From Pioneer Nation To World Domination - Doug Neill

From Pioneer Nation To World Domination


The Challenge

After attending Pioneer Nation in late March of 2014, I set for myself the challenge of launching a podcast, writing and publishing two books, and getting out a dozen new illustrations in between the end of Pioneer Nation (March 28, 2014) and the start of the World Domination Summit (July 11, 2014).

The Backstory

I’ve been blogging here for about two and half years now, documenting my development as I have learned the skill of sketchnoting and applied it to topics that interest me.

About a year ago (in June of 2013) I decided to stop substitute teaching (which was my primary source of income) and put my full weight behind a career in sketching out ideas.

By the time Pioneer Nation rolled around in late March of 2014, I was ready to jump from freelance illustration work to building an independent business as a teacher and an artist.

Pioneer Nation is an event best suited for solopreneurs, folks that are using their skills and passions to create independent careers. You could call it a business conference, but that term in no way captures the full scope of the event.

I don’t have a background in business, so the timing of Pioneer Nation was perfect – I was getting some business fundamentals and meeting some amazing people right as I was forming a plan for what I wanted my career to look like long term.

I decided to build on the energy from that event by setting some deadlines for myself on projects that I’d been thinking about for a while – teaching resources, illustrations, books, and a podcast – all connected in one way or another to the process of giving visual form to ideas.

Since Pioneer Nation is a sister event to The World Domination Summit, I decided to set the beginning of that next gathering of amazing people as the deadline for the completion of my projects.

To keep myself on track (and for a bit of accountability as well) I put together a quick sketch of my goals and posted it to Twitter:

From Pioneer Nation To World Domination - Doug Neill

So I have until July 11th to finish up those 15 things on my list. See the updates below to check up on my progress, and if you’re going to be at WDS this year, I hope we get the chance to meet.


March 30th. Fleshing out the podcast:

March 30th. Public accountability:

April 2nd: expanding the scope of Book 1.

April 4th: the podcast gains a home and a name.

April 7th. Completed the brainstorming for Book 1:

April 11th. In-person recording of the first podcast episode:

April 12th-13th. A weekend break from work to hike up Mt. Hood:

April 14th: how this 3-month challenge fits in with my year of conquering resistance. April 23rd – learning some new technology for the podcast:

May 5th: the official launch of The Verbal To Visual Podcast. CHECK MARK

May 7th – launched the blog component of Verbal To Visual with this first post:

May 18th – completed the text-only version of Book 1:

May 28th – got the podcast up on iTunes:

June 4th: got the podcast up on Stitcher too:

June 6th – completed 4 new illustrations with a new home at A Trail Of Life (4 CHECKMARKS):

June 9th – started sketching out Book 1:

June 12th – decided to make Book 1 100% sketched:

June 19th – launched Book 1: The Verbal To Visual Notebook. CHECKMARK

June 25th: set up a Society6 shop to sell prints and other cool things with my illustrations on them.

June 30th – shared a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Book 1:

Not quite there yet… Will I make it?… Stay tuned.



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