Doing what you love doing is the key to a good lifestyle business.
We live in a world that is now obsessed with start-ups
Most people would secretly love to have their own business. They yearn to get out of the 9 to 5 ‘rat race’. The grind of working 9-5 has become a mainstay of modern society, despite the advent of mobility and changing working conditions.
However, the concept of a lifestyle business isn’t always the easiest thing to achieve, unless you’re fully committed and prepared to put the time and resources into it.
When starting a new business, you can find yourself working considerably more hours than in a ‘real job’. But you should be striving to work less than 50 hours per week, even if you love doing what you do, for the sake of your health and well-being.
But is a lifestyle business what you really want? In a lifestyle business, you have the freedom to choose your working hours and do as little or as much work as you want day-to-day or week-to-week, right from the offset. But to do this requires good planning and management.
Take your time in selecting your lifestyle business
Starting a business is ultimately about personal fulfilment. People who start lifestyle businesses do so because they want to make their lives more appealing.
Instead of starting another typical startup and hoping to eventually sell it and make your fortune, think hard and long. You want to start a business doing something you really enjoy and start living the lifestyle you and your family have always dreamed about.
As well as a flexible work schedule, there is also flexibility in terms of where you are based. Lifestyle businesses often don’t have offices and can easily work from a home office or while travelling. A Wi-Fi connection a laptop and a mobile phone are all you need to work remotely and with all the mobility you could want mobility.
“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you”. Tony Hsieh
A lifestyle business gives you the freedom to work on the projects you want to work on, even if they’re extremely varied. All of your strengths, passions and interests can be utilised and monetized as part of a lifestyle business.
This is the very difference from the focused situation of starting a traditional business just to have a job and make money or get off the unemployment cues.
Rather than simply being self-employed, a lifestyle business is about working in a such a way that you sustain the lifestyle you want. Whether that’s having more time to be with your family and friends, play with your children or being able to travel the world while sustaining yourself.
Love is the most powerful tool in your toolbox. Love what you do, how you go about doing it and who you do it for.
What is a typical start-up?
A start-up’s job is to grow big enough to provide a return to investors, as against a lifestyle business’s job to provide a great quality of life to you the investor.
In a typical start-up, the founders are often taking a big risk with a low probability of success in order to follow their dreams. They are hoping for a big outcome, fame and fortune but alas they do little to avoid the possibility of failure. I know from experience many will jump back into running another startup as they enjoyed the thrill of the chase, even though they might have failed.
There is no right answer to the question of start-ups versus lifestyle businesses and there doesn’t have to be one right answer, everyone is different. Some will be better off going the start-up route and some would be better off adjusting their current business and turning it into a lifestyle business.
What’s a typical lifestyle business?
If you’re debating which way to go, the key is to research and analyse your ideas and opportunities. After being involved in both, I’m 100% happier now running my growing lifestyle business the way I really want to. I have control over my life and the future I and my family want.
Some consider the term ‘lifestyle’ as a patronising term in the startup ecosystem. They can put you down if you don’t have a traditional business they understand and that doesn’t consume your life. Often they are just plain jealous.
The real question to me is, what do you want from your business, both in the short and long-term for you and your family? Be honest with yourself and remember that the journey is more important than the end goal.
After you come up with your lifestyle business idea, dig in and get both sides of the equation, a start-up and a lifestyle you want. To see what is possible with your chosen lifestyle business idea you’ll have to do some research.
Enjoy the journey from the day you start if you aren’t then you may well be on the wrong track. Make sure that you plan for and enjoy the day-to-day ups and downs and don’t just wait for the final dream to come true.
“Your genetics load the gun. Your lifestyle pulls the trigger”. Mehmet Oz
To me, a lifestyle business doesn’t equate to running a tiny business as an alternative to having a job. A lifestyle business doesn’t have to be small, either in revenue or employees. The main requirement of a lifestyle business is that it allows you to live how you wants to live now while enjoying running the business.
You can, in fact, turn your existing business into a lifestyle business with little more than a desire and an attitude. You need to figure out what your ideal lifestyle is first. You want to create your ideal lifestyle and build a business that supports that lifestyle. It’s not about being in a career or a job that you live for.
You can also start you lifestyle business while working for another business, but usually, the pressure of your real job will inhibit your progress, even to the point of you thinking that your dream will ever come true. It will certainly be a test of your management and organisational skills.
With a lifestyle business, your definition of success is different. You don’t have the burden of needing a million-dollar exit to get what you want. If you can build a lifestyle with adequate income, chances are you can build a million-dollar business, but only if you want to. How big you build the lifestyle business is up to you because you’re calling all the shots, for better or worse.
After years of entrepreneurship, I firmly believe lifestyle business is the best option for those with an entrepreneurial flair and have the desire to live life to the full. Being a lifestyle entrepreneur is about building a business around your lifestyle rather than a lifestyle around your business.
Avoid making mistakes
Don’t be one of those people who start a lifestyle business, and all you think about is you, and you. A successful business exists to serve customers, which means you have to focus on the people you seek to help.
In making your decision to start a lifestyle business there are common mistakes to avoid.
- Believing in someone or something that’s too good to be true.
- Trying to recreate someone else’s lifestyle.
- Operating without a business plan or budget.
- Failing to do your homework and the necessary research.
- Losing sight of your vision or big picture.
- Trying to change someone to fit your aspirations.
- Trying to be someone or something you’re not.
- Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
- Becoming bogged down trying to do too much too quickly.
- Failing to delay gratification. Instant gratification can be fatal.
- Trying to please everyone.
People are successful because they never stop learning. They learn from their mistakes, learn from their successes and they’re always changing themselves to meet the challenges of the evolving marketplace and environment.
None of us is perfect, and we all make mistakes no matter how hard we try to follow our lifestyle dreams. It’s easy to let things get in the way of your lifestyle dream.
Focus on continually improving your lifestyle business, until you have it running well all day every day to your satisfaction.
Will your new business be a Lifestyle Business or a Start-up, that is the question? What does success look like to you and how do you see yourself getting there? Turning your passion into a thriving lifestyle business will probably be one of the hardest things you’ll do in life, but also one of the most fulfilling.
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I’ve been involved with start-ups many times, experiencing the entire lifecycle of a start-up for me and for many others. Some were very successful, some were not.
Eventually, I settled on a business that gave me the lifestyle I was always looking for, doing the work I really liked doing and have never looked back. While it was hard to cut off reliable income streams, it was also easy to let go of the things I didn’t like doing.
If you don’t take the time to create the lifestyle you want, you will spend all your time dealing with regret. Your lifestyle must revolve around what you want, so go for it give it you 100%.
I know what it’s like as an entrepreneur to run a startup and it is not easy without good preparation and total commitment. I have also experienced running many projects all at the same time. You can become bored while waiting for things to happen and so you take on more projects.