Living Off The Grid

Is Living “Off the Grid” a Fantasy?

What About Doing Business and Making Money?

5:27 AM

Question: Marc, I know you’ve talked about living “off the grid” with great passion. But is this lifestyle a fantasy? What about doing business and making money”?

G.L. Calgary Alberta CA

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Dear Entrepreneur:

The short answer is yes! Living “off the grid” is feasible. There are boatloads of options when it comes to business, working and making money.

I talk about living “off the grid” because of my interest, but also because of the number comments and posts I receive.  Today I’ll give you my insight on the topic with some updates, and show you what it means for you.

First, I’ll give you my definition of living “off the grid”.

For me “off the grid” means living away off the conventional “grid” meaning electricity, telephone, water, government sewage systems, Internet and cable TV networks.  It’s harder to live this way than you might think.

I’ve lived “off the grid” five times in the past 30 years in New Mexico, Arizona, Minnesota, Maine, and Mexico.   I’ve also lived on a luxury house boat on the St Croix River is Wisconsin.  This wasn’t actually “off the grid” but it was close.  Everything on the boat was powered with a diesel generator. We grabbed TV signals out of the air and used a radio telephone.

Living “off the grid” can be an adventure but there are other benefits too.  For me, two of the greatest benefits were the satisfaction of being self-sufficient, and gaining an appreciation of real things like clean water, air, fresh food and friendships.

One of the best movies along these lines is “Into the Wild” by Sean Penn. Believe me when I tell you it’s a classic.  My oldest son said it was his all-time favorite movie.

A Modern Day Cave Man

There’s a man in Idaho by the name of Richard Zimmerman. He’s known as the “Salmon River Caveman”. Robert has lived an “off the grid” for years. He’s lived almost entirely off the land, with a home in a cave on the Salmon River in Idaho.

And get this….

Richard’s caves were more than 60 feet deep!

Richard earned extra money by renting out adjacent caves for $2 a night. I’m dead serious! Most of his quests only spend a night or two; but others chose the $25 monthly rate and have stayed for months at a time. He has two tenants which have lived in the caves for more than two years.

I’ve lived and explored caves in New Mexico. Some of the caves 40 feet high and 100 feet wide! On one occasion in the middle of July the temperature in the cave was a pleasant 67 degrees.  Granted, living in a cave, in a tree house or on an iceberg may not be your idea of “the high life”.  But it can be an exciting adventure. It might give you a new perspective to life, business and making money.

I’ve enclosed some great resources for living “off the grid” in this week’s issue.

What Do You Need to Live “Off the Grid”?

Here’s a revised list I used when I lived off the grid in New Mexico:

1)    Access to clean water

2)    Access to a legitimate food source or be able to easily transport food to your location (hunting and fishing are not always options)

3)    Shelter. Building a shelter while getting established is not realistic so I rented a hunting cabin

4)    High-quality laminated topographic maps. Understand how to use a map and a compass before you go.

5)    Firearms. Forget about bows and arrows, snags and traps. Bring a gun.

6)    Most animals are not your friends. Living off the grid is not a cartoon. I was stalked for several days by a mountain lion until an old timer showed me a secret: always try to appear larger than you are if confronted by one! Animals do not want problems.

7)    Let someone know your exact location. Today with Google Maps and Geo-tags it’s easy.

8)    Make friends in the surrounding area. You’ll need them. I made friends with an old man, who was a 35-year Navy veteran (designed ships).

9)    Invest in a state of the art first aid and survival kit (even if you’re Rambo) One of the best is QuakeKare.

10)   CASH. Cash always works wonders when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Store cash in zip lock bags outside of your shelter, like under a large rock.

What About Making Money!?

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The focus of Weekend Business Blueprint is legitimate business and money making opportunities, with an emphasis on low startup costs, easy entry and no red tape or employees (unless you want them).

You don’t need a boatload of cash to retire on a deserted island, live in a cave, or live in a remote paradise. The key to your income and lifestyle is expenses.

I know several millionaires who are broke…seriously.

I had lunch with R.M. (a “broke” millionaire) recently and he said, “I don’t feel rich. I feel like a slave. I have debt, bills and expenses. I wish I could sell everything and live “off the grid”.  And I’ve heard similar complaints from other “broke” millionaires too.  There’s great wisdom in reducing the amount of “stuff” we own, slashing expenses, being debt free and simplifying life.

Even if you live in a tree house, cave or under waterfall most people involved in money making ventures will need access to a bank or PayPal, a postal address, the Internet or communications of some kind.

Often people living “off the grid” have access to these things at a secondary location (like the Salmon River Caveman who comes into town every couple weeks).

