The Surprising Truth About Using Minimalism to Leave Your Day Job

March 31st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

7 ways why leaving your job doesn’t have to be hard.

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

This is the 3rd part in a now 4-part series on leaving your day job. The 1st was on preparing to leave your day job the 2nd was on how to make money online.

The last article in this series will be on how to survive the first three months after leaving your day job. Don’t miss out! Sign up for free updates via RSS or EMAIL.

The idea of losing a day job is terrifying to most people in the modern world.

There are many reasons for this, but they’re pretty simple: we’re living overextended lives.

A number of factors contribute to permanent workplace servitude among them:

  • Expensive car payment and insurance.
  • Subscriptions to Cable TV, etc.
  • Consumer debt that hasn’t been paid off.
  • College debt, because of the rising cost of getting an education.
  • Large expensive houses.
  • Eating out at every meal, or pre-packed microwavable foods that make us fat and stupid.
  • Spending on stuff you don’t need because you thought you needed it.

We can further reduce these contributing factors to one simple message:

You have too much stuff.

This is why you can’t leave your job, because your life costs so much that the moment you don’t have $2000-$4000 coming in with every paycheck, everything comes crashing down around you.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one in this situation. Luckily, there are other options.

The story of stuff: too much to less.

Tammy Strobel was in this situation a few years ago. Two cars, a big house. She couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t able to break even. Then she employed a healthy dose of minimalism, sold her costly cars and recently started a very small writing business. She details her story, and how you can go car-free in her new e-book, Simply Car-free. Now she’s happily biking around Portland and works when she wants on the projects that she cares about.

Tammy Strobel isn’t alone. A small army of creative individuals are realizing that they don’t need the junk that the televisions told us to buy.

Perhaps you’re already applying the principles you learned in the last article on making money online to build a small online empire destined for world domination like Chris Guillebeau? It certainly takes some time and a lot of effort to make this move towards freedom, but if you’ve got the goal of visiting every country in the world by your 35th birthday (like Chris), two weeks of vacation a year just isn’t going to cut it.

What you need is freedom.

The funny thing is that freedom is so easy to attain.

In September of last year I asked myself a simple question: what would it take to leave my day job and live and work from anywhere? If you’ve read The Art of Being Minimalist, you already know the answer.

This answer is too good to keep a secret though, I’d rather share it with you. I’ve decided to pluck the secret out of my simple e-book and summarize it to you right her. I hope it helps you find your own personal liberation.

If you apply these guidelines below, you’ll have no trouble freeing yourself from the confines of your day job — or any other goals you may have.

Here are 7 ways to apply minimalism to leave your day job.

1. Reduce your possessions to a more manageable amount.

The biggest mistake people make when they decide to leave their jobs is thinking they can keep it all. If you have a McMansion full of junk and you leave your day job, you will have to pay for the space to store these things, and also spend money on upkeep. Living with a lot also encourages rabid consumerism. The secret is to reduce your possessions to a minimal amount.

I live with less than 75 things, and I’m attempting to reduce that amount to at least 50 by the time I move to San Francisco on May 15th.

I realize that living with 50 personal possessions seems crazy to most people, but it’s how I choose to live. With 50 things I can move whenever I want with a backpack. You might think you need more than 50, that’s okay! 150 things is more than enough for most people.

When you find yourself living with less than 150 possessions, you’ll start to notice how much freer you are. Suddenly your mind is free to think about things other than your junk.

Make a list of your 100 most important things. If you feel the need to buy something, it has to displace one of those things.

2. Remove all dependence on expensive and needless entertainment.

In the modern age we’ve been trained to think our human lives should be spent in front of a TV watching endless hours of television.

This is absurd, you’ve been duped.

Sell your TV, unsubscribe from your cable. If you have a show you really need to keep up with — pick only one! Chances are you can watch it online. Anything else that falls under the category of entertainment and is either an addiction or a subscription needs to go. All of these costs add up, this is when you get into the situation where you have to work 60 hours a week to survive.

3. Stop needless consumerism.

Stop buying stupid stuff. Many people are hooked in the little adrenalin boost they get from spending small sums of money every evening.

This boost from consumerism is NOT a momentary happiness experience, it’s actual parallel is a low-dosage hit of heroin.

Corporations have scammed you into thinking that the only way that other people will accept you is if you have a new H&M top every time you go out. This is not the case. A week’s worth of simple and durable clothes is all a person needs to live comfortably. This frees you from thousands of dollars a month of needless expense. Stop shopping, start living.

Personally, I’d rather spend more on a pair of jeans that can withstand 4-6 months of daily wear.

4. Find joy in simpler things.

Many of the best pleasures in life are free, and infinitely more fulfilling than shopping.

Go for a walk with no destination. Go sit on the beach for a day. Lie on your roof and watch the stars at night. Cook a meal for your friends. Plant a tree. Climb a mountain and sleep on the top. Read a book. Minimalism doesn’t have to be boring.

There are so many inexpensive ways to have great experiences, you don’t need to go spend hundreds of dollars to live your life.

5. Move to a city where you can live without a car.

Cars are the second most expensive purchase you will make in your adult lives. Did you know you can live without them? Well, you can. There are a number of cities in America where cars aren’t the norm, move to one of them and suddenly you’ll have huge hunks of cash that you forgot you had. Go car-free and the possibilities start to open up.

It’s a myth that living in a city is more expensive. It’s not, because you don’t need a car. Check out Portland, OR for amazing quality of life. Brooklyn, NY for amazing opportunities. Both of these cities are walkable, bike-able, and awesome.

More at SuburbanShift: How Cars Rob Americans of their Retirement.

6. Focus on the important.

When you focus on only a few very important things in your life, you actually succeed at them.

What is important to you? Write that down, now! It’s sad story when I ask a person what their priorities are, and I get blank faces.

Worse is the people who tell me they’re a painter (or any artist,) but they’ve only done two canvasses. If you’re a painter, reduce your possessions to the essentials: your brushes, your canvasses.

When the TV is gone, the only way to entertain yourself is to paint. Eventually you’ll start to make decent work, this can be translated easily into making a living from your art like Soniei does. Focus on the work that is important to you.

7. Stop searching for the next half-assed spike of adrenalin (go for the real stuff.)

Shopping gives you a temporary high. So does drugs, alcohol, TV, video games, etc. These things are fun over the short-term, but forty years down the road no one is going to care that you watched the entire Lost series three times through.

If you’re into adrenalin, do something crazy, like move to New Zealand and go skydiving.

Destroy your Guitar Hero (if you spent as much time playing guitar as you do on Guitar Hero, you’d actually be talented at music) and actually go on tour. Trade manufactured happiness for the real experience. Stop engaging in the detached distain of current affairs by reading the newspaper and go try and make a difference in the world.

Is this really so surprising?

I realize that the idea of adopting all of these systems is incredibly difficult for most people. I know this because I’ve been there.

You’re used to living in a fantasy world.

This world is propped up by over-extended credit and modern day wage-slavery.

You can either continue to live that life, and I know many of you will. Keep waking up every morning, stumbling to the car, sitting under fluorescent lights for the entire day.

Alternatively, you can pop the red pill and choose to wake up.

Reduce your possessions to the basic essentials that you need in order to build a life outside the confines of this corporate system.

