Can you imagine having your homestead pay for itself, or even replace your salary? We’ve created a thriving six-figure homestead and have found three keys to success that you can use too.

Video Transcript:

So, I’ve got something really important here. I want to talk with you all here today, and the idea is we want to talk about recession-proofing your homestead in life, okay? Because I think it’s a great time to actually learn how to not just survive, you know? 

People are talking about surviving and getting through these times, but talking about how to actually thrive in these times. And what’s really great about kind of this self-sustainable kind of living aspect is that we have so much opportunity to do so.

So, I hope you’re excited about this topic. This is just something I’ve personally been passionate about. Obviously, when it comes to homesteading and all that, you know, I’m really into growing food and harvesting rainwater and those kinds of things. But hidden behind the scenes of all of that is something else that most people don’t see, and it’s money. 

It’s that which kind of holds it all together, and it’s a topic that so many people just don’t want to talk about. So, I decided today to come in and talk about that specifically because money is the number one problem that everybody talks about, right? And not just like, you know, across the news and all that. 

I survey my audience a lot, you know, on my email list and my Instagram because I try to, I want to try to help people and achieve their goals and dreams that I can help them achieve. And the number one thing that people always tell me is, they say, “Bret, my number one problem is money.” And maybe that’s you too.

Give me a thumbs up or a like or whatever on this life if that’s you, okay? And I get it because things are tight. Anyways, you know, money can be tight for people. We live in very interesting times, to say the least, right? You know, at this moment, the U.S. government’s not really willing to admit that we’re in a recession. But by definition, we are. 

And I mean, I just look around, and it’s easy for me to see that I am spending a lot more money just to get by. If you notice that too, is that true for you too? So, we can’t really change that, can we? But the reality is that there are things that we can do on our end to offset that and to thrive, and not just survive. 

And that’s what I’m really excited here to talk about because, you know, in the end, if you’re like me, ultimately you want one thing, well, a grouping of things, which is typically freedom, health, and happiness. 

And is that what you want? 

Let me know. And in my experience, in my life, there’s kind of a couple of ways that we can get to that. And so, the idea is that A) it’s a combination of two things, okay? A self-sufficient, self-sustainable life helps give us all of that, but in conjunction with money.

Okay, right, we need the money to support a self-sufficient life, and how do we do that? Is there a way that we can have a self-sufficient life that supports itself? So, we have this machine of sorts working that generates income for us so we can live these healthy, happy, sustainable, self-sufficient, recession-proof lives. 

Well, that’s a lot of what I want to talk about here today. I got a few notes that I want to kind of run through, and so the idea, basically, is you know, we build a homestead or a life that has a return on investment. 

We create security by creating income streams that are tied to our land and life. And this does, this is not as complicated as it sounds, and it’s even for people who are not entrepreneurs or anything like that. But when we do that, we suddenly get both, okay? We combine the two. We get the combination of the wealth that we want in conjunction with the life that we want. 

In other words, we get, you know, money’s a great thing, and it can buy us a lot. But it alone doesn’t buy happiness, right? And that’s kind of where a lot of my followers tend to be, and my followers, you people here, we tend to want this kind of thing, right? We want abundance, but it’s not just an abundance of money.

We want an abundance of relationships in our community. We want well-being, abundance in the environment, and a lot of things like that. So, here today, I’ve got a few things that I want to talk about. Let me overview some of the things. 

First, I want to talk about when I went broke – I was on food stamps, got hospitalized, and nearly lost it all – it was a total rock bottom. My homestead was on the chopping block, my garden died, and how I turned that around and developed a six-figure homestead in just a couple of years. 

Second, I want to talk about traditional homesteading versus holistic homesteading because this is one of the big keys that makes the big difference. Traditional homesteads, their money sucks, right? We don’t want that. We want something that has a positive return on investment. In a recession environment, you got to be smart, and this is one of the keys. 

Third, I want to talk to you about my three secrets for abundant, thriving, recession-proof homesteads in life. So, if that sounds good, if you’re interested, give me a little wave or thumbs up. I’m pretty excited about this kind of stuff, and I also want to mention it real quick.

Before I dive into this, I want to let you know that I’m giving away a free ebook right now, titled “How to Homestead for Free or Zero Dollars” or something like that. It’s everything I learned about homesteading on other people’s property without having to own or invest in it. You can find the ebook in my bio.

Now, let me tell you about the Homestead Bundle, which you may have seen on my stories. The bundle contains 140+ ebooks and courses on everything related to off-grid living, sustainable living, homesteading, farming, and more. The courses and ebooks are all in this bundle, and it’s dirt cheap at $50. The Homestead Bundle is dropping this Friday, so get on the waitlist to receive the free ebook I mentioned earlier.

I really want to help people, so let’s get into it. I know what it’s like to struggle through life, and maybe you do too. Maybe you’re in it right now or have been in the past. I did what everyone else did for a while, working as a computer programmer doing websites and coding, but I wanted more out of life. I didn’t want to be stuck in a 9-5 job, just consuming and repeating. 

