Pamela Slim is a seasoned coach and writer who helps frustrated employees in corporate jobs break out and start their own businesses. Her blog, Escape from Cubicle Nation, is one of the top career and marketing blogs on the web. A quote I pulled from her site that is a Pam Slim original I have to repeat here is, “Entrepreneurship at its heart is aligning your purpose for being on earth with a business idea so compelling that you simply must do it, despite the fears that hold you back.”
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John Lee Dumas: Hire Fire Nation and thank you for joining me for another episode of EntrepreneurOnFire.com, your daily dose of inspiration. If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support by leaving a rating and review here at iTunes. I will make sure to give you a shout out on an upcoming showing to thank you!
John Lee Dumas: Okay. Let’s get started. I am simply thrilled to introduce my guest today, Pam Slim. Pam, are you prepared to ignite?
Pam Slim: Yes, I am!
John Lee Dumas: Alright! Pam is a seasoned coach and writer who helps frustrated employees in corporate jobs break out and start their own business. Her blog, “Escape From Cubicle Nation,” is one of the top career and marketing blogs on the web. A quote that I pulled from her site that I hope that she’s not planning on using right now is “Entrepreneurship at its heart is aligning your purpose for being on earth with a business idea so compelling that you simply must do it despite the fears that hold you back.”
Pam, I love that quote. I had to make sure I got it in there in the intro. Like I said, I hope that you have a different success quote for us. We’re not yet actually going to do that right now because I’m just going to say take it from here, tell us who you are and what you do.
Pam Slim: Yes. Well, I am a business coach and a writer, and a mom and a passionate community builder. I have been working for about the past seven years with people that are in corporate jobs that want to leave and start a business, or people that are in business and are going through a stage of growth and development where they want to develop more mastery or expertise in a particular area or they want to be growing and developing in new markets, or also really expanding their business.
So a lot of what in my own journey as a self-employed person, I started working for myself 16 years ago, and first started as a consultant to corporations and spent a lot of time inside organizations, coaching employees and managers and senior executives basically on the human side of business – how to be happier and healthier at work. Then seven years ago when I started the Escape From Cubicle Nation blog, which then became really the core focus of my business, I was focused specifically on developing entrepreneurship and small business.
Now I’m on a different, exciting new stage of growth and development where I’m writing a new book, which brings me in some ways full circle to really looking at the new world of work, including people in what we might consider more traditional corporate jobs or academia or the military or larger organizations in addition to entrepreneurs. What excites me is really saying, what is this new world of work? With all the changes that have happened, with less stability out there, but also a lot of new opportunities with different ways that we work, especially through the Internet, how can I really help people to feel excited about their life, excited about their career, and really equipped with the kind of skills that are going to keep us all employed in the 21st century?
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! Well, I’m really excited to delve into that more later in the interview. Now we’ll transition to our next topic, which is our success quote. At EntrepreneurOnFire, we really like to start each interview off with a little success quote to get the motivational ball rolling and get people really excited for the rest of the content that you have for us. So Pam, what do you have for us today?
Pam Slim: This is actually part of a quote that is very frequently shared. Goethe is the source of it, but it was also shared by I think Sir Hillary Edward, I believe his name is, as he was talking about his quest on Everest, but part of the quote that I really like says that “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” It’s really looking at for anything that you’re considering doing, for anything that you want to accomplish in your life, a huge step, and interestingly, one that I help a lot of people take, is by just taking the first step – taking action, getting over the fear of feeling paralyzed and beginning to move forward in a new direction. It really does have that magic in it, and so many amazing things happen when you get enough courage to actually move forward and take the first step.
John Lee Dumas: So Pam, EntrepreneurOnFire, it’s about your journey. So take us to the ground level. How have you applied this quote to some point in your life?
Pam Slim: Wow! I mean I have applied it probably as early as I can remember. The part of my life where I really began to take a lot more bold moves was actually in my junior year of high school. I had grown up in a suburban town in Northern California in Marin County at San Anselmo, which is across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. I had a happy and pleasant life and everything, but I didn’t really know that much about the world around me and had gone through a path I think in high school where I was maybe hanging out with a crowd that was not necessarily doing healthy things, and I just kind of felt like my life wasn’t really going in a positive direction.
