Chris Guillebeau is best know for authoring four books, writing on his blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, traveling to every country in the world by the age of 35, and creating the World Domination Summit. He offers up wise advice on how you can live an unconventional, remarkable life through the theme of non-conformity – which he believes means that you don’t have to live your life the way other people expect. He does this not only through his writing, but by living the principles within his own life.
He learned early on that he worked best being self-employed and – like all good entrepreneurs – hustled to make it a reality. This included selling things on eBay, to making money from Google Adwords, to eventually selling content online about his travel hacks – which led to his book writing and so-on-and-so-on. Yet, the other part of Chris’s story is that he was a high school dropout and juvenile delinquent (his words, not mine!), who came to where he is today out of his own choice and hard work. Displaying that sometimes change is all about trial-and-error, and making him living proof that we can indeed chose how we want to BE in this world.
I had the opportunity to meet Chris when he came to Denver on his book tour for his most recent book, Born for This. I stayed after his reading and presentation to have him sign the book I purchased and was one of the very last people in line. As I watched him greet each and every person, I was so impressed by his genuine interest in the people he was meeting. He was so kind and full of grace. When I finally handed him my book, he said, “Tell me about you!” And then, he actually took the time to listen as well as follow up with me the next day to learn more about Chapter Be. It was so refreshing to meet someone who was really walking the walk of what he was writing about and selling. I came to learn how much he actively works to make sure he sees each individual and genuinely wants to connect, even amidst a crazy busy schedule.
In the podcast episode we talk about how Chris reframed risk, what it means to have a bias toward action and how, after a loss, he is working to be more kind to himself. Listen below to learn more about Chris’s Chapter Be story…
CHAPTER BE QUESTIONNAIRE…
What’s your favorite quote, story or fact?
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” -Alan Keightley
Worst work experience?
Dishwasher, age 14. Whenever a pot or pan came back that was especially dirty, I just took it outside and threw it away in the dumpster. This worked very well until the restaurant ran out of cookware and someone started asking questions.
What is your definition of success?
Growth and continuous improvement. The right kind of productivity. Relationships in harmony.
How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?
I’m feeling drained right now (writing these answers from a 14-hour flight, and I just got off a 7-hour one yesterday), but fortunately I love my work. When you craft a life around things you care about and believe in, everything else becomes much easier.
What does “to be” mean to you?
A sense of awareness, focus, and purpose—or at least two out of three.
How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?
Ideal READING LIST – books, websites, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc. that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?
- Books: as many as possible!
- Magazines: The New Yorker, The Economist
- Blogs or Websites: Marginal Revolution, FiveThirtyEight, This Isn’t Happiness, and many more
Favorite song with “be” in the title?
That I Would Be Good by Alanis Morissette
LINKS & RESOURCES…
- The Art of Non-Conformity
- World Domination Summit
- Tattered Cover
- Chris’s LinkedIn page (aka my favorite response to the “Experience” section of a resume)
- Mercy Ships
- Travel hacking resources
- Born for This (Chris’s most recent book)
Image via Chapter Be