w: ajleon

Announcing: A Truly Independent Book Project

Eighteen months ago, I canceled a book contract with a major publisher because I realized that I had sold out to write a book that wasn’t me for an advance, and the desire to be chosen.
 For the sake of a little money and possible fame, I agreed to become a hired gun instead of an artist.

Abdicating everything I held dear for a paycheck and a ticket to the show.
The day I walked, I promised myself right then and there, that I would never again sacrifice my art at the temple of mediocrity.

And I promised myself that someday I would handcraft my own book with my own ideas on my own terms, and that I would make it for my own people, my tribe, for the misfits just like me.

Today is that day.

If you want to skip this post, this 5 minute video will explain everything.

Today, I am announcing the launch of a truly independent book project. No publisher, no Distributor. I am designing, printing, publishing, marketing and distributing the book on my own. I’m doing this because I want you and the other misfits out there in the world to realize that we can stand in defiance against a world that wants to relegate us to the area behind the red velvet rope until they deem us worthy.

I’m doing this because I want to prove that if you want to publish a book, you don’t have to wait for some well-fed demagogue to think you’re special enough. You can choose yourself. (For my fellow writers: If you pick up a copy of the book, you’ll get free access to a private webinar where I will disclose and discuss the writing, editing, designing, printing, distribution and marketing of the book.)

This Book is an Ode to the Misfits

The Life & Times of a Remarkable Misfit will be my first published work, and it is a collection of personal essays about living with intention, doing work that truly matters and changing the world. 
And I wrote it just for you. 
I wrote these essays over the last five years, after leaving a lucrative finance career in Manhattan in order to travel the world and work on projects that actually matter. I wrote them at different times and for different reasons. They are different thoughts for different moments, but I wrote them with you in mind. You see, I believe that you, like me, were not meant to live a life of convention and conformity. I believe that you were put here, at this very moment, to change the world in a fashion that only you can. These essays were written while on my own path to doing just that. And I hope beyond hope that they will in some small way help you to find yours.

You see, I used to be an unremarkably average finance executive, until the day I decided to stop, once and for all, living some other dude’s life. Today, I am a writer, artist, designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian. And I am currently on the 187th Day of a journey to travel around the world in 1,880 days. 
From the moment I left my former life five years ago, as an unremarkably average finance dude in Manhattan, I have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles to over 50 countries on this beautiful planet, I’ve remained successfully self employed by running the coolest company in the world, I’ve launched a magazine, a web app, a blog people seem to like and I’ve worked in 9 African countries launching humanitarian projects that have raised millions of dollars to help communities in South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Malawi.
 This book is a compilation of the verities and lessons and stories that helped me question everything, and start changing the world.

Who is this book for?

As I was reviewing many of these essays, I realized that I was really just writing letters to a younger version of myself. The guy trapped living the life he was supposed to live, while ignoring the life he was destined to live.

This book is for those who have been told to stay quiet, whom the world has been trying to lull into complacency and conformity and compliance, and who need to know that there are others out there just like them.
This book is for those that refuse to sit at the end of their days, mourning the glory of a life that could have been.

This book is for the Misfits.

What will you learn?

• The Opportunity Cost of Not Taking Yourself Seriously
• A list of 10 Essential Don’ts
• Why a dude named Murphy has been trying to kill you all your life
• The Anatomy of Average People
• How Arrogance, the Sistine Chapel, Art & Steve Jobs are Interrelated
• 16 Ways to Make Money & Lose Self-Respect
• The Convergence between Fear, Courage and Insanity
• Why guys in expensive suits knock down sand castles
• What decapitating Medusa has to do with changing the world
• Why making mistakes is so damn important
• The difference between, consuming, curating and creating
• Why confidence is not nearly as important as courage
• How swagger is one of the great unsung characteristics of those that make magic happen.

Badass Rewards for Readers who Care.

Every single element about this project is handcrafted, including the rewards for my generous backers. I’ve tried to pack in as much value into the rewards as humanly possible.

In addition to a handcrafted print version and a self recorded audio version of the book, I’ve designed limited edition Kickstarter-only prints, I’m offering one on one video calls, a two night stay in my beautiful artist’s apartment NYC, the offer to personally design your website and (my favorite) the offer to personally drop off your book to you.

I’ve had to severely limit some of levels because of the sheer cost of producing them. But I hope you like them, and I hope you’ll take me up on the ones where we get to hang out together.
See all Rewards Here.

How you Can Help.

Back a Fellow Misfit
This means essentially become my publisher. Believe in me now, before the work is produced, and I will give you more in return than you could ever hope for in a Barnes n Nobles.  Become a Backer here.

Share this Project
The only way ideas spread is if those who are moved by them share them, one at a time. Even if you decide not to back this book, but would still like to see it made, please consider sharing this project with someone you know who needs it, and please consider sharing it on Facebook and the twitters too. It would mean the whole wide world to me.  Share this project here.

The reality is that this could flop in my face, and I could stand here in a month wondering whether I should have ever canceled that book deal. But in spite of that tremendous fear, I am moving forward because as Ovid says “the gods favor the bold” and I have hope that my fellow misfits might just come out of the woodwork and stand behind me on this one.

From Charleston

Your Fellow Misfit,

1209 words



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