So I got this really strong vision that I wanted to go away and be an exchange student. At that point, my mom was a single mom. We didn’t really have a lot of money, but I just got this very, very strong idea that I really needed to do something and get away from my senior year. So I applied to be an exchange student. I ended up spending a year in Switzerland, living with a family. It really opened my mind and changed my life in many ways to just get the perspective of meeting people from all over the world and making that happen. Even though we really didn’t have money initially available to us, I just really learned how to hustle and make it happen with a combination of scholarships and support from the organization and so forth.
So while I was there, I think I was really expanding and taking steps. I ended up interviewing the Ambassador from the U.S. to Switzerland when I had to do a project on American history. Instead of researching and going to the library, I just kind of took that bold move. Then through my years in college, I ended up living abroad in other places in Mexico and Colombia. I would travel by myself in sometimes areas that were a little bit scary and dangerous. Then I practiced martial arts, the [6:16] Afro-Brazilian martial art capweta, for about 11 years, and did similar things. As I said earlier, I’m really passionate about building community. I have a huge passion for youth, and especially youth at risk that might not have the same access as we do to resources or that might come from difficult family situations. So I would sometimes make bold moves like walking in the streets of San Francisco in some tough neighborhoods and taking to kids that were gang members and trying to encourage them to get on a good path and for some of them to join our martial art program.
So that kind of boldness is one that really gets me excited. It gets me excited in the service of particular goals that I have, and I know within my own business, what I always tell my clients is I push them to sometimes take a very scary step, or what can feel like a scary step, to begin to move forward in building their business or maybe stretching themselves to grow in a new way. If I’m asking them to do that, then I also want to be modeling that for them. So I really always try to be pushing myself to grow, questioning my assumptions, being brave, doing bigger and better things in the world, and that’s something that’s really served me well.
John Lee Dumas: Well, as I try to stress to every one of my interviewees, EntrepreneurOnFire is about the journey, and you are really checking that block, Pam, and I appreciate that you are telling us your journey and giving us some great insights and really inspirational segments of your life. So thank you for that.
We’re going to transition into the next topic now, which is failure. As an entrepreneur, your journey has many times, when you are facing failure or a challenge or an obstacle, however you want to define it, every entrepreneur does have that moment where they just have to look within themselves and make sure that the challenge that they’re facing is not going to define them as an entrepreneur. Pam, can you take us back to a time when you really had this very difficult obstacle that you had to overcome and walk us through that?
Pam Slim: Yes. I can definitely think of a few. Being self-employed for so many years, there have been a number of different moments. I think some of the biggest challenges that I have faced have really been in the context of the general market and really my husband’s business. I moved to Arizona about eight years ago and I’ve always had my consulting practice that’s been going. He has a construction business.
For those of you who know about the construction market, with the change that happened in the economy around 2007 and 2008, there was just a huge crash in the market and it was right at the time where he had had a very successful company, he was really growing and building his business, and the crash was really, really hard. It just felt like it went from being at the top of the mountain one day to being at the bottom the next.
So at that time, I had a brand new baby. Our daughter was about a month old. I was writing my book, “Escape From Cubicle Nation,” about helping people to leave their job to start a business. Then at the same time, I needed to be generating all the income for my family. It’s one of those things where it’s a humbling experience having gone through that economic crash. We had some subsequent real challenges with the business. The construction business is a very tough one.
Sometimes, even when those really close to me are going through different challenges, you can’t control every single thing that happens in the market. It reminds me when I was in Silicon Valley and consulting during the late ‘90s, which was an amazing time with lots and lots of growth, but then I also lived through the crash and just saw what happened to many former clients and peers and friends and everything where based on the economy shifting, sometimes they’re not recognizing signs early enough. People really lost everything.
That is something that what I appreciate about that, as hard as it is and as much as it impacts so many people, it’s really, really tough to go through that. Probably every business folk when you’ve heard of great leaders, everybody has their story of like really hitting rock bottom, having a really bad experience with the business, having businesses fail. It’s really hard when you’re living through it. Very, very difficult. When you care about it immensely and you feel like you’ve tried to do your best.
