This week's Indie Business Podcast features my interview with Pam Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur (affiliate link). Like me, Pam left a “real” many years ago to enjoy building a career on her own terms. She's also a wife and a mom, so I know many of you will identify with portions of her journey. Pam volunteered after work as a teacher at a non-profit martial arts organization in San Francisco before she started her own business. She says that turning 30 was one of the things that caused her to rethink how we structured her life.
(The photo is of me and Pam at a networking event last year.) Pam didn't have a plan when she left her job, but through the years, with tenacity and consistency, she has build a coaching business that helps people, well, escape from their cubicles. In this podcast, you will enjoy hearing Pam share some of the details about how she successfully juggles business, wife-hood and motherhood. You will also learn a bit about the four stages of a journey from a cubicle to a business of your own. There are more details in the podcast, but if you'd rather read an overview of the four stages, here they are:
- Stage 1: Deciding to make a change. This stage is all about getting tuned into where you are in your life. Why are you restless? Why are you seeking change? What are you passionate enough about to explore further? What's fun for you, and what's not fun?
Pam says that this time frame may have little to do with business, because it's mainly about pinpointing where you are and where you want to go. At the end of this stage, you've identified what's truly important to you.
Stage 2: Dreaming and scheming. Now that you know what makes your heart sing (or not), you can begin to explore. Journaling and trying new things. For example, spend an afternoon at a bookstore reading books and magazines that inspire you. This will help you begin to dream about doing things that will lead you to creating the life you seek. Also, bookmarking website pages that resonate with you. You may or may not use them later, but during the dreaming stage, it's about letting your imagination soar as you imagine what's possible.
Stage 3: The “hero” stage. Here is where you test drive a few ideas. Figure out which ones seem to have the most promise and take them for a spin. Pam suggests creating a very small line of products. Focus on bringing something very specific into the real of the tangible. In this way, you will develop a real track record and learn as much as possible. No matter what happens, you are a hero for taking the bull by the horns. Even if things don't work out the way you envision, you are empowered with the information you need to go in whatever direction appeals to you.
Stage 4: The “promised land”. In the final stage, you reach the so-called “promised land.” Since your niche has been established and your systems are in place, it's a matter of working them to expand the core and increase your business opportunities.
Pam credits Martha Beck for this useful summary of the process. Of course it oversimplifies things a bit, so if you are looking to escape from your cubicle, I suggest listening to the entire show and putting Pam's suggestions to use in your life. Whether you are just now starting your own side hustle, or just need inspiration to hang in there and take things to the next level, Pam's book can help you achieve.
Listen to the Show
I'm excited to share that this show was sponsored by Bramble Berry, offering an amazing array of soapmaking supplies for the hobbiest and the serious business owner. You can follow Bramble Berry's CEO, Anne-Marie Faiola, on Twitter and on FaceBook for inspiring business, health and lifestyle tips, plus soapmaking tips, tricks and fun.
You can enjoy more of Pam's Indie-focused small business success tips at whichever location is most convenient for you:
- You can download it on iTunes. (It usually takes a few hours for Podpress to feed the show to iTunes so if you don't see it there when you read this post, please try again later.
- You can stream or download it at my radio show website.
- You can stay where you are and simply click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen right now!
Coming Up June 21!
On Monday at 1:00pm EST on Indie Business Radio, Willie Pietersen, author of Strategic Learning: How to Be Smarter Than Your Competition and Turn Key Insights into Competitive Advantage (affiliate link), will share some strategic learning techniques you can use to rapidly respond to change and gain a sustainable advantage over your competitors.
See you then!
Question: What do you think of the stages to escape from cubicle nation? Can you see any of yourself in them? tips for Indies? How can you incorporate them into your marketing outreach?