I wanted to get back to the land, live more sustainably, and have a connection to my food, the land, and the earth. I also wanted to live a more prepared life because I saw the possibility of instability in the future, which I realized back in 2012-ish.

And obviously, you can’t argue that the world is becoming more and more unstable as we go on. Right now, these are the things I saw coming, and I wanted to do differently. So, I tried to exit the matrix. I mean, maybe you let me know. Do you want to exit the matrix? Have you exited the matrix? Give me a wave or whatever if that’s you now.

So, what I did is I started out, you know, I went off, took my work with me, and I started to build this homestead. I got 30 acres of raw land and started developing it. Now, what ended up happening is I had this big dream and this vision. I was going to grow all my food and live off the land. 

Some hippie dippy right? And very quickly, I realized that it wasn’t all working out in my favor. We burned through all of our money, and my wife and I burned through all of our money developing the property, putting in road power water. We built like this nice yurt home. 

If you’ve been following us for a while, you probably saw the yurt that was featured on Living Big and a Tiny Homes YouTube channel. We burned through all of our money, and that was money that we had saved up, so it wasn’t like I had tons of money coming in, and I didn’t want to work because I hated my job. So, I worked as little as I had to.

But really, I just wanted to be out in the garden, right? Maybe you do too, maybe you feel that too. You just want to be growing food and tending your chickens and things like that, and you want to say to work, right? 

So, that was where I was at, and it all kind of came crashing down one year. Ran out of money, my farm was my favorite thing in the world, but I didn’t want to work. Ran out of money, we found out we were pregnant, we were going to have a little boy. 

I got really sick and ended up in the hospital, and so then I couldn’t work, and no money was coming in. My garden failed, I lost all 12 of my chickens or whatever I had, I forgot I had an orchard we had started that was super stressed, and it was just all collapsing. 

And I was struggling to pull it all together. 

Like, I don’t get it. There’s this life that everybody says is the dream and I see it and I want to live it, but I didn’t know how to get there. I didn’t know how to make it all work. 

You know, like, “Oh, if you’re busy working this job, how do you live a self-sufficient life?” And for some people, maybe they really do love their jobs, and I do too now, but for a lot of people, I don’t think they necessarily do. 

So, that was the problem, right? How do you do it all? 

How do you have this self-sufficient, self-sustainable life to some degree, and how do you have an income that supports it or that supports you in the way that you want? 

Well, that’s where this idea of a holistic homestead kind of came into my field of vision. In other words, in a traditional homestead, everybody talks about how farming’s a lot of work, homesteading is a lot of work, and it can be. It really is true and there are two pieces to a holistic homestead. 

Well, there are actually many pieces to a holistic homestead that I teach about, but there are two pieces of it that I want to talk about here today. 

And the two pieces are this: The first one is that we use permaculture to create a homestead that has a monetary component of some kind. Now, if you’re not familiar with permaculture, to sum it up, it combines agriculture, environment, and humanity in this triangle of sorts. 

And that might sound confusing, but ultimately we look to nature to figure out how to do things in ways that are sustainable and truly self-sufficient because nature is regenerative. 

We want to model that as much as possible. And one of the core tenets of permaculture is the right livelihood. In other words, it believes that we should have the ability to earn a reasonable living and open up…this is open to one’s interpretation, I suppose. 

And my interpretation of all of this is that we have our needs met, we’re comfortable, we’re healthy, we’re happy, and we earn enough that we can help others. And that’s kind of, for me, a critical component of all of this, is like part of my goals in life is to accrue wealth. And again, wealth is not necessarily money.

Wealth is time and money, and abundance. This could be food because I think the world needs a lot of uplifting at this point in time. I think there are a lot of people out there that need help in many different ways. And so for me, wealth is being able to uplift a person, persons, people. 

I have many people I’m caring for at the moment in whatever way is necessary because I’ve been in that position too. And the holistic homestead is a component that’s why I’ve built a holistic homestead to be able to do that.

So it’s a subtle difference between a traditional, labor-intensive, money-intensive, energy-intensive (that I said already) traditional homestead, and a low-work, abundant, permaculture-oriented, interconnected, holistic homestead. And we use permaculture for that.

Now here’s a distinction that I want to make too, and I get tense, this is like a little topic because a lot of people who are interested in permaculture, you know, the permaculture maximalists, are entirely against money and capitalism. And I get that, I understand why, right? Capitalism is bad, isn’t it? I don’t know, everything can be good or bad, just depends on the context, right? 

And so given the systems that we have, right, and I’m all for alternative money like I’m totally into cryptocurrencies. I’m all for alternative economies.

I lived in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, where they had their own little money system. I’m all for that, but we got to leverage the systems that we have in our favor, okay? That’s the key, why? Because it’s what we have to work with. Like, I can’t change the fact that we’re diving into a recession that looks like it could get a lot hairier, right? But we can work with it. 

That’s the magic, working with what we’ve got. And I think the permaculturists, they can do whatever they want in terms of their maximalist “money sucks, capitalism sucks, let’s use it” is my opinion. Let’s create opportunities to change the system, and the regenerative economy in the traditional capitalistic sense. And this is a bit of digestion from my outline here. 

A billion-dollar industry, I know the people that I know that are making the biggest change in impact in the world are these people. So that’s a tangent, I am sorry, let’s get back on track here. Let me look at my outline, and see what I wanted to talk about.

So, with this holistic homestead, the idea is, you know, it doesn’t have to break the bank, first off. We can use permaculture to live a self-sufficient life in a way that doesn’t have to break the bank, and yes, there’s some investment that’s required, but the idea is that it should have a return on investment and at least break even. 

And so, this is one of the things that I was realizing when kind of everything fell apart in my life went to total crap, was that I was going about it all wrong. I had to do it in a way that had a return on investment of some kind. So, again, I get that money is a struggle, I really do, and that’s why I have the free ebook, the link “How to Homestead on Zero Dollars”, the link is in my profile.

So after this life, be sure to go to the link on my profile. You can get on the waitlist for the Homestead Bundle that’s coming out later this week. Right away, I’ll email you a free copy of one of my eBooks that should help you if money is a concern. Now, that said, I want to move on to my three secrets here today, and the secrets are:

  1. The hidden return on investment of homesteading
  2. How the holistic homestead seeks to fill your bank account
  3. The six-figure homestead without breaking your back so you can not just survive but thrive

If those three things sound interesting to you, stay on. I’m going to get into them here in just a second. As I mentioned, when everything was falling apart in my life, I didn’t want to give up on the homestead dream. I am not a proponent of giving up. I think that’s the biggest mistake that so many people make. When you look at anything that has been successful, it doesn’t matter what it is, typically there are about 30 failures in front of that success. 

And too many people, go, “Oh, this didn’t work out, so I guess I’m just going to put my tail between my legs and go back to what I was doing.” That’s not it. That’s not how it works. For me, if that’s what you want to do, go for it.

But for me, I recognize that my failures are getting me closer to my successes because I realize and learn what doesn’t work. I’m constantly failing, you guys. Like, you have no idea how many things I do that fail – from out on my property, experiments that don’t work, garden failures – we totally messed up our garden this year, and I didn’t meet any of my goals out there. In my business, I fail all the time. 

I put up videos that people don’t like, and courses that fail. But then you get that success, and that one success massively outweighs the failures. So I don’t look at it as failures, I look at it as stepping stones to getting it right. It’s unrealistic to expect that you’re just going to get it right out of the gate. 

Well, that’s what I didn’t realize back then. And eventually, after some of those failures, I did realize, “Oh, if I really want this self-sufficient living thing, but money’s a problem, I need to be better about something.” What is that thing? The thing was understanding how to get different components in my homestead to have a return on their investment.

Now, I want to kind of break the return on investment into two components. Component number one is the non-tangible return on your investment, and so these can be things like happiness. In other words, if I get all stressed out or something like that, I can go out on my property in my garden and I can release stress. That has a return on investment, right? The way we live, I don’t need to go on vacation. In fact, I hate vacations.

Do you know why they’re stressed? Like for me, it just doesn’t work spending all this money, and fossil fuels, going out to weird places, and being uncomfortable. It’s no, no thanks. You see, I have 360-degree views of Mesa Verde, and the La Plata mountains. I can see Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and everything from my deck, right? 

I’ve built a life that I don’t have to travel. What’s the return on investment there, right? What about the carbon footprint that we don’t put out? Like, what are the savings by not needing to travel? That’s a hidden return on investment of a homestead and living a self-sufficient life, one of many, right?

What about food security? If I mean, are you not seeing some of these headlines? I hesitate with this because I see it too. The headlines about, you know, food shortages, fertilizer shortages, and these kinds of things. 

Now, I’m a little hesitant because to me, if it’s pushed in the mainstream media, I’m totally doubting it on one hand, right? But I also recognize that there is some truth behind what they’re saying, and we might want to be aware. 

In other words, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And so I can’t necessarily measure the return on investment on the fact that we have a year’s worth of food in our pantry. We have several years’ worth of seeds saved. We have a food forest and an orchard that will produce food if I do nothing, right? And we have the garden, of course, that if we plant, we will produce food. We have water harvesting systems. What’s the return on investment?

I’m not scared. In other words, is the world going to not good places? I’m not sitting here worrying and ineffective, you know? 

I’m still working, I’m still helping people, and I’m still making money because I’m not worried about feeding my family. You know, and that’s a return on investment that you can’t really measure, so we have these non-tangible returns on investments, right? What else could there be? There’s energy. So we live in a straw bale passive solar home. 

That means that we don’t need air conditioning to stay cool. If energy becomes a problem, like with what’s going on in Europe right now, and if you’re, I don’t know, it’s probably late in the afternoon in Europe, you know that stuff’s ridiculous what’s going on in Europe. 

Um, and not that everyone can have a passive solar straw bale home, but my point is, you know, the return on the investment’s not measurable because the fact that I don’t have, I mean, I guess that is, that’s a monetary measurement. I don’t have to run any air conditioning to keep cool in the summer, you know? 

