by Todd Walker
Does this famous scene from “Gone With The Wind” sum up how you feel sometimes? You feel you don’t know nothing about escaping the caged wheel inside your cubicle.
That may be true, but you do know enough to turn your knowledge and skills into extra income.
The best place to succeed is where you are with what you have ~ Charles Schwab
Conventional prepper wisdom tells us to get our beans, bullets, and Band Aids in order. This strategy, which I embrace, begs the question(s): What then? What do you do after you have squirreled away this consumable stuff? Is it enough? How long before your stuff runs out? How long before the rubber seals on your buckets deteriorate?
These questions nag you like a loose tooth.
Once you come to the un-Pollyannic conclusion that your survival cache will run out, you have to ask the main question, “Is survival enough?” Maybe it is — for the short-term.
Survival skills and stuff are necessary after any disaster. Merely surviving is not what I signed up for in my preparedness contract. You probably didn’t either. You’d like to have your post-SHTF coffee and drink it too — with heavy whipping cream! Could I do without? Sure, for short periods of time.
This requires an outside-the-bunker mindset (unless you enjoy bunker living). If you plan is to hunker down in a remote, hidden hole somewhere, you’ll have to eventually come up for air where the zombies and biker gangs rome. Stuff runs out.
Adopting a non-survivalist mentality may fit the bunker-less among us — present company included. What’s that mean? This is the Survival Sherpa blog, right? Correct. But there’s more to us than mere survival. We promote a lifestyle that would be worth living both now and after economic collapse.
I’ve read that during the Great Depression, the deficit was 40% of our total US GDP. Today it’s 105%. I’m on the tail end of the baby boomer generation. I don’t have plans to retire. I’m not dreaming of eating crumbs from the Social Security Ponzi scheme.
What’s our strategy? Build resilience physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. This is our long-term strategy. It takes time. But it’s worth the effort and investment.
When our fiat dollars become useful only in the outhouse and fireplace, you’ll be ahead of the herd. The key to producing resilient wealth now and after a collapse is to find a way to add value and improve the quality of life for others.
Here’s a few ideas that will help you build resilient skills that produce wealth before and possible after the illusion explodes.
[I’ve designated each with ‘Pre’, ‘Post’, or ‘Both’. The transfer of some ‘Pre’ items to a post-collapse world will be dependent on things like technology and available resources like electricity or the internet. Make use of these modern conveniences while we’ve got them. Many on my list will transfer to ‘Post’ seamlessly. I hope ‘Both’ is self-explanatory.]
1. Pre: Write an e-book and self-publish.
2. Pre: Publish instructional videos and tutorials.
3. Both: Nanny for kids and elderly
4. Both: Food buyers club. The relationships you build with food producers would carry over into a post collapse environment.
5. Pre: Freelance writing
6. Both: Blacksmithing and metal work
7. Both: Seamstress
8. Both: Carpentry
9. Both: Plumbing/Electrical — especially for installing alternative energy systems.
11. Both: Medical skills. After the SHTF, the free market will determine who’s capable in the field of medicine — not a framed piece of paper on an office wall.
12. Both: Wild food foraging. Learn more on this here.
13. Both: Education/tutoring service
14. Both: Musician/Entertainer
15. Both: Build a barter network
16. Both: Animal husbandry
17. Both: Gardening/permaculture
18. Both: Gunsmith
19: Both: Mechanic for diesel and gas engines
20. Both: Biodiesel production
21. Both: Well boring. Having the equipment to bore water wells makes you a valuable asset.
22. Both: Portable sawmill. People will always want and need lumber. In a post collapse world, energy to run a mill might be a challenge. Explore steam power and biodiesel as alternative fuel.
23. Both: Draft animal trainer. This skill might be more valuable in a post world.
24. Both: Timber frame construction. In the past, raising a barn or home with primitive tools within a community was common place. Having the skills and tools to do so would ensure place you at the top of the producer list in your group.
25: Both: Alternative energy expert — solar, hydro, wood gasification, etc.