When you get to this point you’ll start to notice long a basic amount of savings, such as $3000, will actually last you. Then you can start to build your own minimalist business and find your own personal liberation.


Here are a few links to check out, I hope they will help you.

Pavarotti’s Secret to Success by Chris Guillebeau.

How to Say ‘No’ Gracefully by Tammy Strobel.

An In-Depth Guide to Buying and Selling Websites by Glenn Allsopp.

A Little Celebration of Less by Jeffrey F. Tang.

The Reality of Digital Content by Seth Godin.


Did this article help you? The best way you can help me out is to take 10 seconds and share this post. If you have five minutes, I’d love if you could write about me on your blog, this really helps people discover my writing.

Thank you so much.

32 Ways to Refocus on the Important

March 28th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

The most successful people have only a few priorities. Here’s how to refocus when you lose track of yours.

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

The inconvenient truth of entrepreneurship.

I have a confession to make, I’ve been working too hard.

The whole idea of working for myself was so I could have more time to live life, remember?

Well, over the last two weeks I got carried away with my entrepreneurship. I’ve been working over 40 hours a week on the blog and my next e-book. This is far too much time to be spending on my minimalist business.

I was supposed to be living the minimalist work week to the fullest, and concentrating on my real priorities: Yoga, Cooking, Writing, and Reading.

Instead I’ve been working all day, cooking fattier foods, and I had totally forgotten about yoga for a week.

I’ve got to refocus, maybe you do too?

Everyone loses focus on their priorities occasionally.

This is okay though, everyone loses focus on their priorities once in awhile. Occasionally it’s beneficial to lose the balance in their life in order to achieve greatness in one direction.

But after working hard in one area, there comes a time when it’s necessary to refocus on what you’ve identified as being truly important. For more on identifying the important see: The Stunning Truth About Focusing on the Important.

This is why I’ve compiled a list, below, of 32 ways to focus on the important. I hope it can help you re-find the focus in your life.

I’m going to be refocusing in the coming weeks.

As some of you know, I’m working on a new e-book called Minimalist Business. The e-book explores my journey to creating a low-overhead business which supports my location independent lifestyle.

I’m writing this e-book because I’ve received hundreds of emails about business side of my work on The Art of Being Minimalist. These emails have given me many ideas to think about as I did my best to help everyone who emailed me create their own minimalist businesses.

I hope it can help you achieve the same kind of life, if you’re interested.

In order to get the e-book done, and maintain focus in my life, I’m going slow down the schedule here at Far Beyond The Stars to two stories per week. This way I can work on making two posts twice as useful to you, and also have time to work on completing the e-book.

On to the focus!

Feel free to apply one or a few of these to your life, but don’t try to do them all at once. Definitely feel free to bookmark this page and return to it whenever you find yourself losing focus.

Here are 32 ways to refocus on your priorities.

1. Slow down. The best way to refocus on your priorities is to slow down. Take 10 deep breathes. Walk slower through life and appreciate every moment. You’ll start to see clarity when you take time to appreciate every moment.

2. Stop checking email. If you read my post on Timejacking, you know my opinion on email: it’s not as necessary as you think. Set two (or even one) specific times to check email during your day. This can save you up to 3 hours of time sitting in front of your inbox waiting for messages to come, so you can react to them. Turn this around, and you’ll start to focus on your priorities and create great work. I’ve been checking email less (trying for one time per day as much as possible) for a number of weeks, and my productivity has exploded.

3. Change up your routine. Turn your routine on it’s head. If you exercise in the mornings, try exercising at night. If you work during the week, try working on the weekends or at night instead. If you walk down 5th Avenue every day on your way to work, try walking on 6th Avenue instead. If you always go out to eat, try cooking at home instead.

4. Disconnect from the internet. Turn off your wireless router, or unplug your Ethernet cable, and just sit there. At first you’ll go crazy without being able to constantly click around on Facebook. It’s okay, you’ll be fine. Before 1990 no one had Internet in their homes, remember? Let alone Internet in their pockets! You’ll survive. Just sit and stare at a wall until you’re able to refocus on your priorities.

5. Write your priorities down. This is so incredibly important. Take out a sheet of paper, or open a blank document on your computer, and simply write down your priorities. I like to keep them to 4 or less. These are the things that are really important to you. These are passions, not obligations.

6. Take a few days off. Nothing fixes focus like a good long weekend. Take a few days off and do something fun. Don’t think about work. Don’t do any work. Just focus on having fun, or creating something that you enjoy. When you get back to work you’ll have a fresh mind and be able to refocus on your priorities.

7. Take a walk. A good long walk can do wonders if you can’t focus. The repetitive motion of your feet has a way of centering the left and right hemispheres of your brain. Just pick a direction and start walking, don’t have a destination, just walk for the journey.

8. Go to the beach for a day. I love going to the beach. It’s a great place to sit in the sun and let your worries wash away. If you don’t have a beach near you, a park can do too, (but beaches are more awesome.) Bring some sandwiches and spiked punch. Don’t forget your sunscreen! Definitely forget your cellphone.

9. Up your intensity. Sometimes the best way to refocus is to take everything to the next level. Take one of your priorities and spend 80% of your time doing it. I plan on doing this with Yoga in the next few weeks. By spending all of your time, you’ll be able to refocus on your priority and take it to the next level.

10. Work somewhere new. If you’re used to working in an office, or in your home, make the decision to change your location. Work from a coffee shop or the library. Go to a friend’s house and work together. Take your work out on the porch and work in the sun, or go to the park.

11. Hang out with different people. We can sometimes fall into a routines of hanging out with the same good folks all the time. The trouble is, this can lead to social stagnation. Try hanging out with new people once in awhile. This will open you up to new ideas and you’ll have new experiences.

12. Sleep more. This is a no-brainer. The studies all show that we don’t get as much sleep as we need. Take a few days and catch up on your rest. Sleep for 9 hours a night instead of 6. You’ll start to notice your priorities come into focus when you have enough rest.

13. Eat good food. We are what we eat, literally. And yet some people eat garbage from the take-out. Don’t do this! Try cooking dinners at home every day for a week (perhaps consider doing this for the rest of your life.) Use fresh vegetables, beans, nuts, berries, etc. Eat fresh fruit for breakfast in order to have more energy. When you eat better you’ll overcome obstacles with much less effort.

14. Sit in silence. Simply sit in silence for 30 minutes. Don’t worry about meditating. Sit on a comfortable pillow, or in a chair, close your eyes and let the thoughts pass through your brain. A time-out like that can change your thinking and help you refocus.

15. Kill your bad habits. Choose one bad habit and take it to the guillotine. Just stop doing whatever you hate about yourself. There are so many things that humans compulsively do that are bad for us. When we have the courage to tell ourselves no we can free up space to focus on what we really want to accomplish. Some bad habits you may have: TV, smoking, drinking, Twitter all day, email, negativity, pessimism, driving.

16. Stop worrying so much. Anxiety is simply failing over and over and over again in advance. Tell yourself to stop worrying. The simple reason for this is that worrying doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t help to guess at what the outcome of an action will be. Make a decision about what you think the outcome will be and stick with it. Maybe it’ll work out, maybe it won’t. At least you didn’t spend 5 hours chewing up your stomach anticipating your own failure.

