What’s Your Message? Why Not Share It?


Greetings from Burlington, Vermont. After today, I have a few days home in Portland, Oregon, then I’ll set out to visit the midwest and Great Lakes region starting next week.

In this (very windblown) video update, I talk about social media and why if you’re trying to build a platform, you should talk about yourself more than others.

Stay with me, because this idea is definitely contrarian to the conventional wisdom.


If you can’t watch the video or just prefer to read, here are a few highlights.


Shouldn’t you use social media to promote other people’s work? Isn’t it good to make others look good?

Well, yes, I think it’s generally a good idea to be a nice person. But I don’t think that has much to do with building your brand or platform. If you care about building a platform, it’s far better to actually do something of your own. This usually involves talking about yourself, and that’s OK.

Let’s take the case of someone like @lancearmstrong. I’m a fan of Lance, but he doesn’t know me. That’s OK, I don’t expect Lance to follow me back—and here is the critical point: I also don’t want him to spend all his time promoting other people’s projects and “retweeting” his followers’ notes. I want him to talk about what he’s doing, and I want him to share his own opinions. In other words, I want Lance to talk about himself.

Should you only talk about yourself? No, of course not. It’s good to share other resources, promote other people, and so on from time to time. But ultimately, people will follow you because you are doing something interesting, not because you are good at passing on other people’s messages.

This is why if you want to build something, you have to have your own message. If someone feels like you’re talking too much about your own projects, they can unfollow you. Whenever someone tells me they don’t like what I write or talk about, I always wish them well and say, “Hey, it’s a big internet out there—hopefully something else will resonate with you better.”

But more likely, instead of losing followers or readers, you’ll gain them once you start speaking out more and being yourself. That’s why you need a message!

So … what’s your message?

What are you working on over there, and what’s the next step? You can share it here in the comments for the world to see. As usual, keep the web site in the URL field (not the comment itself), and if you’re doing something interesting, you’ll definitely get your share of visitors.

Most importantly, be yourself! Don’t be shy …


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  • Robert Bruce says:

    Could not agree more. Hope you’re well out there…

  • Entrepreneur Ideas says:

    You are definitely on point about periodically promoting others but mostly promoting yourself. I wonder though, how much of your content should be about yourself v. others? 70/30? 80/20? What do you think? I apologize if you touched on this in the video, I couldn’t load it.

  • Jennifer Miller says:

    We are a family, with four kids, who hit the road full time about three years ago. We’ve cycled from London, UK to Tunisia and back, toured Central America, Canada, the USA, Hawaii… and have a goal of setting the kids’ feet on all seven continents before we emancipate them to their own paths.

    For us, it’s all about education, growing global citizens and helping others to do the same!

    We believe that life is an ED-venture and are dreamers of big dreams. We love to encourage and inspire others to live the life they’ve always dreamed and help them see that it CAN be done… even with a bunch of kids!

    I write. He programs. The kids explore. We’re interested in meeting as many like-minded adventurers, or just plain curious folks as possible. Drop in and say, “Hi!” or join us on the journey!

  • Etsuko says:

    Great video Chris – it’s actually my next step, putting video contents on my blog with my message of making parenting easier and more fun, so everyone wins. There is definitely a learning curve and a fair amount of fear to overcome, but I can do this!

    I look forward to reading the update on your book tour!

  • Adventure-Some Matthew says:

    Excellent thoughts, thanks for sharing your opinion! I’ve wondered about that idea (10-1), and while it sounded good, it also seemed like I was going to be “marketing” – doing something just to make an impression. I much prefer the idea of being me and sharing who I am.

    My message: There’s adventure to be found in your life, if only you look for it.

  • Trish says:

    Oh wow! What IS my message? I’m still finding my voice, but most of all I want to be an example for others about the importance of speaking up/out about the important stuff. About BEING a catalyst for change, especially when it comes to social justice.

  • Brett Kelly says:

    It’s a little funny – I’ve heard many people espouse the 10:1 sharing ratio you speak of and it’s never quite made complete sense to me. I mean, I get why it’s cool to share things that other people are doing, particularly if lots of people give a crap about what you say, but the idea of adhering to an arbitrary standard has always felt, well, arbitrary.

    Watching a well-known proponent of 10:1 link to somebody feels fake because you know that they’re doing it, at least in part, in an effort to satisfy their own personal (and self-imposed) obligation. I’m not saying it’s always like this or that they aren’t being genuine, just that it feels forced.

  • Vincent says:

    Awesome! That’s a great perspective.

  • Susan Campion says:

    I am working on an event called Giant Steps. It’s a day-long event and evening concert for “creative entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial creatives” based on the premise that people who pursue work/lives they’re passionate about share common experiences–and obstacles.

    I have a great collaborator–an independent artist from Ghana named M.anifest–and we are living the example that we preach–that amazing experiences and innovative ideas are birthed in unlikely collaborations; that entrepreneurs and artists can learn from each other.

    We’ve assembled group of amazing contributors to share their insights–both personal and professional. We’ve designed an event full of honest conversations, interesting interactions, and useful resources. We’re making it fun, too. We’re blurring boundaries, tapping into powerful talents for new ideas and new collaborations, and building up a community of pioneers and path-forgers.

    It’s all new for us, and we have a lot to do still, but it’s so much fun!

  • Brett Kelly says:

    I just realized that my comment above made me sound like a great big Negative Nelly, which wasn’t my intention. Apologies.

    My message: technology isn’t hard, but being funny on the Internet really is.

  • Lisa Wood says:

    So glad you made it to Vermont – it was a pleasure meeting you!

