast forward 18 months and he has leveraged the code from the original application to create a string of new products, including MegaReader, which has had lots of press coverage, and great sales.
In this interview, Patrick talks about how he built his software app business from idea to fully thriving endeavor.
Find Patrick on Twitter @pthompson.
Tue, 28 December 2010
Note the rather uncharacteristic post title from my recent blog hack. The humor of the particular spam title and my post image was not lost on me. Call me the poster child for the need for a structured, secure data security plan:
These experiences have made me an advocate for "scaring straight" new entrepreneurs about the need for data security protection.
Willie Jackson, Photo by Robert Bromfield
I had the good fortune to interview freelance technology consultant Willie Jackson on this topic today, and invite you to listen to our 25-minute podcast about data security. Willie is a former technology consultant for Accenture, and one of the six "accomplices" recently chosen by Seth Godin to work on The Domino Project. Willie was also featured in my side hustle and flow series earlier this year. Common data security mistakes discussed in the podcast:
AVG Free (for Windows)
Web Host Page.ly
@williejackson willie (at) williejackson (dot) com
May your backups be secure and all your data bright and clean in 2011!
Wed, 8 December 2010
Scott Gerber, twenty-six year old columnist for Entrepreneur and author of the new book Never Get a Real Job: How to dump your boss, build a business and not go broke, does not mince his words.
He believes that many of the entrepreneur evangelists out there are selling snake oil when they encourage people to "do what you love and let the business model follow."
In our 30-minute conversation, we talk (and sometimes agree to disagree) about what every young person needs to be considering in the new world of work.
Scott is passionate for no-frills, practical nuts-and-bolts businesses which help young entrepreneurs develop the skills, experience and finances to take charge of their career. He does not think that corporate life is a viable alternative for many of our 20-somethings fresh out of college with bulging student loan debt and a poor chance of landing a job that will utilize their true talents.
I really enjoy his enthusiasm and conviction, and support his premise that Generation Y will be the driver of the entrepreneurial economy.
I will arm wrestle him about the importance of passion, but that is what makes for a healthy web of opinions. :)
I have always been an advocate of having young mentors, and Scott is too. He formed the Young Mentor Council, comprised of 80 successful, and young, entrepreneurs. They share advice through a large number of media channels including Entrepreneur.com and the Wall Street Journal. Find out about the council at Scott's website here.
We need to have more straight talk about the reality of today's world of work, and I am very glad Scott is leading the charge for amplifying the voice of the next generation.
Bring it on!
Tue, 16 November 2010
Black Faces in White Places: Interview with author, entrepreneur and Apprentice winner Randal Pinkett
In his newest book Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, (co-authored with long-time business partner Jeffrey Robinson) author Randal Pinkett discusses some unique challenges and opportunities facing African-American professionals who operate in environments where they are clearly the minority.
Randal was the winner of Season 4 of The Apprentice, and faced what he called a classic "black faces in white places" moment when he was the first winner of color, and the only one (before or since) asked to share his title with the runner up, an Anglo woman who had fared much worse in all of the competitions.
In this interview, Randal talks about that moment, and what prepared him to confidently look Mr. Trump in the eye and refuse to give up a place he had rightfully earned. The book lays out a strong, positive, practical path to success and satisfaction for African Americans. It is also applicable to anyone who has felt like an outsider in a dominant culture.
Randal has used his own sense of identity, purpose and passion to obtain five degrees, start five successful businesses, write three books and mentor countless youth and young adults.
Find out more about Randal, Jeffrey and the people interviewed in the book at www.redefinethegame.com
I hope you enjoy the 30 minute conversation as much as I did!
Fri, 12 February 2010
One of the unspoken stressors for new entrepreneurs is convincing a partner or spouse that starting a business is a smart idea.
The rigors of start-up life require a whole new set of communication skills to ensure that you keep your relationship strong while you build your business.