We don’t, same thing with heat, right? Our home heats itself, and the sun heats our home, which means our heating is minimal in this house. These are not, these are non-tangible returns on investments bridging into more tangible ones because we can measure some of these last ones in terms of dollars, and that’s where I kind of want to go with the second part.

The holistic homestead should have measurable returns on the investment, and if it’s not, you need to adjust what you’re doing. Typically, this involves using permaculture tools and strategies to have a return on investment. But, for example, we have five cherry trees in our orchard, and two of them yielded $1200 worth of cherries this year. 

So, if you invest around $100 in bare-root cherry trees today, you can have a massive return on investment going forward. 

This is on top of all the other benefits it gives you for food security and health since the cherries are super healthy and not sprayed with anything toxic. It’s essential to remember that organic is not organic; it’s just different substances sprayed on foods, and a little bit less of them. 

Yes, organic is a step in the right direction, but they still spray organic foods with cancer-causing substances. We freeze the cherries, make things out of them, and can them. That $1200 is at today’s pricing, and of course, we’ve seen double-digit increases in food costs last year.

This year, on average, there has been about a 20% increase in food costs. Have you all noticed that? Like growing food is gonna pay, it is literally gonna be printing money. I mean, it’s literally printing money right now, but going forward if inflation continues, which we don’t know if it will or won’t, it’s like printing money. 

So where am I in my whole little rant here, friends? I forget. So we’re talking about returns on investments, both non-tangible and tangible. That’s when I realized, in order for my homestead to succeed, it had to zero out its cost. That was just the baseline, that was step one. It had to be low work using permaculture, had to be efficient, it shouldn’t have to cost a lot, to begin with. 

And that’s the other thing like you can homestead in ways that cost a lot of money, you can homestead in ways that don’t cost a lot of money. Both are possible. Permaculture is generally one of the best ways to do a low-cost homestead, and I think that’s pretty much where more people are in my surveying. 

Not the majority, but more people are not more affluent and can just buy a fifty thousand dollar geodesic passive solar greenhouse. That’s not what most people are at.

But it doesn’t mean you can’t invest a couple of hundred dollars. Like we have a self-heating greenhouse, and I think it was a pretty inexpensive greenhouse to begin with. Your poly hoop house and I retrofitted it with rainwater barrels painted black and Reflectix. With a couple of hundred dollars and changes to this greenhouse, and now we can grow. 

We extended our growing season by about 90 days with that simple modification of that greenhouse. So, that’s permaculture homesteading. Not saying it takes absolutely nothing in terms of money, but we can do these things that have a really good return on investment. In other words, we need to think about ourselves in a way kind of like investors. 

You know, investors, I don’t know if any of you invest, I do. I’m interested in cryptocurrencies a lot, and I put in a little money now, and I watch it grow. Like, how is that not smart? 

And, of course, there are ways to be smart about it, in other words, using stop losses and things to make sure like, for me, I don’t want to be in a market if it turns upside down. Like, I’m out of the market right now. But what I’m trying to get at here is we gotta have a different mentality, okay, that we’re going into a recession, which we all, there’s always going to be economic turmoil. 

I don’t want that to be like the big scare tactic or anything like that, but what I want people to understand is how to thrive in uncertain times and certain times.

You know, because for me, one of the big things that I think about sometimes is like, what if the big one hit and whatever that might mean? Um, you know, we didn’t know what was happening with the presidential election turmoil [ __ ] We didn’t know what was happening with Russia and Ukraine, and it’s still a possibility. I had no clue. Like, my mind was going, “Should I be preparing for nuclear fallout?” And that’s totally extreme, right? 

But nonetheless, what are we, what’s coming that we don’t necessarily know about? What black swan events could take the market down in ways that we don’t even know that make our lives even more difficult? In my head, I’m thinking, what about my family? 

In other words, how will I feel if I didn’t take steps today that I knew I could have to better position my family for the future and whatever that might be, even so much as to not feed my family toxic foods as much as possible?

Now I forgot what I was saying, my friends. Let me take a step here. Um, since I forgot what I was saying, one thing I do want to mention about the Homestead Bundle that’s dropping later this week, and you can get on the waitlist in my profile bio link, is that I’m going to be sending you a free ebook today if you get on the waitlist. 

The Homestead Bundle has a multitude of resources in relation to the topic of money. There’s a microgreens book, which, you know, microgreens is a great business. You can make thousands of dollars a week doing microgreens. 

There’s a micro business book. In other words, what I love is what I feel like so many people have a misconception that business and making money is hard. It’s not. In other words, don’t quit your job. Don’t do these crazy things. You start a side hustle. You just bring in a dollar, and you’re making money. That’s all. Make a dollar. How can you make a dollar, right? That’s as simple as a business. And so, anyways, the Homestead Bundle has books related to business in it.

Now, I want to kind of transition back to my, I want to get on to secret number two, which was part of my story

Secret number two was: the holistic homestead seeks to monetize itself. Let me explain this a little bit. Give me a wave if you would love your homestead to monetize itself. Give me a wave if you would love your income to be your livelihood, your passion, you know, your everyday thing. 

