GIVEAWAY: the art of non-conformity

I hope I don’t have the wrong impression but I figure, if you read this blog regularly, that you’ve got a little nonconformist streak in you. You prefer to think things out for yourself, appreciate making your own choices in life, and otherwise get excited being a rebel – even in a small way.

If that doesn’t describe you, maybe you come here for a walk on the wild side and a little bit of permission to get crazy with your nonconformist self.

And that is why I’m beyond excited to tell you about Chris Guillebeau’s new book – The Art of Non-Conformity.

I’ve quoted him several times recently but, if you haven’t had a chance to check out his blog, you’re in for a treat. Chris writes about life on the road less traveled. Although, he himself does an awful lot of traveling – having visited over 140 countries. His goal is simply to live the life he wants while changing the world.

And the best part is, his goal for you is the same.

The Selflessness of Thinking About Yourself

I believe in helping other people, but I also believe in relentless individualism. I believe that the crazy dreams and big ideas we have when we are young can be more than just fantasies. No, in the end it is not all about you – but there is also nothing wrong with doing things entirely for yourself.
— Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity

At the heart of the Art of Non-Conformity is the permission to consider your life for what it is and what you want it to be. It’s the permission to change the world, put your own stamp on it, solve problems, and design new ways of doing things.

But before you can do for others, you must do for yourself.

You must consider your own unique perspective, your own individual desires, and your own distinct priorities. These are the things that will shape the life you want to lead – whether as a full-time craftsperson, a renegade artist, a soulful living professional, or as a high-powered executive. These are also the things that will give you the most leverage for creating change in the world.

We can all say that we want world peace, no more hunger, an end to poverty, or social justice throughout the world. But if we don’t at least exercise the unique tools that we have to create change in our own lives, we spin our wheels trying to do anything bigger.

If you’re ready to break free from conforming to others expectations – or even just the barriers you make in your own mind – The Art of Non-Conformity might just help you get through.

So I’m thrilled to be giving away a copy of the book to a Scoutie Girl reader. And if all goes as planned, it will be a signed copy of the book, as I’m attending a book signing in Philly on Thursday evening!

Here’s how you can enter:

  • leave a comment below with one of your personal desires or dreams and tell Chris & I how that will help to change the world.
  • the giveaway will be open until Friday, September 10, at noon Eastern.
  • a winner will be chosen at random and I will contact him/her within 24 hours for a mailing address.
  • one entry per person, please.

Please help spread the word by sharing this giveaway with your friends via Facebook or Twitter!

71 thoughts on “GIVEAWAY: the art of non-conformity

  1. One of my dreams? But I have so many!!

    Okay, the one I think is the most selfless/selfish dream is to launch my craft zine *bespoke* here in Australia. It’s part of the business I’m building – the business of nourishing, encouraging and sharing the handmade community and all the awesome work we do.

  2. Hmmm. I echo Jess – pick one dream? I think it will have to be the dream of taking all three of my children out of traditional school for a year, and going with my husband to live in France or Spain, or South America, or all three… I’m not sure how it would change the world, but I think it would change the way we look at the world… and perhaps by enriching understanding for all 5 of us, (and doing something slightly different to the norm) we would come back living – for lack of a better word – more enlightened lives…

  3. I was always told “you need to do this”, “you need to do that”….”what are people going to think”? Certain dreams I had were thought of as silly. I was conditioned, like most people to live the structured life.

    It wasn’t until about a year ago when I decided to take my love of jewelry and vintage finds to the next level. I am involved with a wonderful group of crafty DIY friends that inspire me.

    My dream is to turn my passion into a living and have fun creating, but most importanlty to break free of the chains that is put on us by society. To teach people to pay attention to your dreams and passions and not let people stomp on them. Be happy…Do what you love…:)

  4. Sounds like a great read – Thanks for the opportunity!

    Let’s see … My main dream right now is to work hard and be accepted to a great graduate school next spring. I will be applying soon to get my PhD in environmental chemistry and I want to use my degree to conserve, protect or improve the environment we live in.

    I have commented 1 or 2 times before but I wanted to say that I think your blog is awesome and is quickly becoming my new favorite online read – Thank You!

  5. I want to change myself by not listening to the doubting Thomas in my head and keep moving forward with creating a line of aromatherapy products that will help others as well as create an online business for myself. This hopefully will change the world by educating others about the benefits or herbal use and alternative health products.