In this 30 minute interview, relationship expert and coach Lisa Merlo-Booth gives very specific suggestions for:
You can find Lisa at RelationalCoaching.com.
The blog post I referenced in the conversation is Is Your Time on the Computer Impacting Your Children? Powerful Ways to Find Out and What To Do
Happy Valentine's Day!
Sun, 6 December 2009
To round out the pricing series, I talked to my fellow business coach Sherry Garrity from Corporate Fugitive who illuminates some of the specific pricing challenges faced by corporate employees transitioning to entrepreneurship.
The three main challenges she talks about in our interview are:
You can find Sherri at CorporateFugitive.com
I hope you have enjoyed this series! I have never done anything like this on my blog before (long-time readers are probably shocked to get six new posts in one week since I have been slacking on my writing lately!). If you enjoyed it and want to see more intensive discussions on particular topics, please let me know what you want to learn about.
Thanks for following along, and thanks to all my wonderful guest experts (links go to their interview in this series):John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing
Mark Silver from Heart of Business
Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Andrea J. Lee from Thought Partners International LLC
Alexis Neely from Family Wealth Institute
Fri, 4 December 2009
"There are a lot of business owners out there who are giving their stuff away for free because they don't know enough about pricing. That was my story," says Alexis Martin Neely, our next guest in The Price is Right Interview Series.
Alexis is a lawyer and founder of two million dollar businesses. She is also the author of Wear Clean Underwear: A fast, fun, friendly and essential guide to legal planning for busy parents.
After quitting her job as an employee in a prestigious law firm to set out on her own, Alexis learned the hard way how not to run her solo practice. From these good lessons, she developed a very effective way to price and structure services, which parlayed into a whole new business line teaching and coaching lawyers. Her current business, Family Wealth Institute serves both lawyers and small business owners.
In this interview, Alexis walks through some specific pricing structures for independent service professionals, as well as discusses her passionate views on charging what you are worth.
You can find Alexis at www.alexisneely.com.
Thu, 3 December 2009
Andrea J. Lee, CEO of Thought Partners International LLC has been a huge influence on my approach to business since I read her book Multiple Streams of Coaching Income in 2006.
She is one of those rare individuals who combine clear business intelligence with wit and humor. Her coaching is said to be a combination of tenderness and bite. I could not agree more.
In this edition of the pricing series, Andrea will talk about Guerrilla Pricing Tactics including:
And if you get inspired to learn a lot more from Andrea, check out the live event she is hosting in Vancouver, Canada in March, 2010 called The Wealthy Thought Leader. (I will be there, and would love to see you!)
Tue, 1 December 2009
So much of what you learn about pricing focuses on the external market.
But in the daily practice of being an entrepreneur, much of the confusion and angst about pricing comes from an inner feeling.
Mark Silver, co-founder of Heart of Business, has a very unique perspective on the inner game of pricing which is specifically tied to the spiritual side of business. In addition to being a long-time business coach, he is also a Sufi teacher and healer.
Listen to our 40 minute conversation here.
Mark covers a very interesting exercise which he terms "resonant pricing." My good buddy Havi Brooks wrote a wonderful post about this exercise where she gives a specific example of how she applied it to a particular program she was launching with Naomi Dunford from Ittybiz. Read her example here.
Even if you pride yourself on having an extremely well-formed left-brain muscle, I invite you experiment with some of Mark's wonderful teaching.
Mark explains resonant pricing in a detailed post called The Wackiness of Resonant Pricing which includes a PDF with instructions. I used in on a group coaching call for KickAss Mentoring the other night and we got a lot out the exercise.
Find Mark at HeartofBusiness.com.
Up tomorrow for the pricing series: Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to be Rich who will share all kinds of juicy lessons for moving from totally free blog content to well-priced products and services.
Mon, 30 November 2009
I am thrilled to kick off a week-long series about pricing in small business with an interview with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. John is a well-known authority on small business marketing who has a very popular blog and speaking platform.
