Unconventional Book Tour – Stop #53 Portland Oregon

by Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical on December 17, 2010

Chris Guillebeau, My Wife, Youngest son and MeI thought I would throw in an extra post this week to mention the great time we had at the Unconventional Book Tour on Friday night in Portland Oregon. It was stop #53 of a 53 city tour and it was an incredible time. Check it out below.

There are people who come into your life that for whatever reason flip a switch inside you, remove the scales from your eyes and allow you to see things for what they really are.  It doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s a life changing experience.  Chris Guillebeau is one of those people.

I don’t quite remember how I came upon Chris’s blog The Art of Non-Conformity but I remember it speaking to me in a very unique and eye opening way.  “You mean I didn’t have to live my life the way others expected me too?  There was actually something more out there than what I had grown comfortable with?”

You are meant to do great things with your life.

Over the course of the past year and a half I’ve come to realize that I was meant to do great things.  I hope you realize that as well because you too are meant to do great things.  We all are!  For me though I find that the problem is with the process of self-discovery that leads you to find what those great things are.  I’ll admit that at times I am envious of those people that seem to have it all together, that seem to have it all figured out and are working toward some great purpose in life.  Some seem to find it early in life and others need more time and development.  I’m in the group of “need more time” which is fine.  It’s when you give up on the discovery process that your life becomes humdrum and you find yourself in a rut.  That’s when you need to shake things up.

Last night we attended the final leg of the Unconventional Book Tour; stop #53 in Portland Oregon.  So we packed up the car for a day trip and headed to Portland.  Of course the kids were not as enthused about our mission but they came around and actually behaved for the most part.

When we arrived at Powell’s Books the place was packed!  I’m not good at estimating numbers but there were a few hundred people there with many standing in the back.  If you are not familiar with Powell’s they are the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world.  Seriously, you can get lost in this place without a map.

The evening started with Chris being introduced by J.D. Roth (Get Rich Slowly) and then Chris gave a short talk about the book, the tour and then took questions from the audience.  Afterwards he met with people and signed books.  I absolutely love that he spent time with every single person that stood in line to get their book signed.

Unconventional Book CakeMeanwhile everyone was also enjoying cupcakes and a cake that my wife made for the event.  My wife is crazy passionate about making cakes so she came up with the idea to make a cake that looked like Chris’s book.  As you can see it came out phenomenal and garnered a bit of attention.

We also got to meet some incredible people.  Before the event we had dinner with Sean Ogle and his girlfriend Tate who is an incredibly talented and gifted designer.  They are just incredible people and a delight to spend time with.  And the really cool thing is that our kids didn’t scare them. 

Then I met the Professor of Riskology himself Tyler Tervooren.  I had heard from Sean Ogle that he would be there so I kept my keen eye open and spotted him.  It’s so cool when you see people in person that you have only known online in the virtual world.  There is definitely something missing in the online world that only the physical world can bring to life.  Yet another reason I am looking forward to the World Domination Summit but more on that later.  Tyler is a great guy and I was really impressed that he recognized me as well.  He likes to climb mountains and has some top notch plans to climb the highest peaks in the world.

Chris Guillebeau, my wife Irene the cake maker and the cakeI was introduced to Hansen (like the soda not the boy band) who runs the blog Unomos and talked about his experience in Mexico.  Really nice guy and I look forward to connecting more with him.

At the end of the night I saw a friendly face that looked really familiar.  It turned out to be Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens.  She is a complete delight with an incredibly friendly and welcoming smile.  I only wish I had more time to chat with her.  I started reading her e-book entitled Smalltopia which she wrote as a guide to working for yourself.  I just started reading it but I like what I’ve read so far.  One thing that really struck me was the Smalltopia philosophy which is “doing work that matters, building community and living small while thinking big.”  I may have to review it here after I finish reading it.

My biggest takeaway from the night was that there are incredible people out there doing some incredible things and I find that to be very inspiring.  We all have the freedom and the ability and the potential to create a life that is not only personally rewarding but makes a difference in the world.  And the thing is you don’t have to be “unconventional” to do that.  It’s also about building personal relationships with the people you meet on a daily basis.  It’s building that social capital I wrote about last month.

And this is why I am really looking forward to the World Domination Summit (WDS) in Portland, June 4-5th.  It’s an incredible opportunity to meet and engage people from all over the world and discover how we can live our lives in such a way that we make a true and meaningful difference and at the same time live exciting happy lives.  Head over to the World Domination Summit page and see what it’s all about and get signed up.  I hope to see you at WDS in Portland, June 4-5th!

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