Another home idea without getting a mortgage! Escaping The Rat Race can be done!
Starting your own business can be scary. There are so many questions. How do you choose which business to start? How much money will it cost? Don’t most small businesses fail? What if I don’t have any marketable skills? What if I don’t have a clue on what business will work for me?
If you know what steps to go through and what questions to ask yourself, it gets easier to decide. Let’s start with the steps. There are only four. This is really easier than you thought.
“Hey, I don’t care if I enjoy it, I just want to make a lot of money so I can Escape The Rat Race!”
That’s what I thought the first time I read about this step. I just wanted out of the system and fast.
I’m afraid that mindset is really a trap. If you don’t like what you are doing, your heart won’t be in it. You won’t stick with it until it starts to show a profit. You will start to hate what you are doing just like you do right now. You will still be in the Rat Race, the only difference is you now own your little piece of The Rat Race.
If you enjoy what you are doing, You won’t see it as a job. You will look forward to building it until it is profitable.
Why do you want to Escape The Rat Race in the first place? What would you rather be doing?
Some of us are lucky enough to already know what we want to do, but most of us only have a vague idea. We want to escape our present humdrum, mind numbing job and start taking control of our own lives. We do know that much, however the rest of the dream is still pretty sketchy. Most of us really don’t even know what the options are.
Isn’t that why you are reading this post in the first place?
Now is the time to ask what you like to do. Notice I didn’t say “what you know how to do.” You can learn how to do almost anything, especially with the internet. The important question is, what do you want to do? List out what puts a smile on your face. What would you do even if nobody paid you to do it?
Hey! That’s not a rhetorical question. Take out a sheet of paper and start listing what makes you happy when you are doing it. Don’t question if it will make any money or if it’s a stupid idea. We will deal with that later. Just start making that list. This should be fun. Get everybody that’s sharing your dream and start writing down those crazy ideas. You will need a large list of ideas you can play with. All kinds of great new ideas come from the ‘crazy’ ideas, so don’t leave anything out.
During one of my list creations, I wrote down photography and wood sculpting along with several other ideas. My first thought was that neither one would make much money. Photography has a lot of competition, and wood sculpting takes way too long. Then it clicked! Put the two together. Film how-to videos on wood sculpting and sell the videos on the internet! Sometimes a combination of ideas is better than one idea by itself.
Hey! Why haven’t you started your first list yet? Your future happiness depends on it. Start writing now. I’ll wait right here. I’m not going anywhere.
Now that you have your list started (You did start that list, didn’t you?), let’s see if you missed anything. Ask yourself, “What is a life of passion?”
What have you done in the past that completely caught your attention? You knew you had chores to do, but you just couldn’t break away from what you were doing, at least not yet. The chores could wait.
That was a passionate time! Those moments create a life of passion. Add those times to your list, even if you can’t see a way to add them into your new lifestyle. Remember, you are custom creating your future to fit your dream. Don’t make the mistake of creating a business that really doesn’t fit your dreams.
Start dreaming, then write those dreams down. Check out our categories on this site. they might help with your newfound dreams.
Lee (The Slacker) Cain
AltE Store is a great resource for all of your off grid electrical needs. They tell you what you need and how to install the system.
Here’s a basic overview of the components needed for a stand-alone system and links to additional library.
For more detailed information on solar modules, see our article Components for your Solar Panel (Photovoltaic) System and look at our selection of solar panels.
The two main functions of a charge controller are to prevent the battery from being overcharged and to eliminate any reverse current flow from the batteries back to the solar modules at night. See our article Components for your Solar Panel (Photovoltaic) System for more detailed information on charge controller functions and features.
The battery bank stores the energy produced by the solar array during the day for use at anytime of the day or night. Batteries come in many sizes and grades. The inverter takes the DC energy stored in the battery bank and inverts it to 120 or 240 VAC to run your AC appliances.
This guy’s views are all about independence and freedom, and that’s what we all are looking for.
He has a great website with lots of plans you can use to build your home.
I know you want to quit your present lifestyle and jump into this independence dream, but hold your horses just a bit! You can do this the hard way, or you can do it the easy way. Charging into this new adventure may feel like the only way you will ever escape your present lifestyle, but in reality, it’s a sure way of turning this dream into a nightmare.
You have to plan this transition into small steps. Small steps can turn this dream into reality.
The Most Important Step: Know What You Are Getting Into.
Most people envision a life of independence a little like this: They find a small parcel of land, build a small energy efficient home on it. Make it even more energy efficient by using wind generators and solar panels. The idea is to lower their monthly cost and dependence on the utility companies (and that is a good idea). Then they plan on making a living raising chickens and growing organic gardens or some other poorly thought out plan.
And that’s about as far as their planning goes.
They are in for a rude awakening!
You can easily spend all the money you’ve got and more just setting up your small farm (or workshop or whatever your dream needs)! It takes land. It takes equipment for raising animals, growing crops, creating your craft and building structures on that land. And, this assumes you know how to use all that equipment, if not you have some learning to do.
If you don’t ask yourself some basic questions, like “What kind of lifestyle do you really want?” this independent lifestyle can quickly become a prison.
Animals need care every day of the year. Set your farm up wrong and you are shackled to those animals.
The traditional garden needs work every day. Set your garden up wrong…well you get the idea. Building a traditional sanctuary is a lot of work.
The traditional idea of a sanctuary is creating some degree of self-sufficiency with very little use of public utilities such as electricity, water and waste management. Then you grow or raise your own food with animal husbandry and gardening. All of this lowers your cost of living. A lower coat of living allows you to persue your dream lifestyle.
Another basic question you should ask is “Why would you do all this?”
The first reason is to save money. No electric bill, no water bill, no sewer bill, no food bill.
I’ve got some bad news here. For most of us, this is a pipe dream. You have to spend money to replace the public utilities, and becoming self-sufficient costs a lot of money (or work, if you have the know-how.) With a huge investment you might make utility bills disappear, but you will still have the initial cost of the investment. Then, you have the animals and the garden. Unless you do it the right way, that’s a lot of work.
The second reason is to ensure you have services when the grid goes down. This is probably the best and most rational reason for minimizing your reliance on public utilities.
Unless you are a survivalist and want to prepare for the worst, you really don’t need to get completely off the grid. Some simple preparations like a gas generator, a safe emergency water source and some stocked food is all you really need.
The third reason is you want to live in the middle of nowhere where there are no utilities and grocery stores. You like the idea of relying on nothing but your own efforts. Again, this is mostly a pipe dream! A select few can do this without going nuts. The rest of us need some degree of modern conveniences. The idea of living in an isolated home with no connection with the rest of the world sounds more like hell than heaven to most of us.
So, what is the real reason most of us want to escape the Rat Race?
Escaping the system is all about independence, not relying on a job or the public infra-structure to make a living. It’s about living life on your standards, not your bosses’. To hell with what everyone else wants you to do! It’s all about you calling the shots. That is the real reason we want to escape the system.
Now, for some good news. You can make this dream happen, and you can design your dream to fit your standards.
The secret to success is….do it one step at a time.
Unless you are a survivalist (and I do have a little bit of that in me), you really don’t have to get completely off the grid. Do this one step at a time and design your lifestyle to fit you as you go.
You are much more likely to survive the transition from city folk to country folk if you do it one step at a time.
Browse the categories that fit your dream and you will find those steps.
Lee (The Slacker) Cain
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All the best, Lee (The Slacker) Cain