17. Throw out the plan. Plans are just guesses. Too many people spend 80% of their time planning and half of the time they never get to the actual execution. I’d like to let you in on a secret: execution is everything. The plan isn’t necessary if you don’t do anything. In most cases you can do something without a plan. Cut out the preparation and start making things happen.

18. Read for new ideas. Take a day and go to the bookstore. Find a great book. If you need suggestions, I’ve read a bunch of books so far this year. All of them were very good. Now, sit down and read the book. Slowly let the ideas flow off the page and into you. This will rejuvenate your focus on the important.

19. Turn off the TV. If you know me, you know I hate the TV. Two years ago I helped my roommate paint three of them and turn them into an art installation. Two weeks ago I helped my girlfriend finally sell her flatscreen. The average American watched 5 hours of TV a day in 2008 (according to The Story of Stuff), that’s 35 hours a week. Tell me there are better things you could be doing with that time.

20. Take a mini-retirement. There’s no sense in wasting the prime of your life working yourself to death. Save up a few thousand dollars and go incommunicado. Rent a boat and sail down slowly down the coast. Rent a beach house in Mexico and disappear for a month or two. Trust me, the world will be here when you get back.

21. Move somewhere new. So many people never make the decision to leave their home town. It can be one of the best decisions you ever make it leave a place one you’ve been there for awhile. Pick somewhere and go there. Leave behind all of your crap, you don’t need it. Just go somewhere before it’s too late.

22. Radically change your diet. If you’re eating pancakes every morning, try eating fresh fruit. If you eat steak for dinner, try eating tofu. There are a million ways to radically change your diet. You are what you eat, so when you transform your diet you transform yourself.

23. Declutter your living space. Take a day and get rid of clutter. Find a home for every object that you own. Put things in drawers or closets. If you can’t find homes for everything, you need to get rid of some things. Make a box and put things in it. Take these things and donate them to someone needs them.

24. Limit your work schedule. We work too much. The worst part is, we can usually manage to fit our work into as long as we give ourselves to complete our jobs. No one ever achieved great things by working 80 hours a week for an entire year. If you normally work 60 hours, reduce your schedule to 40. If you work 40, reduce it to 20. Once I get to 10 hours a week of work, I’m going to try and reduce it down to 4 as soon as possible. I bet you can get the same amount of work done by strategically batching requests and eliminating the unessential.

25. Turn off your smartphone. What a terrible idea, giving yourself the ability to be constantly in touch via email. (full disclosure, I do have an iPhone. I mainly use it for capturing ideas via Evernote, taking photos, and communicating with readers via Twitter during set batched intervals.) Turn your smartphone off for periods at a time, if you can’t get rid of it completely. You’ll notice a world of difference, and you’ll be able to focus on the important.

26. Leave your phone at home. Go out into the world and leave your phone at home. Trust me, you’ll be able to tell what time it is. You can ask somebody! It’s important to disconnect from people once in awhile. If you’re constantly available, you’re simply going to be reacting to requests. Bonus: let every single call you receive go to voicemail first, then batch call everyone back at one set time per day. This will save you tons of time if you’re a heavy phone user.

27. Rearrange your house. Take a day and change how your home is arranged. Or maybe even just your living room or office. Put the couch on the other wall. Take the TV and throw it out the window. Consult a Feng shui expert (or ask the Internet) and make sure your space is obeying the right rules. When you’re done, the new perspective will help you refocus.

28. Go vagabonding. Put the essentials for survival in a bag. Book a ticket somewhere and just go. It doesn’t matter where you go, just go. Email the hostel and book a few nights, then take off from there. Don’t have a destination, don’t go see touristy stuff, just live somewhere new every single day. Read Rolf Potts’s awesome book Vagabonding for more on how to have this amazing experience.

29. Read different blogs. We fall into reading the same bloggers over and over again, but that can be a trap. I try to write about new things, and delve deeper into topics, but inevitably I’m still me. Other bloggers are still them. After reading a blogger for a number of months, you might find yourself just reading out of obligation. Try reading new bloggers to change things up.

30. Stop reading the paper. Newspapers are dead. Most of their employees have taken huge pay-cuts over the last few years. Most of their writers are forced to write about topics that they don’t have expertise in and don’t interest them. This leads to sloppy writing and boring stories. Stop reading newspapers, you won’t be missing much.

31. Eliminate obligations. People tend to collect obligations like we collect junk. The problem is that sometimes we don’t take stock to see if we’re getting anything out of them. Take a moment and make a list of everything you’re obligated to do every week. Now strike out everything that you hate doing. This can free up a huge amount of time.

32. Let it all go. Finally, just let it go. The world can do without you for awhile. Just relax and let things happen when they happen. Don’t worry so much, or you’ll get gray hair and you’ll need anti-depressants. When you let it all go, it’s only a matter of time before you start to refocus on your priorities and start to make great work.


Here are some links that will help you:

Be Your Own Guru by Jonathan Fields.

The Joy of Walking by Leo Babauta.

Paying it Way Forward by Colin Wright.

The Most Important Blog Post You’ll Never Read by Glenn Allsopp.


How do you refocus on your priorities?

If this article helped you, I’d love if you’d take 10 seconds and use your favorite method to share it.

Thank you.

The Simple Guide to Making Money Online

March 23rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

6 Steps Toward Additional Income Streams In Order to Quit Your Day Job.

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

This is the second post in a series on quitting your day job in order to live and work from anywhere. The first post was on the challenge of preparing to quit your job.

Don’t miss out! Sign up for free updates via RSS or EMAIL.

Last week I wrote a long article on how to prepare to quit your day job. If you missed that post, I definitely suggest going back and reading it.

In that post, I mentioned that it was useful to develop income on the side using the Internet, in order to quit you day job. I glossed over the details of how to do this, in that post.

A number of people emailed me asking for more information, so I decided to write this post in order to help more people start to make a small amount of side income in order to quit their jobs more effectively.

I’ve been working online for most of my adult life — I was part of the professional blogging team at New York Magazine, and Gawker before that. I’ve been a student of the income potential of the Internet for over ten years now.

Recently I began to earn my entire living from this blog and from my e-book The Art of Being Minimalist.

I hope that this article will help you gain independence.

Many people haven’t realized the unlimited selling potential of the Internet.

They’re stuck back in 1982, calling people 1-on-1 on the phone and hoping to make a sale. It doesn’t have to be that way.

You’re much more likely to succeed if you embrace the power of the Internet.

This was made clear to me a few days ago — I was at a bar in Brooklyn, wishing a good friend farewell the night before she crossed the Atlantic for adventures in London.

I found myself in conversations about what I do, with two people. One an old friend, another a random stranger.

1st person, who is on unemployment for 6 months after being fired from his job:

Him: “So, how did you land that job, being a blogger?”

Me: “Well, I didn’t land it, I built it.”

Him: “You can make your own job?”

2nd person, who is working as a temp after not finding much luck getting jobs five years after graduating from college:

Her: “Well, I’m a temp, and I just sit around all day on Facebook.”

Me: “Why don’t you use that time to build an empire and start making $1000 a week on the Internet?”

Her: “You can do that?”

