Escape From Cubicle Nation Podcast



Advice, support and encouragement to stop being a corporate prisoner and start your own business


  • Anything You Want - Interview with CD Baby Founder Derek Sivers

    29/06/2011 Duración: 29min

    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

  • In search of business model excellence: Interview with Alexander Osterwalder

    17/05/2011 Duración: 33min

    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

  • Is your company built to sell?

    27/04/2011 Duración: 29min

    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

  • How to push past creative blocks so you can Do the Work - Interview with Steven Pressfield

    20/04/2011 Duración: 31min

    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.

  • The Art of Enchantment - Interview with Guy Kawasaki

    08/03/2011 Duración: 30min

    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

  • Did you ever just want to walk away?

    22/02/2011 Duración: 37min

    "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 .

  • From lawyer to baker: Lessons on passion, listening and cake with Warren Brown

    02/02/2011 Duración: 37min

    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

  • Behind the scenes with a successful app developer: Patrick Thompson

    26/01/2011 Duración: 25min

    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.

  • Do you make these data security mistakes?

    28/12/2010 Duración: 25min

    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 hav

  • Never Get a Real Job: Interview with Scott Gerber

    08/12/2010 Duración: 31min

    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 th

  • Black Faces in White Places: Interview with author, entrepreneur and Apprentice winner Randal Pinkett

    16/11/2010 Duración: 36min

      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 cultu

  • How to start a business without destroying your relationship

    12/02/2010 Duración: 31min

    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 F

  • The Price is Right Interview Series: Sherri Garrity

    06/12/2009 Duración: 33min

    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: Under-dreaming: thinking too small about the vision of what your business could be, and simply trying to match your salary as an employeeUnder-pricing: not valuing all your experience, and using ineffective measures like billing by the hourUnder-billing: underestimating all the time and effort it takes to effectively deliver your products or services, or not charging the client for all the work you are doing You can find Sherri at --- 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 di

  • The Price is Right Interview Series: Alexis Neely

    04/12/2009 Duración: 31min

    "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

  • The Price is Right Interview Series: Andrea J. Lee

    03/12/2009 Duración: 43min

    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:The concept of free, which she terms a "pink spoon marketing." This is creating a business on the concept of generosity (much like you get with free tastes of ice cream from pink spoons at the ice cream shop).What too much free looks like in business, which can involve going to long at free and getting kickback when you start to charge for services.What too little free looks like in business, i.e. too little blog content and a quick sale of products.What is a product funnel and how do you use it to design your product offerings? The pros and cons of starting

  • The Price is Right Interview Series: Mark Silver

    01/12/2009 Duración: 39min

    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 Res

  • The Price is Right Interview Series: John Jantsch

    30/11/2009 Duración: 30min

    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: "Price is a terrible place to compete. There will always be someone willing to go out of business faster than you."There can be a backlash if you price your services too low, because your customers might think there is something wrong with you if you charge below the market, or that you cannot deliver the value promised in your offer."If people keep saying 'gosh, you are too expensive!' all that means is that you are not doing a good enough job educating them on why you are differ

  • Smash your goals with a mastermind group

    22/09/2009 Duración: 29min

    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: What a mastermind group is, and isn'tWhy they are critically important for entrepreneursWho to select for your own groupHow to get a group startedWhere to go for more information She has a free e-book which you can download at her site specializing in mastermind groups, www.thesuccessallian

  • Web Startup Success Guide: Great advice from Bob Walsh

    11/08/2009 Duración: 38min

    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  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:Some of the unique challenges faced by web-based entrepreneursTools and approaches to making the start-up process easierRecommendations for those worried about colleagues stealing their great idea if they share itHow to define the right problem to solve with your product so people are compelled to buy itHow to use social media to connect with your community a

  • Great advice for aspiring authors: Interview with 100 Business Books of All Time author Todd Sattersten

    22/05/2009 Duración: 27min

    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 B

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