Failure on the homestead is inevitable. When trying new things (or anything really) you are bound to fail every now and then. Bad days. Weeks. Even years. They happen. Its what you do after failure, that really matters.
The past two years have been failure upon failure for me. I was pregnant one year and my garden and really everything on our homestead, just fell apart. And of course, this year, I have a baby….
Babies are difficult enough (Here are some Ideas on how to homestead with a baby), but man while you are homesteading and trying to raise animals, another kid, work a full time job, plant and maintain a garden, it has just been impossible for me.
However, I am not giving up that easily. If it is something you really want, you have to put the work in. You have to fight for it. Great things don’t come easily, as I am finding out.
You don’t get good at something your first try. You have to learn and grow, and you know what the best way to learn is? Failure.
With that in mind, here are some words of encouragement, and a few pointers for overcoming failure on the homestead.
(If you are looking for some general failure advise, check out my Overcoming Failure post)
Take A Break
Seriously though. Take a a few months or a year off.
Often times we put too much on ourselves. I for one, know this to be true. Take my garden for instance. I have had to put it off for two years now. Actually, I started it and had to give up. Not because I am weak. Not because I COULDN’T do it, but because I needed a break. I needed time to focus on other things. I had piled up too much on myself. For heavens sake I had just had a baby and still thought I needed to do it all.
Give yourself time to clear your head. Doing this, can help you determine if it is something you absolutely want or not. Maybe there are better ways to go about it all. Sometimes you just have to take a step back to see a better solution.
Take a drive. A walk. Sit in the sun. Just clear your head for a minute, or a year.
Take. That. Break
Don’t Wallow In Your Mistakes
I get it. It sucks when things don’t go right. I had a little greenhouse full of seedlings this year. Tons of beautiful little seedlings. All different kinds of plants. Even some tree starts. I put them outside to harden them off. Wouldn’t you know it, the wind knocked the thing over. I lost, dang near everything.
That really set me back. I was done, and didn’t want to do it anymore. I gave up. But in the back of my mind, I really wanted to keep going.
Don’t let mistakes keep you from going forward. It happened. It sucks. No, its not freaking fair, but the longer you sit and wallow, the less time you have to take action.
I was down on myself for a long time over some of the things that didn’t work out for me. That’s time I could have spent making a new plan.
Chin up. You are not alone. You are not defined by your mistakes. Dust yourself off and keep on truckin’.
Don’t Be Afraid To Start Over
This is a fresh start. but now, you are starting with a bit of experience. I get it, all of your previous work is in the trash. All that hard work seems wasted.
But was it?
Absolutely not. You just gained something really important. A lesson, or lessons. As bad as it sounds, you just spent time learning what NOT to do. Make notes and move on.
Everyone has to start over sometime. You won’t see it on Facebook. There won’t be pretty little pictures of it on Instagram with cute sayings. People aren’t usually going to admit to having to start over, but we all have to do it.
Don’t Give Up!
Giving up when something goes wrong is not only discouraging to you, but to everyone around you. You have people looking up to you. People are aspiring to do what you are doing and be where you are, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Preservering through failure and challenges encourages people on the verge of giving up.
What if you do give up. Are you going to spend the rest of forever wondering “what if”?
What Went Wrong?
Keep track of what went wrong. Make notes. Keep a notebook of what you did and what you think caused it. Once again, you learn from your mistakes.
Did your whole garden die? Are your chickens not laying? Feel like you are spinning your wheels?
Chances are, someone else has been there, done that. Start googling and searching for answers.
Look For Inspiration
When dealing with failure on the homestead, its easy to see nothing but the bad. The dead garden. The overgrown weeds. Try looking around for inspiration.
There are many different places to find inspiration.
Take a drive. Go out and get lost driving around. Check out other peoples farms and gardens. If nothing else, take in the scenery and use the time to clear your mind.
Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration for your homestead. Check out my pinterest boards. There is sure to be something there to inspire you.
Inspiration can be anywhere. You just have to look for it!
Find Groups For Support
There are plenty of groups out there that offer great support. In these groups you will see all sorts of things. Anything from “what went wrong?” To “THIS is what worked for me”. I myself love groups on facebook for farmers, Women farmers, Homesteaders etc. There are people from all walks of life, at all different levels of experiencce. Wh
Give Yourself Time
I am giving it a year, and if it isn’t working I am pulling the plug!
That is what I said when i first started this blogging thing. And i will tell you, a year isn’t enough. Things are just heating up for me. I am just now getting the hang of it.
So my advice? You think it will take a year. Give yourself 5. yes, 5. No joke. You have to give yourself time to learn and grow. Build on what you have learned every single year. Make that effort to improve.
Things don’t always work out the first, second, or even third time you try them.
If you want things to work, you will find a way to make them work.
It’s Not A Comptetition
Stop comparing yourself to others. Only look at other people who are succeeding at what you want to do for inspiration. Don’t compare yourself to them.
Facebook and Instagram only show you the good. You see perfect pictures of perfect people doing perfect things. That doesn’t mean people aren’t having some setbacks behind the scenes. You just aren’t seeing it. See, I am one to post about my failures and setback. Not for attention, but to help others see that, its not all perfect.
For me, seeing other people having successful blogs, farms, and homesteads is tough. I have been at this homesteading thing for so long, and I only have some chickens, a dead garden, and some land. What gives?
Well, I failed to look at where I started, and how far I have come. Also, most of those people had help starting. They had land passes down to them. They came from farming families and were given booloos of information and resources. I didn’t have ANY of that. So, with that into perspective, I am doing pretty dang good. Yes, this year was a bit of a setback, but I am not letting that stop me.
With that being said…
Make One Hell Of A Comeback!
Don’t let a year of failure deter you. Let it push you to try harder next year. Make plans. Start preparing things for next year Set up a calendar, some spreadsheets. Put some money in a coffee can. Whatever you need to do to make it work next year.
Set your mind to making your next month, or year better than this one.
Guys, this year was tough for me. I had a baby. I had to go back to work, only to find out I was being laid off. My garden died. My flowers died. I swear to you, someone was out to get me. But next year, you better believe I am coming back and I am going to make things happen.