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

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:

  • In 2008, the hard drive on my brand new iMac failed four months after purchase and I almost lost all my data (I was in the middle of working on my book).
  • Earlier this year, my web host had a series of technical glitches and I lost all my sites for almost a week. It wasn't until it happened that I realized the backup widgets I thought were installed were not. Only by the grace of a dedicated team (@naominiles , @matthewrayscott @va4hire @pmurrah and Scott Rivers) did I get all the data back (it takes a village to restore your online business).
  • In November, my web host was hit by a hacker, and my blog was infiltrated by viagra spam. The quick acting of @timgrahl and @williejackson scrubbed my site of unscrupulous code, but not before suffering embarrassment.

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:

  1. Not having a backup service for your website/blog
  2. Thinking that FTP backup of Wordpress saves all your content (hint: it does not)
  3. Creating weak passwords
  4. Securing only your business data and forgetting priceless personal data like family photos
  5. Shopping for web hosts purely on price, not thinking about security and support

Services discusses on the podcast:

WP-db Manager

WP-db Backup

Automatic Wordpress Backup

AVG Free (for Windows)

Backupify Vault Press (extra special support, but requires "golden ticket" invitation. I am pretty sure the service is run by Willie Wonka)

Web Host

If you are too overwhelmed to get backups set up yourself, holler at Willie:

@williejackson willie (at) williejackson (dot) com

May your backups be secure and all your data bright and clean in 2011!

Direct download: databackup.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:42pm MST

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 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!


Direct download: scottgerber.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:28am MST

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

I hope you enjoy the 30 minute conversation as much as I did!

Direct download: Randal.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:52am MST

How to start a business without destroying your relationship

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:

  • Breaking the news to your spouse that you want to start a business
  • Talking about money and cash flow so financial concerns don't stress your relationship
  • Creating "what if" contracts with each other to prevent stressful conversations
  • How to talk to a spouse who is unsupportive of your business idea
  • How men and women can break unhelpful gender-based patterns of communication
  • How to set firm boundaries around work hours so you are present for your family

You can find Lisa at

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!



Direct download: GoodBizGoodRelationship.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:19pm MST