Site Update: August 2008

Space Needle Site Update - Seattle

Greetings from my home city of Seattle, Washington. For the first time in six months, the monthly update comes to you live from World Domination Headquarters, conveniently located in my home office in Wallingford.

Each month I look back at what’s happened with in the previous month. If you’ve missed some articles, you can catch up here.


LIFE – I wrote about The Care and Feeding of World-Changers and posted a video update called Whole-Wheat Bread and 8 Olympic Gold Medals.

WORK – I wrote about United Airlines and the Case for Value, Price and Value: A Marketing Lesson for Life, Art and Money, and Building a Command Center for Your World Takeover Plans.

TRAVEL – I wrote about Getting to Pakistan, Conversations in Karachi, Lost in Singapore, and The Ancient Hotel in the Ancient City of Valletta, and The Perfect City by Personal Standards.


Most of July and the first half of August combined to make the busiest travel month in my life so far. I was thoroughly worn-out upon returning home, and I don’t plan to break this record for a while… but it was also a fulfilling trip.

I wrote about the first part of the trip in last month’s update. On the second part of the trip I went to San Marino (a very small republic in northeast Italy), Pakistan, and Brunei. I also stopped off in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

The UGDA Launch

On August 13, I launched my first product on the AONC site, the Unconventional Guide to Discount Airfare. A lot of you bought it during the launch, and others have continued to purchase every day since then. Thanks! I am grateful… and I have a lot of work to do, since it seems there’s a real demand for more Unconventional Guides and related services.

In the future I will be creating an affiliate program that pays 51% commission for a few carefully-selected partners who wish to offer this (and the upcoming guides) for sale to their readers.

If you have a blog, other web site, or newsletter list and are interested in learning more, read this first and then contact me.

What’s Coming Next

Travel – My final trip of the year takes place this month, as I head out next week to go the Middle East and South Asia. I’ll be visiting Egypt, Qatar, and Sri Lanka, as well as making a quick stop in Central America before flying to Cairo. It should be fun, and you’ll get updates and trip reports on location as usual.

FAQ – I haven’t forgotten about the Frequently Asked Questions page I promised a while back. If there’s something you’d like to know, just let me know and I’ll add it to the list. The FAQ will probably debut along with the site redesign mentioned next.

AONC RedesignReese the Amazing Designer, who works on location from Michigan and Malaysia, is working on a redesign for the site. Stay tuned for updates and a preview where you can share your thoughts about the redesign – this should happen towards the end of September.

Essays – The thrice-weekly essays will continue to be posted each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This month I’ll write about the following topics, among others:

  • The Devaluation of Discounting
  • Swimming from Regrets
  • A Small Business Round-Up
  • Trip Reports from Sri Lanka and Switzerland

I hope you enjoy my writing, and I always welcome your feedback.

The Second Unconventional Guide

In late September or early October (probably early October, but you never know), I plan to launch my second commercial product to complement all of the writing I do for free. This guide will focus on the second of two questions that I hear almost every day: “How do you make a living?”

Usually what people want to know even more is, “How can I start some kind of online business, begin freelancing, or otherwise make money without working for someone else?”

Some people want to leave their real job and pursue something entirely different, but others just want to get some kind of supplemental income going so that they are not as dependent on the “real job.” I think both goals are good, and I plan to provide a great deal of practical information in support of those goals. The working title for the second guide is the Unconventional Guide to Earning Money Without a Job.

Note: a few people have said this title is too long. They’re probably right, but at the moment I don’t have a better one. Feel free to suggest your own title for the second guide, and if I use yours, you’ll get a free copy when it’s done.

Audience Participation

You can participate in the development of this project in several ways:

Leave a comment at the bottom of any essay. Feel free to add to the discussion at any time, and include a link back to your own site if you have one.

Join my newsletter announcement list or add me to your RSS reader.

Follow my real-time updates on Twitter.

Send other feedback. Use my contact form here to tell me what you think so far.

Tell your friends, or tell the world by submitting my essays to StumbleUpon, Digg, or other social networking sites.

I appreciate the time you spend here. Don’t forget to change the world the way you think it needs to be changed.


Catch up on Previous Updates Here:

July 2008 (Karachi)
June 2008 (Amsterdam)
May 2008 (Vancouver)
April 2008 (Syria)
March 2008 (Los Angeles)
February 2008 (Seattle)


Image by Cordan

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  • Trish B. says:

    Unconventional Guide to Unconventional Employment?…looking forward to this one. I don’t travel much anymore (farm and jobs keep me tied to home-but that’s OK-I love the farm stuff), but could definitely use some info on unconventional employment.

  • Lucky says:

    “The Unconventional Guide to Income” ?

    Or, if you want to make it snappy, “Unconventional Income”

  • Andre Kibbe says:

    Note: a few people have said [Unconventional Guide to Earning Money Without a Job] is too long. They’re probably right, but at the moment I don’t have a better one.

    I do. Earning Money Without a Job. Are there conventional guides to earning money without a job?

  • Tina says:

    I would love some information on generating income from art/crafts. I long for freedom from the 9-5. I’m looking forward to your next publication.

  • Ari Herzog says:

    It’s amusing to read of your world travel plans in the same paragraph that travel makes you tired.

    When you visit Qatar, will you be able to visit any oil refineries?

  • Charles Widdicombe says:

    Hi Chris. How about “The Unconventional Guide to Jobless Earning/Income”? or “The Art of Employing Yourself”

    One thing to highlight in your Unconventional guide is dealing with the new set of problems that arise when you are seeking alternative (non-employee) income. i.e. extra admin to deal with, managing clients and “customer service” etc. My view is that as a freelancer, self-employed person, it is important to be able anticipate this to make life as stress free in your new “self-employment”.

  • lizette says:

    I love making up different names for things. Here are my ideas for your new guide:
    Unconventional guide to profit from your talents
    Unconventional guide to create your work, your money, your life
    Unconventional guide to make a living
    Unconventional guide to earn your pot of gold
    Unconventional guide to say goodbye to wages
    Unconventional guide to escape economical slavery

    Good luck with writing your unconventional guide.

  • Kristen says:

    I think you should name it “The Unconventional Guide to Making Money”. Nice and simple. The thing about “the unconventional guide to earning money without a job” is that is kind of redundant. Earning money without a job IS unconventional already. I don’t know that you want to title it “guide to earning a living” or anything having to do with a job, because as you mention, it isn’t just geared toward people who want to pursue it as a job, but also to folks who want to earn some extra cash on the side, or don’t want to think of making money as “a job” at all. You want to have the title convey what you are talking about, but be vague enough to appeal to more than just “job seekers”.

  • Alan says:

    Chris –

    Have really enjoyed reading your posts over the last few months. I’m relatively new to the blogosphere and look to your site as a benchmark for my own blog as well as my own personal ambitions.

    Glad you’re back safely and look forward to the new e-book!


  • Karl says:

    From a marketing standpoint I think that you should keep the Unconventional prefix.

    I like your writing.


  • Chris says:

    Thanks guys – you are all awesome. I really appreciate the suggestions!

    @Ari – yeah, I do get tired… but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it at the same time. It’s kind of like running. About Qatar, I’m not sure what the plan is for that yet.

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