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Review: The Art of Non-Conformity Book by Chris Guillebeau

in Do What You Love, People & Products, Travel

Today, Chris Guillebeau’s new book The Art of Non-Conformity:  Set your own rules, Live the life you want, and Change the world hits real and digital bookshelves across the country!

I’ve stated many times before (and it’s still true) that Chris is one of my favorite online personalities and his blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, is by far my favorite blog.  Simply put, no single source online has had a greater impact on my life and work.  So, as you can imagine, I was extremely excited to get my hands on an early review copy of the book!

I’ve decided to celebrate the launch of the book by giving away 5 free copies here on launch week! That’s right.  I’m purchasing these in order to both support the book and to give back to the audience here!  Win-win-win!  :-)  At the bottom of the post, you’ll find details to enter to win a free copy!

Note: There’s absolutely 0% chance that my thoughts below on this book are unbiased.  I’m a ravenous fan of Chris’ message and I consider him a personal friend.  Not to mention that our (Courtney and I) story is featured in the Personal Finance chapter of the book.  So if you are looking for an unbiased review…  sorry!

The core message…

In his own words, Chris’ core message is this:

You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and make the world a better place at the same time. Here’s how to do it.”

Chris sets up the book to nail home this message from the beginning.  The majority of the book jumps between tidbits of his own personal background and journey, examples and features on other examples of people living intentionally, and advice (with specific tips) on how to execute your own deliberate plan.

I devoured the book in two separate sessions and after I put it down, I came away with the following…

I can really do this.  No, seriously…  *I* can really, freakin’ do this!

You see, this is almost always the affect Chris’ message has on me.  He has the ability to take what seems to the majority of people to be extreme (visiting every country in the world… selling everything you own and moving with a young family across the world…) and making it seem… feasible.

I guess he sort of grants me permission.  His message validates those core feelings and passions that the rest of the world is set up to “keep in check”.

While the majority of the world is saying “You probably shouldn’t”, this book is suggesting “Why the hell not?”.

And, for me, that’s exactly what I need.  That’s why I love the online communities I’m a part of.

Comparison to the Four Hour Workweek…

It’s nearly impossible not to compare The Art of Non-Conformity to Tim Ferriss’ The Four Hour Workweek. It’s not exactly a fair comparison, as even though they are both fruits (life design books) they are drastically different fruits.  Still, I’ve talked to half a dozen people about the book in private and every single time a discussion/comparison of the two has emerged.

In my life, The Four Hour Workweek completely shattered my world view.  It drastically changed my perspective on what was possible and led me down a rabbit hole that eventually turned me onto much of what is a core part of my life now.  It’s because of 4HWW that I started thinking unconventionally.  It’s because of 4HWW that I searched and found blogs, communities, and online businesses.

But, I needed more than the 4HWW to influence me.  Everyone does. The 4HWW’s brash and sometimes confrontational style can chip away at the years of conformity that has covered your brain.  It left my belief structure in pieces, which I’m very thankful for!

But, for me and for many people I’ve talked with, the 4HWW didn’t put Humpty together again.  It shook up how we approached the world, but we weren’t able to piece together a purpose or a mission for ourselves.  For me, a dogged pursuit of hackssystems, and automation didn’t quite connect.  I just wasn’t able to apply it to my own life.

And this is the one area, above all others, that Chris Guillebeau excels at.  He has a gift for making abstract concepts, seem tangible… seem doable. I can relate to the examples he uses… I can see myself in similar positions.

The Art of Non-Conformity puts Humpty together again…

If you are at a place where you know… you just know that there is more.  That you should be doing more.  That you should be living more intentionally, more… awake… unplugged from the matrix… whatever you want to call it.  This book will help you make the unknown, known.  It will validate, dust you off, point you in the right direction, and show you the steps to make it happen.

My Biggest Takeaways…

Here were my biggest takeaways from the book:

Traditional security isn’t what it’s been built up to be.

In the middle of the books, especially Chapters 5 and 6, Chris spends time reflecting on the notion of security.  For decades, the traditional notion has been that going to college, getting a flexible degree, and obtaining a bi-weekly paycheck was the secure route. And, for decades, it really was.

But the times they are a-changing.  No longer is there much security in any traditional job.  In fact, if you want true security you have to develop the skills, the network, and the ability to go out and conquer it yourself.  You’ve got to make your own security.  This part of Chris’ message that resonates deeply with me!

Chris also spend time driving home a comparison of how his college experience compared to his launching a blog experience.  He calls it “Traditional Experience” vs. “Alternative Experience” and makes the case that there are much cheaper, faster, and more powerful avenues for many to gain experience and education.

Note that I said for many to gain, not for everyone.  Chris is quick to point out that for some, college is a necessary or even a preferred track.  He simply encourages people not to assume it’s the best path.  Not to default to it for default’s sake.  As he points out, far too many of us college, especially graduate school, as a method of life avoidance.

