Hi, I'm Peter Beddows,
aka Peter Off-The-Grid, here with my muse.
Freedom: On this site, I share everything I've learned about successfully escaping "The System"; minimising risk and maximising reward in quitting your job (the 9-5) and creating the self-sufficient, self-reliant, lifestyle for yourself - Off The Grid*.
- Gain Radical Independence Directly!
Hi, I'm Peter Beddows,
aka Peter Off-The-Grid, here with my muse.
On this site, I share everything I've learned about successfully escaping "The System"; minimising risk and maximising reward in quitting your job (the 9-5) and creating the sustainable, Self-reliant, self-sufficient lifestyle for yourself - Off The Grid*.
- Gain Radical Independence Directly!
Get Off-The-Grid = Escape "The System"*
For me, getting "Off-The-Grid" has everything to do with freeing yourself from dependence on "The System" for any of those things on which your basic well-fare and well-being typically depend - income, shelter, food and power! If this is your objective, you are now in the right place; it all starts with creating an online business for your income. It has nothing to do with having to go to some remote wilderness location or with cutting ties to the power grid, though either may be part of what you do in reaching your goal.
Sorry! There Are No Quick-Or-Easy Shortcuts.
There are literally numerous so-called "gurus" all over the place ready to sell you on their latest wiz-bang solution to quick online riches! Truth is that neither Rome nor any business, online or offline, was ever successfully created in a day: It takes time, patience, perseverance and know-how. Here we focus on building practical, entrepreneurial, business development, management and marketing skills. It starts with identifying your strengths and abilities and matching them to market opportunities.
Freedom/Peace Trumps Money/Workaholic!
Bush (43), in referring to Iraq, said "Money Trumps Peace", meaning that money was more important than peace. For me, creating a successful online business is more about creating the means for securing personal freedom and being at peace than it is about being a workaholic in making money. Isn't getting to freedom the whole reason for finding a way to escape "The System" and quit corporate rat race in the first place? Hence, we avoid trading the old rat race for a new startup rat race and get to have fun!
*"The Grid" is "The System"! I use these terms interchangeably, hence to Get Off-The-Grid is to Escape The System and Gain Freedom: Gain Radical Independence Directly!
Here are a few fun and crazy background things about me
I've included all of the above here just to be clear with you that when I talk about quitting your job, escaping The System and quitting the 9-5, I'm talking from personal experience of - been there, done that!
And I've done this a few times under many different circumstances, sometimes not with the resounding success expected but with many great lessons learned along the way.
Along the way, I've been a student of Peter Drucker on Management, I've been an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (Operations), I've been trained in complex systems Project Management by the Navy - the originators of modern-day project management - and I qualified for membership in the British Institute Of Management ...
But ... I've also been a machinist, an assembly worker, forklift driver, made the tea, swept the floor, worked as a security guard, as an IT support desk tech and as a web and database programmer. In other words, over time I've been up in the corporate world and I've been down in the trenches with everyone else so what I'm sharing here is not from books, theory or anything else other than from my own personal experience!
My point is that, while I've been blessed to have had many interesting opportunities throughout my life, there is nothing I've done that you could not also do; especially so if you are determined and had a road-map, a mentor and guide who has, like me before you, been along the path you now want to follow! Hence, I'm your sherpa to help you climb and reach the summit of your particular Mount Everest Dreams, if you so choose!
That's what I have to offer to you if freeing yourself from dependence on "The System" for any of those things on which your basic well-fare and well-being typically depend - income, shelter, food and power- is your dream and your objective. And, that's what How To Live Off The Grid Now and Your Life By Design are about
“If we are not being taught how to grow our own food, not being taught how to take care of ourselves and our families and not being shown how to live without the need for huge governments, banks or corporations ('The System') – as our ancestors once did before the dawn of the Industrial Age – then we are not being educated.
