I know, I know. There are probably some people already snickering about the term “lifestyle business” and if you’re one of those haters, give me a moment to share some thoughts first.
When I talk about lifestyle business, I am not referencing the “buy my program and work five hours a week from the beach with your laptop” plan. We all know that’s only a pipe dream and a ploy to sell products that never work.
What I am talking about is creating a business model that works around your values, beliefs, and desires. This definition is and should be an acceptable way of life because it’s great and it works. Especially in the WordPress marketplace.
Proof in the Pudding
I’ve been working most of my career as a solopreneur. It’s not that I don’t value or enjoy working with teams, but that I’ve always wanted a business that was flexible for my values and interests. My goal was to always be present for my children and wife and to never let work come first.
I can’t say it always ended up that way, but for the majority of our family life, I am proud to say I’ve been there for them. We’ve also been able to experience many awesome adventures together because my focus was on a lifestyle business. And I’ve managed to make a great living doing so!
There are huge challenges of this type of business model too. You can’t always scale your business to meet the market demand. You might find yourself working in isolation for long periods of time. And you can’t easily create a company that you might want to sell or pass on when you are ready to retire. There are pros and there are cons to going the untraditional route.
It Can Work for Small Companies Too
I had an amazing conversation at WordCamp San Diego recently with an inspiring entrepreneur. He leads a small team in a business that has opened the doors for many other businesses just like his. His company has established a strong brand in the community and they are doing well.
What struck me about our conversation was that he defined his venture as a lifestyle business, and that while there are goals for growth in the company, the culture would always be centered on running a business that served the teams values and desires over being big for the sake of being big. I like that!
The reality is that we can function as a solopreneur or as a team and build a business around our lives and what we see as important.
As WordPress continues to grow and the markets diversify, I see more and more entrepreneurs taking the lifestyle business approach. After all, a few of the reasons why people launch out on their own is to experience certain freedoms or the desires of their hearts. And why shouldn’t they?
I am not sure where you stand in the ideology of a lifestyle business, but lets not dismiss the fact that it can be done in the right context with as much success as the traditional models. Both are acceptable ways of running a business.
What do you believe?