Are You a Bohemian?

You might have seen an article I shared last week about six new books that will help you flourish as a freelancer. I’m not just one to share articles for the sake of sharing them. I share an article when I find it genuinely interesting and (hopefully) helpful.

First on that list was Business for Bohemians by Tom Hodgkinson. I went and downloaded almost that entire list of books to add to my already long list of to-reads. But, in complete honesty, I had no idea what a Bohemian was. I always assumed it was someone from Bohemia which isn’t technically wrong. It just wasn’t the definition that Tom or most people would use.

For those who are like me and might not know exactly what a bohemian is, let me give you a popular definition:

Because I’m easy come, easy go, little high, little low. Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me.
— Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

In more literal terms, a bohemian is a free spirit, a non-conformist. A bohemian is someone who takes the alternative path, doesn’t follow the beaten trail, someone who is a tad (or a lot) unorthodox.

I have a secret to tell you then. If you are an indie author, a blogger, a content creator, a YouTuber, an indie game designer, or any other type of creator, then you are, to some degree, a bohemian.

A bohemian is someone who does not endeavour to be a CEO. They are not someone who wants to answer to a board of directors or worry about share prices of their company. They do not seek fortune and do not define success by how much money is in the bank, or how much the car in their garage is worth.

Bohemians measure success by how satisfied they are. To be able to pursue your passion, whatever it may be, is what leads to your happiness. You don’t need fame or fortune, or any expensive material things. Success comes from doing what you love.

Sound familiar?

Being a bohemian is not easy work. Especially in this day and age when you need to make a living. I’ve said it before and I still hold that stance: you have to work hard to pursue your dreams. Living life as a bohemian means you might have to sacrifice some things. Things like your time, going out, some vacations. And listed out like that, it does sound a little awful.

But don’t forget that the alternative is much worse for us bohemians. To us, the alternative means never being content or satisfied. Big businesses and careers within them mean that you always have to do more. What you’ve done is never enough for shareholders, it will never be satisfactory.

Like the titles indie author, blogger, and YouTuber, bohemian has always carried a negative connotation. But don’t forget that you should be wearing those titles with unbridled pride. That is how you will be the most successful in your work.

Now go forth, my bohemians, and be happy.