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

Mac Slavo
September 25th, 2010
SHTFplan.com
Comments (28)

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.

source: inflationUS
(View the Video Below)

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.

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.

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.

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Author: Mac Slavo
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Date: September 25th, 2010
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

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28 Comments...

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  1. laura m. says:

    years ago, me and others I knew (mostly housewives) worked from their houses:  Maid services, yard work, flea markets- using the house for storage,  babysit, hair styling, buying and reselling furniture and antiques, gun repair, medical billing on the computer, sewing and alterations, Avon,  baking cakes for events, bike repair,etc.  This has been going on for decades.  But more will do it now because there is no over head expenses of renting, permits, etc.   City codes have cracked down nationwide recently so people must be low key.  It’s best to deliver items when repaired in some cases, as cars coming and going can raise suspicion and neighbors can’t be trusted as many of them work for the city anyway.

  2. Bill says:

    Laura – Your right about city and local codes.  It amazes me how many rules these people have.  Of course we all know it’s for our own good!
    We will always do whatever we have to do to survive.  The powers that wanna be will always be on the look out for ways to keep us down.  The black market will always survive.  We picked wild blackberries for many years and sold them to the local food co-op.  Several years ago it became illegal for the co-op to purchase any fruits or vegetables that were not “official”.  Now we pick them and trade with a local restaurant for date night.  This year we have $480 credit for traded berries.  There’s always a way around all the rules and regulations.

  3. Comments…..
    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

    Hello???
    And 15 abc agencies didn’t show up the first day to ask for permits, license, inspections, health codes. etc???
    WOW!!

  4. Comments…..
    I’m still in a community with farmer’s markets…yes, home-grown vegetables….until the gobermint comes to stop this too.
    Drive around the county and you’re going to find a few trucks set up on the side selling vegetables, watermelons, cantaloupes,,,
    That and yard sales.

  5. MadMarkie says:

    Gevernment at all levels is becoming more and more irrelevant with every day that goes by. People are starting to ignore their petty rules and regulations and code requirements.

    The interesting times will come at the end of November when unemployment benefits run out for some 15+ million long-term unemployed Americans.

    Reach behind you and grab your a– with both hands cause it’s going to be a wild and crazy ride!!!

  6. mushroom says:

    just hang tight and everything will be alright. when the GOP wins  the next elections leaders boehner and mcconnell will reduce taxes on the megawealthy and then they can get us out of the socialist mess that we are in. social security, medicare and medicaid must be eliminated immediately and  then the money from these trust funds can be used to reduce taxes and our  military will then have the funds for the invasions of iran and pakistan. when this is done good jobs will reappear and everything will be ok. god bless america.

  7. Fed Up In TX says:

    Common sense will tell you that there has to be some level of economic and governmental reset.  The question is how bad and how long.  Sooner the better for me. 

    It won’t be fun, but in the end Americans are resourceful.    We just need them to remember that they have to be. 

    And shroom, pretty sarcastic and funny, but I have just one question for you.  How can it be any worse than the morons running Washington now?   I say throw them all out and start over outlawing anyone who has ever served in political office from being ever running again.

  8. mrs. mushroom says:

    the land of the free food banks and home of the brave predator drones is reacting to our home grown  multitrillion dollar debt collapse by hiding trillion dollar derivative debts off the books and then intelligently moving forward aggressively while denying millions of americans adequate medical care.  we all owe big dick armey and the kock brothers a hugh debt of gratitude for them expending their precious bodily fluids to get spontaneous demonstations from all those bus loads of  hired gun toting protestors.  the spontaneity of these well organized intellectuals  is certainly showing the rest of the world how swiftly and skillfully america solves the biggest economic crisis in world history.

  9. TnAndy says:

    Can’t imagine “home restaurants” would fly, especially if money gets tight, but, on the other hand, seems fewer and fewer people actually know how to cook, so who knows ?  I’d also think anyplace with zoning codes, people are going to have a hard time trying this.

    I’ve always been self employed, either part time in addition to being an employee, or full time.  I’ve cut/sold firewood, done mechanic work, done custom sawmilling ( still do ), farmed, done carpentry from decks to custom cabinets to complete houses, done electrical work, etc.  I am a jack of many trades, and a master of several.

  10. Dave says:

    The harder we fall economically, the better of we’ll be in the long run.
    If our government collapses so far that foreigners no longer purchase our debt & tax receipts plummet, our government will be on a serious diet and trimming of personnel by force.
    We the people will trade and barter locally leaving Washington out of the picture.
    If you think that there are enough federal troops and other tax-feeding , costume wearing types to force us to do otherwise, you simply aren’t aware of the horrendous numbers of us compared to them.
    I say bring it on!

