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Escape from Cubicle Nation [Hardcover]

Pamela Slim
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: PORTFOLIO (9 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842576
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 657,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to escape? buy the book 22 April 2010
It's the perfect book if you want to either change your career, follow what you love or create your own company.

It's full of useful advices on how to set up your business, from market studies to how to get clients.

The style of the book is easy to read, it's the kind of book you start to read and never stop. Like most of this kind of books it's only useful if you start applying the principles from this book. It's also interesting to know that she also made it, so she's not professing something she hasn't done.

great book, don't forget to have a look at her blog!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both inspirational and practical! 1 Dec 2009
Pam does a great job of covering both the inspirational stuff and the practical side of helping people to escape their cubicles and start their own businesses.

I particularly liked:
- Her tools and ideas for managing fear as an entrepreneur.
- Her "just do it" and tweak from there/ prioritize action and real-world feedback over written analysis.

Highly recommended read, to help you pack your parachute before you jump!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  63 reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book on the subject of quitting your job and starting your own company. Three thumbs up! 30 April 2009
By Jeff Lippincott - Published on
Just loved it. The book is well organized and well written. Its author has a background as a life coach and the book felt to me like it was presented from a life coach's perspective. I felt kinda like I probably was one of her clients and she was giving me the lowdown on so many things that have to be covered if I was to realistically stop collecting a W-2 and rejoin the ranks of the self-employed. The book is split into 4 sections and 16 chapters as follows:

Part 1. Operating up the opportunities (1-4)
Part 2 The reality of entrepreneurship (5-11)
Part 3. Make the money work (12-13)
Part 4. Making the leap (14-16)

1. I have a fancy title, steady paycheck, & good benefits. Why am I so miserable?
2. If it is so bad, then why am I so afraid to leave?
3. Detox from corporate life
4. What's really involved in moving from employee to entrepreneur?
5. What are all the ways to be self-employed?
6. How do I choose a good business idea?
7. Recruit your tribe
8. Rethink your life: Options for scaling back, downshifting, & relocating
9. Do I really have to do a business plan?
10. Define the spirit of your brand
11. Test often & fail fast: The art of prototypes & samples
12. Look your finances in the eye
13. How to shop for benefits
14. Dealing with your friends & family
15. Line your ducks in a row
16. When is it time to leave?

I would have liked Chapter 9 more if the author had said unconditionally "Yes!" But she hedged her bets on both sides of the fence and did an adequate job explaining herself. I honestly cannot say I disagree with what she says in the chapter.

In my humble opinion this is one of the best, if not the best, career book I've read on how to realistically approach and tackle the important life event of quitting your job and starting a business of your own. 5 stars!
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good guidebook for making the leap 9 May 2009
By Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Published on
Escape from Cubicle Nation definitely is a cut above most books on starting a business -- increasingly a necessary step as companies cut back and executives face age discrimination. Author Slim manages to be realistic without scaring readers and her upbeat humorous writing is delightful.

Slim has studied with Martha Beck and the first part of the book reminded me of Beck's own book, Finding Your Own North Star. The chapter on "Reality of Entrepreneurship" was excellent. I like the refreshing way Slim is not afraid to criticize icons, such as those who say "follow your passion" as well as the whole MLM scene. It's about time someone said those things in a business book.

I also liked the section on telling friends and family. I'm not an expert on families so I can't evaluate the suggested discussion scripts. I'd like to see even more emphasis on the challenges of losing a familiar support group and dealing with the in-between time before another one shows up.

Slim rightly emphasizes the need to sock away six months of living expenses (I'd say two years). Her specific money-saving tips are excellent.

Quibbles are:

(1) Slim acknowledges that she spends 90% of her time with clients discussing choosing a market. In my experience, successful entrepreneurs have a gift for finding the sweet spot where what a market wants meets what they can offer. I'd have liked to see far more emphasis on market and marketing. The section on prototypes is very good but doesn't go far enough, especially with the sub-head of finding a niche.

