What Is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur and How to Become One
How to Build a Business to Support Your Lifestyle Goals
Home businesses have been around for many years, but until the growth of the internet, they had many limitations. Today, people can start and run a worldwide business from the comfort of home…or the beach…or the RV. This has led to the rise of the lifestyle entrepreneur.
Natalie Sisson, author of "The Suitcase Entrepreneur," has created a digital career that supports her love of travel. She has traveled to seventy countries and lived on five continents, all while running a business involving coaching, information products, and even a podcast. This is what being a lifestyle entrepreneur is all about.
Traditionally, people find a career and then build their lives around it. The lifestyle entrepreneur does the opposite and builds their career around their life. Yes, their businesses make money, but that money is designed to support their passion.
Here are some steps to becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur.
Decide on the Lifestyle You Want to Lead
What do you want in life? What are your passions and goals? Do you want to live and work in an RV traveling the nation? Do you want to live in a third-world country building schools?
Lifestyle entrepreneurship doesn’t have to involve travel. It can allow you to raise your children, care for ailing loved ones, or spend time on a hobby or volunteer work. But it all starts with deciding what life you want to lead and then building a career around it.
Pinpoint Your Passions
What are your passions? In some cases, you might be able to combine your passion and your business. For example, if you love food and travel, you might be able to build a lifestyle business around a travel food blog.
Or, you might have an interest in one area that you can turn into a career that supports another passion. For example, you might enjoy writing and as a lifestyle want time to volunteer for your local community youth center. You can build a digital career around writing, which you can do around spending your time volunteering.
Brainstorm Ideas that Align With Your Passions
Brainstorm income ideas that fit your passions. There are essentially three ways to make money: sell your skills, sell physical products, or sell information.
Using your list of passions, come up with business ideas that involve making money from it. If you love gardening, some ideas to make money can include a landscaping business, selling gardening tools, or selling a course on gardening. Not all of your passions will have ideas in all three forms of making money, but most should have several options.
Research Your Ideas
Pick a few of your top ideas and research whether or not they can help you create the life you want. While these ideas might be great money makers, if they don’t provide you with the money and freedom to pursue your lifestyle goal outlined in step No. 1, then they’re not the home business you want if you’re looking to be a lifestyle entrepreneur. Things to consider are portability (if you want to travel), flexibility, market access, and income potential.
You'll also need to determine if there is a market for your idea(s). Make sure there are people who are ready, willing, and able to buy what you’re offering.
Develop a Business Plan
Make a list of what is involved in getting your lifestyle business off the ground. The basics include a website and email list service. But you also need to consider what you’re offering and how you’ll deliver it. Will you be a coach? What virtual meeting service will you use (i.e., Skype)? In this step, you want to list all the to-dos and equipment you’ll need to get started.
Next, write your lifestyle business plan. This should include all the details that go into a traditional business plan, such as your product and service idea, financials, marketing, etc., but also you want to pay special attention to make sure it's going to support the life you want.
Take Care of the Legalities
Obtain any needed paperwork, permits, and licenses to set up your business structure and legally form your business. If you plan to be a traveling lifestyle entrepreneur, you need to pick a place to call home. Even if you don’t live there for most of the year, you need a place of residence that will be listed on all your business docs. If you’re an expat or want to live abroad, talk to a lawyer or accountant for advice on setting up a residency outside of your current country. You’ll also need to consider banking and other financial details if you’ll be moving out of the country or traveling.
Develop Pricing and Marketing
Set up pricing for your products or service. Make sure you’re charging enough to fund your lifestyle goal, but not so much that you don’t have a willing or able market to pay your prices.
You'll also need to build your website and email marketing funnel. This is essentially your business center. This is where you’ll sell yourself, as well as your products and services.
You'll need to define your ideal client/customer, figure out the best place to reach them, and create materials and systems to get your business in front of them. In the digital world, email, social media, guest blogging, interviews on podcasts, and video are all great ways to spread the word about your business.
Automate, Systematize, and Outsource Where Possible
Tim Ferris became famous with his book "The Four-Hour Workweek." The reason he can live the life he wants on only four hours of work a week is that he has all sorts of other things such as automation and virtual support running his business in the background.
Automation can include things like digital product delivery after a sale or social media scheduling tools. Systems are processes that run your business seamlessly. They can include lead generation systems, funnels, and sales processes. Finally, the more work you can delegate to someone else means more time you can spend on your lifestyle goals. You can hire a virtual assistant (or several) to manage many of the day-to-day aspects of your business, such as customer support, social media management, PR and marketing, bookkeeping, and more.
Starting up, you’ll have challenges and bottlenecks in your business. Assess what’s working and what isn’t so you can get rid of the dead weight and focus on the areas that are generating the results you want.
Once you’ve got your business up and running, it’s time to live the life you’ve created.