A few months ago, not long after I started my blog, I ran across this blog called The Art of Non-Conformity. I was immediately attraced to it, given the name, so I went and took a look. What I discovered there was some really awesome information. The owner of this blog, Chris Guillebeau, is a genius, and he shares his genius with everyone! He offers a wide range of e-book to help you start your own business and break out of the corporate shell, he's on a mission to visit every country in the world, and he still posts regularly and produces new content for his e-books.
I have been wanting to be my own boss for as long as I can remember. Now, I don't mind working hard, or working long hours. I feel that doing my job well is a reflection of my personality. I do however mind that I have been passed up THREE times for a promotion, and that I must follow all the insane and rediculous rules that are set by the corporation who (half the time, in my opinion) don't really think these things through, and that my advancement is dependant on the whims of someone who has meet me maybe once, is willing to praise me over the phone and in e-mail, yet will promote someone who's been in the company only a few months (as opposed to my 3+ years) simply because they are (to my understanding) friends or family.
The only reason I am still at this job is because it offers me a rather nice paycheck given my other options in this small town. I have tried: MLM programs (I don't recommend them AT ALL!!), offering my creative side as a business, I have looked into (and still haven't given up the idea) of a reptile breeding business, and I have even been known to research or read about the 'get rich quick' scams in my inbox occasionally (I haven't fallen for any of that BS though).
So what did I have left to try? Well, I fell back to my creativeness. It is my strongest trait, something that I have always had a passion for, and something that I LOVE to do. That would be photography. I can paint well, but I don't draw very good at all. I can sew, but only with a purchased pattern. I can do a multitude of other interesting artsy crafty things, but none that equal my skill as a photographer and digital artist. And even that is still only in the novice stage.
I opened a gallery, I've even had visitors to it. I started a photography blog and have a few followers. I have yet to make a sale. People will tell me that I have beautiful stuff, but no one, in the current economy, that has visited my site has purchased anything. Have I priced my art too high? I don't think so, given the time and effort that I put into my images. I think that it is a reasonable price that one could expect for art. So where am I going wrong? This was a question that I could not answer on my own.
Enter, Chris Guillebeau and his newest project, The Empire Building Kit. I read about it's upcoming release and thought to myself, that could be useful, but can I afford it? The initial launch was set to stay open for only 24 hours, and he offered a bonus to all the Emporers that got thier copy in the first launch, an invitation only webinar where he will answer EVERY question that the Emporers ask him. I debated off and on about purchasing it. I had my mind made that I could not afford it and was going to pass. Then launch day came, I read the information about the program and I was back on the fence. Do I spend the money or do I tough it out on my own and see if I can make this work? That pretty much settiled it. I knew I couldn't create the business I wanted without help, so I took the plunge and purchased the program.
This program is based around building your very own lifestyle business within a year. People who have purchased the program will recieve daily e-mails with information, suggestions, general helpful information, what NOT to do lists, and case studies from several other entreprenuers who have created 5 figure incomes doing something they love. I am on day 25 as of today and I have found a lot of very useful information and look forward to each day's e-mail with new information. I still haven't made a sale, but I am hopeful.
Chris will be offering an Affiliate launch on May 18th for, again, only 24 hours. What is an Affiliate launch, you ask? Well, one of the other really cool things about Chris and his business, is that he offers an affiliate program. I'm sure everyone knows what an affiliate is by now, it's where you team up with a company to promote their products and they pay you a comission for referring sales. Not a bad deal, if I do say so myself. The difficulty I have had with affiliates thus far is a few things. Either I am not 'established' enough to be considered a good candidate for the program, or I don't really care to push the products of most places. With Chris Guillebeau and The Art of Non-Conformity, neither is the case. I got approved as an affiliate, and I think his products are amazing.
So, if you are looking to start your own business, or expand your current business, then I suggest you visit AONC and see all that he has to offer. One of the greatest things about Chris is that he doesnt push you to buy everything he puts out. He says truthfully and sincerely, that if you don't feel the product will work for you, then don't get it. If you would like to purchase one of his guides, then take a look at my links to the left. I would appreciate the additional income, but don't buy something just for that reason. You should only purchase one (or more) of Chris' Unconventional Guides, if it feels like something that would help you. At the very least, you should check out his website, and take a look at the free (yes, free) information that he offers.