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I have been preparing for this moment for a very long time.

After writing and publishing Escape from Cubicle Nation, I had no idea if there would be a future book, or what it would be. Over time, ideas came slowly, like whispers from a far away room. Then they gradually got louder, until one day I sat up and realized that the question we need to tackle isn’t about where we work, it’s about the root of our work. What is the body of work that I want to create throughout the course of my life that solves the problems I care about, gives me great personal satisfaction, contributes meaning, utility and beauty to the world and delivers the life I want to live on a day to day basis?

I’m thrilled to announce Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together.

This book will:

  • Give you a whole new way to look at your career, or business, that will make you feel more optimistic and secure about our unpredictable, unstable and ever-changing economy
  • Give you the new skill set for the 21st century that will unlock opportunity in any work mode you desire — employee, entrepreneur, freelance or non-profit
  • Encourage, motivate and inspire you to take action on long-held dreams or unfinished projects
  • Give you the tools required to build a powerful and influential voice and personal brand
  • Guide you to develop an amazing new group of peers, mentors and collaborators

I cannot wait to get this book into your hands!

Body of Work ships on December 31st. If you purchase a copy before that date, I have put together a set of bonus materials that will help you gain depth and perspective on the topics covered and will also help you take action on the information so that you bring more of what you want in your life in 2014.

Purchase Body of Work by December 31 and receive the following bonus materials for free:

  • Body of Work Action Pack — A comprehensive workbook that has all the exercises in the book in one place, along with additional resources and instruction
  • Customized audio programs that give specific advice for applying the ideas in the book in these areas: – Body of Work for Corporate Employees – Body of Work for Entrepreneurs – Body of Work for Non-Profit Professionals – Body of Work for Parents
  • Powerful speaker video clips from Body of Work Live, the event I hosted in Phoenix in October with phenomenal speakers like Todd Henry and Michael Bungay Stanier
  • Body of Work LifeHacking Guide — A complete list of tools, technology, hacks and websites that will help you build a powerful and influential body of work with the least amount of effort and money

Ready to get your pre-order?

Go to this page for the simple 2-step instructions to get your pre-order goodies.

Please share this link with the friends, family and peers in your life who could benefit from it.

Escape from Cubicle Nation changed my life and many of yours — I am so excited for this next step in our evolution. 🙂


When you think about it, navigating your life is a series of negotiations.

In the course of a day, you may try to influence:

  • Your new puppy to use the restroom outside
  • Your customer to buy your product
  • Your kid to brush his teeth
  • Your neighbor to vote for your candidate
  • Your boss to support your project

How can you undertake these challenges with integrity, not force, and make all involved (especially the new puppy) feel like they got a win too?

Bob Burg, the successful author of such classic books at The Go-Givers and Endless Referrals, tackles this challenge in his latest, and he argues most important book to date, Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion.


In the book, Bob lays out a way to approach negotiations and differences in business, and life, in a way that is mutually supportive and respectful.

In this conversation, Bob and I talk about how our national political discourse (and resulting actions) might look radically different if we took the time to focus on the motivation behind our beliefs, rather than name-calling.

We also talk about how to set personal boundaries without being rude, and handle negotiations in a win-win manner.

Bob says this is his most important book to date, and I agree. I hope that millions of people buy and read the book, resulting in a kinder, more effective and productive society.

Download our podcast here:

Find more about Bob at and more about the book at


Last weekend, I kicked off the launch of my new book, Body of Work (which ships on December 31, 2013) with a live event in Phoenix, Arizona.

I was joined by an amazing line-up of speakers, who shared deep and meaningful lessons and stories with the 75 people assembled.

I was very thoughtful in my selection of outside speakers, since I wanted to introduce the ideas of my new book with care and depth, while introducing my long-time community to new and important voices.

Boy did they deliver.

My bonus son Jeffery did the beautiful artwork behind the stage, and Ivan Martinez did the event photography. Thank you both so much!


Master of Ceremonies Ericka Hines of Social Change Diva.

I chose Ericka Hines to be our Master of Ceremonies for two reasons: she has a great blend of inspiration and whimsy, paired with strong, clear leadership. I knew that she would keep the entire group engaged and on track for two days. She delivered!