Despite his solid business background and decades of experience, the thing I like best about John is that he absolutely walks his talk. He is extremely grounded, kind and generous with his knowledge.
Listen to the 30-minute interview here.
Some of my favorite parts of the conversation:
Tue, 22 September 2009
The biggest obstacle to business success is not lack of a great idea, but poor execution.
New entrepreneurs, lacking expertise or perspective, often struggle alone with starting or growing their business.
It doesn't have to be this way!
In my latest podcast (listen here), seasoned business coach and long-time small business expert Karyn Greenstreet describes the power of mastermind groups, which are small groups of 6-8 people with similar values and interests who help each other set and achieve really big goals.
Karyn attributes much of her current business success to her mastermind group, which she has been meeting with for 90 minutes each month for the past eight years.
In this 30-minute interview, Karyn explains:
She has a free e-book which you can download at her site specializing in mastermind groups, www.thesuccessalliance.com
Her advice is to learn about mastermind by starting your own. I plan to do so myself to get 2010 to a great start!P.S. I gush about Karyn quite a bit in this interview, and that is because A) I have been getting solid, practical free content from her for years and B) many of my clients and blog readers tell me how great she is. Marketing lesson: When you share great information freely and serve your clients well, business and partnerships come to you.
Tue, 11 August 2009
While there are many core business practices shared among any type of startup, web-based companies have a unique set of opportunities and challenges.
Perhaps no one has studied these unique challenges more than Bob Walsh, author of 5 books, the most recent being The Web Startup Success Guide.
Bob has learned his field from the inside-out, creating and marketing his own "Micro ISV," (Micro Independent Software Vendor) business for many years, and advising many others on theirs in his consulting service 47hats.com. He is also one of the moderators of the popular Business of Software forum on the Joel on Software blog.
In this interview, I talk with Bob about:
Fri, 22 May 2009
Great advice for aspiring authors: Interview with 100 Business Books of All Time author Todd Sattersten
My love of books goes back to when I was about three years old.
As soon as I could form the sentence "I want to go to the library," my Mom or Dad would take me every week to get a new stack of books. I remember the smell as I entered the San Anselmo library and strolled through the aisles. My senses tingled as I saw new stories, and I would have to negotiate with my Mom and Dad about how many I could carry home in a given week.
This love stayed with me my entire life. Picture books turned into Miss Piggle-Wiggle, then the Chronicles of Narnia, then books about world mythology, then school books, then a phase of intellectual books to convince myself that I was smart like The Archeology of Knowledge by Michel Foucault.
About fifteen years ago, I fell in love with business books and have never looked back. I never tire of reading new ideas and insights for how to start and run a business.
But the volume is overwhelming.
Todd Sattersten, President of 800CEORead, co-authored a book with Jack Covert called The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.
I jumped on the chance to talk with him about the book, since I was really fascinated to understand the process by which they selected the very best business books.
As an author, I was excited to learn the criteria they developed to select one hundred books from the hundreds of thousands in the business category. The criteria were:
"I am amazed at how often authors overestimate their ability to be writers."
"The best books offer a promise to readers: This is what you are going to get out of the book."Listen and learn!
And buy the book here. This one's a keeper!
Fri, 8 May 2009
I think it was fate that Michael Port released his new book The Think Big Manifesto within a few days of the release of mine.
Becoming comfortable with thinking big and gathering the courage to leave a "safe" life in a cube behind walk hand in hand.
So I interviewed Michael about his book in this 20-minute conversation, where we talk about:
Tue, 7 April 2009
I will never forget reading Tom Peter's article The Brand Called You in Fast Company Magazine in August 1997. Growth in Silicon Valley was sizzling hot, and the fresh perspective on personal marketing was totally new and exciting.
25-year old Dan Schwabel felt the same thing when he read the article, although it was many years later, when he stumbled upon it on the internet. According to Dan, it summed up what he had been doing in his own education and career since Junior High. So he made the decision to become the personal branding expert for the new generation.
