Surviving the Depression: Americans' Entrepreneurial Spirit Will Never Be Destroyed

When times get tough, those who don’t believe in just giving up start turning their skills and knowledge into income generators. Home restaurants, which are common-place in places like Mexico, are now popping around the U.S.:

As the unemployed and jobless become desperate in California many begin turning their homes into income generators. One house in particular caught my eye recently by turning their living room into a restaurant. In a sign that America is slowly becoming more like a third world country houses become weekend stores, restaurants, Medical Marijuana Collectives, day care centers and beyond. The street is telling the story of the unfolding economic collapse better than any article I can read. Unemployment and Food stamps and Welfare seem to be the lynch pins in our society on the west coast. Once government runs out of funds to support these entitlements, I fear for my children’s future.

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If you have skills like machining, welding, sewing, gardening/farming, ranching, child care, child education, self-defense, gun-smithing or something else, consider turning these into marketable businesses. Perhaps you are employed today, but if you lose your job or the SHTF, then you will need to generate income somehow. Do it using the skills you’ve learned over your lifetime. Not only will this pay some of your essentials bills, but you may find fulfillment and satisfaction, as well.

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My children joined a local Karate Dojo at the beginning of summer. There are several around our area, at least ten that I know of because I checked them all out prior to choosing the one where the kids currently train. Most of them are located off of main roadways, so in addition to the traffic congestion during drop off times (around 5:30 PM during weekdays), they have to charge quite a high price just to stay in business and service their monthly rent payments. To accomplish this, most of the dojos in the area have to offer classes with large amounts of children per class, and generally, the training is more or less a chop shop — get ’em in, get ’em out and move on to the next class.

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Instead of going with a chop shop dojo, I spent a couple days contacting different karate professionals in the area. The time spent was most certainly worth it. We were able to locate a newly founded Karate dojo with a young instructor in his early thirties who was trying to get his practice off the ground. The dojo is located away from the main roadways in a somewhat rural part of town, which saves the owner a ton of money in rent. Since he is relatively unknown in the area, the school is rather small and offers 4-to-1 instruction, because in addition to the Sensei (main instructor) there are several Sempei’s (older, higher belt level students) who are involved in training the younger kids during every class. Incidentally, the Sensei offers significant discounts to the Sempei’s on their adult training classes in order to assist with the kids — essentially bartering time and energy for time and energy. The training is held in a steel building modified to be a gym and the Sensei sub-leases time from a MMA fighting school for his specific time slots — so he is not responsible for covering a full months rent for 30 days, because he only uses six hours a week for training. As a side note, the MMA fighting school is actually operated by the instructor who owns the steel building, which sits on his property, directly next to his house and was originally used as a storage building, but has now been converted for use as a gym.

As parents we are happy to go with this particular school due to a significant price discount and what we consider to be much better training. The Sensei, who works a full-time job, is able to grow his Karate school, find fulfillment in his daily work, train in his own gym facility so he can avoid expensive gym fees somewhere else, and generate additional supplemental income for his family. It’s a win-win for everyone.

We’ll begin to see more of this as this depression deepens. No matter how hard our government tries to destroy the middle class and the entrepreneurial spirit that made America what it is, enterprising business people will continue to find ways to stay afloat and even prosper. That may mean working for a little bit less than they’re used to, but generating income nonetheless. Or, it may mean taking Federal Reserve Notes completely out of the picture and directly exchanging the yield from their labor (time + energy) for what someone else’s time and energy yields.