And so that was kind of my next goal in my life. As I restabilized ourselves, got out of the hospital, and had our little one, I got my feet back on the ground. I had given up the homestead dream, actually, at this point. And that was actually an important piece. I let my garden go, got rid of the last chicken that survived, all these other pieces, I just let them go. And I said, “How do I get my footing? And how do I make the income consistent so that the homestead dream is just a byproduct?” 

Because I realized without income, the dream was as fragile as the income stream. In other words, I read this quote the other day, I forget where it was, there’s something to the effect of like, if you have one income stream, you are one paycheck away from poverty or something like that. And it kind of struck me in the way of, you know, with permaculture, we seek to build resiliency, which is redundancy, in other words, multiple systems as backup, multiple income streams. 

And that’s another component that I think is really important here. In a recession environment, you know, how many people have lost their jobs? That’s unfortunate. How many people have lost income streams? I have. You know, like for me, cryptocurrency, it’s in a bear market, and so that’s just gone, I can’t make money. Well, it’s not true. You can short the market and I’m trying, but I’m learning and all that.

So anyways, point is, multiple income streams is critical. And so, the next step with the holistic homestead, we really want to seek to take it from just zeroing out to monetizing. And this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It’s really quite simple. 

In other words, the idea here is we want to work smart, not hard. And so, this is side hustle kind of stuff, and this looks like whatever you want it to. And I know for a lot of people, monetizing their homestead is a little more back to the land earthy kind of stuff. So, let’s talk up, you know, so like, maybe you sell vegetables, right? 

You have a CSA and kind of thing. You have a little market garden and that could be wildly profitable. There’s a fellow, Jean-Martin Fortier, I think he has a book called The Market Gardener where he teaches how a quarter acre can yield a six-figure income working. I forget what he says, eight months a year, I can’t remember. I think he takes two or four months off kind of thing. So, you know, there’s that option.

“You know, eggs, raw milk, you can monetize your goats by using them to graze people’s properties for fire mitigation. You can do u-picks on your raspberries, you can do u-picks in your food forest, herbs, natural medicine, and all these kinds of things. And all you do, you don’t try to make a business, you don’t have this big business plan or any of that kind of crap. 

You don’t have to build a website. All you have to do is just make an offer to a person and make a dollar. Do that once and then do it twice, and then do it three times. That’s all business is. And once you begin doing this, now you’re solidifying your personal security, your personal freedom. 

And in my experience, I’ve definitely worked plenty of jobs and careers. As I said, I was a programmer in Denver for about a decade. I was never free of my employer. Like, I was on their schedule. I had a job only if they said so, right?”

And I’m sure many right now might be hurting. You know, families who one or more of the people have lost their jobs and are now on half their income and things like that. So what I really love about homesteading, what I really love about, I guess, entrepreneurship is the interconnectedness of it all. Because we take back our power in being able to generate our own income. 

Once we can do that, we’re not – I’m never going to be broke because I know how to make a dollar. It’s just that simple. Like, I don’t have to worry, nor do you, right? And mine’s tied to my homestead. And one of the things about that is I was saying earlier about being smart with money. This is smart money. In other words, like, guys, my tractor is a business expense. 

My truck payment is a business expense. All of this equipment is a business expense. My farm is a business expense. I had to take my cat, my barn cat, to the vet yesterday, $500 vet bill, and business expenses. 

That’s where we, the moment we turn our homesteads, our properties, our lands – and I want to clarify, homestead, it can be suburban, it can be a micro-farm, it doesn’t have to be acres of land, it doesn’t have to be rural. I, of course, am rurally and on acreage, but most people are not. 

Most people are on a quarter-acre lot, like a suburban lot. Now, I don’t know if I talked about this yet, so I think I’m going to go ahead and mention it. Like, even a small quarter-acre suburban lot can generate a lot of revenue. There are case studies of people growing their own food in a quarter-acre backyard, and one of the keys is it does need to be ineffective growing methods, like bio-intensive growing methods, using permaculture for low work. 

But you can grow $20,000 in food in a backyard. Like, I’ve done the math myself, and I think I figured out like a 600-square-foot garden planted right could do $20,000 in, or better than, organic produce. 

Again, better than organic because you got to remember, organic food at your grocery store is basically just almost conventional produce that you’re paying twice as much for. It’s not nutrient-dense. The soils that it grew in are likely depleted, and it’s still sprayed with toxic crap.

So, this is totally off the topic of what I’m even talking about but why not? By getting aligned, I mean aligning yourself with your purpose, your values, and your vision. When you know what you want, what you stand for, and what drives you, you can make intentional choices that move you closer to your goals. You can prioritize your time and energy, make decisions with confidence, and attract opportunities and people who support your vision. 

Getting aligned means connecting with your inner wisdom, your intuition, and your higher power, and trusting that everything is working for your highest good. It’s not always easy, and it requires self-awareness, self-care, and self-discipline, but the rewards are priceless. 

When you’re aligned, you’re in flow, you’re in harmony, and you’re in joy, and that’s the ultimate goal of homesteading and entrepreneurship, isn’t it? To create a life that’s sustainable, fulfilling, and meaningful, and to share your gifts and talents with the world. 

