35 Cubicle Renegades to Watch in 2012

I have had the privilege to meet, work, and connect with a lot of awesome people this year. The coolest part? I know they are all working on awesome things for 2012. I wanted to feature a bunch of incredible cubicle renegades that are going to do great things in 2012. This list includes many people that have inspired me to live a more genuine and passion filled life. I hope you find some new people in this list to follow, listen to, be encouraged by, and learn from.

These are all people that don't have a "regular job", but you'd be hard pressed to find one that isn't working hard to make the world a better place.

In no particular order, here are 35 cubicle renegades to watch in 2012.

Jenny Blake


After releasing her hard copy book last year, Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want, Jenny took a sabbatical from her job at Google to do a book tour. I first met her on this book tour in Seattle and her "can do" attitude is quite infectious. :)

After her sabbatical she decided to step away from her comfortable salary, move from San Fran to NYC, and bootstrap it as an entrepreneur and life coach. This week she is re-opening the doors to her flagship 8-week coaching course: "Make Sh*t Happen".

Check out Jenny on her blog: Life After College.

Mars Dorian

Mars Dorian - Pocket Changed

Describe Mars in a word? Artist. In two words? Ass Kicker. Mars pushes the boundaries of graphic design with his unique style used when we draws characters and build brands. You can get a taste of his work from his avatar to the right.

My favorite essay of his so far has been 21 Killer Ways to Increase Your Influence Online. I recommend that you sign up for his branding guide and take what you are doing to the next level.

You can find out more about Mars at his blog: Mars Dorian.

Lisa Nicole Bell

Lisa Nicole Bell - Pocket Changed

Lisa reached out to me to be a part of a documentary she is putting together about how the American Dream has changed for young adults and college graduates. She is an extremely driven and talented film-maker, media personality, and entrepreneur.

She founded Inspired Girls International, where young women 14-21 can receive actionable content to improve their lives. Also, be sure to check out her TEDxHuntsville talk on Media and Mindfilters.

See what else Lisa is working on at her website: Lisa Nicole Bell.

Willie Jackson

Willie Jackson - Pocket Changed

In 2011, Willie worked with Seth Godin on the ground-breaking Domino Project as CTO. His blog, Marketing & Gummi Bears, is one of the mainstays of my Google Reader.

Willie currently works as a top website optimizer. That may sound pretty technical, but it is an important piece of having a successful online brand. If you are looking to have the fastest website on the web, I'd hire Willie.

Get more info on Willie at his website: Willie Jackson.

Amber Rae

Amber Rae - Pocket Changed

Amber does ground-breaking things. She created one of my favorite sites on the web: revolution.is, helped Derek Sivers launch his book at #1, and was one of the few who worked on the Domino Project with Seth Godin.

Be sure to check out her TEDxCMU talk, The Art of Being Unreasonable, and check out her "Passion Experiment". 

Visit her home on the web at her tumblr.

Nate Damm

Nate Damm - Pocket Changed

What'd you do last year? Oh really? That's nice. Nate walked across America. East Coast to West Coast. Atlantic to Pacific.

Not only did he walk across the U.S., he is also one of the most genuine persons I know. When you talk to him, he focuses on exactly what you're saying, listens intently, and responds thoughtfully (without talking about himself or pulling out a cell phone). You can sign up to get excerpts of the book he is writing on his experiences during the walk here.

Nate is an incredible writer, extremely humble, and strives to live a tranquil and meaningful life.

See what Nate is up to next at his blog: Nate Damm.

Barron Cuadro

Barron Cuadro - Pocket Changed

Not only does Barron do amazing web design work, he also co-founded Fifth & Brannan (a menswear clothing line in San Francisco), and writes at The Effortless Gent about men's style. (Where does he find all the time in the day?)

If you are looking to get your first website up and running or need a simple re-design to a current authority site, check out his entry-level web design offer. I've known and referred multiple people to Barron and they were all satisfied by the work he did.

Check out what else Barron offers at his website: Barron Cuadro.

James Clear

James Clear - Pocket Changed

As a different approach to the personal finance blogging niche, James started Passive Panda with a simple premise: teach people how to earn more money.

Over the past year he has built up a strong audience and become a leading expert at both networking and freelancing. If you browse through the archives on Passive Panda you are sure to find an article by James or a guest author that can give you new ideas on how you can earn more money through your own business or just on the side.

