The Art of Non-Conformity: Book Review

By admin in Misc > Announcements

Congratulations are in order for a fellow blogger today. . . Chris Guillebeau’s first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, has been published!

You may remember Chris from his Unconventional Guide to Art & Money, an eBook I reviewed on EmptyEasel last year. Today, however, I’m thrilled to share a little bit about his first published book, which I read about a week ago and really enjoyed.

The Art of Non-Conformity

It’s important to note that Chris didn’t write this book just for artists; it’s actually a book for everyone. However, I definitely think it would be a good choice for anyone choosing a career in art rather than more traditional employment.

It’s also fairly easy read (full of stories in fact) with this simple yet subtly radical idea as the premise:

. . . you DON’T have to live your life the way others expect you to.

It’s an idea that many of us would quickly agree with, but still find very difficult to act upon. After all, society doesn’t make it easy on people who are different. . . the prevailing notion is that to succeed in life, and in your career, you need to go through the proper motions and work your way up through the traditional channels.

Chris’s book is about finding the strength and focus to live an unconventional, amazing life instead—no matter what anyone else says about it, or expects of you.

What’s inside the book:

Chris starts off by outlining the problem that many people face (which is primarily discontentment, whether with a job or in life) and then goes through some of the common obstacles that stand in our way of overcoming that problem.

Each chapter covers a different topic, like goal-setting, overcoming fear, learning to challenge preconceived ideas, achieving financial stability, etc. He also talks about entrepreneurship and the value (or non-value) of higher education compared to real-world education.

All told, there are 11 chapters and about 240 pages, and in my opinion, it’s well-worth the $9 bucks it costs at Amazon.

I sped through the entire book in about a day, but of course, as Chris points out in the first chapter, actually making a change and improving your life will take more effort than just turning the pages. :)

In summary:

The Art of Non-Conformity isn’t exactly an autobiography, and it’s not quite a “how-to” book either. Instead it lands somewhere in between the two, combining the best of both genres without ever straying into the realm of pseudo-science (as so many other self-help books do).

The techniques and advice provided by Chris are good, the stories are interesting, and the central concept—that you really don’t have to live your life just like everyone else—is one that I agree with wholeheartedly.

So whether you’re looking for a kick in the backside to get you moving towards a new career, or a book full of inspiring stories of people who are GOING for it, definitely check out The Art of Non-Conformity. I highly recommend it.

You can read additional reviews of The Art of Non-Conformity at, or visit Chris Guillebeau’s website or the Unconventional Tour Page for more info.


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