Our first speaker  was Michael Bungay Stanier who did an amazing, engaging talk about doing great work, per his bestselling book Do More Great Work. He was kind to incorporate fellow presenters Josh and Angela Slim, aka my children, who decided that he needed backup speakers on stage.

Michael got all of us buzzing with connections to each other with his dynamic speaking style, and pushed all of us to think about the places where we can make the most impact in the world with our work.


Acclaimed and charismatic Arash Haile, aka DJ Shammy Dee shared insight about how he tunes in and reads a crowd, discovers exactly what they need, and delivers the right thing at the right time. We laughed at his stories of clearing the dance floor with the wrong choice of music, and how he learned to quickly recover from mistakes by coming right back with what got people moving again. Shammy reminded us of the importance of building a strong and powerful connection with our audience, and giving them what they need to thive (as well as get down on the dance floor).


Hear and Play Founder Jermaine Griggs shared the powerful story of how he started his 8-figure online business at 17 years old with just $70 and his grandmother’s piano that she won on The Price is Right.

Jermaine shared the principles of automation that have allowed him to massively scale his business while maintaining a great quality of life and strong connection with his wife and small children. We were all scribbling as fast as we could, and reminded to “outsource any work that is not our unique strength.”


Eric Keosky-Smith of Infusionsoft shared the planning framework that has led to Infusionsoft’s tremendous success in the last few years (I use the software to run my business). Infusionsoft was one of our corporate sponsors, and we appreciated their generosity so much!


Susan Baier of Audience Audit closed out the first day with an inspiring story of her own business journey, and how she used creative problem solving and great technology to reduce costs and drive value for her clients, while greatly increasing her own profits and quality of life. She shared tools from her research firm Audience Audit that allowed us to understand the driving needs of our audience, as opposed to their demographics.



Todd Henry, author of the book and podcast Accidental Creative, and his brand new book Die Empty, transfixed the audience with his passionate and exceptionally practical talk about about how to overcome the 7 Deadly Sins of Mediocrity, so we can deliver our best work into the world.


He cracked up at the nickname the audience gave him, “God Henry,” since his profound message and wizard like technical skills with the presentation clicker (which everyone else was cursed with technical glitches) led some people to a nearly religious joy. 🙂


Nancy Marmolejo of Talent and Genius encouraged us all to stay away from cookie-cutter business and branding models, instead finding unique positioning in the market with our own talent and genius. Nancy worked with two members of the audience who were in similar professions, and showed each how they can distinguish themselves in the market with their unique skills and talents.


Rasheryl McCreary of Tao Leadership shared the personal branding framework that she uses with executives and managers in her corporate work, as well as her transformational personal story. No one tells a story like Rasheryl, which was great modeling for the “Finding the Thread that Ties Your Story Together” tagline of my book.



Thanks to our sponsor Citrix,  I interviewed Michael Bungay Stanier about his success licensing content, and we were able to patch in remote participant Brian Shea, using GoToMeeting. We learned amazingly useful things from Michael about licensing content, but also spent a considerable amount of time in hysterics, due to his amazing sense of humor. (I will share the recording of that conversation as part of the book launch).


Tim Grahl of Out:think brought it all home with his Connection System, teaching us how we can launch our brands, careers, products and services into the world. Tim’s book Sell Your First 1,000 Copies was the foundation of his talk. He is the marketing force behind bestselling authors like Daniel Pink, Dan and Chip Heath, and Dan Ariely. I am working with him on the launch of Body of Work, so you know I am in great hands!


Navajo Cultural Educators and artists Steve and Rose Darden, who are some of my and my husband’s dearest friends, closed the event with a wonderful teaching and circle.


If there is one thing that I have learned in the past eight years with Escape from Cubicle Nation, it is that community is everything. When you bring the right people together, everyone is pushed to excel.

We had an amazing group of participants at Body of Work Live, who were not only totally open learn, but also open to share their many talents and skills.





We built lots of working time in the schedule, in what we called Learning Labs. People were encouraged to process and apply the content from the keynotes  in the way that made the most sense for their learning styles.

Because I have done so much work with my client Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking, we paid special attention to the needs of the more introverted participants at the conference. We set up different learning zones, and made it totally socially acceptable to work by yourself, or go for a walk instead of participate in a small group.

