By- Rick A. Griffith
Next up on the “Game Changers” interview series is well known author and blogger Chris Guillebeau. Chris was nice enough to indulge me in an interview, taking time out from writing for such publications as CNN, Business Week, the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and the Oregonian newspaper, not to mention his own massively popular blog The Art of Non Conformity, and book by the same name. Chris shares the nomadic instincts so popular with the readers of this site and has traveled to over 150 countries. But for a man who needs no introduction, this one is already running on far too long, let’s get started…
(RG)- Rick Griffith's Questions
(CG) Chris Guillebeau's Answers
(RG)Your book The Art of Non Conformity and blog, by the same name are tremendously popular and inspiring for those looking to break free. When deciding on your life of non conformity, who did you turn to for inspiration as a writer and a traveler?
(CG)These days I often turn to my community, which consists of many people doing much more interesting things than me. I also think a lot about the aid workers and volunteers I used to work with in Africa.
(RG)What is one experience you have had while traveling that stands out in your mind as a “wow” moment, that motivated you to keep moving?
(CG)I have them every month. Last month I was in Cambodia, where I met a tuk-tuk driver who had a very Western (and successul) approach to running his business. I was encouraged to see that a lot of what works in building a business is universal.
(RG)Having seen so many cities around the world, what cities have you visited where there is great opportunity for talented people?
(CG) Every city offers unique opportunities and talent pools. But a few that I think are especially good at attracting like-minded creatives are: Austin, Toronto, Vancouver, NYC, Cape Town, Buenos Aires... and the list goes on.
(RG)One thing I like to talk about is failure and how it is a necessity for anyone looking to do something truly great. How have you embraced failure in your own life in your path to becoming a successful writer?
(CG)I'm not sure that failure is a necessity. Often the things we are most afraid of never actually come to pass, and the bigger challenge is just to start. But in my case, I try to continually launch new things and experiment. Not everything will be mega-successful, but I'd never know without beginning.
(RG)You are great at staying in contact with your followers and keeping it real on your blog. How do you think this authenticity has benefited you?
(CG)Many ways. Here's two: a) It's been good for business, because things can only grow as more and more people become engaged. b) It's been good for me personally and as a writer. When I know who's reading, I can't just phone it in -- I have to deliver something worthy of their Inbox or RSS feed.
(RG)I’ll be exploring Europe for the next few months and noticed you mentioned you meet up with readers on occasion. If you happen to pass through, can I buy you a cold one to thank you for the insight?