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

Every entrepreneur knows the hustle of getting tax information together to prepare for end of year tax returns.

While in the middle of gathering documentation and receipts each year, you often mutter "next year this will all be automated!" Yet taking the time and figuring out the process to do so can seem overwhelming.

In this 30 minute interview, Pamela Slim talks with Micky Deming from Kahuna Accounting about the ways that entrepreneurs can get over the hurdle of disorganized bookkeeping so that they can focus on growing their business. 

We discuss:

-Why you don't need to wallow in shame or guilt if your bookkeeping is disorganized

-The key things you need to prepare for a stress-free tax season

-The power of cloud-based bookkeeping

-What organized financials can help you do in growing your business


To find out more about Micky and Kahuna Accounting, go here:

Direct download: Micky_Deming_on_2016-02-05_at_12.06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm MST

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:

  • 3 types of connectors -- Thinkers, Enablers and Connection Executors
  • How people are using connectional intelligence to solve complex problems and start movements
  • How organizations can develop connectional intelligence

 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?"

You can connect with Erica Dhawan here: or Twitter @EDhawan

Buy the book on Amazon: Get Big Things Done


Direct download: Pam__Erica_-take_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20am MST

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.



Direct download: Tara_Mohr_Playing_Big_clean.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm MST

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:

  • The recent dramatic change in sales and marketing
  • How to use well-tested inbound marketing techniques to drive and close sales
  • The different skill set required for marketers to sell, and salespeople to market

Check out John's new book, Duct Tape Selling here. It is a powerful resource for entrepreneurs, marketing and sales professionals:

Direct download: John_Jantsch_on_2014-03-25_at_13.37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:52pm MST

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.

But scaling happens every day, in our career, our business or our workplace. We are constantly trying to improve ourselves, share our ideas, and put in systems and infrastructure that will grow our organizations without destroying that which made them great.

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:

  • Scaling excellence in your own career
  • Scaling up competence as startups get past bootstrapping
  • Looking for hot causes and cool solutions
  • Why big teams suck
  • Scaling excellence in large companies: Why change should happen in pockets of excellence, not be spread like peanut butter across an organization

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! 

Read more about the book and order it here: http://scalingupexcellence
Give Bob a shout out on Twitter @work_matters

Direct download: BobSuttonScaleExcellence_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm MST

I have always been a huge fan of underdogs.

Josh Shipp started his life without a safety net. Abandoned at birth by his mother, he spent most of his youth bouncing between foster homes, growing increasingly disillusioned and angry.

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:

  • His own journey, and how he turned a bleak childhood into a life of service and inspiration
  • Strategies for finding more meaning in your life and business
  • How to integrate all of your "ingredients" in your work - skills, strengths and scars

I was so inspired to talk to this young man who has done more with his short life than most people twice his age.

Direct download: Josh_Shipp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm MST

When you think about it, navigating your life is a series of negotiations.

In the course of a day, you may try to influence:

  • Your new puppy to use the restroom outside
  • Your customer to buy your product
  • Your kid to brush his teeth
  • Your neighbor to vote for your candidate
  • Your boss to support your project

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.

Direct download: Bob_Burg_on_2013-10-30_at_10.04.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:08am MST

Live your life so that you DIE EMPTY: Interview with Todd Henry

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
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.
Direct download: Todd_Henry_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22pm MST

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:

  • How the world of work has changed, and what you need to do to make sure you have sustained career and business success
  • The necessary hustle required to make things happen in a crowded online world
  • Expectations from millenials in the workplace, and how we can all learn to get along (Dan and I have healthy disagreement on a few items here, but that is what makes a good discussion, right?)

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:

Direct download: Dan_Schawbel_on_2013-08-14_at_14.02.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:14pm MST

Turn your questions into instant answers: Interview with Dan Martell

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, 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:

  • Dan's personal journey to entrepreneurial life, which included drug addiction and jail time
  • How he took this tough experience and made it a driving force in his vision for positive change
  • His early startup history, including early failures
  • The business model and vision for and how it may change the way we learn
  • How Dan survived my "I have never met a Canadian I didn't like" challenge by the end of the interview (I like him a lot)

Find Dan at on Twitter @danmartell and his company

Direct download: Dan_Martell_on_2013-06-04_at_10.04.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18am MST

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.