So, with access to these things here are a few viable money making ideas (online and off). And remember…we’re entrepreneurs! Opportunities present themselves all day long…you need to notice them and act.

Internet sales (you can sell almost anything online these days)

Information products (mostly digital, but print book kiosks work too)

IT consulting (you can manage almost anything over the Internet these days)

Security consultant (my friend in South Africa manages networks from his luxury tent)

Advertising sales (seriously)

Repair things (guns, computers, laptops, cell phones, cars, etc.)

Arts and craft sales (roadside stands or kiosks)

Farm stand (roadside or wherever)

Direct marketing (almost everything can be outsourced and automated these days)

Guided tours (surrounding where you live)

Windjammer cruises

Forex and other forms of trading

It’s NOT for Everyone!

I know living “off the grid” won’t be a great fit for everyone.  Sometimes just living “off the grid” on a part time or seasonal basis is all you need.  It can rejuvenate your life!

It can also be as simple as walking into the wilderness with a backpack, shotgun and food for the weekend.  If you like it you could try it for a week or a month at a time.  Living in a tree house in a tropical forest can be a lot of fun too.

Kids are NOT always the problem

Granted, raising a family and having kids is a full time commitment.  But they shouldn’t run the show. Our kids should follow us.  We homeschooled our kids and one of the reasons we did is the freedom it affords.

We’ve been able to travel, work from different locations, go on adventures, explore and even learn things you won’t learn in a government supported school.

A good friend of mine H.R. and his wife packed up the kids and moved to a remote island in the Bahamas. They lived in a modern, self-contained (hurricane proof) modular (concrete) home for 16 months.  So…it can be done and kids are NOT always the problem or obstacle.

Another “off the grid” option is sailing.  I know three entrepreneurs who use sailing as a motivation to build successful businesses and money making empires.

Sailing may be the ultimate “off the grid” lifestyle.

Living “Off the Grid” Part Time

I enjoy Internet access, cell phones, access to social events and spending time with family. So hiding in a cave or living in a tropical jungle in loin cloth shorts is not always the best fit for my lifestyle. But I enjoy adventures, exploring and living this way from time to time.

I guess you could call this partial “off the grid”.

I also like to monitor my businesses and money making ventures.  Living partially “off the grid” is feasible and you can make it a reality.  There are several ways to approach this lifestyle.

You could build a self-sustained camp or cottage “off the grid” in hundreds of locations.  My preferences are places with reasonable climate.

But some locations are great for “seasonal off grid living” such as Maine (especially northern and the islands), Montana, New Mexico, Central Mexico and some parts of South America.

I also like the Pacific Islands but these can be tricky (finding remote locations or islands with access to food and water).  It’s fun to think about living “off the grid”.  In today’s world it might become a necessity.

Maybe we can launch a League of Power “Off the Grid” newsletter or bulletin!

I hope that helps.

Please write to me with your thoughts and ideas for “living off the grid”.

Regards,

Marc Charles

“The King of Business Opportunities”

(Ed Note:  Marc Charles is referred to as “The King of Business Opportunities” ….and for good reason. He should be known as “The King of Legitimate Business Opportunities”…because he’s launched, bought, sold reviewed and advised on hundreds of businesses and money making opportunities. He understands legitimate opportunities. Marc has agreed supply League of Power members with crucial updates regarding legitimate business and money making opportunities.)

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*** Action Strategy ***

Living “off the grid” can change your life. It’s that simple.  You don’t have to sell everything, or your wife and kids, to make it happen!

You can do it part time or on seasonal basis.  Or you can plan to live “off the grid” on a longer term basis.  The choice is yours.

Today review this issue and check out the valuable resources. Then….make a decision and take a short trip.

*** Valuable Resources ***

Off the Grid News

Prepared Planet

Reason Magazine

Homestead.org

Frugal Zeitgeist

Off Grid Survival

Living Off the Grid

Your Online Survival Kit

8 Responses

  1. Cheryl

    FABULOUS, valuable information guys! Thanks for posting the living off the grid stuff. I had been homeless for about last 12 months til recently, working online as a researcher/writer now! 100% online ~ next trying to get into trading & get a “safe-house” cave or whatever…

    really great stuff you guys!

  2. Rose Brophy

    I grew up “of the grid” I think:
    A two roomed log cabin on a hill in the Ozarks of southern Missouri not even a quarter mile from the Osage river.
    We got our water out of a well, the outhouse was in the chicken yard, the bathtub was a nr. 2 galvanized round tub we got at a hardware store (I think). We heated the water on a wood cook stove that I chopped the wood for after we had cut the trees down and drug them up toward the house using one of the horses we had. I learned how to harness the horse long before I could even begin to reach the withers. I used an upside down bucket or a stump for a ladder and sometimes the wagon. He was a great horse and had a lot of patience with the short kid. We had a large garden, a milk cow, and pigs, chickens etc. I won’t go into detail about how we kept the milk and butter cold. It was a bit interesting and by today’s standards, unheard of. I could do it again if I had to — just not sure I do want to. I can start a fire with no matches and hit what I aim at with the guns. Other than that I do like to think of myself as somewhat civilized. I enjoyed the article a lot. Thank you!!!

