How to Declare Independence: Make a Small Amount of Money Online (then grow it)

September 27th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

Without a doubt, every single person I’ve met who has a command of the ability to make their own money is more charismatic.

The reason for this is simple: if you have mastery of the ability to provide value in order to generate income it boosts your self-confidence. Then you can declare independence from the system of wage slavery.

You’re no longer scared of losing your job, because you know if you do it’ll only be a matter of time before you build up your own empire.

How to declare independence.

Most of the people who I meet have jobs that they’re terrified to lose. This makes me sad, especially now that I’m on the other side — I’d never let anyone pay me to work for them even if they begged me!

Why would you sit at a desk all day waiting to die when you have an opportunity to make a small amount of money online and then grow it?

In fact, I’d like to argue that making a small amount of money online is incredibly easy. Making $4.95 can’t be hard right? This article will show you how. Once you make $4.95, you can try for $10 in a day, then make your way towards $80 (which is all you really need anyway.)

Alright, blah blah money making this and that. You’ve heard this all before right?

Well no, because I intend to explain to you exactly how you can declare independence by earning an incredibly small amount of money with minimal effort.

A history of making money online.

You see, back when I was in Portland more than a year ago now, I had no idea how to make money online even though I’d worked online for four years before that.

I had this weird misconception –that I think a lot of people share,– that in order to develop income online I would have to write about Lady Gaga and place advertisements against the stories. People would click, I would make a little bit of money.

This is one way to make money online, the problem is that it’s very hard to do this. You see, no one clicks on ads anymore. I certainly don’t. Do you click on ads? Not if you’re smart, and if you’re reading this blog without sipping on a coke while stuck in traffic driving your SUV I know you are quite smart.

Advertising is a bad business model on the web for most businesses, because it takes a massive amount of readers to sustain your business off dumb people clicking on ads.

If you aim for a dumb audience, you have to write a dumb blog. I certainly didn’t want to do that, and neither do you. I realize a certain percentage of my readers are absolute idiots, but I’m not writing this for them. I’m writing it for you smart people out there. Dumb people: this is your cue to unsubscribe. This blog isn’t for you.

How I made my first $4.95 online, and you can too.

Back to the future in Portland, I was sitting with a Stumptown coffee being incredibly stumped about how to make a living online, and it hit me:

  1. I’m writing a blog about minimalism.
  2. One of my favorite books is about minimalism.
  3. My favorite book has a 50% affiliate program.

So, that day I signed up for a free account with e-junkie and dropped a link to A Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life somewhere in a blog post.

I published something simple like this in my blog post:

“One of my huge inspirations for living a minimalist life came from reading Leo Babauta’s A Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life.”

Then I did some Yoga, burned some incense, and went to bed while the Portland rain splattered quietly on my windows.

The next morning I woke up, made breakfast, and then went out into the world with my laptop to grab a coffee. When I opened my email, to my surprise a little message was there:

“Sale – Leo Babauta- ID:XXXXXXXX The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life”

I almost fell over backwards because for the first time in my life I’d paid for my coffee BEFORE I’d bought it!

I’d made money in my sleep! Yay!

Now, $4.95 might not seem like a lot of money, but at the time I was making zip, nada, nothing. Taking this small step really gave me a lot of confidence that this whole business model might actually work.

You only need to be making $80 a day to do $30,000 a year. Only one year after making this discovery, I’m doing far more than $80 a day. You can too, but you have to start at $4.95 first.

If you think about it, how much harder is it to make $80 after you’ve made $4.95? Actually, not much. The biggest leap is the first dollar. You don’t need to be making millions, just $80. It’s not as hard as you think it is.

What is e-junkie?

E-junkie is a pretty basic service that handles most of my business automation. It’s free for people who are affiliating for products, but only costs $5 a month if you’re selling a digital product. I use e-junkie for two purposes:

1. To sell other people’s products and get commission. I can’t make every product in the world myself, so luckily I can make a small profit off selling other people’s products. For example, last month I made nearly $1,000 in a day selling Corbett Barr’s Affiliate Marketing for Beginners. Of course you all remember the day I made $2,300 selling one of the most important digital works thus far.

2. To sell my own products. E-junkie handles the distribution, payment, and affiliate payouts for my products. This means that I don’t have to e-mail my book to people every time they buy it, which is amazing. This means I can focus exclusively on writing, and not have to worry about the administration side of my business — because it’s all automated. Automation is covered extensively in Minimalist Business.

How not to be sketchy.

One of the biggest take-aways from my ongoing conversations-over-many-beers with superstar marketing and website traffic generating expert Corbett Barr has been that you CANNOT get away with being sketchy as a marketer online.

Big flashing red buttons, pyramid schemes, and selling people shitty products that don’t help them are out. Instead, affiliating for products that actually help people is the future.

I never recommend products that didn’t contribute to my life, you shouldn’t either.

Also, remember that most — probably 95% of your readers don’t necessarily need the product you’re recommending. So, don’t bang them over the head with it. Just say “hey, I read this e-book and it taught me about this. If you’re into this, maybe check it out.” Simple, but it actually works.

Big red ‘buy this NOW’ buttons do not work. Instead, our sketchification alarm goes off and we bolt.