This leads me into my next takeaway…

No path is holier than another…

Blogging isn’t better than becoming a lawyer.  Going to college isn’t automatically a lesser option to real world experience.  Working a day job isn’t the devil.  You don’t have to travel to feel alive.

Chris makes it clear that he loves to travel.  He also bluntly states that he gained more expertise and experience blogging than he did in college and he’d probably never really feel like himself in a traditional day job.  But he doesn’t force his life model down anyone’s throat.  Frankly, that’s pretty rare these days.

The Art of Non-Conformity simply sets out to empower you to live intentionally.  To not go with the flow, just because others tell you to.  Not to follow a certain path, because society laid it out before you.

For some, this means creating or finding the perfect day job.  One where they feel alive and filled with purpose.  For others it may be traveling the world working from their laptops.  Some may need to go to 8 years of college and others won’t need to finish High School.

Chris’ well-rounded approach in this aspect makes his message insanely approachable.  He’s not afraid to share his choices, nor is he afraid to provide his opinions or even his preferences.  But the core message is only exclusive of those with a closed mind.  And I dig that.

Your Legacy Starts Now

The most powerful concept in the entire book for me was one of the last.

The concept is simple, so many of us wait until later in life to think about our legacy.  The older we get, the more our focus shifts to the people, ideas, and impact we’ll leave behind.

But why do we have to wait until we get older? We don’t. It’s so simple… yet, so powerful.

Chris urges us to not only start thinking about our legacy in big terms, but to actually focus our daily work on those activities which contribute to our legacy.  It’s a powerful tool for time management!  Ensure you are spending the majority of your time on those actions, activities, or items that will impact your legacy the greatest.

I love it.  I’m not a huge time management person.  I’m actually terrible at it.  But whenever I think about my day in terms of legacy, it becomes much more clear just how much of the routine crap doesn’t matter.  I spend more time with my family (my most important legacy) and more of my working time on creating and sharing.

How to win a FREE – FREE – FREE copy!  :-)

One of Chris’ final points in the book is a call to action:

Wake up in the middle of the night with good ideas.  Share them with the world.

Well, this book isn’t my idea… but that’s not going to stop me from sharing it with the world.  I believe in it’s message deeply and as a result, I’m buying and giving away 5 Free copies via this post.

  • Leave a comment on this post!

In the comments section below, leave me a brief message on why you should win the book and how you will use it’s power for good!  :-)  I’ll pick my favorite 10 or so (some funny, some serious) and then randomize 3 winners from among those ten.

  • Comment on Man Vs. Debt Facebook Page!

Visit the Man Vs. Debt Facebook Page and leave a comment on the main thread I started for this giveaway.  Not the post thread… it’s a separate wall post… you’ll see it.  I want to know what you’ll do with the book after you are done with it! :-)

  • Tweet out the launch or giveaway on Twitter!

Simply tweet out (copy and paste into Twitter) the following message:

The Art of Non-Conformity Book launches today!  Win a free copy via @ManVsDebt’s review –> http://bit.ly/c1a74k – #MvDAoNC

You can edit the tweet to your preference.  Make sure to include a proclamation of the book launch and the hashtag #MvDAoNC – so I can track the entries!

You Should Buy This Book…

Seriously, it’s well worth it.  Did I mention it’s only $9 right now on Amazon?

$9 freakin’ dollars!  Are you kidding me?

I still can’t believe the price point, but I’m incredibly happy.  So happy I’ve ordered several to give to close family and friends and 5 extra to giveaway here.

Buy this:  The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Gordon September 7, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Like you said I was shattered with 4HWW. I’ve spent the last couple months trying months trying to redo the puzzle, glue and tape haven’t worked. I need the box with the picture on it. I think this is what Chris’s guide would be. The picture of what this could look like to me and how to get me to that point. However, I would just keep the book. I would have strict pass it on philosophy, within in a week of finishing it you have to pass it on. It would go viral.

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Aaron September 7, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Thanks man. Looks like a good read.

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Josh September 7, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I need a copy because Amazon UK seems to think it won’t have it in ’til December!

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Andy Hayes September 7, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Giggling to myself that you just called Tim & Chris’s books fruit. :-)

Since I haven’t read it, I can’t comment, but I do agree wholeheartedly on your 4HWW comments. Loved it, but it wasn’t enough.

AONC isn’t out in the UK yet, and by the time it is, I will have moved! I hope I can wait that long!

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Monica September 7, 2010 at 11:47 AM

I’m SO looking forward to reading this book to get inspired and leave my 50 hour work weeks!

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Keg of Wisdom September 7, 2010 at 12:00 PM

I’m in the process of leaving my job and I’m beyond confused on what to do next. Realistically, I’m on 25 and I ASSUME everything will be ok. On the other hand, this could be what I need to get on the right path, my path.