Both of these people got blank looks on their faces and walked away from me when I suggested that they could actually change their lives. This illustrated to me just how unconventional the idea of selling a digital product online really is.

There are only a handful of people actually making the jump to digital sales, the rest of the planet is still stuck back in 1982.

I imagine some of you are already thinking of clicking off this page. You think I’m just trying to sell you something, but I’m not.

I want you to realize how simple it is to embrace the Internet as your job.

If you’re interested in the above statement, I suggest you read this blog post thoroughly. Do not skim it. Do not jump around. Read each word, bookmark this, and then try each step separately until you’ve done everything here.

You can live and work from anywhere, –if you put in the work.

It will take you at most half a day to complete the first 3 of these steps and start making money online. It’ll take you a little longer for the last step, creating your own product, but you’ll get there eventually. Trust me!

The changing reality of Internet communication.

The reality is, you can change your life, and you can make a decent living working online — if you put in the work. I’ve done it. It’s far easier than you might think. I’m starting to believe that one of the biggest barriers to people making money online is their willingness to admit to themselves that it’s possible.

We’re a society that trains people in school to work in factories, and then they get out and their wonder where all of the factories went.

You’re on your own, the only person who’s going to give you permission to work online is you.

The true dynamics of the Internet.

Twenty years ago, the only way you could establish a brand and market a product was:

  1. By spending a ton of money on ads on the television or other media.
  2. By opening a brick and mortar storefront.
  3. By pimping yourself and your friends to a mid-level marketing scheme.
  4. By calling random people on the telephone and crossing your fingers.

All of these options still exist, but the internet bypasses all of the inadequacies of these systems. This means you can skip them, and go straight to the Internet.

On the internet, instead of your relationship being 1 to 1 with a buyer. The relationship is 1 to whoever you can get to come to your website and contact through social media. This can be 1 or it can be infinite.

The power of the digital product.

The internet has revolutionized how products are produced.

The cost of broadcasting on the web has fallen to zero –see Chris Anderson’s Free: The Future of a Radical Price for specifics. This creates a situation of complete selling democracy, and infinite potential, because:

  1. Anyone can create a product.
  2. Anyone can sell a product.
  3. To anyone in the world.
  4. At any time of day.

This creates amazing situations for independent professionals, such as making money in your sleep.

The way I see it, if you have something to offer people, you should product a digital product and sell it. You can’t lose money, because the distribution is free.

What’s the worst that can happen? You create a product and no one buys it. This means that no one needs it. If no one needs what you offer, you probably need to reevaluate what you’re offering.

The minimum you need to start.

I write about being minimalist, so I’m not going to go overboard recommending what you need to use in order to make money online.

Some people will tell you that you need to invest in all sorts of infrastructure in order to sell online. This is absurd.

Everything you need to sell online can be yours for free. Don’t spend any money until you’ve made money, it’s just absurd to be buying expensive software when there are free alternatives.

That’s not to say that you don’t want to upgrade eventually when you need more advanced technology, but don’t do this until you’re making at least $50,000 a year off your website. Then you can actually afford the expensive stuff.

That being said, I’ve recommended a few products below, that I believe in and I’m an affiliate for, that will help you learn. If after reading this you’re still scratching your head as to how to begin to earn money online, these educational products can go a long way towards filling the gap in your knowledge.

These products aren’t requirements, they’re simply options if you need additional learning in order to be able to take this path towards success.

It’s not necessary to dish out a lot of money in order to find success online. You can learn everything you need to for free by reading blogs and experimenting on your own.

The minimalist tools for making money online.

1. Why you need a blog.

Your blog is your home on the Internet, you need to make one now if you don’t have one already. Go to to sign up for a free WordPress blog to get started.

Eventually you’ll want to get your own domain name and hosting, but don’t worry about that until you start to find some success online.

  1. Start blogging at least twice a week.
  2. Set a schedule and stick to it.
  3. Write content that is extremely useful to people.
  4. Pick a niche market as your focus.
  5. Make it easy to subscribe to your blog via RSS and email.

Some people will tell you that you need all sorts of other things for your blog. Don’t worry about those things now. Just write good content. If you’re trying to escape your day job, you don’t have time to spend hours messing around with little blog widgets.

Writing good content is 80% of your blogging career, the rest is just extra. If you find yourself spending 20% of your time on content and the rest of the time checking your stats or otherwise wasting your time, stop!

Focus on content, and you’ll find blogging success.

Read Problogger and Viperchill to learn more about how to blog successfully.

If you need additional education, I highly recommend Darren Rowse’s e-book 31 Days to a Better Blog.

2. Social networking.

Sign up for two social networking services. If you have a pulse, you’re probably already on Facebook. If you’re not, join.

The second service I want you to join, if you haven’t already, is Twitter.

Why only two? Because you need to focus. If you’re on 10 social networks, you’ll never have time to be good at any one of them. If you pick only two, you will be able to be effective on at least two platforms and start to develop a significant amount of traffic to your blog from these sources.

Install tweetmeme and Facebook share buttons on your blog, and start pushing your content out to these services every time you post.

Next, start social networking with other bloggers who interest you.

The best way to do this is to retweet their posts every single time they post, this will show that you respect and admire them.

You can follow me on Twitter here.

  1. Ask bloggers questions.
  2. Start conversations.
  3. Interview bloggers for your blog.
  4. Be helpful.

Don’t spend too much time on social networking. 30 minutes a day is just enough. Social networking is 20% of your traffic, so don’t spend 80% of your time there — believe me, you will be tempted to do so. Social networking can become an infinite feedback loop — you need to do it, just don’t spend all of your time doing it.

Focus on content for your blog, and let the social networking happen naturally.

To learn more about social networking, read Chris Brogan’s blog and read Trust Agents the book wrote with Julien Smith.

Also check out Chris Guillebeau’s Unconventional Guide to the Social Web for some more in-depth learning if necessary.

3. Create a movement.

Once you create a blog, the next step is creating a movement — read this free e-book by me next.

Then come back to this page in order to learn the power of selling digital products.

4. Sell someone’s product first.

Before you invest all of the hours in creating your own product, try selling someone else’s product on your blog first.

When I first started my blog, I was an affiliate for Leo Babauta’s A Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life. Selling for Leo provided a small amount of income for me while I built my business, and helped me learn how to effectively sell online. I chose this e-book because it was a huge inspiration for me. It made me think how to apply minimalism to my own life, and how to write about minimalism so that others could accomplish their ambitions in order to live happier.

Many bloggers will let you affiliate market their products for 50% commission. You can earn anywhere from $5-$200 per sale.

I only sell products on my blog that I support, and I think you should too.

Don’t sell anything you don’t believe in.

It’s much harder to sell a product when you don’t believe in it’s benefits. It may take you some time to locate your idea product, and that’s okay. Take your time and pick something you believe in.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Chris Guillebeau’s Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself (51% commission)

Adam Baker’s Unautomate Your Finances (50% commission)

Glen Allsopp’s Cloud Living (51% commission)

Also, you can become an affiliate for my e-book, The Art of Being Minimalist (50% commission).

5. Create your own product.

Once you’ve sold a few copies of other people’s products, it’s time to create your own.

What is a digital product?