The lesson that it’s really taught me that I think helps make me a better business coach is in recognizing that there truly are some things that are outside of your control, that you probably want to be a little bit more risk averse and prudent in what it is that you do. That it is very important to look at a business situation from an objective manner and to really own the decisions that you made that were not wise ones, but at the same time, to recognize that we always have the opportunity to do better.
We always have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. I think as a culture, as a general business culture, that sometimes people make judgments about what happens financially a lot more than they would in any other part of somebody’s life. So if you made bad decisions and you had a bad relationship, for example, then often, that is not judged as harshly in our environment, or if you make poor decisions about your health, even though they’re really serious issues and they have to do with making personal decisions, I think for a lot of people, if it’s a financial decision, if they lose their job, if something is not successful, it ends up really messing with your own sense of identity and with your own self-esteem.
So that’s really been the lesson for me, is sometimes we can have a brilliant burst in the market. So anybody who happens to be riding that wave can think that they’re a fantastic businessperson [Laughs]. Some of it is based on decisions that they’re making. Other things can just be based on being in the right place at the right time. Conversely, you can have really great people who are trying their best to hit a bad market segment or time in the economy, and things really go a bad way.
A good friend of mine, Kyle Durand, is a lawyer and does a lot of work with business owners, and I love what he always says. You can’t change the past and past decisions, but there always is going to be a positive solution in the future. There’s always something good that you can learn from that, from a lesson, and there are always going to be opportunities in the future. That’s definitely how it is that I’ve really integrated the lessons from some of those challenges.
John Lee Dumas: Pam, those were some great insights into failures and challenges that you’ve faced throughout your journey and the lessons that you pulled from there were so valuable. Thank you for sharing those with Fire Nation. This is exactly what the journey is all about. It’s about the ups, it’s about the downs, and it’s about keeping that focus on the end goal while trying to enjoy the journey despite the bumps and bruises you’re taking along the way.
Pam Slim: Yes.
John Lee Dumas: We’re going to use that to transition to the other end of the spectrum, Pam. That’s the aha moment. That’s the great part about being an entrepreneur because every entrepreneur has little aha moments every single day. We love them, they inspire us, they propel us to the next level, but every now and then we really do have that one, big shining aha moment. That light bulb comes on, the clouds part, the angels sing. Pam, have you had an aha moment?
Pam Slim: I have had many aha moments, actually, very thankfully, and I can think of many on my own business journey. I think just really beginning my blog when I had the opportunity to begin to share a lot of ideas that were in my head about what I’ve been experiencing as a consultant to corporations and being able to voice some of the concerns that people had and express things that didn’t feel safe for people to express, that whole journey has really been a true joy. It’s been something that’s just given me so much satisfaction.
Little things which are not too little like getting emails from people all over the world that say, “Boy, it was so motivating and I really worked my plan and I was able to quit my job, and now I’m successfully running my business.” Those kinds of things just really, really make me feel the tremendous value in the work that I do, and sometimes it’s more the little things that I think are really deeply satisfying to me because as a personal value, I really like to enjoy my work and my life while I’m actually living it. It’s not just a matter of getting certain kudos or accolades. That’s definitely wonderful as frosting on the cake, but it’s more knowing on a daily basis that those kind of things happen.
So being able to grow the blog in that way where I didn’t know what I was doing at all, but just was so excited to share, getting good feedback from people that what I was sharing was really useful. Then when I wrote my book, I had my publisher that approached me about doing a book. So I wrote the book, which was a huge challenge. Like I was mentioning before, doing it under very challenging circumstances. But then in 2009, I actually won the award for Best Small Business Entrepreneur Book of 2009 from 800-CEO-READ, which is a very respected business book distributor.
That was an example of something where it just was so affirming to not only know that I was really helping individuals, but that I had created something after great personal challenge. It was really a challenge to write the book and I put my whole self into it. But to know that they felt that that was really something of quality made me feel really, really good.
So I appreciate the whole journey, and having some of those moments of recognition are important, but I’ve also learned to not live for that because really the most important thing is that on a daily basis, I’m helping real live individuals to make their life a little bit better. That’s probably the biggest win that I could ever go for, and I think that really keeps my feet on the ground and make sure that I’m delivering things that are really relevant and are truly useful.
John Lee Dumas: So Pam, have you had an I’ve made it moment?