Get more great stuff from James at his blog: Passive Panda.

Matt Madeiro

Matt Madiero - Pocket Changed

One morning, Matt work up and decided that he wanted to be a caveman (at least that's how I picture it). He's quickly becoming a leading expert in how to follow a Paleo diet and has even started putting together simple & healthy recipes for his audience.

Be sure to check out his latest book, Roots: Growing Back to the Basics of a Simple Life. It will help you live a more balanced and care-free lifestyle.

You can find out more about Matt at his blog: Three New Leaves.

Joel Runyon

Joel Runyon - Pocket Changed

Do you know someone that thinks that nothing is impossible? That's Joel. If he wants to get 40 people to go skydiving, he does it. If he wants to do 100 push-ups in a row, he might fail first, but then he does it. #BOOM

I dare you to try and tell Joel, "no, you can't do that." He'd probably just laugh, do what you said he couldn't, and then stare you down. (The order of said events is interchangeable.) Join his Impossible League and start working towards your Impossible List.

See what crazy stuff Joel is up to next at the Impossible HQ.

Steve Kamb

Steve Kamb - Pocket Changed

As Joel's arch-nemesis, Steve leads the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. He promotes living a healthy lifestyle by getting fit and leveling up your life everyday. He just got back from a 14-month, round the world trip. While on the road he put together two amazing fitness guides (one on strength and one on running).

Whether you're just getting started with fitness or are trying to put on a ton of muscle, Steve has an epic article or guide to help you out.

Go see what Steve is up to over on Nerd Fitness.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle - Pocket Changed

As a fellow financial analyst turned web entrepreneur, Sean has been an inspiration to me ever since I first came across his post titled: Improve Your Life in Just One Easy Step. Between the work he does behind the scenes with Chris Guillebeau's affiliates to the SEO and other services he offers that he mastered in Thailand (not to mention all the traveling he does), Sean is one busy man.

Last year Sean successfully launched Location Rebel, a program that teaches people how to build a business they can run from anywhere on Earth. I'm looking forward to seeing what he has in store for 2012.

Read Sean's latest at his blog: Location 180.

Drew Baillon

Drew Baillon - Pocket Changed

Based out of Seattle, one of my closest friends Drew co-runs a company called Memovia. The easiest way to describe what they do is that they take your photos and turn them into videos. But this ain't just your Grandpa's slideshow. Using photo editing software they make the photos "come alive". Okay, that just makes it sound cheesy... Check out their gallery to see what I mean.

Drew manages the team of programmers are based out of India and they do amazing work. Jen and I just caught a preview of one they are putting together with our wedding photos and it is awesome.

You can find out more about the work Drew is doing at Memovia Studios or follow him on Twitter.

Jacob Sokol

Jacob Sokol - Pocket Changed

Jacob quit the 9 to 5 grind because his career was not fulfilling (sound like a trend?). Now he helps people find their purpose and start living extraordinary lives. Check out some of his extremely motivating videos and figure out what you really ought to be doing with your life. Or go even further and pick up his ultimate guide, Living Life On Purpose.

I got a chance to meet Jacob briefly when I was in NYC and I just found out he is headed all throughout Southeast Asia for four months. The dude is a go-getter and an inspiration. Check him out.

You can read more from Jacob at his blog: Sensophy.

Jonathan Mead

Jonathan Mead - Pocket Changed

I've already raved about his manifesto "The Zero Hour Workweek", but Jonathan has been doing great things for people online for years. He is an huge inspiration for people that want to live a life that matters.

The big reason I'm excited for what Jonathan doing this year is that in a few weeks he is launching a program called Trailblazer: Make $1,000 in Six Months Doing What You Love. Be sure to check out his epic launch trailer too. 

You can find out more of what Jonathan is up to at Illuminated Mind.

Adam Baker

Adam Baker - Pocket Changed

Adam was one of the first bloggers I read and he was one of the people that inspired me to pay off my debt. He has since built a team over at Man Vs. Debt that is putting together some really great stuff.

Last fall he launched You Vs. Debt, a six-week debt crushing program (which is re-opening in a couple weeks). He also recently launched a new podcast and has mentioned that MvD has a TV show coming out this year too. If debt is the biggest problem in your life, read through the Man Vs. Debt archives and work towards becoming debt-free.

