Before you start a lifestyle business we need to define what it is. The lifestyle business is all about your freedom to live the lifestyle you want without having to work 9-to-5 for the rest of your life. It is not about making millions of dollars per month but rather about making “enough” for your goals and your lifestyle. We are all different with different goals and values. There are many lifestyle entrepreneurs out there making “just” 3000 dollars per month from their business and are totally happy with that because it enables them to travel around the world like a backpacker without having the 9-to-5 job.
The flexibility and freedom is really the key to understand the lifestyle business model. In a normal company, startup or big public multinational, the goals is to always grow the profits larger (or sometimes grow the revenue). This is not something we try to do in a lifestyle business because our goal is not to build a company that will be the biggest in its niche but rather to start a business that when set up properly continues to give us an income without us having to do that much “maintenance” work.
Sounds great! So how do I set up a lifestyle business? Is it only online?
The thing we have to remember is that a lifestyle business is a normal business in all what that means except that the goal is different and that we use certain methods to make it more flexible. You still have to create something of value that people are willing to pay for in some way for. There are no free lunches in the world.
That’s why we always focus on “how can I create something great that gives value and at the same time enables me to live my lifestyle?”. There is nothing that say you can’t build a lifestyle business offline instead than online (even though it can be easier online) and most of the things I write will also be applicable on a lifestyle business offline.
The need-to-know tips before you start
Do what you love
The best tip is to start something you enjoy and have a passion for is probably the best tip you can get. Only start a business around something that you feel ”this is something I would enjoy doing” because otherwise chances are big that you won’t do it. I have started projects with great potential but without that “feeling” and they all ended up being failures. It does not mean that you should only do things that are your really passionate (but if you can work on something that you are truly passionate about that’s great) but you have to enjoy it.
One of the sites I started is the swedish site Hittahunddagis.se which is a site about finding a local dog care center in Sweden. I noticed that there where no such site around and that it could be pretty hard to find a good dog care center and thought that I could make it easier. Did I have a great passion for dog care centers? No, not really. Did I feel passionate about creating the best site for finding a dog care center and solving a real problem for dog owners? You bet I did. Just thinking about the time saved for people looking for dog care centers and the fact that I could bring some customers to those dog care centers feels great. The lesson here is that while I was not passionate about the topic (dog care centers) I was passionate about solving the problem. So think about that, maybe there is a problem that you would feel passionate about solving!
Always create value for others
The key to build something successful, in any area, is to really create value for others and value that they are ready to pay for in some way. Even if you are really passionate about eating pizza and watch TV I wouldn’t recommend you to start a site letting others watch you eat pizza in front of the TV. There is no value creation in that (unless you find some interesting twist to make it interesting for people). So always remember to put yourself in your customers, readers or audience shoes and ask yourself “am I creating value?”.
The profitibility and the competitiveness of your niche
The second tip when choosing a passion to get started with is to really think about what is its potential and how competitive is it? If we start with the potential we need to consider how many people we can reach with out business and how much we can make on each of those readers. If you do a site about “funny cats” you might reach a lot of people but they won’t bring in that much revenue per person. If you do a site about “media law” the reach is a lot less but the value of each visitor and reader are much higher than from the “funny cats”. You have to mix the potential reach with the value of each visitor to find out if your site got potential to reach your goals or if your time would be better spent on something else. But even you where to choose a niche that initially seems to not be very profitable there is almost always a way to make it profitable if you bring value to others.
Then we have the competitiveness which is important because different niches have different amount of competitiveness. While you can always dominate almost any niche at all as long as you have great content and deliver better value than everyone else it can be a lot harder to dominate in a competitive niche like the “fitness blog” and “travel blog” niche than within for example fly fishing in Canada. But beware that a lack of competitors can be a sign that the niche is not very profitable.
So we have talked about what a lifestyle business is and you might be interested in starting your own. The thing that is really important is to choose something that you enjoy doing, where you can create value to others and which is in a niche that is profitable and not too competitive.
So think about something that you really enjoy and how you could create value for others. It could also be great to combine different passions with each other, maybe you enjoy teaching and also have a passion for design. Maybe you should start a design course online?
Tell me in the comments what you enjoy and what is stopping you from building a lifestyle business around it!