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In this article, I would like to talk about the concept of MONEY and the different ways that you can earn it.
I used the term “CONCEPT” of money. The Concept of money goes all the way back to even before Biblical times. For ages throughout human history this concept existed as a Means Of Exchange. That is what the Concept of money is essentially. It is a means of exchange.
What I mean by “Means Of Exchange” is the use of something that holds a certain amount of value and gives the possessor of it the ability to buy things with it (buying power). You would use this “Means Of Exchange” to get the things you want or need.
There were times in certain cultures in history in which things such as shells or marked stones were used as a means of exchange. Some cultures thousands of years ago even used different sizes of measuring sticks as a means of exchange. The varying lengths of the sticks determined the value that they carried and how much “Buying Power” it gave to the person with the sticks.
Many people may know that there was a time when Precious Metals (Gold and Silver) were used as a means of exchange. The coins and paper dollar that we use today were once backed by these precious metals (but not anymore.)
At the time of this writing, we are now in the Plastic and Digital Dollar age, with credit cards and debit cards and digital platforms such as Paypal and Cashapp.
The one thing that all of these different applications have in common is that they were/are a MEANS OF EXCHANGE! They allowed/allow you as the possessor of such items to get the things that you want or need. So, no matter what form the “Means Of Exchange” may take, as long as such thing as a Means Of Exchange exists, there will be opportunities for you to obtain it for yourself and for your needs.
You can be self sufficient whether you live on the grid or off-grid. You may own your own home, be Energy Independent, Gas Independent, Water Independent and Food Independent, but there are still other things that you may be used to having or using that you will need money to get. Think of toilet paper, pots and pans for cooking, silver ware, laundry detergent, batteries, phone charger, diapers, men’s razors, shaving cream, shoes, clothing, etc.
Whether or not you are on the grid has nor bearing on your true sense of independence and self sufficiency as long as you have the ability to go completely off the grid anytime you want to. The ability and the means to do so at any given time means you are self sufficient.
Now, we must apply this same mindset when it comes to making money as self sufficient people. Having money to do certain things and live your life a certain way may require you to work a job. But working a job doesn’t mean that you are not independent and self sufficient. It means that you are marketable and have value and the people you work for recognize that value.
Having CERTAIN SKILLS and CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE are the things that people use to make money, whether they work for themselves or work for others. Having that VALUE (marketable skills and knowledge) is what will allow YOU to make money while still being independent and self sufficient.
If you are able to use your unique talents, knowledge and skills to be self employed, it is always much more desirable to do so. But if you are not able to establish self employment at the moment, it’s okay to use those same talents to work for someone else. The two important things to not lose sight of are that you have value that other people see and will pay you for and you are earning an income. You can always establish self employment at a later time when the circumstances are good enough for you to do so. But you can (and should) earn an income in the meantime.
BUT…what if you can’t get a job? Or what if you simply cannot or do not want to work for others? After all, isn’t part of being independent and self sufficient not having to work for others?
I will address these concerns in this post and point out the directions you can take to earn an income and still be independent.
When it comes to making money independently, it is important that we look at the things that are considered ESSENTIAL for people to live. So let’s take a look at those things. Below is a list of the essentials that people simply cannot do without:
*Gas (for heat and a means of cooking food)
By carefully considering the above list, you should realize that the key to earning an income (be it through self employment or working for someone else) is by involving yourself in work that provides one or any combination of the things listed above.
Before looking at earning an independent and self sufficient income, let’s first have a look at some employment opportunities based on a few of the categories in the above list:
MONEY – No degree or college education is required to work as a bank teller. Working as a teller at a bank may be considered an entry level position at a bank in which you can eventually transition to other positions within the bank such as, new accounts processor, loans processor, customer service representative and credit department. I know this for an absolute fact because I have a long time friend who opened my account at the bank that I have been with for the past 15 years now. He started at my bank as a teller and was an accounts processor at the time I first established my checking and savings account with my bank.
GAS and ELECTRICITY – Don’t have an engineering degree but still wish to work for a utilities company? That’s not a problem if you want to be a call taker/customer service rep for a utilities company. People will almost always need gas and electricity. And if there are people who aren’t independent with their gas and electric, then they must rely on the utilities companies to supply these to them. Every gas and electric company have customer service reps.
SAFETY/SECURITY – This one will require that you don’t have a criminal record, but security guard jobs don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. There are many different places that employ security guards; hospitals, clinics, supermarkets, gated communities, senior citizen centers, banks and schools just to name a few. Some positions are unarmed positions, while others are armed positions. Of course, the armed jobs pay more.
