March 26-28, 2014

  • Inaugural Session
  • Portland, Oregon

The world is changing as more people choose to work for themselves. We’re inviting independent entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelancers to join us for an all-new adventure.

A limited number of Pioneer Tickets are now available

We live in an age of independence. Never before have so many people created their own work and forged their own destinies. Whether through entrepreneurship, freelancing, or some other kind of small business, the world is changing as people embrace creative, independent work.

The opportunities are endless. New projects are starting up everywhere you look. Every day in North America alone, an estimated 13,400 people strike out on their own as independent entrepreneurs—not working for the man, and not trying to build a big corporation.

If you’ve read this far, you probably know all about these changes. You’re an independent entrepreneur or worker in the new economy—or you want to be. You don’t want venture capital or angel investors. You don’t want to sell your startup to Google.

This isn’t a trend or passing fad. This is the 21st century version of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a new way of life, and we’re just getting started.

Instead, you want an actual business. You want to serve real customers. You want to make a good living doing something that you love—and you know that such a thing is possible, because you already have the experience.

More than that, you want to live a life of freedom and independence. You want to work for yourself, setting your own schedule and living by your own values.

Until now, there has been no single place for you to learn, improve, and connect with others like you. Now there is, and the adventure begins on March 26, 2014.

As a small business owner, freelancer, or other independent entrepreneur, you understand the opportunities and the pitfalls of forging your own path.

You’d have it no other way, but you also have struggles. Every day, there are countless actions you can take to grow your business, and the possibilities can be overwhelming.

There’s so much you can do… but you have to do the right things. How can you reach more customers? How can you create the right products and services? What’s the best way to launch something and connect with the right people?

Instead of performing administrative tasks all the time, what if you spent two full days zooming back to 50,000 feet, getting re-oriented to your business? What if you took a close look at the big picture, focusing on why you choose to work for yourself in the first place?

Then you honed in on the details—the small actions that achieve big results. What if you invested these two days in meeting other people like you—people who know what it’s like to work for themselves? People who don’t want to work for the man, but don’t want to build a Silicon Valley startup either.

What would that be like?

Chances are, you’d be ready to make some changes. You’d leave feeling empowered and energized, ready to hit the ground running and make some real improvements. You’d go away knowing a new group of people who understood your challenges and were available to help. You’d have a focused list of tasks. Nothing would ever be the same.

It’s time to get serious about your micro-business or solo shop. (It may be small, but it’s powerful.)

When you join us for the inaugural Pioneer Nation event, we’ll focus on three key objectives

You won’t just hear from speakers while sitting in the audience; you’ll have the chance to talk with them in small groups, and in some cases they’ll provide personal coaching.

Over the course of two intensive days, we’ll work together to improve your business, focusing on actions you can take to increase income and create sustainability.

You’ll hear from speakers who operate profitable small businesses. These speakers will share lessons and tips in specific detail, including how much money their different ventures have brought in.

When you join us for the inaugural Pioneer Nation event, we’ll focus on three key objectives

You won’t just absorb.
You’ll do.

This is not a conference where you sit passively and listen to speakers. Yes, there are speakers. Yes, sometimes you’ll sit. But that’s not all!

You’ll have worksheets. You’ll have assignments. You’ll go away with lists of action points that you can apply in short order to achieve real results.

When you join us for the inaugural Pioneer Nation event, we’ll focus on three key objectives

You may work on your own, but you’re not alone.

Hundreds of great people who are doing similar things will also be in attendance. They may have answers to your problems—and you may have answers to theirs.

Team members and mentors will be available throughout both days. You may find a new business partner in the coffee line (yes, there will be coffee). Best of all, you’ll forge new friendships that will last for years to come.

Pioneer Nation is not your typical seminar. It’s a work session where work actually gets done.

It’s a study hall for solopreneurs. It’s a chance to learn, to plan, and to create real sustainability in your small business. But wait, there’s more!

It’s exclusive. We expect a diverse set of attendees, but for this event they’ll all have something in common: the desire to grow their business by adding value to the world. The World Domination Summit draws thousands of attendees, but Pioneer Nation is designed for a smaller, select group. You won’t get lost in the crowd.

