I just wanted to say thank you for your work. I messaged you back in November saying this, but after a few months I would like to give verbal 'representation' of how much your work has helped me.
For a 22-year old in college, I look around and see the changes I have made has put me leagues ahead of comparable people.
First and foremost, I am much happier and 'content' with where I am. Because I am actually doing something! Your work has inspired me to shift into fifth gear, and get stuff done.
I've fixed my health; started gaining more muscle and stamina, and overall my mental clarity has lifted itself from the fog. I wasn't down in the dumps by any stretch, nor was I overweight (underweight actually), and my sleep schedule has been improved greatly. I have gotten back on the mountain bike, and have met some amazing people along the way.
I've fixed my finances. I am still part-time, but I've upped my work schedule as well as work responsibilities. My 'higher-ups' now look to me as a reliable employee that will get done what needs to get done, and it will be done well. I have also acquired new 'positions' in the company, as well as confirmation that I will have a high chance of being brought into upper level positions once I graduate university. This all earned me a raise as well. I, of course, have other things planned for my future as well, but this really brought me up the mental ladder.
I hope to start a small 'business' (not really official, under the table type deal) where I will help fix friend's and family's cars for them. My goal is to be the person people know they can rely on, within reason of course.
I also finally bought a 'new' truck - 2009 Ford Ranger - that I will be converting into a camping-mobile to travel the country with when I can. All I need to do is install A/C into it (yeah it doesn't have any, but it will get done).
It is honestly amazing to see that when I stopped bitching and complaining, I was able to just get to it and go against everything the media has been telling me and other young people. It is sad to see many people even older than me in my personal life continue to complain and spend all their money on useless junk, keeping them in the horrible cycle. A friend of mine is wanting to get a 20k loan for a car thinking it will make them happier, even though their salary shows they can't even afford it! I do my best to advise them not to do it, but the walls come right up and they let me know that I "don't understand their situation". They're making progress, though. They want to buy backpacking gear and join us on our trips, hopefully, that can help them settle down.
Just wanted to let you know that your work is working, even for young folk such as myself. You have yourself a good one, keep on keeping on.
What stands out from other information shared on living off the grid is that Gary includes other areas like health, finance and freeing ourselves from material clutter. The result is a rewarding life in a remote area surrounded by nature that is low on stress, inducing healthy habits and without struggling financially.
I normally come across guidance on building a house off the grid but not about the lifestyle changes added in Gary’s course, it’s a bonus and one that makes a lot of sense to live a meaningful life.
The course is video recorded with worksheets and pictures to help you progress through your project and understand the systems used to replace the grid. I was impressed to notice when taking notes how much information is shared. It’s a large amount and with a lot of tips and suggestions to make sure that we avoid pitfalls. Including invaluable chapters on coming up with a plan, buying land, what tools to buy and how to secure your land from intruders.
Gary doesn’t beat around the bush and will tell you things how they are and what to avoid, especially when dealing with contractors during the building phase. A plus point is that he works without any sponsors who will shower you with emails so that you sign a construction, mortgage or insurance contract (or all of them) at the end of the course. Which is very rare those days.
I would recommend the course to anyone interested in starting a life off the grid and also to read his books. You might also get lucky and bag in a discount like I did, but if not it’s all very affordable anyway.
He also produces free podcasts and articles that I highly recommend. The guests on the podcasts are very good and like a chain reaction, you constantly learn some worthy advice, new books to read, and blogs. It’s a win-win situation not to be missed!
