Jul 17, 2009
Interview with Pamela Slim (Escape From Cubicle Nation)
It’s been too long since an interview, and the lovely and talented Pamela Slim has graciously given us some time during her book tour for Escape from Cubicle Nation. If you don’t know her yet, now’s your chance, and if you do know her, give a shout out in the comments! – Dave
Dave: Pam, I want to thank you for taking the time to give us an interview here. I wanted to get some time with you because I’m impressed with your willingness to take chances and push hard to design the life you want. Can you give my readers a quick bit about who you are and what you do?
Pamela: I am a business coach and writer who helps corporate employees leave their jobs and start a new business. I am also the author of Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur. When not coaching, blogging or messing around on Twitter, I am chasing after my two toddlers Josh and Angela with my husband Darryl.
Dave: Why do you do what you do? What makes you passionate about your calling?
Pamela: I have always been fascinated by transformation and liberation. In college, I was an international service and development major, and did internships in Mexico and Colombia. I loved watching people use education as a tool to get out of poverty and improve their lives.
I then taught martial arts for years, and watched people overcome fears and transform their bodies. In my current work, nothing gets me more motivated then seeing someone realize that they have the capacity to free themselves from oppressive work situations and actually lead their life.
I have a core belief that we can overcome many deep-seated oppressive situations just by changing our thinking and taking action based on new beliefs. The power unleashed on the world by free-thinking people will improve everything.
Dave: How do you stay motivated to take risks, push your personal boundaries, and demand the best from yourself?
Pamela: I love what I do and feel a natural motivation to keep growing and learning. The more I learn about my field of expertise, the more I realize I don’t know. Finding out new ways to support my clients, blog and book readers challenges me to expand my thinking. And I like to test drive my own advice, to make sure that I am not just spouting off a bunch of crap, but rather sharing useful advice that will inspire people to action. I love to be surrounded by people who are at the top of their game, and they inspire me to be better myself.
Dave: At some point in life, we usually get a revelation that whacks us over the head and changes our course (for the better). What was one of the “A-ha!” moments that changed your life?
Pamela: When my son Josh was about two months old, I was holding him before starting a conference call for one of my big corporate clients. While I loved most of my consulting career, toward the end, I was tiring of the huge, complex projects. As I prepared to get on the phone, my body tensed up. All of a sudden, Josh’s body tensed up too, and I realized that he would completely mirror the energy I felt about my work.
It was a “lightening bolt to the forehead” moment, and at that instant I decided to jump into my new coaching direction full-time, which became Escape from Cubicle Nation. I thank him every day for giving me the courage to follow my true calling.
Dave: Keeping a balanced life is always a challenge. What do you do to help keep things sane?
Pamela: My life is very full, and I like it that way. I love to be doing work I enjoy, and try to focus only on the activities that both give me the most pleasure to do, and bring in the best income. My kids are my “out-of-whack-o-meters,” since they let me know very clearly if I am working too much.
I got a sobering wake-up call a few weeks after my book launched (which led to crazy hours due to radio promotions and extra writing) when my four-year old son Josh pointed a water gun at me and said “Mom – if you don’t stop working, I will shoot you.”
That stopped me in my tracks and made me stop constantly checking email and Twitter when my kids were around. I don’t have the expectation that I will be rested at all times, since sometimes there is just a lot to do — but because I love what I do, I feel peaceful most days.
Dave: If you could send a message to yourself 10 years ago, what advice would you give?
Pamela: You already have the capacity to follow your big dreams. You don’t need to spend any time on work you are not 100% passionate about.
Dave: What blog posts are you most proud of?
Pamela: One of my favorite posts, that also garnered a lot of attention in the blogosphere is An Open Letter to CXO’s Across the Corporate World. It opened a floodgate of new blog readers, and was the inspiration behind my book. It was very cathartic to write!
I also like Perfectionists are Losers and Are you acting like a celebrity sheep with your marketing plans? One that has been handy for my clients and blog readers is Overwhelmed with possibilities when plotting your career?
Dave: What bloggers inspire you to “play a bigger game” in life?
Pamela: I am inspired by Seth Godin, Havi Brooks, Kathy Sierra and Naomi Dunford. I love their humor, insight, authenticity and intelligence.
Dave: Thanks for taking the time for this interview, Pam, and I’ll be watching the rise of Escape from Cubicle Nation!