Finally, the breakthrough.
After months of experimentation and failure, I finally managed to crack the code and successfully distill my first batch of homemade ethanol.
I botched the job the first seven times and ended up with useless buckets of goo, so I’m pretty excited right now.
It turns out that it’s not even that hard.
I started with unused fruit that literally falls off the trees in my organic orchard.
Nature does most of the work; the fruit eventually decomposes down to its basic sugars, at which point the addition of yeast turns the sugar into alcohol.
The last step is the distillation process which separates the alcohol from the rest of the mix. (A basic distillation kit costs less than $30.)
And voila, the end result is pure ethanol. OK maybe not 100% pure, I’m still not Walter White. But it does the job.
The uses for ethanol are endless.
It’s a great antiseptic for medical purposes. Ethanol can be further turned into white vinegar, or mixed with our homemade lavender oil and diluted into a household cleanser.
It can be consumed to kill brain cells. It can be burned for heat. It can be even used as a gasoline substitute to power a flex-fuel motor vehicle.
That’s probably the most exciting part– not having to depend on the outside world for the fuel that I put in my car.
Talking about this stuff makes me seem like I’m some rabid survivalist hiding out in a bunker waiting for the end of the world.
I’m not. I think the world is awesome and full of incredible opportunities.
I’ve seen it with my own eyes after traveling to 120+ countries and having started or acquired so many great businesses.
Clearly there are obvious consequences of a fatally flawed financial system and far too much government debt.
But that doesn’t mean the world is coming to an end. It’s changing.
And I’m quite optimistic about the future, especially for people who take control of the outcome by protecting their downside risk and going after the abundance of opportunity that comes from dramatic change.
That’s what the idea of personal sovereignty is all about: taking control.
That means reducing our dependence on what we cannot control and taking charge of what we can.
Being able to grow my own fuel is a small example.
I’m not recommending that you produce ethanol (though you probably already have enough starter material in your garbage bin.)
But each of us has aspects of our own lives over which we can easily take greater control.
It could be health, for example, which would mean making better decisions about what we eat and exercising more.
Doing this will have a far greater impact on our health than any government health plan could ever achieve.
Many of us could probably also take greater charge of our finances.
Again, rather than waiting for some politician or central bank to engineer prosperity and economic growth, learning more about investing and business will have a far greater impact.
With a small investment of time and money in your education, you could easily learn the skills that are necessary to become, say, a successful real estate investor, or to start your own e-commerce business.
I’m not talking about becoming a multi-billionaire. This is about generating additional cashflow, $500 to $5,000 per month.
It’s not rocket science, and this outcome is completely achievable for ANYONE.
In other words, no one has to wait for an act of Congress or new central bank policy to make more money. We have the power to control our own economic prosperity.
Taking charge of retirement is another obvious example.
We routinely discuss how pension funds across nearly all western governments are completely underfunded.
According to an analysis from Citibank, the largest western economies including Germany, France, Italy, Japan, etc. have pension gaps totaling roughly $80 trillion.
The US Social Security system makes up nearly half of that amount, and even the government itself tells us that Social Security’s trust funds will run out of money in about 17 years.
So if you plan on being retired at some point beyond 2034, you absolutely have to reduce your dependence on Social Security and take control of your retirement.
Again, there are countless ways to do so.
You could set up a self-directed SEP IRA, for example, and contribute up to $54,000 to your retirement each year from that new business we talked about earlier.
Plus you’ll derive fantastic tax benefits from doing so.
Banking is another obvious area over which we can take back control.
As I often write, depositors are nothing more than unsecured creditors of their banks.
We have zero control, oversight, or knowledge over how our banks gamble away our savings on the latest risky investment fad.
But taking back control is easy; there are plenty of options. You could simply withdraw a little bit of physical cash and hold a few thousand dollars in a safe.
Or you could buy gold. Or even cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or etherium.
All of this means that, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen next, you’ll thrive.
If Social Security goes bust, your retirement will still be great.
If your bank turns out to be another Lehman Brothers, you’ll still have independent funds.
In my case, I’ll always have a steady supply of energy, organic food, and now, fuel for my vehicle.
I cannot overstate the power and confidence that you’ll feel once you’re in control.
It’s an incredible feeling. And it’s totally achievable.
All it takes is a little bit of education… and the will to act.