Chris Guillebeau emphasizes reinvention

Blogger and entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau made a stop in Pittsburgh on his book tour to promote his bestseller, The $100 Startup, on Thursday. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to put ideas into action, the event was both inspirational and enjoyable.

Guillebeau’s blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, details his travels around the world and the people he meets who do unconventional yet meaningful work to make a living. His most recent book, The $100 Startup, follows a similar theme, giving examples of people who have adopted the liberating lifestyle of having a career they love, finding both personal and monetary value in it.

The book tour stop took place at the Thrill Mill, a new startup incubator located in East Liberty. A large, open space that was recently renovated, the venue was conducive to the number of guests who attended the talk. As a meeting ground for local entrepreneurs and those interested in the startup environment, the Thrill Mill succeeded in creating an atmosphere for mingling and networking throughout the event.

Guillebeau kept his main talk brief to accommodate the audience members who had to stand during the event due to insufficient seating. Much of his talk was simply a summary of The $100 Startup and his life in general. While this information can be gathered in greater detail in the book and his blog, his delivery made the talk more than just a rehashing of material; the talk became a way to connect to the audience.

He touched on examples from the book of people who had a passion and saw a market demand for their work. The examples featured entrepreneurs from all over the world at different times in their lives, which resonated with his audience of all ages.

After the talk, Guillebeau opened the floor to questions. While much of his talk focused on the book and its themes of reinvention and loving what you do, the “questions and attempted-answers session” — as Guillebeau called it — had a livelier atmosphere.

A lot of the questions pertained to Guillebeau’s travels across the world. Looking back at his mission to visit every country before his 35th birthday, he had lot of experiences to recount. South Africa is a great place for running, according to Guillebeau, yet he was hard-pressed to pick one country as his favorite. He revealed that Norway was the only country he has yet to visit, and he hopes to make that journey this April with a group of dedicated fans.

As a writer, traveler, and speaker, Guillebeau reaches out to people to inspire and motivate them to pursue their own careers and lifestyles. Minor detractions aside, this stop on his book tour succeeded in connecting with an enthusiastic Pittsburgh audience.