Art of Non-Conformity, The Paperback – 25 Aug 2011
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"This is a direct, honest and truly scary book. I hope you have the guts to listen to what Chris has to say, and not become one of the monkeys he warns you about."
-Seth Godin, author of "Linchpin"
"Chris Guillebeau is the Indiana Jones of career experts."
-Gretchen Rubin author of "The Happiness Project"
""The Art of Non-Conformity" is like a lightning bolt to the head. Read it and your brain will spark and sizzle."
- Neil Pasricha, author of "The Book of Awesome"
"The conventional world order has blown up, much to the relief of students, cubicle dwellers, artists and activists who knew there was a better way. This brilliant book will wake you up and inspire you as it guides you to create a new life on your own terms, earn a great living and positively impact your corner of the world."
-Pamela Slim, author of "Escape from Cubicle Nation"
"Some people are content to report on others' success. Not Chris. He lives and breathes what.
About the Author
Chris Guillebeau is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The $100 Startup and The Happiness of Pursuit, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller Born for This. He is creator and host of the annual World Domination Summit, a gathering of cultural creatives that attracts such speakers as Susan Cain, Brene Brown, and Gretchen Rubin. Guillebeau speaks at dozens of events, companies, and universities, including Google, Facebook, SXSW, Evernote, LeWeb, and more. He recently completed a personal goal of visiting every country in the world. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
That being said,he does promise that a certain percentage of the profit from the sales of this book goes to a charity in Africa,that helps to give the people clean drinking water,so if you find you didn't like this book,at least you have the knowledge of knowing you played a small part in helping there.
And you can always come here and write a review if you feel that bad about having bought it.
My verdict :
An OK read,but if you haven't read "The Four-Hour Work Week",grab that first and read this afterward,and I think you'll see what I mean here.All in all,this is a fine example of a guy trying to put what he learned from reading "The Four-Hour Work Week" into practice,in his own life.
A lot of his musings are based around age-old tenets like 'be less materialistic' and 'think outside the box' (I'm paraphrasing) and not all of us can live life like Chris, but nonetheless the message within this book should cause some rousing of dissent in even the most stoic of societal sleepwalkers. A couple of times, it's clear that he is pitching to us despite mentioning on several of his checklists about "not selling" to your "army" (readers, devotees) but then references his review score on Amazon.com more than once and plugs a couple of charities at the same time. It's not offensive, but feels a little hypocritical. I can see that part of this is serving his agenda, in the way he is trying to educate us to serve ours, but it probably should have been held out of this book!
Whilst not all of his suggestions will be applicable to your personal situation, it is easy enough to see where he is coming from and do the fine-tuning yourself. A well written book with multiple inspiring quotes from famous visionaries amongst the block text and not heavy in the slightest. Recommended for those trying to extricate themselves from a rut.
My only quibble with the book is that Guillebeau's path to freedom has an undercurrent of obsession about it: there seems to be a fondness for ticking things off, measuring time and outputs, and an open admiration for those who do likewise. I read a quote recently: "To be successful, you need an obsession", so perhaps he has a point. Certainly, for anyone who is seriously considering changing the way they live, the book has a lot to offer.
An updated version of this is roughly what Chris Guillebreau means by "conformity". I think he makes two mistakes. The first is that post-modern capitalist economies don't want you to conform, except to your employers' dress and IT codes. Expecting you to conform to anything else would mean setting standards and training people and generally making commitments, and post-modern capitalism needs to be able to dump it, outsource it, price it out of your salary range and generally melt it into air at any time with minimum disruption and expense. The second mistake is that conforming is not about product choice and how we make the rent, and many of the choices we make are constrained by the numbers. Most of us have to work 9-5 because most jobs are 9-5, not freelance. Most of us have to work at what we're good at rather than at what we love, because what we're good at pays and what we love doesn't. Following your bliss is viable if it so happens that your bliss pays enough, or you are prepared to live very cheap.
Indeed, the book's title should be "Live Cheap and You Need Never Go Into The Office". He's a web developer and seemingly one of the few who are good enough to find enough clients prepared to let him work off-site, which not many clients are prepared to do. He only needs some telephony to do his job - sometimes, I'm gathering, sat phones so he can dial in to a client conference call in the middle of Africa. (That strikes him as cool, but I think it's a little... disjointed.) He travels a lot - not in a Tyler Brule style. He's not going to Biarritz for dinner at Restaurant Phillipe, but to Azerbaijan, Syria, Turkey and other Poor Countries. His idea of fine dining at lunchtime is Chipolte and he's a vegetarian, which keeps the costs down. He's also prepared to sit around airports for a day waiting for connecting flights, delays and the like, on cut-price airlines. Going to poor countries makes your income last a lot longer, and provides months of comparing your material circumstances with Poor People, which makes you feel a lot better about yourself than a few weeks in Manhattan or Kensington.
If I said that books like this were actually commissioned by corporations and western governments to convince you that it's your fault you're a wage-slave tied to a soul-crushing commute and job, which given your skill-set you can only change for a different soul-crushing commute and job, you would mutter something about "Corporations and governments aren't that smart". He may not know it, but he's blaming the victim, the favourite tactic of the oppressor and his lackeys. If only we had the gumption to Do What We Love And Find Someone To Pay Us For Doing It, we would be happy and unafraid of being replaced by someone in Mumbai. Good thing Chris likes web development, which he can do from a rooftop cafe in Syria, and not Java enterprise systems, which would mean he would have to be on-site right up to the day they at-will terminated him.
I felt cheated, because a book with this title should be about more than working freelance, which is a way of life that takes a particular character and mind-set that most of don't have - which is why we don't do it. Non-conformity is about just a lot more than how you make your pay-cheque and where you go on vacation, and there are moments he addresses that stuff, but not for long enough.
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Most recent customer reviews
I highly recommend this book for any one looking for new successful path...everyone
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