So, if you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or disconnected, take a step back, breathe deeply, and ask yourself, “Am I aligned?” If the answer is no, then take some time to reflect, journal, meditate, or seek guidance from a mentor or a coach. Remember, you have everything you need within you to create the life you want. You just have to get aligned and let your light shine.

Getting in tune with the best version of yourself – the version of yourself that is not afraid, the version of yourself that is not worried because you know you got this, the version of yourself that knows there’s abundance just waiting for you, the version of yourself that believes to the core of itself that your dreams are on the way. Because when you act from that place, you get very different results.

For example, when I’m operating in fear mode (and I did this for a little while), we had a total sh*tshow happen last year. I’ve not divulged tons of it, but basically, it threw me and I fell off my horse. And I was starting to make decisions from this fearful place of “oh, I don’t know if I can make this happen, I don’t know if I can take care of myself.” And I was making all the wrong decisions. I was making decisions that were making us poorer, more stressed, and less time. 

And I stopped. I took almost two weeks off, and I did nothing other than get re-aligned with the version of me, the beliefs that I needed to believe to connect with the source, to know that I got this, that I’m not going to fail, that my abundance is around the corner. 

And then from that place of “I got this”, can you imagine the different choices a person would make? So, whenever you’re making choices, a total tangent, yes, I apologize. You’ve got to make these choices from a positively aligned place. 

So, aligned, hard work, and smart, right? And smart was the permaculture thing that we’re talking about. So, I gave you some ideas, you know, about how it’s all about starting small. You know, like when I talk about some of these things, like a microgreens business, as people go from “well, I got nothing today” to a microgreens business, and that’s a really big gap, isn’t it? That’s a massive gap.

So, the idea behind this gap thing – like one thing once doing a trick, I’m just going to throw in another trick because I’m on a rant today – I like to think about things like when I look at these big, lofty goals, I’m like, “That would be nice, but that’s so far away. How do I get there?” I look at that gap between where I’m at today and this goal, and it looks this big – that’s probably the best way to look at it. How do you get there? How do you close that gap and make it smaller? 

Like, if you’re wanting a homestead to monetize itself but you have nothing right now, that’s a big gap. How do you get there? Well, I think the analogy that comes to mind first is almost like Google Maps. When you Google map yourself from Colorado to, I don’t know, Florida, do you know all the turns along the way? No, you don’t. You go turn by turn, and maybe you look at the first few turns so you have a sense of, “Okay, I’m turning on this street and the street to get on the highway, and then I’m on the highway for a long while.” 

Closing the gap is similar. We don’t look at the big distance between a homestead that’s sucking up money and not having an income stream to a homestead that’s thriving in abundance. Okay, that’s too big of a gap. And that’s where I was talking earlier about the gold being small baby steps. So you say, “Well, what’s one thing that I can do to monetize the homestead that interests me, that I’m excited about?”

Could I start selling eggs to my neighbors?

Can I start selling microgreens?

Can I make one dollar and repeat it?

Can I make a dollar and repeat it?

Can I make two dollars and repeat it?

Can I make five dollars and repeat it?

That’s all it is, just repeating and remembering that you’re going to fail more times than you’re going to succeed. But when you succeed, it’s going to outweigh your failures, right? That’s key.

Now that I’ve gone on a few tangents, apologies, and again for anybody who’s popped on right now, um, you know, this idea of thriving during a recession with your homestead. I get that money is a big problem for a lot of people. I have a free eBook that’s available for the next couple of days only. It’s how to homestead with zero dollars. 

And the idea is, how can you, you know, homestead on other people’s dimes? How can you help other people while getting self-sufficient skills, while growing your own food? I wrote a whole eBook about it because I spent a lot of my life homesteading on other people’s dimes before I had the ability to fund my own homestead and farm.

Okay, that eBook’s for free. The link’s in my bio, so get it after the live. Stay on the life. Don’t click away. It’s going to be there for a couple of days. Get that eBook when you sign up for the Homestead Bundle waitlist. Now, the Homestead Bundle waitlist. I’m going to notify you on Friday when the Homestead Bundle becomes available, and this thing’s incredible folks. Like, seriously, I sell online courses that are multi-thousands of dollars, right? 

The Homestead Bundle is 140 eBook courses on everything you need for off-grid living, self-sufficient living, sustainable living, growing your own food, and entrepreneurship. The list goes on and on. 

This bundle is $6,000 in courses and eBooks, and we’re selling it for 50 bucks for a few days. Um, it’s a collaborative effort between myself and 140 other creators, so it’s super awesome. You’re not just getting my thoughts and opinions. You’re getting a lot of other really great minds.

So again, get on that notification list that’s dropping here soon, and I want to move on to my third secret here for today.

So secret number three is the six-figure homestead without breaking your back farming, so you can thrive and not just survive. In my experience, when I was monetizing my homestead, as I was just talking about, and I kind of forgot to mention what ways I was doing it, I wasn’t doing your traditional ways of like growing food and selling it or clearing goats or any of that kind of stuff. 