  6. A dream/a goal of mine is to be living in Guatemala and to be working with non-profits who work with maya women to help them make a leaving from their weaving/crafts. I would put to use my design, craft, & business knowledge.

  7. I love Chris’s blog – and I hope to meet him in a few weeks when he comes to my town.

    One of my dreams is to have small businesses take back the world of business. The corporations have sucked the soul out of too many people and are inefficient and sometimes corrupt. I want to help small business owners succeed so we can take back the world!

  8. One of my dreams is for there to be greater understanding of gluten and how it has far reaching negative effects on anyone with gluten intolerance. And, that all those affected have the strength to stick with a gluten free diet and allow their bodies to heal.
    In healing, they will be able to live a vital life and reach their dreams. I do all that I can to spread the word and assist others in finding their way.
    My life turned around when I went gf… which brought me back to my art and for that I am truly grateful.

  9. My dream is to get my degree in Nutrition and teach young people, especially teenage girls about eating healthy and not thinking they need to “diet” all the time

  10. My dream is to expand my eco paper business (build a super efficient & green shop/papermill) so that I can recycle as much paper as possible.
    I would love to read Chris’ book–sounds perfect for where I’m at! Thanks for the opportunity and the encouragement, Tara!

  11. One dream I have is to raise kids that will bring something good to the world. I know that’s kind of passing the buck, but it’s hard for me to figure out how I personally can change the world. I need to work on that.

    I follow him on Facebook already, so, yes, people who follow your blog are likely to be a bit of a non-conformist I think.

  12. I am going to change my corner of the world by revisiting my dreams and goals for my roles as mom and wife and friend and artist. No, I don’t have to do everything the way it is done around me and that is very liberating! The world around me will change when I do my part in getting my corner aligned.

  13. I would love to travel through South America with my husband. I think travel is hugely important as you learn about other cultures and customs, and that can only help you with your day to day life in your own neighbourhood. Whew. That was a long sentence.
    I think I’m really liking the sounds of this book. Have a great day!

  14. My dream is to finish writing my young adult novel and many more after that. I want to change the world by stirring up the next generation through my writing.

  15. oh yeah, i heard of that blog about a year ago and have completely lost track of it since then. thanks for re-introducing me! i’d LOVE to read his book.

    a dream of mine is to live in the country in a big old farmhouse with a garden and animals and a couple of kids running around climbing trees. :)

  16. One big dream of mine is to immerse myself in a culture that is completely different from my own — say Thailand or Turkey — by an extended visit or living there for a while. I would love to be able to see the world from a new perspective and gain an understanding of people whose lives are vastly different from my own.

  17. Tough question! I have so many hope and dreams. The dream that spoke to me today is to one day we able to open myself and experience art with others more freely, give and take as you create to help others express themselves creatively all the while exploring my own passions. Does that make sense? Thanks for the book giveaway, it sounds like a wealth of great inspiration.

  18. I’ve always lived according to my own drumbeat. Non-conformist, that’s me. I don’t live the 9-5 job. It’s not always easy. When the going gets tough that’s when I take time to read about people who choose the non-conformist path. It gives me the extra strength to grow… on this amazing journey!

  19. One day I would love to continue a photography project about blindness that I began in graduate school. It was extremely fulfilling for me and I think the photos triggered thoughtful insights for the subjects and the viewers…I think of photography as my little way of generating new ideas/connections in other people.
    I’ve been eyeing Chris’s book on his blog and am looking forward to reading it!

  20. I have been a stay -at-home Mom since my son was born. I am going through a very stressful divorce from a very controlling man. My dream would be to be able to really make a living with my art and continue to stay home, even though my son starts to high school this year. So many families are two income families or single working Mom & or Dad. I would like to continue to stay home and know that I am home for my son and his friends in the afternoon after school. Even though they are old enough to be home by themselves…it doesn’t mean that trouble can’t find them. They are all great kids and but need a Mom home in the afternoon watching over them.

  21. My dream is to make a living from my business, Happy Fuzzy Yarn. I’m on my way — I’ve got my hours at my day job to half time, and I’ve got two shows this month, but I want to leave my day job entirely. It WILL happen.