We are, instead, being indoctrinated to become dependent on, and subservient to, ‘The System’ as nothing more than a constant supply of grist to the mill that feeds the coffers of the ‘corporate robber barons (Wall Street), warmongers (Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, etc.,) and Congress’.”
Adapted from a quote by Gavin Nascimento
Grist to the mill - cc https://www.phrases.org.uk
'The System' is 'The Grid' and 'The Grid' is 'The System'! I use these terms interchangeably, hence to 'Escape The System' is to 'Get Off-The-Grid' which is to 'Gain Radical Independence Directly' - the freedom of the self-sufficient, self-reliant lifestyle!
Note: By my definition, Getting or Living Off-The-Grid, throughout this website and all related media outlets, products and services, has nothing to do with just going to some remote wilderness location or with just cutting ties to the power grid, though either may be part of that and you can do both but, to get or live Off-The-Grid, in my book, is so much more than just that.
To get and live Off-The-Grid has everything to do with freeing yourself up from dependence on "The System" for any of those things on which your basic well-fare and well-being typically depend - your income, shelter, food and power and to do so with fun, ease and comfort!
Being self-sufficient and self-reliant means you are responsible for your own source of income, shelter, food and power wherever you may choose to locate be that in a wilderness or an urban/suburban.area.
Hence, if this is your objective, you are in the right place. My goal for you is for you to achieve a healthier life with less stress and more joy! This is all about helping you to achieve that objective.
How To Live Off The Grid Now is the free, public face of my primary business - with a growing Facebook Community (Currently 4,111 Fans) - which is all about escaping dependence on 'The System'.
The path to follow in escaping 'The System' leads you through the maze and past the security gates of uncertainty and risk towards creating a healthier, sustainable, self-sufficient, self-reliant, lifestyle by taking back control over the source of your income, shelter, food and power with the ultimate potential for maximizing fun, reward, fulfilment and satisfaction out of what you end up accomplishing.
My mission, in keeping with my core philosophy - as expressed through what is made publically available via How To Live Off The Grid Now - is to help as many people as possible who, like you, want to get to freedom from dependence on 'The System' for their income, shelter, food and power and who realize how important and life-changing, life-giving, achieving this level of freedom can be.
'The System' is based on, and supported by, the cultural, societal, pressure to conform to a standard that requires you to get educated or skilled to the point that you can get a "good job", as an employee of some corporation, that you will then keep and in which you will then grow, in status and income, until you reach retirement whereupon you will then have a marvellous pension and enjoy the fruits of your labours!
Essentially, the implicit promise of staying within 'The System' is that, if you conform to the norm, you will realize the American Dream and enjoy a happy, richly-rewarded, retirement - except, you've been lied to! Click this link to read my Blog Post => Why The American Dream Is Not Available For You – Unless … - to see why.
But, here's the alternative; what following the path and plan outlined throughout How To Live Off The Grid Now is designed to accomplish for you:It is all about helping you to escape that dependence, free yourself to escape 'The System' - which includes being able to quit your job, quit the 9-5, and get into creating your own self-sufficient, self-reliant lifestyle.
Your Life By Design is the subscription membership site component of How To Live Off The Grid Now. It's where the mentoring, the coaching, the know-how, the experiences and the information about how to create the self-sufficient, self-reliant lifestyle all come together as a continually growing, updating, one-stop resource to help you accomplish your dream objective with less stress, effort, time and frustration.
Your Life By Design is for students; folks who are committed to creating the healthier, sustainable, self-sufficient, self-reliant lifestyle for themselves free of dependence on "The System".
Creating this lifestyle depends on ultimately achieving at least all of the following objectives over time:
Your Life By Design membership/community website contains a growing set of resources, accessible only to members, with content curated under 2 primary categories: An Academy and a Forum as follows:
Why How To Live Off The Grid Now and Your Life By Design?