Today, Dan releases his first book on the topic, called Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.
I interviewed him in a 23-minute podcast where we discuss:
Enjoy the interview and grab the book!
Fri, 20 February 2009
I spent many years speaking to groups across the country, and even teaching presentation skills to hundreds of salespeople and engineers.
It was always fascinating to me since it combined so many favorite subjects: motivation, communication, fear, physical movement, design and creativity.
In today's conversation with Nick Morgan, I took my learning to a whole new level. His new book, Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma integrates a lot of new research about the brain to help speakers become truly masterful. We talk about:
Fri, 16 January 2009
Just about an hour ago, Daniel Kehrer asked me (on Twitter of course!): Are you finding lots more folks going freelance because of the economy?
Glad you asked Daniel!
In today's podcast, I talk with Michelle Goodman, author of the new book My So-Called Freelance Life.
It is chock-full of information for people who are considering
freelancing on the side, or as a full-time pursuit.
Michelle and I talk about all kinds of nuts and bolts questions about freelancing including:
I think one of the best ways to test the waters of entrepreneurship, even if you are not ready to leave your job for a few years, is to do a freelance project. Enjoy the conversation, and the book!
Fri, 2 January 2009
I may have set a new record for the shortest time from concept to production for a podcast: 20 minutes ago, I shared on Twitter that my best friend, Desiree Adaway, set up a personal board of directors last year and just sent me her annual report.
Desiree is the Senior Director of Volunteer Mobilization for Habitat for Humanity, and felt the need to get expert advice and insight from people she trusted and admired.
Many people were interested in hearing her story, so I called her up and recorded a podcast on the spot. I hope you enjoy our conversation in which we cover:
BusinessWeek: Good to Great Expectations
In Jim's own words from the Fast Company Design Conference in Phoenix, 2000: Why have a personal board of directors?
Mon, 24 November 2008
Who doesn't love the film Rocky or hearing about how J.K. Rowling lived near destitute while her Harry Potter manuscript got rejected by scores of publishers right before hitting it richer than the Queen of England?
A lot of our view of failure in popular American culture is romanticized. The fact is, while you are failing, it feels really awful and does not become the enlightened lesson that you share until you have ten years perspective between you and the excruciating experience.
Author and speaker Barry Moltz addresses this topic in his most recent book called Bounce: Failure, Resiliency, and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success.
He shares a lot of great insight into things like:
In the podcast, I referenced the tremendous new e-book by my friend Jonathan Fields called The Firefly Manifesto. This gives some great insight and tools for those folks who may have just been laid off, or who are working in unstable industries (which would be just about everyone these days!).
Wed, 27 August 2008
My original and only business plan for my company was based on a Dr. Suess book. I wish I were kidding.
Owning up to my liberal arts major and rebellious roots, I didn't think I needed a "real" plan. And, for the most part, I did fine for a decade, securing lots of clients and making a good living.
But honestly, I think that I was just not thinking about business planning the right way. I imagined reams of paper, onerous spreadsheets and carefully crafted mission statements. Yuck.
Now, Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software and prolific blogger about all things startup, has come out with a new book called the Plan as You Go Business Plan. Even though his company makes business planning software, Tim felt a bit frustrated by the perceived hurdle new entrepreneurs attributed to business plans. When I asked him why most people didn't write them, he said:
Instead of this perspective, Tim encourages you to think of business planning as a fun and critical part of your entrepreneurial journey. He says:
I interviewed Tim on this topic for my book, but he was generous enough to let me share the conversation as a podcast. It is about 37 minutes long.
I truly am motivated to finally create a plan after twelve years in business. I hope you are too!
Tue, 5 August 2008
Find Part 1 of this interview here.
I get a lot of questions about blogging from people who are considering starting a business and are new to the social media world.
So does my friend Nathan Bowers, who is a web developer by trade, and also an artist/musician and all-around renaissance guy.
