The Art of Non-Conformity – Chris Guillebeau


I subscribed to Chris’ blog with the initial idea of saving some money on airfare. Chris’ book “The Art of Non-Conformity” always intrigued me but it wasn’t my primary reason for reading his work. Since I am trying to reduce my stuff I made up my mind not to buy his book (or anyone’s for that matter, the first step in reducing your stuff is to stop buying more of it). It was a pleasant surprise, then, to see it at my local library and I picked it up right away.

I try to live an engaged and purposeful life. However, I don’t want to drop everything and be a digital nomad so I wondered if the book would would speak to someone with less extreme tastes. I needn’t have worried. While Chris unapologetically counsels self-employment he freely states that he advises only from his own experience. I get the feeling that he wouldn’t quibble with someone like me whose definitions of success and freedom differ from his own as long as they were making progress towards their dreams.

The biggest eye openers for me were centered on the business and financial content. My favorite idea in the entire book was financial security from sustainable income streams rather than through drawing interest off a substantial nest egg. I’ve been saving for the nest egg a long time, but if it turns out I don’t need it there are a couple of causes I’d love to endow. My second favorite idea consisted of practical guidelines for creating businesses that could facilitate those income streams. Nuts and bolts characteristics like “good businesses create assets that sell on their own while bad businesses trade time for money” is just one axiom presented in quick list of points for screening new ideas.

Overall this quick read is worth more than the time it asks of you. If it’s not on the shelf at your local library I’d recommend you pick up a copy.

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If you’re not launching too soon you’re launching too late – Derek Sivers

I’m not ready to start this blog. It’s not the “ohmygoshI’msobusyI’llstartwhenIgetaroundtoit” kind of not ready, more like the “I have a lot of projects going and I shouldn’t start another until I can dedicate more time to it” not ready. I’m currently launching a web site at the Day Job, building a boat in my garage, learning French, and raising 3 kids with my Dreamgirl. There are also various and sundry little things going on, but those three are the biggies. I made the conscious decision to postpone this blog till the boat was launched until I stumbled onto two things that changed my mind:

Thing 1. Derek Sivers talked about Version 0.1 (scroll to section 6 for the video).
I’ve never seen a clearer indication that you can’t wait until you are “ready”.
*In the video he attributes the quote to Reid Hoffman, but Hoffman actually said the second quote. All indications are that the first quote is from Derek himself. If anyone can document that this is inaccurate I will learn how to edit a post in order to fix the attribution; I promise.

Thing 2. Ev Bogue wrote The 15 Minute Blog Post.
The last sentence “Everyone has 15 minutes.”  is empowering and simultaneously demanding. He’s right, everyone does have 15 minutes. If you want to start writing there is no excuse to wait.

So, without further ado, here’s a teeny-tiny post to officially get me on the board.