Direct download: podcastJodyThompson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53am MST

Scale your business by avoiding the entrepreneur's trap: Interview with Tina Forsyth

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:

  • How to create your "yes" list
  • The THRIVE hiring system, to ensure you get the right people in the right jobs
  • Key systems every business needs in order to scale effectively

Learn more in her new book, The Entrepreneur Trap:

Direct download: TinaForsyth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am MST

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:

  1. What is the correct definition of an introvert?
  2. What are common misconceptions people make about introverts and why?
  3. How can you tell if you or someone you love is an introvert?
  4. How can we design our training, meetings and events to be introvert-friendly, and maximize their contribution in a way that respects their style

Find Barbara at or on Twitter @bsaunders

Some books we discussed on the call:

Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs Meyers

Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto by Anneli Rufus

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Susan Cain's TED Talk:

Direct download: BarbaraSaunders.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm MST

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.

Until now.

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.

This means:

  • You are clear about who you are, what you offer and why you do it
  • You intimately understand your target market and position yourself as the solution to their problems
  • You know your superpowers and you use them daily
  • You communicate your value with ease
  • You lead with your heart and your passion, which enables others to make an emotional connection with you

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, 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:

Direct download: Branding_Podcast_Liz_Dennery_Sanders.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:28pm MST

Grow your business through referrals: Expert interview with Bob Burg

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

Direct download: BobBurgEndlessReferrals.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm MST

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:

  • Common misconceptions people have about small, local businesses
  • What large corporations can learn about branding from small business
  • The formula for instant social media success :) (I am only sort of kidding - the way that Becky explained it made so much sense!)

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

Becky is @beckymccray on Twitter and is at

Barry is @barrymoltz on Twitter and is at

Direct download: smalltownrules.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32am MST

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:

  • How to choose the right people to grow your business
  • How to develop and communicate a healthy work environment
  • How to maintain a strong culture as you grow your business

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.

Direct download: DavidNovak.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am MST

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:

  • The two conversations you have to manage in every presentation
  • The real source of natural and powerful body language (otherwise known as "no, you don't have to flail your arms on cue.")
  • The inside scoop on what it takes to succeed as a public speaker. Easy money in exotic locations is unfortunately not part of the reality. :)

Find Nick at or

Direct download: NickMorganPresentations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm MST

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.

You can find The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice here, and more about it here. Connect with Todd on Twitter @toddhenry


Book links in this post are affiliate links. Thankfully, I don't live in California anymore. :)

Direct download: Todd_Henry_on_2011-07-01_at_10.38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm MST

Anything You Want - Interview with CD Baby Founder Derek Sivers

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

Direct download: Derek_Sivers_on_2011-06-27_at_16.06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:37pm MST

In search of business model excellence: Interview with Alexander Osterwalder

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: 11:59am MST

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 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!


Direct download: John_Warrillow_on_2011-04-26_at_09.08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30pm MST

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.

Direct download: stevenpressfield.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm MST

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:

"Dry chocolate cake is a no-no not to be tolerated. So I thought of coming at it from a unconventional angle. I decided to not use butter and boiled water in the batter, but use cream instead to deliver hydration and fat to the cake simultaneously. I scribbled the hypothesis on a notepad, raced off the train, mixed and panned the batter within twenty minutes, and use the same recipe to this day. It’s the New German Chocolate cake, where cream and cocoa combine to make a dense chocolaty cake that is paired with a coconut & vanilla infused buttercream."

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.

You can see more of Warren in action in the short ad that my friend Erik Proulx (of Lemonade fame) recently did for Dell Computer: (YouTube link here:


Direct download: cakelove.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58am MST

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.

Direct download: patrickthompson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53am MST

Beat negative self-talk when starting a business

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:

  1. Distinguishing between your "essential" self and your "social" self to ensure you are doing work you are meant to do
  2. Using a simple 4-question process called "The Work" to overcome negative self-talk

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 

Leave comments at

Direct download: Escape_podcast_-_Beat_negative_self-talk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm MST