  • marlon @ productivity bits says:

    I am a late comer to this World Domination stuff; I admit that. I don’t know anything about World Domination and how to establish my message. I really want to join this World Domination Army; that is why I purchased the “The Art of Non-Conformity” book.

    I have a blog called “Productivity Bits dot com”. Now if you call that a “message”, then be it. All I want my blog to become is for it to be part of the knowledge workers’ source of inspiration and change. My ultimate step for the blog is to make it a superpower world domination arsenal!

    Today Productivity Bits dot com is about the “Smart Bits and Tips To Maximize Productivity and Efficiency at Work or Home-Office.”

    Tomorrow, Productivity Bits dot com will “Change The Way We Do Work One Bit At A Time”.

    Hop in!

  • Evan says:

    I’m one of those making the world worth saving. There’s no use reproducing the current mess: a world worth saving is one where people live in a way that is true to themselves and where they can be real in relationships. This is my part of making the world worth saving.

  • Andy Hayes says:

    Great concept, Chris. I agree, shout your message from the rooftops. Most people know mine: travel more. Not just more often, but better experiences with less hassle and more joy.

  • Shawn Michel de Montaigne says:

    I think courtesy goes a long, long way, as well as modesty. It’s one thing to talk about yourself; it’s another to boast or brag. Like so many other things, bringing attention to oneself is an artform, as Gracian pointed out long ago.

  • tara - scoutie girl says:

    This is an important message. If you’re doing great things, do them – and let others know. In fact, that was a great message for me to come home to after some serious soul searching today.

    My next step, as I told you in Philly, is bring the Scoutie Girl message to a much bigger stage. That’s going to happen by reaching out to influential players, getting my message broadcast by bigger organizations, and doing more of the grassroots work I have been doing.

    If anyone knows people who are interested in getting the word out about living more creative lives & changing the world with the money you have (or if that is you), send them my way!

  • Monica Meeks says:

    This is exactly what I had in mind when I started my blog!! I can’t claim to be a Carnegie Hall performer, or a Nobel prize winning researcher, or even a varsity athlete. But I am my quirky, (hopefully) interesting, little old self – a college student who chose NOT to go premed – unlike about 60% of my classmates – to instead follow my passion in anthropology. I approach everything thoughtfully but still with a sense of humor – it so far has allowed my 18-year-old self to learn quite a bit about the world, without going insane, or feeling the sky drop on my head. I’d say that’s an accomplishment! If anyone’s interested about how my geology class strengthened my belief in the divine, or how I believe life is an art project and NOT a science experiment, check out my blog. It may be overly idealistic, a little eccentric, and maybe even naive, but one thing I promise is that it’s always genuine.

  • Jeff Sarris says:

    It’s interesting that you post this now because I’m writing this from Milano, Italy where we’re in the midst of a 22 day trek across Europe. A lengthy trip that convinced me to blog about our travels. I was thinking much along the same lines as you in that what makes people different is that some do interesting things and some follow people who do interesting things. Not that our trip is groundbreaking in any way, many many people have been here and done this before, but there’s still people out there who, like us, have never been to Europe and will be interested to see and learn a bit about it. Anyway I just thought it was ironic to have this post pop up today. Keep rocking the Unconventional Book Tour, see you in Chicago!

  • kari says:

    love everything your doing, its awesome!

  • Chuck Kuhn says:

    I retired (Architect) this past Dec 31, 2010. Although I’ve been passionate about Travel and Photography, I now can DO MY THING> I’m planning solo trips to India, Egypt and Vietnam in 2011. My contacts through various blogs I’m involved with, has made me many friends. With a little luck my expense for lodging will be low, since my contacts will allow me to stay with them. I plan on 2 months in India & Vietnam, Laos and 1 month in Egypt. Several Humanitarian contacts would like me to document my travels for their interest at their locations. I’ve been following you for 2 yrs now. I’m excited and can’t wait, I’m 65.
    Thank you Chris

  • Mikeachim says:

    Agreed. We can’t all act like Alltop and expect to get anywhere. And there’s a line between reinforcing relationships and defining yourself by them…

    I’ve only recently clarified what my message is, even though I’ve kinda been tackling it for the last 6 months or so…

    I’m fascinated by the travel-related, life-related assumptions people don’t challenge because, like, they’re *obvious*. (D’uh). For example “the more photos you take, the better”. That statement’s rarely questioned – and that’s a shame, because the more photos you take, the more there’s a big lump of metal and glass between you and an experience you’re trying to have….

    So that’s my obsession. Which involves asking lots of questions. Which is great, because I’m generally really poor at supplying answers. 😉

  • Elizabeth Potts Weinstein says:

    I agree w/ the not needing to promote other people’s stuff (I typically only do when it really resonates with me, or I know it totally fits with the Live Your Truth message, etc.).

    But I do think there is an important point about listening & asking, versus just talking. I also don’t like rules of thumb either – but while talking about the message is important, what will take people from followers to being customers/true fans is feeling like we are listening to them.

    I’m writing the Live Your Truth manifesto (creating it blog post by blog post) – which is about empowering you to create a business & a life that is a natural expression of who you really are. 🙂

  • Satya Colombo says:

    That’s funny, I just wrote an entire post sharing about the top 10 leaders changing the world online — you included, in case you missed the memo – does that count as my stuff or other peoples? I guess it’s both, so that should work… 🙂

    It’s really just part of the bigger picture I’m shooting for, which is sharing the best keys to personal and financial freedom. Opening your world to other ways of looking and understanding things — that’s what it’s about…!

    I just started your book today, by the way, and i love that freedom is your compass, and ultimately what you base everything around. It made me shiver a little, cause it’s mine too. So it feels like we’re on the same team. I mentioned that to my GF today, and she said, “yeah, you’re in his army” — and i was like, really? I don’t want to be in anyone else’s army — but in the end i had to agree…. Onward HOOOO!

