This little film explains exactly why I had to escape the Rat Race before I was trapped.
Lee (The Slacker) Cain
This is an earth-ship home with tires. What makes it affordable is the small size and lots and lots of work, but it is very doable.
Lee (The Slacker) Cain
You can make a good living carving small pieces if you learn how to get fast. With carving, speed is everything. Here is how to make carving fast. If wood spirits are not your thing, you can apply the techniques to almost any carving. Don’t get bogged down in the details until you can do it fast.
I do a lot of carving. When I started I was too concerned with the details. You will learn to create a great carving with great details with very little time in the carving. The details will be similar with each carving, so you will get fast at it. If you want to make money carving, you must get fast.
Lee (The Slacker) Cain
Step 2: How will you conduct your business?
There are several questions to ask before starting a business. The answers will guide you around the pitfalls that cause most small businesses to fail. And, yes most small businesses do fail…..because they didn’t ask these questions before starting.
These questions are:
Is there a need for your product/services locally? With the internet as competition, it is becoming much harder to make a local business profitable. The size of the market is getting smaller and the competition is getting larger.
Today’s digital economy almost requires you to go digital or go bankrupt. Can any part of your business be done online?
You can use sites like Etsy or Amazon Handmade to sell craftwork. If you like to write or teach a skill, you can use Amazon Kindle, Clickbank, Udemy or Lulu to publish your products. You can even use Pinterest and Facebook to advertise your local products for free. With a little research, the sky is the limit.
This step is about conducting your research and creating a business plan.
Why write out a business plan in the first place? Don’t you only need business plans if you are borrowing money from a bank? (Paying cash for all of your purchases is a major step to Escaping The Rat Race.)
Yes, you do need a business plan when borrowing money. The bank studies the plan, looking for reasons the business will fail.
That’s exactly why you need your own business plan. Holes in your business will stand out like a sore thumb. You can fix the weak points before you even start.
Don’t let a business plan scare you. It doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you are not dealing with banks. All you really need are some simple basics like:
A summary of what you want to do. Where do you want this business to go? What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how will they affect your plans?
A list of the products you are creating. These products don’t have to be the traditional mini-farm products like veggies and chickens. Are you an artist? Do you like to write? Are you a good teacher or tour guide? You get the idea. Your possibilities are endless.
A list of the costs for creating those products. Time, labor and materials are all included in this list.
How can one product reduce the cost of another product? Goats can clear off the brush for your future garden. They can also fertilize it at the same time. Then you can sell your baby goats. See how one product can have multiple uses?
How are you going to market those products? We mentioned this part earlier. Will your products be sold locally? At a nearby city? Or, can you use the internet for a worldwide market?
How are you going to deal with finance issues like cash flow and emergencies? Unexpected things always happen. Do you have an emergency fund figured into this plan? No emergency fund means you are working on a hope and a prayer. Don’t base this dream on luck. Create an emergency fund, even if it’s only $10 a week. I guarantee you will need it sometime down the road.
Do you have the right resources? If you are creating e-books, selling crafts online, or running a blog with affiliate links, naturally you will need access to the internet. If you are living in the country, that may not be available. If you are creating a mini-farm for a farmer’s market or local restaurants, you will need several different resources.
The point is, do you have what you need for your business in the location you want to live?
Can you do the work? That mini-farm takes a lot of physical work. Are you in good enough shape to do the work. Writing a blog or an e-book takes a lot of discipline to stick with it until it is finished. Look at your strengths and weaknesses and decide what you can and can’t do.
Do you want to do the work? This is an important question. Think it through with each business type. Traditional farming takes a lot of work. You will spend a lot of time in the hot sun. Raising livestock requires a daily commitment that will tie you down. You cannot take off for a small vacation without planning for their care. Dairy cows and goats need milking every single day. If you aren’t willing to do that, then don’t consider them in your business plan. What does your business need? Are you willing and able to provide all you need? If not, can you designate some of it to someone who can provide it and still make money?
Can most of that work be automated so you won’t become overwhelmed with all the work? Automation is the answer to the traditional operation of a business. If you don’t have to be there every single day, you can have a life outside of the business. You will need breaks from the routine. If you don’t build in the automation of your business, it will overwhelm you. Your dream will become a nightmare.
Lee (The Slacker) Cain
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