Learning Lab








MC Ericka Hines put a dance break on the agenda, and proceeded to show us how it is done. How might a Soul Train be introvert friendly? By making no dancing required, and encouraging introverts to watch the extrovert explosion from the safety of their seats. They were wonderfully encouraging! We all felt respected. 🙂


One of the most important catalysts for our event was our conference ambassador Mike Bruny, who reached out to participants before the event, and started building connections before everyone got to Phoenix. Mike made the many new folks feel welcome, and the old time Slim community relaxed and appreciated. Thanks for sharing your genius at connecting, Mike!


If you were not at the event and want to get a peek at some of the speaker videos, be sure to sign up for my mailing list. As part of the book launch in November and December, I will be sharing stories, tools and videos from the event. Sign up here:

This event could not have happened without the patience and genius of my assistant Sheila Sanders. Event planner Val Steiger landed us the fantastic Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak which treated everyone like valued family members.

Body of Work Live family, I am so appreciative of your support, enthusiasm and love! I could not have wished for a better kickoff for my brand new book, and piece of my own body of work. To a fantastic 2014!



Have you ever gotten the perfect job, or client, or gig, and after doing the work for awhile, found that it was not anything like you imagined?

A good friend moved all the way across country for a job opportunity that sounded like a dream on paper.

Only after working there for a few months, he quit, jumped on a plane, and moved back home.

“The CEO was a lunatic,” he said. “It was a crazy experience.”

It can be so disheartening to get really excited about an opportunity, only to find that it is nothing like you thought.

Why does this happen and how can you avoid making the mistake the future?

Very often, we get romanced by the what of our work (a great job title, exciting client, cool opportunity) but forget that great work also includes whom, how and where.

As you are evaluating different work opportunities, remember to research the following areas:

Whom are you working with?

  • Do they share your values? (Ask them)
  • Do they do what they say? (Ask someone who has worked with them in the past)
  • Do they understand your genius skills? (Ask them why they are interested in working with you)
  • Do they push themselves to grow, personally and professionally? (What is their body of work?)
  • Do you feel energized and alive when working with them, even when they are pushing you?

How are you working?

  • Are you in your optimum work mode? (Employee, Entrepreneur, Contractor, etc)
  • Are work expectations communicated clearly?
  • Are you able to create in your peak performance time zones during the day?
  • Are your communication style and personality profile respected? (do you need lots of quiet, reflective time, or lots of brainstorming and discussion to do your best work?)
  • Do you make the money you need to live the lifestyle you want?

Where are you working?

  • Does your physical environment allow you to do your best work?
  • Are you living where you want to?
  • Does your work environment support your health? (Chance to go outside and walk, good lighting, good ergonomics)

While it is tough to check off every one of these questions, you can identify some areas of your work life that can lead to greater satisfaction.

Great Work Pop Quiz

Answer Yes or No to the following 10 questions in this non-scientific test:

  1. I enjoy the content of my work
  2. The people I work with know my genius skills, and give me work in this area
  3. My manager (or client) trusts my judgement
  4. My physical environment makes me feel creative and focused
  5. My personal life is respected at work (time for health, family, etc)
  6. I respect the people I work with
  7. I know what is expected of me, and what is required to be successful at my job
  8. I love where I live
  9. I am challenged to grow and develop on a daily basis
  10. I am content with the amount of money I make


10 Yes’ = Wow, can I interview you? I would love to hear how you made this happen.

7-9 Yes’ = Congratulations! You have made career choices to bring out your best work

4-6 Yes’ = You are well on your way to doing your best work. Negotiate upgrades in the areas

0-3 Yes’ = Are you tired and frustrated? I am sorry! Time for a serious work overhaul.

Your best work will come from doing work you love, with people you respect who push you to do your greatest work, in an environment that allows you to do your work with the most focus and ease.

Do you think it is impossible to find the perfect work situation? Why or why not?

Of all of these questions on the list, which are most important to you? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


Glenis Redmond, sharing her beautiful poetry at Design Your Life Camp. Photo by Lynn Buckler Walsh.

I just spent three days in a hotel on a lake in Georgia, in a room filled with creative people, art, inspiration and poetry.

I was at Patti Digh’s first annual Design Your Life Camp.