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Melissa September 7, 2010 at 12:26 PM

I need an assist. I need a path. I need – to start somewhere. Right now, I could probably qualify for multiple reality shows – none of which involve dancing or island getaways. I need this book.

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Stanley Lee September 7, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Radical strategy. I like it.

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Tyler Jorgenson September 7, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Most people are lost. They have become drones and devoid of feeling. They work 5 days a week and spend the other two running errands or worrying about the impending Monday that lay ahead of them never able to allow themselves to relax and enjoy the moment. The 4HWW shook me from this ridiculous spell and opened my eyes to a better way of living. But, I want more. I want to learn. Share this book with me and I will internalize it and pay it forward so that others can see that they too can live their lives rather than turn it over to some mind numbing alternative.

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JanetBass September 7, 2010 at 1:19 PM

LOVE the picture…it is a great visual for the way I feel between lurking debt and looming layoff…you never know which one will pounce and when, but you should be afraid of both.

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schismarch September 7, 2010 at 1:50 PM

It’s funny–one of the consistent things across several PF blogs I’ve read this morning, talking about Chris’s book, is that they can’t be unbiased. They like him too much!

I’m looking forward to him coming back to Portland near the end of the American leg of his book tour. And I’d love to have a copy of the book for him to sign. :)

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Kelly September 7, 2010 at 2:11 PM

I would LOVE a free copy of this book. My good friend and I have just launched a blog aobut getting off the couch and DOING things. She wants to be a writer, I want to be a painter. We are both moms trying to balance kids, husbands, homes and always seem to have an excuse not to do the things we love to do, writing and painting. We have “read” about how to live the life of your dreams on blogs and books, we have “talked” about living the life of your dreams, and we have certainly “wished” to live the life of our dreams, but in the end you just have to get off the couch and DO IT! I saw this book and told her we needed to read it and share this message with anyone who may read our blog.
I so love your site and appreciate your honesty and video feeds. :)
Thanks,
Kel Wilson

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Anita September 7, 2010 at 2:20 PM

I am 24 and already know that the corporate path I am on is not what I want. I am wavering between moving abroad and getting a teacher credential/master’s in teaching, possibly with a combination of an MBA if I want to get into higher education. it has been a struggle figuring out when I want to pull the trigger and if I am making the right choice, considering that everyone around me does not want the things I do. Moving and teaching are options many people I know would not consider to be practical, but I want to move out of practicality. I am looking forward to reading the book whether through winning or buying it and hearing some more about what Chris had to say.

You have turned me onto his blog and book tour and so far have read many interesting articles that are touching very close to what I want to learn and hear about from those who have taken those risks and other choices that veer from the norm (of people I know and ideas I’m used to).

Thank you.

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Karl September 7, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Looks like a great read!

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Evan September 7, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I find one of the biggest challenges that comes from questioning your life is to identify your assumptions. I’ve been in the typical cubicle world for almost 3 years (software developer). It was interesting for a while (logic, problem-solving, etc), but I have no passion for it and realized a while ago that I want out. I’m at the wife and mortgage but no kids yet stage (hoping for the latter asap), and know that this is the best time to get out and do my own thing before it gets even harder.

Question for you and your readers:
What are the biggest assumptions you make that prevent you from living in a more meaningful way?

Some of mine:
- The consistency of a regular job is a good thing (assumption behind this is that my own job would give me my current salary sometimes but also go down sometimes – it’s hard to imagine an increase)
- I’m not disciplined enough to work hard on my own
- People are as cheap as I am and won’t want to pay for what I’m creating
- Men were not meant to live like this and living passionately can never be a bad thing (this is the positive one)

My new wife is Japanese and they don’t have a word for ‘good luck’. What they say instead is ‘gambatte’ (from the verb gambaru if anyone wants to look it up) and it means something like ‘strong effort’. It means take responsibility and go get it done. Just a thought for all of us thinking about striking out against the flow.

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PW September 7, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Things change rapidly in the world today. I think it would be important to read the book to drive home change is important, and to try to compensate by accepting and embracing that concept.

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Marlon S September 7, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Born and raised in the Caribbean I left and came to the US to achieve the American Dream (the popular definition of it that is) College – Corporate Job – Stuff Accumulation – Suburbia Mortgage – Retirement, only to realize (after a couple years of the suburbia mortgage)that the AD wasn’t was a life for me. 4HWW, AONC, blasted me out of conformity and opened my eyes to a world that I thought was only achievable through societal obedience. Stick it out, fit in, bust your ass, pay your dues, wait your turn, make the boss happy and eventually corporate America will reward you. Nonsense!
I working towards being the inspiration to my native fellow man that ANOC and many bloggers were to me. I’m certain this book will go a long way with spreading that message.