It’s ADD and introvert-friendly. We’ll have lots of breaks. There will be meetups, workshops, and plenty of small gatherings. And if you’re shy, don’t worry—some of us are too. You’ll feel welcomed and comfortable.

It’s fun. We believe in working hard and playing hard. A hang-out lounge will be available during breaks. There may even be a mechanical bull!

(Note: fun is mandatory, but late-night karaoke + mechanical bull riding is optional.)

You’re a small business owner or independent entrepreneur who wants to grow.

You believe in independence, preferring to work on your own instead of being an employee. You believe in value, in choosing to build something meaningful.

You’re not completely new to the party. You’re earning money–either full-time or a substantial part-time income from your project. You’re ready to embrace the DIY revolution in full.

But like all of us, you have questions and struggles. Every day you have a finite amount of time to work. How should you spend those precious moments? What are the universal principles that will guide your way?

Wednesday, March 26: Arrival and Reception

Arrive in Portland by Wednesday at 5pm. Starting at 6pm, we’ll have a welcome reception and an opportunity to tour the workspace we’ll be using the next two days.

Thursday, March 27: 8am-6pm

We’ll gather at PNCA for two days of action. Short talks by main-stage speakers will be followed by your choice of dozens of workshops and breakout sessions. You’ll choose what to attend based on your personal experience and specific needs. We’ll regroup at the end of each day to wrap-up and share lessons with one another.

Friday, March 28: 8am-6pm & Farewell Party

Continue workshops at PNCA. Concluding the conference, you may dance the night away, enjoy a craft cocktail, or continue the conversation at an off-site farewell party.

Weekend in Portland

We’ll end our official activities on Friday night, so if you need to hitch up your wagon and head home, you can. But feel free to stick around if you want! Many attendees will remain in Portland to hang over the weekend, and our hotel discounts are valid through Monday night.

The inaugural session of Pioneer Nation will be held in Portland, Oregon: world capital of creative people who embrace the DIY ethic.

We’ll be meeting at Pacific Northwest College of Art for most of our time on Thursday and Friday, and a closing party on Friday night will be held nearby.When our meeting of the minds isn’t in session, you’ll be close to Powell’s City of Books, a legion of food carts, and a whole city for you to explore.

We’ve also arranged special rates from two major hotels, conveniently located within walking distance of the event. (You don’t have to stay at a partner hotel if you don’t want to, but most attendees will.)

Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder was named a Top 100 Entrepreneur Under 30 (twice!), taught entrepreneurship at The Branson Centre in South Africa, and grew a business from zero to seven figures in three years. She’s the founder of LKR Social Media and currently leads her global team from London, UK.
Jen Adrion & Omar Noory

Jen Adrion and Omar Noory are the founders of These Are Things, a paper goods brand and illustration studio. These Are Things has delivered whimsical paper goods to thousands of happy customers in all fifty states and over 40 countries, while also working with many big name brands like The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas and American Greetings.

Nathan Barry

Nathan Barry is the founder of Legend, a software design firm that has released apps such as OneVoice, Fluent and Commit. By the age of 22 he’d already built a $10,000/month publishing business, and is the author of “The App Design Handbook” and “Designing Web Applications.”

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is Publisher of Owner Magazine and CEO & President of Human Business Works, a publishing and media company. Chris has consulted with companies you know like Disney, Microsoft, Coke, Titleist, Pepsico, Google, Motorola, and many more. He is the New York Times Bestselling author of six books and counting, including The Impact Equation, with Julien Smith. He lives in northern Massachusetts, where he frequently plays Minecraft with his kids and plots world conquering with his girlfriend, Jacqueline Carly.

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is a serial entrepreneur based in Boulder, Colorado. He’s the founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media. Brian built three successful service businesses using online marketing techniques before moving to a completely online business model. The result of that move—Copyblogger Media—is an innovative company that provides the advice and solutions that empower people to successfully grow their businesses through social media and online marketing.

Rena Tom

Rena Tom is the founder of Makeshift Society, a coworking space and clubhouse for creative freelancers in San Francisco and Brooklyn. She’s also Market Editor at Anthology Magazine and a business strategist who consults with product designers on the intricacies of small-batch manufacturing and boutique retail.

