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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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Why Do You Do This Every Day?

For a long time I kept this image on my desktop so I’d see it whenever I opened my computer. It’s a good question to ask when you’re evaluating your career, your life, your whatever. Otherwise you could wind up like everyone else, and if you’re reading The Art of Non-Conformity, I’ll assume you don’t…

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Notes from the Road, Volume I

Greetings from Providence, Rhode Island. This week we launched the AONC book and began the Unconventional Book Tour, with six stops in six days. If you're new to AONC, regular articles are posted on Mondays and Thursdays. I often use Sundays for a weekend update about my business, UnconventionalGuides.com. For the rest of 2010 I'm not doing much business work, so I'll use this space more often for updates from the tour.

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If You Love Something, You Have to Protect It

You might have heard this advice before: “If you love something, set it free.” But I'm not so sure about that. It seems to me that if you really love something, setting it free is exactly what you don't want to do. I've been thinking about this idea ever since a friend gave me the opposite advice recently:

“If you love something, you have to protect it.”

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Calm Before the Storm

In the time leading up to a big day, you do everything you can. You make plans. You consider contingencies. You supply, you restock. You practice, you rehearse, you try to anticipate. You ask for help ... a lot of help. Good planning goes a long way. Giving a speech is a lot easier if you know exactly what you want to say. Laying the foundation for maximum impact comes through careful work done over the course of weeks, months, and years.

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Strategy, Tactics, and the Plan for the Next 97 Days

Have you heard the news about the death of publishing? Books are going extinct! Paper will cease to exist! Buy stock in digital ink.

Seth Godin, a mentor to me and the rest of the internet, recently announced his retirement from traditional publishing. Seth is perpetually ahead of the curve, so as usual, most people completely missed the point in responding to the news. When I read his interview, I thought “Wow, I need to catch up.” If I had twelve bestselling books, I'd say farewell to traditional publishing too. So everyone else in publishing, traditional or otherwise, who doesn't have twelve bestselling books needs to get to work.

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Save the Date! Announcing the World Domination Summit

Jolie and I went down to the Portland Art Museum for a meeting with the Events Planner last week. We looked around at rooms that seated 350+ people. We talked about projectors and coat rooms and WiFi and catering—and everything else you could think of related to holding a major event. “Look,” I said as we walked past a wide corridor. “That looks like a nice place for the bloggers' lounge.” The corridor in question also contained a large statue of a naked man, but hey, it's an art museum.

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Generous People Have More To Give

A few weeks ago in Miami I only had a $5 bill when it came time to get out of the airport shuttle.

I'd love to tell you I gave the driver five bucks instead of the usual $1-2, but I kept it in my pocket and just said "Thanks." Generosity fail.

When it comes to generosity, the general rule with me is: Win some, lose some. It's funny how I don't often regret being generous, but when I choose to be stingy, it comes back to me later.

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Four Burners and Balance: The Follow-Up

Thanks again for all your input on the four burners theory. That was fun. I should say first that all is well in my life—I'm not concerned about falling off the edge or anything. I sometimes say that I'm going to start a “maximalist” movement because I don't believe in limits or shutting ourselves off from the world. So it's all good. But nevertheless, I wonder about things sometimes, and the Sedaris quote was an interesting way to look at the issues of balance and focus. As a couple of people wisely said, the point is that we all have the same 24 hours every day.

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The Four Burners Theory — Your Thoughts?

I did an interview for the nice people at The 99 Percent last month, and Jocelyn shared an idea that has stayed with me ever since. Here's the idea:

I like this quote from a David Sedaris article. Sort of an adapted 'carpenter's triangle': "One burner represents your family, one is your friends, the third is your health, and the fourth is your work.” The gist is that in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two.

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Non-Independence Day

I didn't write an Independence Day post last week partly because I've been on the road. Burkina Faso is a fun enough place to visit, but there were no fireworks displays at night to celebrate America's intent to withdraw from King George's Britain. But the other reason is that I think of a celebration of independence much like the Thanksgiving holiday. The holiday later in the year is all about eating pie and being grateful. I like both of those things; I just think that being grateful (or eating pie!) shouldn't be reserved for one special day.

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The Journey to Ithaca

Many of us are on quests, either real or representative. Since my quest is real, I like the metaphor of journeying.

Going on a journey involves unexpected surprises, challenges, setbacks, and rewards. And I tend to think that any good journey is as much about the process as the destination ...

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Site Update: June-July 2010

Greetings once again from the homeland, also known as Portland, Oregon.

I haven't been running as much as I'd like lately, but this morning I made it out to the Springwater Corridor for a fun 10 miles in great summer weather. All is well with the world once again.

Each month once in a while I look back at what’s happened with AONC in the previous month two months. If you’ve missed some articles, you can catch up here ...

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Why Focus on the Numbers?

I've heard the question in various forms over the past couple of years: Why not just travel around the world without trying to go everywhere—in other words, why focus on the numbers?

My answer is that the numbers give you a goal—something to keep in mind as you go through a challenging process. The numbers can't be your sole motivation or identity, but they can be a big help.

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