  22. My dream is to build my business into a successful, profitable, sustainable business that will allow me to have the work/life balance I love while still contributing financially to our family.

  23. Well, my dreams morph and shift…

    My biggest dream is that we, the people, see the beauty and the potential in everyone and in all that is around us. There is so much narrow minded thinking out there – one track lives and what I call “zombie” driving.

    Wake up and pay attention. Live.

    How am I going to get this one to happen? It all starts with me walking the walk.

  24. One of my biggest dreams is to be successful in life (which includes various aspects). I’m planning of starting a business soon, so I’m hoping everything will work out well.

  25. My dream/goal is to shake things up a bit. Live and work a little less ordinary … and raise my child to do the same. Finding a balance between questioning and accepting is the tricky part.

  26. I want to find a lifestyle that allows me to translate and incorporate all of my abilities (drawing, painting, music, cooking, etc.) into some sort of financial stability whilst making a positive difference in others’ lives. I really want to use all these gifts but get overwhelmed with how & where to start!

  27. My dream is to have a successful company designing and making quilts and quilt patterns that changes the world by inspiring people to invest in handmade goods that better reflect their personal taste rather than the uniformity dictated to them by big box stores!

  28. I have a dream to receive a photography grant photographing memorials on the highways and I feel strongly about it that this work would be an honor to those who have lost loved ones as well as a reminder to people who have not to pay attention, be grateful and be careful.

  29. one of my biggest dreams is to write and speak words that will help women to dispell all of the various myths and limiting messages they’ve been handed about themselves, to tune in to their individual voice and strengths and dreams and truths, and as a result to uncover their personal best paths toward THRIVING in their lives, families, careers and communities!

    women hold up half the sky. we nurture and birth new life. we are infinitely creative & compassionate. i think anything we can do to empower and embolden women to live fearlessly will instantly improve the world!

    i’m in the process of making big changes in my own life, and would LOVE to have this book as a companion on that journey…

  30. My dream: balance reflection and action. To listen for my calling and express more and more of the vocation that is uniquely my own. By living out loud, channeling joy and passion, what I call “the discipline of happiness”, I believe the world will change. Living life with hope and contentment, expectation and curiosity creates light and brightens the path for others who share this walk with me. As I embrace and celebrate my own gifts, others find inspiration to treat their own lives as sacred.

    Thanks, Tara, for living your life out loud.

    p.s. i’m adding Chris’s book to my Goodreads list.

  31. I have a loooot of dreams. It’s hard to narrow it down, but I love the idea of coaching others to live an artful, colorful life. There a few ways to get it done, so I’ve got some thinking to do on that front. I’d also love to really learn photography, and create gorgeous books of inspiring photos.

  32. My husband and I have just started the first big step to a non-conforming life by buying a 100 year old farmhouse & land in the mountains – we move in at the end of the month. We want to help change the world by showing that the old ways of living are still relevant and help teach others the art of growing your own food and preserving . Other dreams are swimming around in my head and Chris’s book might just help me get where I want to go! A favorite saying at our house is – “there’s more than one way to do something – let’s figure it out”!

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!!!

  33. So many dreams, so little time. I’m fortunate in that many are coming true including a published cookbook in 2011. I’ve recently started coaching people to balance their budgets and I think this could change the world by simplying encouraging people to be happy where they are and not slaves to some job that robs them of their soul…

  34. My dream is to raise a generation of children that did not learn to not help others. When watching toddlers, they naturally offer to help but we tell them no. Eventually the child stops asking. It makes my heart soar to see kids that are raised to serve to instantly think of ways to help others and solve problems. Fostering the unique qualities in our youth in order to naturally serve others is my dream.

  35. One of my dreams is to learn the craft of bookbinding/book arts and make a living off of it. Not quite sure how that’ll change the world but I believe books provide a gift of knowledge or a precious space to place personal thoughts.


  36. I am a Mechanical Engineer. I ended up here because pre-med didn’t interest me and I wanted something heavy on the math and science. 10 years later, I find the math and science a bit cold and I want to work with people. I have had a deep sympathy and affection for the elderly since I was 17 and worked a summer job as an elder care helper. My dream now is to learn more about elder care, volunteer, and possibly change my career. This will change the world for at least a few people at the end of their lives.

