10 Modern Mutinies: The BEST Be More Pirate Inspired Rebellions So Far…

Sam Conniff
6 min readJun 11, 2018

I wrote a book called Be More Pirate, it’s a manifesto for creating change in your world, based on the lesser-known troublesome truths of Pirates.

It’s only been out 5 weeks, but was a BestSeller since before launch and has been called both ‘life-changing’ and a ‘modern-day life-bible’, which is all great.

But what’s really great is it’s working, not just inspiring, but creating rebellion, risk taking and rule breaking, resulting in real change making.

Big, small, crazy or cool, I appreciate them all because of what they symbolise. In the words of one review “this isn’t a book, it’s the start of a movement, and should come with a warning” Read on with caution… or get your copy here.

10. Opello. A young journalist called Natalie let me know she’d used principles from the book to help shape a campaign to protect her friend from being unfairly detained in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Centre.

Thanks to Natalie’s efforts, Opello is now free.

9. Walking the Plank. I can’t put this one in much better words than the sender did but Goodbye corporate comfort cushion and Hello life changing social enterprise!!

Congratulations my man, good for you, your work and your world.

8. Betting Shops Beware. Steve is an Pirate on a mission. Frustrated by betting shops congregating in low income areas, running fixed odds game and generally take the piss out of the people they prey upon, he’s taking it back to them, pirate style and I’ll do all I can to help.

And yes, he’s naked.

7. Professional Pirates. You’d be forgiven for assuming the 100 year old Chartered Institute for Professional Development might not ‘get’ Be More Pirate, but you’d be wrong, and so was I. They bought 300 books and gave me the closing keynote at their summit, this is what progressive HR professionals look like getting ready for mutiny.

My panorama didn’t work, this isn’t even half, it was pretty frightening.

6. I Quit. I couldn’t not feel responsible reading this early one morning when I received it. But I also felt pride. Who doesn’t know this feeling, that changing up your life is necessary, but scary, and easy to avoid.

And how many of us are brave enough to act on it?

5. Rebel Muse. I can’t explain this one better than how it was exlained to me, so this, is how it began:

And this is direct from the email: Reading your book prompted immediate action from me… So, I have mobilised. Just a couple of weeks ago, I launched UNSIGNED, a showcase for screenwriters from low-income backgrounds like myself. At the end of chapter 6, you challenge us to list who we’d take down. I’m trusting you to keep reading past this ludicrous statement: I wrote down Netflix, the BBC and Vice. I’m not arrogant enough to think I could “take them down” but I certainly want to challenge them and steal back some of the pie for the underdogs.

So obviously, get behind UNSIGNED, I am, and I can’t reveal the grand masterplan that takes down Netflix, Vice AND the BBC, but I’m getting behind that too.

4. Counter Rebellion. As well as dozens of people letting me know they’ve left jobs to go their own way, I’ve also heard from people who’ve used A Pirate State Of Mind to find jobs or create jobs. The Woman who created project Pirate to get a promotion made me very happy.

And the chap who gained a pirates perspective and realise he could do more with a bigger crew than Pirate alone.

3. Fucking with the workplace. OK, so this is sort of three together, but they usually come together. It starts with the start time. “It is illogical to have to be in the office every day at 9am, when I work every evening, when I always deliver, when I hate being in early, AND I’d like that time to make Kimchi/read/exercise/meditate”. I’ve heard this again and again, the three workplace rebellions I’ve heard the most are A) Against email culture B) against meeting culture and C) against presenteeism all of which can be viewed as anachronistic old managers clinging onto punctuality, prompt replies and packing as many people around a table as possible as they try to keep their claws in any last pretence of power. I’ve listened to many younger pirates on this, and heard them make enlightened plans to work smarter, more fluidly, more effectively and stand together as they A) start to check their inbox twice a day B) walk out (actually walk out) of badly run meetings and C) start coming in to work when it suits them. As long as they’re delivering, long live the revolution and keep tearing down the walls of the 20th Century office bullshit.

Some of it sounds scary, but inthe ones that worked, all it’s taken is a little solidarity, once 2 or 3 talented ‘millennials’ walk out a shonkily run meeting it’ll effect the meeting culture overnight, they can’t shoot you all.

2. Zero Point Zero. In the wake of Be More Pirate, one of my talented crew, Art Director Joe Kibria set up one of the best looking and sharply funny cultural rebellions, taking a stand against some of our conventions and habits around booze, from our behaviours to the businesses behind it, no one escapes Joe’s wry sarcasm as he he points out that ‘not drinking is even more of a taboo than mental health’ before taking another slick shot at Gin based greetings cards, it’s growing followers and the beginning of a real mutiny.

  1. Day One. Top of the list, is the simplest, and hardest of the lot. I don’t know what Nick went on to do the next day. I just know that ‘Day One’ is serious talk, real talk and big talk. I know there’s intention behind that sort of sentiment, that’s often bigger than any grand gesture. Real leadership isn’t a badge you win or a story you tell, it’s something that happens inside of you. The Rebel Within. And this statement sums up 100 others I’ve heard. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a grand campaign or breaking a habit, the really big rebellion for anyone is liberation from our own self imposed limitations.

It’s also usually the hardest, so to everyone who’s had a moment like this, I salute you! I hope that whatever your Day One was, you won.

And that’s it for now, if you’d like to hear more, please get in touch.

If you’ve read the book (or just this post) and are inspired to rebellion yourself, please get in touch.

If you’ve only just found out about Be More Pirate then join the crew and get your copy here.

With thanks to all the pirates, rascals, rogues and rebels who’ve let me know they’re story and the many, many more who’ve just let me know they’ve found something in the book that’s made a difference.

Venceremos … We Will Win!





Sam Conniff

Writer/ Director of @theuncertaintyexperts Author of @bemorepirate Co Founder of @LivityUk, @DontPanicLDN, @DigifyAfrica & @dubplatedrama