It was the first stop in a more than 60 location, 4-month North American Unconventional Book Tour.
For those who don’t know Chris, he shot to internet stardom about a year ago when, after a relatively short time blogging about his 5 year quest to visit every country and live unconventionally, he released a giant manifesto called 279 Days to Overnight Success.
In that manifesto, he shared the detailed steps that allowed him to build not only an unconventional life, but a real living as a blogger in an astonishingly short period of time.
It was so genuine, transparent and giving, uber-blogger, Seth Godin, gave it a shout out on his blog and the document soon exploded virally.
What he’s done is not only unconventional, it’s downright mind-boggling.
But, that’s not what this post is about…
Yesterday, with the publication of The Art of Nonconformity, Chris made the jump from unconventional lifestyle guy, entrepreneur and blogger to author. And, just like he did with the blogosphere, he made quite an impact.
The book exploded to #8 and boasts 25 glowing reviews on amazon in less than 24 hours.
And, I can understand why. Because, it’s a book that rattles your soul more than a just a bit, wakes you up to the possibility of approaching your life and living in an unconventional way, then gives you a process and tools to take action on your agenda. If you’re remotely unsatisfied with how things are going with your life or career, it’s like manna from I-Don’t-Wanna-Be-Just-Like-Everyone-Else heaven.
But, still, that’s not what this post is about…
At Chris’ launch event at Borders in NYC last night, I was given the honor of introducing him. And, as part of that honor, I was forced to think deeply about what it really is about Chris that draws everyone in to him.
Is it his message?
Maybe, there are a lot of square people trying to fit themselves into round holes these days and Chris is out there saying cut your own square hole, dammit.
But, that’s just a piece of it.
Is it that he’s living a life and building a business that so many others dream of living and building?
That he’s figured out how to make serious jack being different than everyone else and traveling the world?
That’s another piece, but still not it.
In the middle of my exploration, I jumped on the phone with creative genius, John T. Unger, another guy who makes a serious six-figure living bouncing between UI design, programming, writing poetry and building these incredible giant fire pit sculptures out of recycled steel for collectors. We were talking about his creative process and toward the end of the conversation, he brought up something he called…
The Zillion Sum Game.
It’s a fascinating concept. We’re all familiar with a zero-sum game. That’s a game where if one person wins, another person has to lose. You can’t have all participants win. The zillion sum game, explained John, is a game where not only does every player win, but as many people as humanly possible who aren’t even playing the game win.
It’s about setting up a quest designed to lift every boat.
That’s how John tries to live his life and choose his projects. And, no sooner did he finish explaining the concept when I realized, that’s also the missing piece of my intro for Chris.
Because what Chris has always done, the thing I believe has fueled his ascent to the top of the blogosphere and now to a tremendous book launch, is structure nearly every project he creates as a zillion-sum game. Not just because he knows it’s great for business, but because he genuinely wants to see everyone around him thrive on a level that equals or exceeds his own success.
So, while his book was soaring to #8 on amazon, he sent me a text to let me know…not that his book was kicking ass, but that my last book, which had been bundled with his as the “buy this with that” book on amazon, had taken a big jump in sales.
He was ecstatic about the possibility that his success was in some way trickling out to benefit me.
That’s the magic behind Chris, behind John and behind so many other “artists” who not only create because that’s what they’re compelled to do, but structure their creative processes in a way that creates the greatest opportunity for the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people.
They create zillion sum games.
And, that my friends, is what this post is really all about.
I wonder what might happen to your life if you stopped looking at the world as you against them.
If you stopped looking at everyone else as competition and saw people as potential collaborators, people with whom to join efforts. People to work with, to delight, to exalt, to co-create with not in the quest to agree upon how best to carve up the existing pieces of someone else’s pie, but to build a newer, bigger, better pie together.
Ponder that…oh, and while you’re pondering, go buy Chris’ book.
It’s really that good!
And, check out John’s steel fire pit sculptures, too. They are insanely cool.
Oh and, maybe, just maybe…
Start thinking more about how you can create experiences where everyone wins.
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