Lifestyle Business: Fundamentally Flawed or the Future of Entrepreneurship?

“The purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but that the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life.”

– Michael E. Gerber

High-growth vs. Lifestyle Businesses

Who doesn’t want to have a cash-producing business while doing what they love?

I know, hardly anyone can turn down such an offer…

But, daydreaming aside, is that even possible?

Well, at least for a category of fellow entrepreneurs that seems to be the norm.

In case you wonder, yes I am talking about the so-called lifestyle entrepreneurs.

Unlike the aspiring high-growth business owners (you know, the ones that want to disrupt an industry and capture market share on the fast,Uber style), this special breed of entrepreneurs see things differently.

In particular, they want to have a business carefully crafted: a) around something they enjoying doing (i.e. passion, hobby, interest), b) to provide something people want or need, c) in a way where they don’t need to sacrifice having a healthy and pleasant work-life balance.

And on today’s post will explore this concept further for finding out how much is real and how much is outright fantasy!

Without any further ado let’s dive straight in…

The Lifestyle Business Benefits

So, what are the advantages of having a lifestyle business?

Well, according to our lifestyle entrepreneur friends, there are a number of them.

Advantage #1: You’re the only cook in the kitchen

Yep, the owner is responsible to no one but himself, which means no external stakeholders involved (i.e. financiers, investors, board, etc.) putting pressure on you and scre*ing around with YOUR business. The bottom line? It’s your business, and you call all the shots…

Advantage #2: You don’t play the “all or nothing” game

What does that suppose to mean? Put simply, unlike ventures that partner with angel or institutional investors, their business model is not built on the assumption that to make it, you’ll absolutely need to have a massive amount of growth and sell the company in a just couple of years for millions.

Advantage #3: It doesn’t require funding

This needs no explanation. Lifestyle entrepreneurs almost always start off small and need just a couple of $100(0) for getting their micro-business off the ground.

Advantage #4: You won’t wait for ages to turn a profit

That’s right. Unlike venture-backed businesses that require founders a) to craft a complicated business structure whichsucks cash like crazy, b) pay themselves next to nothing and, c) reinvest every penny back in the business (in the hope that one day they will sell the company for big bucks and become filthy rich), lifestyle businesses operate under a simple rule: Live in the present, keep things simple, and eat what you kill.

Advantage #5: The chances of making it are much higher

Last but not least is the risk factor. As it’s generally accepted, comparing to aspiring high-growth ventures, micro-businesses naturally have much lower failure rates. And that’s only natural. Due to their minimalistic business model, in general, they can turn a healthy profit with just a couple of sales per day.

Three Big Fat Myths about Lifestyle Businesses

Time for busting some myths?

Good!

Since there is a lot of sh*t written about this model from serial BSers, I think it’s worth taking some time to address them.

Myth #1: Lifestyle companies operate under the ‘set it and forget it’ model

So, according to the scampreneurs narrative, lifestyle entrepreneurs can have their cake and eat it too!

How?

Simple – by creating a ‘set it and forget it’ type of business that produces passive cash and exists merely to fund their ‘Bahamas lifestyle.’

The truth?

As our friend Joe Magnotti rightly puts it here, “coconut-sipping, beach-lounging, laptop-carrying backpackers who are lazy and on a perpetual vacation” have nothing to do with true lifestyle entrepreneurs.

That’s right – this is just a lame fairy tale idea scampreneurs like to spread left and right to catch the attention of their (naïve) target group, which is none other than a bunch of losers with IQ close to zero!

Myth #2: Lifestyle micro-businesses are about “being an artist”

Their story in a nutshell?

Do what you love and the money will follow!

The end-result?

The same ending as most of our artists friends. Yep, being endlessly BROKE.

Why?

Because they try to force “their gift” into the market, forgetting that customers don’t give a sh*t about their gift. Instead, every single one of them just cares about one thing: WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME!

Myth #3: Lifestyle ventures can have an immediate ‘payout’

The story usually goes something like this…

a) Create an ebook in 4 weeks or less

b) Publish it on Amazon

c) Advertise the sh*t out of it

d) Boom! Make money while you sleep

Sounds like a plan, right?

NO!

Unless somebody is brain damaged, expecting to ever make money out of this so-called “plan” is simply delusional.

The truth about lifestyle businesses?

There is no such thing as a passive part-time lifestyle business

First things first…

The idea of building a business so that you can do something else is not only dangerous but probably the #1 reason why people fail.

But that has nothing to do with real lifestyle businesses – it’s just a distorted version of reality.

The cold hard truth?

A lifestyle business is not a type of business you can run from a beach while sipping margaritas. Instead, it’s a real FULL-TIME business that is created with the intention of helping you make a comfortable living (by creating something you care about and people value enough to pay for) without scre*ing your personal life.

That’s it. No Mai Tais, no coconut trees, no autopilots!

The moral of the story?

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and if you are serious about building a lifestyle business with the potential to bring enough cash in to make it worthwhile (while enjoying the added benefits that arise from this business model) not only do you have to put in the time, but you also have to treat it like a real business.

With all that said, let’s close this post with today’s key takeaways…

Key Takeaways

– Like it or hate it; when you’re the only cook in the kitchen, you call all the shots

– There is no such thing as a passive, part-time lifestyle business

– Lifestyle Business 101: Live in the present, keep things simple, and eat what you kill

***

Ok guys, that’s all from me for today.

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out my kindle book, The Aspiring Entrepreneur Entry Strategy: A practical step-by-step guide for finding a validated, winning business idea that stays true to who you are, that is currently available at Amazon.

I hope to see you soon.

Best,

Andreas

“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”

– Mike Tyson

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