If you are not comfortable with the thought of security work and still want find work within the concept of safety and security, you can always consider working as a Police Dispatcher. These are the people who, when you call for the police, answer the phone with the famous line “911, What Is Your Emergency?”
FOOD – This is probably going to raise a couple of eyebrows, but this may very well be the most opportunistic category from the list. People have to eat. They must have food. If you don’t eat, you can’t live. What is the one job in this category that seems to be recession proof and depression proof? Let’s get ready to raise those eyebrows. The answer is Fast Food Restaurants! Restaurants in general, but fast food restaurants in particular.
Throughout this entire present pandemic, establishments such as Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Popeye’s, Eat ‘N Park, Red Robbin, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silver, etc. seem to be doing just fine. There are supermarkets that are still struggling and trying to recover from the initial financial losses of the pandemic, but the above named restaurants (and many others like them) seem to have not missed a beat.
I think the reasons for this are very simple. In fact, I think it boils down to three very simple reasons:
– People have to eat no matter what
– People want the food they wish to eat right now (there are reasons for this as well)
– People want to eat, they want to eat right now and they don’t want to (or cannot afford to) pay a lot of money for it.
I think this is the success formula for the typical fast food restaurant. And these places seem to always be hiring. The reason that these places seem to always be hiring is because most of these places are revolving doors; employees come, employees go. And there’s a reason that these places seem to be revolving doors; working at a fast food restaurant is one of the least desirable jobs to have. They get paid little to deal with so much.
Again, I know such a suggestion is sure to raise some eyebrows, but I wanted to point out that working at a fast food restaurant or even a pizza parlor appears to be the sort of jobs that don’t seem to suffer even during the worst of economic times.
Lastly, I would like to bring your attention to what you can call an Honorable Mention. It’s not from the above categories of human needs, but it is also something that just may be recession proof and depression proof.
HAIR STYLISTS and BARBERS – Yes, barber shops and hair salons. I have seen on the news that there were barber shops and hair salons who were more than upset with the government mandated closures of “non essential” businesses because their respective clients were still available to pay them for their services. You may also be aware that some of these places were fined because they were opening their doors and conducting business as usual against the orders of closure of their businesses.
No matter how bad things are economically, there will always come a point to which people’s hair will start to become ‘untamed’ and will need to be ‘tamed’. This is the VALUE of hair stylists and barbers. The beauty of this is that, as a barber or hair stylist, you can always learn on your own (which, of course, will take some time) and you have the option of working for others in an establishment or work for yourself.
Now, let’s explore 10 ways that you can make money on your own while being independent. The bottom four suggestions are ideas to consider when you have accomplished self sufficiency with your Food, Gas and Electric needs. A couple of these ideas are based upon the categories I already talked about earlier in this post.
10) CLOTHING AND APPAREL
While maybe not AS essential as food, water, shelter and electricity, clothing is still a necessity. You can always take advantage of this necessity by selling clothing items that you make yourself. You can also buy clothing items wholesale to resell to people at a profitable markup. One idea in particular that is worth considering is to invest in a good multi function heating press machine. Invest in a machine that can do it all; shirts, pants, hoodies, hats,etc. And why stop there? There are some machines that not only heat press clothing items, but coffee mugs as well. The best way to make the most of this kind of opportunity is to come up with your own brand and logo. You can sell your clothing and apparel through different channels. You can sell them yourself at your local flea markets. Or you may decide to set up a table somewhere outdoors to sell your items.
If the idea of face-to-face selling doesn’t appeal to you, then you can always sell them online. There are many different options to sell your items online. One option is to establish your own webstore. Another option is Etsy. And yet another is Ebay. Better still would be to use all of these avenues for maximum exposure.
9) BAKED GOODS and ARTS AND CRAFTS
Believe it or not, both of these ways to make money still work in today’s world. They never went out of vogue. My wife is a baker and cake decorator by trade and she was always in demand to make baked goods and decorate cakes for all sorts of special occasions such as weddings, graduations, birthdays, etc. Now she is dealing with almost the same demand by selling her handmade jewellery. When it comes to the jewellery, there will always be people who like jewellery as much as they like fashion. And being able to make jewellery means you can make items specifically to the tastes and desires of your customers. And as far as the baked goods are concerned, special occasions will always exist, yes even in the worst of times. There will always be birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays and family gatherings of all sorts.
8) INCENSE and ESSENTIAL OILS
Much like arts and crafts, incense and essential oils are those things that never went out of vogue and that a lot of people buy for many different reasons. People like to smell good. People also like for their homes and vehicles to smell good as well. These are the reasons that incense and essential oils are still en vogue. This money making endeavor is more profitable of you make your own incense and essential oils. And while you most certainly can make your own incense and oils to sell, that will require the right tools and the right know how. Until you acquire those tools and know how it would be simpler to buy the incense and essential oils at wholesale prices. You can even use the essential oils to make scented lotions, scented soaps and car freshener sprays.