Also, after extensive testing, I really believe that putting pictures of e-books in your sidebar as recommendations doesn’t sell them either. Pictures in sidebars scream advertising to most people.

How to find a product to affiliate for on your blog.

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, chances are you’ve picked up one of these remarkable products that I’ve recommended.

There are obviously many more, but these are some of the ones that I really enjoyed — and are also very professionally developed by charismatic people and thus are easier to sell.

(These are all affiliate links)

Tammy Strobel’s Smalltopia: A Practical Guide to Working for Yourself

Chris Guillebeau’s The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself

[As a sidenote: basically anything Chris Guillebeau sells is gold for most of your readers. His stuff is super helpful, intelligent, and useful. I’ll be at his World Domination Summit next year, maybe I’ll see you there?]

Corbett Barr’s Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Colin Wright’s Networking Awesomely

And here are two new e-books that have recently blown me away:

Adam Baker’s Sell Your Crap

John Anyasor’s The Power of Enjoyment

But you need to trust yourself. Like I said above about Leo’s book, it really changed my life. That’s why I was able to say legitimately that I could recommend it enthusiastically over and over again.

It also feels really good to know you’re making coffee or beer money (or rent money!!!) helping people achieve their goals.

Strategies for landing your first few dollars.

Finally, here are the top two strategies that I use to sell products that matter on Far Beyond the Stars.

Pay attention! These strategies actually run counter to what Problogger or Copyblogger will tell you to do.

Why am I dissing these guys? Because I read them both for three years and never learned how to do what I’m teaching you to do here — instead they just kept sending me a fluffy post per day about nothing important and trying to sell me stuff I don’t need.

Plus, my blog is almost as big as Copyblogger now, and I’ve only been doing this for a year. I must be doing something right.

If you want to learn how to start a blog, read either Viperchill or Think Traffic. These sites actually tell you how to build a blog, instead of just sending you a fluffy post every day with information that isn’t helpful like the aforementioned larger blogs.

I’ve tried a lot of strategies, these two get the best results.

1. Interviews with authors.

My #1 strategy for selling work that matters is an interview with the author. Ask the author “how will this help my readers achieve their specific goal?” and other questions. Focus on the benefits of the product. Make sure to put an affiliate link to the product in the post in a few key points. Make it clear that if your audience buys this, they will support your blog and the author of the product.

2. The quick mention in-post.

Sometimes if I’m talking about a subject that’s similar to a product I’ve read, I’ll mention it casually. For example, if I’m writing about personal finance, I always say “hey, if you want to learn more about getting out of debt, one of the best books I ever read on the subject was Adam Baker’s Unautomate Your Finances.”

Believe it or not, the casual reference does WAY better than trying to do a review of a product in the traditional sense. A review assumes your entire audience might want the product, which isn’t the case. You’re making a whole bunch of people who don’t care read something they probably don’t want to read.

I don’t like reading reviews, do you? No, because you’re smart. Interviews and casual mentions work best — but obviously do your own testing to see what works best with your audience.

Obviously making money online isn’t for everyone.

Some of you are happy sitting all day at a desk working 40 hours a week. The point of this article is simple: learning how to make a small amount of money, even $4.95, can boost your self-confidence immensely and allow you to begin to start declaring independence.

If you know you could build a business making $80 a day on your own, you’ll be less afraid of taking risks with your life. This means if your trying to land a raise or a promotion, you won’t be worried about walking out the door if your boss hands you that 2% raise that you didn’t ask for.

Declaring independence is the key to developing the valuable charisma necessary to become a leader. A big part of that is knowing that you can go it alone if you need to.

This way if someone tells you to sit down and shut up, you can tell them to shove it.

You have the keys to becoming an independent freedom fighter now.

Now you can support yourself, pay your readers, and make a difference.

With that in mind, let’s go change the world. Will you join me?


If you learned something from this, I’d love it if you could help share it with someone who it will help. Know someone trapped at a desk? Send this to them. If you use Twitter or Facebook, ‘liking’ this or retweeting it would be awesome.

Sharing is the only way my work reaches new readers. Thank you!

What’s happening?

September 24th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

A lot of people don’t know what’s going on, so I thought I might try and convey it to you.

The Internet killed the Gatekeepers and made it possible to connect with anyone anywhere in the world.

This enabled like-minded individuals to speak to each other across all borders effortlessly, without censorship.

So, for the first time in the history of the human race, the people who actually get it — the ones who are awake,– are able to organize themselves to save the future of the human race.

Ideas don’t come from the individual, they come from the formation of a collective. I’m just funneling the ideas of my collective whole, and you are to pass them on. There are no boundaries for ideas.

If you want to see evidence of the above statement, check out Chris Anderson of TED’s latest talk. Technology is accelerating innovation.

The good ideas spread, the bad ideas die.

This feedback loop is accelerating toward escape velocity.

In the near future…

We will end poverty (both the 5-bedroom 2-car TV-enslavement in the 1st world and the we-can’t-eat in the 3rd)

Will will destroy the corporations that led us to this place of advertising enslavement.

We will recognize that we’re in this together. We brought us to this place, and we will take us to the future.

We will find freedom and also harmony for all. Across all borders, ideals, and end all conflicts.

This is why minimalism is blowing up right now, because it is the truth, because it brings about freedom for all.