Read more of Adam's stuff at Man Vs. Debt.

Jodi Ettenberg

Jodi Ettenberg - Pocket Changed

I met Jodi at WDS last year before I knew her whole story (went to law school on a bet, became a successful lawyer, and quit it all to travel the world full-time for almost four years). Her courage to travel alone all over the world, especially to extremely remote places, makes me want to hop on a plane and go wherever it is headed. If you read one piece by her, read why she quit her job to travel around the world

Some of my favorite posts from her are her pictures of food. (Warning: Don't click if hungry.)

You can read more of Jodi's adventures at her blog: Legal Nomads.

Devon Mills


I met Devon the night before WDS this year at Jenny Blake's book tour in Seattle and we both had similar plans for our upcoming year. We both dreamt of world travels and leaving our cubicles behind. Like I shared on Pocket Changed when I featured her previously, she is leaving February 5, 2012 to travel around the world for a year straight.

See just bought the first one-way ticket to New Zealand and has plans to go to Australia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iceland, and who knows where else.

Read more about why Devon is choosing to travel now instead of waiting at her blog: Answering Oliver.

Natalie Sisson

Natalie Sisson - Pocket Changed

Natalie packed her bags in 2006, left her hometown in New Zealand, and has been traveling around the world ever since. She's built up a business helping other woman learn about entrepreneurship and create businesses of their own. If you're interested in learning from her, start here. Or check out her Women Entrepreneurs Mastermind course here.

This year she is also competing in the Tour d'Afrique, where she’ll be cycling from Kenya to Capetown for two months and covering 6,445 km. The reason? To raise money for the needs of 60 Million girls in Africa. Win.

You can find out more about Natalie at her blog: Suitcase Entrepreneur.

Srinivas Rao

Srinivas-Rao - Pocket Changed

One of the founders of the BlogcastFM podcast, Srini is one of the most connected bloggers on the web because of how many people he has sat down and interviewed. I'm interested to see where the podcast and brand goes in 2012 with the addition of David Crandall to the team.

Be sure to check out this slideshare that the two of them put together about why you need to speak your mind.

Read more from Srini at his personal development blog: The Skool of Life.

David Garland

David Garland - Pocket Changed

If I could only watch one "web show" it would be David's The Rise to the Top. He sits down and interviews his guests about everything from business to fitness. My favorite episode this year was when he had on Seth Godin and they talked about the difference between an entrepreneur and a freelancer.

He doesn't just ask softball questions like some people do either. David gets guests to share insider information about how their businesses are successful. Every episode is extremely informative.

Check out all of David's interviews at The Rise to the Top.

Raam Dev

Raam Dev - Pocket Changed

Raam's writing is a step above the rest. My favorite post of his from last year is "You are not who you say you are."

In March, Raam is headed to the Appalachian Trial and is planning on spending six months there. He's "taking a folding solar panel, laptop, and data card; doing an experiment. :)" I'm sure it will be quite the adventure and I'm looking forward to reading his thoughts from it.

You can find more from him at Raam Dev.

Tyler Tervooren

Tyler Tervoorhen - Pocket Changed

Tyler strives to be in the 1%, but not in the Occupy Wall Street kind of way. He keeps a list of things that he deeply wants to accomplish in his life that less than 1% of the world will ever do. This year he ran the original marathon route in Athens, summited the tallest peaks in two continents (Europe and Africa), and flew an airplane.

In his free guide "take this job and shove it" he shares numerous ways to build up a savings fund to leave your day job behind. Pick it up and make some side income to save for your escape.

See the latest from Tyler at Advanced Riskology.

Corbett Barr

Corbett Barr - Pocket Changed

I might be a bit biased because I see it first-hand, but Corbett works really hard. He has the ability to shift gears and go from designing a new product to doing an interview to creating epic content. Just look at everything he did in 2011.

He is honest about how hard entrepreneurship can be, is a proponent for better working arrangements, and explains how you can become self-employed. Corbett has big plans for this year including the launch of a new product next week called How Start a Blog That Matters

You can read more from him at his personal blog: Corbett Barr.

Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn - Pocket Changed

Sometimes you meet someone in person that you've listened to or seen in videos and they are completely different than what you thought they'd be. That wasn't Pat. I got to spend a bunch of time with Pat at the Financial Blogger's Conference last fall and he was just as genuine, caring, and down to earth as he is online.

