Starting a homestead is a BIG deal. It encompasses so much of your time, money, and energy that it’s best to prepare as much as possible. Here are the top five skills and traits that we need for homesteading success.
1. Having persistance - or as we like to call it, “GRIT.”
Grit is strength of character, determination, perseverance, resolve. It’s having the ability to finish the race that you started because there WILL be days when you want to quit. To get through those discouraging times when all the hard work isn't paying off yet, you’ll need to muster up your grit.
Put up motivational signs, journal it out, pray, or call a like-minded friend for support. Do what you’ve got to do, just don’t quit! The sacrifices, sweat and time you put into your homestead will be worth it. Imagine the fresh eggs every morning, the peace that comes from independent, off grid living or the physical strength and endurance you’ll have. Keep your focus on the rewards and keep pushing forward.
(Click on the image below for your FREE motivational GRIT graphic!)
2. A strong work ethic.
While looking at a potential piece of property to buy, I was asked by the current owner if I liked to work. “I love labor,” was my answer - and I really do. She knew what it took to keep her homestead going and needed to know that I understood what I was really looking to buy - a never-ending project :)
On a homestead, “the list” will never end. There will always be something that needs to be built, bought, maintained or repaired. If that appeals to you and the sound of a full-day’s work is music to your ears, you have the right work ethic for this lifestyle.
3. The ability to manage your time.
Homesteading and sleeping-in are like oil and water - they just don’t mix. You’re going to need time to get established and each daylight hour will count (especially in the cooler months when we don’t have as much sun). Managing your time will be a skill that you will use daily. If you haven’t developed the trait of making good use of your time here are a few articles to get you moving in that direction :
From Creativity Post
Advice from The Prairie Homestead
4. A desire to learn.
Unless you had the blessing of growing up on a working farm or homestead, chances are there will be a lot to learn while establishing your land and tackling projects. Whether it be through books, podcasts, blog articles, youTube videos or a hands-on mentorship, your willingness and desire to learn will be key to how fast you establish your homestead and how much it thrives.
Have you ever tried putting something complicated together without looking at the directions first - and fail miserably? "Trial and error" homesteading will be like that, except much, much more expensive, time consuming and discouraging. Study how to raise chickens before you get them! You’ll be so glad you did (and so will they).
5. Having a humble mindset.
Get ready to find out that you can’t control all things.
An early or late frost?
The neighbor’s animal got out and ate your seedlings?
Pest infestation in your organic garden?
Your chickens are sick and some are dying?
The homestead life carries it’s share of heartbreaks and a lot of them are not in our control. Whether we like it or not, homesteading will (attempt to) teach us the virtue of humility.
We can either embrace those times when we can’t control set-backs or we can get bitter and angry. Homesteading puts you up close and personal with the cycle of life.
Having an attitude of thankfulness and a perspective of “what can I learn from this?” instead of “why did this happen to me?” can help.
By all means, cry, yell, pout, throw stuff - but then you gotta let it go, embrace humility and grab onto your grit.
Whether you’re fully living off grid or starting to dive into permaculture, these five character building traits will absolutely help you succeed in your journey towards your future homestead lifestyle.
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