As with almost any business endeavor, marketing and advertising are the things that send people your way for you to sell your goods to. The ideas about selling clothing and apparel apply to selling your incense and essential oils as well. One unique way to advertise your incense and oils is to use them yourself. Wear your scented lotions and oils, spray your vehicle with your car freshener spray, make sure your house is smelling heavenly with the incense that you have. The second you receive a compliment on how good you, your home or your car smells, you can engage a conversation that may eventually lead to a sell. Even more encouraging is when someone asks you what that pleasant fragrance is. They are asking for a reason.
7) SELLING ORGANIC SOAPS
Something that you can do on it’s own OR along with selling incense and essential oils is to sell organic soaps. Organic soaps make no use of animal by products or the harsh detergent chemicals that are typically used in the more popular commercially available soaps. You can use essential oils to make your organic soaps “scented”. Buying essential oils wholesale will be the standard foot in the door when it comes to selling or using those oils in a business sense. But if you have a Self Sufficient and Independent Garden in which you grow your own food, you may consider expanding your garden to grow certain flowers as well to get your essential oils from. Think of the most popular essential oils to determine which flowers you want to grow in your garden. So we are talking about Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, etc.
Before moving on to the next money making idea, something to consider in your incense, oils and organic soaps businesses is to include your own potpourri that you make yourself for sell. You’ll find that there are people who like both incense and potpourri. And if they don’t like both, then they will more than likely have a preference for at least one of them.
6) SELLING GENERAL INTEREST ITEMS
Do you know why places such as Walmart, Target and Macy’s are so successful? It’s because they do not specialize in any one thing. They offer a variety of items to their customer base. And while you may not have dreams of becoming as big as those department stores (which wouldn’t be a bad thing at all if you do), you can still copy their formula for success and sell many different items.
The means by which you can sell these items are no different than the same means by which you would sell your clothing and apparel. You can sell any and everything that catches your interest. If it tickles your fancy, then chances are that it tickles other peoples’ fancy as well. Toys, fans, hand sanitizer, undergarments, knick-knacks, pottery, cooking ware, silver ware, trading cards, shoes, flashlights, batteries, sun glasses, lighters, books, sewing kits, hair care products, skin care products, movies, music, grills, etc. You name it. This is IN ADDITION to selling your own clothing and apparel brand, your own incense and oils, your own hand made jewellery, your own organic soaps and lotions and your own arts and crafts. Again, you can set up shop in the physical world or establish an online presence or both. You can start small with just a few items and grow from there until you are selling a countless variety of items.
5) HOME BASED ONLINE BUSINESS
With this idea I am not talking about selling handmade or wholesale items online as previously mentioned. I’m talking about establishing a business online in which you can provide a service (such as credit repair or freelance writing) or invest in a business opportunity that you would market online. Some ideas to consider are consulting, freelance writing, credit repair, language teaching, publishing, providing an online teaching course or blogging. You can also sell essential services online and make good money.
When considering what kind of online service business to do it is best that you look into those things which you are passionate about or have a sincere interest in.
The same applies to blogging. There are bloggers who make money from what is known as Affiliate Marketing. You can earn advertising and affiliate commissions by monetizing your blog, but it would be a huge mistake to start a blog simply to make money or to pick a blog niche based on what you think will bring in the most money. Stick to what you like and what you know. There is something out there for everybody and if you are passionate about a field of interest, just know that there are others who are as passionate or almost as passionate about it too and would love to read your thoughts on it.
The four remaining money making ideas in this post are ideas to take advantage of being independent particularly in terms of food and having a self sufficient means of supplying it.
4) GARDENING AND FARMING
The idea behind this suggestion is that you can make money selling herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables that you grow yourself. You can even set aside extra seeds to sell to others.
We don’t know what the future holds for us with the current pandemic crisis that we face today. There very well may come a time when there won’t be supermarkets and grocery stores for people to go to for food. Even though such an event would be tragic, it can be an opportunity for you as someone who is already self sufficient and grows their own food. There are three avenues to focus on when selling extra fruits and vegetables from your garden; restaurants, your local Farmer’s Market and local, small grocers who may still be open for business. I’m not talking about the large supermarket chains, I’m talking about the local Mom and Pop Stores who sell produce.
You are not limited to growing and selling edible produce to make money from your garden. You can grow a variety of plants and flowers that people will buy simply to decorate a certain environment or to give as a gifts to other people. Think of how popular roses are. Well just imagine how much money you can make selling produce AND roses and other types of flowers. Also, You may not be the only person in your area interested in making money from selling essential oils, organic soaps and potpourri. Others who are interested in doing the same will need a source to get their organic flowers such as lavender and jasmine from. You can very well be that source.