26: Both: Make charcoal. It’s mainly a hobby in our pre world. I can see it being value adder after a collapse.
27: Both: Heavy equipment operator. Barter with the guy making biodiesel to keep the machines running.
28. Both: Lumberjack. Post world lumberjack tools will look much different from today. Axes, crosscut saws, draft animals and sleds, files, wedges, and sledgehammers come to mind.
29. Both: Preserving food — smoking, pickling, canning, etc. Practicing more primitive techniques now would be useful in a post world.
30. Both: Building chicken coops/tractors for backyard poultry.
31. Both: Unconventional housing — cob, bail, rammed earth, earth homes, etc.
32. Both: Mobil butcher and meat processor. Instead of hauling livestock to a distant location, this local option might be welcomed by farmers. This would bridge a gap from farm to dinner plate.
33. Both: Marketing and distribution of products. This service bridges the gap between the producers and the consumers. Start small and keep it local. Look for bigger opportunities to grow your business. It’s a win-win-win for the producer, consumer, and you.
34. Both: Distilling spirits. If you don’t think alcohol will be in demand after TSHTF, think again. Its role won’t be just consumption either. Think medicinal and sanitation.
35. Both: Water purification. Essential to life.
36. Both: Appliance repair man/woman. Fixing stuff that breaks is a skill worth knowing.
37. Both: Dumpster diving. A friend of mine rescues ‘trash’ that he finds in dumps. His most recent find was a 18 volt Dewalt drill. He tinkered with it and now uses it in his construction business. Trash into treasure.
38. Both: Soap and candle maker. Handmade soaps and candles are very popular now. Could you become one of these local artisans?
39. Both: Shoe repair/leather work. My mama has the shoe lass that her daddy used to make and repair shoes for her and her nine siblings during the Great Depression.
40. Both: Herbalist. Healing with herbs and homeopathic methods.
41. Both: Luxury items. Even in a post collapse world, we will want our creature comforts to make life seem more normal. Small things like chocolate or a steaming cup of coffee would brighten things up.
42. Pre: Sell stuff on eBay, Craigslist, and other online sites.
43. Pre: Blogging. The vast majority of blogs don’t make big money. Successful sites make lots of money. The conventional approach is to produce great content which draws high traffic. You would then sell advertising on your site. I made a decision to not use advertising on this blog. I’m getting lots of requests from vendors to advertise here. But I want to stick with my no advertising policy.
44. Pre: Photography. Sell your stock photos online.
45. Both: Own land. They don’t make anymore of this stuff. Productive farmland has doubled in price since last year. Even with small acreage, people are able to produce supplemental income. Our local farmers market has several vendors that use limited space to grow and sell organic vegetables.
46. Both: Lease your skills. Offer your knowledge through classes. Build authority in your field and teach others the skills you’ve honed for a fee.
47. Both: Sell seeds. We take for granted that we can run to the garden center and buy seeds for our garden. Heirloom, open-pollenated varieties are hard to come by locally. You could start a seed swap if your area doesn’t have a community of seed savers. Here’s a rare seed company you might be interested in checking out.
48. Consulting. This list alone could go on for pages. For our intent here, we’ll stick to the realm of sustainability, survival, prepping, and resilience: Water, energy, security, food, etc. There are few limits to the list. Be creative. Build authority. Add value.
49. Pre. Retreat and relocation service. Survival Blog has several examples of everyday folks who have developed niche markets to serve Mr. Rawles’ vision of moving to sparsely populated areas. He has promoted the American Redoubt on his site for people wanting to and are able to relocate. You can read Pastor Chuck Baldwin’s reasons for moving to Montana here. A son of Mr. Rawles operates SurvivalRealty.com aimed at helping find survival retreats. Todd Savage started Survival Retreat Consulting to help serve this niche market.
50. Both: Midwifery. How valuable would it be if Prissy possessed these skills? I don’t know nothing about birthing babies. Do you?
This is a simple list to get you thinking. More came to my mind when compiling this list. But I figured 50 was a good, round number to get us started. What would you add? Add yours in the comment section.
Keep doing the stuff,
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