Pam Slim: I think about that actually more on the personal side. I think about that when I’m outside usually in my backyard with my kids and just being able to enjoy them, being able to enjoy the fact that I get to be a mom, and the wonder that that is, and just how much I really enjoy it. That personally feels like the biggest made it kind of moment that I can imagine. As I said, I like some of the big business accolades, I like being recognized, I like having opportunities. It was great to get a deal for my second book. Things like that.
But probably the most significant things that make me truly, truly happy and peaceful in my heart is just recognizing the wonder of being able to be the mom to two really fantastic, interesting kids, and realizing that I get to be part of their lives for the rest of my life. It just opens up so many possibilities for adventure and fun and meaning, that that to me is probably the most significant.
John Lee Dumas: That’s a great perspective, Pam. That’s one thing I always love to talk about with Fire Nation, is that life is about the journey, and especially as an entrepreneur, you have a journey and you’re setting goals and you’re reaching these goals and you’re getting these accolades. Of course, as hard-driving entrepreneurs, we just want to set those goals to the next lofty standard as quickly as possible to continue to move forward, but it’s so important to take a step back, take a deep breath. Enjoy the moment where you’re at, what you’ve achieved, what you’ve accomplished and really realize that it’s about the little things along the journey that’s going to make it because the destination will always be something that’s pushed back for us. So I really like to stress the journey. Do you feel as though you do enjoy the journey?
Pam Slim: I totally enjoy the journey, and I have to [Laughs]. I’ve learned that I am not happy. I am not a great contributor if I am not really enjoying what I’m doing. It’s why I’ve very, very conscientious about the kind of work that I do. I don’t just do it for the money. It really has to be something that I feel has great significance and purpose, and I have to enjoy it. I just know that about myself.
I tease my siblings sometimes. My sister is really, really wonderful. Very bright, very motivated, and she’s just always been good from the time that I can remember at just getting done whatever needs to get done. My brother is a scientist, a post-doctorate PhD scientist. He teaches at the University of Pittsburg and was the valedictorian of his class and has that same kind of quality.
I’m probably the one in the family that has a little bit more of that wild, creative spirit [Laughs]. I’ve worked since I was 12. I’ve always worked hard. I like to work hard. I have no problem with that. But I have more of a need to actually feel purpose, and I can’t just go through the motions. There have been times in my life where I wish I could, but I think it’s definitely guided me on a path where it works so well for me that I work for myself, and I can constantly be evaluating what I’m doing and changing it. When I’m able to do that, I really enjoy the journey.
So that is a personal value for me every day, is if I’m not enjoying it, I really need to make a change because that’s very significant. I’m willing to work really, really hard. I love to work hard. That’s never been an issue. But I have to make sure that it’s something that really has meaning.
John Lee Dumas: That really is a great definition that I like to use for an entrepreneur. Somebody that needs to feel the passion, that needs to feel the amusement, needs to feel entertained, needs to feel like they’re making a difference. All of these things is imbedded in the code of an entrepreneur, and I just love hearing it coming from you. So thank you.
So Pam, we’re going to move on to the next topic now, and that’s your current business. You have a lot of things going on with your books and everything else that’s encompassing Cubicle Nation. Can you give us one thing that’s really exciting you right now?
Pam Slim: Yes. What’s exciting me right now is actually the whole focus of my new book, which the core concept is really about developing your body at work and looking very consciously at what it is that you want to be contributing to the world. I’m really excited to be exploring the ideas, to be talking to people about it, to be getting back into some environments in large corporations to find out what really is the workplace like right now, what are new ways that we can start to think differently about core skills for everybody in a work environment so that we can be putting more people to work and really building a strong and healthy economy that’s based on the realities of today.
So that whole experience is one that I’m really, really excited by. Because I tend to work in stages, and interestingly enough, usually in about seven year chunks, is where I’ll take a significant piece of work. My blog is actually turning seven years old on October 5th, and I’m still absolutely going to be doing work around entrepreneurship and helping people to start businesses, but it’s exciting to me that it’s also moving in a new direction of expanding the scope and being able to reach new audiences, people who might have thought that I thought that corporate jobs were all terrible. I do not think that at all. I think whatever kind of work configuration matches your needs is really the right place for you to be. So that’s something to me personally that’s very exciting.
