One term that has been gaining in popularity in recent years is lifestyle business. Lifestyle business is a kind of business that aims to give you the freedom to live the lifestyle you want. The goal is not to make a lot of money, but to have freedom. The freedom will then give you space to live the lifestyle you want.
Three Criteria of a Lifestyle Business
Since the goal is freedom, a lifestyle business should meet three criteria:
- Location independence.
This means that you can work on your business wherever you want. You are not constrained to a certain place. If you want to work on a tropical island, then you can do that. If you want to work on a mountain, that’s also possible.
- Time independence.
This means that you can work on your business whenever you want. There are no office hours that you must abide to. Plus, in my case, I require that there is no deadline from an external party (for example, a client). Having such a deadline means that I don’t have complete control over my time.
- Passive income.
This means that you don’t have to keep working to earn money. If you want to stop working for, say, one month, you can do that and the money will still come.
Ideally, you should meet all three criteria, but it’s up to you. For example: if you value location independence but don’t mind having deadlines from your clients (as is the case with online freelancing), then that’s fine. Just choose the degree of freedom that works for you. Personally, I aim to meet all three criteria.
What businesses, then, meet those criteria? Here are some examples:
If you are a blogger:
- You can update your blog from anywhere in the world (location independence).
- You can write anytime you want with no deadline from others (time independence).
- The money will still come even if you choose not to update your blog for some time (passive income).
2. App development
You can publish apps on marketplaces like Apple App Store and Google Play. If you do that:
- You can develop your apps from anywhere in the world (location independence).
- You can work on your apps anytime you want (time independence).
- Once your apps are on the marketplace, they can keep selling (passive income).
3. Stock photography
You can sell stock photos on places like iStockPhoto and Fotolia. You will make money whenever someone downloads your work. In this business:
- You can upload your photos from anywhere you want (location independence).
- You can take and upload your photos anytime you want (time independence).
- Once your photos are online, they can keep selling (passive income).
Of course, there are other kinds of lifestyle businesses, but these three are good examples.
Let’s now look at how to build such a business.
Three Steps in Building a Lifestyle Business
Lifestyle business has many benefits, but it also has a drawback: it’s hard to build. It might take months or even years before you succeed. But the good news is that it’s doable.
If you want to start a lifestyle business, my advice is to start it as a side business. Don’t risk your livelihood by leaving your day job. Instead, build your business over time while still keeping your day job. Once it grows, you can leave your day job if you want to.
Here are the main steps to build a lifestyle business:
1. Identify your passion.
As I said above, building the business takes time. Therefore, you need something that can keep you motivated along the way, and that is your passion.
If you do the work just for money, you won’t be able to stay for long. Most likely you will give up in a few months. But if you do it because you love it, you will be able to go through the difficult times that may come.
Be careful though: don’t just choose any passion of yours. It must be something that people want. You must find the intersection between them.
In my case, the early months of this blog were hard. I barely had any visitors at all. But I love personal development and, therefore, I kept working on this blog until it eventually grew.
2. Start building your platform.
After identifying your passion, you must build a platform around it. The platform is the means by which you reach your target audience.
A common way to build a platform is to start a blog. Having a blog allows you to interact with an audience that shares your passion. You can also start a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a Twitter account. The choice is yours.
This step is the hardest in the process, so don’t expect instant success. You must have patience and persistence here.
3. Find ways to make money.
After you have a sizable platform, you can then think about how to monetize it. Most people start with placing advertisements on their blogs, but you can also sell your own products. The key here is to provide value and maintain trust with your audience.
I’ve been building my lifestyle business for years now. I still have a long way to go, but I’m happy to say that I’ve been enjoying relative freedom. For instance, I’ve no longer had a day job in the past four years. I can also work on any project I want, whenever I want it. I’m not a millionaire, but I’m enjoying my life.
Of course, building a lifestyle business is not for everyone, but it’s an option that you may want to consider.
Do you have any tips or thoughts on it? Please share them in the comments.
Build Your Business the Right Way
Having your own business – even if it’s just a side business – is a good way to diversify your income sources.
A Dent in the Universe: 36 Small-Business Lessons from Steve Jobs is an e-book I wrote that can help you best run your own business. If you are still thinking about starting a business, it can help you start with the right mindset and attitude. If you already have a business, it can help you take it to the next level.
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