Review of Chris Guillebeau’s “The Art of Non Conformity”

Watch below to hear my take on Chris Guillebeau’s “The Art of Non Conformity

Hear me chat about…

  • Why this is a must read book for changing your life
  • Chris’ idea about the new way to retire
  • How ‘The Art of Non Conformity” can help you hone in on crafting a life that you want


Hi! I’m Laura Roeder, and today I wanted to hit you with a little book review of this wonderful book. It’s called “The Art of Non-Conformity” by Chris Guillebeau. His name is hard to say but I think I said it right. Here’s my copy from the library. Why does it say 56? I don’t know, library. I always wonder about that. I think it’s because this is the 56th greatest book in the universe.

So if you haven’t checked out Chris’s blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, it’s a great free blog he writes on a lot. This book to me is like the new Your Money or Your Life. If you haven’t read Your Money or Your Life, that’s another great book. That’s what it’s called. I don’t remember the author’s name but you can look it up. It was written in the 70s I think and that book is all about looking at money in a new way and looking at your life in a new way and examining do I really need everything that I think I need, or is there really a much lower amount of money I need every month to achieve my dreams and do what I want?

The Art of Non-Conformity is really about crafting your life in the way that you want to and about how it’s much easier than you think it can be. I recently went to South Africa somewhere that Chris has also spent a lot of time and it just emphasized to me how many ways we have to spend our life. It’s very easy to get stuck in whatever we grew up with or the options we see around us, but you can have 10 different lifetimes in your life. You can travel if you want to. You can have a bunch of different careers. You’re not stuck in one thing forever and that’s really what Chris emphasizes. You know what it says? Set your own rules, live the life you want, and change the world.

I love this book because it’s very inspiring but it’s very practical at the same time. He makes you see that this isn’t a crazy far-off dream, but crafting the life that you want, a life of nonconformity perhaps, is actually really easy to do and takes much less money than you think.

Just to hit you with one idea that I really liked from the book, he talks about looking at retirement in a new way. So our classic idea of retirement is that we say let’s say we have saved a bunch of money and at some point we retire, and then we start living off that money. But of course, the problem perhaps with that model is that you have to save literally now millions of dollars to be able to retire on, to have any semblance of the lifestyle you’ve had before, and as inflation rises, it will probably be millions of dollars just to be able to retire at all.

But most of us in this little world, most of us, if you’re watching this video, don’t have the type of life set up where we’re just like waiting till the day when we can finally stop working, till we can get rid of this awful job. So a new way to think about this is to build income streams that will continue to support you throughout your life.

The other problem with retirement is you’re not really gaining anything, right? You’re just putting in money to be able to take it back out. Yeah, you’re earning a little in investments but you’re losing just as much from inflation. So to me, it makes much more sense to build income streams that will continue to go for you instead of just basically putting aside money just to take it right back out later. You’re not really gaining anything in that scenario. You know what I mean?

So there’s lots of great practical ideas like that. As you can see, it’s a short book, and it’s really just a must-read for changing your life.

So again, I’m Laura Roeder. I have to highly, highly recommend The Art of Non-Conformity.

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.


  1. Brilliant video laura
    Regards of perú

  2. Chris is awesome! I agree with you Laura: He is optimistic and inspiring, yet pragmatic and realistic.

    Art of non-conformity is an excellent book!

  3. Perfect timing Laura! I’ve been compiling my reading list for 2012 (I try to read at least 1 book per month) and this one is definitely going to be on the list! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks! I’ll have to check it out. I love the “multiple streams of income” concept :)

  5. It took me a week to fully understand it’s message that is supposed to be revealed. But when I saw your video, I can’t believe that I could understand the book’s full meaning through your review. Thanks, Laura. Keep Up!

  6. I hope you had a great time in South Africa :) Did you have a braai (roasting meat on fire) day?

    I love my land :D

    I will defiantly check out this book and even set up a plan top begin reading books a chapter a day :D

  7. I think this is the first I’m seeing a book review on your site, Laura. Or maybe there are more and I haven’t seen them. It’s a nice change of topic. :) Anyway, good review of the book. I’m definitely interested in reading it. Cheers!

  8. Hey,
    For me, before buying an inspirational and informative book I am searching for it’s reviews on some niche. Like this one, and I am so glad that I could see a review from a professional. I would be so eager to but it, since it got a good review. :D

  9. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!