This has been tried before, but before we didn’t have the tools without boundaries.

They can’t stop us now.

Are you alive? Prove it.

How to Meet Remarkable People When You Live and Work from Anywhere

September 21st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

“There are no strangers here: Only friends you haven’t yet met.” -William Butler Yeats

Every once in awhile someone writes a blog post saying that the biggest downside of being location independent is because it’s so hard to meet new friends in new places.

They say “Man, I really wish I was location independent, but I’ll leave behind all of the cool people I know in Kansas.”

This is true. Sometimes it can be hard to meet people in new places.

Meeting people is hard, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.

How to meet people when you’re location independent.

Over the last year I’ve reduced my stuff to somewhere less than 100 things (some say 57), learned how to live and work from anywhere, and relocated to a bunch of new cities.

Every time I move I have no problem establishing a social network of remarkable people within a short amount of time.

I realize that some people have trouble doing this, so maybe this article can help you learn how to meet new people easily when you’re vagabonding around the world running a minimalist business while living with less.

These tips can probably apply if you’re location independent or just trying to find new friends outside of your normal circles. So no worries if you’re not location independent yet, you still might learn something from this!

If you’re really into networking, one of the best e-books I ever read on the subject was Colin Wright’s Networking Awesomely. It isn’t for everyone, but Colin has experience establishing networks on 4 continents, so might be worth checking out (or maybe just subscribe to Colin’s blog for now.)

Here are 10 strategies I’ve developed for meeting remarkable people:

1. You can’t be friends with everyone.

First, recognize that a person who tries to be friends with everyone ends up being friends with no one. The best networkers realize that they won’t be able to connect with most people, so instead focus their attention on people they can connect with. This means, if you there’s no magic, then you need to drop it immediately and try to connect with the next person.

For example, I have a terrible time being friends with boring people who don’t do anything with their lives. Their eyes just glaze over when I tell them I don’t have a TV and haven’t watched Entourage lately. So, I move on to people who actually do something with their lives.

2. Discover something to do every day.

You need a social hobby. Preferably something that involves exercise. For example, I go to Yoga almost every day at the same time. This means after a few weeks I started connecting with regulars who also have a lot of free time to live remarkable lives.

I also invite everyone to come join me at Yoga on Facebook and Twitter every single day. You can too. Yoga to the People is really for everyone. That’s why I go.

If you’re stumped as to what a social hobby is, here are some examples: any dance form, playing guitar, martial arts, running, rock climbing, writing workshops, dance parties, cooking. Almost everyone has one of these as a focus in their life.

If your hobby is watching movies alone in your house, chances are you’ll have trouble meeting people as a location independent freedom fighter. Change it up and join a film collective near your new location or something, so you can watch movies with other people.

3. You need a common interest.

The best people to connect with are people who are very similar to you. This is why I always go to Yoga every day at 4pm instead of 6pm. The people who do Yoga at 4pm have a much higher chance of being location independent artists and people living unconventional lives as freelancers. At 6pm the day-job crowd comes in, and my compatibility with people’s values decreases exponentially.

Think about all of the best friends you’ve had in the past? All of mine have been dancers, filmmakers, photographers, success junkies, bloggers, yoga practitioners, and my ultimate friends all watched Battlestar Galactica obsessively.

Finding new friends means admitting that you need to meet people who are similar to you. If they aren’t similar, you start talking about the weather, everyone gets bored and you aren’t helping anyone.

This is also why you always have a party every time you’re staying in a Hostel. Because you can all connect around the common experience of being a traveller.

4. Use existing infrastructure.

I talk about this strategy in Minimalist Business in relation to building a business. One of the biggest obstacles is quite simple, and easily avoided: a lot of people try to re-invent the lightbulb instead of just flipping it on.

You see, we live in the modern age, and yet so many people insist on not entering it. Let me cut to the chase: 80% of people meet new people over the Internet. Why? Because it’s easier than interrupting people who might already have plenty of friends on the street asking if you can hang out. People on the Internet looking for friends on the Internet generally want new friends, and thus are much easier to become friends with them.

So don’t be afraid to use Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, or even OkCupid to find people in your new city to meet.

Don’t leave friendship to chance, or you’ll be wandering alone for a very long time. Use existing infrastructure in order to establish local relationships that last for a very long time.

5. Value real relationships.

I’d rather have a couple of really good friends in every city than hundreds who barely know me. Don’t focus on meeting everyone. Meet a few people that you click with and build from there. Maybe you only need to meet 5 people before you find one with an existing social circle that extends across the entire city.

I always think about The Tipping Point, where Gladwell stated most people can manage only 150 real connections. However, some super-people end up being connectors that know just about everyone. Every good social circle has a few connectors that introduce everyone and basically lead the party. Find these people, they will introduce you to everyone.

6. Live with people.

Still stuck at home? Don’t live by yourself. Yes, living with people is more difficult, and sometimes the dishes don’t get done. But if you’re moving to new cities this is a great way to step into a social network that already exists. I did this by moving into a cool house in Portland. Right now I’m living alone, and yes, it’s a little more challenging, but that’s one of the reasons why I go to Yoga every day.

