The Art of Non-Conformity – Chris Guillebeau Interview

  Chris Guillebeau is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker. He is best known for his popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, and his book of the same name. He has also written guides for travel and small business topics under the brand Unconventional Guides. He organizes the annual World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. The Art of Non-Conformity is a blog discussing entrepreneurship, travel, and personal development topics. Guillebeau's focus is helping people live life by their own rules using a "non-conformist" lifestyle. His blog traffic grew substantially after the release of a manifesto, A Brief Guide to World Domination, in 2008. The site has an Alexa ranking of under 30,000, indicating that it is one of the top 30,000 most visited websites on the internet. It is in the top 15,000 most visited sites in the United States.  

You’ve given yourself until your 35th birthday in April of 2013, (which happens to be just over two months from now in case you’ve lost count), to visit every country on the UN list.  Your website shows you’ve visited 192 of 193 countries.  Which one is left and what do you plan to do to celebrate the completion of your goal once you get there?

The last country is Norway. We're having a party! See HERE.  

Aside from all the experiences and photographs you’re sure to have accumulated, have you collected any particular kind of trinket from all the countries you’ve visited?

No, I'm not a collector, and not really a photographer either. For me it's all about the experience.  

On average, how much time have you spent in each of the countries you’ve visited?  Does a layover count or do you try to get out and see the sights?

I try to spend at least a few days, if not longer. No, I don't count layovers.  

With the completion of your life-changing goal of travelling to every country in the world so close at hand, what new goal(s) have you set for yourself on your road to world domination?

I hope to keep writing and traveling in different ways. These days much of my work revolves around connections to readers, and I plan to continue growing and improving that.  

It’s said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.  What is the first step that a burgeoning non-conformist should take on their path to reaching their goals and doing “more of what they love?”  Do you have any special advice for someone who is trying to escape the hamster-wheel of the corporate world?

The first step is to define what life looks like on the other side, as clearly and specifically as possible. Then if someone is hoping to create some kind of alternative career, it's very important to focus on what they will do to help others in a way that is conducive to a business model. That's what The $100 Startup is all about.  

If you were forced to leave the US, what other country would you call home and why?

Fortunately I spend almost half of my time on the road, so there are a lot of countries that feel like home even though I don't technically live there. Among others, I especially like India, South Africa, Lithuania, and Hong Kong.  

What is your definition of success and have you achieved it?

Success for me is continuous improvement. It's a process and I have a long way to go.  

What is one thing you’re excited about right now?

I'm on tour and meeting readers every night in cities all over the world. It's a fun and meaningful experience to go from city to city and hear stories of how other people are creating their own freedom through creative self-employment. art on non conformity Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Kelsey Parrish
Kelsey Parrish