#1 – Influencer businesses – trying to be an influencer or Youtube star is the #1 worst possible way to try to make a Permaculture or homesteading livelihood!

Since many of us start with these other top 5 ways to fail and end up in trouble, I understand why so many would fall for the get-rich-quick pitches of influencer businesses. I mean, a whole industry has developed around selling courses, books, and tools to help you get RICH RICH RICH as a sexy social media influencer and/or Youtube star!

But the less discussed truth is that this is terrible as a business plan or livelihood path. And worse, the influencer model is terrible as a lifestyle, terrible for the earth, terrible for people, and gets in the way of efforts to build a more just and sustainable economy.

Most of us are drawn to this lifestyle because we want to spend more time in nature, unplug, get our lives back, and do positive work in the world. Then when we run into difficulty, we turn to the influencer model for the promise of fame and riches. But the whole thing runs in the opposite direction we wanted to go in! We end up not just addicted to the psychologically destructive serotonin trap of social media, but make our lives dependent upon it! It’s building our lives on a proven extremely high-stress activity. It’s hard work, impersonal, and subjects us to the rude and poorly informed opinions of strangers on the internet.

And what we wanted was to escape the destructive forces of capitalism do something positive for the world, but we end up pressured to behave destructively. The main way influencers earn money is to, in the famous words of influencer Jake Paul “sell, sell, sell that MERCH!” Most influencers make their money off advertisements promoting cheap capitalist crap made by exploited sweat shop labor using non-renewable resources that will ultimately just end up in land fills and polluting the ocean.

And then there’s branded content. For influencers in Permaculture, gardening, and sustainability fields, the most common products I see promoted are corporate destructive crap: rototillers, “tilther” branded rototillers, agricultural plastics loaded with phthalates, pesticides, and plastic grow bags that contaminate food with microplastics and phthalates. Personally, I refuse to make a single dollar off selling such things.

And still worse, the model creates an unethical conflict of interest that badly corrupts good information.

I don’t mean to knock your favorite social media personality (especially if it’s one of us!) but much of what catches on appears to be poor information. A flashy video with an enthusiastic attractive presenter will get 10 million views, but the information may be absolutely terrible! Meanwhile, I see really great videos filled with brilliant info, from long-term experienced elders, and those get 10 views. Because most people want to watch things that reinforce what they already think and believe, not what is true.

Do you think I’d write this whole series if I wanted to court advertiser dollars or views? Heck no! I’d call these all the greatest ever and then link to a bunch of corporate products to help you be farmers and landscapers and Youtube stars!

And finally, for all these downsides, these businesses require big investments of money and time, rarely pay off. There have been tons of tell-alls about how many influencers are lying about what they make, and that the reality is tons of work and investment, with high risk and low reward. Despite making lots of money for destructive corporations, most of our favorite influencers remain in poverty.

So it’s better to invest in real work, doing real regeneration, in real relationships, in your real community.

Because that’s not just a better business investment, it’s a better life design. Real relationships in a thriving vibrant community is an investment in your true wealth and happiness.

And if we do it well, and we’re persistent, it’s something we can absolutely count on being successful at.

One response to “#1 – Influencer businesses – trying to be an influencer or Youtube star is the #1 worst possible way to try to make a Permaculture or homesteading livelihood!”

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