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Kym September 7, 2010 at 5:03 PM

My husband and I both lost our jobs in February, and haven’t had much luck since. I want to be able to envision life beyond “how much longer can we live off our savings?” I’m trying to look at this as a chance to start a new chapter; purge our house, purge the thought that a 9 to 5 job is the way life is “supposed” to be. We’re trying to start our own business, but we need…inspiration. All we really know is that we want to spend as much time with our three kiddos as we can without the constant worry of money in the back of our minds. If this book will be as thought-provoking for me as you believe it can be, I would love a chance to read it. To be inspired again.

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Brett September 7, 2010 at 5:45 PM

You should totally pick me.. why? I have NO IDEA how non-corn can form…let alone corn. Will this book be helpful for farmers? I don’t get the target market here! Adam, at least your book was for guys that no longer wait to be engaged. By un-automating your fiancee, you are free again! Am I missing something here? ;)

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Rob Ward September 7, 2010 at 6:52 PM

It is interesting that both you and J.D. mentioned 4HWW in your reviews. The titles alone certainly contribute to that I suppose.

Anyway, I already ordered my copy last week (and it shipped today! hooray!) but if I get a free copy I’ll give it away to someone else that needs it. Once it is available for the Kindle I’ll probably give away my own paper copy as well.

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James | Dancing Geek September 7, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Josh beat me to the point that the wait for the UK is huge! But as for what I’d do with it, well I want to build my new life as a professional contemporary dancer in a sustainable way, with my heart at the centre of my life, and still make the world a better place. I’ll take any help I can get and I love having books to learn from.

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Brittney September 7, 2010 at 9:18 PM

My husband and I are both in grad school and working full time. We have lived our whole lives going with the flow…and haven’t really stopped to ask why. My husband is halfway done with law school, but doesn’t want to practice law. He works at the University, (at a job he hates,) and gets an awesome tuition discount, so we figure he should stick it out. I need him to stick it out because I’m using the same tuition discount to get a degree in Special Education. I LOVE what I’m doing, but not sure how I want to use it in the future.

We want to start living intentionally!!

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Mirella September 7, 2010 at 9:27 PM

I would so totally love to win a copy of Chris’ book because I really want to win something that will be transformational. Usually I’ve thought I want to win money because that always seems like a quick fix to life (even though I’m smart enough to know that money can never create a legacy). It would be so wonderful to win something that will create infinite value.
As a kid I used to win toys by entering colouring in competitions, and I always put a lot of effort into my submissions. In the end I always felt like I had worked hard for my prize. Today I’d like to win this book not because I worked hard for it but because you decide I’m an awesome person:) An awesome person in need of some transformational inspiration and guidance.

Thanks so much for this opportunity :)

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Bud Gibbons September 7, 2010 at 10:33 PM

I have been ready self help books for 30 of my 58 years. At this time in my history I am out of work after 34 years with the same company, now more than ever I need to change my life quickly and get a new set of directions. Right now I need to wait for new books to arrive in the local library. I can thank you now for at least the new blog.
I remember my first self help book and have give each of my children years ago the book to read and I still have the original copy. “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie.
You have a great blog

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Suddenly Susan September 8, 2010 at 1:17 AM

I placed my order for a copy of this book today. I can hardly wait to receive it!! If I won a free copy, I’d send it to my old high school friend who has never looked outside the box. Chris has a way of sharing his experience and giving you the idea that maybe your own dreams can come true.

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J September 8, 2010 at 4:16 AM

Well, some say that the majority of bloggers are just authors that are not being published, which I don’t agree with since I’m a bloggaholic (finance, business, personal development etc). I’ve learned so much through out my years. I think this could be the perfect book to get, written by a “blogger”, so I can do the “in your face” Ricki Lake show manoeuver next time anyone has something to say. Beside enjoying that I will of course enjoy the book as well :)

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keri September 8, 2010 at 4:33 AM

I would love to win a copy of this book. I’m saving all my pennies to move half way around the world to finally start doing what I’m so scared to do– work for myself. I think the book would give me support and new ideas on how to tackle a nonconformist life.
Once I finish it I would pass it on to my former boss who’s been at the same job for 31 years. I visited him last week and he asked me what he could possibly do for the rest of his working life and I told him anything he wants. I think he too is a bit scared of taking the plunge and doing what really he really loves. We both need a good kick in the ass and I think this book is a good start.

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Playstead September 8, 2010 at 4:37 AM

Great write-up. I love Chris’ blog too and feel the need to buy the book if for nothing else — a small way to repay for all that killer content he pumps out. And I would say this: it’s easier to start on that path when you’re young and don’t have kids, a mortgage and all that other stuff to deal with.