Hey Gary, I listened to a podcast about seven months ago that you were a guest on. You were talking about living off the grid and a simpler life. This is a subject that I've been curious about for a long time but always felt I was the only one, and maybe I was weird. Since then, I've been listening to your podcasts every week, and even though a lot of what you teach is stuff that my parents tried to teach me growing up, somehow, it never connected until I listened to you. I was very unhealthy, overweight, driving a truck over the road, and had the mindset that being a truck driver and there was nothing I could about it. In seven months, I went from being out of shape, overweight, and eating nothing but junk food to eating the primal diet and exercising every day. I've gone from being 5'7" 200+lbs to 135 lbs, and I'm almost in as good of shape as I was when I was in high school and the military. I've quit my wasteful spending, now I'm paying down debt, and selling off things I don't need or use. Just by listening to your podcasts, I've learned a great deal and have started simplifying and decluttering my life.
I look forward to your podcasts every week. Keep it up because I'm learning and applying a lot of what I learn from these.
I hired Gary for entrepreneurial consulting after following him for about a year during my husband’s losing battle with cancer. When Chris passed, I was really quite lost as to what I would do next. I had started two businesses the previous two years that were both derailed by cancer. Gary helped me talk through what was truly important to me to live a simple, happy life. This perspective was 180 degrees from what my family was telling me to do, which was to choose a safe, secure but boring career. Once the choice was made to go after my passion, he helped me create a vision for how the business would need to change to align with my talents now that Chris was no longer a part of it. Gary continues to be a sounding board and provides outstanding advice on business strategy, marketing, and execution. My life is better for choosing him as an advisor. Thank you, Gary!
Gary's consulting is top-notch. He actually gave me a little more than my paid hour and didn't charge me extra or rush me off the call, which is very refreshing and rare these days. I would highly recommend his consulting if you need help in anything to do with living a simpler life, such as running your own business, health/wellness, finances, and just getting off the hamster wheel of today's life. Thanks Gary, you have saved me a ton of time and money in getting my act and life together.
Another insightful gem from Gary. This is my 4th or 5th book (The Simple Life Guide to Financial Freedom) that I've read from Gary. I'm a fan. What I love about his books is that you receive a wealth of knowledge in a much more condensed book than most. Too many books these days drag out simple concepts into hundreds of pages and I'm not one to want to invest that time or energy into that many pages without a worthy payoff. Gary's books (including this one) are filled with real-life experience and direct to the point advice and perspective. There is no question in my mind that readers will benefit from his straightforward approach and excellent insights and advice. Take a few hours to check this out and you will definitely look at your finances through a fresh lens.
Gary Collins had a lot to say in his latest book The Simple Life Guide to Financial Freedom. He hammered home how the "Gridmasters" created a financial system designed to keep average people like you and me worse than broke.
The system is set up to keep us in debt and working for "The Man" for the rest of our lives. At least that's what the Gridmasters want us to believe.
Gary believes (and provides evidence) that there is another way. A better way. A way that turns us into financially responsible people that know and understand simple, yet profound math! Yes math.
Because without taking the time to do the math (which Gary does for us in his book) you'll never know just how much money you're throwing away throughout your life.
He shows in great detail all of the foolish money mistakes we make and provides his thoughts on how to correct these errors. Without giving too much away, he tells and shows how average Joes and Janes waste money on eating out, credit card interest, college loans, car payments, weddings, home loan interest, and fashion.
He also does the math and shows how we're losing big money by not investing while we're young. And he points out how much men and women could individually be worth if they stopped spending frivolously and conservatively invested their money instead.
This book is different from your typical book about personal finance. Gary doesn't teach us how to invest. There are plenty of other books on that topic. But he does teach us how to save money and cut back on frivolous and stupid expenses.
So if you're looking to learn how to save money and not be wasteful, this book is right up your alley. Give it a try because I bet you'll like it. I know I certainly did.
If you are looking for a soft and nice approach to the basic financial status quo of the current generation, you should look for another book. Gary quickly and effectively shows the wastefulness we are living in with real-life comparisons and calculations. The book is straight to the point with a buildup of calculations on the financial state of the average citizen. Gary gives examples of what the average person currently spends versus and how much more we could do with that money instead. I really enjoyed reading this (The Simple Life Guide to Financial Freedom) and highly recommend it.
