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Are you interested in SELF-EMPLOYMENT?  Then you might find one of these Homestead.org articles handy:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Skills That Pay the Bills: Self-employment for Homesteaders by Regina Anneler

Lessons Learned About Starting a Business by Gretchen Gundrum

Your Business Niche by Carolyn Evans-Dean

 

 

 

Skills That Pay the Bills:

Self-employment for Homesteaders

by Regina Anneler

You finally did it!  You managed to get away from the madness of urban life and build your own homestead.  Now you raise your own meals; you take care of the land, buildings, livestock and a home.  That sweet taste of freedom and accomplishment that homesteading brings is beyond compare to your old way of life.  But, you still have that 8-5 grind and, chances are, you now spend extra time in a daily commute from your homestead to the place where you serve that 8-5 grind.  The quest for the almighty dollar drives you to keep up that grind in the pursuit to meet your financial needs.  However, could your homestead enable you to leave that grind?  Is there a hidden opportunity lurking within all the labor you have invested in your homestead?  Is it possible that your homesteading skills are offering you an alternative way to make a living?  Has self-employment become a viable option for you? 

If the self-employment option is calling and you desire to leave the rat race of the corporate world behind then the first thing you need to do is to simply brainstorm.  Begin by making list of all the skills that you have, including the new ones that you earned while working to build your homestead.  Things at which you probably became adept could qualify as light construction or handyman-type skills.  Other areas in which you may have gained skills are fencing and livestock care.  In the process of gaining and practicing these skills, did you obtain tools and equipment that you now own?  If you purchased your own tools, they can now assist you in helping to plan your self-employment future.  Many dreams of self-employment are lost due to lack of equipment and supplies so make a list of any and everything that you already possess that could help you to achieve your goals. 

Next, make sure of any rules or regulations that exist in your area concerning the type of work that you are considering.  You can usually find all state laws and regulations, including any licensing requirements, on your state government web site.  Also make sure to check with county authorities and any other government entities so that you might be working within their boundaries.  Research and make sure of anything that might be a legality affecting your future career.   Remember, preparation pays off in the long run and if you are considering more than one idea, you will need this information to compare and contrast.

You have been researching what would be the best way for you to make a break from the corporate grind, now you need see how you can make your ideas fit into a work niche so that you can get started on your way to self-employment. 

Take a close look at what opportunities seem to be the most plentiful around you and look at which of your strongest skill sets fit into these opportunities.  Handyman is a broad scope job description, if you choose to exercise several of your learned skills at the same time then perhaps this is an option for you.  A self-employed handyman really has no limits, however some jobs a handyman has to do may not be all that appealing, so carefully think about what opportunities are available in your area. 

At some point on your homestead adventure you have probably had to construct a fence to keep in your livestock or perhaps more like keep the predators out.  This skill can be of great value, as a lot of people would rather pay to have them installed rather than build the fences themselves.  This particular job requires a good truck and trailer and a few tools but it does have drawbacks that must be considered.  Such as the travel required if you want to have steady fence building work.  It may also require a lot of up front cost in purchasing supplies.  This type consideration may not be a problem for some but a problem for others so try to look at all possible scenarios. 

Another popular skill learned in homesteading that can be transferred into self-employment is landscape and tractor work.  In your quest to build your homestead did you level any ground for a foundation?  Or move rocks and trees from a field to make it a useful pasture?  What about building a driveway or water feature?  If you have your own tractor and dirt-working equipment perhaps landscaping or dirt work is an excellent opportunity for you to break into the world of self-employment. 

If dirt work is not something that interests you, perhaps you became well acquainted with woodcutting when designed your own homestead.  Do you provide firewood for yourself each winter limiting your need for gas and or electric heat?  Is a chainsaw one of your favorite tools to operate?  If any of this sounds appealing to you then perhaps you should look into opportunities available to cut and sell firewood.  Possibly you have enough extra space that you can make a lot for customers on your homestead to come to you for their wood purchases or perhaps you have a truck and or trailer available to be able to provide home delivery to customers for an extra fee. 

Firewood is usually sold by the rick or cord so you need to have this information and set up some type of measuring system to provide wood in the right measurements.  If you have plenty of wood and know of places to cut more for free, or at low cost, then woodcutting could be the perfect form of self-employment for you. 

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