(2) I don't know any successful people who will serve as mentors without charging. You have to be prepared to pay. One of my own clients wanted a mentor for a retail business. Having been successful in one arena, he knew what to do. He found a successful business owner in another city (so he wouldn't be competing) and offered to pay a significant sum for mentoring. He never attempted to get free help.

Agencies (such as the SBA in the US) and adult education courses offer help but the quality is uneven. You may get lucky or you may waste a lot of time.

The section on outsourcing mentions coaches but hiring a coach can be a critical decision - on a totally different level from hiring a virtual assistant or designer. I would say that after knowing the market, choosing the right mentors is the biggest and most critical decision you can make.

(3) I'd like to see more discussion of actually leaving the cubicle nation. My own clients talk about challenges like finding time to get started while you're working long hours, dealing with conflict of interest requirements (some companies have draconian policies on part time work), and shifting your mindset from employee to entrepreneur. You really need to keep your plans secret till you've gotten enough momentum for liftoff. And some people need an in-between job that brings in income without being too distracting.

(4) I agree that a "live anywhere" business offers many attractive choices. But you need to investigate specific aspects of business tax and regulatory policies before moving. You also have to recognize the dangers of feeling isolated when you're surrounded by people with different values. Sadly, when there's a lower cost of living, there's usually a reason. This topic could be a whole book, too.

Bottom line: It's a good starting place with lots of practical advice and food for thought. The value of a comprehensive book is that you get a fast overview of just about all the issues. Just be aware that you'll need to go into much greater depth as you move along.
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Consultant's Manifesto 31 May 2010
By M. Huckaba - Published on
I take issue with several themes of this book:

1) The book is a constant barrage of name dropping and case studies from other authors. It's almost like she let everyone else write her book for her.

2) This book is probably more helpful for becoming a consultant than anything else. I don't necessarily consider consultants entrepreneurs. They're more like contractors.

3) There are other books that did it better, before this one, and were referenced by this one. Specifically:
The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.
Also, to a lesser degree:
Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat (Agora Series)

4) The organization and writing make for a slow, sometimes agonizing read. She could stand to make her writing more concise and topical headings more relevant. Her rhetorical dialog and pointless examples detract from the poignant ideas and helpful case studies.

I did not find this book motivational, but instead a boring rehash of basic concepts and personal life considerations.

Bottom line, there are better entrepreneurship books (see above). If you're getting into consulting, this may be marginally helpful.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything a New Entrepreneur Needs to Know 30 April 2009
By W. A. Carpenter - Published on
Pamela Slim makes a successful transition from blogger to author with this book which takes you step-by-step through the process of turning your dreams of independence into actuality.

She covers it all - coming up with a good business idea, recruiting help and support, defining your brand, getting your finances in order, doing the dreaded marketing plan, and actually starting a business.

Throughout, the author somehow manages to be both encouraging and hard-headed, always urging the reader to take small steps to make their plans real and to try things out in a small way before committing to the big jumps. As an advocate of pilot projects and prototyping, I find her advice to be both reasonable and inspiring - and she has a delightful sense of humor too!

In addition to her very useful advice, the author provides the reader with many good related resources. Highly recommended for the budding entrepreneur!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's more fun to read Dilbert than work there 20 May 2009
By Jeff Moriarty - Published on
This book is for anyone who has ever read a Dilbert comic strip, realized the joke in the strip actually happened to you last week, and experienced the cubicle-felt hand of fear closing about your heart.

Escape From Cubicle Nation won't give you a magic way out (there isn't one), nor will it fill you with fluff and rainbows (go watch puppies for that). What it does give is practical advice on how to identify what you would rather be doing, how to evaluate it as a successful career, and then how to make it happen.

How do you develop your ideas and goals? Should you have a business plan? What legal items should you consider? How do you cope with the uncertainty and fear? All of these and more are answered with Pam's considerable insight and personal experience. If you are serious about leaving your cubicle, then buy this book.

If you're happy in your cubicle, then keep reading Dilbert. He's never going to run out of material.
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