I liked the use of basic math & English skills to clarify both simple & complex $$ subjects in this book about getting &/or staying free of debt. The author is straightforward (“Stop buying crap!”), engaging & clear. It’s superb to begin a debt discussion with poor health & dining out: you can’t be free with either one, but most won’t make the connection on their own (or read about it in any other self-help, finance book.) Also he shows how herd habits such as: carrying credit card balances, 30-yr mortgages, going into debt for college & to get married (let alone to get out!) all hinder financial freedom. This book (The Simple Life Guide to Financial Freedom) will move readers farther forward to $$ freedom than most books of its ilk.
This book (Going Off The Grid) is not a DIY item. It explains what to expect when going off-grid. The author found out the hard way and relates his experiences and makes suggestions. It basically informs you on everything before getting involved. Great book...led me to other aspects of off-grid living...solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. This book is a must for people who are beginners and interested in off-grid living.
I am looking to buy land, build a house and retire in a rural area - somewhere in the Northwest like Montana. I have bought several books so I can hear different perspectives and make sure I cover all my bases before making the plunge. I am also hoping to reduce the chance of mistake or at least minimize mistakes - and costs related to those mistakes.
This is my second book (Going Off The Grid) to read so far. I liked that Gary covered most of my points of interest (off grid power, water wells, security, and communications - like cell phone and internet). The author also covered quite a bit of other things that were not on the forefront of my interests, but equally as important - such as dealing with general contractors and financing.
One thing that I thought was great about the book was that the author provided examples of price ranges. Yes...we could all get everything we want if cost was not a factor. But it is good to understand what things may cost so we can determine affordability. For example, knowing how much power is generated from solar makes you start to realize that you may have to pick and choose what appliances and gadgets you will be able to run if you need to stay within a certain price range. Otherwise, you will do without until the sun comes back out!! Haha
All in all, it was a very good book, provided some great information, introduced some good resources, and gave a very good perspective of his research and experiences. I would recommend this book to anyone starting their journey to explore living off-grid.
UPDATE: Now that I have read another book, I would say this one was even better than I originally posted - if that could happen. Definitely stand by my positive review. Also, what differentiated this book from the other was this one actually provided different options with a little background on them. The other one only discussed what that family was doing and the author kept repeating that the reader should do research. I will probably be re-reading this book after I read my other books.
Gary Collins book The Simple Life Guide to Small Habits for Big Change, not only helps you to develop consistent daily habits but it directs you into becoming a better person by living a life of integrity. My favorite chapter was Keeping it Simple about how you need to figure out what is important to you in this life, not what other people tell you is important. I also appreciate Gary’s advice to “Take Action Today and Every Day.” You do not need to take a monumental action, to begin making a habit and moving forward toward change. I also love how Gary encourages you to “Find your own natural rhythm to living the Simple Life.” Also learning about the “dogma of the grid” has me intrigued about reading further into this new topic for myself. Thank you, Gary, for bringing new ideas to light for me and keeping things simple on my path.
I love Gary’s no-nonsense approach. Maybe it’s my military background, but I like his straightforward approach to everything. This is not the book for people who want to be told they are special and ride unicorns in fantasy land. This is a kick in the butt you need to change book. Like all of Gary’s work.
If you are on the fence, don’t be. If you don’t like it just email Gary and he will give you a refund.
He is honest and straightforward. A rare gem in today’s world.
Check out his Simple Life Podcast.
What everyone needs to read RIGHT NOW (The Simple Life Guide to Small Habits for Big Change): no excuses! I have read one of Gary’s previous books on finance and found that this was mostly all new information. Gary’s advice is no-nonsense, straightforward, and just what the doctor ordered for our current situation. I read lots of finance books and books on minimalism and frugal living. This is not just a new version of those rather, Gary has his own ideas, developed by years of practice and hard work. Does this read like a scholarly thesis? No. And thank goodness. Gary cuts through the crap and tells you what you need to do to get on the right path to a free-living life. Highly recommend this and I look forward to reading more! He’s even got a book on living in an RV!