I was actually monetizing my homestead by doing permaculture consulting, permaculture design work, and permaculture installation work. So, a lot of ecological landscaping kind of stuff, but I tied it to my homestead, and that like I bought a tractor, and so that tractor became a business expense, and I would use the tractor to develop that bare land that we had, and then I would turn around and use that tractor to build a pond for a client, do water harvesting, earthworks, and consult with them on reading their landscape so that way they knew how to turn it into a self-sufficient permaculture homestead. 

That was great, for me, that was like things started to get stable. I was able to get back to my garden. I was able to finish our yurt and finish developing as much of that property as we wanted to. That’s a story for another day because we actually sold that property because of the mega-fires that were happening.

I don’t know if any of you are experiencing or nearby the California Mosquito Fire in California. There’s a fire in Oregon right now, 80,000 acres last time I checked. That’s why we left those mountains, but that’s another story for another day.

So I monetized my homestead, right, and I tied it all together. And what I then realized is there was just a limited amount of scalability with that. In other words, it was a dollar per hour. What am I trying to say? I had to work an hour to make my rate. And that was great because at least I was paying for my homestead in a way that felt aligned with it. I could expense some of my tools and equipment, and it kind of started to mesh like this. 

But for me, I guess I just realized that I wanted a little bit more. I realized that it wasn’t like freedom. In other words, for me, freedom is being able to decide what I do with my time. And how do you have freedom? You either need to need no money or you have enough money that you’re free with your time. And so that’s where I kind of looked at how you build a homestead business that’s scalable beyond dollars for hours.

And there are a few ways that one can do this, but this is where for me the real sweet stuff kind of started to happen because as I stepped away from the one-on-one work, the manual labor, the consulting, that kind of work, and for many people, it’s probably more, a lot of people here, I’m imagining, going to be doing a lot more things like market gardens and things like that. 

Just because that’s generally where more people are interested in than the contracting kind of work that basically I did, the contracting and consulting kind of work. So, at that time, maybe my homestead was getting by. I was making enough money to pay the bills and take care of my family.

But we weren’t exactly doing great. Like if I wanted to expand my homestead, it wasn’t possible. And I started to have bigger and bigger dreams. And I wanted to build this straw bale home, and I wanted to do all these things. I wanted to build a geodesic greenhouse and start taking the idea of off-grid sustainable living further. So I realized I needed even more money. And I looked at my business model, and I realized there were ways to monetize my homestead that had a much higher return on investment.

So for me personally, there are two ways that you could do this. In other words, as a homesteader who is doing the work to make the money, you can captain time. Therefore, the thing you need to do is hire. You need to build a business that has employees, and the employees do the work. 

You make less per hour off the employees’ work, but then they pay you for work you didn’t do. It’s the next iteration of many businesses. It’s when you own the farm, but people work for it. And you provide them with the opportunity to earn an income while learning how to farm. And then they’re generating income and running your business, right? That’s how many people will do it.

Now, in my case, I wanted a more scalable homestead business. And with the internet, well, for me, it became, I also want to reach more people. I’m going to be totally honest with you all. This. I’m just your average selfish idiot, okay? Do you know why? Because when I…

When I saw my little son, I just realized that I had to do something for him. I saw where things were heading in many different ways, and I’m not neglecting the positive aspects of the world, but I think we can all agree that things are getting a little squirrely, right? And I realized that my being one-on-one with people, it wasn’t helping enough people. It wasn’t spreading the ideas of permaculture, sustainable living, and self-sufficient living far enough. 

And so, I wanted a one-to-many model of business. And as a byproduct of the one-to-many model of business, is that you can have scalable income. Like my business runs while I’m sleeping. I didn’t work for almost a year, and my business ran. Is that something that you’d like? 

Would that be, you know, interesting to you? Was that give me a wave if that’s the kind of business you would like? That’s the kind of income stream, maybe I should say income because business sounds all big and scary. It’s, you know, income stream. 

And the idea was I leveraged the internet. Okay, a lot of people, you know, they’re interested in self-sufficient, sustainable living. They want to get back to the land. They want to get their hands dirty, but they don’t want crap to do with the internet.

And that’s fine. For me, I get to do that. I get to go out to my garden and farm, but the internet business is the only way I was able to scale it and make a really good income, passively, even to some extent. 

And I don’t want to throw out the word passively lightly because I think that too many people get the idea that there’s, “Oh, you make this thing and then people buy it forever, and you’re just rich.” Like the Tim Ferriss four-hour workweek thing, it’s not true. It’s not true. But I will tell you, last year, I had to shut down my business for what was it, eight months. We became homeless. 

We lost our home, and then my son ended up getting sick, and we had to go through a big ordeal. And it took me out for a couple of months, but I was able to let my business support us because I didn’t have to be.

“One-on-one with people and that’s what I want for a lot of other people too – is the ability to do this because permaculture is all about stacking, what’s the most we can get out of something, and online entrepreneurship, online income streams is that because I’m helping people live self-sufficiently. Right? 

I get to help people change the planet for the better – people who want to live in a more sustainable world, that let where them lessens their carbon footprint and they help restore the environment, right? 

