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Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur Hardcover – April 30, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pamela Slim, a former corporate manager and entrepreneur, began the Escape From Cubicle Nation blog in 2005, to help frustrated employees stuck in corporate jobs. She quickly developed a dedicated following and attracted mainstream press such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, US News & World Report and Psychology Today. Her blog is growing rapidly and is syndicated by USA Today, Foxnews.com, Neilson, Hoovers and NBC affiliates across the nation. She is also a professional life coach, trained by columnist Martha Beck, and writes for Martha’s blog. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

Sandra Burr delivers a bright and clear reading of a title that covers the nuts and bolts of starting a business in a treacherous economic environment. Her reading makes the material easy to understand and retain. Aimed at listeners who are dreaming of making a break from their corporate lives, the book also serves to guide those who have been unwillingly separated from their cubicles and need a new path. With tips on marketing, legal concerns, and accounting, as well as ample practical wisdom--all punctuated with humor--this title is an essential resource for those who have made the decision to strike out on their own (or are thinking about it). The author's background in podcasting serves the audio version of her book well. D.A. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 37037th edition (April 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842576
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeff Lippincott on April 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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!
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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!
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