Refreshing and Easy to Adapt for a Better Life. Love how Gary brings together straightforward habits that each of us can easily make part of our daily life to get BIG changes in our life. Keeping things simple is key and just as important, living in the moment. These habits can easily be added to make this happen. Gary is clear and keeps it from becoming overwhelming. I'm excited about the progress I'm making and making it work for me. I am confident that you can also make positive changes by adopting these 14 habits and truly accomplish your goals of a simple & happy life. Thanks, Gary for your continued hard work in help folks like me to live the best lift possible without all the garbage that tends to weigh us down. Grateful for this helpful tool, highly recommend, it's (The Simple Life Guide to Small Habits) a great read!
I like people who tell it as it is, and Gary is one of those people. This book is full of REAL problems, with REAL solutions. No BS just facts. His books will be sure to get you on the right path for taking control of your life, getting healthier, and financially stable. I highly recommend his books!
Short & powerful advice...that’s the way I like it. Gary is clearly experienced in his advice and I noticed he has about four or five other books in this series. I wish someone had sat me down at 18-21 years old and told me how to simplify my life, be happy & productive, and not be in debt, but save every penny.
What I really want to thank Gary for every time I read one of his books is, for not wasting my time with publisher's fluff and theory. I also want to thank him for sharing his experience and wisdom. It is said a teacher helps you learn, but a master helps you with what you have to unlearn. For me, this is where Gary's advice hits me. It's totally practical, pragmatic, and simple - not easy maybe, but simple. Just like any other truth.
I could have used these books a long, long time ago, but I'm glad I found Gary's work even now. I share it with all the young people in my family and I encourage you to do the same if you want to spare them some "hard knocks". Trial and error is one way to learn the path of an authentic life, but with Gary as a guide, I think you'll get there faster. I highly recommend this "reboot"!
The Simple Life Guide to Decluttering Your Life book is just what I needed as I begin to hit the reset button on my family's life in this exact way. Gary has a way of making a point and guiding you through change without a huge head slap of "Hey idiot you are doing it all wrong" you get with a lot of self-help-type stuff. The honest truth is he has done it, made mistakes, righted the ship, and living it out. If you want to wind down, declutter, and just ahhhhh breath then give this a read. Even if you think you already have The Simple Life read it and see if it unlocks anything new.
The Simple Life Guide To Decluttering Your Life by Gary Collins, MS is a very thought-provoking book. From the title I knew that it would cover more than just the clean out the closets and getting rid of stuff. Still, it covered so many areas of life that one may not really consider but is also weighing us down. I found that it was for me anyway.
Simplify or decluttering are not the keywords of this book. Instead it the word change. Early on this comment is written, “Your home is only a small piece of the puzzle, as there are many other things in your life you must confront and change to begin living the life YOU want.” Who doesn’t want to live the life that they believe is best for them? So of course, I read on.
There is much to glean from this book with the author’s honest, could also be said to be blunt, style of writing. He begins with startling facts about marketing, its purpose, and its goals; not necessarily in the buyer’s interest. That is only the beginning, health, finances, relationships, social media, holiday celebrations and more are brought to the reader’s attention to be scrutinized. It is pointed out that what is best for me may be different from him. I am a grandmother with over forty years of marriage behind me, he is a single man with two dogs, so it is unlikely our views on the best would be the same. However, a framework is given that can be used to change allowing me or anyone else to simplify and declutter. It is a guide that can be useful if one is willing.
I am giving it 5 stars because the book covers the many aspects of life, not just the acquiring of too much stuff. Continuing to acquire things will not make you happy but then neither will just getting rid of it. It is much deeper than that. I do wish that the spiritual had been looked at too, finding purpose there is also life-changing.