One of the participants shared that the event was like a “Three day Duende-fest.” So I looked up “duende” on Wikipedia:

El duende is the spirit of evocation. It comes from inside as a physical/emotional response to art. It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive. Folk music in general, especially flamenco, tends to embody an authenticity that comes from a people whose culture is enriched by diaspora and hardship; vox populi, the human condition of joys and sorrows. Drawing on popular usage and Spanish folklore, Federico García Lorca first developed the aesthetics of Duende in a lecture he gave in Buenos Aires in 1933, “Juego y teoria del duende” (“Play and Theory of the Duende”).

I am sure that el duende was with us.

I longed for my Mom and missed my grandma when Glenis Redmond shared a rousing poem about the magic of her mother. I remembered what a powerful gift I have in my children.

I looked at art and books created by participants, and remembered the satisfaction that comes from bringing a creative vision to life.

And when Shane Koyczan spent thirty minutes telling stories and sharing poems about his childhood, and bullies, and love, my heart felt like it would burst in my chest.

(Like this poem here:

Creation of any sort — writing, coding, speaking, leading — needs duende as fuel. You cannot create from an empty pot of emotion.

And you certainly will not get it from doing more PowerPoint slides, or reading more business books.

The roots of your work feed on duende.

“Lorca writes: “everything that has black sounds in it, has duende. [i.e. emotional ‘darkness’] […] This ‘mysterious power which everyone senses and no philosopher explains’ is, in sum, the spirit of the earth, the same duende that scorched the heart of Nietzsche, who searched in vain for its external forms on the Rialto Bridge and in the music of Bizet, without knowing that the duende he was pursuing had leaped straight from the Greek mysteries to the dancers of Cadiz or the beheaded, Dionysian scream of Silverio’s siguiriya.” […] “The duende’s arrival always means a radical change in forms. It brings to old planes unknown feelings of freshness, with the quality of something newly created, like a miracle, and it produces an almost religious enthusiasm.”

If you are feeling less than enthusiastic about your job, blocked from writing your book, tepid in your relationship with your loved one, uninspired in your brainstorming or dissatisfied in your life, I suggest one thing:

Dive head first in a deep pool of duende.

Watch some live poetry.

Go to a concert.

Go to a favorite museum.

Walk in nature and look at its perfect bumps and curves.

 Remember why it is fun to be alive.


The Side Hustle and Flow Interview Series is designed to inspire hard-working corporate employees to either start a side hustle if they are interested in eventually starting a business, or to keep going with their existing side hustle through the inevitable challenge of limited time and energy.

So far we have profiled Chandoo, Willie Jackson, Dan Schawbel, Laurie Gay, Carmen Sognonvi, Desiree Adaway , Gwen Morrison, Jenny Blake , Glen Southern , Alexandra Levit and Eleanor Mayrhofer.

Today I am profiling Michael Bungay Stanier, who is an author, speaker and business person. He wrote Do More Great Work, as well as partnered with Seth Godin to create End Malaria, a book with contributions from authors like Dan Pink, Tom Peters and Sir Ken Robinson (and yours truly) that to date has raised over $300,000 for charity.

He is a dear friend, and a hysterical human being, as you will find out shortly. I hope you enjoy the interview.

1. What was your former day job?

In 2001 I was living in Boston and working as an Unhappy Change Management Consultant. Meaning, I was unhappy not that I managed unhappy change. Although come to think of it, that’s also true.

My wife and I had gone to a pub, written down the name of 3 cities each on a beer coaster, and on revealing them to each other decided to move to Toronto, a city I’d never been to before. (My other two options were Berlin and Leeds. Also cities I’d never visited.)

I lined up another job – also a change management consultant – and we booked our tickets to fly on September 11th. For obvious reasons, that plan then fell through and when we did arrive in Toronto, my job had vanished.

I spent the next six months continuing what was now a tradition of being an unhappy change management consultant, but this time working in-house for a non-profit life insurance company (yes, I know that sounds contradictory) that was rebranding. It’s fair to say I made little to no impact, and (luckily) three days after the Canadian equivalent of the Green Card arrived, I was fired.

2. What was your side hustle?

What I was working on as a side hustle when I was at the life insurance company, was a coaching practice. I was doing my certification training, and attempting to refine my “who do I coach?” approach from “anyone with a pulse and a wallet. Or just a wallet.”