Nathan and I connected on Twitter recently and started a whole series of offline conversations which resulted in this 2-part podcast interview. We wanted to reduce anxiety for new bloggers, and also draw the connection between the importance of good technology crossed with good content. As we both noted, there are plenty of popular blogs with crappy designs, mine included.
Part 2 of this interview covers:
Wordpress All-in-one SEO plugin
Art and Fear Anecdote from the book Art and Fear
Tue, 5 August 2008
I get a lot of questions about blogging from people who are considering starting a business and are new to the social media world.
So does my friend Nathan Bowers, who is a web developer by trade, and also an artist/musician and all-around renaissance guy.
Nathan and I connected on Twitter recently and started a whole series of offline conversations which resulted in this 2-part podcast interview. We wanted to reduce anxiety for new bloggers, and also draw the connection between the importance of good technology crossed with good content. As we both noted, there are plenty of popular blogs with crappy designs, mine included.
Part 1 of this interview covers:
Seth Godin's advice on naming
Neutron LLC naming case studies
As a side note, Nathan walks his talk and recently redesigned Fred Wilson's popular blog avc.com. He made the connection with Fred by commenting on his blog frequently, and suggesting improvements. Fred was so intrigued that he hired Nathan, proof that valuable business connections come from social networking done with integrity.
Wed, 2 July 2008
I have a pile of books to read and review next to my bathtub. The Go-Giver: A little story about a powerful business idea sat there for awhile, until I finally picked it up the other evening and started reading it. I was drawn in by the simple story, and got more and more encouraged by the premise as the pages went on.
A review of the book by Science of Mind sets it up well:
"For anyone that has ever believed that attaining success requires a greedy, self-centered approach, The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, could be just what the metaphysical doctor ordered. The beautiful message contained inside this book can help us develop a more pragmatic, big-hearted and ultimately successful approach -- both to business and to life."
In my interview with the co-author, Bob Burg, we discuss five key principles covered in the book:
Enjoy the conversation.
Thu, 29 May 2008
I was really excited to do this interview with Andy Wibbels of www.andywibbels.com after I heard that he took a "day job" as Marketing Manager at Six Apart.
I have known Andy for a long time and have always admired his candor, sass and brand, as well as his business sense. Since he has done almost everything right to create an effective business, like:
I think his answers will interest you, if not challenge some of your long-held beliefs about entrepreneurship.
My conclusion at the end of the conversation is that there is no work configuration that is inherently evil. It is all about what you are looking for, what is important to you, what you are willing to trade off, and how likely you are to be successful on the "outside."
As for me, I think I am, as Jim Collins once said about entrepreneurs, "constitutionally unemployable," but that doesn't mean I don't respect someone's decision to take a day job.
What do you think?
Mon, 5 May 2008
For this week's podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gary Schoeniger, founder of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative.
Gary has a really interesting story -- from dead broke desperate handyman to successful entrepreneur.
Over the last 15 years, he has interviewed hundreds of successful
entrepreneurs to discover which skills are critical for starting and
running a business. Many are not what you think.
My favorite advice from the interview:
I like that Gary's views make me think. I have been in "do what you love (and work and work and work and work) and the money will follow" mode for so long that the "problem/solution" model was very intriguing.
Mon, 14 April 2008
My friend Alexandra Levit just wrote a book called "How'd You Score That Gig? A Guide to the Coolest Jobs- and How to Get Them." Her book bubbled up from lots of conversations with friends at social gatherings where inevitably one person would describe a cool job that no one had heard of.
Despite what you may think of my opinion based on my blog's name, there are certainly times and places for a "job," rather than striking out on your own. If you have to be your own venture capitalist for awhile, you might as well do it in an interesting profession! The more time that goes on, the more I see that feelings of liberation erupt from your own positive thoughts and beliefs, no matter your work configuration.
