Non-Conformity

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Last week a book came in the mail. Not all that rare of an occurrence at the Shedden household but this time I didn’t order a book. Kelli, of course, wondered if I had hidden that I’d ordered a book, but that is another subject.

About 3 years ago when I was living in Seattle and attending Church of the Apostles, Kelli and I were lucky enough to meet two fellow pilgrims in Chris and Jolie Guillebeau. Chris had this crazy idea to travel to every country in the world, not just for the fun, but as a lifestyle choice. If I remember right he looked at how much a nice car would cost compared to traveling the world and decided he would live his life unconventionally. For Chris and Jolie this meant living without a car, living below their means, and doing what they loved even if meant not having the life everybody thought they should be seeking. For Chris this meant traveling and for Jolie it took the form of art.

One day Chris called and asked me to lunch to run an idea by me that he was working on. Not being an expert in anything I gladly agreed to meet him and talk. At this lunch Chris showed a ton of work he had been doing on creating content and thoughts for a webpage that he would use as a platform to tell others about his decision to live what he calls “the art of non-conformity.” I had a hard time wrapping my head around his ideas, but Chris had seemed to have done his homework. I offered some vague comments I thought might help him, walked home in the rain, and wondered exactly what Chris had gotten himself into.

Not soon later Chris started his website and I read it eagerly. He slowly started building a following and before I knew it he was actually getting somewhere. Not long after that he quit his side job and took a leap of faith focusing solely on his webpage. Chris was deciding to do what he loved and help other people find out what living unconventionally might mean for them. Chris and Jolie moved to Portland after he quit his job, but I have kept up with his exploits through his blog and twitter.

This brings us back to the book. The book that arrived in the mail was an early release of Chris’s book, published through Penguin. The book, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World, is coming out in September and contains Chris’s story and more importantly his thoughts to help others to begin to live outside the box. I’d encourage you to check out the tons of great advice Chris gives out on his blog for free and if you feel so inclined grab his book, which is worth it for his story alone.

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3 thoughts on “Non-Conformity

  1. Hey Matt! Great story. Thanks so much for all your support and friendship.

    I remember that day very well. I wanted to buy your lunch in exchange for your great advice about blogging, but you had already eaten when we met at the sandwich place. So it seems I still owe you lunch, but at least Penguin sent you a book. Next time I’ll tell them to throw in some kind of thick Biblical commentary (“the more pages, the better”) and then we’ll be closer to even.

    I think of you and Kelli often and hope you are both doing well.

  2. Hi, Matt- thanks for the excellent post! It’s great to hear a bit about the early days of Chris’ project. Even better through someone else’s eyes and recollection!

    Thanks again-
    Mark Powers

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