As I showed you above, my core philosophy is all about escaping "The System" and I gave you a statement to show how trapped, and dependent we are on "The System" and how vulnerable that makes us since we have no control over how The System functions from day to day.
You just have to look back, not so far, to see how so many people have been left struggling after events like the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico or go back to New Orleans and other events of similar nature that have happened in between.
So, How To Live Off The Grid Now is a general, publicly-available, information and ideas resource related to why you need to escape 'The System' and generally how you can escape 'The System' whereas Your Life By Design is dedicated to providing coaching, mentoring and educational resources exclusively to subscribing members to guide and support your efforts in escaping The System and creating your own self-sufficient, self-reliant lifestyle.
There are 3 principle ideas underlying all of this material and information:
How do you get access to all of that? You join this Community by becoming a subscribing member to gain access to resources for help and support in doing that. You create your own self-sufficient and self-reliant Lifestyle.
There are several methods I use in publishing related and relevant news updates and general information in support of achieving these objectives. This includes the primary website at this location https://howtoliveoffthegridnow.com/ and Blog at this location https://howtoliveoffthegridnow.com/wordpress/ plus a Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube together with an emailed, free subscription, Newsletter.
Here are some sample Blog Posts that can give you a sense of what to expect from How To Live Off The Grid Now and Your Life By Design.
I guess the best reference I can give for Peter is to say that I would not hesitate to work with him again. He is a very capable technology and business ... manager.
SVP. Bank Of America
I have had many discussions with Peter on processes I never knew of. He was very easy to talk to and would spend ... time reinforcing the training he gave to me and my team.
Int. Lgstx Mgr, Verari Syst, Inc
Peter has a tremendous & storied career, and his ability to draw upon those experiences and leverage his expertise is a fantastic asset ...
Verari Syst, Inc
When I posted this question: "Have you been following your own passion or given in and followed your parents' passion? What's your story?" on my HTLOTGN Facebook Page about how many, even well-meaning, people - especially parents and family in general - typically react quite negatively when you tell them about your dreams and desires to follow your passion, I stirred up a hornets' nest!.
Amazingly, of the 6,027 people reached by that post, 1,023 people engaged with it - nearly 17% response rate - which demonstrated that this issue hit a real nerve with many of my How To Live Off The Grid Now Facebook Page Fans. It's actually been the most responsive result I've had to any post.
The usual reaction you get to telling anyone about your dreams is far from encouraging or even encouragement of any kind! It is usually the experience of having your listeners do their best to dissuade you and get you to conform to The System. "That will never work!" or "you're not smart enough!", "you'll never make any money doing that!" or "forget about it!" for example, are common reactions.
You can feel very frustrated and downcast, perhaps even resentful, but you swallow it all down and agree to follow the culturally, societally approved path of going to college, getting a degree followed by getting a job and hoping that things will all work out - which, of course - ultimately they do not.
I understand, from personal experience, why that happens and how it feels to have your most earnest desires, dreams and passion thwarted!
So, when I said I wanted to go play in a Rock and Roll band, my family initially - kind of nervously - laughed at me and immediately started a campaign to dissuade me from making that choice. "It won't last!" was the most common threatening phrase thrown at me. In spite of all the pressure against me persuading me not to go ahead, I did quit college to go form The Brewers Rock Band with 3 friends and we soon became extremely popular on the dance and nightclub band circuits in the UK.
I built my own amplifier and my own bass reflex cabinet with 2 x 18 Inch diameter metal-cone speakers placed back-to-back which gave me the most powerful bass guitar equipment available in the UK at that time - had I realized it then, I could have made a business out of making that equipment for others; it was always in demand by other band bass players whom we met at venues in which we performed.
We were very popular in the early '60's just prior to The Beatles bursting onto the scene. We played to sell-out crowds. We were told to avoid Brian Epstein, the guy who put The Beatles on the map, and we auditioned for BBC's Top Of The Pops program which I scuttled by inadvertently four-letter word swearing after tripping over our equipment while setting things up. Forget the modern day judging panel you can see with Simon Cowell and America's Got Talent, there was a middle-aged woman in our judging panel who overheard me and nixed us because of that. They could not afford the risk of having someone swearing while on the air!
