Do you dream of creating the ideal lifestyle for yourself? Are you looking for ways to make money without selling your soul? Do you want to impact the world and make it a better place in your own unique way?
Well, let me tell you that this is entirely possible. In fact it’s very simple.
But it isn’t quick and it isn’t easy.
Many people, especially during a difficult economy start looking for “magic bullets” or get-rich-quick schemes that they hope will make their dreams come true and magic instant money into their lives.
I know this because I get dozens of emails every day from desperate people trying to find an urgent solution.
In fact I used to be like this myself….hanging around at internet marketing events to speak to the “gurus,” hoping to befriend them, learn their secrets and wishing that some of their magic dust would rub off onto me.
Until I realized there is no instant solution. There is no online ATM machine.
The secret is that you need to think like an entrepreneur and build an online business or rather, a lifestyle business online.
What Is A Lifestyle Business?
My definition of a lifestyle business is one that supports you to live the lifestyle you really want. It’s built around your life not the other way round.
This kind of lifestyle business is online because that is where you can start cheaply and get the most leverage in the shortest time possible.
It involves selling your experience, expertise and knowledge to people who want and need the help you can provide.
An online lifestyle business also has very low overheads and commitments, and you can run it pretty much from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and an internet connection.
There are several ways to earn money from this type of business. Typically, you can
- Offer coaching or consulting services
- Allow people to advertise on your website
- Get sponsorship for your business
- Sell products – these can be physical products or digital products like ebooks, audio and video courses that can be delivered instantly. Ideally, you’ll want to create these “information” products yourself but you can also market other people’s products and get a commission for each sale. This is called affiliate marketing.
You can stick to one revenue stream or mix a few together. It’s up to you.
The key thing is that you’re in control.
When you build a lifestyle business around your passion and interests you are giving yourself a chance to live a life of freedom. One that makes your heart sing and brings you more happiness, joy, creativity and inner peace than working for others ever can.
The Typical Life Plan
Sadly most of us don’t know about this alternative life plan. Or we’ve tried and given up because it’s just too hard or is taking too long.
So we choose a life of quiet desperation, working for someone else for 8-10 hours a day until we can “live” for a few snatched hours in the evenings and at weekends.
While we work this 40-year life plan, we often put our dreams on hold until we reach retirement. If we’re lucky, when we do eventually retire we have enough money to live our remaining years with some happiness.
Well let me tell you, this model stinks!
I bought into it for a long time, not knowing there was another way.
Even when I set up my own bricks-and-mortar businesses, I found myself working very long hours, to the detriment of my health, my family life and my personal goals.
Although I yearned for freedom I felt trapped by my situation and responsibilities. The more I worked the worse I felt. I was like that proverbial hamster on the wheel!
There was never enough time to do the things I really wanted like spending time with family and friends, reading the books I loved, practicing yoga, going for long walks in the country or traveling to exotic places for months at a time.
Your Journey to Self-Actualization
I believe there comes a time in your life when gathering “stuff” is no longer satisfying. Once you’ve made the money, bought the nice house and gadgets, worn the designer clothes, eaten at the fancy restaurants…you find yourself asking… What now? Is this it? Why am I here?
Back in 1943, American pyschologist Abraham Maslow created a model for work-life balance and motivation which he called the Hierarchy Of Needs.
Although this pyramid simplifies the human condition, I believe Maslow’s theory is still relevant today.
It can be a very enlightening way to look at your life and assess where you are right now.
Maslow argued that once our basic needs including safety and survival are met, we crave love, a sense of belonging, greater self-esteem and recognition.
We start to contemplate the meaning of life and this in turn allows us to progress to the final level, self-actualization.
You may not have realized your greatest potential yet or be living your most creative life but by consciously designing a plan for your life, one that includes a lifestyle business, you can certainly start down this path.
Even if you are holding down a full-time job, you can use it to sustain yourself as you plan your ideal lifestyle and springboard towards a bigger, bolder life.
The main thing is to stop putting off living your life or settling for a passionless existence that is not worthy of you.
If you still need convincing about the power of creating a lifestyle business, here are 5 reasons to start building one today.
#1. It’s A Proven Model
Right now there are thousands of men and women from every walk of life, in every age group, with differing levels of education all around the world funding their lifestyle with an online business.
These people are not any smarter than you or I, they have just figured out a way to make it happen. If they can so can you.
#2. You Can Automate It
If you build a business that needs you to be there all the time, you won’t gain the freedom you crave and will eventually burn out from exhaustion. Believe me, I’ve been there!
But when you set up a lifestyle business correctly, you can automate much of the work down the line.
Although it does take time and effort in the beginning as you educate yourself and test and tweak what works, in a relatively short period of time you’ll be able to automate your work by introducing systems, using technology and outsourcing.
Even Tim Ferriss, who coined the concept of The 4-Hour Work Week in his book of the same name, initially worked 60-80 hours a week to get his business off the ground before he was able to hire a team of virtual staff overseas.
#3. It’s Portable
One of the biggest benefits of building a lifestyle business is the portability factor. There is no other business model that I know of that lets you do this quite as easily.
No longer are you tied to one physical location or having to put up with the gloomy British weather if you don’t want to.
As long as you have a laptop and reliable broadband connection, you can vacation abroad and take your business with you.
You can also spend extended periods overseas or even emigrate permanently to countries like Cyprus, Thailand or Mexico, where the weather is better and the cost of living is cheaper.
One entrepreneur who has done this very successfully is Suitcase Entrepreneur Natalie Sisson.
#4. You Can Scale It
When you are paid a salary, or earn per hour or per project you are swapping your time for money. This makes what you do finite. You can only work a certain number of hours a day and your employer or client will usually pay you the going rate.
In other words, your income is fixed.
Freelancers, web designers and other service-based businesses also fall into this category
You only get paid when you work so if you stop working the money stops too. You can’t afford to fall ill or disconnect from the world for a few months as you pursue your hobby or passion.
But when you set up an online lifestyle business, you do the work once but can keep on receiving the rewards.
Let’s imagine you created an ebook teaching parents how to raise children with high-self esteem.
You spend hours researching the niche and content, designing the graphics and putting it all together. You then sell it on Amazon as a Kindle ebook for $4.99 to a hungry audience and boost it with social media marketing.
Sales soon start to flood in.
Is there any reason why you couldn’t sell 100 copies, 1,000 copies or even 10,000 copies? Of course not. People successfully sell ebooks every day, including many of my clients.
This is the beauty of scale and leverage. Or the art of removing yourself from the equation and building a lifestyle business.
#5. You Can Help Others
A key thing to understand about your lifestyle business is that passion alone won’t make it a success. You need to provide a solution and genuinely help people.
If people believe that you can help them with their question or challenge better than anyone else, they will be drawn to you and will eventually become advocates (your Tribe) and potentially your customers.
But there’s another even greater benefit to building a successful lifestyle business.
As you enrich and empower yourself you are better placed to help others. You can have more impact and influence your world in large and small ways.
You can inspire people and spur them to action.
You can support your friends and family.
You can donate to your favorite charity and help save sick animals.
You can set up that foundation to help young girls in developing countries get an education.
That’s my dream.
Simply put, when you are sick, broke and struggling your worldview shrinks. You can only think about yourself and your immediate concerns.
But with wealth and peace of mind, you can look beyond yourself and extend your reach. I believe this is how ordinary people can really change the world and do extraordinary things.
What About You?
Are you running a lifestyle business? What strategies have helped you get it off the ground? If you haven’t started yet, do you have any plans in place? Please share and comment below.