  11. Fed Up In TX says:

    No offense, but either those are some good mushrooms or I  need some because I can’t even get close to understanding that one.

  12. wooba says:

    home restaurants? Hardest part about that business is getting a good cook. You serve average food and you’ll go nowhere. I have always been an advocate of the copycat business model. And it works best in the service industries where the service is distance limited, like landscaping and the like.

    You read ads in the local papers and go out and about and see who’s making wads of cash doing whatever. Stalk them, see how it’s all done and with what equipment and then jump on the bandwagon with an ad in the local paper or a letterbox drop.

    It’s hard to come up with a fresh idea that actually works and if you do, and it does! Then in come the copycats and in no time you are competing with everyone else anyway.

    An old mate here started out with a station wagon, bought a pile of new “bright daylight” fluro tubes and starters, a step ladder and some screw drivers and went out cold calling small to medium businesses with a couple of fluro tubes under his arm. He’d go in the front door and if they had shitty old tubes he’d give his pitch, put a tube up in the ceiling and 50/50 sales from there.

    The tubes cost him $3 and he sold them installed for $16. Is still making wads of cash, but guess what? Yep, all the copy cats are out there now doing it too.

  13. Dave says:

    FEDUP, If our government runs out of money and the ability to print it up, they can’t enforce a whole lot of oppression and control over the people.
    Mushrooms can also cloud your comprehension…

  14. mushroom says:

    why is there a federal income tax when they can just print the money?

  15. MadMarkie says:

    @ Dave –
    Be very carefull what you wish for dude, it will be here much sooner than anyone expects.

    Currently, there are 5X – 6X the number of organized gang members in the US than there are law enforcement at the Federal, State and local level.

    What happens on the day that the gangbangers decide to quit fighting amongst themselves for a particular corner and just go ahead and take over ALL the corners.

    It should prove to be a very interesting day newswise ….. video at 6:00.

  16. greaseman says:

    Comments…..I hope the coming changes hold off a little longer, because when they come, they will be like nothing we have ever seen. We have a perfect storm of cluster f__ks coming, and everything that could possibly happen bad, is lining up to happen.  I’m not paranoid, just realistic. Look at history, it will tell you anything you want to know.
         The ingenuity of people, the black market, and just smart people will succed in their own ways.  But there are millions of sheeple out there that have to be told what to do, just to make it through the day. That is the wild card in this picture.
        Also, I see the natives getting very restless, and as entitlements run out, and they will,  people realize that they truly have nothing to lose by rioting, and getting even with the man. Refer to the French revolution, and “Off with their heads”. it’s coming folks.
       The one thing that I truly look foward to, is when the governemnt does default, and can’t pay those millions of useless government employees.  Then, everyone realizes what we already knew anyway, that those hundreds of thousands of workers serve no purpose, when their is no money to give out or spend.
         Good luck.

  17. Fed Up In TX says:

    Dave – I got yours.  It was Mrs. Mushroom’s I didn’t get.

    And I agree that it will be very interesting and very scary even for the prepared among us.  And the gang part is thought provoking.  Dealing with them will require hard choices that most of us (save the veterans among us) have never had to make before.

    We have gotten used to the security that we have from Big Brother.  When the SHTF, our only security will come from ourselves, our family units (hopefully you have kept close with them), and our local communities.  If you don’t live where there is a strong, small local community, now is the time to go!

  18. Goldenfoxx says:

    Comments….. I saw that video a couple weeks back and wondered how they got away with having a restaurant in their house.  Desperate people do desperate things.  I live too far out in the country to have a restaurant in my home, but there’s nothing that says I can’t go to someone’s home and teach them how to cook, how to shop, and how to get the biggest bang for their buck.  I can show them how to eat healthy on very little money.

    I also buy and resell at flea markets.  It’s amazing what people will buy, and what you can resell for.  I never lose money.  People also ask me to find a certain item for them.  Though I don’t get rich off of doing it, I do make a little here and there.  Pays for my wine and then some.