  1. An e-book that helps people.
  2. An audio recording that helps people.
  3. A software program that helps people.
  4. A video series that helps people.

I say ‘helps people’, because that’s one of the biggest questions you need to ask yourself when you create a product. Who is this helping? If the answer is “everyone!” your product is probably way too broad and not interesting enough for anyone to buy it.

Go niche or go broke. You need to create a product for a specific group of people. Scratch your own itch, fix your own problems, and you have a good chance of creating such a product.

Creating a product is different for everyone.

When I wrote The Art of Being Minimalist, I created the product over two weeks of intense writing. I combined this with writing I’d been working on over the last couple of months, and suddenly I had a product. This process is different for everyone.

The truth is that this was a book idea that had been floating around my head since before I’d even started my blog. It was a book idea that was set into motion from the moment that I quit my job in July of last year and jumped on a plane to Portland Oregon.

Everyone has a product idea in them, you just have to find it. A good idea will come to you naturally through the work that you do on your blog.

For more on creating digital products, check out Chris Guillebeau’s Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself.

Another good resource is Dave Navarro’s How to Launch The **** Out of Your E-Book.

6. Let people affiliate market for you.

Once you’ve finished your product, sign up for a sellers account at e-junkie for only $5 a month –this is free for the first week. This will handle all of your payments and distribution automatically, and allow your community to earn money selling your newly created product on their own blogs.

This is the moment when the real magic happens. If you offer your product for 50% commission, suddenly you can harness the power of others to sell your product. By offering 50% (or more) commission, people will spread your product far and wide across the Internet. Some people will sell 5 copies, others will sell 500.

Imagine if you get 500 people to sell 500 copies each of your product over the course of a year? Even if you’re only charging $10… …well, you do the math, because you won’t believe me if I just tell you.

The infinite potential of reaching people via the Internet makes this possible.

Best of luck in your endeavors!

Now you have the skills to create a small to sizable side income while you’re at your day job. With any luck, you should be able to grow this income to replace your day job, or start a new income stream from the ground up.

Then you can leave your job and start living and working from anywhere! Congratulations, you’re almost free!


This is the second post in a series on quitting your day job in order to live and work from anywhere. The first post was on the challenge of preparing to quit your job.

Don’t miss out! Sign up for free updates via RSS or EMAIL.


This article helped you, I’d love if you could share it with anyone you know who wants to quit their job.

Hit the retweet button, or email this to your friends, this only takes 10 seconds and it’s the single best way for people to discover my writing.

Thank you.

When You Take it All Away, What Are You?

March 21st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

One simple exercise that will make you think.

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

Here’s a simple meditation:

Imagine or actually do this.

Take everything that you owned away from you. You can do this by going to a park for a day and sitting under a tree, go to the beach and lie on a towel, or perhaps by hopping on a plane with a backpack for a month or two.

Now take a look at what’s left. Contemplate the remainder, without the stuff. The essence of what you really are without all of the junk.

Whatever is left when you get rid of the stuff is you.

When you take away all that you’ve bought, what have you accomplished?

Write this down.

Now write down what you want to accomplish.

Perhaps you still have a small creative empire working without you or within you. Good!

Or perhaps you’ve just been surrounding yourself with distractions in order to forget that nothing you’ve ever done means anything.

Perhaps you’re somewhere in-between those extremes.

Everyone reaches a point of no-return with their stuff.

We humans reach a tipping point, when we’ve accumulated so much meaninglessness in our lives that there’s no going back. The form that this meaninglessness comes in is different for anyone. For some it’s buying the entertainment center, for others it’s their first house, for some it’s drinking every night to make the pain go away.

From that moment forward, every dream is just a dream — they can never become reality.

The dreams become so hard to make reality when you have to pay someone to move the entertainment system.

So you sit around dreaming about visiting Bali for the rest of your life. But you never actually go — except maybe for an extended weekend.

How can you replace your junk with real, meaningful, challenges and experiences?

The Minimalist Guide to Leaving Your Soul-Crushing Day Job

March 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

The first step to leaving anything is preparation (but not too much of it.)

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

This is the first of a three part series on using minimalism to leave your day job in order to live and work anywhere.

Don’t miss out! Sign up for free updates via email or RSS.

If you’ve been following this blog long, or read The Art of Being Minimalist, you know that I left my job last August in order to launch my minimalist business and live and work from anywhere.

If you’re in a situation like I was a year ago, –the monotonous repetitive days, the future of my creativity rapidly dying,– I imagine you want to do this too.

You want to be like Colin Wright, and country hop every four months. Or like Karol Gajda, making a reasonable living online while crafting a hand-made guitar in India. Maybe you want to be like Tammy Strobel and start a very small writing business to support your car-free lifestyle.

Maybe you want to be like you! That’s even better.

It doesn’t matter what ideal life you imagine, you just need to know that it’s possible.

Before I get started: whenever I write these types of things, I always get comments from two kinds of people who think I’m nuts.

The first is the people with kids, “oh it’s so hard, I could never do that” crowd.

I know, it’s so much easier to quit your job when you’re single and in your twenties, but it’s not impossible to change your life just because you decided to procreate. Leo Babauta started his own business and quit his job through minimalism, and he has six kids! You can too, no excuses!

The other group of people who comment are the ones who claim to love their job.

Great! I’m so happy for you, don’t change anything.

But, if you really love your job, why are you reading a blog post about leaving your job? Go read and comment on something else! …unless you actually secretly hate your job, in which case you need to ask yourself some hard questions. Don’t just deny everything until you wake up one day 15 years down the road and wonder where your life went.

Now then, let’s get to business…

The obstacles of leaving your job.

Quitting your job is never easy. There are a number of obstacles to overcome in order to even think of going out on your own.

1. Overcome your fear of certain death.

Everyone told me that if I quit my job during the greatest recession, I’d end up living in a mud hut down on the other side of town swigging malt liquor out if a sipper cup.

This is the opposite of true. I’ve found that the biggest growth opportunities are here, right now. Everything about the way we’re doing business is diversifying immensely. The time to start your own very small business is now, as there have never been more opportunities to reach out and find the tribe that will support your goals.

So ignore every horror story that you hear. These people are trying desperately to keep you from making a change –and who can blame them? If you can do it, it looks badly on them if they’ve settled for mediocrity.

Don’t listen to their pleas to be realistic.

The worst possible thing that could happen to you, if you do this, is probably not nearly as bad as you think. It’s really hard to fail hard in our society, as long as you have some basic common sense about you.

2. Realize that you’re going to need new non-work friends.

I’ve lost touch with every single friend I had at my old job — except the ones who left too. The common bonds that create an instant social network at a job are shallow indeed. When you’re talking about entrepreneurship, and they’re talking about maintaining the status-quo, this creates an instant barrier to communications.

Automatically assume that anyone who you work with now is not going to go out of their way to support your quest for freedom. Find help elsewhere, meet other people who have made this journey — the Internet is a great place to do this– these people are invaluable, and will tell you not to settle when you’re thinking or giving up.

That being said, some people will support you! That’s great, don’t fire your friends if they’re helpful. Fire them if they’re holding you back by telling you that you can’t succeed.

