Live the Off Grid Dream Course is an online self-paced program offered by Azhen Sanctuary that teaches you how to buy land, cultivate it, develop a self-sustainable model revolved around off grid living, and earn a decent passive income either by selling the crops you farm or by renting out amenities in your property on AirBnB.
The course was created by Jaymie and Shelby Freisen, two brothers who saw that the “modern” lifestyle was what was contributing to their declining physical and mental health. Not only were they overworked, underpaid, and generally exhausted, but they were also malnourished and constantly sick.
After finding healing with the eco resort and off grid homestead they developed from ground-up, Azhen Sanctuary, the brothers created the Live the Off Grid Dream course to help others live life the way it was meant to be lived: in nature.
In this Live the Off Grid Dream course review, I’ll discuss everything you will learn in the program, including how it may not be suitable for everyone. In general, permaculture farming requires constant and active effort. While the potential for passive income is there, conscious agriculture is not as easily taught or managed as other business models, such as local lead generation.
Great refund policy
“Premium” content is an added cost
Not applicable globally
3 payments of $137 or 1 payment of $397
100% money-back guarantee + $2,000, provided you prove that you followed everything written in the course
Great, for the course itself; not so great for the course creator
What is the reputation of Azhen Sanctuary?
Before anything, it's important that you first know who created the Live the Off Grid Dream Course. As I will mention later, the reviews for Live the Off-Grid Dream are pretty good, but the same cannot be said for its course creator, Azhen Sanctuary. The eco-resort faced backlash in 2020, after a damning report by CBC claimed that it had made a fraudulent crowdfunding campaign that cheated hundreds of people of over $60,000.
In a now-defunct Indiegogo campaign, Azhen Sanctuary was offering unique stays (such as hobbit homes and traditional treehouses) for a price to build a natural, eco-conscious hydrotherapy spa.
However, the CBC report mentioned that the online description of the resort used stock internet photos, listed non-existent business partnerships, and described many false claims, including that the eco-resort had a permit to operate in the area.
Azhen Sanctuary's response to the allegations
Jaymie responded to the CBC inquiries by stating that he, indeed, used stock images from various locations in California, Colorado, and Australia for projects that were supposedly Azhen’s.
He also admitted that the resort’s pre-fabricated homes, which the campaign had stated were completed, had not yet been purchased. Further, Jaymie said that he would talk to his partners - those who said they didn’t know him at all - to clarify their partnership.
Perhaps, most interesting of all was Jaymie’s admission that aside from a few tents, none of the resort’s accommodations had been built. Still, he insists that nothing in the campaign was fraudulent and that the eco-resort just needed time to accomplish all its goals.
KEEP IN MIND:
This issue was never resolved, though after the CBC report, Jaymie closed his campaign.
Another thing I’d like to add is that on the Live the Off-Grid Dream course sales page, Jaymie and Shelby state that one of the reasons you should trust them is that they were able to get people to “give” them $60,000 worth of donations without even asking (emphasis added). Whether or not this $60k was before or after the campaign can be debated, but it’s interesting that the figure is similar.
Still, it raises the question as to whether this is the "training" you'll receive once you enroll. Students learn from their teachers, and if the teacher engages in questionable pursuits, the student will follow.
Do Jaymie and Shelby teach you to make possibly untrue crowdfunding campaigns?
11 tips for Living the Off Grid Dream
Now that you have an idea of who Azhen Sanctuary is, let's consider what you'll be learning in the course. Before Jaymie or Shelby show you their sales page, they first show you a YouTube video of them giving 11 tips you should consider before signing up.
They partnered with an investor who shared the same vision as them. From a business standpoint, land is always profitable. However, whereas investors can potentially double their investment in developed land with a tiny house(such as rental properties or condominiums), rural, undeveloped raw land has the potential to quadruple initial investment if it is properly cultivated and managed.
There are four key steps to consider: Vision, Problem, Solution, and Ask. Jaymie says that you need to be able to communicate your vision to an investor. It’s best if you use your own personal experience: What problem that YOU have or are facing do you want to address with the new land and grid living? This helps you choose investors who understand where you are coming from and prevent future headaches.
KEEP IN MIND:
It is essential that you have a vision. It is not enough that you have a passing fancy in owning land or living an off-grid lifestyle. You must have a passion for it because this passion directly translates to how you will ask for funding.
The goal is to create a sustainable grid living model. Once you buy land, you need to create a “wow” factor to generate income (again, this goes back to your “why”). Once you can earn money, whether from people who want to buy your organic produce or weekend backpackers who want a cozy AirBnB, you need to reinvest it back into your land. This creates a cycle, because the more you invest in your land, the stronger your “wow” factor is, which, in turn, earns you more money.
