Picture of author.

About the Author

Chris Guillebeau is a writer, entrepreneur, and traveler. During a lifetime of self-employment that included a four-year commitment as a volunteer executive in West Africa, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before the age of 35. He has written several books including The Art of show more Non-Conformity, The $100 Startup, and The Happiness of Pursuit. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: By Original: Jen Lemen from Silver Spring, USACropping: Mr. Granger - Cropped from [1], CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35126844

Works by Chris Guillebeau


Common Knowledge




Chris kept me company through a long day of jury selection. I was chosen. After the case settled (no trial), the various quest stories had me fully engaged. I read the Art of Non-Conformity as well as the [b:The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future|12605157|The $100 Startup Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future|Chris Guillebeau|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1345666854s/12605157.jpg|17620461]. The dedication and discipline that Chris brings to his writing as well as the focus of this title makes it my favorite so far.

Because of the variety of quests and their very different people undertaking them, I felt inspired. Instead of in awed and overwhelmed, I found stories that made me think, "I could do that!"

I savored the last few chapters on the beach. Reading this book was a delightful quest all its own.
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rebwaring | 10 other reviews | Aug 14, 2023 |
There's no hiding it: I'm self-employed. Once upon a time this title would never have had a chance on my nightstand. Now I read Guillebeau's blog, have purchased one of his ebooks (Art Money), and plowed through [b:The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future|12605157|The $100 Startup Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future|Chris Guillebeau|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1345666854s/12605157.jpg|17620461] in a week.

Well researched, varied, and personal stories of frugal entrepreneurs combined with Chris's clear writing style make for an engaging and educational read. The only reason I didn't award five stars -- my sense of playing out of my league. While this is not fair to the text, feeling ill at ease about joining the ranks of these successful business owners is one clear take away for me. But! Repeat exposure to these ideas, time, and incremental progress as a working artist may bring me back to change this rating one day.

I've been trying to update my website and figure out ways to scale my work. The advice about selling something quickly and the difference between a business and a hobby. Well...No doubt these challenging tasks have had and effect on the way I received this book.
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rebwaring | 29 other reviews | Aug 14, 2023 |
Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit is a good, easy read that seamlessly intertwines the elation of chasing goals with the ultimate quest for self-discovery. Guillebeau, an author, entrepreneur, and traveler, crafted this book as a reflection on his quest to visit all 193 countries before turning 35.

Origins and Intentions
The Happiness of Pursuit stemmed from the author’s realization that the journey towards achieving his goal was, in many ways, as fulfilling if not more so than the achievement itself. This insight motivated him to share not only his own experiences but also stories of individuals who embarked on their own quests. The book aims to inspire readers to undertake their own journeys and unravel layers of their character and potential in the process.

Structure and Organization
The book is layered narrative, amalgamating elements of a travel memoir, a self-help guide, and a collection of inspirational tales. The stories encompass an eclectic assortment of individuals - not merely wanderers or adventurers, but everyday people who each embarked on a different kind of quest (activist, athletic, creative, documentary, exploration, and self-discovery.) Each chapter contains its own theme and insights from the author.

Below, I’ve provided chapter titles, the authors "key lesson" after the title, and some key takeaways:

Chapter 1: Awakening - Adventure is for everyone.
  • A quest is defined by distinct features such as a lucid goal, a formidable challenge, and a succession of milestones.
  • Be attuned to ideas that captivate your interest, particularly those that are incessantly on your mind.

    Chapter 2: The Great Discontent - Unhappiness can lead to new beginnings.
  • A sense of disillusionment or estrangement often heralds the beginning of many quests.
  • If you feel detached, scrutinize the underlying reasons.

    Chapter 3: The Calling - Everyone has a calling. Follow your passion.
  • Discover your calling by immersing yourself in moments that captivate you.

    Chapter 4: Defining Moments - Every day matters.
  • The emotional cognizance of life’s finiteness can propel one towards a goal.

    Chapter 5: Self-Reliance - Not everyone needs to believe in your dream, but you do.
  • Life is inherently replete with risks; opt for risks that resonate with you.
  • Keep faith in your quest irrespective of others’ opinions.

    Chapter 6: Everyday Adventure - You can have the life you want no matter who you are.
  • Integrate your skills and interests with a sustained challenge.
  • Create structure around a project and set timelines.

    Chapter 7: Time and Money - Before beginning a quest, count the cost.
  • Acknowledge the time, financial, and other implications of your quest.
  • Build confidence by addressing the queries and criticisms your project may face.
  • Action trumps endless planning.

    Chapter 8: Life Listing - We're motivated by progress and achievement. It feels good to check things off.
  • A quest can serve as a focal point or purpose in life.
  • Strive for diverse goals spanning multiple facets of life.

    Chapter 9: Forward Motion - "Quests are boring. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other."
  • Perseverance is integral to quests.
  • Monotony is inescapable; choose the monotony that advances your quest.
  • Given a choice between regression and progression, choose the latter.

    Chapter 10: The Love of the Craft - Effort can be its own reward.
  • Creation and sharing motivate some individuals, propelling them from one project to another.
  • Embrace structure and routine to bolster creativity.

    Chapter 11: Joining Forces - Some adventures should be shared.
  • Surround yourself with individuals who resonate with your aspirations.
  • Even with support, internal motivation is critical to overcome challenges.

    Chapter 12: Rebel for a Cause - Find what troubles you about the world, then fix it for the rest of us.
  • Having an adversary can sharpen your focus.
  • What invigorates life outweighs what validates sacrifice.
  • Understanding what irks you is as vital as knowing what excites you.

    Chapter 13: The Long Road - The middle of a quest can be the hardest part. Don't give up too soon!
  • Save diligently to achieve your dreams.
  • If your quest relies on external validation, ensure intrinsic motivation backs it.

    Chapter 14: Misadventures - Choose your failures, and have the right kind of disasters.
  • Misadventures that impart knowledge foster confidence.
  • If worry is inevitable, fret over the cost of forsaking your dream.
  • It’s prudent to cease when your heart isn’t in it. Ask yourself: Is my heart still in this?

    Chapter 15: Transformation - As you make progress toward a small goal, the bigger vision expands.
  • Those on quests often find themselves evolving and broadening their horizons.
  • The sentiment “I’m glad I did it” is prevalent among quest completers.

    Chapter 16: Homecomings - Make a plan for the next step.
  • Quests may not always have tidy conclusions.
  • If explaining the entirety of a quest is challenging, focus on anecdotes.
  • Life is what you make of it, and the next steps post-quest are yours to decide.

    Chapter 17: Finale - The end of the beginning.
  • Every quest culminates. Ponder over the subsequent steps.

  • Overall, The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau is a fun, enjoyable read which may help guide readers down their own path of self-discovery.
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    howermj | 10 other reviews | Jun 25, 2023 |


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