7. Have no expectations.

It can be really hard to find friends if you really really need to find friends. Be okay with being alone, and let things happen. Don’t be running around asking everyone on the street ‘will you be my friend’ ‘will you be my friend?’ No one wants to be friends with you if you’re like that. Instead focus on what kind of value you can add to the lives of others when they come in contact with you.

8. Go it alone.

It’s really hard to meet people if you’re always with an entourage. Chances are, if you’re always hanging out with your best buddy, you’ll never find new ones. Be okay with being alone. Meet people without dragging your friends with you. This will make it much easier to connect and listen to the new people you’re meeting.

9. Leave your house.

This is obvious, but if you stay in doors refreshing Twitter all day, you’ll never meet new people. Instead get outside! For example, last Saturday I ran into two of my old roommates from New York randomly in Delores Park as I was walking to Yoga, then after Yoga I ran into Corbett Barr on the street who invited me over to his place for a beer and to meet his dog. This doesn’t happen when you stay at home. This is why I spend most of my day wandering around looking for adventures.

10. Be open to adventures.

If you start every relationship with ‘I’d really love to meet up, but I can’t until next Tuesday at 12 noon because I have an really obsessive e-mail checking schedule’ you’re not going to make many friends.

The value of being location independent is that you can also have an open schedule. If someone calls, just say ‘yah, why not now?’ For example, my old roommate Bianca just got back into town and Facebooked me because she was bored. I wasn’t doing anything either (or anything I couldn’t do later), so I said ‘let’s go hang out in the park!’ And then a wild adventure started that ended when I had to get back on the BART to avoid turning into a pumpkin.

Don’t afraid to jump on the back of motorcycles if the opportunity should present itself. You might just end up on the top of a hill overlooking San Francisco at dusk five hours later. Yes, you didn’t KNOW you’d be there.

This is what living the moment is, you can’t plan everything. Planning nothing is usually a way better way to engage with the world.

Just be open, and let the relationships come to you.


That being said, I’d like to meet you! If you’re in the Bay area, give me a shout. I go to Yoga to the People every day in San Francisco, so join me there. Or, grab a coffee at Ritual before or a beer after. Just give me a shout on email or Twitter.

Why We’re Here

September 17th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

People keep on bringing up Infinite Jest when they talk about my work, which kind of scares me.

This probably has to do with flying too close to the sun, but whatever. Someone has to do it, or else all of you will keep sitting in front of your TVs wasting away.

Anyway, enough about that. I’m going to make this post short and sweet.


A few years ago, when I was living in a loft with ten people, one of my roommates moved out and left a lot of crap behind.

A few days later they found him dead on the roof of a New York City bar. He’d overdosed on some sort of drug he shouldn’t have been doing.

For the next few years, his crap sat around in boxes in our a workshop — a frustrating reminder of a person that no longer existed.

Every time we thought about getting rid of it, someone would say “but maybe someone wants it.” And they’d make a half-hearted attempt to contact someone who maybe cared about this guy’s crap.

No one cared.

They still don’t. The crap is probably still sitting in boxes inside The Schoolhouse waiting for someone who will never come to pick it up.

To make it worse, I didn’t even really like the guy that much.


I guess this blog just came about because I realized that the only way people would remember me was if I changed the world.

This blog isn’t about living and working from anywhere. It’s about remembering why the frak you’re on this planet every single day.

What are you doing? Nothing? How can you stand that?

You’re here to try to change the world, if you don’t no one will remember you when you’re gone.

A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I broke up.

It isn’t easy having a location independent boyfriend.

Sticking around while someone continues to try to change the world day after day after day gets old after awhile. We were headed in different directions.

Wendy couldn’t stay in Neverland forever.


I’ve decided that working 2 hours a day is overrated.

Yes, it was fun figuring out how to do it, but eventually you realize that the other 22 hours in a day could be dedicated to changing the world. So, why not start doing that instead?

I’ll be launching something in the next few weeks that will change the worlds of a few people who want to work less and change more. I’ll give you a shout, and you’ll have an opportunity to join.


I’ve decided to enroll in Yoga teacher training here in San Francisco. I’ve been practicing Yoga for over three years at a place called Yoga to the People, and I now is the time to deepen that practice.

So I’ll be staying in San Francisco at least until the end of the year, practicing.

I’ve been going to Yoga almost every day. It keeps me balanced. It keeps me healthy. It keeps me from ending up on a roof.

Yoga is the single most important element in my life.

And I want to help bring that decisive element into the lives of others.

That’s why I keep tweeting “come to Yoga with me, it’s for everyone.”

Because it is for everyone, the mantra of Yoga to the People exemplifies this.

I’ve been there while a fat lady did Yoga next to Drew Barrymore and Mary Kate Olson, and they were equals.

The yoga practice brought them closer together.

Yoga might even save the world, because…

Everyone’s in everyone.

If you want to join me, you’re welcome to. I go almost every day a 4pm. I almost always give a shout on Twitter or Facebook when I’m going.


The real point of everything is this:

No one is going to remember you because of the junk you bought. They might even keep it in boxes for infinite years while they debate whether anyone cares (they don’t.)

What they’ll remember is the work that you did to try and change the world.

Most people don’t realize that we started with the destruction of the planet, and every day thus forth has been dedicated to fighting to reclaim what we’ve lost.

