Skip to main content

Five Reasons Homesteaders Fail (And How You Can Succeed!)

Homesteading is a really wonderful thing. You raise your own food. You have your livestock. You are well on your way to being self-sufficient. The homesteading blogs and books paint such a great picture of a rosy life. Sure it may be some hard work, but really how hard can it be?

People just have no idea!

Five Reasons Homesteaders Fail:

1. Disillusionment.

You have read the books. You have followed for your favorite homesteading bloggers for months now. Sure, there might be a few hard times. But you are certain this is the life for you! 

Then you start your first garden. And everything dies or doesn't produce well.

You pick up your first batch of laying chicks. Nine out of fifteen chicks die in three days. 

You buy a sow and she has piglets. So cute until the mama lays on half the litter.

You get a dog to protect the property and the livestock. Which is great until she kills her first chicken.

Slowly or suddenly, you realize that homesteading isn't all rainbows and roses. Homesteading is hard work. Hard things happen. You know you read on Facebook that your favorite homesteading blogger lost a few animals or struggled with their garden, but you didn't think it would be like this!

Disillusionment is real in the homesteading world. Many beginning homesteaders (myself included) do not realize how much work this takes, the hardships that are faced, and the heartbreak that you will inevitably feel. One day you will think you are accomplished great things and the next day watch a storm destroy all your hard work. 

Keep your chin up. Scale back a little and realize this is hard work with a great reward. Bad things are going to happen, but great things happen too!

2. Taking on too much at once.

So many homesteaders jump in with both feet and end up over their heads. In the first year, they have started gardens, have chicks, cows, goats, pigs, and lambs. They find out they can not possibly keep up with the work. The homesteaders they have watched on YouTube make it look so easy!

What many beginning homesteaders do not realize is that the homesteaders they follow started out a bit slower than they thought. Or these homesteaders grew up in the homesteading life. Very few homesteaders start out doing everything they wanted to do all at once. You shouldn't either. 

3. Money.

How much could homesteading actually cost anyway? Seeds aren't expensive. The chickens are going to free-range. You won't need a fence like a lot of other homesteaders. You have savings so you can quit your job, buy your acreage, and get started homesteading! 

Right? That plan sounds great until winter comes and you have to provide feed and heat. You realize pretty quickly that a tractor or skid loader would make life a lot easier. You also realize that a fence will keep out the critters you don't want to eat your garden or bothering your livestock. 

And then there are the breakdowns. The repairs. The replacement of parts and equipment. 

Where did that savings go? 

Most homesteaders have one person still working outside the home to keep money flowing in. If not that, they also have figured out how to make money homesteading and/or have multiple streams of income to stay afloat. Money is a necessary evil on the homestead for most homesteaders. You need to have money flowing in to pay for the inputs of the homestead. 

4. Real Life and Lack of Time.

You decided to start a homestead. After all, how hard can it be? You have plenty of time! The kids are only busy a few nights a week. You have time on the weekend for the projects. You only work eight hours a day and have time after supper. 

Sounds great, right?

Until you are gone almost every night the week for personal and kid-related commitments. Until your eight-hour shift at work becomes a ten-hour shift. Until every weekend has a tournament or family commitments. 

Real life happens. That is why new homesteaders are recommended to start out slowly with a small, easy to maintain garden and 3-4 layers for eggs. You can then work more into your schedule or stay there for a few years until life becomes less busy. Homesteading is great because you can go as big or small as you want and as slow or fast you want. 

5. Lacking in Physical Abilities.

Homesteading looks easy you think. How hard can it be to garden or build a fence? How hard can it be to build a chicken tractor or build a pen out of the corner of the garage? 

The one thing that people do not factor in is physical abilities. It takes a lot of sweat, strength, and endurance to work on projects. Sometimes you need to chase after an escaped animal. Sometimes (most of the time) you will be working in the hot sun or cold of winter. 

Yes, you will probably lose some weight and build strength while homesteading and that is great! However, you will also put yourself at great risk of injury. One project could leave you exhausted for days because you were not physically fit enough to endure the project. 

Get in shape. Find time to work out, lose weight, build strength and endurance. It is hard to do, but you will thank yourself later when you don't have to take several breaks while building a fence or wrangling that chicken who does not want to go into the coop for the night! 

Homesteading is hard work, but the reward is worth it. However, many beginners quit because they do not understand the realities of homesteading. 

What was or is your biggest challenge homesteading?

Thanks for reading,


Popular posts from this blog

10 Preparedness Items You Should Be Buying Every Month

As crazy as it seems, some people make prepping harder than it has to be. Learning skills can be hard, but the end rewards are so worth it. The work can be hard, but the pay off is that jobs get done and you have accomplished something for the future. However...preppers still need stuff. We can produce a lot of our own things and survive just fine. We still need the items that will make survival easier now and, heaven forbid, if anything bad happens. We need things to keep our lifestyle simpler and easier if something happens. Over the eight years or so that I have been prepping, I have some things that I buy almost every month. Some months when the budget is tight, I might not purchase any of these. Then I appreciate having these things on hand! Below is my list of things I buy every month. I don't make one big trip and buy all these things in one trip. I add them to my cart at the grocery store, department store, online shopping, and whatnot. I spend a little bit every s

10 Non-Perishable Food Preps You Should Be Buying Every Month

New preppers wonder what they should be buying for their preps every month. More experienced preppers wonder what holes they should be plugging in their food storage to be better prepared. We all know we should be constantly adding and rotating our food storage every month in order to have a good supply. Since I have written the 10 Preparedness Items You Should Be Buying Every Month  and Top Ten Items You Need For Your Food Storage , I have found my preparedness mindset changing a little bit. I think they are things you should be buying every month that are perishable items and non-perishable items. This list will concentrate on the non-perishable items because those are the ones most important to your food storage. To explain what I have included on this list, I will give you the criteria. I am making this list as basic as possible. Meaning that you can go to the grocery store and buy these items right off the shelf which means the items are shelf-stable. They will not expire o

10 Totally Free Prepping Things To Do

This post is a part of the 30 Days of Preparedness Round Robin with Prepared Bloggers! Thank you for visiting! I love prepping lists! I have so many printed out and filed in a binder so I can look at them. I get motivated by them and finds all sorts of ideas to get things done! I am offering you today a list of 10 totally free prepping things to do. Some of the things will take only a few minutes to do, some will take a few hours, and some might take more time than that. You can do these things with your family or invite your friends over to do these things. The only thing that might not make this totally free is canning jars. However, I am assuming most of you have jars on hand! 10 Totally Free Prepping Items To Do 1. Learn to get around your house in the dark. Think about the days when you were a teenager and had to sneak in and out of your house without your parents hearing.  You didn't do that? Oh. Moving on... Learn your escape plan and be able to get aroun