Home What Should I Do? The Basics of Resilience (Part 9 – Your Next Steps)

What Should I Do? The Basics of Resilience (Part 9 – Your Next Steps)

user profile picture Chris Martenson Nov 01, 2010
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Note:  This is the final article in our series on personal preparation to help you answer the question, “What should I do?”  Our goal is to provide a safe, rational, relatively comfortable experience for those who are just coming to the realization that it would be prudent to take precautionary steps against an uncertain future.  Those who have already taken these basic steps (and more) are invited to help us improve what is offered here by contributing comments, as this content is meant to be dynamic and improve over time.

Those who’ve read this full series know that six years ago my family lived in a big house by the sea, where we were completely dependent on outside systems to deliver to us our daily food, water, warmth, and electricity. Perhaps even more worryingly, we engaged with a relatively limited community, defined by the people with whom we worked or knew through our children’s lives and activities.

Today, in addition to running this website and working towards creating a tipping point of awareness around the three Es, we have a garden, chickens, food preservation skills, solar hot water and electricity, local food connections, and a steadily deepening network of relationships around each of these elements.  We did not do this all at once, but over a period of years.

Through this blog series, we’ve taken a journey through eight essential steps of personal preparation.  We’ve discussed how to build more security around the basics of life: water, food, energy, warmth, and shelter.  We’ve presented ideas about how to keep ourselves connected and healthy, even in emergencies.  We’ve also outlined basic strategies for financial preparation. Finally, we’ve considered the roles community and emotional preparedness play in building a resilient lifestyle.

If you have begun to take constructive steps through your own initiative or as a result of reading this series, you deserve to be congratulated.  You have started aligning your understanding of how things will play out with your actions.  I know from personal experience that anxiety is created when your beliefs and behaviors are out of sync – a condition best alleviated by closing the gap between what you “think” and what you “do.”

That said, if you’ve followed the steps we’ve recommended so far, you have likely realized that they are a good start – but just that: a start.  We are living in extremely tumultuous times, and the terrain before us changes constantly.  Staying informed, advancing your skills, managing your investments smartly, and deepening your community relationships are imperative to navigating it effectively.

Where from here?

We call the last piece in this beginner’s preparedness series “Your Next Steps” because it’s now up to you to determine how to best prioritize and focus your efforts. 

Which parts of your plan are most important to fine-tune and perfect?  Do you want to advance your gardening skills and become more self-sufficient around food?  Do you want to become more confident about investing for an environment of anemic growth? Do you want to increase your home’s energy efficiency, or become less dependent on petroleum for your own transportation?  Or do you see yourself reaching out as a community leader, building awareness and collaboration among your neighbors?

There are many possibilities, but the best place to start is where your interests, enthusiasm, and intuition lie.   Our role here is to give you the tools to map out where you will go next and the resources to learn more.

Remain Vigilant

Knowing where things are going maximizes your chances of being prepared for the most probable outcomes. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of remaining actively involved in educating yourself about the unfolding collision of the 3Es, and how the reactions of governments, companies, and individuals are likely to play out.  It’s our job to provide you with our best analysis and forecasts – but we are just one voice in a world of teachers.

For staying well informed, we recommend:

Smart surfing

Read the same sites I do on a daily basis. A quick spin of these will give you a comprehensive overview of the day’s major developments.

  • Visit our “Recommended 3E Sites.” You’ll find them found in the sidebar on most pages of this site.
  • Check out our additional recommended web resources.    

Essential reading

Select from my list of essential books to deepen your knowledge in the areas that interest you most. Consider becoming a mentor to others by sharing your knowledge and leading book groups, hosting discussions, and sharing materials with others.

Reading our community forums

Your fastest way to get smart is by reading and posting questions to our community forums. They are packed with detailed, first-hand experience knowledge on topics ranging from permaculture to inflation vs. deflation to the ins and outs of alternative energy.  As you gain knowledge and experience in these fields, you can share it with others and continue the chain of learning on the site.