As some of you know, Starbuck led Lee to Earth, then she disappeared. Despite that, no one will forget her, ever.


My point is this:

If you’re not waking up every single day and trying to be a leader…

If you’re not waking up every single day and trying to make work that matters…

If you’re not waking up every single day and trying to start a dance party…

…no one is going to care.

That’s just one more day wasted in front of the TV or driving your stupid people wheel pod.

You can do better than that.

The Real Secret of Minimalist Freedom Success

September 13th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

This is an important post, probably one of the most important that’s ever been written on this blog.

I’ve decided to share with you the secret of success.

I’m sharing this secret with you, because I just realized it myself.

There’s been a lot of changes in my life over the last two weeks, and I wanted to share them with you as well. I’m really in the process of redefining everything about what it is to be me, and rather quickly at that.

I was going to include what’s going on with my life in this post, but then this post ended up being way longer than I thought, so I’ve decided to split it up into two posts. Don’t miss the 2nd part, sign up for free updates via EMAIL or in your RSS reader (such as google reader). Also, I say a lot of things that I don’t say here on Twitter, but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Alright, so what is ‘the secret’?

I’ll make this as short as possible, so you can print it off and paste it right above your LCD screen on your laptop. So you don’t forget it when you’re globe trotting through the world with other people who have mastered the secret like the case-studies I will list below.

You need to lead a lifestyle that you want people to live.

This secret came to me recently when I was meeting with a soon-to-be minimalist business success story Jonathan Wondrusch of Grokkery and the upcoming site By Bloggers where he’s partnering with Sam Spurlin to teach people how to design successful businesses.

Jonathan and I met for a coffee at Ritual Coffee in San Francisco’s Mission District (where I’m also writing this post), and we were discussing how to make his new partnership with Sam Spurlin grow until he doesn’t have to work more than 2 hours per day.

And the secret came spilling out:

You need to lead a lifestyle that you want people to live.

So lead a cool lifestyle, and describe it on your blog.

This is the only reason why my blog has grown to nearly 6,000 subscribers and 70,000 readers in only 11 months since launch. This is why I make a full time nearly passive income from this blog. It’s because I stood up and said “I want you to live the freedom lifestyle that I’m living, and I’ll teach you how.”

I even say it in the sidebar –> right over there if you’re reading this on my blog. Look over there right now. “I will teach you live and work from anywhere.”

[Please also note, that it is next to a picture of my face. The picture of my face was taken as I was living and working from anywhere. So important, and so many of you aren’t doing this. It makes me angry when I see a blog that isn’t doing this. Put a picture of your face on the site!]

This is why so many minimalist blogs that focus on the details of clearing table tops and renting dumpsters don’t take off. Why? Because we all know how to burn all of our stuff if we wanted to.

It takes someone who actually burned all of his stuff to lead you to that place.

Now, you’re probably saying ‘how many minimalist bloggers can there be?’ Well, here’s the thing, this approach applies to every thing you want to do on this planet.

As these case studies will emphasize:

Secret of success case study #1: Tyler Tervooren.

You probably don’t remember Tyler’s blog before this one, because it sucked (sorry Tyler, but it’s true and you knew it, so that’s why you started a new one.) The reason that it didn’t work is because Tyler wasn’t describing a lifestyle that he wanted people to live.

A few months ago (it might even be less than that) Tyler relaunched his blog as ‘Advanced Riskology‘ with the explicit purpose of teaching people to take risks, overcome their fears.

How did Tyler become this self-professed Professor of Riskology? He started climbing mountains, one mountain at a time. He takes risks with his money, like trading in $15,000 in credit for some sort of government approved coin that he then deposits in the bank for in order to earn thousands of airline miles.

The new and improved climbing mountain, risk-taking Tyler’s blog is now super successful. He has literally thousands of subscribers and has been mentioned all over the media in a very short time.

Why? Because he describes a lifestyle that he wants you to live.

Secret of success case study #2: Mikko Kemppe

Here’s a good example of someone who’s about to do this in a very real way: Mikko Kemppe. I know Mikko because occasionally when I tweet that I’m going to Yoga to the People in SF, he shows up and we have enlightening conversations about lifestyle design and building a freedom lifestyle.

There’s nothing cool about that, so many people have conversations about lifestyle design. Here’s what makes Mikko different from say a dude sitting in his apartment watching TV discussing lifestyle design with his boring wife.

Mikko lives in an RV in San Francisco, he’s a tango instructor and dating advice expert. He lives in an RV because that’s the idea of ultimate freedom for him. Now, living in an RV isn’t something that everyone will do. But it is a dream that EVERYONE has at some point in their life.

The reason Mikko is going to become so damn popular in a short time is because he’s actually living the lifestyle he designed. He’s rocking out the RV in San Francisco and dating hot girls who tango. This is the lifestyle he describes, because he lives it. This is why he’ll be such a success.

Again: lead the lifestyle you want to live.

Secret of success case study #3: Corbett Barr.

When I first met Corbett a few days after I got to San Francisco, he was a little frustrated with both of his blogs (Think Traffic and Free Pursuits). He knew how to grow them, but he wasn’t making heaps of cash off them either.