I started out charging $250 a month for 4 x 1 hour calls. Or free. A lot of free. This, by the way, is not a sustainable business model.

But I actually had a second phase side hustle. For the first year out, I found a job creating branding models for a research company for 2 days a week. They paid me just enough to cover living costs for my wife and me, which weren’t huge – we had and have no kids, no car, no house. So we only had to fund my drinking problem. (I’m kidding.)

What that meant is that I spent that first year doing a lot of experiments about what I might do, lots of small gigs drawing on my past history: facilitation, training design, creativity and innovation, strategic planning. When someone called me to say, “Can you do this?” I’d pretty much say “Yes” and then “How do you spell that exactly?”

3. When did you start working on it?

The key thing I started working on as soon as I moved to Toronto was building some relationships. I had lukewarm introductions to about 3 people, and I used that as a starting point and just went and drank a bagaziliion cups of coffee to meet people.

Lots of bad coffee.

Lots of people I only needed to meet once.

But “working on the side hustle” isn’t just about the technical expertise, I think. It’s about building the reservoirs you need of emotional, financial, relationship and technical resources you can draw upon. Because you’re going to need them more than you might think.

4. Did you tell your employer you were working on a side project? Why or why not?

My employer was proving to be largely indifferent to the work I was doing for them. They would have been supremely indifferent to what I was doing on the side.

5. How did you know when it was time to quit your day job?

As my boss uttered the words, “you’re fired” I resolved then and there to quit my day job. It was an amazing synchronicity of timing.

With the year long 2-days-a-week job, I had enough money saved and enough strong next-steps and leads to be able to step away from that safety net

6. What scared you about that decision?

For phase one … well, everything. I knew no-one in Toronto. Or in Canada.

For phase two … much less. I had a sense of resilience and “we can make this work”. It really helped that I’d sat with the question, “How much is enough?” so that I knew a minimum number I had to earn for us not to become reliant on my busking skills. Which don’t exist.

7. How did it turn out?

It was a disaster. My wife left me. I lost more than half my body weight. After the leg amputation I developed a nasty rash and…

No, just kidding. It’s been very very good. I spent the first three years really doing almost anything that came my way. It was very much a grab bag of whatever.

Then, someone sent me a photocopied page from Milton Glaser’s book Art is Work, and it proved to be a moment of clarity and inspiration. Box of Crayons started to evolve to where we are now: helping people and organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work.

We got more and more courageous about standing for something (and therefore saying No to other things), and that focus has continued to serve us well

8. What are you doing now?

We’re still helping people and organizations do more Great Work. Our money engine is four training programs I’ve created, and we have a faculty of external program leaders (and many internal leaders within organizations) who deliver them. And I write books, give speeches, run some workshops, create conferences … basically, create cool stuff that inspires me and I hope others and contributes to people doing more Great Work.

9. What advice would you give for others who are working on a side hustle now that you have a bit of distance?

Here are three pieces of advice:

1. Treat everyone else’s sage advice with deep suspicion. It’s probably only partially true, and it may not be true for you.

2. Build a number of reserves – not just money, but relationships, support, self-care, learning, technical – that you will be able to draw upon when you’re working on your side hustle.

3. Whatever your business plan is, it’s going to be wrong. Likely, completely wrong. So you have permission and freedom to iterate. Fast prototyping and testing things out, so you can have reality slap your ideas around a bit to see what will really flourish

3.5. Build a mastermind group. I’ve been in one for 7 years, and it’s been a powerful place to build insight and trust and courage and humility. Jen Louden is part of mine, and she created a “how to” product here, if you’re curious:

10. How can people find you, or hire you?

Option 1: Come to Pam’s fantastic Body of Work Live conference in October to experience the Full Force of My Magnetic Personality. I’ve got the pleasure of doing the opening keynote, which is flattering and will be great fun. {Editorial from Pam: I read Michael’s answers to these questions while on the plane, and I was laughing so hard that I got dirty looks from passengers around me. This confirms I made the right choice to have Michael go first in the lineup.}

Option 2: Sign up for the Great Work MBA ( which is a free and virtual conference I’m curating (a fancy word for “running”). 25 amazing speakers – yes, Pam is one of them – and I’d love you to come along.

And finally – jump onto and make sure you check out (a code word for “pillage”) as much of the free stuff as you’d like.