  • jules says:

    wise wise words chris, thanks for sharing.

    it makes so much sense when you look at social media from that perspective.

    my message is that everyone can become better home cooks by applying minimalism and simplicity to cooking. I’m in the process of writing an e-cookbook called 5 ingredients | 10 minutes so my next step is to spread the word.

  • Jen says:

    This really speaks to me just now as I’m finding my feet in social media. My message is that professional historians (of which I am one) in Australia NEED to be connecting online. I am dismayed and disheartened that there isn’t a thriving ‘history blog’ sub-culture (that I can find) here (or really anywhere much).

    If you are interested in pursuing your passion, history (even just slightly) and living in the contemporary world? Join me. That’s my message 🙂

  • Marilia says:

    I´m working on seeking and spreading the best education possible. One that is focused on independent thinking and in making room in our kid´s minds and hearts to fight for the equality of all people and use the Earth´s resources intelligently.

    I enjoyed seeing other two mamas in these comments spreading awareness 🙂

    I too bought the book, but not to myself, to my best friend… I hope she enjoys it and lends me afterwords.

    To world domination!

  • Derek Alvarez says:

    Ahh, the art of self-promotion…

    I figure if I’m not promoting myself, I’ll end up working for someone who does!

    My wife and I use social media to promote local businesses in Arizona.

    In the future, I’d also like to create a video series to help people do what we’ve done.

    Thanks for the insightful post, Chris. This is the first one I’ve read from you (found you at Copyblogger).

  • Wilma Van Wyngaarden says:

    I (almost 🙂 always enjoy your slant on life. So here is what I am doing and sharing in return: a two mile walk every morning and posting photos. I live in a most beautiful spot and feel like sharing the beauty. Unlike yourself, I have zero interest in travelling, but find lots of variety in the changing landscape. I keep some sheep, horses and dogs. Would be happy to have visitors to my daily walk project at my website, listed above.
    Thanks! and enjoy your book tour.

  • Beth Jennings says:

    Chris I just love the tone of your delivery…it’s full of useful content every time without an ounce of ego. My message is with my photography. I believe in taking the time with your family to document today’s family magic, for tomorrow and beyond. People often say ‘oh that’s so joe, you captured him as I often see him but I can never get that in a photograph’. There’s a little bit of magic in holding time. The challenge for me is in getting that out there, because i think what i do is essential. If your house is burning, what’s the first thing you run for? If a family member dies, you start looking at photographs…

  • Heather Allard says:

    Love it, Chris. Thanks for boldly going “there”. 😀

    I’m working on something called The Collective, a group of 16 amazing (mom-invented) products that I’ll be presenting to the media and wholesalers to get them the press and sales they deserve.
    I’m really excited about this – it’s near and dear to my heart after having been a mom-inventor myself and struggling to get the word out about my products and get them in stores.

    I’m also feeling a shift within myself – I’m gravitating to people like you who have awesome messages, people who explore life and the world, people who are living out their dream and showing me the way.

    Thanks, Chris for all that you do – it was wonderful to meet you in Providence.

    p.s. Tara – let me know how I can help – I feel drawn to you and your message, too. 😀

  • Krista says:

    Rarely do I get to the end of a video grinning like a Cheshire wishing I could heartily shake the speakers hand. I have tonight. Thank you for this honest, gentle, yet upfront reminder to be ourselves, be kind, and use our energies to enrich our life and others by living and promoting our passion. Consider your hand heartily shook. 🙂

  • Meg says:

    Excellent point about creating your own message. I do try to do that more than retweeting.

  • Lia Huber says:

    I’m working on a profile of Chris Guillebeau for Nourish Network ;-). But very much within the context of my own message of teaching people how to nourish themselves. I’ve found that as people become more conscious of what they eat and how it affects their bodies, their emotions, their families, communities and the earth, the more deliberate they become in other areas of their life as well.

    So in short, I’m on a mission (and recruiting others) … to nourish the world one bite at a time. Through my website, Nourish Network. Through my small group coaching program, My Nourish Mentor (if you want to change your relationship with food for good, we’ve got a new group starting next week — sign up by tomorrow to be a part!). And through some other projects that are just bubbling to the surface and will hopefully show a lot of people that they ARE capable of enjoying–reveling in–food that’s healthy for both their bodies and the earth.

  • Lisa Sonora Beam says:

    Your Lance Armstrong example really rings true.

    My story? I’m passionate about showing artists that it is possible to earn a living doing what they love and have the freedom (inner and outer) that goes with it.

    I’ve been creatively self-employed since age 24 and living a location independent lifestyle since 1997. Thank you, Internet!

    In my book, The Creative Entrepreneur, I show artists how to go from creative calling to viable business, by using their creativity to understand business strategy and roadblocks typical to creative professionals.

    Artist mistakenly think they can’t be good at both their craft & business. That’s B.S. (I offer the example of Madonna). It’s time for artists to stop believing that crap and make their business and life their greatest work of art.

  • Devin says:

    I am fine with people talking about themselves as long as they have something to say and have the art to say it. While it might make sense that this should be easy to come by, I rarely find it. And yes, I am fine with talking about myself, but I also realize that being interesting to others is an art. As always, I am a work in progress.

  • Jane Rochelle says:

    Funny thing is that when I’m in the midst of a whirlwind of great things, I think the world is exploding and my dreams are all coming true. Then a month or two later I look back and see that it was just the beginning of the next dream. When good things keep piling on top of each other it feels good, and sometimes overwhelming, and sometimes I can get caught up in just completing tasks in order to make that next part of the dream come true.

    “Do SOMETHING worth talking about”, I say to myself. I will, as soon as I finish these projects that are consuming my time. I have to wonder whether the Emperors ever got bogged down deciding which color robe to wear, or whether the moat should be made of greystone or granite.

    So, we’re doing our first art festival in October, then taking our entire inventory of paintings to a vibrant art emporium in Asheville. All of the paintings will be on display and someone else is running the shop.We’ll be free to go home and create whatever comes next!

  • Mirella says:

    Thanks so much for this opportunity Chris 🙂

    I’m working on establishing myself as a “Meaning Coach”, helping people create a more meaningful existence for themselves. Each week on my blog I offer a weekly “Meaning Experiment” for readers to try and I blog about my experiences the following week.

    I’m working on moving away from the conventional and becoming a lot more unconventional, very much inspired by you. The biggest part of that for me is experimenting with my life and encouraging others to do the same.

  • Amanda says:

    Thanks Chris for the platform! Looking forward to seeing you in Arizona.

    My message is this: Balance your giving and doing with receiving.

    We live in a culture that has elevated busyness to a virtue and where multi-tasking is a normal way of life. People are exhausted!

    When you make time for yourself and for your goals and dreams – when you include you in your vision for the world and receive what people have to give – you open up pathways you couldn’t see before, stimulate your imagination in ways that could not happen before, and have energy that was not previously available to you.

    I wrote a book about it titled The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve (Tarcher/Penguin). The release date is December 23rd and I am really excited about getting my message out into the world.

  • Alex Hajicek says:

    Agreed. Everyone I follow has something interesting to say. Footsteps I’d love to follow in or learn from. Smoozing about other people isn’t going to get you far. If I want to learn about Chris Guillebeau. I will follow Chris Guillebeau I don’t want to hear about him through someone elses filter. Ugh.

    Best of luck on your tour.
    Alex Hajicek

  • Tessa Zeng says:

    Over here at Rethinking Style, I try to challenge and question preconceived notions about what we wear and why we wear it, and take style out of the context of the fashion industry to plant it firmly in our individual lives!

    The site has been running for just under two months, so everything is pretty new! Right now I’m documenting my own take on the 30 Day Challenge (30 pieces, 30 outfits, 30 days) and diving headlong into new design studios, so expect to see a surge of creative work!

    I’m also working with a number of other interactive, philosophical projects- the central message is the same, though: Engage your individuality and promoting independent thinking through creativity!


    Thank you, Chris, for all that you do. I’m once again impressed that you’ve managed to fill a void with such a simple message (!) – this is something we should know, but so few people address it!

  • D.esigner says:

    I’ve been of the mind that social media should generally be used to focus in on ones own topics. To me it’s another outlet for conversation, to be used in the same manner as any other outlet. If I’m on facebook talking about others mostly, I’m doing the same with Twitter (hopefully reaching a slightly different audience.

  • jan avellana, hazelnut cottage says:

    …great article—they always are—because it made me think. what is my message?! i should know this, be able to give you a one minute elevator pitch and that i can’t right now has me alarmed! this is a good first step (knowing that i don’t know)…this is what i’ll be working on this week. thanks, chris.

  • Coach Dawn says:

    I’m glad you said that because it never made sense to me that we’re supposed to talk about other folks so much. I’m not a “social media” person, so I figured that they knew something that I didn’t. But I thought the whole idea was that I know a lot about a field and others want to hear about it…so I should write about what I know.

    Anyhoo, thanks for validating a gut feeling that I had!

  • Tabitha Jayne says:

    This really resonates with me. After sending out a personal post I watched 5 people unsubscribe from my list. This helps me keep it in perspective and wish them well 🙂

  • Aaron says:

    Thanks Chris.

    We’re about helping others keep a few more bucks in their pockets – and about getting out of debt!

  • Andrea says:

    Oooohhh! I so needed to hear this perspective. Better work on my “twitter-pitch.” Thanks, Chris!

  • Joe Grant says:

    My message is that the best way to overcome any sort of Chronic Illness is to educate yourself. And I’ve just recently created a website dedicated to Chronic Fatigue to help you do that.

  • jr cline says:

    I’m a photographer who takes photos of life in Anytown USA and my adventures elsewhere. I post them with bland descriptions flavored with a little wit and philosophy.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  • Laura Cococcia says:

    Aah, this helped me frame so much of what I’m working on – or at least help guide me in the right direction. I’m excited to help kickstart – and connect – the cultural conversation happening throughout different facets of our society…digging deep to find the trends that help increase our collective knowledge and cultural literacy. A little experiment in recording history, but hopefully helping people raise awareness about themselves and their place in the world. Lots to do – and psyched to see so many cool things happening among the group here!

  • Bebhinn says:

    Thanks for the article Chris – very interesting. I must admit that in my marketing campaign, I share a lot of information from others, but only that which supports my views and I believe will be relevant and interesting to my followers. However, your piece has made me think that perhaps I don’t blow my own trumpet enough. I still want to share what I find interesting from others, as I would like my followers to feel that they can follow me and they will get a world view on the subject of life and career change, not just my opinion. However, in response to what you have written, in future I am going to work harder on who I am and what MY brand and MY message is. Thanks Chris!

  • Lary Kirchenbauer says:

    Chris, thanks for the reminder to focus on what we can contribute and let the chips fall. The lingering recession and the quagmire of uncertainty prompted us to apply our 75+ years of corporate finance experience to help middle market business owners and executive leaders learn how to improve cash flow to survive and thrive. We’ve recently released the first videos in a continuing, COMPLIMENTARY video series called Financial Adrenaline. We believe that these core principles CAN be learned by business leaders and will make a dramatic difference in business performance … and we’re going to prove it to our subscribers. Why not join us, tell your friends and colleagues and subscribe to receive all the materials as they are released … absolutely free with no obligation whatever.