  3. Rose Brophy

    I am sorry but I forgot to mention no electricity. I filled kerosene lamps every other night and did my homework using them. Lots of other stuff also. Just tell anyone who asks yeah we can live like that and a lot of people have.

  4. Karla

    Thank you for scratching the surface but having lived off the grid for over a quarter century I encourage stories of those who really do it…before you start you have to do geographic and climate research…do you only have solar or solar and wind etc…where does the sum transit as it goes through the seasons and day to day…is the pm sun better or the am….which way does the wind blow and average seasonal mph. so much more….

  5. Terri

    There is a lot to be said for living “off the grid”.
    In Australia, taking a gun everywhere is not exactly legal – and our general idea of living off the grid is to go completely “green”. A friend of mine lives 2hrs from Sydney on the Hawkesbury River in a green home – solar power, no phones (some cell signal but limited to the hills), composting toilet, and her own food from the farm. It is not completely “off” as I do know she ventures into a town about 45 mins away for postal services, groceries, and fuel for the car (the car is not yet green – though I don’t doubt for a moment her partner is working on that).
    They make money by creating the home as a retreat – and having stayed there, it is peaceful, rejuvenating and raw (dirty, dusty, and back to nature… just what we really could all benefit from).
    For me, going off the grid appeals more and more as I get older but as a single female I have found myself bogged down in debt, and a health challenge that needed constant health care. That is almost resolved after a decade, so maybe now is the time for me to consider my options for that time in the (now too near) future when I turn 50.

    I want peace, sanctuary, my own spot in nature, away from the hassles of suburbia.
    I want my own food sources (and as a vegetarian, that is an easy prospect).
    I want my own water and power and I want to be away from the sound of “busyness”.
    …and I want to make my own income from whatever sources that truly interest me.
    Good article – it has given me something to think about.

  6. Marc Charles

    Hi Gang:

    Oh my gosh…..first THANKS to everyone for posting and commenting on my article “Off the Grid”.

    As you can probably tell from the article….I’m passionate about the topic, and I’ve also lived “off the grid”.

    Let me comment on some specific posts……

    Cheryl…..wow…I’m impressed!! Seriously. You rock girl friend!

    You need to write about this past year….living off the grid. You can send it me here at the League of Power or on my blog AskMarcCharles. I’ll try to post it. But way to go!

    Rose Brophy…..that’s a great story! I’ve been to the Osage River several times. You lived in a beautiful spot. And actually, that’s the type of “Off the grid” living that appeals to me…next to living and drifting on a boat. Thanks for posting!!

    Karla….I couldn’t agree more with your point of view! I’ve lived “off the grid” so I feel somewhat qualified. But not as long as you’ve lived off the grid. You really need to write about your adventures…..seriously. I’ll help you put a simple ebook together. You could sell it on Amazon or Clickbank. Living off the grid is a hot rising trend…right now. Thanks for the post!

    Hi Teri…I’m glad you’re feeling better and your health challenges are behind you.

    Debt is bad news…especially in a depression. I’ve been saying this for more than 20 years. I’ve advised hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners about slashing expenses, debt and overhead. Today, some people see the advantages.

    We’ve been sold a false bill of goods. We’re told we can’t have a home without a mortgage. We’re told our kids will be worthless without a college education. We’re told we need to “have money to make money” in business….and on and on it goes.

    It’s all false! I’ve built three homes without a mortgage. We homeschooled our kids. I’m trying to convince them college and student loans are mostly a joke today. And you don’t need money to make money in business. You can clean homes and use the homeowners supplies! I know that’s stretching it….but you get the idea.

    Anyway….even living off the grid on a trial or seasonal basis could be priceless.

    You can do it…..seriously.

    Thanks for posting and for the kind words.

    It looks like I’ll need to write about “living off the grid” more often!

  7. Jeramy

    I’ve lived off grid for 20 years. The most offensive appliance we have is the refrigerator. Tried propane refrig but found it to be unpredictable. We use other appliances but only one at a time. Found that this gives the solar panels and windmill time to regenerate the system before using another gadget. wouldn’t live any other way but you are right about it being a commitment and a lot of work. Also is a problem to get house sitters.

  8. Tibbie

    And I thought I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me straight.

 
 
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