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. Pre-world wide web home business owners could only deliver services to individuals or businesses in their local area. Shipping allowed for the creation and distribution of products, but ordering and managing inventory could be cumbersome and expensive, and sales were limited to whatever the marketing budget could afford in advertising.
The Internet changed all that. The Internet has not only allowed for expanded market reach and time flexibility, but also, portability in working from anywhere you have Internet access. Today, people can start and run a world-wide business from the comfort of home…or the beach…or the RV. This has led to the rise of the lifestyle entrepreneur.
What Is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur?
Traditionally, people find a career, and then build their lives around it. For the lifestyle entrepreneur though, their career is built around their life. In fact, many are able to build a career that supports or incorporates their passions and interests. 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.
One other significant difference between a lifestyle entrepreneur and other business owners is the focus on passion over profits. They want to have experiences more than they want to be rich. Yes, their businesses make money, but that money is designed to support their passion.
How to Become a Lifestyle Entrepreneur?
A big difference between becoming a home business owner versus a lifestyle entrepreneur is the process.
While many aspects are similar, the initial steps differ slightly. In the traditional home business startup, a person might begin with trying to decide what business to open. A lifestyle entrepreneur starts their business journey by answering the question, “What life do I want to lead?” and then choose a business that will allow them to live that life. Here are some steps to starting a business that fuels and funds your passion.
- 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.
- 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. Other times, you might have an interest in one area that you can turn into a career that support 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. In step two, write down all your interests, passions, and talents.
- Brainstorm income ideas that fit your passions. There are essentially three ways to make money: 1. Sell your skill, 2. Sell stuff, or 3. 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 your passions will have ideas in all three forms of making money, but most should have several options.
- Pick a few ideas and research whether or not it can 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 #1, 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.
- Determine if there is a market for your idea(s). Once you have a lifestyle business idea, you want to make sure there are people who are ready, willing, and able to buy what you’re offering.
- 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.
- Write your lifestyle business plan. This should include all the details that go into a traditional business plan, such as your product/service idea, financials, marketing etc., but also you want to pay special attention to creating a plan that is going to support the life you want.
- 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 residency 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Create a marketing plan. How will you get clients and customers? In this step, you want 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 4-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.
- Evaluate and accentuate. 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.
- Enjoy life! Once you’ve got your business up and running, it’s time to live the life you’ve created!