Escape from Cubicle Nation [Book Review]

by | Dec 30, 2009 | 2 comments

Here is more detail on one of the books from my Reading List for the Entrepreneur of Tomorrow


Pamela’s book is a must read for those looking to escape from cubicle insanity and go into business for themselves as entrepreneurs. I put this book high in the motivation category – books that tell the truth and yet leave you pumped up about making something happen – such as The Art of The Start and Crush It.

Pamela has a unique story to tell in her book. She first operated as a consultant trying to get corporate executives to work with their employees to help improve the work environment and thus improve productivity. After years of frustration, she realized theses corporate executives just did not care, so she took to working directly with the employees themselves by helping them to ESCAPE the often meaningless work.

I share Pamela’s frustration with corporate officers. When I started with the university to run the Information Engineering and Management Program, I started by recruiting executives to send their best and their brightest to grow them into the next level of leaders. In a nutshell, the corporate world (as a whole) did not care about helping their employees get better prepared. So we (at UAB) started marketing directly to the employee who wanted to make changes in their career. So when Pamela wrote her “Open Letter to CXOs Across the Corporate World” I had to whole heartily agree.

What you will learn in Escape from Cubicle Nation

In the book, Pamela starts by address the emotional issues people feel when they are looking for an alternative to cubicle insanity. Many of the emotional issues Pamela discusses, and skillfully helps you address, I have seen personally since my activity in this area started in 2000. She does a wonderful job of walking you through the emotions (mostly fear) brought on by

  • fear of living in a van down by the river,
  • “Lizard” fears (have to read it to get this),
  • fear of giving up your important sounding title, that only you know is meaningless,
  • fear of failing,
  • belief the company will change for the better if you just wait, and
  • fear that you might be just as miserable when you get out of the company as you were in the company.

Pamela deals with these fears – which is unique. These issues are ALWAYS present. I have read a LOT on this topic – and she is one of the few that deals with the tough emotions that strangle people into inaction. The exercises she has will operate on you like a therapist – only a lot cheaper.

Once she deals with the fears, she walks you through how to get started NOW. She does not try to pull someone from a cubicle to a venture capital financed business with 100+ employees. Instead  she deals with starting from nothing – usually from the home. But mainly she deals with the reality of entrepreneurship. She walks you through the process – pulling from the best resources and authors on the market – of how to get started. Here are some of the things she covers.

  • finding a business idea that works for you
  • developing a good business model
  • recruiting your tribe
  • dealing with your current financial and living situation (making changes if needed)
  • planning
  • testing ideas on a small scale before going forward
  • dealing with money – including benefits

Lastly she steps you through making the leap for real – how do you know when your business has grown to the point that it is time to leave the day job. She even deals with the often missed issue of handling family and friends  – who often bring the pressure on heavier than you know.

For those of you looking to go it alone (not alone really – but outside of the great corporate job) I highly recommend her book! Read it actively answering her questions as you go and you will end the book a different person than when you started it.

For those of you who are thinking you need to remain the company man or woman – even though you are not thrilled when Monday rolls around – I HIGHLY recommend her book. You really need it!

About the Author

Dale Callahan

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  1. John

    Dale, I got Dan Miller’s No More Dreaded Mondays on Thursday night and just finished it tonight (Saturday). It was a great read and a real eye opener. I am well compensated and relatively satisfied with my current job but this book made me realize how dependent my family is on my paycheck(totally) and how much control I have over it(not much). Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Dale

    Glad to hear it has “shaken” your thinking. When I first read it, I called Dan and took him to lunch. At the time he was the only person I had seen who understood it. I have since learned he was not alone!

    I continue to see many people blown away by his book.

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