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Lisa September 8, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Because my birthday is September 26th and I’ll be 38! I have four amazing children and I want to (along with my 12 hour a day plus 4 hour commute working husband) change the world. If we can teach our children to live on less, desire less, live through giving more and experiencing more then they can go spread that times four! Think of the multiplication facor there! We would redraw our box with brighter and more intentional shades! And if we won the book, after everyone over the age of 9 reads it, we would pass it on freely with the requirement they did the same. If we loved it I would buy numerous copies to give away for Christmas, along with something inspiring like a bookmark of all my favorite “live more with less” type blogs (including yours!) :)

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Lyn September 8, 2010 at 10:31 AM

I’m a follower of Chris’s blog. I’ll definitely be reading the book as well.

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Elizabeth September 8, 2010 at 10:37 AM

I so new to this concept, but so eager to learn. My two top questions are: How does one part with items they don’t need, but they have a sentimental value? And I also wonder what one does about health insurance if you walk away from your company and create your own happy existence. Would anyone care to give me some advice?

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Maureen Thomson September 8, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I don’t want yer stinkin’ book. I work 60 hours a week at a job I hate and am perfectly content to come home after work and slip into a catatonic state on the couch in front of the TV. Plus, I am highly educated, and therefore highly offended about the idea that you feel that higher education is not the God-given birthright and obligation of each and every American. And going into to debt to obtain ones higher degree should be no deterrent, so don’t give me any of your hogwash about financial responsibility.

And since when is non-conformity an art? Sounds like a buncha crap to me. Another word for lazy. Get off yer butt and get a real job and kwitcherwhinin’!

(Oh dear….sorry….I think I must have been channeling my father…I will use the book to purge his ingrained philosophy from my mind.)

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Lisa September 8, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Maureen…I think you beat us all! Too funny. I know you didn’t ask for votes, Matt, but we all could use a little purging of ingrained parental philosophy. I have to vote for Maureen! :) Cheers!

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Steven Williams September 9, 2010 at 1:02 AM

Yeah, you totally win. Nice. =)

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Maureen Thomson September 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Awwww…you two are so sweet. Thanks. You made my day.

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Heather September 8, 2010 at 11:27 AM

“To not go with the flow, just because others tell you to. Not to follow a certain path, because society laid it out before you.”

I was affected by this statement on a number of levels. I am going through a huge chance in my life and feel validated when I hear of others making nontraditional life choices. For my personal journey I feel this book would give me strength.

On a different and more important level I think my son needs to read it and we would benefit from discussions that may arise from some of the messages. He has been out of high school for three years now and has decided to not attend post-secondary yet again. As an educator I see the merit in post-secondary and it is definitely one area where we disagree. I think this book would allow us some great material for discussion and the ability to agree to disagree.

While I am intelligent enough to know we can make our own choices it is comforting to hear I am not alone out there, and I am sure my son would benefit from that comfort as well :)

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Erik H September 8, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Just purchased a copy for myself. I can afford the $8.22 to let someone else have a chance at the free option.

Anyway, I like to think I’m lucky, at 30, to have already realized that the ‘standard’ plan isn’t for me. It never was, but I never solidified it until this point in my life.

As you say… 4HWW helped ‘open my eyes’ to the fact I wasn’t alone in my feelings. It pushed me off the path, but didn’t help me find a NEW path. While I suppose that’s my decision alone, I do enjoy reading this book as well. But… progress happens when you make it happen. I’m negotiating a tele-commute contract with my employer. Goodwill now has 5 garbage bags (and counting) of my old ‘stuff’. And you know what? It feels good!

It’s good to know that none of us are alone out there! There IS more to life than this!

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Marvin Abisia September 8, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Because I totally need this book! Been laid off for a year, and already read 4HWW three times cover to cover. Planning to pull the trigger on living unconventionally this coming spring…and The Art Of Non-Conformity will round out my arsenal of survival gear I’ll be needing out in the wild.

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Sadie September 8, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Pick me! I will read this book then donate it to the library because Chris is coming to my town on his book tour and there are no copies at our library!

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Sadie September 8, 2010 at 5:46 PM

I forgot you live in Indy, maybe see you in Bloomington?

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Heather September 8, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Would love a copy!

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Steven Williams September 9, 2010 at 1:00 AM

Reasons I should win this book:

1) The business/greater good angle: At the beginning of the summer, I embarked on a quest to minimize my possessions that turned into a mission to minimize my life – I drank Everett Bogue’s Kool-Aid, and found you and Julien and Chris and Soniei and Leo. I had an epiphanic inspiration to forge my way into the blogosphere and do something with my talents, become financially independent, break the cycle of social norms to which I had only vaguely realized I was ascribing. I am an artist at heart and in talent; I began devising ways to make an art blog, a hub of contact for artists, an online gallery space. So far, they’ve all been dead ends or run out of steam in the brainstorming phase. The blog, however, has taken on a life of its own, and my writing and activist talents have re-emerged. The new mission is one of practical, emotional, and spiritual development for a specific subset of the population to which I belong; I am hoping it will take off, but would love some tools to accelerate it.