I interviewed Alexandra for my podcast where we discussed not just the contents of her new book, but also what it is like to be a successful self-employed writer. She gives some tips for choosing book topics that are not just interesting to write, but that may pique the interest of publishers.
Tue, 11 March 2008
Sometimes I feel a bit schizophrenic, on one hand encouraging people to not stress so much about leaving their corporate job to start a business, and on the other hand feeling extremely uncomfortable about all the "start a business in 30 days in your bathrobe" nonsense that permeates the internet.
Sparked by a blog post my good friend and fellow entrepreneur coach Philippa Kennealy wrote called Can you maintain your income as an entrepreneurial physician? , I invited Philippa as a guest for this week's podcast on realistic expectations for making money in your startup business.
Like anything in life, you will have people at every end of the spectrum, some who get lucky making tons on money in their first year, and others who take a decade to make serious cash.
In this 38-minute interview, I talk to Philippa about:
Tue, 26 February 2008
If you want to grow as a human being, you could climb really tall mountains. Or run marathons. Or study the great written works. Or study yoga in an ashram.
Or ... you could put your entire livelihood at risk and become an entrepreneur.
I don't think running a business is for everyone. But I do think that it is the best way on the planet to learn about yourself.
In this episode, I list 5 reasons why I feel so strongly about this.
Listen in to see if you agree or disagree, then share your opinion with me at the blog! www.escapefromcubiclenation.com
Mon, 20 August 2007
You may notice that the closer you get to your right life and business, the more frequently coincidence, synchronicity and serendipity occur. Once thought the purvey of mystics and dreamers, more and more business people are embracing insight and intuition as a critical business skill. In this episode, I share:
Technical note: This is the first podcast I am recording with my new iMac, and I saved the audio file in a different format than usual. Let me know if you have problems listening by leaving a comment here, and I will make sure to address it. Thanks!
Tue, 17 July 2007
Even the most optimistic and motivated aspiring entrepreneur will reach a point where frustration or anxiety grinds progress to a halt. This is otherwise known as "hitting the wall."
It can happen when doing things you hate such as:
Tue, 3 July 2007
It is often tricky to know when it is safe to call yourself an expert in your field. If you have done any research in marketing and PR, you know the benefits of an "expert" designation: free press and the trust and credibility of potential customers, leading to more sales.
But it can feel a bit presumptuous to call yourself an expert, right?
This episode provides questions you can ask yourself to test your expertise, which go beyond the traditional formula of years of experience + number of academic degrees + number of books written = level of expertise.
Please share your thoughts about when it is safe to call yourself an expert on the blog at www.escapefromcubiclenation.com.
Mon, 18 June 2007
I was stunned and awed this weekend when I read a great book on creative blocks called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Best known as a novelist of books such as The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War, and The Last of the Amazons, Pressfield writes a short but exquisite analysis of the source, purpose and solution to creative blocks. It was published in 2002, but is a timeless classic for anyone who feels blocked from starting anything.
I chose a few key concepts to explore, including:
"Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that's what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying, and always full of shit."
I am very curious what your experience has been with creative blocks, and what you have done to move past them. Please share at the blog! www.escapefromcubiclenation.com
P.S. Yes, you heard a little bit of 2-year old screaming in the back of this episode ... I didn't have the time to re-do or edit the recording, so forgive my imperfection as a sign of DO-ING to slay the dragon. :)
Tue, 5 June 2007
People are drawn to entrepreneurship for a variety of reasons including work/life flexibility, the opportunity to contribute something meaningful to the world, the chance to make a lot of money or the platform to get known as an expert in your field.
Regardless of your intentions, chances are you want to make money at what you do, and use the benefits of press and publicity to market your efforts. In my shorthand, I call this getting rich and famous, even if in your humble definition this means being able to pay your light bill on time and getting a one-line mention in your local paper.