If you are looking to get started online check out his podcast and his extremely helpful video tutorials.

Pat runs one of the most popular "make money online" blogs, Smart Passive Income, but is the least sleazy person I know of on the web. Anything he recommends that people use, he has used himself and gives honest opinions about them (both positive and negative).

Read more from Pat at his blog: Smart Passive Income.

Danny Iny

danny_inny - Pocket Changed

If you don't think you have enough time to write a guest post, check out the 80+ guest posts that Danny has written in the past year or so. Danny was a key mastermind leader for a group I was in earlier this year that I was able to bounce ideas off of and he continually gave me fresh ideas.

This year he published a book, Engagement from Scratch, that features 30+ co-authors including Brian Clark and Guy Kawasaki. You can get the book for free here.

Get more insight from Danny at Firepole Marketing.

Dan Andrews

Dan Andrews - Pocket Changed

The coolest thing that Dan does (besides live in Southeast Asia and gross over a million dollars in revenue a year through his businesses) is the Tropical MBA program. Dan hires and pays interns to come work with him in Bali and get hands-on experience building successful businesses. The first person to do the program is also on this list: Sean Ogle.

Dan and his business partner Ian run one of the best podcasts out there for bootstrapping lifestyle entrepreneurs called the Lifestyle Business Podcast. There are tons of great episodes to listen to, so start with #1. David also runs the site Outsource to the Philippines.

You can find out more about Dan at the Tropical MBA.

Colin Wright

Colin Wright - Pocket Changed

Every four months Colin moves to a new country. And not just a country he wants to go to, a country that is chosen for him by his readers at Exile Lifestyle. While in all these different places he immerses himself in the culture, writes books, and runs a branding biz too.

Colin just wrote a phenomenal essay called "Coping with Unlimited". You should also check out one of the six books he has written. (My favorite is his Personal Branding book.) I've yet to meet Colin, but with so many mutual friends, I'm certain we will someday.

Read more musings from Colin at Exile Lifestyle.

Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins - Pocket Changed

Many people online start a blog and fail to be any good at the most important task: writing. Jeff focuses on turning people into better writers at his blog: Goins, Writer.

He also has a free 12-week beginner course called Intentional BloggingThe most recent post by Jeff that stood out to me was "The Difference Between Dreaming and Starting". Go read it. Right now. (Then come back.)

You can find out more about Jeff on his blog: Goins, Writer.

Tom Meitner

Tom Meitner - Pocket Changed

Last week Tom reached out and interviewed me for an upcoming version of his e-magazine Hustle Life. Previous additions of the mag feature many people on this list (including Jenny, Steve, Tyler, Shannon, James, Jonathan, and Joel).

In the magazine he tells the stories of people living unconventional lives, how they got there, and how they are able to afford to do so. Check out the RSS feed of Hustle Life to see all of the previous issues of the magazine.

See more from Tom at The Practical Nerd.

Shannon Whitehead & Kristin Glenn

Shannon Whitehead - Pocket Changed

After traveling through South America together after college, Shannon and Kristin saw a need for change. They decided to start a clothing line that was environmentally responsible. And start one they did.

Their first piece of clothing, the Versalette, can be worn 15 different ways. How's that for reusable?

Their recent Kickstarter campaign raised $64,246 (with an original goal of $20,000). Find out how they were so successful on the launch of their first product line.

You can find out more about Shannon and Kristin at {r}evolution apparel.

Ryan Nicodemus & Joshua Fields Millburn

Joshua Millburn - Pocket Changed
Ryan Nicodemus - Pocket Changed

Ryan and Joshua each had well-paying, cushy corporate jobs and decided enough was enough. They both began to embrace a life of minimalism (not just in having less stuff, but in living a simpler life). To document their journey they began writing at The Minimalists.

They've built a big audience around their site in a niche (minimalism) that everyone thought was over-saturated, but their high-quality of writing and honest accounts from their life has kept people coming back for more.

They are currently part way through a 33 city meet-up tour and while I didn't get to meet them on that tour because of my road trip, all I hear is good things about them.

You can find out more about Joshua and Ryan at The Minimalists.


Has one of these 35 cubicle renegades made a difference in your life? If so, I'd love to hear how in the comments.

Please share this post using the buttons below if you found someone new to check out this year.

WorkCaleb Wojcik