Over the past 15 years, my husband and I have shifted from working entirely outside the home to creating and building homestead-based businesses that allow us to balance work, family time, and homestead life.
My husband Brian is an artist blacksmith who makes items of function and beauty to sell both locally and virtually on Etsy.com, while I am a writer, homestead blogger, and life coach, working virtually. While we both dabble in occasional work outside the home – he as a carpenter and me as a yoga instructor – the majority of our work time is spent on our off the grid homestead.
Homestead businesses have their challenges for sure – the lack of paid vacation and retirement benefits come to mind – but we love the flexibility of working from home and the ability to share our gifts with the world on our own terms.
Here are my top 5 reasons to build a homestead business:
1) You Get to Spend More Time on the Homestead
When you have a homestead full of plants and animals to tend, it can be hugely helpful to work from home. After all, when your dairy cow escapes and wanders down to the neighbor’s house to eat their fall vegetables, you’ll be there to answer the phone call and take action (ask me how I know 😉 ).
And in the middle of the day, instead of taking a walk around the office, you can stroll out to the garden and pluck a few perfectly ripe tomatoes off the vine.
2) It’s Easy for Children to Participate in the Family Economy
One of the primary motivations for our home-based business was to give our children an opportunity to participate in the family economy. In many small ways, from helping with homesteading projects that later become blog posts, to sanding and polishing hand-forged metal work, our two children not only witness the inner workings of a small business but also contribute in meaningful ways.
Spending time in and around small businesses, my kids also learn the language of small business and the challenges of being a small business owner. When they talk about forming their own cottage industries, it makes me aware just how much practical learning they are doing by being around a home-based business.
3) You Can Align your Vision and Values with your Work
Have you ever felt like you were just punching a time clock, not invested in the work that you were doing, or the message you were promoting? Me too.
One thing I love about creating a home-based business is that I get to express my passions, my values, and my vision through my work. I get to share homesteading information and inspiration through my website and help women reach to make their wildest dreams happen through my coaching business. It’s deeply fulfilling work that closely aligns with my vision for my life.
4) Opportunities to Turn your Homestead Passion into Profit
I’ve seen it happen again and again (in my own home, no less!!). You start out with a few chickens or goats (or cows, or pigs!) and before you know it, your flock has expanded to 15 or 20, and your herd to 4 or 6. Soon you’re swimming in eggs, drowning in milk, and eating more bacon than is really healthy (is that a thing?).
Here’s the good news: You may be able to turn some of your excess homestead goods into a bit of extra income (check local regulations first).
The excess eggs and milk that my family has sold to neighbors and friends have not only generated a bit of extra pocket change, but has also helped cover expenses such as animal feed, new fencing, and veterinary bills.
5) It’s Possible to Expand your Sales Circle via the Internet
Although my husband creates incredibly beautiful hand-forged pieces, in our rural and economically depressed community, he simply could not sell the volume he’d need to build a viable business.
Thanks to the power of Internet commerce, he is able to reach a global audience who is interested in handmade one-of-a-kind craft. It is a win-win situation for his customers and for our family.
Many other homesteaders who create a home-based business cite financial reasons for starting a home-based business. Whether your motivation is to pay down debt, save for a big purchase, or shift your income entirely to self-employment, creating a home-based business can change your lifestyle, for the better.
What are your reasons to build a homestead business?