3. Dare to dream unrealistically.

I wrote recently about the need to be completely unrealistic. You need to write down an unrealistic goal and start to live and breathe it every single day. This can be simple, or more complex. Make it crazy though! The sky is the limit, and trust me, people have been up there too.

Everything crazy has been done already, so you might as well do it again.

My goal was to become a minimalist in order to live and work from anywhere. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. My primary income source is this blog, which I never thought would happen this quickly — the income potential to earn money online is enormous. You can reach almost anyone.

Your dream doesn’t have to be about making money online, but you do need to have some sort of goal.

4. Be confident when presenting your ideas to friends and strangers.

One of the biggest challenges, when deciding to leave a day job, is the opinions of others.

When you tell your best friend that you’re opting out of the rat-race to pursue a career as a writer, they will look at you like you’re a nutcase. It’s okay that they have doubts, you’re making a change and it’s only natural for them to worry.

That’s why it’s important to present your plans with confidence. Don’t hesitate or shake uncontrollably in fear when you tell people of your plans. Just say in a firm voice, with confidence, that this is the path you intend to tread.

I shared my unrealistic dream of becoming a location independent writer with people, initially they thought I was crazy! Six months later, I’m making a full time living. I’m no longer crazy.

5. Don’t let others decide your fate.

Ultimately, your decision to make a change is up to you. No amount of deliberation with friends and family will make your decision easier. In fact, the more you talk the harder it will be to do something.

Don’t spend a year trying to decide to make a change, just do it.


Now that you’ve overcome some preliminary obstacles, it’s time to prepare for your departure.

Things to do before you jump.

1. Figure out your cash flow.

You need to start figuring out ways to make a small amount of money outside your main job.

Unless you’re crazy, like me, it’s best to have at least your basic expenses covered before you make a jump.

Start by trying to make $10 online doing something other than selling your stuff on Craigslist. It sounds like a small goal, but that’s the biggest hump. If you can sell one digital or even physical product or service, chances are you can scale that.

Once you’ve made your first $10, try to make $10 a day. Then scale up from there until it’s $100 a day, then $10,000 and so on.

It’s important to have the objective in sight when you’re thinking about new cash flow. If you want to make passive income on a digital product, like I do, make that your goal and go straight to working on the product.

Don’t mess around in other areas outside your focus, unless you realize that your product isn’t going to sell more than 5 copies.

There are of course many other ways to make money outside of the online world, that’s just where I make money, so I used it as an example. I also believe it’s a lot easier to make money online than it is in the real world in the current economic climate.

2. Save up enough to survive until you actually have cash flow.

If you don’t have time to get cash flow going, or just have no idea what you’re doing (I was in this boat when I left), at least save up enough to cover you expenses for a few months while you figure out what you’re doing.

Most small business gurus recommend a 6-month cushion. 12-months if you’re a rock star.

Start by getting your finances in order. If keeping track of your spending scares the crap out of you, I recommend reading Adam Baker’s brilliant e-book Unautomate Your Finances in order to get a handle on how much you’re actually spending every month.

If you spend a lot of money every month, you’re going to need to cut back.

My ideal living expenses are around $1400 a month now –this isn’t to say I’m not making and spending a lot more than that, this is just what it costs for me to survive in Brooklyn.

When I was in Portland I spent around $900 a month on living and eating.

When I left my job, I’d saved up $3000 and lived on that for three months. You might need more or less depending on your living expenses.

The less you have to spend, the larger your chance of success.

Worrying about how little money you have to pay for stupid stuff will weigh on your mind and destroy your chances of striking out on your own.

When you work at a day job, you get used to having that steady stream of cash coming in every month. The more you make, the more you rely on. You need to break that cycle now, and start stashing away every last penny, or you’ll never be able to leave.

How can you cut down your expenses so that they’re reasonable?

3. Apply minimalism to your life.

Cut back on everything before you quit. Initially you’re going to be making a lot less than you did when you were employed. Go car-free. Rent your house to strangers. Sell all of your furniture. Cancel every single subscription — especially cable TV, then sell your TV. Call your phone company and reduce yourself to a basic plan.

Do this until your only expenses are eating and renting a small apartment.

Eventually you’ll be making enough from your new business to spend more, but it’s entirely unnecessary to scale back up after you downsize like this.

The stuff keeps you down, rooted to one place, and completely ineffective.

You can’t pursue your dreams if you’re surrounded by crap.

I’m not saying you should go all monk on us, but realistically consider living with your 100 best possessions, and nothing more. This will make you more flexible, so you can move whenever you want and focus entirely on your business when you need to.

Here are a few articles I’ve written over the past month on how to apply minimalism to your life in order to save money:

Two Methods for Less Stuff

The Stunning Truth About Focusing on the Important

How to Focus on Minimalist Income

How to Live with 75 Things

The Ultimate Guide to the Minimalist Work Week

If you’re serious about leaving your job and starting your own small business, I suggest you read the following immediately:

Chris Guillebeau’s Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself.

Pam Slim’s book Escape from Cubicle Nation.

Timothy Ferriss’s The 4 Hour Work Week.


That’s all for now!

Check back next week for the second part in this series. Don’t miss out! Sign up for free updates via email or RSS.

Don’t forget to check this out: Interview with Everett Bogue: How to Pursue the Reality You Imagine Yourself Living at Tammy Strobel’s Rowdy Kittens.

How to Achieve Freedom At The End of the Television Era

March 16th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Predictions for your future in the information age.

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

20 years ago it was incredibly difficult to create a reality that you could effect.

You had control over the people you came in contact with. You could reach out to anyone who you could look up the phone number too.

In order to build anything, you needed to pander to the established media. They thrived on this, of course, because no one had a choice but to talk to them.

Now no one needs the media, and you can see how much of an empty shell it was –reality dumbed down to fit into 20 second sound bites. A 24 news-cycle thriving on the degradation of others. I know first hand, I’ve worked for the media.

For 50 years we sat idly by and watched “Lost”, now it’s time to reclaim your time.

Television domination is over now. Anyone can publish what they believe in. It is fairly easy to gather followers who will support your cause. This blog proves this, and so does every other blog out there with a following.

There is no longer any excuse to not do what you love. Seriously, create your own movement.

There are millions of things you could be doing tonight instead of watching TV. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that you should destroy it entirely.

If you must watch something, watch TED. Ideas are far better to fill your brain with than the emptiness of the airwaves.

Here are a few of the changes that I see coming in the next five years because of this change:

Everyone will be supporting a community of minimalist businesses.

As business diversifies, so will the support. Twenty years ago big business dominated because they could buy many more television ads than the rest of us. This is why there’s a Burger King in every single town.

With the rise of social media, everyone now has a chance to find their true following.

As society moves away from that drudge and start appreciating quality hand-made work again, we will start to see consumer support move in that direction. Everyone will be the business owner, the marketer, and the consumer. We will support individual’s single-operator businesses from across the globe.

It will become much easier to rise to the top at what you’re passionate about.

It’s already so easy to Gatejump your way to success, and it will become even easier as good ideas float to the top of the cloud faster. All you have to do is create exceptional value, which isn’t actually that hard. Yes, you’ve been trained to do nothing by the TV in your living room for the last 50 years.

You need to destroy it now, and start working on your own projects every single night until an idea worth spreading appears to you.