I get to help those people. I get to help people create security for those families, the people that are concerned about food shortages, concerned about energy problems, rising energy costs, I get to help those people, right?”

I estimate, and this is just, you know, I’ve had touchpoints at this point with at least multiple millions of people. Now, I couldn’t have done that with my old business model. And so, what exactly is this even? I mean, just, you know, maybe you’re sitting here wondering, “Well, what are you talking about, guy? Great internet businesses, online businesses, blah, blah, blah, blah.” 

There are a lot of different ways you can do it, and it kind of just depends on what’s, you know, of interest to you. There’s so, what I do, I can talk about what I do. I sell online courses. 

That’s kind of like my bread and butter. I have a permaculture design certification course, um, that we open up a couple of times a year for enrollment, and I teach people all everything they need to know about permaculture, designing self-sufficient, sustainable homesteads, properties, farms, and all that. I have a permaculture gardening online course where I teach people just the gardening component of that.

And then, that’s all. Those are the two products that I sell, and I’m expanding into a couple of others. I’m going to have a holistic homestead online course coming out here next month. And then, everything else I give out is free; free content online, YouTube videos. 

Some people monetize their content, like, you know, YouTube channel views can pay. I don’t do that. I’m not a huge YouTuber, but I do have a YouTube channel, helping people with lives like this and free content, free eBooks that we give out, and even just low-cost resources like the homestead bundle that we’re going to be dropping. 

140 other plus creators like myself have combined forces to provide thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars of value in this homestead bundle for 50 bucks. Like, it’s just insane, the value, the information that’s in that bundle for 50 bucks, but because it’s sold at scale, we can sell it for 50 bucks, right?

It wouldn’t work one-on-one; you’d never make enough money. But we can make a good income at a low cost in the case of that eBook bundle.

And of course, you know, there are some people that, you know, do affiliate sales. They have big social media followings, and they promote products they really enjoy. That’s not something I’ve gotten very into, but, you know, a big homesteader, Justin Rhodes, has a YouTube channel. I think almost a million subscribers and some of the things he gets are promotion kind of deals and things like that. So.

To kind of recap this, the three steps are in creating a holistic homestead that has a monetization component. Step one is just to get your homestead to zero itself out, right? Which can in a lot of different ways. 

Some ways are measurable, and some ways are not measurable, such as food security, you can’t really measure that, but it’s a return on investment. But you can actually measure, you know, monetize that two cherry trees can produce twelve hundred dollars worth of cherries in a year. You can monetize that. 

So step one of a holistic homestead monetization system is to zero out the cost of the homestead so it pays for itself, right? That’s step one. Step two, take it and scale it a little bit. Monetize it. Start selling something that is of interest to you, right? Whatever that might be. 

Start a little micro greens endeavor, and all you’ve got to do is start selling one dollar, or, you know, sell one thing to one person, make one dollar to one person, and repeat the process. Repeat the process. And for me, step three is you scale the business into something where you can earn six figures or more.

In my case, we’ve had multiple six-figure years. Can you imagine how that would be to not have to worry about money as an issue and be able to help as many people as needed? It’s freedom because it’s not about money. We talk about money a lot because money is the vehicle to freedom, and what is freedom? 

Being able to choose what we want to do with our time. But I want people to know that you don’t have to be broke homesteading and farming. You can make multiple six-figures homesteading, in part by how you choose to do it. 

For some people, that’s just not what they’re into, and that’s totally cool. I have good farmer friends who are like, ‘Screw Instagram, screw YouTube, I’m just gonna farm,’ and they’re happier that way. That’s their thing. 

But if it’s your thing, consider it. Consider how your homestead, how your land, how your property, regardless of regardless (this is a word, by the way, I looked it up), is irrigated.”

Regardless of how much space you have, a quarter-acre suburban lot can produce twenty thousand dollars in production, right, and create food security and self-sufficiency. 

So that’s all I got, my friends. I’m running out of things to talk about. I think it’s been almost an hour now here. I hope you enjoyed this topic again. The idea is, you can recession-proof your life. Okay? 

You don’t need to just survive, you can thrive. But you got to do something about it. You got to take action. You got to do something about it. And if money is one of your big issues right now, um, just a last reminder, I have a free ebook that I’m giving out for the next three or four days. 

I think it’s called “How to Homestead on Zero Dollars”. Link’s in my bio, go there, get on the homestead bundle waitlist, which drops on Friday, and I’m giving away my ebook to every person that enrolls, I’m not enrolled, uh, gets on the waitlist until Friday. And then the ebook goes away, and then we’re releasing the homestead bundle. 

So, I appreciate y’all hanging out with me, it’s been a fantastic life. 

Take care.

About Bret James

Hi, I’m Bret James. My family and I have created a recession-proof, sh*t-storm proof self-sustainable life. We grow a low-work garden, have an abundant food forest, raise animals holistically, have a stocked pantry of home grown-foods, harvest fresh rainwater, and live in an energy-efficient passive solar straw bale home - all in alignment with nature. And it doesn’t take all of your time, in fact, we run a business and even homeschool our son - all while living a life as outside of the system as possible.

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