2) The romantic angle: A driving force behind my minimalist endeavors is the unique life circumstance in which I have found myself. As of this week, I am in a transatlantic engagement for the next two years while my fiancee is in graduate school in Paris. We are both very excited by this new adventure; however, we face the dilemma of both being poor students. My first trip to see her in December is paid for thanks to my student loan refunds – but someday, I will have to pay those back. I am determined to reach a point of financial and material independence wherein at a moment’s notice, my canine companion and I can hop a plane to DeGaulle and see our lady – then take her backpacking across the continent. I have not traveled out of the US in almost 10 years. The bug has bitten me so many times I can’t stop scratching. I NEED TO TRAVEL – and my relationship with my fiancee will have so much more flexibility if I can do so regularly. This book will help me achieve that.

3) Now, the sob story angle: I have not won anything since I called into the oldies station at age 10 and answered a trivia question that got my dad and me two tickets to see The Platters (who were quite aged, but still kickin’) at a hotel ballroom. The satisfaction of winning was awesome, but the prize left something to be desired. Please, let me win something I really want for once in my life!

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Gen Smith September 10, 2010 at 8:27 PM

I agree with your above comment re: Maureen; one more vote for Maureen here, but seriously Steve needs the book so he can get over to Paris already; my second vote (this site is democratic right?) goes to Steve, I wish you Godspeed!

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Oscar Gutierrez September 9, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I been reading your blog for a month or so and I’ve learn few thing here and there from your blog. I am also working on trying to get myself debit free too. I started reading Chris blog yesterday and I really like his point of view on things. I would love to read his book and I will definitely read his blog too.

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Financial Samurai September 10, 2010 at 12:21 AM

I can feel the love you have for Chris, Baker!

Sounds like a very good motivational book that brings comfort in those who may be lost or simply unsure.

Hope it does well, and also many of your readers by the book off of here!

The online community does rock indeed!

Cheers,

Sam

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Tom Owens September 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM

No one else is saying it. I will. I want to know what Chris can write about Adam and Courtney that their blog followers don’t know yet. Man vs. Debt is instant inspiration. Immediately, I wanted to know more about this pair. I’m glad Chris G agrees. Everyone should have their story. AONC is another uplifting read on the ‘net, always. Because of these uplifting online presences, I wanted to create my own blog. Seeing these giving, hopeful nonconformists keeps me blogging. I want to be with them on that dandelion. Sometimes, I feel like the smallest of the Internet Whos in Whoville. But I’m happy to add my voice. We are here!

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Steve September 10, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I’d really like a copy as I’ve got the wheels in motion to pull off a rather unconventional move. While I of course will devour the book, I’d really like to be able to go up to my doubters and questioners and smack them over the head with it. Of course I’ll graciously insist that they read the book and see how things don’t have to be what they’ve always been. I’ll also give them an ice-pack for that bump on their head. Hope it’s not hardcover….ouch!

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Gen Smith September 10, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Adam,

First time posting here, but love your site and have turned on several friends and family to it.

Reasons for longing to win the book:

My husband and I are right in the middle of our “Sell our crap, get the heck out of Dodge (or other similar midwestern city) and answer the clarion call to live a simpler, significant life” moment. We just used the majority of our accumulated, hoarded, hard earned sitting on various tarmacs frequent flier miles and went to Hawaii. We sold and gave away more stuff than we ever remember gaining in the first place and paid off debt as much as possible. We have arrived with not much stuff (hallelujah!) and not much more money; but we are on the way on our journey, ready to impact the rest of our lives and any others we can influence to get some sanity and get off the treadmill. If I don’t win, it will be awhile until I can justify the expense no matter how awesome, and we know it will be awesome, Chris’ book is. If I do win, I will devour it, begin to diseminate it into my soon to be born blog (its in its incubator as I post this) and after I read it through 3 or 4 times, comment ad nauseum to best friends, fb buddies and my long suffering husband; not to mention our friends dog. I will then scope out the individual that I believe will be most challenged and moved to action by it and bequeath it to them with further instructions to discover Man v Debt and join yours and Chris’ ranks and make a difference in their own lives and their families, etc.; just not before securing their promise to pass on the treasure to another… after all this though, if it comes down to deciding between my post and Steve Williams’; give it to him, I can’t help it, but I am a currently crap free romantic at heart! ;) Seriously, blessings to you and your wonderful family, bravo for not just dreaming but getting out there and living the dream!! You guys rock!

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Monica September 10, 2010 at 6:05 PM

31.august I told my boss I had enough, I quit, I’m fed up being treated this way, I’m am better than this. It was so scary but jet liberating.. I feel soo good and I know this is right. So now I must have my own little company going on within a few weeks, I just have to cause I have two wonderful teenage girls and a dog I take care of. But I know we’ll be fine, I can feel it, I belive it, I know it. My new ‘career’ will now be helping people and especially olderly people with almost everything they need, kind of ”domestic service” and practical help, we don’t have much of that in Norway jet. You and some other bloggers really helped me take this step and grow and start living again :-)

I would love a copy of the book because I will keep me on the track an give me even more power to be brave for me and my small family ;-)

best wishes and thanks
Monica

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Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black September 11, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Oh, wow, you’ve made me want to go out and get the book RIGHT FREAKING NOW! (How’s that for channeling me some Adam?;) But I’ll go for this giveaway first.

