Working My Way Down the Corporate Ladder

| 2/28/2012 8:10:35 AM

Tags: earning a living while homesteading, Cam Mather,

It all started at a little 50,000-Watt radio station in Peterborough, Ontario. I started out selling radio advertising. Then I moved on to selling television advertising. I went back to university, for a year, then quit, got married and started selling microcomputers in the early ‘80s just as they came on the market. I actually turned down a great corporate job in the biz to sell the small systems because I had a sense that there was more of a future for me in personal computers. When the Apple Mac came out and “desktop publishing” took over from “typesetting ” in the late 80’s, we started our own business, Aztext Electronic Publishing. We started out small, just me and my cousin Dave, and then we began to hire employees. We had big plans for growth until we discovered just how difficult it is to manage employees and so we decided to scale back. For the most part it’s just been Michelle and me working in our business.

Being self-employed was one of the keys to our ability to move to the bush. Our business was somewhat portable. Technology allowed me to move away from my customers. Then we got into the book business and let the desktop publishing take a back seat. And since the U.S. economic collapse caused our book sales to take a nosedive, it’s been “anything for a buck ” around here. Now we’re selling vegetables, doing workshops at the house on homesteading and preparedness, worked on websites, and now that we’ve settled into new our economic reality, it’s pretty great. Earning an income is definitely the toughest part about homesteading.

A couple of weeks ago our neighbor Don Garrett called to ask if I could help him in his shop. Don has a custom millwork business 7 minutes down the road from us. I’ve blogged about him before because we get wood shavings from him that I use as bedding for the chickens, as well as his marvelous off-cuts that I turn into kindling (read about that here). Like Michelle and me, Don and his wife, Deb, work together in their business. Recently Deb hurt her back. Some of his machines require 2 people to operate; one person feeding and one person removing the finished product, and so Don was looking for a new helper.

Last Monday morning I started my new job. And it SUCKED! Or it was AWESOME! It all depends on how I look at it and what time of the day it was.

2/28/2012 7:49:18 PM

I really enjoyed your article. I'm doing my time in corp life/suburbia but I'm planning my eventual escape. Until then I have started my own little suburban farm to lessen the pain somewhat...

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