John Lee Dumas: Well, let’s continue with that. What is your vision for the future of Pam Slim?
Pam Slim: My vision for the future, I think for myself, is fundamentally to be contributing. Contributing ideas that are going to be really helping people in the new world of work. I know that I love to write and I love to speak, and so I’d love to be doing a lot more of that. I also really love to be developing the next set of leaders. I love to work with your entrepreneurs, I love to work with people to really grow their strength and capacity. That’s really been a theme in all the work that I’ve ever done, is having that combination of sharing ideas, but also developing the next set of leaders.
So I can’t say exactly what my business is going to be like, but I know that the main streams are going to be around contributing significant things in terms of writing books and being helpful and useful. I love like giving people ideas and metaphors that really open up possibilities and allow them to take action to get things done. As I was saying from my opening quote, like a lot of magic happens when people are actually moving in new directions, moving away from being stuck and moving forward.
So fundamentally, throughout the course of my life, right now I see the vision for the part of my body of work that I’m developing, which is going to be a book, but then also probably program-specific work with people. How it might look a couple of decades from now, I don’t really have a sense, but I do know that being a mom and watching my kids grow, and also, following the kind of growth and development that they need is going to be in forming my own body of work. Right now my son is seven and my daughter is four. So as they grow, and I really look at what is their environment, what kind of skills do they need, that’s also going to be helping to push me in a new direction.
John Lee Dumas: So Pam, we’ve now reached my favorite part of the show. We’re about to enter the Lightning Round. This is where I provide you with a series of questions and you come back at Fire Nation with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Does that sound like a plan?
Pam Slim: I’ll do my best [Laughs].
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] What was the number one thing that was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Pam Slim: Probably just the thought that I had no idea I even wanted to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t sit in angst for a long time. I was very happy in my corporate job. I loved it. I never considered working for myself. I always thought I would be working in a large company. But once I began to consult on my own, because I quit the job where I was and I couldn’t really find another job that was interesting to me, that’s where I realized that I was naturally wired that way. So because I’m not very risk averse, I dive into things very quickly. I didn’t have a lot of anxiety at all about starting a business. I just didn’t even realize that it would be something that would work so well for me.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice that you ever received?
Pam Slim: Probably the best business advice on the financial side was from a mentor of mine who had a very successful consulting practice. She was talking to me at one stage when I was negotiating my salary, and she said, “When you are negotiating salary, it’s really important to look at the market and make sure that what you’re charging is really in line with the market,” and especially the males in the market, right? As a female, it’s really important. Women traditionally undercharge in comparison to their male peers. So you really want to make sure that you’re charging what the market will bear so that your opinion is valued.
But from that, you can choose to do whatever it is that you want with the money. If you want to give it all away, you can, and if you want to invest in others. Whatever decision that you make is really for you to do what you want with it. That really opened up a lot of possibilities for me because I’m not really driven by money in and of itself. It is not inherently motivating to me to just pursue something via money. However, I do see so many things that can happen when you do have access to money. Not just in easing my own life, but also in what it is that I can do as an investor in my own community. So that was really, really pivotal advice that I got at an early age, and I try to really revisit it and dust it off and think about it as I go through each stage of business.
John Lee Dumas: What is something that’s working for you or your business right now?
Pam Slim: What’s really working for me – I just wrote a blog post about this – is in really recognizing my strengths and building my business model around what my natural strengths are. By nature, I am a community builder. My degree in college was International Service and Development. I’ve always had a passion at connecting people with each other, at supporting the work of others, of making sure that everybody within my general circle and community was getting access to resources that they needed.
So knowing that and knowing that that’s a strength of mine, that’s really the way that I have built my business. It just worked very well. I’m extremely proud of my client base. People make great progress. They grow and develop. The stronger that they get, they begin to really connect with others in their environment, and personally knowing that, it means that I can really make sure that I’m making good business decisions.
Sometimes, we can all get different business advice that we should move in a certain direction. For example, to really grow an empire and make it harder and harder for people to have access to you and to pay more and more money to have access. There’s nothing wrong with paying money to get value from your consulting and your services, but for me, knowing that I have such a value at being accessible and being a part of the community, that knowing that means that I can really make good decisions that are in harmony with who I truly am. I think that’s one of the strongest ways that you can come out in the market, is where people feel like you’re actually the same person when you are acting in your business and when you’re just sitting in your neighborhood, talking to your neighbors.