  19. overtheedge says:

    Comments…..The entrepeneurial spirit has never died. The problem has been that local, state and federal regulations has driven much of it underground for all those without deep pockets.
    Couple that with the lack of basic skills by most all living in the urban and suburban environment and we are left with what will become a no-man’s land. Small businesses are alive and well in rural America. Most fail to produce enough income from any specific business, but most have several businesses. The welder also repairs farm equipment and fills in driving a tractor at harvest time. He might cut firewood in the winter, etc. It is all about having several revenue streams.
    The problem will be in the more urban areas. If we are to believe the economic indicators, most folks in the urban areas are heavily in debt with few if any skills needed to survive. Gov’t will do all it can, but the harsh reality is there are too many hungry mouths to feed with what will be a limitted resource.
    Our urban environments produce nothing of real survival value. They are dependant upon inputs from rural America all of which depend on transportation by truck. Yes, Warren Buffet bought into the railroads, but the cities require trucks for delivery from the railhead.
    Look for the National Guard to get involved with transportation of goods and security.
    Few realize that almost all of the farm subsidy programs have the crops as the collateral for the program monies. Just like all loans, there is a clause stating, “payable on demand.”
    Those who live outside the farming centers will be left to thier own devices. It will cost too much to provide them with any services. Oh they will have the choice to move to where the gov’t food distribution network exists. Our benevolent gov’t might even send buses to collect those willing to go.
    For many the problem will not be gangs, but rather thier neighbors. Have you ever heard of communitarianism (Local Agenda 21)? We are in this together, therefore we have to pool our resources. So we are here to collect your stash of goods. They will be accompanied by supposed authorities.

    Just like Ross Perot claimed, “a giant sucking sound.” First the jobs out-sourced and next the depopulation of rural America.  Dark times ahead. Hungry and desperate people do desperate things.

  20. I see several people who are on the same page with me.

    Interesting times ahead! Might as well look forward to it and try your best to enjoy the adventure.

    Instead of yelling, “REVOLUTION!”

    Our battle cry is “RESET!!!”

  21. Ponce says:

    Comments…..Hi! I am from Cuba where in house restaurants are very popular……I am sorry to tell you that what will happen in the US will be 100 times worse than what is happening in Cuba and it will not be worse in per se but because the people are not ready for it and will make it worse.

    In Cuba many people rent videos and books and many lawyers and doctors become taxi drivers because they can earn 100 times more than their profession.

    There is a lot more that I could tell you but this will give you a head up.

    And remember “If you don’t hold it, you don’t own it”… Ponce

  22. DayOwl says:

    I’ve always loved sewing my own clothes and some home decorations. While I am pursuing a BA to support a security career on the one hand, I’ve also been slowly building skills, materials, and other resources for sewing. I’ve even commented to my kids that when it all goes south wouldn’t it be ironic if my sewing skills turned out to be the most relevant?

  23. John says:

    I have an apartment in the Bronx and no mechanical skills. What can I do?

  24. greaseman says:

    Comments…[email protected] john
     If you have one spare room, load up on supplies, and try to make it when it all goes to pot.  if you have any extras down the road, that will be more than the unaware guy next door.
          if you store enough food and water, and can be as unconspicuous as possible if trouble startys, you might be able to get by.  there are may variables, but food , water, and shelter are the basics. If you only have yourself to worry about, even better.  One spare room full of stuff will last one person a long time.  it’s common sense man.  That’s what you can do.

  25. John says:

    And, if I can’t afford my apartment because I’ve gone broke, then what? What if I can’t afford supplies?

    Isn’t loading up like that a kind of passive response?

    I’m looking for something active that will allow me to increase my resources. I don’t want to just change my resources from money into supplies.

  26. greaseman says:

    Comments…[email protected] john
    I gave you some rudimentary answers. If you’re broke, or get thrown out of your apartment, then dude, you’re screwed.  The answer for being screwed, is a FEMA camp. That’s as plain as I can say it.
          if you’re scared to exchange money for resources, then you’re back at square one, being screwed. Logically, with the problems coming, everyone spends their available money in the most prudent manner they can, it’s called a budget.
         The thing that allows you to get resources is called a job, and no one on this board can help you there. That’s called–to bad, so sad. You’ll have to join the millions out there, who eventually will go to–you guessed it–a FEMA camp.
          I know all this sounds cruel, but life is cruel. The same rules apply to me. If my wife and I fall on hard times, we have to figure out a way to get by, or it’s off to the FEMA camps for us , eventually.  There is no magic cure for any of what’s coming.  And if you think it’s bad now, wait 6 months.   Have a great day.

  27. John says:

    I HAVE a job. I’m a telemarketer for a commercial loan brokerage. I’m not making any money at it, though, because it’s 100% commission-based and nobody wants to borrow money. I’m already on food stamps. And I can go to a homeless shelter–one among many in New York and the Bronx–instead of a FEMA camp, whatever the hell that is.

    This post was about starting a restaurant business in your living room, not about preparing a bunker. So, I asked, what if you’re in an apartment? You can’t very well start a restaurant business in a seventh-floor apartment. What can you start that’s not some kind of work-at-home scam?