  37. Oh man, do I have to pick just one?

    Probably my nerdiest desire is to attend a seminar held at Oxford University each May on the history of libraries and librarianship.

    Really though, one of my dreams related to my jewelry business is to earn enough of a profit that I can afford to singlehandedly finance a loan on Kiva. Right now I just make small loans, and I’m glad I can do that, but being able to finance a loan on my own would signify two things: the success of my own business and my ability to help others succeed in their own business.

  38. I’ve been living my dream this year as I quit my day job, and am running my own quilt design business. I’m changing the world by showing my children to go for it, and follow their passions. We are also donating handmade quilts and books to the children of the Appalachian Mountains through our business. I think this book sounds intriguing, thanks for offering it!

  39. One of my dreams is recognition and acceptance of others differences – be they physical, religious or other….
    I’m already trying to do my little bit.

    Every Thursday I volunteer and teach the Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 classes (at my childrens school) Australian Sign Language – or AUSLAN.

    I’ve been doing to it for nearly 3 years now, and my dream is that these kids will take what I have taught them, and *never* be afraid to enter in to a conversation with a Deaf person. That my ‘little bit’ will help to them to break down that barrier. That they won’t be afraid to stop and chat, just because this other person ‘talks’ differently to them.

    If I can help these hearing kids to see and understand that Deaf people are people too, it’s just they don’t ‘hear’ the same way we hearing folk do, then I will feel like I’ve at least made a small dent in this acceptance dream of mine.

  40. My dream is to publish a book…on gardens or food…with my quirky illustrations. I hope my books will give people a new perspective on life and show them creative approaches to everyday processes.

  41. gosh, i have a lot of small dreams. this tends to work better for me than one big giant dream. i want to take my writing and publish a memoir from my blog and letters i’ve written to my daughter, believing in thought-sharing as an art. i am an english major and hope to be teaching intro to lit classes someday, or intro to composition, so that i can teach others to write properly and understand the importance of communication and development. i am hoping to learn sign language, so that i can walk the line between the hearing and deaf (i recently read a book about a woman with two deaf daughters, and have experienced the intimacy of this language throughout my childhood and early adulthood though the certification process for interpreting is complicated and i’ve yet to begin learning). i want to teach people how to be heard – once it was said that world literature would be a civilizing force among humanity; i thought this was a bit silly and imagined political figures passing big books across a stale table, but i see why one might say that. we are human kind. beneath the atrocities world-wide and that of our homes and communities, we are subjects. we are not objects. we have ideas to share, big or small. i am also hoping to become a doula and to insist on the kind of support that existed in our society once upon a time.

    lastly? i’d really like to own a coffee shop and used bookstore. :) and i’d like to backpack somewhere cool with my daughter when she grows up.

  42. my dream has always been to create art and objects from nature. the purpose is to carefully extract my favorite bits and pieces of nature’s own design and transform them into works of functional beauty that cause us to stop and consider their origin. i hope to change the world by sharing a deep love and respect for our natural environment. don’t we all protect what we love best?

  43. I have only about 10,000 dreams. Only. I was making a list in my mind before bed a few days ago about all the things I want to “be when I grow up.”… and fell asleep before it was completed.

    But the overriding theme in all of them is that I want to help others. My dream is to use my time, skill sets, and a sympathetic heart to reach out to those in need and to also empower them to improve their lives in some way.

  44. My dream is to touch everything in my life with hand made goodness. To leave my mark, in some special way, with things that are pretty and useful. And to be satisfied with my life by living well within my means.

  45. A dream? Well, I feel like I’m living mine now. I’ve just quit my soul-killing job to write and quilt part-time while staying home with my kids. This is the right decision for me, my family, and hopefully I can work to inspire more everyday.

  46. One of my dreams is to build my card business and take the knowledge I gain to North Korea to use the things that women make there to change the world by allowing them to make a profit doing what they love.

  47. I like non-conformity. It gets you in endless trouble, and it’s tremendously fun. My dream is to run my own childrenswear business – designing and making unconventional, fabulous, vintage-inspired clothing. The dream is under way … progress is good. I can’t wait to sit on a porch one day, look back, and say “wow!”

  48. I’m not big on the word “dream”, but my aspiration is to create an online design community, run by caring individuals, that want to grow something from the ground up.