  • Urell Odama says:

    “Ideas” is my cup of tea, so I would simply like to invite people to discover another way of doing things – join the cruzade for change!

  • Jenny says:

    My message my whole life has been be authentic and be yourself. If your doing something worth talking about, people will talk about it.

    It’s a bunch of crap for people to tell you how often or how much you should promote your own stuff within ratio of others.

  • Julie Bernstein Engelmann says:

    You demonstrate that you can do much better than the 10:1 theory by speaking your own message AND letting others speak theirs – for themselves. The Guillebeau re-think.

    My message.

    Good art reminds you of things you know about beauty and spirit. I hope my art reminds you how it feels to swing from the rafters and be amazed at what you create.

  • Alex Yong says:

    Everyone should be just himself as each of us are unique in our own way. In other words, we should create our own unique brand and not copy here and there.

    I agree with you that if someone doesn’t like what we do, there are certainly others who will. What’s perceive as ok for one doesn’t mean it’s also ok for everyone.

    I’m not concern with negative comments about what I’m doing (but I’ll learn from constructive ones). After-all life is about failure first and then success, what matters to me is the process of learning along the way, and I enjoy it.

  • Paula Swenson says:

    Hi Chris,
    Love AONC, always. What I’m up to is living my dreams and enabling as many people as possible to live theirs. I’ve recently added the title “dream advocate” to my business tags, because I’ve discovered in the course of my coaching and consulting work, that what many, many people really need is someone else who actually believes in their dreams. Someone who can talk them through the rough spots, and stand by them when everyone else is calling them crazy.
    So I’m helping people find an authentic, joyful path to their dreams and then supporting them as they walk it. I love my work!

  • Mark Simmons says:

    Not quite sure if/where to share this as have never commented on a website before, but I feel I have to tell someone that, after almost believing the Thomas Cook guide that said to avoid Kiev (Kyiv) with small children, I had a fabulous three days there with my three older children (6, 5 and 3) this week en route to Tbilisi (I’m temporarily a single Dad again).

    I guess my 6-year-old, who’s now been to 64 countries across 6 continents, is not the “normal” child the guidebook has in mind but I think any 6-year-old would be delighted by the ballet, the atmospheric churches, the playgrounds and even just the enormously long escalators in the metro. A lovely city, with plenty to do and see – as is Tbilisi. Already planning a trip back to Tbilisi next year by bus from Baku and taking in Yerevan, Batumi and Sochi too. Maybe this website thing will catch on and I’ll keep you posted!

  • Rob says:

    Hey Chris, all,

    Thanks for the opportunity!
    I am selling the best reusable earplugs in The Netherlands. For people who want to sleep faster and better.

    Check it out and good luck to you all.

  • Gregg A Granger says:

    Thanks, Chris.
    In 2003, my family and I comprised of my wife, two daughters aged 12 and 16, and five-year-old son, boarded our sailboat named Faith, and sailed around the world. Four and a half years later, after visiting 38 countries and covering 36,000 nautical miles, we returned home to Michigan.
    I have spent my time since returning writing about our experiences in the multitude of cultures and relationships we encountered. The book, Sailing Faith: The Long Way Home, became a reality this past April and is currently undergoing a second printing.
    I am passionate about sharing our travels, and have spoken to about 50 audiences, from 8 people to over 200 people, for the opportunity to sell my book.
    Thanks for the opportunity here to share Sailing Faith: The Long Way Home.
    Gregg A Granger

  • Will says:

    My message to humanity is this: “We are a family. Let’s all be friends.”

  • Tiara the Merch Girl says:

    I’m a performance artist, creative producer, and all round dabbler of anything that looks interesting. Part of my message/mission is to create & encourage more awesome – especially if they come from marginalised or underrepresented backgrounds. In this way, promoting other people *is* part of my message, as I want to support them and in turn build up the fields I’m in.

    I think what’s important is to be sincere with what you do. Trying to calculate ratios just seems like you’re playing the game, rather than connecting to people as you are. I share a lot of other people’s stuff and I share my stuff – because I want to. Forget the rules, just post whatever you feel like.

  • Meg Ward says:

    Hi Chris, thanks again for another timely post. Seems I get exactly what I need in my inbox most of the time, as long as I’m willing to hear it!

    I’m a creativity coach, who has decided to bring my work to people who don’t want to quit their jobs. Companies have to have employees and our lives rely on companies, so why not help people find themselves in their chosen work? My thinking – great employers and great employees deserve each other!

    Just starting out, launching my new self in the world.

  • Nicole says:

    Fun video, Chris, and what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing.

    My message is that you can develop and manage your rural property anywhere in the world in a way that is sustainable and in harmony with nature, profitable, and fun, and that promotes freedom, security, prosperity, health, and happiness.
    I can show you how to do it and avoid many painful and costly mistakes.

    The current plan is all about learning what the most common and serious issues are that people in my target market have to deal with, so I can focus around those issues in how I frame my message more specifically.

  • Karl says:

    Thanks for the inspiring and encouraging words!

    My message: try living abroad, it will transform you.
    And feel free to visit my blog, hopefully it will be helpful.

  • Hamish MacDonald says:

    Thank you! You articulated the unconscious reason I ‘unfollow’ people on Twitter: recycling content rather than adding something.

    My message is for authors, and it’s that you can write, make, and sell your books yourself. For over a year, I’ve been showing how to do this in my indie publishing podcast “DIY Book” on iTunes and on my website (above).

    And it’s genuinely free, not a sneaky sales letter teaser. I wanted to share everything I’ve learned about this subject, because I think everyone has the right and opportunity to create their own “culture of one”.

    Most writers think they need to “get published” by a business — either a traditional publisher or a Print-on-Demand firm. There’s a third option: you can make books yourself, at home, with ordinary materials and inexpensive (or even free) software and get your work out there. It’s a great, fun way to learn every aspect of book production and reaching your audience — without having to ask anyone for permission.

  • Jean Burman says:

    Thank you thank you. I needed this message tonight. I have just launched a new blog after blogging for 3 and a half years on my first blog. It’s like being damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you talk about yourself no-one likes you… if you talk about others people think you don’t have a voice of your own. It’s tough. And I’ve just about had enough.

    But I’m willing to give it one more try because tonight I came up with a solution. I don’t care. I simply don’t care. From now on I do this for me. And only me. If someone happens to like what I have to say… well good. If not… too bad.

    I love the world. I love life. Not because it’s easy for me… but because it’s probably harder than it looks. But I will always put my best foot forward… and I refuse to give up. I will continue to look for the good in people and things and try to make the best of whatever I’ve got. I make no apology for that. Thanks for this post. I feel better now!

  • Richard says:

    Thanks for the ‘nonconformist’ view on self-promotion. I’m building an empire of followers who want to redeem (i.e. ‘cash in’) their Life Purpose on a regular, consistent basis. You know that feeling you get when you’re in ‘the zone’? You’re in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing for the right reason. Time enters a new dimension, and when you finally come up for air you feel both exhausted and exhilarated… That’s redeeming your purpose. I redeem my purpose on the guitar, on my blog, and in helping others discover and redeem their purpose.

    Looking forward to meeting you in Lawrence KS on the 25th.

  • Heather Wardell says:

    I write novels about smart funny women taking control of their lives. One is available for free download and the other three are $0.99, so clearly I’m not in this for the money. 🙂 I want my books to be entertaining but also help women see how much strength they have to change situations that aren’t working for them.

    I love writing. I’m working hard to learn to love promotion and marketing. Thinking about it as sharing my message will make that a bit easier, I think, so thank you, Chris. Looking forward to your Toronto tour stop!

  • rob white says:

    Thanks for the platform. I am the author of self-empowerment books and eBooks. I wrote the book 180 to share the principles and methods I used to accomplish incredible results in my life. Having started with nothing to being $50,000 in debt at age 30, I am now a multi-millionaire with homes on the East and West Coast. You can learn how he did it by following the blog, or taking the 90 day Program found in the book.

  • Giulietta Nardone says:

    Helpful post! I agree that folks need to find and do their own thing. There is a lot of pressure to follow the crowd, even though the crowd has no clue where it’s going.

    My message? Forge your own path. Be prepared to bushwhack. Find your own voice. Be the first one to stand up!

    Thanks for the opportunity to spread my message of inspirational rebelliousness!

    Giulietta, always musing

  • maggie says:

    That’s what it’s all about, in words and writing, music and dancing, photographs and drawing. That’s what I grew up feeling. And then I discovered the music of FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI and what he said put all of that into words for me.

    ‘Power is knowledge. Somebody who has knowledge cannot misuse power. Knowledge is not technology. Knowledge is power in the cosmic sense; it’s rhythm, you know. Once you start to have rhythm you start having knowledge.’

    I quoted him directly because there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when I’m busy working on the
    rhythm of my life and making all the parts fit together in harmony.

  • Rob Ward says:

    Love the advice at the end to be yourself. People will follow you for YOU, not someone you are pretending to be. If they do not like who you are, just ignore them and move on.

  • Jan Liverance says:

    Chris, you’re so right. If you want to influence others, you have to have your own point of view for starters. Sure, weave in the POV of others to flesh out what you have to say but at the core there has to be something in your own heart and mind that you feel passionate enough about to share with others. I’m working on a total website redo for the company I work for and find your blog, POV and new book a great companion on that path – safe travels!

  • Nate says:

    I LOVE promoting other people who I think are awesome…having said that, I think you’re right on about this. In writing, I think a lot of people create this shell around themselves so that others can’t truly see who they really are.

    At any rate…what am I doing?

    Well, I’m helping people live more mindful lives, one moment at a time. Deep down in my being I feel we are focusing too much on the externals. Get another job to be happy. Become an entrepreneur to be happy. Get a new relationship to be happy. I want people to learn and realize that they are already perfect. There is nowhere else to get to or go in order to be happy. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn…’Wherever you go, there you are.’

    So, I’m trying to lead by example by learning and teaching how to live more mindfully in a world of ever increasing ‘constant doing.’

  • Amaya Williams says:

    My message is to hit the open road and pedal into the unknown. Embrace adventure. Get another angle on life. My husband and I have been cycling around the world since 2006, and want to inspire others to live their Bicycle Dreams.

  • Karen says:

    Thanks for the food for thought.
    I’m in transition presently, seeing my present blog as too ‘all over the board’ without a clear message, and planning a new blog with more tailored purpose/subject. I know I need to be more willing to share my personal side, what my inner voice wants to stand up and say.
    Thanks for the courage you’ve helped Rise Up.

  • Michelle says:

    I created a guide for my two loves basketball and traveling. I enjoy reading about everyone’s different ideas to make life better.

  • michelle says:

    At last a voice of sanity on the internet! It is this proliferation of what I consider to be nothing more than regurgitations that has made “social media” unbearable for me.

    And I’m so happy to see that you have an actual book that I will soon be able hold in my very own hands – keep up the inspiring work, we need it! 🙂

  • Mark D says:

    Currently I’m making music like a fiend and blogging once in a while about why independent music (of nearly any genre) is important. I don’t promote any specific artists other than myself because I don’t intend to make my platform a destination for music.

    I hope to make it a place to help others find the music that’s missing in their lives, though I currently use the blog to chronicle the development of my songs. Still hammering out the details of what I want the site to become, but also what I don’t want the site to become.

  • Vincent says:

    I’m working to promote polymathy, to have more generalists working together with specialists. And I publish a monthly magazine to do that.

  • Pamela Belding says:

    Chris, you have such perfect timing with this! I’ve just finished writing my Visitors center post on my website Current Inspiration @ My message is “to embrace the place where life happens. By recognizing graciousness, kindness, generosity and bravery, we discover the power to create a better future is contained in the present moment.” Thanks Chris for being such an inspiration to me as well as thousands of other people!

  • Sheila says:

    Well yes, if we all just echo each other, then nobody’s ever saying anything new.

    I write a blog about the little island I live on. It earns peanuts, because the niche is too small to make much, but I get lots of nice comments. As far as I can tell, all the other sites about the island recycle each other’s content. I seem to be the only one who’ll go to a local museum and write about it.

  • Christy - Ordinary Traveler says:

    Great advice, Chris. I love your attitude that if somebody doesn’t like what you are doing, then you have no problem bidding them farewell. You can’t please everyone, right?

    I think if bloggers are happy about what they are doing, if they feel they are working toward a larger purpose, and it’s not all about the numbers, then the unique followers and readers will eventually fall into place.

  • Jill Lena Ford says:

    My message is to “Follow Your Truth”.

    I am leading by example and taking an Artist Expedition to Morocco this fall to explore the country and create artwork along the way! I also am building a community with this project by giving away some of my artwork as a thank you for pledging to help support it! To be a part of this project visit my Artist Expeditions page on my website!

    By the way Chris, thank you so much for all of your inspiration and support! A little less than a year ago I was at a loss for how to combine my passions of art, travel and connecting with others. I purchased your Unconventional Guide to Art and Money and have been following you ever since, and now I am about to embark on my first “Artist Expedition”! Thank you for doing your part in helping me to “Follow My Truth”. 🙂

    Many Thanks!


  • Raphael says:

    This is all about influence. There are thousands of ways, tools, etc to create awareness, but influence is what so many of you need. You influence by having a message that people want to follow.

    I enjoy the message immensely! 🙂 And the comments 🙂

    ChessHouse is reaching homes and enabling families to stay sharp and maintain foresight in today’s culture.

    Instead of feeding your mind with fast food, you need to incorporate ways to challenge your mind just like you would with physical fitness. Those that invest a small part of themselves in this wisely, gain a greater advantage in today’s society. Chess as a fun, but challenging activity and it’s being taken over by success minded people who want to create a subtle but concrete changes to their mental wellbeing.

  • Leisa LaDell says:

    Chris – Thought-provoking and inspiring post, as always.

    I am a woman having my way with words. At Words Are Little Gods, I blog about the creative, god-like power of words to shape ourselves, our lives, and our world.

    My hope, intention and commitment is that I say some valuable things for anyone with something valuable to say.

    And…you inspired me to start working on a post where I disagree with you (well, just a little). Stay tuned, and thanks again for all you do to pave the way of unconventionalism – wait, is that an oxymoron?

  • suz parker says:

    Loved the article. Totally helpful. I do find Twitter dry at times because it’s so heavy on plugs, it’s hard to find the funny meat of someone’s day. I mean, not literally, but you know.
    In stark contrast to the humanitarian projects littering the comment section, which really just makes me think I gotta get off my booty and read to some kids or something…my current passion is studying the aftermath of reality TV fame. Reality TV: The Morning After. When you’ve brushed your teeth for over twelve million viewers, how do you go back to doing it for just one?
    DONNA’S REVENGE: CONFESSIONS OF AN EX-CONTESTANT, now playing on Babelgum, takes a look at just that.
    Now I’ll go give a little. 🙂

  • Ridlon Kiphart says:

    We help people live an extraordinary life through adventure. Adventure isn’t a thing or an event – its a Mindset; a way of doing that ultimately manifests itself as a way of being and living. We all want a more adventurous life – we want adventure in our personal lives, our family lives, our marriage, our communities and our jobs. We want to feel alive; we want to feel that we have lived our life; that we have made a difference and that we didn’t succumb to a mind numbing, Monday-Friday mediocre existence. We want to know at the end of things that we mattered and had fun.

  • Wyman says:

    I am trying to encourage families to create a business of their own to replace or supplement their income. There is no excuse for people to be suffering because they lost their job. The message is that jobs give no true security.

    That is the same message Chris, Seth and many of you are also giving. This is an important message to give the slower ones in society.

    Unfortunately I am not as techie as I would like to be. I am having trouble getting my blog working. I did a simple transfer from one host to another which turned out to be not too simple. Once I solve it I can help others avoid my mess.

    If you want to help you can reply to this post. I clicked the notify box. Good luck to all of you trying to help others.

    Looking forward to meeting Chris in Las Vegas in Dec.

  • Wyletter Whaley says:

    Thanks Chris. Your post provided clarity for me on several levels. I created a Twitter account a couple of weeks ago. Honestly I didn’t know much about Twitter, but a fellow blogger insisted that I needed to be on it. I noticed that many of the tweets that I saw were related to someone else’s product. Often times the product or service that was the focus of the tweet was totally unrelated to the message or blog of the person tweeting. I didn’t understand it, but I guess they were following the 10:1 system. It didn’t make sense to me, because I did not understand how those tweets helped to explain their message and product or service. Thanks again for your insight.

  • claire says:

    Thank you for providing a space to share our messages, Chris!

    I’m making more of my cool, unusual photography available online to create a life of art for myself while making art accessible to others in a variety of formats. Desert landscapes, unusual architecture, abstract patterns in fire and water, and more.

  • Joe says:

    What you say makes sense. After all, I want to hear about what your up too and not listen to you tell me about what Lance is doing.(not that I don’t like Lance)

    It’s great to give someone a leg up if they need a little help delivering their message…but other than that, I want to focus my energy on delivering my own message.

    So what’s that?

    Well after spending years of being held hostage by a business I created…I finally learned how to design and create a business that provides for my unique lifestyle. YAY.

    Today I spend half the year sailing and the other half showing people how I did it.

  • Terri says:

    Great post, Chris, and a reminder to be ourselves as well as talking about the work of others. You always seem to be speaking directly to where I am!
    I am interested in what helps people transcend. My byline in my blog Transcending is ‘Celebrating the extraordinary power of the ordinary self…’ It’s about the everyday things we can do to climb across and get through difficulties, grief, blocks and problems. It’s about the next stage, transitions, the creative solution, the power of the moment. It’s about the everyday things we can do to get through and cut through: reading, writing, the right song, the perfect image, family history, poetry, strategising, structure, creativity and links to info on this. It’s all grist for the mill of transcending and is ultimately about what makes us resilient in a day to day way. Come and visit and share your thoughts.

  • alisha says:

    This is really helpful! I’ve been refining my message for a while now and think I’ve just nailed it: Pursuing life to the full.

    I’m all about breeding abundant life not only for myself, but for my neighbors in Seattle and around the world. When I lived in London I worked in international development, so poverty and injustice are always in the back of my mind. In college in Malibu, where the parking lot could be mistaken for a BMW dealership, I learned that money doesn’t preclude people from issues either. The thieves of life take on many forms.

    I want life to the fullest for myself, my friends and family, hungry children in Malawi, over-fed Americans swimming in debt, trafficked women in Cambodia, overwhelmed mums everywhere, refugees, ex-pats, lonely middle-classers and prostitutes down the street on Aurora Avenue. The needs are great, but the source of life is greater.

    I love meeting like-minded people so feel free to stop by if you are also pursuing life to the full. 🙂

  • Brett Holt says:

    If it’s not personal, it’s not real. Thanks for sharing as I’m always interested in your perspective. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t, but it’s always articulated well.

    Our Message: We all have something to share in this thing called life. For us, it’s found in the simple chores and tasks in life. We’ve lived in a lot of places, served in the Peace Corps, continue to serve in our community, are teaching our children how to be global citizens, and thriving to be best parent/spouse/citizen we can be.

  • Katie Marsh says:

    I am working on coming alive, asking myself to dig deep into the truth of who I am and what purpose my life serves. I have decided that in order to serve my purpose, all my secret shames and pain and hilarity dating failures combined needed to be written, loved, and forgiven. I aim to shutter every time I hit publish, and the healing and love returned has made me come alive, each and every time.
    Thanks for being you.
    You have inspired me on the journey.

  • Judah says:

    What a great reminder!

    I just spent the past year living and working in Paris. There are so many blogs and websites about what to do in Paris, it’s hard to keep up with them. I’ve just moved to Oslo, Norway until mid-November. Before moving here, I did a few web-searches looking for good tips or blogs about Oslo and pretty much turned up with nothing. So, I’ve started my own blog and make it a daily goal to go out and see, to experience this city and its treasures. My hope is to provide helpful and interesting information about Oslo to tourists or temporary residents looking for places that aren’t always in the guidebooks.

  • Gayle Pescud says:

    Working on a couple of non-profits to help raise their profile and make the world a little better for some of the world’s poorest communities.

    I enjoy following others’ progress as it helps trigger new ideas in me and inspires me to keep going on my own work. I’d be disappointed if they stopped writing about their work.

  • moraima says:

    uff that is exactly what I’m trying to do. I do have to learn to talk about me more often. We are a fairly new photography business and we are trying to build our brand. thanks for all this info you always have! 😀

  • Jason Gill says:

    Chris, thanks for the good information once again!

    Something interesting, eh!? Well I’m learning to fly (as a pilot) and blogging my adventures doing so!

    Please, come take a look!


  • Trisha Carter says:

    Thanks for the thoughts Chris – I find it is often easier to push others into the limelight and keep myself back a bit. On twitter and elsewhere. So this is a good challenge for me.

    What am I doing? Training and coaching people (mostly in corporate situations) in how to do their job well and relate well with people from other cultures. Sort of global interpersonal and leadership skills.

    Reading through what everyone is doing here is fantastic. This is a tribe that can change the world. Long may we dominate!


  • Christopher says:

    My message: When it comes to chronic pain, all people will one day receive the treatment they deserve. Until then, it’s up to me to create a pain-free world.

  • Josh Bulloc says:

    Thanks for the video. I was trying to figure out how to pronounce your name and the video helped with this.

    Right now I am trying to figure out how to attract coaching clients and my next step it to put together a presentation to to give for free to share my expertise.

  • Dave says:

    Good stuff as usual Chris!!!

    My current project is a jumping off point for eventually breaking away from my cubicle dwelling, 40 hour work week. A friend and I have launched our own iPhone app business called “2 guys 1 app.” It’s been a slow first few months, but we’ve managed to release 5 apps now and business is starting to pick up. Hopefully it will get to a point where I can start living my own unconventional life.

    Thanks again for all your fantastic writing/advice/creative ideas. It truly has been an inspiration. Keep up the good work.


  • Adam Martin says:

    I couldn’t agree more. A very important message in life….just be yourself. If you do that, you will be happy.

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