I am a writer, world traveler, entrepreneur, and lifelong learner.

  • Who reads the AONC, Art of Non-Conformity, site?

The Art of Non-Conformity (AONC) is a Technorati Top 2,000 blog that is read daily by tens of thousands of people from more than 120 countries all over the world. The group includes executives, artists, authors, vagabonds, aid workers, entrepreneurs, actors, and all kinds of other people. They are high school students, senior citizens, and every age in between.

The target market consists of people who want to live unconventional, remarkable lives. I try not to label them any more specifically than that.

  • What is the overriding message of AONC?

You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and for others at the same time. From time to time, people will try to stop you from pursuing your goals. You can safely ignore them.

  • What is the mission of AONC?

The principle mission of my small army and I is to help people live unconventional lives and make their own choices. We’re waging war on the status quo, mediocrity, and the passive act of sleepwalking through life.

  • What does world domination mean?

I used the concept of “taking over the world” in my first manifesto, A Brief Guide to World Domination. In this context, world domination refers to finding a way to do what you really want while also finding lasting purpose (meaning, fulfillment, etc.) in life.

When you make your own choices instead of accepting the choices offered by gatekeepers or the status quo, you’ll naturally acquire both friends and enemies. My friends are people who want to live life on their own terms and change the world while they’re at it. My enemies are those who want to stop them. (Thankfully, I have more friends than enemies.)

The mission of AONC is to help people live unconventional lives, make their own choices, and change the world.

The writing you’ll find here offers unconventional ideas for remarkable people. I write through personal experience, including both failures and successes. Among other projects, I am on a five-year personal quest to visit every country in the world.

Background

I served as a volunteer executive for a medical charity in West Africa from 2002-2006. It was thrilling, challenging, and exhausting—all good qualities to have in an adventure. I gave keynote speeches to presidents, hung out with warlords, and learned far more in those four years than anything I learned in college.

After my time in West Africa came to an end in 2006, I came to Seattle for a graduate program in International Studies at the University of Washington. I enjoyed my studies, but I enjoyed travel even more – during every break between quarters, I traveled independently to countries like Burma, Uganda, Jordan, Macedonia, and 20 more.

So far I’ve been to more than 100 125 150 countries, but there’s a long list of places I haven’t made it to yet. It’s going to take a while, so I’ve given myself three two more years until I’m 35 years old. (Any good goal has a deadline.)

I have been self-employed for my entire adult life, having successfully avoided the dreaded “real job” for more than a decade. My entrepreneurial history has ranged from importing coffee from Jamaica, search engine optimization in its early days, Google Adwords and Adsense arbitrage, and building a small publishing company while volunteering in Africa. I now write on this site and sell Unconventional Guides.

I live with my wife Jolie, an artist and teacher who has been to more than 40 countries of her own. Jolie is nice about letting me travel the world whenever I want as long as I promise to keep coming back. We live in our adopted city of Seattle, Washington Portland, Oregon.

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