FP005: The Life of Chris Guillebeau – Visiting Every Country in the World While Building a Startup with $100, a High Traffic Blog, and Making a Difference
“Writer. Traveler. Fighter of the status-quo.” This is how Chris Guillebeau describes himself on his website. Besides that, he is also a practical and logical guy. He couldn’t have otherwise accomplished his dream of traveling to every country in the world, 193 in total, by the time he turned 35.
Mind you, he didn’t wander aimlessly. Fascinated by discovery and exploration, the travel hacker had thoroughly planned his adventure step by step to make it feasible.
He analyzed the challenges of traveling to certain countries, costs, visa issues and such. Speaking of costs, one would think he was filthy rich to be able to afford his trips, but he only spent an achievable amount of money – $30,000.
When asked to define his “job” Guillebeau recalls: “I discovered when I was about 19-20 years old that I was unemployable.” For 10 years he started different entrepreneurial ventures to support and allow himself to do what he loved doing. That included travelling, playing music, and volunteering.
He spent four years in West Africa as an aid worker having no specialized skills. But he was in his element: “I felt like I was tangibly making a difference, carrying medical supplies into a village in Sierra Leone that’s emerged from a civil war. If I didn’t bring those medical supplies, they wouldn’t have any at the clinic. It was a very direct relation as opposed to writing a check and hoping something good will happen with it.” That experience changed him.
In 2008 Guillebeau started his writing career and launched his blog The Art of Non-Conformity (TAON) so he could document his travel adventures, sharing information that would help others. That blog turned into a business and a community of its own, and became the driver of writing his first book. That led further to his $100 Startup NYT bestseller and founding the World Domination Summit (WDS).
In this interview with Chris we cover:
How to start a business with $100.
How to build a high traffic blog.
Tactics he uses to push his comfort zone.
What he believes it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
How to find purpose and meaning with your life.