Across all business models, whether you're from New York or Nova Scotia, buying land is considered a safe investment. If you can cultivate it properly, you increase its investment value. At best, you own land that produces reliable passive income; at worst, you can sell the land at a profit. And even if the market is terrible and your property value is too low to sell, you are still enjoying grid living and profiting off sustainable and rich land. That's why gaining concrete, practical strategies through top Airbnb courses is essential.
An economic engine is essentially a business that is automated, meaning that it operates even without you being there, and this sparks other economic opportunities as well. For Azhen Sanctuary, they created an Airbnb business, much like a business created by Jorge Contreras, and automated their communication processes with their caretakers. Further, Azhen also sells its organic food to its customers, who are willing to pay a premium price for better, healthier food from grid living.
Consult an expert and know all your options, particularly when it comes to local laws and any building code necessary to apply for. These can be pricey, but consider it as an investment. You can spend $1,000 now, but save $1,000,000 in the future by avoiding potential challenges in building an off grid home.
If you’re buying barren land with no well on it, you can contact your local drillers or the city and they’ll give you a water map of your area. This way, you can gauge the water table on your potential lot.
This differs from place to place, but in general, try to establish a space that is an hour or so away from the city or where you can easily buy materials or find help, should you need them. If you choose to go to a more remote area, you need to have a very big “wow” factor to encourage potential customers to go to you.
You can look at your local government websites to see zoning laws and any permits you need to own your space. This is very important if you are thinking of creating a commercial farm for AirBnB.
Always follow the WAS rule, which is water, access, and structures. Water is the most important thing you should consider. Some beginner investors make the mistake of building roads first before assessing how water flows to their land. You may inadvertently be causing a draught because you placed a hindrance to the natural flow of water.
Consider “hiring” caretakers. For Azhen Sancturary, they had people live on their grounds for free, eat the crops they farm, and enjoy the off grid lifestyle, in exchange for 2 hours of work every day.
What is the Live the Off Grid Dream?
Living off the grid is not just about going back to nature - it’s a way of life that encourages you to live off the land that you own so that you can spend more time pursuing your passions, while still earning cash to support your everyday life.
For Jaymie and Shelby, it means building your own natural sanctuary, where you eat organic food, become healthier (both physically and mentally), and feel rewarded for your hard work.
Why are more people looking to Live the Off Grid Dream?
Modern life and technology has had the inadvertent effect of making people feel more disconnected. Not only that, but modern food is filled with synthetic ingredients that make people feel sick and less like themselves.
When you are living off the grid and enjoy a simple life, you gain a sense of achievement because you get to see the physical results of everything you do, from the food you eat to the buildings you live in.
The Freisen brothers say that with grid living, you also become neighbors with like-minded people who have chosen to detach themselves from the modern world and find peace in themselves.
“Living off the grid creates a deeper sense of community than a lifetime of living in the city. Even when you’re a mile away from your closest neighbor! Actually, our neighbor cried tears of joy and she thanked us for creating a healthy space for people. - Jaymie Friesen”
The Short Term Shop is a short term rental investment company that specializes in connecting real estate investors with off grid properties.
What’s inside the Live the Off Grid Dream Course?
What will you learn in the Live the Off Grid Dream Course?
This is one of the most comprehensive permaculture agriculture and grid living programs I have seen, and learning everything should realistically take you a few months. This doesn’t include looking for investors, setting up your farm or resort with compatible solar energy and wind turbine, and attracting clients.
Jaymie and Shelby claim that you have everything up-and-running (at least with minimum funding and bare amenities including hot water and basic electricity) by around three months. However, I would take this with a grain of salt. Just because something is open doesn’t mean it’s making a profit.
Realistically, expect to take six months to a year to have a relatively decent farm. This will take even longer if you are planning on having a luxury eco-resort like Azhen Sanctuary that you will rent out as an AirBnB experience.
1. Learn how to find funding for your eco-resort
The Friesen brothers were able to build Azhen Sanctuary with almost no money and bad credit. They share various ways to attract potential investors and sell them your dream.
2. Learn how to communicate value in your dream
When you are able to successfully communicate value, you may have people wanting to donate supplies, rather than cash, for you to achieve your dream.
3. Learn how to create a profitable business
Jaymie and Shelby share their own unique business model that you can copy to create a valuable asset with reliable cash flow.
4. Learn how to create an economic engine
The brothers teach how to create an automated business model so that you can spend more time doing what you love.
5. Learn how to create an AirBnB stay
You are taught step-by-step how to create a one-of-a-kind AirBnB stay that targets a niche market. Whether you want to build a campsite or a retreat center, Jaymie and Shelby offer homesteading insights into what has worked for them and previous students.