Eventually, I caved to family pressure and went back to college, graduated and started a "real" career!
The gist of the pressure for me was that playing rock and roll would never last and could never be a dependable career! I guess Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart never got my parents message? Maybe it's not too late for you to make a new decision?
But, I digress... Have you ever experienced pressure to give up on your dreams, to not follow your passion but get a "real job"? Does any of this seem familiar to you?
Unlike many of my contemporaries, I did not start in business with a lemonade stand or a paper route.
Nonetheless, I did learn to earn money early on. I worked for my grandmother, I worked in High School and I worked on the family farm - three completely separate businesses and experiences.
My grandmother was a very successful retailer and business woman and so my first experiences in business came from helping her in her shop.
In High School, I was put in charge of what, in the UK, we called "The School Cookie Shop" where I had my first full responsibility and accountability for the business success including budgeting, inventory choices and marketing in selling cookies and candies to fellow students so as to add funds to the school's discretionary fund!
On the farm, which, at that time, was completely off-the-grid and thus generating its own electricity, pumping its own water and using a septic system for sewage, I initially learned about looking after chickens, helped with milking the cows, feeding the pigs and working the fields using a variety of tractor attached implements.
My experience in High School was a constant seesaw challenge: One year I'd do very well followed by the next year barely making it into the next grade. My history was so erratic that our Vice-Principal, at the beginning of my senior year, stood before my class and announced to the class that he expected me to fail to graduate.
What I did not know, at the time, was that my parents had had a very tough meeting with him and they had agreed on a plan. The idea was that if the Vice Principal could shame me in front of my peers, then maybe I would be so motivated that I'd pull my socks up and perform. It seemed that I was destined to fail!
Fortunately for me, their strategy worked extremely well. I was so highly embarrassed that I swore right then that I would "show them" how wrong they were. And I did!
I graduated from HS with scholarships leading to an electrical engineering degree at 2 different Colleges and I chose the one involving what was called a Sandwich Course that included spending alternate 6 month periods learning - shop-floor and office apprenticeship style - about all aspects of heavy-engineering products manufacturing and 6 months intensive university academic studies over a period of 4 years. Thus I learned to weld, operate machine tools, how to create and read engineering drawings and do calculus, fourier analysis, fluid flow dynamics, etc.. Even how to use a slide-rule to do complex calculations! Cosines, anyone? 🙂
As I shared with you above, after 2 years in College, I quit to form The Brewers Rock Band. I loved my time in the band. No drugs or alcohol needed, it was intoxicating enough for me just to be on stage performing before an adoring throng of fans. Conversely, my parents hated the lipstick love-message covered van that I parked in their front-yard! And, as I said above, I eventually caved to family pressure after blowing the Top Of The Pops audition, and reluctantly went back to college, graduated and started a "real" career!
My background has included engineering, marketing, production, operations and project management positions, including many with profit and loss, budget, planning, scheduling and team-management accountability, in businesses ranging from esoteric, never-been-done-before, hardware, technology and systems development to healthcare, real-estate and financial services.
At one point in my career in the UK, I found myself increasingly spending more and more time, sometimes even stretching into weeks, away from home working on job sites where the projects for which I was responsible where being developed.
This kept me away from home, my wife and 2 growing children which was not good for any of us, so I needed to find a way to quit doing that work but not jeopardize everything we had worked so hard for. Then, back home over a weekend, while having a beer and playing pool with a neighbour who was the display manager in the UK for Estee Lauder, we got to talking about what we could do in business together.
We created "Exhibita", a Point-Of-Sale and Exhibition Display production company and went into business together. It was a lot of fun; very creative and interesting. My partner, also named Peter, had a gift for designing products that met our clients' needs and I had a gift for translating his drawings into physical products.
