Failure is easy. So easy, in fact, that most people who achieve it do so without ever meaning to. But in case you need any ideas to help ensure your homesteading efforts crash and burn, here are a few tips to help keep you on the path toward epic homestead fail.
1. Be focused on life in the city. Seek frequent fulfillment at malls and gourmet restaurants and sidewalk concerts and art festivals. Prefer urban amenities to the beauty of striking sunsets and dancing kid goats. Crave the company of crowds instead of the richness of feasting upon vegetables you planted as seeds. Love the night life, and care little about the satisfaction of jobs well-done in mended fences and weeded gardens.
2. Be picky about the weather. Dislike being outdoors in anything but the perfect temperature and conditions. Expect to stay in the house unless it’s exactly the way you like it outdoors.
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If it’s too hot or too cold or too muggy, stay on the couch. Don’t even consider going out to check on the animals during a blizzard—just stay in by the fire with your hot chocolate and let livestock fend for themselves.
3. Maintain an enduring attitude of negativity. Complain about homesteading all the time. Anticipate that everything will go wrong. Don’t even bother creating workarounds or attempting to learn from your mistakes. In fact, altogether avoid taking responsibility for what goes wrong—just blame it on bad luck or other people instead.
4. Be impatient. Hate the idea of having to wait for fruit trees to bear, vegetables to grow, sap to boil, bread to rise, a snowstorm to end, or the mud to dry up in front of the barn doors. Forget that homesteading doesn’t always supply guaranteed two-day delivery, and refuse to accept the idea of natural processes taking place on their own timetable. Demand what you want, and demand it now.
5. Expect to have things done for you. Require lots of services, like the ones readily available in urban areas. Insist upon regular trash pickup, taxi service, convenient public transportation, ample shopping opportunities, a wide variety of ready-to-eat food deliveries, paid housecleaning options—and by all means, expect to be first on the list for rescue and power restoration after a natural disaster.
6. Hate animals of all kinds, both domestic and wild. Don’t ever consider living in harmony with livestock or wildlife. Instead, consider them all adversaries—remember it’s always you against them. When the cows are agitated and challenging at milking time, don’t look around to see what’s bothering them—just bully them into submission instead. And when raccoons threaten your corn patch, spread poison for acres in an attempt to annihilate every animal that comes near your homestead.
7. Need to get away a lot. Declare that life is hardly worth living if you can’t spend the winter holidays at a nice ski resort on the other end of the continent and spring break in the Caribbean. Require a lot of time on weekend and week-long getaways with friends and relatives. Insist on at least one cruise every year.
8. Amass a lot of debt. Buy the biggest and best of everything right away and just put it all on payment plans. Buy a piece of property that is right on the edge of your ability to make the mortgage, and don’t pay any attention to the potential cost of upkeep. Maintain a budget so tight that you rarely have two nickels to rub together by the end of the month—and that’s even before the bill for the unexpected veterinarian visit comes in! Wind yourself into a tight financial ball without a bit of wiggle room.
On the other hand, it’s possible that failure may not be your homesteading goal. I know that I personally have made some errors so egregious that looking back afterwards it was hard to tell whether or not my actual intent was success or failure.
Maybe you have done that, too. But in moving forward, you may want to do your best to avoid doing the things on this list—and in fact strive to do just the opposite—if, in fact, homesteading success is in fact your goal.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below: