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Far Beyond the Stars: A Revealing Interview with Everett Bogue

October 30, 2010

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A little over a year ago Everett Bogue was living in New York and working as a photo editor at New York Magazine.  Despite doing a job that everyone told him was supposed to be ‘super awesome’  he couldn’t figure out why he was so unhappy.

After a period of soul-searching he decided that being happy was more important than sitting at a desk, so he quit his job and, with just $3,000 in the bank, packed 97 things into one backpacking bag, one laptop bag, and one camera bag and hopped on a plane to Portland, Oregon.

While there, he started writing about how he was living with less than 100 things on a new blog called Far Beyond the Stars.

Since then, he has lived a location-independent life in Oakland, Chicago and San Francisco and published two very popular eBooks called The Art of Being Minimalist and Minimalist Business – How to Live and Work Anywhere.

Earlier this week, I caught up with Everett and asked him about how his ideas could help to inspire Rainy Day Wonder readers to escape the 9 to 5.

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Andrew: Can you explain exactly what a minimalist business is to the Rainy Day Wonder readers?

Everett: Imagine if you could automate your income so that you only have to work around 2 hours a day?  That’s the basic premise of a minimalist business.  The reality is that we don’t really need to be sitting at desks all day working for other people.  The internet has created tools and opportunities that extend your own abilities, as well as automate many of the functions of a business.

Andrew: Imagine I’m a typical Rainy Day Wonder reader, in what way would setting up a minimalist business enable me to realize my dream of escaping the 9 to 5 rat race?

Everett: Well, it depends largely on what skills you have to contribute to the world — this is going to be different for everyone.  I was able to escape the 9-5 by getting rid of all of my stuff, moving across the country, and then writing about living with less in order to inspire other people to do the same.

Name the skill you have to teach other people, chances are someone out there would buy a product or service which will help them learn the skill you already have.  The internet breaks down all of the barriers in communication, and makes this possible.

Andrew: How has embracing a minimalist lifestyle allowed you to focus on creating multiple income sources and escaping the rat race?

Everett: The easiest way to be simultaneously starving and still be making tons of income is to have a lot of life-overhead.  If you need $5,000 to survive every month, then you need to be making $5,000 every month.  When you’re trying to make that much money, you only have a few employment options — most of them involve sitting at a desk all day being told what to do.

The other option is to reduce your overhead to less than $1,000 a month by opting out of the perpetual cycle of consumerism, renting a cheap apartment in a nice place like Portland, Or where you don’t need a car.  Then you can work on work that makes a difference in the world, and slowly grow your income until you can support yourself again.

Andrew: In your blog, you talked recently about a new ‘digital-tribal generation,’ can you explain what this means?

There’s a new class of individuals that couldn’t exist before the Internet.  These are people like Derek Sivers, Colin Wright, myself, etc who are living out of bags in order to move anywhere we care to go in the world.  We support ourselves with location independent income, and we don’t need much to survive.  This creates a situation of ultimate freedom that people couldn’t have in the past — this is the digital-tribal generation.

Andrew: What is the one action that our readers can take to moving towards quitting the rat race and joining this new generation themselves?

Stop buying stuff, it really isn’t necessary.  You’ve been told by the television that you’ll find happiness at the mall, you won’t.  You’re a slave to consumerism, and that’s why you’re sitting at a desk.  Opt-out for freedom.
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You can check out Everett’s inspiring eBooks The Art of Being Minimalist and Minimalist Business – How to Live and Work Anywhere here.

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