When I started AONC, part of the message I hoped to share was that it's OK to pursue an independent dream or idea. You don't need permission from anyone to do so. I'm not interested in criticizing anyone who wants a traditional life, but I also strongly believe in supporting those who want something different. The reality is that when you pursue your own agenda instead of someone else's, it's quite likely that some people won't understand. Yet, when you truly "wake up" from a life with terms dictated by someone else, the possibilities are endless.Read More
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.Read More
Visiting every country in the world is getting difficult. I've almost completely ran out of “easy” countries. These days I spend as much time arranging visas as I do planning the actual trip. It takes time, energy, and money: even with my best travel hacking strategies, I expect the overall cost to increase in the final two years of the project.Read More
I was depressed like everyone else after 9/11. Having just been in NYC the week before made it especially poignant—I remembered walking around a lower Manhattan that would never be the same after that Tuesday. I spent that fall thinking about the big questions of life—what am I really here for? Since it's obvious there is evil in the world, where can I find the good?Read More
In 2009, I visited with Seth Godin and his Alternative MBA students. Afterwards, I asked Seth for advice. “I know it's a long list,” I said, “But what's one thing you think I can improve upon?”
He said, “I think you need more of an agenda. Consensus is overrated!” That was a very Seth thing to say, and I liked it. For the rest of the year, I thought about the agenda.
This is a six-part series to explain how I think we can change the world. I originally started AONC with the goal of writing for 1,000 people. Now my goal is 100,000 people, and it looks like that's only a year or so away. Lesson learned: small goals turn into big ones if you take them seriously. And also: it's good to be clear on what you're really about.Read More
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…Read More