By Laura LaVoie
As I am sure you recently read, Alex here at Tiny House Talk spoke with Ryan over at The Tiny Life. The interview was excellent and informative all the way around but there was something specific that struck me.
They both spoke about being dissatisfied with traditional corporate jobs. I thought to myself that I was also dissatisfied with my traditional corporate job and that was one of the things that lead me to make such a drastic change in my own lifestyle.
I began to think of many of the other tiny house builders I know and many are also dissatisfied with traditional corporate jobs, and some have worked hard to change their way of earning a living.
The idea of living tiny is unconventional by its very nature so it stands to reason that most individuals, couples, or families that chose this route also find themselves on the unconventional style. Someone can certainly maintain traditional employment while living in their tiny house; I don’t believe many of us want to.
There is concept that is a parallel to the Tiny House Movement which can help individuals augment their tiny house experience. It is referred to as Location Independence.
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I’m not here to sell you on any one program or system to get you from point A to point Z. Different things will work for different people, but working in a way that is independent of where you live is a great way to maximize a tiny lifestyle.
It can blend seamlessly with the typical tiny house life – one on wheels. In truth, whether you want to physically travel or not, not having to work in a regimented office environment will give you freedom wherever you decide to live. Location independence is not a get rich quick scheme. No matter what you decide to pursue, it will take some time and some hard work.
I started my journey in 2011 preparing for the transition. I researched ways to launch my writing career – something I’ve always wanted to do but felt too intimidated to do it. I began to reach out to organizations I thought might be interested in what I had to offer.
I started writing for my biggest client before even leaving my full time job and once I quit, I amped up my own marketing. I can always have more clients and make more money, but I am super pleased with the ones I have – and I get to write about things like Tiny Houses and Beer! There are lots of different ways someone can pursue location independence.
I wanted to be a freelance writer so that is what I did. You may have other skills and talents that can be transitioned into a location independent job. Or you may be able to work out a remote work plan with your current employer – which is what Matt did and works from the tiny house.
Whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is to be engaged with your life and even in what you do for a living. Check out some resources for Location Independence:
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Great article! My idea for income is to make my beaded jewelry & recycled bags to sell online & at flea markets. The jewelry is perfect because all of my supplies would probably fit in a couple of square feet storage space & I can carry a lot with me in a small backpack. Having a portable sewing machine that can be stored in a small space is also a good thing.
I get asked all the time what I do for a living now that I live in a small off-grid cabin in a rural area and I have tried to teach people that instead of a single source of income I use multiple sources of income from a small local business to 3 online businesses to make money.
It helps if you have some background in business and managerial skills and personal responsibility because without a boss telling you what to do many people find themselves wandering off task.
I suggest people start with what they love and what they already know how to do. Take the skills you already have and start a small business.
If you have really strong communication skills then expand that to teaching others and with the internet anyone can write an ebook, produce videos on youtube, and run an online webstore.
There are many resources available for working online and Ebay and other websites makes it easy o get started.
If you are artistic then let your talents support you either through selling your work or teaching others your craft.
Niche markets are really where the economy is growing and you do not want to compete with big business but offer something completely unique.
I have a local small business that is seasonal that provides most of my income and in the off season I focus on my online businesses, writing and creative work and now those businesses have grown to replace my regular work and will be there as I get older and can not do a as much physical labor.
Multiple streams of income instead of a single source provides security because if one business fails you still have money coming in while you start something new.
Living small means I spend less time working to pay a house and utility bills and can reinvest that money in my businesses or hobbies or other things in my life without worrying about debt and bills and retirement.
It also helps if you become more sustainable and homesteading, farming, gardening and raising animals goes right along with living small and living off grid.
Just my thoughts!
Thanks for sharing LaMar, great insights!
One thing that attracted me to the Tiny House lifestyle and started me on my path was the realization that so much of my regular income goes toward things I would not have to worry about if I lived in a Tiny House. My mortgage, my utility bills, my various service subscriptions would all be a thing of the past. Essentially my cost of living expenses, with the exception of food would be massively reduced and in some instances removed completely. This would leave me with a very important choice to make. Do I carry on at my day job and have oodles of disposable income, or do I just change gigs and live on less? I’m still trying to figure out which path I’ll take while I design my home and keep searching for a suitable trailer but for now the idea of actually working to provide for myself directly rather than working for bits of paper that I give to someone else so they can provide me with everything I need seems way more appealing. Perhaps that’s why so many Tiny House folk are also interested in homesteading and self sufficiency?
Interesting point Andy. I think you might be on to something there. And that it really can be boiled down to freedom and having choice. It’s like a lot of us are stuck in this rat race of being forced to work sometimes in jobs we don’t like and when you pare down to the basics a lot of times you can find an “escape”. And then you are left with choices to make for the future. Hope you’re well Andy always great to see you around here!
As someone who made great money at a job that I pretty-much liked, it long ago occurred to me that the benefit of making lots of money was that it allowed me “choices” that others on smaller incomes did not have. But to put a finer point on it, as others here have explained, it’s about what I call “living BELOW your means.” Lots of high earning people got into big financial trouble when the economy tanked because they spent tomorrow’s paycheck today on McMansions, fast cars, fancy clotheres, etc. So cutting one’s need for money gives you choices just like making big bucks.
Although more and more people interested in location independence are digital nomads, one thing to consider is the exchange of services for goods. This sounds a bit antiquated but in the right situation, it can be quite advantageous. Perhaps it’s doing the upkeep on someone’s house in exchange for space for your tiny house or a hot shower. Maybe it’s working on a farm a few hours a week in exchange for some of the farm’s food or even some home-cooked meals. It’s not ideal for gaining monetary wealth, but if all your interested in is putting food on the table and a place to park your house, it could work. I also know next to nothing about economic trends, but I’m hoping to see more of this type of exchange in the future.
My wife and i are currently building a THOW, it will be finished in april 2020. i am a over the road truck driver an i have just retired from that job. We are not financially secure by any means, and we are thinking about going into the hotshot business (pulling freight with a pickup truck). but i am looking for ideas so i can work remotely from my tiny house, instead of leaving my tiny house to go work for weeks at a time to make money. dont get me wrong, the money would be amazing…around 10k a week, but i would rather be living full time in my tiny house with my wife….ANY IDEAS????