Tweet Michael at @boxofcrayons

Feel free to take all three options, of course.


Thank you so much Michael for sharing your story! As long as I have known you, I did not know the sordid details of your side hustle journey, so learning more about it makes me appreciate your current success even more.

I suggest your next side hustle be a stand up comedy business.


There are some people I meet who I instantly feel not just a connection with, but true kinship. Todd Henry is one of these people.

I first met him when he interviewed me about my book Escape from Cubicle Nation on his wildly popular podcast, Accidental Creative. I was intrigued by his work with creatives, where he acts, in his words, as an “arms dealer for the creative revolution.” His ideas have inspired people from graphic artists to Hip Hop stars (LL Cool J is a fan, as you can see above).

But I really got to know him when we were both writing our new books for the same publisher (Portfolio) with the same editor (Emily Angell). Our late-night email chats were both inspiring and extremely effective for working through creative blocks.

After being close to Todd’s creative process, I was so excited to read his brand new book Die Empty. I loved it.

In this interview, Todd gives extremely clear, passionate, concrete advice on not only how to get your creative work out into the world, but why it is your obligation to do so. I was shaking my fist in the air during the interview. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.

Download the mp3 here:

Listen online here:


To get the new book:

Check out Todd and his brand new book Die Empty at

If you purchase the book  by September 25 (be sure to fill out the pre-order form on the site), you get some wonderful pre-order gifts including:

  • Access to the Die Empty Book Club
    Here’s how it works: You ask me questions via e-mail or voicemail, and I respond to them via a weekly 30-60 minute podcast available only to the first-readers. This podcast will be much longer than our typical podcasts, and will add extra perspective to Die Empty. It’s going to be a lot of fun!
  • The Official Die Empty Workbook
    A downloadable PDF workbook to help you think through and apply the principles in Die Empty to your own life and work. The workbook also contains exclusive extra content and external sources to help you dive deeper into each principle.
  • Downloadable PIP Worksheet
    A PDF of our very popular Personal Idea Pad tool to help you generate brilliant ideas for your work.
  • The 147 Episode Secret Accidental Creative Podcast Stash!
    It’s a series of 147 podcasts we released only to our AC Engage community, but that were never publicly available. You will have immediate access to over 12 hours of exclusive coaching to help you be prolific, brilliant, and healthy.

Even more exciting to me is that Todd is joining me as a keynote speaker at Body of Work Live in Phoenix, AZ on October 25 & 26. Bring your copy of Die Empty and Todd can sign it for you! 🙂 Details and sign up here:


I always laugh when people comment that I seem to be very productive. I think it is based on the illusion created by social media, when all we see are celebrations of finished blog posts, or program announcements, media coverage or photos of glamorous travel.

I have huge spaces of bumbling around, head scratching and confusion, just like the rest of the world.

But I have been getting much more focused and effective as the years have gone by. And this is by very conscious design.

This year, I was able to run a profitable business, write a book, get my black belt in Mixed Martial Arts and build new strategic corporate partnerships. All while being a present and engaged Mom to my two kids.

What is the key to getting things done and enjoying your life?

The four things that have made a big difference for me this year are the following:

  1. Identify Your Strengths
    You have multiple interests and talents, but you can do only a handful of things exceptionally well. Zero in on the work that will leverage your strengths, and you are much more likely to do great work.
  2. Focus Your Goals
    My friend Charlie Gilkey taught me that it is extremely difficult to do more than three major initiatives in a year. If you want to get big goals accomplished, you have to be ruthless about your priorities. At the end of 2011, Ramit Sethi recommended that I should stop launching so many small programs and instead focus on developing a longer and more profitable program. This led to the successful launch of Power Boost Marketing, a year-long program that allowed me to work with a group of entrepreneurs in a deep way, while generating stable and healthy cash flow.
  3. Surround Yourself with a Great Team
    I have worked hard to build a network of exceptionally smart peer mentors. I rely on them for creative input, decision making and support. I have also built a team around my business that allows me to do my best work. My full-time assistant Sheila Sanders has improved the quality of my life, and the quality of customer support for my business. My partnership with Tim Grahl’s firm Out:think has allowed my business to grow, and is preparing me for a strong and effective book launch. Adding the right people to your team is a key part of growth.
  4. Own your B.S.
    When I was in the middle of writing my new book Body of Work, I got a bad case of writer’s block. My friend Michael Bungay Stanier talked me down from the ledge, and helped me see that my thoughts about the creative process were getting in the way of my creative output. Once I changed my thoughts, the writing flowed, and I was able to finish the book on time.

