My kids Rosie and Josh have grown with my blog. Photo by Lewis Stewart, otherwise known as grandpa.
Six years ago today, I hit “publish” on my very first blog post.
I was on maternity leave from my consulting business and was taking care of my son Josh, who was seven months old. I took a class from Suzanne Falter-Barns about how to get known online, and one of the assignments was to start a blog. I struggled for a few months to come up with a name, but then it finally hit me: Escape from Cubicle Nation.
What a magical mystery tour it has been.
What struck me after reading the very first post I wrote was how utterly unaware I was at that time how writing Escape from Cubicle Nation would change my life. How many dear friends it would bring into my circle. How many amazing conversations and stories I would hear from people all over the world. How many visits to cities far and wide it would inspire. How it would lead to a hard copy, printed book from a New York publisher.
The following are my favorite posts. They did not all get tons of traffic or comments, but they express specific parts of myself and my philosophy about life and work.
- Are you trapped in Cubicle Nation?
This is my very first post. What I like about it is that it captures a moment of time when I had a very big flash of inspiration. Little did I know what a sticky idea it would be!
- Open letter to CXOs across the corporate world
This is certainly my most well-known post. It was written as I was pushing my son Josh around the neighborhood in a stroller, and I was reflecting on the ten years I had spent as a consultant to large corporations. I imagined what I would say to a large group of executives in a keynote speech, if I did not worry about editing my feelings. I sent it to Guy Kawasaki, he posted about it on his blog, and the floodgates to my blog readership were opened. To this day, I refer to Guy as my “link sugar daddy.”
- The grace in falling apart
A very difficult and delicate part of the work I do with clients is helping them navigate the no-mans land between a well-defined corporate career and a new life as an entrepreneur. This is not always easy, and this post explains why.
- Unicorns, rainbows and work-life balance
I have been lucky enough to raise two kids while writing this blog and growing a business. Very often, people ask me “How do you do it all?,” implying that I actually have things all figured out. I don’t, and that’s ok.
- Avatars, ecosystems and watering holes
I refer my clients to this post all the time, and it became a central part of my digital course Ethical Selling That Works. If you base your marketing in this framework, it will be so much easier, and effective.
- Double your learning speed, cut your mistakes in half
As you can tell from most of my blog post titles, I am not much for “Top 5” or “Make money now” types of posts. But I do believe in being effective and efficient, and this post outlines my very best strategy for learning new things while growing a business.
- How to strike a balance between giving content away for free and earning a living
This post came from a talk I gave at PodcampAZ. I wanted to lay out the steps in using content to build a business, in a way that people could easily understand. I asked my son Jeffery to create some original art for the presentation. I love the result of his drawings and my ideas together.
- Blow up traditional careers in favor of bodies of work
This sums up what I feel about the new world of work, and frames the ideas and assistance I want to provide to my market in the next decade. There is no more job security, and that is just fine.
- You, less than
This is a guest post I wrote for my friend Hugh McLeod on his blog Gaping Void. It was extremely personal, especially since I talked about a painful part of my family’s history. And I wrote about my Dad, who reads every post I write. It was cathartic to write, and it touched a nerve.
- Are you acting like a celebrity sheep with your marketing plans?
I can’t stand mindless conformity. Yet so many new entrepreneurs feel they have to follow expert advice for growing a business, or risk living in a van down by the river. They don’t.
- Come see the wonderful things my people accomplished this year
This type of post has now become an annual tradition, but the first one was published in 2009. It is round up of all the great things my clients were proud to share that they accomplished in that year. Putting it together, I was amazed by the diversity of ideas, and astounded by the talent and creativity of the people I am lucky enough to work with every day.
Thanks to all of you who take your valuable time to read my posts. They say a writer’s pleasure comes from having written. I disagree — a writer’s pleasure comes from being read.
To writing, and reading! <clinking glasses>
For my long-time readers, did I miss any of your favorite posts?