Site Update: July 2009


Greetings from Malaysia, my home for most of this week before heading back to my real home on Thursday.

After nearly getting deported from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia a few days ago, I managed to deport myself a few days later to fly this direction. It’s a really long story, one that I look forward to sharing in more detail later this week.


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


LIFE – I wrote about All the Things You Don’t Need, How to Convince Someone to Change their Mind, Sufficiency, and What Makes a Community.

WORK – I wrote about my visit to Seth Godin’s Alternative MBA Program, Learning from Everyone, and introduced the Unconventional Writing Contest.

TRAVEL – I wrote about The Monster Trip of 2009, and Conversations.

SITE AND STORE UPDATES – I wrote about Extreme Gratitude (NYC Edition), Escape from Cubicle Nation in PDX, and Utah and Continuous Improvement.

(P.S. Thanks to everyone who has been participating in the comments section. You guys are incredibly smart.)


I began my Monster Trip of 2009, taking me down to South America, where I completed my visits to every country on the continent. Afterwards, I journeyed to the Middle East and Persian Gulf, focusing on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. What can I say about Saudi Arabia? Not really anything good, I’m afraid, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Small Business

I didn’t launch any new products, but the Working for Yourself and Art and Money guides continue to sell on a regular basis. Thanks for all your support – and we’ll have something new in August to compliment the existing products.

Affiliate Program

I now have a new “Product Wrangler” working with me and the select group of affiliates who promote the Unconventional Guides around the internet. I’ll introduce her to everyone next Sunday.

(The affiliate program is by invitation only because I want it to actually work. To apply, read this info and send me a note.)

The Unconventional Writing Contest

I recently kicked off a writing contest with great prizes and the chance for the winner’s work to be featured here. A “Supreme Court” of volunteer judges will recommend a shortlist of finalists for my review.

The contest is open to all! Feel free to enter. By popular demand, I’ve extended the deadline to Saturday, July 18.

What’s Coming Next


I’ll be wrapping up my big trip over the next week. Kuala Lumpur is actually my final stop, and I go home on Korean Airlines via Seoul, L.A., and Vancouver. After this trip I’ll be home in Portland for a full month before going out again towards the end of August.

Next Big Product Launch in 37 Days

On the 19th of August I skip town again after my month at home, so our plan is to launch the next Unconventional Guide on August 18th. This one is going to be really good, and the goal is to bring an excellent resource to an underserved market.

Why tell you this now – is it a magic pre-launch tactic? I wish. Instead, this is my attempt at public accountability. I have a great partner for this project (half of you are probably familiar with her work already), and I don’t want to let her down. August 18th is the day.

Writing Contest Wrap-Up

The Supreme Court and I will review the entries for the Unconventional Writing Contest and award the fortune and fame within about two weeks of the deadline (July 18).

Email Updates and Site Improvements

In Kuala Lumpur, superstar designer Reese and I will be making some subtle, but important changes to the site. Watch and see. I think you’ll like them.


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

* Going to Extremes
* (Almost) Deported from Saudi Arabia
* Around the World for $1,000
* Your Own Amazing Race

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

Audience Participation

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

Leave a comment at the bottom of any article. Feel free to add to the discussion at any time, and include a link back to your own site if you have one. (Note that the link goes in the “web site” field, not the big text box where you write your comment.)

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

Follow my real-time updates on Twitter. I regularly solicit input on the articles published here, as well as send out links to other people’s great content. A “Daily Ass-Kicking” is included at no additional charge.

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 articles to StumbleUpon 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:

June 2009 (Salt Lake City)
April 2009 (Dominican Republic)
April 2009 (Portland)
March 2009 (Portland)
January-February 2009 (Tokyo)
November-December 2008 (Seattle)
October 2008 (Seattle)
September 2008 (Seattle)
August 2008 (Seattle)
July 2008 (Karachi)
June 2008 (Amsterdam)
May 2008 (Vancouver)
April 2008 (Syria)
March 2008 (Los Angeles)
February 2008 (Seattle)


KL Sky Bar Image by Lambert

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