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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Going Off Grid, Building a Home and Checking Out in Bridesville, British Columbia

Checking Out

"The total tax bill for the average Canadian family will exceed $38,000 in 2018 or 43.2% of their total annual income. This is more than what the average family spends on housing, food and clothing combined. And that does not include the impact of the newest "let's fleece the sheep" invention of a Federal Carbon Tax!" (Toronto Sun, Jan4, 2019). Believe me, the numbers get even worse when you dig a little more.

The truth is, we've been restless for a while as we saw our disposable income dwindle and meaningful jobs disappear. It happened also with our clients and our business prospects in Canada. We've been looking for a way out which doesn't include producing more and generating more revenue only to be clobbered with even more permits and regulations, while the Taxmen are waiting on their other side to relieve us of the meagre profits we manage to eke out.

We've seen many packing it in around us, and even more entrepreneurs like us, simply disengaging or sitting it out, hoping for a better tomorrow.


Don't get me wrong, we are not against some contribution towards the collective public good and paying our way for what we use. But when the "public good" is no longer in your best interest, then there is a serious problem.

If the "good guys" think that 50% of your income should be under their control, because they know better what to do with your earnings, then someone is getting hosed here and will be for the foreseeable future. Ask John Barlow and Pierre Poilievre. We have them on camera in 2017 proclaiming that they think a 50% tax is a fair tax! And, they are supposed to be the voice of reason in today's Canadian politics!!

No wonder the citizens are getting restless and donning high visibility clothing downtown on a Saturday! In New Zealand, when a Kiwi gives you a high viz jacket, you are the next hunting accident waiting to happen. People will read about you in the newspaper tomorrow morning! In Canada, the accident occurred already. You and I are the free-range cows that are getting milked on the tax farm with every paycheck, every tank of gas, mortgage payment, bread, beer, permit, permission and watt of electricity we use.

Where it Hurts the Most

Here is where it gets real for us. The Two Cowboys has been on a mission to showcase the stories of the little guy all over our home Provinces and even as far as New Zealand. We do it because no one else seems to have an interest in doing it anymore.

Media companies and fat not-for-profit (tourism and industry) associations have long been annexed, taken over, consolidated and corraled into the service of unsavoury corporate masters or empire building hold-on-to-your-job career builders. They are now manned by "Professionals" that are more set on attending conferences, having strategic workshops, and winning prizes, than walking the streets and promoting the stories of the businesses and destinations they are paid, with our tax money, to serve.

The people we feature are the value creators, makers and producers. They are the foundation of our economy and the backbone of our communities. If your job does not involve creating physical value, then you are indebted to them. They make your and my world possible. It is microeconomics 101.

We've seen that those of them with the least to give are the ones that are the most appreciative of the light we shine on their stories. Unfortunately, they are also the ones broken. More of them are bowing out every week than ever before.

Go Make Something

What should we do in today's circumstances where we are disenfranchised from our means to earning a living, and overtaxed and overregulated when we do? You can start a war but that is probably only going to make things worse. You can leave, but where should you go? Over taxation and regulation is a global disease. Our advice has been, and still is, "Go make something!"

First of all, make something of value for yourself. Cook an egg. Sow a button. Smoke a ham. Hammer a nail. Plant a seed. Harvest a berry or glue something. Whatever you do, take a tool, find some materials and make something with your own two hands. By doing this, you will start on a road of self-discovery, fulfillment and dare I say it, self-sufficiency. It puts you in a position to take back control for yourself and your destination. You will discover a new world.

Firstly, it will give you an appreciation for how resourceful you are as an individual. You will be challenged to learn. You will discover how much you take for granted and how little value you have for things when simply buy it from a store.

You will also appreciate not having to pay all the taxes and profits to large corporations that come with the store-bought items. Even more importantly, you will discover how much better an cheaper it is, if you made it yourself. The value you create cannot be confiscated through taxes and levies. If it is taken from you it is called theft! Better even, you can share it freely with those you love and maybe also trade or sell it.

Here's the warning. You will get distracted. The more you make something, the harder it will become to live on your credit card, pay the mortgage and stay on the hamster wheel of "modern civilized living" with meaningless jobs and paychecks that seem to never cover the overhead.

Living from paycheck to paycheck will drive you nuts. Today's world will frustrate you more and more. You will want out. If there was a red pill, you will cry out for it sooner than later!

Building a Home

We've been on this journey for a while now. We are living as nomads to cut down on our cost of living while we tell the stories of the little guys. We make our own beer and cook our own food. We've minimalized where we can. It is a lot of fun as you can see from our content. Sometimes we make a dollar from it. Most of the times we are rewarded with a growler of beer, a wheel of cheese, a camping spot, bread or a plate of food for dinner.

We are thankful our brand profile is growing, and we hope to turn a corner financially by being able to afford our mission in 2019. No, the Two Cowboys are not making any money. We are not even covering our costs!

Most of the people we feature are not doing much better than us either. It doesn't deter us to continue to do what we do with the single goal of helping more entrepreneurs tell more of their stories and our audience discovering more value in their own lives and learning from that of others. While we entertain, we hope to also inspire people like you. 

We need to make something big and realized we cannot always be on the road. We are going to build a home in 2019 with the help of our good friends at Knotty Pine Cabins.

This blog post is already too long, so I am not going to bore you (yet) with the amount of bureaucracy, permitting and red tape it takes to nail two planks together and calling it home. In British Columbia, it is easier to train pigs to fly. It will drive you to tears and put any sane person off even trying to be an owner builder.

However, we believe that the ultimate reward, for any man is to be able to build a home, even a tiny one, for his family. If this is the only thing we do, it is the single most worthwhile thing we can do. Welcome to our journey as we go off grid building a home and trying to turn a corner in our fortunes in 2019.

Let's go make something!

Builder Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. Please book us here so we can tell your story too.


A Home 

Our Makers

Making Us Famous

My Land

My Trees