In our time together, we created exhibition and display items for the famous Selfridges London Department store - featured in a recent TV series about Mr. Selfridge, an America Entrepreneur - and we also built a large exhibition stand in London's Earls Court Exhibition Hall for an American Company, amongst other significant accomplishments as a small private business.
Funny thing is that, while we had been very good friends as neighbours, once we started working closely together in building this business, we became more and more at loggerheads with each other about how the business should grow. So, came a point in time when I split with Peter and went on to create a business on my own as a Robotics and Automation Consultant. The irony of that move by me was that it resulted in a job offer that I could not refuse and so, with alacrity, I once more entered the world of helping to make someone else rich through my contribution of knowledge and experience - once again trading freedom for money!
As time went by, I found myself working in relatively good situations and good, well-rewarded jobs. In my last excursion in the UK job world, I was Operations Manager of a British Subsidiary of an American VC backed, really advanced technology company with a staff of around 200 people spread across 5 Unions.
200 people spread across 5 Unions? Yup! That meant, 5 different Shop-Stewards, all ready to present the grievances of their hard-done by brothers! But that in itself, as they say, is a story, but not one to unfold here.
At an upstate NY meeting with the founders, investors and VC's, I suggested that we considered building a plant in the US where we cold promote both the UK equipment and the US equipment, renting out time-share use of that equipment to prospective customers. Everyone in the room, at the time, thought that was a hilarious idea and laughed it off. However, 18 months later, they voted to invite me to come to the US to start that business - which I did in July 1979.
In the meantime between that upstate NY meeting and the Invitation to come to the States to create that new business, I had built a similar business plant - from idea to fully-functioning production operations - in the UK.
In 1985, after being involved in turning around a major DOE, previously failing, technology development project at Transrex in SoCal and moving that project to Northern California for completion, I once again chose to quit my job and branch out into a new venture.
I wrote my first book about how to create and build a business. I called it "Proactive Concepts" and set up a business development company under that same name. My daughter dutifully typed out my handwritten draft using an IBM Selectric Typewriter. I then gave my first live, in-person - before the days of universal personal computers, the internet and online webinars - teaching presentation to 20 paying customers. Thus began a new chapter in my entrepreneurial business life.
It's hard to imagine now just how challenging it was, back then, to start up a new business. There was no internet, no Facebook, no Twitter or YouTube. Every marketing activity had to be something done either directly in person by driving and walking, shoe leather and hand-shakes, to one-on-one meetings with prospects or by telephone or else indirectly via existing paper publications - magazines, papers and flyers and, of course, good old snail-mail letters and postcards. How tedious, time consuming and inefficient was all that?
So, after considering how much effort was required to make real progress, I realized that I could get much better results for the same effort and investment of time and capital, by getting into investment real-estate and I got my California Real Estate License.
Again I was enticed back into the regular job world with an offer that was too good to refuse: However, this time, I realized relatively quickly how this was not where I wanted to be and I switched to join in the founding of another startup; a Payroll Service Bureau.
The good news, this time, was that I secured the Rights to anything that I developed. So when the business was sold, I was able to take what I had developed and use that as a basis for starting MISSI in September of 1991.
As a business development consultancy, the mission of MISSI was to identify areas of potential market, revenue and profit expansion for clients based on evaluating what they were already doing successfully but that they had not exploited to the fullest possible extent of that capability. In other words, helping clients find ways for opening up their business to new market opportunities with minimal need for additional capital or systems investment.
This was a very successful adventure, gaining clients from small mom-and-pop retail type businesses such as a Trophy store and a BlockBuster store at the lower end of business size and complexity to Bank of America and Morgan Stanley at the upper end.