Go on walks. Get in touch with nature. Start drawing. Get a camera. Take a dance class. Eat new foods. Write something that means something. Finger paint on your wall. Do something that will make people look at you weird, because the weird people are kicking your economic butt in it’s fluorescently lit chair.

Everyone will have to unlock their inner creativity.

Robots, computers, and outsourcing are quickly replacing cubicle drones. If you have no talents and no inspiration in your daily life, you need to up your game. The robots are coming for you.

Anything that can be done better by a computer is not a good career aspiration.

You are an individual, and it’s totally your fault if you continue to take orders and do repetitive tasks all day, and then go home and watch CSI. Make a change, start to design your freakin’ life, and get out of there. You need to become an artist, a creative, and an original thinker if you’re going to get out of the unemployment line.

A college education is quickly becoming less needed.

20 years ago, the only way to access information was through teachers at a school. This is no longer the case. Many universities are at a major disadvantage in the chain of information distribution, because they’re a bottleneck. They contain numerous teachers who haven’t seen the light of day since 1982.

The world has changed a lot since many of the teachers got to these schools, it also moves a lot faster. The real time information available on the net and through recently published books far exceeds the educational ability of larger institutions.

School teaches you to be good at school.

It’s not to say you won’t learn something there, and I did go, but is it worth $150,000? You have to ask that question.

Don’t go to business school, get a Personal MBA. Read business books, like Jason Fried’s Rework.

You will have to figure out what you’re passionate about.

If you’re stumbling around wondering what you’re actually interested in, that’s okay for a bit. Eventually you need to start doing something though. Sit yourself down and contemplate: what do I really enjoy doing?

If you don’t have an answer, here’s another solution: Stop doing everything you hate doing and see what you’re left with.

The silence of emptiness can be a huge motivator to finding your true calling. Stop running around, start silently contemplating what you want to do for the rest of your life. Once you find that sweet spot, you’ll actually be happy.

What else can you remove to free yourself further?

Once you know what you care about, you have to go further. What ballast do you need to throw overboard to get to the next level? The more junk you remove from your life, the more time you will have to pursue your goals. You will reclaim your dreams. As you remove each task that you hate doing, you will free yourself to make positive choices towards creating great work.


What predictions do you have for the future of the information age?

What steps are you taking to take advantage of the changes?

If this made you think, share it with 5 people. Thank you.

How to Live Before You Die

March 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

You’ll be dead sooner than you think. No kidding! Really! What are you doing with your life until then?

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

A few days ago I had a brief muscle spasm in my left arm. It stopped after a short while, but not before I remembered Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight. I’m having a stroke (I thought!)

Anyway I’ll spare you the imagined details, but I’d momentarily convinced myself that I was probably going to die mere days after my 25th birthday.

Well, I’m still here and have regained a normal feeling arm, but there is a way that thinking about your own death can stick with you for a few days.

You can die at any moment, and it could happen at any time.

Here are a couple of meditations on death, in regards to the topics that I write about here at Far Beyond The Stars.

1. You can’t take it with you.

It’s a well known cliche at this point, when you pass on most your stuff goes in the trash. No one cares anymore.  I know some people will disagree with me on this, and have stories to prove me otherwise. There will always be someone who will save a dead person’s stuff, but the majority of everyone won’t.

I’ve seen the stuff that people leave behind. Most of it only has meaning to the deceased.

2. Being safe won’t save you.

So many people live their lives in fear of dangerous things happening to them. In some cases this is justifiable fear, but in a lot of cases it’s not. Staying inside your house won’t save you from death, it will lead to you dying inside from not seeing the world.

Get out and live your life, every single day.

3. Do the best with the time you have.

You only have so much time, do your best with it. If you aren’t happy with your situation, you need to start making a change. Sitting around complaining about it won’t make a difference.

Try to spend every day working toward your ideal reality.

4. Buying stuff is not living your life.

I know, the advertisers tell you otherwise every single day. This is why you should destroy your TV, because the ads are making you feel inadequate, so you go out to the store and buy another pair of shoes. You only need one pair of shoes, make it a good pair and they’ll last you three years. In truth, your consumption is destroying the planet, so stop doing it.

Going to the store does not equal living your life. Instead, seek experiences over consumption, and you’ll be much happier with your life.

5. What would you do if you only had a week to live?

I love this exercise, even if it’s so morbid. Steve Jobs lives his life as if every day is the last, and look at what he’s managed to accomplish.

Take a moment and dreamline what you’d do, if you had only a week to live. Actually write this down. Chances are it won’t involve sitting at a desk waiting until 5pm. Can you make every day into your last week? Imagine how much happier you’d be.

6. Having less can encourage you to find peace and happiness inside yourself.

When you remove all the clutter, you have a huge opportunity to search for the depth of ordinary existence. Many people fill up their lives with junk, because we’ve been taught by advertising that buying stuff will make us happy. It doesn’t do anything but give you a momentary spark of adrenalin.

When you remove all the nonsense, you start to see the wisdom at the basis of reality. This is very hard work, but I believe that every has the ability to ask these questions of themselves. Trust me, the answers are worth seeking.

As for me, I’m going to do my best to create my ideal reality every day.

At the moment, I’m listening to a live string quartet at Tea Lounge in Brooklyn. It’s beautiful.

Today might be my last, I want it to be a good one. Don’t you?

Ash has thoughts on this as well.


Write a few sentences about your last week on earth and leave it in the comments, if you feel comfortable. I’d love to hear how you’ll spend it.

Retweet this story if it helped you. Thank you so much.

How Being Minimalist Can Make it Possible to Live Anywhere

March 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Karol Gajda can teach you to be free.

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

Some people are content to live their lives in three places 95% of the time.

They valiantly wake up every morning, put on clothes, and walk the five steps to their car.

They fire it up and drive to work, where they spend twelve hours checking Facebook and doing what they’re told.

Then they go home, exhausted.

Once a year they hop aboard a flight to a cheap beach somewhere and spend a few days getting sunburned and sipping tequila.

Does that life sound familiar?

These people have convinced themselves that this is the only reality. There is no other option but to maintain the status-quo and deal.

Until they get to retire at some point impossibly far into the future, after they’ve wasted their youth. Then what?

Well you might be taking that path, but it’s not the only option.

There are people who’ve decided to opt out of this life sentence of working until you die.

These people want to teach you how to free yourself (if you want to.)

I want to introduce you to my friend Karol Gajda.

Karol went from having the house and an expensive car to living and working from anywhere in very little time.

Currently he’s teaching people how to attain his level of freedom over at Ridiculously Extraordinary. He just made a guitar with his bare hands in India! How awesome is that?

You can do this too, Karol can teach you how.

A few weeks ago Karol emailed me a Minimalist Quick Start Guide based off my work in The Art of Being Minimalist.

I’ve delayed too long in releasing it,  so I’m just going to put it up here now!

The Minimalist Quick Start Guide explains Karol’s own journey towards living a minimalist life free from the confines of society’s expectation. It’s awesome, it’s free.

Download Karol Gajda’s Minimalist Quick Start Guide for free.

Definitely check out Karol’s work at Ridiculously Extraordinary.

I interviewed Karol a few months ago.

