My name is Joe Downing and I’m a writer, artist, entrepreneur and a practicing attorney. Several years ago I worked for a law firm, climbing the ladder, fulfilling what I was taught to believe was the American dream. And I was miserable. I woke full of dread Monday mornings, thinking: this can’t be my life. Despite great fear and doubt, I quit the firm and started my own solo practice, reducing my hours by 30% in order to have more time for my writing and art. And I’ve been so grateful for the choice I made, for the freedom, the autonomy and reenergized purpose I now feel, I have been encouraging others to quit Big Company, Inc. and follow their passions ever since. I have been surprised by the fear and resistance expressed by many people. That was easy for you—you’re a lawyer, they said. Maybe so, but it didn’t feel that way. But I knew many others who had taken big risks to pursue a life they truly wanted, regardless of their education or career choice. And I wanted to hear and record their stories.
I spent four years interviewing entrepreneurs, artists, writers and other nonconformists, as well studying many famous alternative trailblazers, to discover how people pursue passionate work, create art, achieve autonomy, all while living fully without the financial struggle many assume is the price of living unconventional lives. What I learned became The Abundant Bohemian, an inspirational guide for those who wish to escape corporate culture, have been forced out, or never joined to begin with. The work culture is changing rapidly, and the time for the entrepreneur, the consultant, the independently-promoting creator is here. This blog is designed to continue the journey the book started. I hope you come along.