A step up from Farming and Gardening is using an aquaponics system to raise and sell fish. You can do this in addition to selling your produce from your garden. Again, it is a matter of growing extra produce and raising fish beyond your own personal needs. With aquaponics (and Farming and Gardening as well), you can strategically grow your fish and produce beyond what you need or you can just sell what is extra even if you did not intentionally grow extra produce or fish. The avenues through which you can sell your fish are the same avenues mentioned above for selling produce from your garden.
2) TEACHING/EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS
What’s better than selling fish and produce from your self sufficient garden? Selling the KNOWLEDGE that people need to build their own self sufficient set ups. Do you remember what I said at the beginning of this article about having unique knowledge and talents that make you valuable? Well, Voila!
The best way to do this is to hold weekly workshops in which you teach people all that you know about gardening including soil based gardening, hydroponic gardening, aquaponic gardening and Vermiponic Gardening.
This can earn you more income than selling fish and produce from your garden because you are not just giving people fish and feeding them for a day, but you are teaching them how to fish so they can feed themselves for the rest of their lives. Maimonides would be proud to know that you are doing this.
You don’t have to stick with teaching people how to set up self sufficient gardens. If you have the knowledge, you can also teach others how to build a DIY Biodigester or teach them how to become Energy Independent. And you don’t have to necessarily teach by way of workshops. You can always write books teaching people this essential knowledge. The means by which you teach people isn’t what’s important. The information itself that you are teaching is what’s important.
And the number one way to make money while being independent and self sufficient is…
1) FREELANCE SERVICES
If teaching people how to develop self sufficient gardens and other ways of becoming independent is better than selling from your self sufficient garden, then is there something that’s better than teaching them?
Yes, and that is by building it for them!
This is a step up from teaching. Let’s face it, not everyone has the time and the patience that you may have but they still want to be self sufficient and independent. Or they may need to have things set up right away because the circumstances won’t afford them the time to learn these things to build on their own. This isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s good for you. Just as you can earn more money teaching others how to fish instead of selling them fish, you can earn even more money than teaching by building the set ups for other people.
Whatever they may be interested in; Solar systems, portable solar generators, hydroponic systems, aquaponics systems, Vermiponics Systems or traditional soil based gardens. You can make money by building these things for them.
Have a look at This Post to learn about different approaches to gardening and small scale farming.
Here’s an excellent and detailed video on how to build a solar generator. This particular knowledge may one day be worth more than gold. But today, it is worth as much as gold.
In a time of crisis when people may be desperate to feed their families and keep the lights on will be an opportunity for you to earn money and to keep providing for your own self sufficient needs (while helping others at the same time.)
NOW, THERE IS ONE LAST THING I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION!
What if we find ourselves in the very possible event of money being completely worthless? How will you get the things that you need that was mentioned in the beginning of this post? What good would your knowledge do you if you cannot earn money by teaching others or building self sufficient set ups for others? What if there’s no Means Of Exchange by which you can buy the things that you need?
I mentioned at the start of this post that human beings have used various Means of Exchange for ages. But the concept of money as a means of exchange didn’t always exist. There was something else people used to do BEFORE someone came up with the concept of money. In fact, the concept of money has it’s roots in this earlier method of getting the things that people wanted or needed. And this method never did go away. People still do it to this day. And the time may soon come when people would once again use this means on as large a scale as it once was thousands of years ago.
I’m Talking About The Fine Art Of Bartering!
Bartering is simply a way to exchange goods and services without the use of what’s known as money. To help you to understand it better, substitute the word Barter for the word Trade. How many times as a kid did you trade one thing with your friend in exchange for something else? Kids do it all the time after they go Trick-or-Treating on Halloween Night. “I’ll trade you two Reese’s Cups for one Popcorn Ball.” Or “I’ll trade you three snicker bars for two packs of bubble gum.” Or “I’ll let you have 4 bags of chips if you give me two of your kit-kats.”
I’m sure you get the idea.
What else is any typical business transaction other than trading? One person trades money in exchange for goods or services. But in this case people learn to “trade” the old fashioned way and that is through Bartering!
As long as you are self sufficient and have the knowledge to attain self sufficiency, then you will always have SOMETHING OF VALUE that you can barter…or TRADE if you like that term better.
You can either trade food from your garden or teach people to build something or build it for them in exchange for the things that you want or need.
So the most important thing is to become independent and self sufficient as quickly as possible. This is something that we all should be doing anyway.