The Power of Unautomating Your Finances: Interview with Adam Baker

March 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

How adopting a minimalist approach of unautomating your finances can get you out of debt.

Interview by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

Adam Baker and his daughter Milligan

If anyone can teach you the skills to get yourself out of debt, it’s Adam Baker of the blog Man Vs. Debt.

Over the last year, Baker, his wife Courtney, and their daughter Milligan, paid off all of their consumer debt, sold all of their ‘crap’, and traveled to Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Now they’re back in Indiana, and Baker has written an amazing and simple e-book on taking control of your financial situation.

I don’t talk much about finances her on my blog, usually my advice is quite simple: stop buying stupid stuff, start living your life.

Luckily, Baker goes into a great deal more depth in his new e-book Unautomate Your Finances: A Simple, Passionate Approach to Money.

I’ve been a huge fan of Baker’s, before I even started writing Far Beyond The Stars. His writing on Man Vs. Debt and as a contributing writer on Get Rich Slowly helped inspire me during my own journey towards minimalism.

My favorite part of the Unautomate Your Finances is Baker’s signature 2-page minimalist budgeting system, which is the simplest method I’ve seen to force yourself to acknowledge the money you’re actually spending during every transaction.

Today, I’m honored to present this interview I did with Baker over the weekend. We discussed the benefits of Unautomation, the danger of subscriptions, and how Baker sold all his ‘crap’ and traveled the world with his family.

Everett Bogue: Your e-book is called Unautomate Your Finances, and your theory of Unautomation is heavily discussed throughout the e-book. How can Unautomation help get you out of debt?

Adam Baker: Unautomation is simply any time you are willing to trade convenience in for increased consciousness (basically the opposite of what we do when we automate). It can help people get out debt in many ways!

First, it raises awareness of our situations. This is often the first obstacles in coming to grips with just how destructive debt can be in our lives. Unautomation also encourages us to focus on one goal at a time. Often, we never pay off our debt, because we are juggling so many of our “expected” responsibilities. We may be expected to live a certain life, save a certain amount, or do a certain set of things.

By ramping up and honing in our focus, we can start to really chew away at our debt.

Everett: What is one powerful way to Unautomate your finances?

Baker: In the guide I cover at least 27 “core action steps”. However, one of my favorites is adopting a simple budget.

Courtney and I primarily budget by hand, using two sheets of paper and a very straight forward system. It’s worked wonders for us and budgeting this way is not only easy, but it raises our awareness more than any other method!

Everett: I love your approach to stuff (sell your crap) in UYS. How can a healthy relationship with stuff help you get out of debt?

Baker: Excess stuff creates all sorts of burdens. Clutter begets more clutter. And excess stuff takes space to store and money to maintain. It trains us to want more and more. Look, there’s nothing wrong with having possessions, but like you pointed out we’ve crossed the healthy point as a society.

As a bonus, most of us can generate up several hundred dollars (or even more) when we go to actually purge our possessions. This can be used to aggressively attack our other goals!

Everett: What are some of the things that you got rid of when you were downsizing?

Baker: Oh gosh… Well, we really got rid of everything! We started with big obvious things… excess furniture, electronics, a television, and even one of our cars. But we kept going! Eventually we took what was an apartment full of crap and turned it into two backpacks to start our travels.

We’ve accumulated some more stuff since coming back home, but we’re desperately trying to fend off our urges to consume. :-)

Everett: You talk in your e-book about how subscriptions can take an unnoticed toll on our finances. What are some of the unnecessary subscriptions that we sign up for?

Baker: Cell phone contracts, cable services, rental leases, magazines, newspapers, online apps, widgets, bells, whistles, monitoring services, etc…

Let me be very clear, though. There are plenty of cases where subscriptions are necessary and/or desirable! My suggestion is to mentally purge your subscriptions and start from scratch. Examine them all and figure out which ones you really want/need.

Also, be sure to look for creative solutions and/or alternatives to avoid them (this is sometimes not hard at all). Be careful of signing long-term contracts on anything. 2-3 months from now your “necessary” expense could quickly become not so important!

Everett: Leo Babauta discusses in the forward of Unautomate Your Finances about how he used many Unautomation techniques to get himself out of debt, but now he’s back to automation. At what point do you think it’s acceptable, or even advantageous, to go back to automating your finances?

Baker: I think automation is extremely powerful when applied to healthy, sustainable finances habits and when it is reevaluated on a regular basis. But we have to be careful of looking at automation as a solution to our problems or financial issues. It’s not a solution. It can be a powerful tool, but it only magnifies the existing habits we have!

Installing the empowering habits in the first place often takes the opposite of automation!

Everett: Thanks so much for this opportunity Baker. Good luck with your e-book launch!


Adam Baker’s new e-book Unautomate Your Finances: A Simple, Passionate Approach to Money is available now for only $17.

Because I’m a huge supporter of Adam Baker’s work, I’ve decided to become an affiliate for his work. 50% of the sale price goes to support my work here at Far Beyond The Stars.

If this interview helped you, I’d love if you could share it with anyone you know who’s having trouble with their finances.

Thank you.

Special Launch-day Bonus (March 9th ONLY!): I’ve just been informed that the first 100 people to purchase the e-book get access to UStream with Baker himself, where he will discuss any questions you have about the e-book and finances in general. Don’t miss out!

How to Create a Movement: Free e-book

March 7th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

We need you to change the world

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

Over the last week the popularity of Far Beyond The Stars has skyrocketed (again). I don’t pay attention to stats often, but needless to say, they’ve gone way up. My traffic and subscriber count continues to double every month.

This ongoing success all because of you, the people who support these ideas.

Today I’m releasing a brief free e-book that I wrote over the last week. It’s a short 20 pages, and it covers what I believe are the basics of how to create a movement online.

Disclaimer: This e-book is completely free, and released under a creative commons license. You will not be asked to give me your email, or subscribe to a newsletter when you download it. It contains no affiliate links, and is not intended for any purpose other than to help you learn to create a movement.

How to Create a Movement by Everett Bogue

Download the free e-book, How to Create a Movement.

This e-book isn’t for everyone. If you’re content to sit at home, watch TV, and embrace the status-quo… well, you won’t find much information that helps you here.

How to Create a Movement is for people who want to help people, support themselves through their art, and change the world.

Why I wrote How to Create a Movement.

I continue to get emails from smart people who are seeking change, who want to learn my ‘secrets’ to making money online. There are no secrets, but I hope this can help.

I believe that the easiest way to find success online is through creating or joining a movement. A movement is anything that seeks to change the world in a small way. There are a number of mediums you can use to create one. Some create a movement through art, others through music, speaking.

I choose to create a movement through words and ideas.

I hope this e-book can help you start your own movements. I hope that it helps you find greater success in your life. Most of all, I hope it helps you change the lives of others.

Thank you for all of your support over the last few months, it’s been a wonderful experience so far. I have a feeling the next few months we’re going to see even more powerful changes.

Download the free e-book, How to Create a Movement.

If this e-book helps you, I have two simple requests:

  1. Help spread the word. You can do this using the retweet button, or any way you should choose.
  2. Let me know what you think. Please leave a comment below, find me on twitter or contact me. I’d love to hear what you think.

-Everett Bogue

Special thanks to Chris O’Byrne for his editing expertise.

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