6. Learn how to market your "wow" factor
Learn how to measure and create the “wow” factor to easily attract guests. Remember: the greater your “wow” factor, the more likely people will be willing to visit (even if your farm is far away). The brothers teach you how to build an email list and reduce your marketing costs and efforts.
7. Learn how to assess land
You learn how to assess your land properly for your specific needs. This includes what to expect when buying land and creating a power grid or looking for renewable energy sources
8. Learn other financial tools
Learn about mortgage options, unique financing options, and a variety of financial tools to help you buy affordable land.
KEEP IN MIND:
Azhen Sanctuary will try to upsell you on this. They work with “select partners that offer easy financial partners and we design custom products with them that meet our standard and are off-grid ready”. Reading between the lines, you most likely will be asked to partner with one of their suppliers to make grid life “easier” for you.
9. Learn practical permaculture practices
The brothers offer practical grid living tips for land management so that you can build a sustainable farm based on your specific needs and what the land can offer you. The module includes regenerative agriculture, earthworks and community living.
10. Learn how to create your own land zones for building
This is one of the simpler off grid living modules and helps you understand how to create your zones for building, planting, grazing, and managing your land, including setting up a power source.
11. Learn what structures you need for sustainable living
Jaymie and Shelby teach you what structures you really need for your specific land and how to develop them efficiently so that you can enjoy sustainable living and reduce your carbon footprint.
12. Learn eco-friendly building methods
You’ll learn how to create a sustainable farm with its own electricity at a low cost, whether that’s from solar power or geothermal for heating or cooling your home.
13. Learn renewable energy strategies
The Freisen brothers will teach you what solar panels to install and where to buy them in person.
KEEP IN MIND:
Similar to other courses, you may be “suggested” to purchase your goods from one of suppliers of Azhen Sanctuary.
14. Learn how to create compost toilets
To truly enjoy grid living, you need to know how to make a basic septic tank.
15. Learn more about water catchment
You’ll learn everything you need to know about building wells.
16. Learn about regenerative farming
You’ll learn the basics of growing your own food, including how to make compost and where to get seeds in your homestead. You’ll also be taught how to store your food and other greenhouse options.
17. Learn what tools you need
The Freisen brothers will teach you about the different tools you ned for the various development stages of your farm.
18. Learn how to find caretakers for your eco-village
Here, you’ll learn how to get the best caretakers for your farm or resort and the many ways you can save money.
KEEP IN MIND:
You’ll most likely be taught how to gain caretakers by allowing them to live off your land for free in exchange for a few hours of work each day.
19. Learn how to protect yourself from wildfire
You’ll learn how to create effective firebreaks for unexpected events. This is a must for any person wanting to enjoy grid living.
What are the reviews of the Live the Off Grid Dream?
You’ll find plenty of good reviews of the program both on the sales page and on YouTube. However, most of them encourage you to pay for “premium” add-ons, such as having VIP access to Jaymie and Shelby. This way, you get to ask them your specific questions and not have to go through thousands of pages of material.
KEEP IN MIND:
The sliding-pay pricing only applies to the basic course. If you want bonuses, you would need to pay a premium.
Frequently Asked Questions about Live the Off-Grid Dream Course
You can choose to either pay 3 payments of $137 or 1 payment of $397. You have the option to pause your payment plan for up to 2 months.
Regardless of which pricing plan you chose, Azhen Sanctuary will give you a full refund plus an additional $2,000 for just trying it out. Nevertheless, you need to prove that you followed the program step-by-step in order to qualify for the refund.
Most of the strategies are meant for the United States and Canada.
Yes and no. The course is open to anyone, but the modules are pretty intensive and can become boring if you’re not interested in permaculture.
Yes, though they’re not openly stated, just alluded to. The sales page states you can enter the VIP club and have one-on-one access with Jaymie and Shelby once you enroll, but reviews say that these are added bonuses you need to pay for.
CONCLUSION: Is Live the Off-Grid Dream worth it?
The program seems interesting and well-thought-out. You will also learn from people who’ve walked the talk and are willing to share their experiences and insights with you.
But, I’d be wary of some things they teach, especially with finding funding. When there’s smoke, there’s fire, and the previous allegations of fraud do raise questions about their practices. All the same, I think the program is worth trying, especially if you’re already interested in the topic. Just be wary.
Keep in mind as well that permaculture and land management require constant effort on your part. You need to always be on your toes and it is likely that you will need to take a refresher course (even if it’s not from Azhen Sanctuary) to maintain your “wow” factor.
If you’re looking for a more passive income-generating opportunity, I’d suggest considering local lead generation instead. In this business model, you only need to actively work for a few weeks before you can take a step back and reliably receive income each month.