Because  these lessons have been so effective for me,  I have designed a 2-day event, called Body of Work Live, and invited some of the smartest and most successful people I know to be keynote speakers.

How is Body of Work Live different from most conferences?

  • The ideas in the keynotes build in a logical way that leads you to a clear, coherent plan for 2014
    I have taken great care to plan the agenda with the speakers so that there is cohesion among the topics, and there is a perfect blend of inspiration and logical, actionable advice.
  • There are learning labs built in the schedule so you can debrief, process and apply the framework and insights from the keynotes into your own business and career plans
    Most conference agendas are packed, with speakers booked back to back. This experience will be different. We will have multiple opportunities to discuss and apply the ideas in the keynotes to our actual career in business plans, with input from the speakers themselves.
  • We will plan, support and facilitate effective networking with a Conference Ambassador.
    Before, during and after the event, Mike Ambassador Bruny will facilitate connections between participants, so that you feel welcome, valued and integrated into the conference community. We will tailor the experience toward your communication style, whether you are introverted or extroverted.
  • The conference size is small enough to build strong connections and big enough to get a diversity of ideas and input
    Large conferences with thousands of participants can be exciting. They can also be exhausting. Body of Work Live will be a warm, energizing, creative environment that will allow you to be inspired while getting a real plan done for 2014. It is being held at a beautiful hotel in North Phoenix that has spacious rooms, hiking trails and a water park.

What do you want in 2014?

  • Do you want to write a book?
  • Launch your business?
  • Change careers?
  • Grow your platform and profile?
  • Get more work/life balance?
  • Change your business model?
  • Make more money?

We can help.

This conference is priced many times less than my normal retreats. This is intentional. I want to make it accessible for all those who are ready to really make a splash in 2014.

Please join me at Body of Work Live on October 25th and 26th. I am so excited to help you reach your goals in 2014.

Click here for details and registration:


One of the fun things about writing a blog about quitting your job to start a business is I get some interesting press requests.

This one from HGTV came across my inbox yesterday, and thought it was really fun. Here is the description of what they are looking for in ideal candidates for a new reality show:

HGTV’s New House, New Life

Are you in the process of moving from Wall Street to Main Street? Or maybe you’re getting ready to trade in that cubicle for a houseboat? Planning to run your own B&B, rafting business, ski shop, doggie daycare? No matter your passion, if you’re tired of “working for the man” or living someone else’s dream and have just moved or are in the process of doing so, then we’re looking for you! HGTV’s latest series, “New House, New Life” seeks fun, high-energy people who have recently relocated or are picking up stakes to a new location to follow a lifelong passion or newfound interest.

I think it would be a kick to see you on television. If this sounds like you and you want to apply, go to this link to be considered for casting:

And if you get the gig, maybe I can come on in a guest star spot as the life coach in residence. 🙂


Many years ago, when I was in the early years of blogging at Escape from Cubicle Nation, I heard about a young man named Dan Schawbel who was writing like crazy about personal branding and millennials in the workplace. His name and face were everywhere, as he wrote for his own blog, as well as grew an impressive byline in places like Fortune, Time and Fast Company.

Dan’s first book, Me 2.0, became an international bestseller, and has been translated in 13 languages.

And yet, surprisingly as we discuss in this podcast interview, he had to work really hard to find the right publisher for his brand new book, Promote Yourself.

Listen in to our conversation, where we discuss:

  • How the world of work has changed, and what you need to do to make sure you have sustained career and business success
  • The necessary hustle required to make things happen in a crowded online world
  • Expectations from millenials in the workplace, and how we can all learn to get along (Dan and I have healthy disagreement on a few items here, but that is what makes a good discussion, right?)

Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success is fresh off the press this week, and not surprisingly with Dan behind the launch, has generated lots of buzz in the business press.

Pick up your copy here:

Check out our interview on the Escape from Cubicle Nation Podcast page:
Or download the mp3 file directly here: