Aug 11, 2010

Minimalism And Passion: Everett Bogue

Almost every Wednesday I post short interviews with passionate people, digging into their thoughts on minimalism.

As I move towards a minimalist lifestyle, I’ve found I learn more from listening to others share their unique journeys than I have from books and impersonal articles. Everyone has their own take on minimalism, and in hearing those stories I find myself more open to exploring my own minimalist journey.

Today’s interview is with Everett Bogue of Far Beyond The Stars. He's the author of both The Art of Being Minimalist and Minimalist Business, and is passionate about helping others escape the trappings of corporate life and starting their very own very small businesses!

As an aside, his book Minimalist Business is what inspired me to write my very own e-book, The Minimalist Knitter's Handbook, which I shared about yesterday!

MK: How did your passions inspire or move you towards minimalism?

EB: I started my minimalist journey around a year ago. I had already lived with less for most of my life, but it all started to make sense in July of '09. I was stuck in a job in New York that wasn't fulfilling, and I needed out. I was barely making enough money to support my lifestyle in NY, and so when I quit my job I found myself in an interesting predicament: how do I survive without money. I hopped on a plane to Portland, OR with $3,000 in the bank and all of my stuff in a bag.

What surprised me was that I was able to survive on $3,000 for three months by embracing a hardcore attitude towards possesions. Fast forward year from then and by applying minimalism I've been able to reduce the time I spend working to less than 10 hours a week (and this is slowly dropping.) and I started a minimalist business that allows me to live and work from anywhere in the world. All in all, it's been a great experience.

MK: Did you find anything change or shift with your passion once you began your minimalist journey?

EB: I honestly thought I was going to be taking a short vacation from the world of the working-dead, but not having a job has become my life. Because my life-overhead is low, I don't need to make as much money to sustain my lifestyle, and this enables me to focus on whatever I'm passionate about in the moment. Right now that's practicing a lot of Yoga in San Francisco.

MK: How do you nurture your creative spirit within the boundaries of the “do more with less” mentality of minimalism?

EB: I've found that it's a lot easier to nurture your creative spirit when you're not working 40-60 hours a week. It's so much easier to follow your dreams when you aren't stuck behind a desk. Yes, this means if your passions involve buying expensive things you need to reconsider them, but I've always enjoyed the least expensive creative pursuits.

MK: What is one thing that consistently trips you up on your minimalist journey?

EB: Early on it was difficult to imagine what it'd be like to live like this, but now it all just seems so natural. I recently reduced my possessions to less than 50 things, and that honestly was going too far for me, so I'm slowly working my way back up to 100. It was an interesting experiment, but I was micromanaging my experience of the world too much, so I decided to end that experiment.

MK: What is one piece of advice you’d share with others who share your passion or are exploring minimalism?

EB: You've got to realize that the junk is just an excuse to not live your life. We were brainwashed by the industrial age and the televisions to buy a lot of stuff we never needed to live an American dream that was invented to fill the pockets of corporate executives with money. When you opt-out of this perpetual cycle of consumerism, you can stop working so much and start living your life. It's a win for all.

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Want to share your story of Minimalism and Passion? Shoot me an e-mail {rmcdevine@gmail.com} with your answers to the questions in this interview, and I’ll share it on the blog!

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