Kari Chapin

Kari Chapin is the best-selling author of’s #1 craft book of 2010, The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally and Online. With roots in self-care, wise planning, and creative structure, Kari delivers possibilities and workable plans for success. Her message is simple: Create what you love. Love what you sell. Love your life while you’re at it.

Shenee Howard

Shenee is a brand strategist for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make cash money doing what they love. She specializes in helping people create branded signature programs and products. Other specialties include dance parties and 90s boy bands.

Willo O’Brien

Willo O’Brien has been a creative entrepreneur for over a decade. She designed a product line, served as co-founder of two startups, produced a video series, and has launched multiple programs dedicated to coaching and empowering ambitious individuals and passionate entrepreneurs.
Tara Gentile

Tara Gentile helps small business owners capitalize on big ideas. She’s the founder of Kick Start Labs, a New Economy entrepreneurial community & resource library, as well as CoCommercial in Astoria, OR, a coworking & workshop space. Her work has been featured in Forbes, US News & World Report, DailyWorth, Design*Sponge, among others.

Note: These great speakers and workshop leaders will be joined by many more as we get closer to the event. Stay tuned for new additions!

About 30% of our time will be spent together for main-stage keynotes and case studies. The rest of the week, your time is yours.

Workshops will focus on specific skills you can develop and actions you can take straight away. A few workshops (from more than 40 in total!) are listed here:

  • Idea Generation Machine You have several ideas for new businesses or projects. Here’s a bulletproof process to use to figure out where to start.
  • How to Not Do Everything Yourself You’re busy… like all of us. But to truly grow, you’ll need to stop doing it all on your own. Here’s how to adapt.
  • Create Your First Auto-Responder Walkthrough of the technical side of creating an email autoresponder. (An advanced version will also be available for those who are more experienced.)
  • Pricing Strategies for Your Products $97, $197, $997? Not sure how to price your product or service? This is the workshop for you.
  • Discover What an Audience Wants Before You Create it Don’t waste months of your life creating something no one will buy. Learn how to discover what your audience wants in advance—and how to get them to pay for it.

We’ve designed the entire experience to be highly interactive. For much of the day, you’ll follow a Choose Your Own Adventure format where you can determine how best to spend your time.

Trail Masters

Meet with a group of experts available for FREE powerful 8-minute consultations.


Set up shop with your laptop and immediately implement the things you’ve been learning.

Trading Post

Take advantage of a select presentation of offers from invitation-only partners

  • The TeamPioneer Nation was founded by Chris Guillebeau, New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup. Our inaugural event will be hosted by Chris and select members of the World Domination Summit action team. Along with hundreds of independent business owners, Chris and the team will be on site for the entire event.
What’s this all about?
We don’t believe most conferences serve independent entrepreneurs well. We want to bring together like-minded people and help them excel at their businesses, learning new skills and applying what they learn.Who else will be attending?
A select group of amazing people from all over North America and beyond. Most of them will have successful businesses or otherwise be well underway to working for themselves.

Is this only for people with online businesses?
No. We plan to have many different kinds of small businesses represented at Pioneer Nation, including those that are more focused on crafting, retail, and manufacturing. The common factor is: small and independent businesses.

What if I don’t yet have a business?
Pioneer Nation is designed for people who already have some experience with independent work. If you’re just getting started, that’s OK. (But if you’re not interested in entrepreneurship at all, this isn’t for you.)

What will we do?
We’ll dramatically improve your business and help you connect with mentors, partners, and new friends. We’ll also have fun.

Will I get time with Chris and other speakers?
Yes. Everyone will be on site the entire time.

Can I promote my product or service?
We’ll have a special “Self-Promo Zone” available to make offers to other attendees. However, our focus is on community and action—we want to help your business grow long after you leave.

Still have a question? Ask Here

Gold Dust or Bust!
Pioneer Nation is a brand-new gathering, created from the need to serve independent entrepreneurs with practical help and community.

Ticket price includes admission to all main-stage sessions, work space, opening reception, and closing party. Registration for specific workshops is also included on a first-come, first-served basis.

All tickets are non-refundable and cannot be resold for more than you paid. You may, however, transfer the ticket to a person of your choice for a $100 fee up to 30 days prior to the event.
You must come ready to work. The focus of the event is not on listening to people talk from a stage, but making things happen. Is that you?

If so, join us!