If I would have to make a guess about what the number one reason is for people failing somewhere along in the homesteading journey, it would be that it doesn’t work out financially. Being overwhelmed and not being able to handle the different tasks would be a close second.
Unfortunately, finances do play a big role in our lives, even on a homestead. Bills have to be paid and simply living a lifestyle won’t do that for us.
So how do people do it who don’t have a Youtube channel but who don’t want to have to leave their homestead every day for work in the city? Here are 3 steps to get you on the right track:
1. Think about what you love doing the most Now, this might sound a bit too romantic, right? Chances are that the whole money situation is causes you so much stress that you are primarily asking yourself what it is you have to do in order to just make ends meet. The question of what you love doing has gotten pushed back… If that is the case, I want to appeal to you and ask you to try to forget your worry and situation for a few moments. Don’t think about what is going on in your life right now but think about what it is you love doing. What is the dream that first got you started on this journey? What are your gifts and talents, the things that you are good at and that bring you fulfillment when you do them?
The reason you should allow yourself to think this way is simple but important. You will most likely give up and burn-out if you try to do something that is not you. Sometimes we are put in that place and forced to do that by life’s circumstances, but generally I don’t think that is a very healthy place to be at. The answer to where your income and support comes from lies within your gifts, dreams and desires. The things that make you passionate are what you will be really, really good at. Things you love to learn and read about is what you will be able to master and pass on to others. This is what you will be most likely to earn some income with and be able to keep it up for the long run.
2. Ask yourself what it is that you have that others might want This question is a bit more challenging. The way you answered the last question, the dreams and visions that you have, will now have to be put to the test. The critical question you will need to ask yourself is: Is there any potential for a point of sale in what I am doing or want to do, in what I would love to do? Now, don’t be discouraged. The good news is that there probably is a way to do this. Maybe it’s not where you thought or the way you thought, but there probably is. I want to encourage you here to think beyond your normal ways. There are people who get customers to come into the middle of nowhere and leave their money there. It could be a product you sell or a service you offer, or it could even be an experience that your land offers. Don’t limit yourself. A good way to get a feel for what potential others see with you and your land is to observe their reactions when they visit your homestead. Our passions, talents and resources are often much more obvious to our friends and visitors than they are to ourselves. Get some wisdom and input from them.
3. Find your target customer The third step to help you get started in the right direction is to ask yourself who the person will be that will make your dream-life financially possible. This is your target customer. Now, this might sound very money-driven, but practically speaking it is very important to understand why you are doing this. Yes, you will want to provide something quality, something of value, something that you can be proud of to your customer, but in the end this will only work if he or she is willing to pay for it. That payment is what will support you.
This question is even a bit more challenging than the second one. First, you asked yourself what it is you want to do and are good at. Second, you put that to the test and checked if there is a potential to earn some money with that. Now you will have to find a bit of a compromise. The truth is, it ain’t all about you. What I am trying to say is, you will have to understand who your customer is and then see if you can find a way to make your product/gift/service meet his/her desire and need. This is where you will have to understand that the customer will determine a bit of what direction you will be going in. So take the time to understand your target customer, who that person is, what they need, how old they are, what they wear, what they like to do in their free time, etc… There are a lot of resources out there to help you with that.
If you want to have more help to make your homesteading dream reality, I have written a book about this practical side of it. It is called: 3 steps to a self-sufficient homestead. Believe me, I would have bought my own book when I first started out. Click here for more info.