John Lee Dumas: I like to ask this question to my interviewees that seem a little more tech savvy than most. So I will ask you, Pam. Do you have an Internet resource like an Evernote, like something along those lines that you’re just in love with that you can share with Fire Nation?
Pam Slim: For me, it’s actually Instagram. Instragram is more just a social tool of a way to be sharing photographs with each other, but what I like about it, and just the way I use it personally, is it does feel so good to be sharing photos with each other, to be sharing little slices of my life, but it also really gives me a window and an insight into other people. There are some folks who I have been friends with online or even in person that I learned so much more about by really seeing their photographs on a daily basis. In my case, on my iPhone, or I watch their updates come through.
My dad is a photographer, so I’ve always been around photographs and I really appreciate them and they tell me so much about people. So as somebody who’s so interested in people, it’s a really, really neat application because I can just learn a lot about just what’s going on in somebody’s life, what’s their perspective based on what did they actually take pictures of, and what is their perspectives. So it’s not something like a productivity tool, but it does give me great insight and connection with folks who I care about in my community.
John Lee Dumas: Very unique. So Pam, what’s the best business book that you’ve read in the last six months?
Pam Slim: It’s so hard to choose because every one has a bit of a different purpose. The one I’m really enjoying right now is called “Mindset.” It was recommended to me by a client. I thought I had it in front of me here. I don’t have the author in front of me, but you can just google the book Mindset or look it up on Amazon. It looks at the difference between having a fixed mindset where you believe pretty much that the way that you come to earth is just the way that things are, so you have talent or you don’t, which is more of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset where you realize that any kind of skill or competence can be learned.
If you’re looking at the world that way, it opens up so many more possibilities, where as we were talking about earlier, if you ended up making some earlier mistakes, if things don’t always go right, then you still always have that opportunity with a growth mindset to learn from your mistakes. A lot of people get trapped in thinking you have it or you don’t. You’re a good writer or you’re not, or you’re a good businessperson or you’re not, when really, if you’re always open to learning and growing, there’s so much possibility for you to move forward.
Looking at somebody like Richard Branson I think is a great example of that. He wasn’t a great student, he didn’t necessarily have the perfect kind of pedigree from what you would consider for being a great businessperson, but he is so open to learning and experimenting and listening to the market. So Mindset is a book I would really recommend to everybody.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! We always link the books up in the show notes. So we’ll have that ready for Fire Nation.
Pam Slim: Perfect!
John Lee Dumas: So Pam, this last question is my favorite. It’s kind of a tricky one so take your time, digest it, and then come back at Fire Nation with an answer. If you woke up tomorrow morning and you still had all of the experience, knowledge and money that you currently have right now, but your business had completely disappeared, leaving you essentially with a clean slate, which is what many of our listeners find themselves with right now, what would you do in the next seven days?
Pam Slim: I would write. I would write. That’s what I’d do. If I didn’t have any of the other business activities, I would still be writing because I just feel like I have so many ideas and it’s probably the biggest passion that I have, is putting them down in writing. So that’s probably what I’d do.
John Lee Dumas: Love it. Well, listen, Pam, you’ve given us some great actionable advice this entire interview, and we are all better for it. Give Fire Nation one parting piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Pam Slim: My parting piece of advice is to break down whatever is your big, huge goal into the smallest step that you can. Often, if we’re looking to do something new, we feel like we have to create the whole picture ourselves, and often you can look at somebody else who’s done what you want to do. If you want to write a book, if you want to start a particular kind of business, if you want to start a blog, if you want to become a paid speaker, anything that might be a goal, first look for patterns of who has done it before, so you can understand and have a framework, and then just try to break it down into what is one tiny, small concrete step that you can take today in order to get one step closer to that. That is the biggest thing that makes a difference in my clients’ lives, is just taking one tiny step per day. All the small steps really adds up to great progress over time.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome, Pam. Thanks for ending on such a high note. Fire Nation salutes you, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Pam Slim: Thanks so much!