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If Everyone Becomes a Non-Conformist, Won’t We All Be Conforming?

I used to get this question a lot, sometimes framed in skepticism but other times just curiosity. The simple answer is that not everyone wants to become a non-conformist, or any other particular means of self-identification. Plenty of people are happy with the way things are, which is the definition of conformity. It’s not always a bad thing.

It’s also like asking, what if everyone wanted world peace? It would be wonderful If everyone wanted world peace, but not everyone does. People generally operate in their own interests, and some people benefit from conflict and strife. It’s no surprise that the world is full of constant conflict.

Being a non-conformist, or just a rebel in general, isn’t about fighting for the sake of fighting. Nor is it usually about rejecting an orthodoxy or culture. When it is about those things, the rebellion is usually superficial and short-lasting.

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Welcome, New Readers! (And old readers too …)

We've had a lot of new readers join recently, so I wanted to say hello (hi, everyone!) and explain more of what it's about.

This blog (AONC) started in 2008 along with my goal to visit every country in the world by my 35th birthday earlier this year.

Throughout the past five years it's grown to much more than a travelogue. Our core mission is to support and encourage non-conformity or unconventional thinking, as defined by this mission statement:

You don't have to live your life the way others expect. You can do good things for yourself and for others.

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The $100 Startup Goes to India

Greetings from Hong Kong. I made it in from Vancouver last night and will be flying on to Mumbai shortly to begin the first leg of an extended tour in India. I'm very excited about this trip. I haven't been to India in many years—in fact, the last time I was there was right after I started writing this blog way back in 2008. This is also my first experience in presenting the ideas and stories from The $100 Startup to a crowd that is primarily cross-cultural. I don't expect that everything from the U.S. or “the western world” applies elsewhere, and I try to position myself as a learner. At the same time, however, I also believe that the ability to start a successful microbusiness and earn a good living on your own is increasingly becoming universal.

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Unconventional Guides Mega-Sale (“Everything Must Go” Edition)

For everyone in the U.S., I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday yesterday. For everyone elsewhere, I hope you enjoyed having the internet to yourself. Over at Unconventional Guides, we host a sale only once a year—and it's this weekend! This sale is different from all others. As alluded to a few times in recent months, we're making some big changes. Among other things, I'm going all-in with the new course we're building, Adventure Capital. We'll be launching in beta right after the holidays, and then more publicly about six weeks later.

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Welcome, New Readers (What AONC Is All About)

Awesome people of The $100 Startup event: San Francisco, Tuesday, May 29th

Greetings from Santa Cruz, California—soon heading down to Los Angeles for a book reading party at Vroman's bookstore tonight.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. The $100 Startup launched as an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. We've sold 30,000 copies in the first three weeks and plan to reach many more people over the next few months with the message of freedom and value.

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Report from the Road

Greetings, friends and readers. I've been on the road for 10 days, meeting people in 7 cities and counting so far.

We kicked things off in New York City with a great crowd.

The next day I rode Amtrak up to Boston for a return visit to the Harvard Coop, where I was 18 months ago for The Art of Non-Conformity tour.

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World Domination Summit Is Sold Out

It's actually been sold out for several weeks, but I've been laying low and letting it ride for a while. On the advice of my great team, however, I can do so no longer. Five months in advance, we are (beyond) filled to capacity with more than 450 attendees from all over the world, in addition to the 40 speakers, workshop leaders, action team members, and “ambassadors” who will help us produce the summit to the high standard it deserves.

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Update on the World Domination Summit… You’re Coming, Right?

Last week I went down to the Portland Art Museum again, and this time I took along the World Domination Action Team with me.

I normally do most of my project planning on my own, but for a project of this scale, I knew I needed to get some help—so this project is co-led with J.D., Tsilli, Robert, Tammy, Sean, Tyler, and Jolie. (I'll introduce them more later.)

You may recall that we're hosting a global gathering next June in Portland. Eight months away, we're well over halfway sold out, with 240 people registered from 15 countries. It's like the United Nations, but right here in Portland and so much more fun.

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AONC Readers in the AONC Book

Greetings from the Atlanta airport, where I’m preparing this post before heading home after a 13-stop leg of the Unconventional Book Tour. In writing the AONC book, I wanted to highlight the stories of other people who have forged their own unconventional lives. Everyone mentioned below was included in the book, already in its fourth…

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The Agenda: Wrap-Up

I started writing the Agenda series in Algeria two months ago, in preparation for the book launch and a week of guest blogging at Powells.com. There are a few points I left out of the series, most of which I decided were irrelevant to the message. For example, I'm very passionate about travel and entrepreneurship, but I didn't write much about them in the series, because these are two expressions (not the only ones) of the non-conformist life. Not everyone wants to travel or own a business, and while I'll continue to do much of my work for those who do, I also understand that there is more than one way to create your own independence.

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World Domination Summit: The Revolution Begins in 253 Days

Greetings, friends and readers. As mentioned recently, I have a modest proposal: next summer, let's take over Portland, Oregon with a small army of remarkable people. With that in mind, the World Domination Summit is now available for (very limited) registration. You can now learn more or sign up to brave the Oregon trail as one of the Pioneer attendees.

For more info, head over to the brand-new World Domination Summit site ...

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Notes from AA 476

Greetings from the early-early flight (6:05am departure) to DFW, where I'll transfer to an American Eagle jet up to Des Moines, Iowa. Over the next 14 days I'll be in 13 cities, taking the message of AONC on the road through the midwest and the Great Lakes, meeting readers, and trying to keep the plates in the air.

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AONC Book Launch! (AKA “I Has a Book”)

Greetings from Lexington Avenue on the small island of Manhattan. Since I haven't slept much in the past two and a half days, I'm not sure why I got a hotel room—but I'm grateful for the coffee maker and connection to the outside world. Today, my first book is available for purchase in bookstores everywhere. Get it on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Chapters, or support your local bookstore.

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I Have a Book! (And I Need Some Help)

The day before leaving on my final international trip of the year, the FedEx guy showed up at my door. Unfortunately, he did not have a package with my passport from Washington, D.C., which led to my just-barely-made-it excursion to Algeria. Too bad—but it all worked out in the end, as it usually does. Instead of a passport, I received a small package from Penguin Books. I get review books all the time, so I assumed that's what this one was. But then I opened up the package and saw my name. At first I thought it was an impostor, but no impostor would choose the name Guillebeau to write a book. (He would probably choose a name like Godin or Grisham instead.)

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