Many first-time entrepreneurs struggle to balance the effort it takes to get rich with the effort it takes to get famous. So in this podcast, I share 5 tips including:
Tue, 22 May 2007
A blog reader recently wrote an email and shared his frustration at being stuck in a corporate job and hating it, but not knowing how to begin a new business in a new field.
To answer this question, I outlined a number of steps you can take to go from vague and fuzzy idea to concrete business concept, highlighted here:
Please share your thoughts on this topic, and what has worked, or not worked, in your own businesses at www.escapefromcubiclenation.com.
Mon, 7 May 2007
Most small business owners have big plans to develop new services, re-invigorate marketing efforts or enhance online offerings. But if you are working alone, sometimes the tasks seem overwhelming.
Participating in a group class or workshop can be a great way to:
Personally, I am hopeless without a deadline, so the final point is of particular importance.
Some resources mentioned in the podcast:
If you want to share your own experiences as a participant or know of good classes or directories of classes for small business owners, let me know at www.escapefromcubiclenation.com.
Tue, 24 April 2007
If you were raised in a conflict-averse household like I was, you may find that your early training seeps into your business and you are afraid to upset anyone with a controversial product or service.
The most successful (and interesting!) businesses take a stand and create something different, unique and meaningful for their target market. You should be no different. In this 6-minute episode, I outline why I think it is so important to take a stand and do the following things when designing your business:
Mon, 19 March 2007
For all of you who have just made your first sale, congratulations! You should jump up and down and dance a jig at your accomplishment.
Very soon, however, you will discover that a closed sale does not equal money in your bank account. Based on personal experience and that which I have learned from smart friends, I share some guidelines for making sure that you plan and contract for a stable cash flow in your new business. They include things like:
Please share your horror stories, best practices and tips at the blog: www.escapefromcubiclenation.com
Mon, 5 March 2007
We all get comfortable using email to introduce ourselves to people we find compelling or share common business interests with. It is a quick and painless way to connect with people all over the world.
But with the influx of email in everyone's inbox these days, as an alternative, why don't you try picking up the phone?
In this episode, I cover some tips for phone networking so that you:
Share your thoughts about this at the blog: www.escapefromcubiclenation.com
Wed, 21 February 2007
If you are anything like me, you sweat the details of your business, wanting to make sure that everything is flawless and of the highest standards. The problem is, in a rapidly moving world and life, it is impossible to be perfect at everything you do. In fact, you will most likely stress yourself out and get little done if your standards are so high that you get paralyzed.
In this episode, I invite you to redefine your relationship with perfectionism and invite "good enough" as a new standard for releasing work and getting things done. In order to do this, you will have to:
If you have struggled with perfectionism and have some insights, please share them at the blog at www.escapefromcubiclenation.com
Mon, 12 February 2007
Intrigued by questions from many of my blog readers about small business marketing, I thought I would get answers from John Jantsch, one of the most well-respected small business marketing experts in the world.
Do any of these questions ring true for you?
Please share your thoughts on your interview here or at the blog! www.escapefromcubiclenation.com
John's website: www.ducttapemarketing.com
John's blog: www.ducttapemarketing.com/weblog.php
Mon, 29 January 2007
All aspiring entrepreneurs have fears about starting a business. Such as:
In this episode, I walk you through a specific exercise that you can use to diagnose and alleviate your fears.
You may want to listen to it when you are sitting at a desk where you can scribble notes, or in front of your computer where you can create a simple table.
Enjoy and let me know your own results by dropping me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a comment on the blog at www.escapefromcubiclenation.com
Mon, 15 January 2007
Departing from the regular, brief bursts of information in this podcast, this interview is a 40 minute conversation with Martha Beck, author of the New York Times bestselling book Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live and monthly columnist for Oprah's O Magazine.
Martha provides lively and insighful information about how to figure out the work you are meant to do, a critical step in deciding which business to start as a new entrepreneur. Her approach may surprise you, and I guarantee it will make you think.
You can find Martha at www.marthabeck.com.