He was just getting by, going through the motions of what Problogger and other blogs that think they know how to teach you how to make a successful blog, but actually don’t, tend to tell you. You know what I’m talking about ‘guest post on other people’s blogs’ ‘comment on a-list bloggers blogs’ etc, that garbage that doesn’t actually work.

And then I shared with him the secret to success (or he realized it himself, I can’t remember we had too many beers.)

I said, DUDE. Here’s the problem with your blogs: in real life you’re a really damn cool person, but it doesn’t come across on your blog. You go on long sailing runs up to Vancouver on expensive sailing vessels. You’re rocking out in the mission district. You drink beer. You live in Mexico for half the year. You don’t have a job. Etc. Etc. there too many awesome things to mention about Corbett’s lifestyle.

All he needed to do was describe the lifestyle he was already living on his blog, and his revenue would go through the roof.

So you know what he did? He wrote this brilliant post about the real Corbett. He came out to the world as being a really cool person who actually does things with his life.

And what do you know? The next month he launches Affiliate Marketing for Beginners and does a 11k launch. All because he described the lifestyle that he was ALREADY LIVING. Then he went sailing for a few weeks, because doing great work must lead to living your life.

The real secret to minimalist freedom success (or really any success) is that you need to lead the lifestyle that you want people to live.

Does that make sense yet? I hope it does, because now I’m going to move on to the hard part.

You actually have to live a lifestyle that you want people to live in order to do this.

No one would care about Peter Pan if he was just another lost boy. He had to teach Wendy how to fly. Then we remembered that he existed.

This is the hard part, and what most people aren’t doing. You see, you can’t really create an all star lifestyle design blog if you’re sitting in your kitchen eating chicken nuggets and drinking a milkshake that you just bought when you were driving your Hummer three blocks to Burger King and sideswiping bicyclists while destroying the planet.

It just doesn’t work that way.

No one wants to read a blog about eating chicken nuggets. That’s just lame.

So, the only answer to this problem is that you need to stop being lame and start living an unconventional life. The easiest way to do this, and the one that I’ve described in both of my books and on this blog for the last 11 months, is to destroy all of your crap and quit your day job.

Obviously there are other ways to live, but this is the lifestyle that I describe, and that I want you to live.

But your freedom doesn’t need to be restricted to the way that I live. You can go about it in any number of ways. There are any number of leaders that you can follow who will teach you how to live in other ways. This is just the way that I describe.

The reality of the secret of success.

The thing is, most of you won’t do what I’ve just told you. Instead, you’ll continue to eat chicken nuggets. You’ll keep driving to work every day and doing as you’re told.

You won’t stand up and be a leader, because you’re asleep at the wheel eating chicken nuggets.

But some of you will. Like the case-studies I mentioned above, you will show people the lifestyle that you want them to live.

Here are few other examples of things I’m really into that do this:

I used to be really into two bands when I was a teenager. The first was Smashing Pumpkins, and the second was a power-emo-pop band called Kill Hannah.

Both of these bands were so successful for the very reason that I mentioned above. They showed you the way that they wanted you to live. They both had this ‘it’s raining all the time I’m a man who feels and sings like a girl’ lifestyle that I was incredibly attracted too as a teenager.

Yes, I even used to sing like a girl. Deal with it.

They describe the Peter Pan lifestyle. I won’t grow up, so frak you (Battlestar Galactica is another great example of harnessing this power.) I’m going to do exactly what society doesn’t want me to do. I will put on eye-liner and I will get on stage, and I will have thousands of teenage girls come to my show and jump up and down and want to meet me after the show.

Everyone wants to live this way, but hardly anyone actually does.

Both of these bands had an image that coincided with a message that described the lifestyle that they wanted you to live. You wanted to be Billy Corgan and Mat Divine, that’s why you bought the albums and went to every single show when they were in town.

Now, obviously Billy did this way better than Mat did. Everyone has heard of The Smashing Pumpkins but only a couple hundred thousand teenagers who grew up in Chicago in the ’90s know about Kill Hannah. But the fact that they weren’t ever a national sensation didn’t matter, because a couple hundred thousand teenagers are plenty to support a band where the lead singer sings like a girl.

If you’re older and don’t know these bands, another great example of this is David Bowie. I’d actually argue that Kill Hannah and even Lady Gaga are so successful because they just replicated exactly how David Bowie looked and acted. I’d argue that I’m so successful because I copy what David Bowie looked like.

Lead the lifestyle that you want people to live. Then describe it.

In order to do that, you need to live a lifestyle that people want to live. Not just eat pizza all day and wish you did.

And there you have it. The secret to success. Now you can all go and be successful. There’s no need to thank me.

The dangers of this reality.

Now that I told you the secret of success, I want you to realize that it doesn’t come without dangers. Here are the two most important.

1. You have to actually live an interesting life for it to work.

Would anyone subscribe to Exile Lifestyle if it was about staying home in Kansas, getting married, dropping zero-down on a house you can’t afford and popping out two little critters? No.

(if you’ve already done the aforementioned thing, there’s a huge market for describing the lifestyle where you’ve got two kids and figured out how to still be awesome. This is why Joshua Becker is so successful.)

You need actually pursue an interesting life for people to pay attention to the life you describe. If you’re boring, you fail at success. It’s not hard to be interesting, just stop watching TV and get out into the world once in awhile. Don’t be afraid to live it up.

This is also the exact reason why your blog stopped being popular when you went back to Kansas after that around the world plane ticket ran out. The Wizard of Oz wouldn’t be such a hit if Dorothy hadn’t run into that tornado. No one cares what happened to Dorothy after she left Oz.

The solution to this problem is to never leave the bridge of the Enterprise. To never leave Never Never Land.

Or, like Kurt Cobain, die before you do.

2. A lot of people will hate you because they can’t live the way you do.

Living a lifestyle that blows people’s minds isn’t for everyone. Not everyone has the ability to set up a minimalist business in order to work 2-hours a day. Not everyone can live with less stuff. To be quiet honest, most people are pretty damn boring.

If you live in a way that’s courageous, if you really do want to change the world, people will hate you.

Part of living an extraordinary life is learning to ignore people who want to tear down what you’ve built. For every love letter I get, I get a hate letter as well. Love letters get a reply, haters get marked as spam so I never have to hear from them again.

Haters really hate it when you mark them as spam by the way, but you can’t change a troll. You have to focus your super powers on good people who want to live a better life.

So, in conclusion.

In order to be successful, you need to live a meaningful life.

You can’t just expect to sit around eating potato chips and also expect people to pay you to live a meaningful life. If you do, you’re delusional.

The solution to all of this is for you to stand up and live in a way that matters. I don’t care what way that is. I just think that it’s easier to live in a way that’s forever in pursuit of the important if you embrace a minimalist lifestyle. That way you don’t ever have to settle for less than the best, because you’re not subjected to the laws of consumerism.

If you want to learn how to live the life that I lead, I wrote this book called The Art of Being Minimalist that tells you how. Abandoning consumerism is so much easier when you know how to do it. Live on less in order to find freedom.


A lot has changed in my life over the last few weeks, and I want to share it with you. I’ll be posting another post later this week will the full details. Don’t miss out, sign up for free updates via EMAIL or RSS.

And don’t forget to share this article. Imagine if everyone knew this? We could maybe actually save the world. That’d be pretty cool.

The Unconventional Guide to Changing the Future of the Human Race

September 7th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

The hardest day in the world is the one when you realize that you’re a leader.

When you stand up in front of a group of people (or tweet, because that works better) and say something that matters.

Like: You need to stop buying stupid crap that doesn’t matter.

You need to say things that matter.

You need to stop checking your email 456,432 times a day.

Etc, your own message will vary.

The reality of the situation is that the day you realize you’re a leader is every day after that first day. When you wake up in the morning and realize you can change the world in a small way. That’s freakin’ overwhelming. Sometimes it makes me want to just wake up and pour a gin and tonic and just not do anything all day.

But that’s what everyone does, except you.

Everyone wakes up, realizes they have the capability to be an extraordinary and unconventional individual, and then they go back to sleep and forget. Every single day.

Only a few people, like Danielle Laporte, Jeffrey F. Tang, Chris Guillebeau, etc. Wake up every day and realize their soul mission (yes, soul) in life is to inspire people to be leaders. To speak the truth that matters. To make this world a better place. Because if you don’t, who will?

Right now I’m struggling with the reality of the situation that the business that I started with a sheer act of FAITH will with some miracle of whatever break $100,000 before it’s one year old.

Yes, breaking 6-figures telling people to stop buying crap (or how to sell your crap, like Man Vs Debt) is a lot scarier than working at Starbucks for the rest of your life. But someone has to do it, and it might as well be you too.

So, I challenge you. When you wake up tomorrow, step up and start creating a movement.

I wrote about creating movements before, and then slowly that work fell by the wayside. Creating a movement is NOT a rest stop on the freeway. It is the sole reason that we are on this planet.

So, I challenge you. When you wake up tomorrow, step up and start being a leader.

Read a book that will make you think about your potential.

Take a yoga practice.

Go live on a boat, Julien.

Say one thing that matters. One thing isn’t too hard, right?

Destroy your TV and leave your house and never go back, because this is life. We’re living it, and every fraking second we’re dying it too.

The only thing that you can do is to fundamentally change the way that other people are living.

One idea can change the planet. I know this. I feel this. You feel it too.

This message is meant to wake you up, so you never go to sleep again. I realize that most of you probably will. That’s okay too. But you’ve heard this music before, and you remember that one time when you were five and you stood up on that stage and said something that people frowned at you for. And then you learned that you should never say things that challenge people again.

You are not the next X years after that moment. You are now. You are able to change everything with one idea, one thought, one moment when you choose to stand up and make a difference in the reality of the entire human race.

Yes, that’s hard. Yes it’s the hardest thing you will ever do.

But if you don’t do it, who will?


Chris Guillebeau’s book The Art of Non-Conformity came out today, it’s only like $8 on Amazon and comes in real book form. You might remember me recommending his Empire Builder Kit, and The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself before.

Yes, once you read it you can never go back. But does that matter? No. Because going back is for everyone else. Not you. Not this time.


This isn’t the TV, not everyone sits in front of it all day. The only way this message reaches other people is if you share it. Facebook and Twitter are a good place to start, but there are a million and one ways. Print it out and post it on a wall if you have to.

3 Timeless and Simple Strategies to Connect with Anyone

September 2nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

And Why You Can’t Connect with Everyone

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

You can’t reach everyone in the world.

Why? Because a lot of people are so incredibly different from you.

Some people really like fancy sports cars (I wish my superpower was the ability to stop all car traffic for a 1-mile radius around my current location,) other people really want to destroy the environment (I really wish we could save it.) still other people like going to garage sales and buying tons of junk they’ll never use to fill up their house (well, duh, I don’t do advocate this.)

The specifics of what I’m trying to say don’t really matter, the reality is that if you say anything at all that has any consequence, someone will have the opposite view of what you’re trying to say.

How to be uncontroversial.

So 80% of the people who are creators (especially on blogs) solve this problem by never saying anything specific. They don’t want to offend anyone, so they try to be safe and not say anything that matters.

They dumb down their writing until you could buy it off of a grocery store magazine rack.

The problem is that if you stop saying anything important, you end up saying nothing much at all.

Then no one cares.

The real reason why I turned off blog comments.

Recently I made the controversial decision to turn commenting off on this blog.

I listed seven reasons why you should invest your time instead of commenting on my blog, and the first reason was “write about what I said on your blog.”

So a whole bunch of people wrote on their blogs about how I was stomping on their freedom of speech by turning off comments on my blog.

The funny thing is, these people followed my advice that I listed in that original article. They proved that there was something better they could be doing than commenting on my blog.

Also, when they wrote about what I said on their blog, I actually had time to read what these people said.

Why? Because instead of reading dozens of comments a day, I only have to read the blog posts that pop-up on my google alert for my name.

(To be fair, around an equal number of people wrote about how awesome it was that I turned off my blog comments, and are considering doing it themselves once they have an overwhelmingly large following.)

Turning comments off isn’t a new blogging strategy.

What I’m saying here isn’t anything new, people have been turning off comments on their blog and upsetting a small fraction of their readers since the beginning of time.

I’m sure when Seth turned off his comments there was an earthquake somewhere simultaneously.

The truth is that any conclusion that you come to has the potential to make any person unhappy. If you stop saying anything important because you’re afraid someone will be mad, then you’ll never connect with the people who truly support you.

How to find your true fans.

My number one mission since my blog rocketed into the global spotlight has been to slowly close down the ways that people interact me until I have time to really contribute value to a small group of my true fans.

I’m under no illusion that all 70,000+ readers of this blog actually like what I’m saying. In truth, 70% of these people bounce after the first minute of reading.

Others send me emails telling me to stop writing what I’m writing because I’m contesting their ideas about consumption.

“I just want to go to Walmart, spend my money and not have anyone question that what I’m doing is wrong.”

This is the way it is for most blogs. Most people are just wandering around hoping they’ll find something to read that will make them feel good.

“Why isn’t your blog about Lady Gaga or Lindsay Lohan?”

Do you think Coca Cola likes what I’m saying on this blog? If you drink a coke once a day and drive to work, chances are you don’t like what I’m saying either.

But somewhere in the soup of readers that the Internet brings there are people who resonate with what I’m saying here.

  • The people who actually live with less than 100 things
  • The ones who are striving for a location independent lifestyle
  • The people who want to stop consuming and find freedom.

Maybe these people aren’t you, but they could be you. I’m just laying a foundation for what is possible.

Three strategies that I use to find and identify my 1000 true fans.

1. Interview people who you admire.

The #1 reason that my blog has grown so fast is because I’ve systematically interviewed everyone who I admire. Interviews are the #1 way to make powerful people aware of your existence. Most people have time to do an interview, because it contributes value to both the interviewee and the interviewer.

If you want to interview me, just drop interview questions into my email box, or connect with me on Twitter. I’d love to talk to you.

Also, if you’re someone who used to really like commenting, an interview is a much better way to focus your energy. You’re welcome to ask tough questions. You could even ask me one tough question.

2. Write about work that changes the way you think about reality.

When I see something that really changes my thinking, I write about it here. This is why I’ve been able to recently connect so well with Gwen Bell recently. I wrote about the fact that she checks email once per day, and about her digital sabbatical — thus sending her blog noticeable amounts of traffic. The next thing you know we’re tweeting free business consulting advice at each other. Awesome!

When you spread the work of others, they will do the same for your work.

3. Write un-apologetically about what you actually believe.

I have opinions about things that matter. They may not really gel with your ideas about reality, but that’s okay. This blog isn’t for everyone — as we saw above, it isn’t for most people. I understand that only a select few are on their way to creating fully automated minimalist businesses.

I understand that only a few remarkable individuals are actually living with less than 100 things.

If you want to write a blog that people pay attention to, you need to say some things that will offend a certain group of people. You can’t make everyone happy, that’s okay. Say what you believe.

You’re still totally welcome to read if you aren’t doing these things, I’m just saying what is true. Not everyone is up for this challenge, mostly because they have more important things in their lives to worry about.

However, a select few people are changing the world. I’m so proud to among a group of people who laying the foundation for the shape of things to come.

Will you join me?

Write about the people that matter. Interview the people that matter. Say things that matter.

This is how you make a difference.


Speaking of Interviews, I have one coming up with Vagabonding author Rolf Potts next week. Want to find out how to travel around the world without any luggage? Don’t miss out! Sign up for free updates via RSS, email or follow me on Twitter.

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