The MISSI Business Development Consulting activities culminated in working with Verari Systems as a client between the beginning of 2006 to the end of 2009 during which time I was able to streamline process systems and save them from having to make an additional $1.3M investment that would otherwise have been required to meet the then rapidly growing order book. In December of 2009, Verari was faced with an unfortunate, insurmountable, credit crunch in the resulting fall-out from the national financial crisis that began in 2008.
At this point, as I had been watching developments in the business world that were being enabled by the rapid growth and development of Web Technologies and the Internet, I saw an opportunity for what I thought of as a Business to Business version of an "Angie's List" and I founded The Business Builder's Help Desk in 2010 to meet that market opportunity.
Throughout the course of my career, I've found that I could always accomplish so much more, much more easily and quickly, with a small dedicated team of specialists - skunk works style - than was possible to do when working with the large, often amorphous, masses found within older, well established, faceless corporations.
So, when I set out to create The Business Builder's Help Desk, I did so from my preferred state of fundamental DIY. In looking back, it seems ironic now that I did not realise, at the time, that any significant market opportunity is going to be attractive to deep-pocket investors. While I was deliberately functioning on a small budget; on the other hand, they could easily afford to out-spend my efforts without even blinking an eye at what they were spending.
I was nothing if not determined and committed. Worked long hours and day after day for many months: I tried everything I could think of to do battle against O'desk, eLance, Freelancer, to name a few of these competitors. However, my "David" was no match for these "Goliaths", but that was a mistake I was not willing to see for a long time. It was a tough lesson but one that I've well and truly taken to heart!
Then, one day in a local supermarket magazine rack, I saw an article by Joel Salatin in a Mother Earth News magazine.
Reading that article, and then the whole magazine, it suddenly struck me just how incredibly vulnerable we all are by being dependent on The System and we generally don't even realize that fact until it is usually too late to do anything about it.
As a product of wartime rationing and having, early on in my life, learned about the need to be resourceful, self-reliant and self-sufficient, this really rang many alarm bells for me
So this set me out on a path of discovery. I wanted to learn more about what we are facing in our blind dependence on The System. Just how vulnerable are we?
Well, hardly a week goes by now without hearing about yet one more major product recall of toxically contaminated food that could kill or harm thousands of us or about some long-time, seemingly well established, business (GM) suddenly closing its doors and laying off thousands. And, let's not even mention the potential harm of GMO'd food or weed-spraying with RoundUp!
So I founded How To Live Off The Grid Now as a communications and teaching vehicle to share information about all of this stuff that could have such a drastic impact on our life and to share ideas about how you can help yourself to avoid being a victim of these kinds of situations.
Since founding HTLOTGN, and after running several surveys, one of the most common issues that people have reported is that they do not have the income they need to support their dream of getting to be self-reliant and/or self-sufficient never mind getting to escape being dependent on The System itself.
So, at the beginning of 2019, I added Your Life By Design to the available resources here to provide a subscription option for exclusive access to information and teaching, coaching, mentoring and interactive forum resources available only to subscribing members in the community.
In this current age of increasingly shorter attention spans, if you've made it this far down the page, I'm in admiration of your fortitude and determination. Welcome to a very select the club! 🙂
I created this About Page as a way to introduce myself to people, like you, who feel the same way as I do about the dangers of being dependent on 'The System' for anything but who are also looking to find someone with whom they would feel a connection and who could have their back and understand the challenges they face because they can now recognize that we are on the same page, the same journey, after the same objective for the same or similar reasons.
Together, we are all always so much stronger and much more successful when acting as a cohesive team than we ever could be in journeying alone! I hope I have made my case strong enough for you to agree to come along with me on this journey, this adventure? So, have I succeeded in convincing you and in getting you on board?
Please scroll down below to give me your feedback and share your thoughts with others here. What here rings a bell with you? Does any of this resonate with you and your situation? Has any of this been helpful? What else would be helpful for you? What works for you and what's missing? Please let me know. I read all the comments. Thank you. /peter
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