Those who enroll receive my richest analysis and outlook on the key developments that will impact most the financial markets and our future way of life. It’s the best material I can offer to those looking to protect and grow their wealth as well as their quality of living. 

Among other services, enrolled members receive:

  • The Martenson Insider: offers frequently updated commentary responding to up-to-the-minute economic, energy, and geopolitical developments.  Featuring a conversation-rich discussion section, it offers a real-time tutorial for navigating tumultuous terrain.
  • Martenson Reports: In-depth, richly researched macro-view analysis to deepen your understanding of the 3E world and aid your long-term planning.
  • Members-Only Community Forum: I frequently contribute to the conversation here, involving some of the most informed and investment-motivated members of the site.

Get Advanced Guidance

Take our full Self-Assessment

Our free, revised self-assessment provides a very detailed checklist of the major areas to cover in building security and resilience into your future.  It is designed to be highly customizable to the specifics of your individual situation and to act as a “to do” list as you prioritize future action.  Download it, print it out, work on it together with your family, and keep it on hand as you progress in your preparations.

Schedule a private consultation with Chris

Having an open, honest conversation about your personal situation – financial, lifestyle, and otherwise – with a knowledgeable expert is oftentimes the fastest way to develop a smart, effective preparation plan customized to your unique needs and goals.

I’ve consulted with individuals and families all over the world, on topics ranging from overall investment strategies, to how best to own gold and silver, to the best ways to purchase natural resources such as farmland and water rights.  My consultations are geared to get you quickly on the right path to preparedness, while allowing for any mix and match of the topics you wish to address most.

Instructions for arranging consultations, including pricing, can be found here.

Schedule a private consultation with Becca

My wife Becca offers consultations of a different nature than my own; focused on the homesteading, lifestyle, and emotional/interpersonal sides of transition.

Waking up to the message of the Crash Course can be emotionally intense.  Many initially experience fear, depression or confusion.   It’s quite common for the person going down this “rabbit hole” to feel at odds with a spouse/partner not ready to do so. Conflict and confusion within the relationship can often result – leading to isolation and sometimes anger. Becca has a deep firsthand understanding of the interpersonal and family complexities that usually arise  – after all, she had to deal with me as I went through my own massive life upheaval that lead up to the creation of the Crash Course. Along the way, she discovered a number of strategies that make it much easier for couples to support each other along this journey – ways that allow for both members proceeding at their own unique pace. Becca’s consultations support couples going through this transition, helping to create strategies for communicating better and bringing unity to the relationship.

In addition, she also offers visioning and strategy coaching for individuals, to help them design specific action plans for identifying and achieving their goals around developing personal resilience. If desired, these sessions can include seasoned advice in gardening, food preservation (canning, drying, root cellaring), and backyard chicken raising. If you’re planning to take up of any of these skills, Becca can get you started on the right track.

Pricing: $100/hour.

Feel free to write if you have further questions on how either of our consultations work.


The staff and I have been pleased to be able to offer this series to our readers. The #1 question we still get asked on a daily basis by those new to the Crash Course and the central tenets of this site is: “What Should I Do?” To now have a thoughtful, action-oriented primer to offer in response is very fulfilling.

We appreciate the commentary and supplementary suggestions that you have provided to strengthen the usefulness of this series. Please continue to keep them coming.  This What Should I Do? content will remain a prominent and ongoing feature of the site so that the aggregated wisdom our community offers has a place to call home. Our goal is to evolve this feature, with the continued input and support of our readers, into the “go-to” resource on the web for beginner’s preparation.  You can help us by sharing this series on Twitter or Facebook and mentioning it to others who are beginning their preparedness journey.

Remember:  We take actions because we must.  If we don’t, who will?  We change the world by changing ourselves. Good luck in doing so – we’re here to help however we can. 

Chris & the staff

If you have not yet seen the other articles in this series on resilience, you can find them here:

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