We are a military family, for 16+ years now, and we are looking at Life After “Retirement” (we are still young!) and wondering where it will take us… My husband recently got selected for a specialized school, a long-time dream of his, which gives him language training and opens up more opportunities to live abroad in the future, with the military and after (we’ve lived overseas twice so far). So far as this book goes…

I have read 4 Hour Workweek and devoured it. I was drawn into it, intrigued by the traveling aspect but was blown away by the unconventional way of “making a living”. I have decided to start homeschooling our three children precisely b/c of wanting to be flexible in our lifestyle and being able to pick up and leave w/the kids and not have to worry about our lifestyle interfering with their education — whether it be to join their father on one of his business jaunts; or move to a part of the world where a traditional school is not easily accessible. This is so exciting and scary at the same time! I know from experience that “once you get out there” you meet all kinds of people who are doing unconventional things and what you’re doing isn’t nearly as crazy as you thought when you started out…

BUT- right now we are in suburban Ohio, and have been for three years. Conformity is the Norm. My husband is leaving for his school soon (in California), but we can’t sell our house here! What to do? Do I stay here with the kids until it sells? Everyone thinks we’re crazy for thinking about keeping this house as a rental (we already have one of those) – would it be a burden to take on another long-distance rental? Or a future blessing that would help enable a “non-conventional” lifestyle? Are finances even the most important consideration here?

Sometimes I just get tired, you know? And it’s easier to just listen to those around you and do what seems most acceptable. This book sounds great for shaking up the doldrums and getting me to think “out of the box” in that Yes, we can do these hard things and take risks and really live our life on our terms!
I needed your post here, just for today, to help motivate me to take steps I know are necessary to help us prepare for The Next Step in our already not-very-conventional lifestyle. So I thank you for that. I imagine this book would help me to focus my priorities and re-energize my spirit. Please pick me!

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Allan @ Rich Money Habits September 13, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Looks like another classic read in the area of lifestyle design! I liked 4HWW, so I am intrigued to check out what this book is all about.

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Rob September 13, 2010 at 11:23 PM

I read. I write. I dream.

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Laura@MoveToPortugal September 14, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Josh beat me to it, there’s a long wait through Amazon in the UK :-)

If I was to win the book I would use it to power myself to the next level; I’ve quit the 60 hour working week for a 6 hour conventional working week, now I need to change that into a 6 hour ‘Unconventional Working Week’

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chris September 14, 2010 at 8:54 PM

i really want this book. i really want to change my life. they say it is darkest before the dawn. i hope this is true.

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Chris Eh Young September 14, 2010 at 9:07 PM

I almost ordered this book the other day on a recommendation from a few authors. I didn’t pull the trigger and now I regret that. The more I read about this book, the more I know that I have to read it.

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Dena September 14, 2010 at 9:37 PM

I think I should win because I was (happily) laid off from my conventional job and I need the tools to really pursue my own dreams and the confidence to tell others about it.

I’ll use it for good to help spread vegetarian/vegan love, encourage others to live simply, and especially to help my poor little brother with his unconventional life pursuits – and to make them finally pay off for him!

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Gary September 15, 2010 at 5:38 AM

By sending me a book you’ll be helping me save $9 USD + postage. That equates to approx $15 NZD or a new paint brush. So, the $15 I didn’t spend on the book (or four long blacks) can instead be spent on a paint brush.

I’ll then use said paint brush to complete the paintings I’m currently making. Once they’re done, ten of those paintings will go to the ten courageous collectors who signed up to my “One for you, one for me” offer back in May. Ten of my paintings out in the world. Yes! The beginning of my legacy and making people’s walls more interesting.

The other ten paintings I’ll exhibit in my studio (and online) and hopefully sell. More legacy making. Money from the sales will go towards a trip to the UK in 2011 (I’m in New Zealand) and towards making more paintings.

Oh and when I’m not painting I’ll be reading Chris’s book and be looking at ways to building my own online business (I’ve some ideas) alongside developing my art career.

In the following 12 months I’ll turn my online business into a roaring success. I’ll be able to work from where I choose. I’ll also be painting. Lots. I’ll be making better and better work, cultivating collectors, exhibiting and selling pieces. More legacy work. And lots of smiling and laughter with friends.

All because you read this and sent me Chris’s book.

