Google defines lifestyle business as: a business 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.

We hear this term, lifestyle business used frequently with people who own or wish to own businesses. The idea of having a lifestyle business feels so appealing. Own a business and with it will come, freedom, flexibility and income. Leaving the clutches of a 9-5 job has the allure of providing so much. However, making that dream a reality is much harder than is often presented.

Over the course of the past year and a half on the heels of selling a large company I was able to create a lifestyle business. This business met all the marks. It was flexible, allowed for freedom from a 9-5 and provided the time I wanted with my children. It also provide income. While bringing in less than half I’d been accustomed to making as an owner in my prior company, it still provided income and that filled the gap that we needed in our finances. Here’s how I created my lifestyle business:

I found a need.

Finding a need that partners well with a your skill sets is the most important element in creating a lifestyle business. If you aren’t able to identify a need you won’t be able to sell your product. Where some people get hung up is falsely believing they must be the first to market to succeed. I disagree with this assessment. You don’t need to be the only one offering your product or service or even be the best, you merely need to be doing a great job filling a need.

Partner with someone who has an established customer base.

When I started my lifestyle business, I wanted it to be just that, a lifestyle. I needed to find another business that was able to provide leads to me for the growth of my company. Finding this person cut out time and money spent on marketing as well as the need for infrastructure. I didn’t need to create a big business I just needed to find the people who wanted my service. I did pay handsomely for the leads I received, but because my greatest goal was gaining the largest return with minimal effort this was the way to go.

Low overhead was key.

I didn’t have an office and I used an old computer (that I’m still using) that works great. I didn’t spend a ton on equipment, business cards, a website, or anything for that matter. I kept my overhead to almost zero with the exception of the price I paid for the partnership that was providing the leads. This allowed me to keep most of the money I made.

I got out what I put in.

Some weeks I’d work really hard and get a lot of leads and sales calls made. Other weeks I would make no sales calls. When I worked hard, I got good results. When I wanted to spend more time with my family, take a trip or just wasn’t in the mood I’d skimp on my efforts and the result was lower sales. Understanding that you are the person in a lifestyle business that allows you to either succeed or fail is very important. When you are your business everything you do can have an impact on your bottom line.

After a year and a half, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to have a lifestyle business. Having the unique perspective of owning a brick and mortar business, an online business, MLM businesses and other companies as well as a lifestyle business has allowed me to see the good in all businesses and the struggles in all businesses. Every business type has it’s ups and it’s downs. However, after owning a lifestyle business I’ve decided that it’s not for me. I’m an all in kinda gal. I want more to sink my teeth into and that’s why in my next post I’m going to talk about growing a revenue generating business!

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