    We will be surrounded by awesome, inspiring, fun loving people that love helping others to succeed.

    On top of that the site, will support initiatives to help other people less fortunate, to build their own dreams. The idea is to sponsor designers, crafters each month and see their own dreams grow :)

  49. So many dreams, so little time. That realization has become very clear now that I’m 40. Ok, enough with the wise old woman talk : )

    My two dreams that will help change the world are to go back to school to finish my degree and turn my one-woman production studio into a big enough business to employ other local people.


  50. The dream is to open a photography studio/learning center/retreat facility. The studio would be set up and offerred to photographers who can’t or don’t want a studio of their own to maintain and or who want to come to a special location for shoots. Additionally, photography related workshops would be offerred there. The site would also be ideal for other types of retreats. It would be a way to give back and encourage others to pursue their creative talents at levels beyond their immediate reach and to share passions on multiple levels. Thanks!

  51. I’d like to find my voice as a blogger. For that reason, I’ve put off starting one. As a former business journalist, I’d like to have something important and relevant to say. Corporation bashing is fashionable these days, but many people have no idea how they work, and what their purpose is, I’d like to change that. Big business has its place. And working with small biz could be a win-win for everyone.

    I’m subscribed to Chris’ blog and really enjoy it.

  52. I have a dream to be an artist and printmaker. That would change my world by giving me a voice and a legacy.
    I also dream of teaching people about buying local and reducing waste.

    Thank you!

  53. My dream is to leave all my stuff behind and travel across the U.S. I hope to meet a ton of people and maybe open a few minds to different ideas, like, you don’t have to work for the man, you don’t have to have a big house to be happy, you can wear beautiful things without impacting the earth or people’s lives, you can obtain your dreams, etc…..

    Huge fan of Chris!

  54. I want to live life away from the hustle and bustle that seems to surround us all. My current dream is a self sustaining homestead, of the grid, large veggie patch, cellar, canning, maybe some chickens and some sheep with a wind turbine on the roof.

  55. Thank you for introducing me to AONC; it’s been really interesting to look through the site and sign up. I think it could be incredibly useful. :)
    I think I would love to become a writer of poetry and hopefully fiction. I want to focus on my drawing abilities as well and possibly encourage other artists to market their products successfully. I want to eventually try a big philanthropic project, but I can’t decide what yet. :)

  56. My dream is to keep dreaming big…this includes continuing to grow my creative business as an artist, continuing to study Anusara yoga (and work towards certification), traveling interesting places to teach art and yoga workshops and following my heart to wherever it wants to lead me (which is the scariest thing in life for me to do…) It’s my hope that if I can do that, it will empower and inspire others to do the same. Wouldn’t this world be a brighter place if we were all following our hearts? You and Chris are both wonderful examples of that….may you keep shining out from that place!

  57. My desire is to write a book that will help women discover and nurture their creative souls. The more people are open to their own creativity, the more beautiful this world will be.

  58. The two dreams I have that are nearly in my grasp are launching my own craft business- which will make my life happier, and inturn I can donate to all those worthy causes I always wish I could help more. AND I dream of slicing out the time to take yoga teacher training. Yoga has helped make me a happier person, and I want to share that gift with everyone!

    Hooray for dreams!

  59. My dream has always been to have my own creative business designing Home-wares and it is underway.

    But I know what a huge step it was to take to get it started (and to keep running) so I also like to be involved in helping others realize their dream – but sharing resources and information, offering support and encouragement. Also recognizing the dreams of others and showcasing their talents and products on my blog.

  60. My dream is to make the world a better place for new Moms, new babies and their families. I would like to open a non-profit organization that connects low-income pregnant women and families with Doulas! I am applying to business school to try to get this going!

  61. my dream is to use my art not only as a vessel to help others find their drumbeat, but as a carrier of the message that it is important…actually, imperative that we take care of the earth…and that really, it all starts within….connect to your higher purpose, and inner beauty, and that will lead to your connection with the ‘world at large’….

  62. One of my personal dreams is to someday start up a non-profit that raises money to get music lessons & instruments for kids who wouldn’t be able to have them otherwise. I’m a piano player and that aspect of growing up was probably the only constant thing I’ve had my entire life – knowing how to play music has been such an immense gift and it honestly breaks my heart to think that someone else might not have had that option.

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