Awesome!
:-)

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Jeff Atkins September 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Well for starters I’m the coolest guy ever… Plus i have a lot of dirt on you and if I don’t win I will tell the world how nerdy you are… Do you really want me to ramble on about the fact that you played HALO an an ultra competitve level and used a timer so that you knew when the power ups would respawn.. or even worse that you can complete a rubiks cube in under 30 seconds (amazing to watch I might add).. we wont go into other stuff here but I think you get my point.. and if all that doesnt sway you.. I know where you live!!! (no threat intended) :-p

On a serious note though.. I am a huge fan of 4HWW.. I’m not sure If you told me about it or I told you (let’s be honest.. odds are you told me… ) but regardless if you are reccommending this book then I’m going to read it.. but if I can get a free copy that would be SWEEET!!! plus I’ll take you to lunch (ignore that I didnt use the word BUY in that sentence and that I merely implied transportation would be provided)

Crossing my fingers,

Sleepless in Indianapolis

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Peggy Haney September 15, 2010 at 9:42 AM

I really need to read this book. I’m at a place in my life where I need to make some major changes. I married young and have always worked and tried to maintain some stability for my family. But now, my kids are grown up, am getting closer to 50, and I need to re-evaluate things and I think this book would be of great help. Thanks!

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Susan September 15, 2010 at 4:34 PM

I just got my copy in the mail on Monday and am on 2nd chapter. If you don’t win this book, I would recommend spending the couple of dollars (skip 3 fancy coffees @ Starbucks) to read about Chris’ life experiences. Or don’t. Your life choices are up to you.

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on the lam September 16, 2010 at 10:52 AM

I need this book because I owe the library money for a Kurt Vonnegut book I never brought back and my credit card will explode if I try to use it.

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Janette September 20, 2010 at 10:54 AM

I would simply like to read the book that you and JD gush about.
Besides that — have you looked at Gary’s art (five posts up)? Amazing stuff!

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Gary September 20, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Thank you Janette!

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Shannon September 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I am so happy to have stumbled upon your site! I have been caught between the worlds of my traditional, mind-numbing, soul-squeltching day job and my sporadically-prosperous, true-love, vitality-promoting side business… and something’s gotta give. I am eager to read both 4HWW and AoNC, and change my life. Thanks for the heads-up about these great books, and if the giveaway is still on, please pick me :)

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Hope September 26, 2010 at 11:56 PM

Our lives at the moment
are normal as pie
We’ve got a wee house
and just enough to get by
He’s got the job
I school the kids
But I want more
Heaven forbid!

I want to travel
To live overseas
To follow the wind
wherever the breeze
To break out from inside
The box I’ve been put
To throw off the shackle
Wrapped ’round my right foot

To share with our children
and sew into their lives
the richness of cultures
under different skies
before they grow up
and leave our home
to make their own memories
out on their own

What’s holding us back
Are the practical things
As well as the thoughts
that suburbia brings
So please send this book
to help cut through all the gunk
and pull us right out
of the conforming funk

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jen September 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

i am determined to NOT have to go out and get a “regular” job or accept welfare in order to “stay home” (or not) and LIVE LIFE with and educate and enjoy my children (now ages 1, 3 and 4). the struggle may not be to actually do so, but to un-learn the conventions and tune out all those voices (internal and external) that are telling me otherwise…

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Jessica Rudder September 27, 2010 at 1:13 PM

One day I read a book called “Underground History of Education in America” and realized that I was the child that had been trained to be middle management.

I’m smart (book smart, anyhow) and have always excelled at school.

I’ve spent my whole life doing two things:

1) Avoiding conflict
2) Pleasing people

After reading the book, I felt like a coma patient awakening to a world that had changed so much they weren’t sure they recognized it any more.

26 years spent working hard. I did well in elementary school so I could get in advanced classes in junior high. I worked hard in junior so I would be ready for the tough classes in high school. I signed up for an extra hour of school (called Zero Hour) every year of high school so I could fit in more classes. I signed up for every advanced class offered and got the I.B. Diploma. I had to work hard because that’s how you get into a good college. Great success! I got into that good (and expensive) private college and worked hard year after year after year because that’s how you get a good job. Graduation came and I was busy looking for a job. Got the job. Now it’s time to work hard because that’s how you get the promotions and promotions equal more money and more influence and more work and….and….and….lather, rinse repeat until I die.

I was done.

Well, I wasn’t done, done, because I’ve still got years of “work hard to get to the next level so you can work hard to get to the next level” brainwashing to break free from.

So, I’m planning to be done. I’ve spent the past 3 years reading up on how to break free. I’ve read books on investing, writing, saving time, traveling, passive income, etc etc. I’ve been planning for ways to be my own boss. I’ve thought about all the places I’d travel and things I’d do with my spare time.

What’s the thing I haven’t done in the past 3 years?

Change.

Well, I’m ready for that change now.

I’m just not sure what comes next.

I’m hoping that Chris’ book can help me to take that next step now that I’ve done all the ground work (and then some!) in order to turn my life into the life I should be living.

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Dave September 28, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Cool!

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