040: Pam Slim, Creating Community as a Body of Work

Pam Slim has a passion and talent for building intentional communities and helping small businesses grow. She is an award-winning author, speaker, business strategist and coach. Her best selling books Escape From Cubicle Nation and Body of Work have helped entrepreneurs and thought leaders around the world are favorites of mine!

Her belief that we can enjoy our lives and ensure economic well-being for all, were instrumental in creating K’é, a small business, community space in downtown Mesa, Arizona, where she conducts classes, hosts networking events, and creates virtual programs. Pam lives with her husband Darryl, their two children, and three dogs. Darryl’s Navajo heritage has fueled Pam’s appreciation and love of Native American culture. In fact, K’é, means “kinship” in the Diné culture.

Listen to the podcast to hear Pam talk about:

  • Her years of travel and adventure before getting married and having children, including being an exchange student in Switzerland.
  • A life full of doing the work she loves, chasing kids and dogs, time at the soccer field, traveling, having a connected family, and “living a pretty chill life”‘
  • Growing up in Sana Soma, California across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
  • Meeting her husband, Darryl, at a traditional Navajo prayer ceremony while on a trip to Arizona with her friend Peter Bratt (Benjamin Bratt’s brother).
  • Learning and teaching Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art.
  • The contrast between Pam’s childhood in California while Darryl grew up on the Diné (Navajo) reservation herding sheep.
  • Speaking and hanging out at Camp Good Life Project (GLP) and asking, “We are at Camp Iroquois, but where are the Iroquois people?” Being married to a Native American has caused Pam to be much more aware of places and events that lack a native presence.
  • In our day- to-day lives, when we are looking at our neighborhoods, walking down Main Street, or thinking about our business and customers we should be asking “Who is here?” and really celebrate that, and then ask ‘Who is not here?’, and “Why are they not here?
  • Pam’s delivered a powerful message of connectedness and community-building at Camp GLP that set off a chain events honoring a Navajo prayer. During the Saturday night talent show, Pam’s children recited a Navajo prayer on video, while campers played Native American flutes. The next morning, Emiliya Zhivotoskaya lead a group in an IntenSati workout while reciting the prayer. You can watch the video here and a picture is below. (I’m in the middle of the group – well hidden!) And the chain continues! I recite the prayer at the end of this podcast.
  • Escape From Cubicle Nation, Pam’s first book.
  • Body of Work, Pam’s second book that helps people to see the thread that runs through their life and work.
  • Pam’s “unbook tour” across 25 cities to talk to her community of people, her faithful readers, about trying and testing ideas and seeing what really worked. That tour took her to Fargo, ND where she was inspiried by people working together in such  unified, passionate way. To learn more about what’s happening in Fargo, listen to Podcast 031, featuring Greg Tehven.
  • “Driving kindness” throughout Fargo and creating an open, welcoming environment.
  • Pam’s daughter interviewed the mayor of Fargo for a schoo project. She asked, “What do you want people to know about Fargo?” He responded, “I want Fargo to be welcoming for others that come here, If people come here from other countries, they are refugees, they can come here, they can feel safe. They can sit down and have hot chocolate together.”
  • Opening a small business idea and community incubator in downtown Mesa (126 W. Main Street, Mesa, AZ)
  • Beware of advice like “Just do it.” or “Jump and the net will appear.” Be realistic about your financial situation and responsibilities and be thoughtful about each step you take.
  • Crowdfunding the development of K’é through an Indie Go Go campaign that raised $40,000 in 3 days with the help of Infusionsoft, Go Daddy, and Tuft & Needle.
  • Getting help from Clay Herbert to structure the campaign.
  • The building’s rich history dating back to the days of prohibition when alcohol used to be smuggled through the basement. Pam and crew transformed it from a photography space with windows painted black, to a bright, colorful space decorated with murals, some painted by Darryl’s son, Jeffrey.

Quotes from Pam:

“A passion area for me is building community and being very intentional about community. Thinking about who are we including? And who are we not including in our communities? Who feels welcome?”

“We can see work in an amazingly transformative way. We can enjoy our lives and also really ensure economic well-being for all. You really have to know that just driving good business is something that can also drive what every family needs in order to sustain themselves.”

“I love to write snappy things and I always want my books to read well but I really need to make sure that what I say works and I have evidence.”

“The feeling that I want to have in this space is one where everyone is welcome, where we have inter-dependence and inter-connectedness. As humans we ARE all related.”

Contact Pam:

Facebook: KeInMesa
Twitter: @PamSlim


Intensati at Camp Good Life Project 2016

IntenSati at Camp Good Life Project 2016 led by Emiliya Zhivotovskaya. 

Navajo Prayer

With beauty before me, I walk.
With beauty behind me, I walk.
With beauty above me, I walk.
With beauty around me, I walk.

I walk with beauty before me.
I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me.
I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me.
In beauty I walk.

With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful.