Art and Flow as a Way of Life

What happens when all of your selves get together and decide to work on a project?

Entrepreneur. Writer. World Traveler.

In Alison Gresik’s case, the mix led to a book called Pilgrimage of Desire.

Pilgrimage of Desire tells the story of Alison’s family’s first year of full-time world travel, set against the backdrop of her recovery from depression. It’s the story of how she learned to stop walking sanctioned concrete, and instead followed her own desire lines.

I’ve sampled the first two chapters, and immediately decided I had to interview Alison.

Listen to the audio to hear us chat about:

  • How not to get pulled apart by the riptide of conflicting priorities
  • Tapping into your natural creative process
  • Doing your best work by embracing your wholeness
  • Engaging in acts of quiet rebellion

Click here to listen.

Alison is raising funds through Indiegogo towards the publishing of Pilgrimage of Desire. At the writing of this post (June 2), she’s nearly there! Learn more about Pilgrimage of Desire and the fundraiser.

The campaign ends on June 6th.



Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup: A Review

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

When Chris Guillebeau e-mailed me to say a copy of his new book The $100 Startup was on its way, I groaned.

Yes, I acknowledge I’m a brat.

In my defense, I was in the midst of a business-book-reading hiatus. I’m deep into hard-core implementation mode. Additionally, I wasn’t clear on what I’d get out of the book. After all, I’ve already started — and with more than $100 in my bank account.

However, I like Chris — as a person and because he’s a good storyteller. A rare quality in a blogger, I find. I broke the hiatus.

Good thing. I love this book.

Why? Three reasons.

1. It’s pragmatic.

The $100 Startup promises to show you how to live a life of adventure, meaning and purpose — and earn a good living. And it delivers.

Chapters like “Give Them the Fish” and “An Offer You Can’t Refuse” are written for first-time business owners. Yet, they also offer a gentle reminder to those of us who filed away our business planning exercises a year ago.

2. It’s aspirational.

The book opens like this:

Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do.

Imagine giving your greatest attention to a project you create yourself, instead of working as a cog in a machine that exists to make other people rich.

Imagine handing a letter to your boss that reads, “Dear Boss, I’m wiring to let you know that your services are no longer required. Thanks for everything, but I’ll be doing things my own way now.”

Imagine that today is your final day of working for anyone other than yourself. What if — very soon, not in some distant, undefined future — you prepare for work by firing up a laptop in your home office, walking into a storefront you’ve opened, phoning a client who trusts you for helpful advice, or otherwise doing what you want instead of what someone tells you to do.

Yep. That pretty much nails it.

3. The $100 Startup is based on more than Chris’s personal experience.

If I have any single criticism of online entrepreneurs and advice-givers, it’s this: Stop assuming that what works for you is right for me.

Chris successfully dodged that bullet by including 50 case studies in the book, which were culled from a group of 1,500. The strategies and tactics for building your business aren’t good “because Chris says so,” they’re proven by hundreds of success stories.

Who should read The $100 Startup?

You know I’m big on tuning out the noise and finding your own path. I also read approximately a book a week, because I believe strongly in continual education (also: books = vital life force). It’s a bit of a paradox, but as a result, I’ve developed a strong filter. There’s some awful stuff out there. This book is not on that list, both for the reasons above (the process is pragmatic, aspirational and proven) and because Chris is a strong writer.

I recommend The $100 Startup to people who are:

  • Just starting their business.
  • Seeking a refresher or encouragement to jump-start new ideas.
  • Secretly dreaming of starting your own business. For this group, in particular, The $100 Startup is a killer resource.  If you have a dream and think it’s crazy impossible or out of your reach, drop your plans and start this book tonight.

The Tour

As a final note, I wanted to let you know that Chris is going on tour to promote the book — and I’ll be at the San Francisco event on May 29th!

I’d love to see you there. If you’re planning to attend the event, let me know in the comments, so we can be sure to connect.

Did you know I interviewed Chris during his last book tour?

Probably not! It was nearly 2 years ago, and I was still a design blogger.

Chris and I met during his stop in Chicago, and he was gracious enough to answer my questions on personal drive, creating legacy and blogging.

Read the interview here.


Disclosure (because I’m classy like that). I received an advance copy of The $100 Startup for review purposes. While I like Chris and appreciate the copy, I would never, ever, ever, ever (seriously – yuck!) recommend something to you I didn’t back 100%. The links above are to my Amazon store. If you don’t like the idea of Amazon paying me a small commission for the link, then don’t use it. I won’t mind, pinky swear.

Sunday Linkday! A million is not cool

Can you guess how the Encyclopedia Britannica has been repurposed?
As a beer list!

In Sunday Linkday!, I share a snapshot from my week and a round-up of my favorite posts.

You know, it’s just possible that this new weekend tradition will shame me into posting more frequently. I don’t like that there’s just one post in between this and the last Sunday Linkday, even though it’s an important one.

I am already loving this process. When I started, I wasn’t reading other people’s online works with much frequency, and I was despairing to find original perspectives. It turns out, I just wasn’t looking hard enough.

James Altucher is one of my favorite bloggers. I love this piece: The Spanx Woman is Worth A Billion!? My Key Takeaways, and this is the best part:

…And now Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx is worth a billion according to Forbes. She took Justin Timberlake’s advice. A million is not cool. A billion is cool.

In the past 24 hours I’ve heard three different guys say something to the affect of, “She? She is worth a billion? Huh. I guess anyone can be worth a billion.” As soon as someone says that they are scratched off my list of people I want to spend time with. I only like to be around positive people who celebrate success.

Speaking of start-ups, this post on the lessons from Pinterest’s success is a fresh perspective on the prevailing trend of build fast/fail fast. Ben Silbermann keynoted at ALT, and he somehow exuded confidence, humor and humility all at once. I’ve been watching him intently since I got back.

At last year’s World Domination Summit, Leo Babauta and I spoke about ungoaling, the 7 Habits and a bunch of other things we have in common. He just wrote a great post on embracing chaos as a life hack. This happens to be how I run my life.

My friend Monica is traveling in Southeast Asia for 2 months. She wrote an eloquent post on what it means to witness a culture different from your own (as opposed to being a tourist).

This is just beautiful.

And this is important.

Lastly, a few shout-outs.

  • First, to my friend and yoga teacher Marianne Elliott for launching her book with total poise in a 6 minute segment! on New Zealand’s Good Morning.
What were your favorite finds around the web this week?