I love this quote because it reminds me that, if you desire to journey down the road less traveled and launch your own small business around doing and sharing what you love you will most likely encounter these two types of people. And when you do, you must not let either of them discourage you.
Over the past 15 years there has been a growing movement of people deciding to forfeit the traditional "9 to 5" and pursue a small business or career that revolves around their passions, experiences, and or expertise. In other words, they are running:
A Lifestyle Business!
These businesses range in size, category, and scope but they all have characteristics in common that offer 4 distinct types of freedom. I call these characteristics: 4 Point Independence!
4 Point Independence:
Financial Independence: A Lifestyle business offers a viable means for creating monthly income that exceeds a person's cost of living the lifestyle they desire. For some people it's a small income like $4 or $5,000 a month. For others, the income could be as large a $150,000 a month or more. It all depends on you and the lifestyle you desire to have.
Creative Independence: In addition to financial independence, a lifestyle business also offers creative freedom. What this means is, the business owner has the ability to pursue projects and opportunities that satisfy them on a "passion/ interest" level more often than would be possible if they worked a traditional job. Having more freedom to pursue the things you are passionate about, or just interested in brings more fulfillment and joy to your life and work.
Location Independence: A lifestyle business, especially in this digital age, offers a person the ability to be just about anywhere they please and still be able to run their business successfully. A person is no longer tied to a daily commute, and stuck in an office cubicle in order to get work done. While a real lifestyle business is not always a day at the beach all the time, a person could choose to run their business at the beach if they wanted.
Time & Schedule Independence: The last distinctive characteristic of a lifestyle business is time and schedule freedom. Now, a real lifestyle business is of course a real business. This means it requires a realistic work ethic that more often than not goes beyond the 4 hour work week. Can you run a successful lifestyle business in 4 hours a day? Definitely! My point is, based on my research, and talking to almost a hundred people who are actually doing it, you still have to do the work. The big difference is, it's work that engages you and it's work that you can do on your own terms and time schedule.
Here’s how an article on Wikipedia describes a lifestyle business:
A lifestyle business is a business that is set up and run by its founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more; or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle.
Some types of enterprise are more accessible than others to the would-be lifestyle business person. Those requiring extensive capital (for example: car manufacturing) are difficult to launch and sustain on a lifestyle basis; others such as small creative industries businesses are more practical for sole practitioners or small groups such as husband-and-wife teams.
I like how Colbert Barr over at Fizzle.com defines a lifestyle business in an article titled "Startup vs. Lifestyle Business (a Short Comparison from a Guy Who’s Done Both)". He writes:
"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 at all, either in revenue or employees. The main requirement of a lifestyle business is just that it allows the entrepreneur/owner to live how he or she wants to live now, while running the company."
In the 21st century the rules to career development have changed. Whether you desire to work for yourself or someone else, I think we can all agree that at the end of the day what we all truly want is:
...to be able to wake up each day and get paid very well to; fully engage in something on our own terms, that adds value to other peoples lives in some meaningful way, while at the same time creates a sense of fulfillment, freedom, and purpose that feed our souls.
I think this sentament is resonating with more and more people. A resent study revealed that 34% of millennials are freelancers (AKA lifestyle business owners). And this number is growing, not just in the millennial generation but within the generation X group as well.
More and more people are choosing to pursue a lifestyle business (me included) and are succeeding at it as well. If you are interested in learning more about how to launch a lifestyle business of your own the links and resources below should get you started on the right path.
How To Launch A Lifestyle Business Of Your Own!
Over the past 18 months or so, as I have made a strategic pivot in my own business, I've studied hundreds of lifestyle business owners and have been coached by a few of the very best in the game. To make this journey achievable for me I applied the 80/20 rule to whole process and distilled the very best of what these people are doing down to what amounts to doing 8 core essentials well.
The 8 Core Essentials For Launching & Living A Lifestyle Business:
1. Find Your Sweet Spot!
2. Decide On WHO You Will Serve!
3. Decide What PROBLEM OF THEIRS you will Be Celebrated For Solving.
4. Translate Your Solution Into A Signature System That Gets Them Results.
5. Craft Your Authority Story.
6. Scale Your Platform.
7. Grow Your Tribe.
8. Become A Crusader For The Cause.
On this site I cover each of these steps in depth. If you look at anyone online or off, who is succeeding as an independent expert (i.e. industry expert, speaker, freelancer, coach, consultant, advocate) they have by default or by design walked through this process.
And the good news is, no matter where you are starting from so can you.
Here are some useful resources to help get you started, now:
The Sweet Spot Finder Tools: The first thing you must do before you launch a lifestyle business is find what your "sweet spot" is. Everyone has one, including you. Your sweet spot is the intersection of 3 things: what you love to do, what you are wired to do, and what others are willing to pay you to do. The Sweet Spot Finder tool is a FREE guide that I created to help you quickly discover this for yourself. Download it here.
How To Create A Lifestyle Company For your Personal Brand (Article on Forbes.com): This is a quick read that will give you a nice little blueprint and action steps for creating a business around your personal brand. It's written by personal brand expert Dan Schawbel.
$100 Start Up (book by Chris Guillebeau): In this book the author shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living. I've followed Chris's blog for 3 years and he is legit. In this book he interviews and shares case studies of regular people who are successfully running lifestyle businesses of their own, and how you can to starting with less than $100.
The 4 hour Work Week (by Tim Ferris): This book is considered the catalyst of the lifestyle business movement. Tim Ferris is an angel investor, hacker, and lifestyle business advocate who's books have all reached the New York Times best sellers list. This book started it all.
Real People Who Are Succeeding At Their Own Lifestyle Business (Here's are few people I study that you should be too):
Jadah & Jen
John Lee Dumas
Ok... This should get you started. If you found this article helpful and you want more case studies, step by step guides, and blueprints on this stuff download your FREE copy of the Sweet Spot finder tool and you'll also receive very content on living your best life, getting paid to be you, and launching a lifestyle business you love. Click here.