César D. Velandia

Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim

Cubicle escapist takes you step by step over the decision of leaving your 9 to 5 and building something that resonates with your personality and life goals, on your terms.
Finished: May 2015
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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César D. Velandia’s review of Escape from Cubicle Nation
Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim is on César D.’s read shelf.. Shelves: airtable.

📌 Short review

I read this book out of curiosity after seeing it prominently in bookstores several times. The title is a bit overdramatic but encapsulates well the main ideas presented. It is a very pragmatic read, it doesn't seem to spend much time encouraging to leave your corporate job but instead lays out a very clear map for you to decided whether you are ready to take the leap or not. Despite being written in a simple concise manner, much of the advise in the book is simple but not easy as it advocates for a lot of experimentation, dry-runs, and what not in order to maximize your chances of striking it on your own and leaving the salaryman life once and for all. It is an interesting read and might benefit people with certain aspirations such as consultants or freelancers.



📘 Notes


💎 Gems

Why you should do it

Building up the knowledge, skill, and experience to be truly great at this work is a labor of intense love and sweat. Creating a business out of this work and building infrastructure, customers, fans, advocates, and mentors requires patience.

Holding back

what kept them from moving forward was not lack of information, but rather self-defeating thoughts, generalized fears, and outdated notions of what it took to start a successful business in the twenty-first century.

What you will find

Potential fame, fortune, or freedom aside, there is simply no better way to learn about yourself than starting a business. And when you truly know yourself, you tend to design a business that matches your strengths. Because you are the one in charge, you care more. No longer constrained by a labyrinthine bureaucracy, you think bigger. And given the flexibility to design whatever you want, you are more likely to do something that means something to the world

Be open to opportunities

global corporate organizations in today’s tumultuous markets is such that they can and should change frequently to stay alive. Strategies will change.

Be flexible

The turnover magnet you have for losing great employees is not the competitor down the street, it is the idea of freedom and flexibility for the self-employed.

Great managers build accountability into flexible work plans and manage performance aggressively.

about the “melting pot” of American culture: “Those on the bottom get burned and the scum floats to the top.”

Embrace discomfort

I suspect that working for oneself feels better to humans in much the same way that living in the wild must feel better to a wide-ranging predator like a lion. Life in a zoo is easier, but it isn’t the life they were designed for.2

beginner stage where you feel incompetent in what you are doing. A few people enjoy this feeling. Most people hate it.

riddled with fears about what “everyone” will think about your decision.

But if they give you advice that makes your inner voice scream in resistance, you may want to remember my mantra: I am the only one who lives in my skin. I trust my instincts.

The old model

It just means that employees who treat companies like old, loyal friends will die of heartbreak. Corporations can no longer promise lifetime employment. They may try hard to get you to support their brand, wear their T-shirts, and care deeply about their customers. But if they say something like “we demand absolute employee loyalty,” take a good hard look at your employment agreement, which states that they can terminate you at will, with or without cause.

What is your fear telling you

Examine the truth in the fear. “What if no one buys my product?” This could be an extremely legitimate fear if you have not taken time to clearly define and research your market, identify competitors, develop a compelling marketing strategy, and define a sales process.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is a huge lie that successful people feel no fear and skip effortlessly from one challenge to another. They experience the same digestive distress, sleepless nights, and trembling hands as you do when they try something very different in their life or business. The only difference between them and you is that they feel it and do it anyway!


Develop a strong safety net. Surround yourself with encouraging people who take smart risks themselves

The Reality of Entrepreneurship

When I recently asked successful entrepreneurs what they thought was the critical ingredient in business models, every last one of them answered: passion.

intense passion for something and a viable business model to turn this passion into a decent living are two totally different things.

Natural passion and interest + Skill and competence + Business model that delivers life you want to live + Solid business planning with well-defined market = Likelihood of Good Business Idea

Sort the Results from Your Creative Brainstorm

Solve important problems

Help Your Users Kick Ass Solving problems is a great place to start, but blogger Kathy Sierra takes things one step further and asks, “How can you help your users kick ass?”

It’s not what you sell, it’s what you teach that matters. Or rather, what you help someone learn.

Kicking ass is more fun regardless of the task. It’s more fun to know more. It’s more fun to be able to do more. It’s more fun to be able to help others do more.

What are you teaching them? How are you helping them get past the painful parts and into the better-than-drugs flow state?1

We all know that by the time “hot trends” are published in a mainstream magazine they are not really “hot trends” anymore.• Any tr

you love dry cleaning or software or chips and because of that love of and knowledge of that industry, you are going to change that industry. If you want to be an artist, be an artist! But don’t do it because you read in BusinessWee

o the best way to use market trend research in business design is to see it in two parts: Part One: Do the work in chapter 3 to figure out the kinds of topics, ideas, people, and things that mesmerize, fascinate, light up, wake up, and energize your creative soul. Part Two: Drink up as much information as you can about what is happening in the market and use these trends as creative

Guy K says

capture a market segment that will be perfectly served by you

Vague to Concrete Hopefully by now your mind is percolating some interesting business ideas. When you get a few that feel exciting and seem really interesting, it is time to define them more specifically

Step to find biz ideas

#Step 1 
Wrap Your Arms Around the Field

#Step 2 
Choose a Small Neighborhood to Explore

#Step 3
Identify the Hotshots Doing This Work Successfully.
Pay close attention to both the technical expertise required to run a 
successful graphic design business in this area and the business 
expertise required to run a successful business

#Step 4
Carve a Niche. lar group of people you want to work with. 
For example, you want to do logo design for import-export companies with fewer
than ten employees that do business in Asia.

#Step 5
Shake a Tree. This is where you create a marketing plan, 
call up potential clients, look for overflow work from your respected mentor, 
or do whatever you can to get some work flowing your way. 
By this stage, you should be serious enough about your business idea

Looking at a new field

make sure you have a good understanding of the overall field beforehand. Entrepreneurship is really about experimentation, so have fun with the learning process.