Escape podcast: Interview with Martha Beck

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 The first of my interview podcasts is now available:  Interview with Martha Beck:  Your left toe holds the clue to your right life.   It is about 40 minutes long.

Martha is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Finding Your Own North Star:  Claiming the Life You are Meant to Live and a monthly columnist for Oprah’s O Magazine.

This discussion centers on the premise that in order to discover the right business to start, you first must get in touch with the work you are meant to do.  Martha has some insightful and surprising advice, including tidbits such as:

  • How your left toe may lead you to marry a different person than you intended
  • The technique of “shackles on, shackles off”
  • What is really contained in the “and” from “Do what you love and the money will follow

I will post a transcript of the call here a little later on this evening.

Readers shared some great questions for the interview (see comments on this post).  I got so carried away that I only asked one official question, but I think she provided insight that will help to answer many of the questions submitted. For those that weren’t, I have tagged them for future blog posts.

I shared a few weeks ago that I wanted to include longer interviews with my personal entrepreneurial heros every other podcast, to be able to dive deeper into the brief subjects I talk about in my usual 5-7 minute format.  I welcome input about this change, as well as suggested guests (the next lined up are John Jansch from Duct Tape Marketing and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki.)

Since I have been sharing my learning about podcasting as I go along, I did notice a few things about my first interview:

  • I have the severe need to exorcise the phrases “kind of” and “you know” from my speech.  I never realized how much I said them until I listened to a playback of the recording.
  • My questions can be too complicated (just ask one of my coaching clients who told me the other day after a particularly long-winded question “Can you rephrase that?” –translation — What the heck are you talking about?)
  • The “um humms” that we use everyday when talking to someone on the phone to let them know that we are listening to them are deadly on recorded interviews.  I had about 25 of them in this 45-minute interview, and I had to have the tape professionally edited by the pro Tim “Gonzo” Gordon.  (The very patient Anna Farmery from the excellent podcast The Engaging Brand was kind enough to try to walk me through the audio editing process over Skype.  My time ran out, as I have a lot to learn, but I plan on practicing what she shared for future episodes.)
  • Finally, I discovered that despite all the things I have to learn and improve, I LOVE to conduct interviews.  This has even led me to enter into discussion about my own radio show — stay tuned for more about this.  (And I have to give total credit for exploring this idea to my buddy Robert who is perhaps the most encouraging person on the planet.)

I hope you enjoy the interview.  Please share your thoughts about it!

Filed Under: Podcast

10 Responses to “Escape podcast: Interview with Martha Beck”

  1. […] as I was catching up on my podcast listening. Pam Slim at Escape from Cubicle Nation recently had a podcast interview with Martha Beck to talk about getting in touch with the work you’re meant to do. Martha Beck is a leading […]

  2. Marilyn says:

    I enjoyed the informal, conversational tone because it was nice to hear the mutual support you and Martha share for each other’s work. Having first listened to your interview with Randal Pinkett, I think you’re a very good interviewer. In fact, listening to THAT interview, I thought, “She should be doing more of this…” (I don’t mean SHOULD–I meant you’d be good at it!) 😉 So a radio talk show is an intriguing idea. Given what I’ve already read and explored in my life, I didn’t find any ‘new’ information here, but I did hear a valuable validation of an already-held belief–that our bodies don’t lie. I enjoyed it.

  3. What Does Your Body Say?

    Our bodies hold the clues to what we are really feeling. They harbor the answers to the tough questions we often struggle to answer. The problem is, this world is a thinking world and weve learned to dismiss our bodies entirely f…

  4. Christian says:

    Hey Pam,

    In the end it all depends on what your outcome is. I had a terrible experience with Toastmasters, so I’d avoid that like the plague.

    I think you can get too technical with podcasts (editing out the “kind of’s” etc). The reason I like this format is because they are more of a conversation than traditional media. This “interview” really sounded like a conversation. It was great!

  5. Ron Davison says:

    Delightful! Thanks for the sharing this stimulating conversation. For me the ums and ahs and praise are all fairly inconsequential. Even the content, oddly, is almost incidental for me (although the content was great). I judge a learning experience by what new or latent thoughts it stimulates in my head – what new things it creates. From that I felt it was a great success.

    One bit of feedback? You are engaged in a conversation more than you are interviewing – you may want to label it as such.

    Thanks for your work.

  6. Scott Parks says:

    Hi Pam-

    I have one complaint – the show was NOT LONG ENOUGH! I was craving more 🙂 But I tell you, it was another listen, stop, rewind, listen again, pause, reflect, start, repeat cycle.

    Sure made the drive home this evening most enjoyable and the tongue story is so true as is thinking back to the excitement of discovery as a kid. It was what I have been trying to figure out lately, this just helped me to fine tune it and as the song goes: “I can see clearly now…….”

    If you need editing help in the future, do not hesitate to call, 22 years in broadcasting at your service.


  7. That. Was. Awesome!



  8. Hi Pam

    The interview was good. I like the idea that a person’s physical body will “react” when one does what one enjoys to do, but I find my body only really reacts when I hate something – everything else creates a neutral peace. For me, I get that focussed, interested look when I’m doing PA work, but only when I’m doing it for my own business ie – it takes on a whole new feel than being in a cubicle, working for an employer – it has a fresh feel, almost excitement.

    My only comment on the “presentation” of the podcast is that there was quite a bit of fluff and constant cross praising that had me wondering when the “meaty” talk would actually begin. Hope this helps??


    Hi Christina!

    Your comments help a lot . Thanks for listening and sharing your perspective.

    I think you experience of realizing that you DON”T get energized in a cube is an example of where your right life is pointing … to self employment!

    As for the preso notes, yeah, I really didn’t mean to nauseate anyone with our compliments for each other. Frankly I didn’t expect so much from her – kind of surprising in a cool kind of way considering how much I respect her.

    I used my own story of connecting with her as an example of what I would love all of you to pay attention to … people, places or things that make your heart race and put you in the “zone.” If they are really meant to be in your life, you may end up like I did with a rare feeling in the business world: gushing, unedited love for a mentor.

    I aim to keep improving the format and content of my interviews. Thanks for helping me get better!

    All the best,


  9. Bob Glaza says:

    Even before I read Glenn’s comments, Pamela – I thought of Toastmasters. It helped me a great deal. Your enthusiasm with Martha more than made up for your few umms and ahhhs 🙂 – We ARE our own worst critics. I woiuld never believe this is your first interview? And the way some show up to TM meetings – pajamas would work LOL –

    But to the interview – I LOVED it. The beauty of this podcasting thing vs the radio is I can listen, stop, go back and keep with the flow. You do a great service documenting your journey. I really appreciate your honesty and ability to coax the same from your guest. Love the path you are on and it will love you.

  10. Pamela,

    You might consider joining a nearby Toastmasters club (
    One of the earliest improvements I made was reducing the number of um’s and ah’s in my presentations. This carried over into my podcasting.
    Toastmasters is a great way to meet new people and network. The human contact is even better for those who work from home. But don’t show up in your pajamas:-)

    I like your blog.