From this point forward, I will be publishing longer interviews like this one once a month. I welcome your feedback about this format change.
Mon, 1 January 2007
It is easy to get in the habit of being the "person behind the curtain," creating fame and glory for charismatic clients, executives and spouses. But when we choose to play small, we limit our lives to "next best" and miss the opportunity for great contribution to the world and personal joy and satisfaction.
In this episode, I share some of my own experiences with playing small and the tremendous surge of energy and abundance I experienced when I decided to play bigger.
Why not decide to play big this year?
Mon, 18 December 2006
If you are just starting to market your business, you might feel a little exasperated when trying to choose a perfect brand name. It may feel like until you do this, you can't move forward with any marketing plans and you feel stuck and frustrated.
In this episode, I cover:
My second podcast First plan your life, then plan your business
Great brand naming resource: namedevelopment.com
Example of a great brand: Legal Sanity
Guy Kawasaki's book Art of the Start
Marketing/branding resources for coaches:
Andrea Lee's book Multiple Streams of Coaching Income
Suzanne Falter-Barns' site getknownnow.com
Please let me know what you think about this topic on the blog! escapefromcubiclenation.com
(I know at least a few of you will really disagree with my approach - let's hash it out!)
Direct download: Escape_Podcast_-_When_is_your_brand_good_enough.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53 PM
Mon, 4 December 2006
Do you often feel like the oddball in your family, your job or your profession?
Drawing on inspiration from the "Island of the Misfit Toys" from the 1964 classic movie Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer, I outline ways to:
Direct download: Escape_Podcast_-_Proud_member_of_the_Island_of_Misfit_Toys.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00 AM
Mon, 20 November 2006
Knowing what business to start is a huge question for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Aside from examining your own passions and interests, you can gain great insight into this question by thinking about your ideal customer in the following dimensions:
Direct download: Escape_Podcast_-_The_customer_likeability_factor.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:19 PM
Mon, 6 November 2006
Do you do something very well, get recognition and rewards for it but feel very burned out and dead when you practice it? You may suffer the curse of competence, a deadly trap for aspiring entrepreneurs.
This episode discusses how to avoid starting a business based on a skill or ability you are burned out on. It can seem the easy path to money, but often leads to real frustration and apathy.
Some strategies discussed:
I'd love to hear your comments on the blog - www.escapefromcubiclenation.com
Mon, 23 October 2006
Two of the most critical elements of becoming a successful entrepreneur are developing a positive mental attitude and defeating negative self-talk. This is important to not only produce great business results, but also to enjoy the day-to-day process of building your business.
In this episode, I discuss two elements of a postive mental attitude:
Sources I refer to are Martha Beck's book Finding Your Own North Star: claiming the life you were meant to live and Byron Katie's Loving What Is: Four questions that can change your life
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Mon, 9 October 2006
In this episode, I cover three things that help new entrepreneurs overcome their dread of all things marketing:
I reference two helpful marketing experts:
Robert Middleton from www.actionplan.com and
John Jansch from www.ducttapemarketing.com
Mon, 25 September 2006
Many people have questions about which business to start. But most approach the task from the wrong angle, believing that if they just think about it enough that the answer will magically appear.
In this episode, Pam covers:
Direct download: Escape_Podcast_-_What_kind_of_business_should_you_start.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:46 PM
Mon, 11 September 2006
This episode covers the importance of thinking about the kind of life that would make you happy, healthy, stable and fulfilled before you run down the road of creating a business plan. I include an easy-to-complete exercise with just enough "woo woo" to make you relax in your cube.
Direct download: Escape_Podcast_-_Plan_your_life_then_your_business.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:53 PM
Mon, 28 August 2006
This episode introduces the purpose and intent of the Escape from Cubicle Nation Podcast. It will build on content I write on my blog www.escapefromcubiclenation.com as well as include interviews with interesting, informative, passionate and creative people who know more than a thing or two about entrepreneurship.