Escape from Cubicle Nation Podcast
Advice, support and encouragement to stop being a corporate prisoner and start your own business

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:

"What people normally give me, Pam, is “Yes, I’m going to tomorrow,” or “next month,” or “six months from now.”  And then there’s the variant on that: “Yes, I really agree it’s stupid that we don’t have a plan in this business and so-and-so has been promising to write it for years.”  So they the pass the buck.  It’s funny because the drag, what we’re fighting is they have in their mind this huge marathon-like PhD thesis-like thing. I don’t blame them sometimes for thinking, “No, I’m too busy.  I don’t have time for that. I’ve got to run my business.” 

Instead of this perspective, Tim encourages you to think of business planning as a fun and critical part of your entrepreneurial journey.  He says:

“Planning isn’t about writing some ponderous homework assignment or dull business memo; it’s about envisioning the business that you want to create.  It should be fascinating to you.  What do people want, how are you going to get it to them, how are you different and what do you do better than anyone else?”

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!
Direct download: timberry.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:56 PM

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:
  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Creating compelling content
Interview notes:

Wordpress All-in-one SEO plugin
Art and Fear Anecdote from the book Art and Fear
Direct download: BlogbasicsPart2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:24 PM

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:
  1. Defining a goal for your blog
  2. Securing an effective domain name
  3. Choosing a blogging platform
  4. Choosing a blog host
  5. Measuring the success of your blog
  6. Design basics
Interview notes:

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.
Direct download: BlogbasicsPart1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:57 PM