How Hard Is It To Be Self-Sufficient?

Producing a different way of life feels like a stretch when today’s grind was tiring enough.

We ‘know‘ we’d love a self-sufficient establishment—But will we be able to make it through the trenches of the transition to create it?

It’s true; small changes eventually add up to significant results.

So how hard will it be?

Realistically speaking…

It is hard to be self-sufficient without a sustainable establishment. The difficulty is breaking the limits and growing from a situation you didn’t design. With what you can create, your challenge is the commitment to live by your values while actively shaping a new environment you can sustain. 

Acquiring control over your life is a rewarding path with various fulfilling challenges.

After this article and its linked resources, you will be better equipped to determine how hard self-sufficiency might be for you to personally live by.

Understanding more about what you are looking to be can dial up or down the notches of difficulty.

Grasp the fundamentals as you read through so you can weigh out your options and decide on your pursuits!

What It Means to Be Self-Sufficient

Once we achieve a self-sufficient life we’d already be living it, and so the question is; can we and will we maintain it?

Being or currently acting self-sufficient is different than having the ability to be self-sufficient.

Many people who have the ability to be self-sufficient are often not living entirely self-sufficiently because of the excesses available from general society.

It takes great discipline to truly “live” self-sufficiently when you are surrounded by unsustainable goods and services. Discipline is ultimately the greatest challenge of being a certain way.

A self-sufficient person or group of people would be able to survive or thrive using and regenerating their own land resources, physical bodies, and skills to live. Their current way of life wouldn’t be bothered if the mass system collapsed.

Actively being self-sufficient is to separate yourself from unsustainable resource management. This can be done by consuming less and creating more.

Currently, we have the option to be part of a non-sustainable way of life or a sustainable way of life. In other words, we can be part of a dying way of life or a growing way of life!

“a growing way of life”

Who wouldn’t want to choose that? Everything we choose will be hard because everything takes effort. Choose your hard.

Truthfully, a growth way of life is ultimately choosing the easier way to be! When dying communities collapse, not needing to depend on its components is much easier than suffering the consequences of being part of it.

If you are unable to access land resources for self-sufficiency, you can still be part of self-sufficient communities by supporting resource-sustainable businesses or people. Easier said than done of course because this all depends on what you know is available! What could there be to discover? Where could we look? Farmer’s markets, local small businesses, bulletin postings, or neighbors.

On another note, self-sufficiency doesn’t mean we can’t have help from other people. Other people are valuable resources too. It isn’t people who are self-sufficient, it is the earth. How can we fit in with the way earth needs to work?

The only reason the concept of self-sufficiency can exist in us is that we are part of this prosperous planet in the middle of nowhere in space.

In order to remain living here, we must all sustain our resources, otherwise, we have no place or purpose on a naturally occurring self-sustaining rock.

Self-sufficiency is about making the most of what we have, where we are, and not accepting ongoing replenishment from far away sources.

At the end of the day, being self-sufficient depends on our daily choices. Who do you want to be?

Who are you led by?

How To Live Self-Sufficiently

There is a long list of responsibilities you can undertake or source from locals.

I could make a list telling you to start a garden, preserve some jam, learn to forage…

Or share this article I wrote on how to become self-sustaining and 10 ways to transition your life. In the transitions, I’ve included both characteristic changes you can make and helpful guidance for choosing between difficult ways to meet your external goals.

How To Become Self-Sufficient Without a Job

Basic living, growing our own food, and a secure future livelihood. What great ideas! Yet somehow we’re trapped in a resourceless construct and network.

Escaping the rat race of job-hopping takes time and persistence, especially when going it alone. With success, it becomes much easier to then begin building your own life.

But you’re never really building your own life. Even if you think “success” in that sentence sounds like it means having enough money.

What is money?

Money is just a representation of energy from people and resources. Either from your energy alone, which is a job, or the energy of a team who works for or with you.

A team who works for you is a profitable business where the risk is on you.

If you are used to being employed by an employer; being self-sufficient without a job is a big lifestyle change.

You need to become a producer and create a business from your skills and resources in order to be self-sufficient without needing a job. Jobs are available to consumers who haven’t produced a means of opportunity for others.

The catch is that you likely don’t have the resources yet to build the business you might want, especially if you desire a homestead business!

If you did commit to building a business for enough money to afford a suitable homestead, you can later begin to cultivate the self-sufficient life you want with all-out control.

If you must commit to building a business, like a job, this can glue you to the useless place you currently reside. There is the same problem over again! The way around that could mean that you need a remote business model. You’d be creating a dependency on the internet to fund your homestead.

Building a business can take a long time. The amount of time it may take to build a business to the point that you generate enough money to buy a homestead might mean that you are committed more to the business than the self-sufficient lifestyle you truly desire.

On the other hand, having a business is also a form of self-sufficiency. So what are you really looking for? Is it a business you want to sustain? Or a certain way of life you want to sustain?

Do you want to depend on money, the middleman? Or do you want to depend on people directly? Which are you capable of trusting more?

Maybe you prefer your business to be the risk and your homestead to be what you want. The issue here is if your risk is unsuccessful you’ve spent your life on what you didn’t really want with only hopes of buying it later.

“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all; the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

Randy Komisar

How To Be Self-Sufficient Without Money

As scary as it sounds, maybe building relationships is the better option for your life goals.

A team who works with you is a family pool of sharing or a food forest where you all partake in the risk of life together.

If you want to be self-sufficient in the sense of sustaining a simple and basic life on a homestead then people are your priority!

Commit to building relationships with family or friends who want to pool resources, afford a suitable homestead, and build a life together.

That’s how everything came to be what it is before currency became a thing! People trusted each other rather than trusting green paper. Today we trust numbers on a screen more than the people nearest to us.

Building relationships to a level of trust that is comfortable for executing such a committed life can be challenging! Inherently, building a homestead with a group means there are fewer things in your control.

Having less in your control can be good and risky.

Less control is good because it essentially means less work for you. It works the same way when growing food. Your typical vegetable garden is a lot more work because it requires a lot more control and input from you. A food forest is a more permanent system that produces its own auto-pilot inputs such that the leaves fall for you.

To reduce the risk of surrendering total control you will need to establish relational trusts. A deep understanding of each other’s values, skills, and ambitions can prevent the whole adventure from falling apart.

Since we are no longer born with sustainable land establishments from which we can produce a homestead business, it’s certainly difficult to build everything from scratch! That is where it’s sensible to conclude that coming back together and sticking with family is the ultimate way forward.

This article was originally published on If it is now published on any other site, it was done without permission from the copyright owner.


While Rachelle's hands are clean for the keyboard, she enjoys writing and designing creative content and resources. You will most likely find her outside planting a cabbage, foraging berries for breakfast, and collecting herbs for year-round tea or making food.

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