Lifestyle Businesses

Is it an insult or a compliment?

In the world of venture capital it’s a derogatory term. Equity investors looking for a lucrative ‘exit’ look down their noses at them.

I’m talking about “lifestyle businesses”.

It’s a name used for enterprises that aren’t attractive to investors seeking super-profits.

It’s a term used insultingly by venture capitalists. To imply that the owner lacks ambition. Because they don’t want to become a corporation. And they don’t have a plan to exit as a billionaire.

That’s one way to look at things. Here’s another…

The owner of a lifestyle business wants to enjoy life as they grow their business. They don’t want to work 100 hour weeks chasing a dream of future riches. They want work and life to be in harmony.

They actually don’t want to turn their business into a ‘system’. They don’t like the idea of building an impersonal machine.

They DO want to play a creative role in their studios. Instead of spending all their time in the office.

Yes, they positively want to work IN the businesses. Not just ON it.

And that’s fine by me.

Here’s the thing: There is no “correct” way to build a business.

You have choices. You can choose different routes in business. You can be creative about HOW you do business.

There so many options. So many different sizes, shapes and ‘flavours’ of business. That’s one of the things that makes entrepreneurship so interesting.

You don’t have to follow the herd. You don’t have to accept the conventional advice about business. You can do it your own way.

You, the business owner, can design your own enterprise. And your lifestyle. To suit yourself.

You can have a lifestyle business by choice.

It means integrating lifestyle ambitions into the business. By design.

That doesn’t mean you are “a failure to grow and exit”.

Personally, I have a “lifestyle business”. By choice.

I’m proud of it. I designed it deliberately. It gives me what I want. It delivers my own unique definition of success.

For me, it’s not about deferring the “good life” till later.

It’s about quality of life as part of the journey. I call it “work/life integration”. It’s about the here and now.

As John Lennon said: “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans”.

As a business coach I can help you make more money. I can help you to design your business for your own purposes. To suit your own unique personality and objectives.

If you want to scale up and exit, I can help.

If you want to design a lifestyle business, I can also help.

It’s YOUR decision.

What about you – would you prefer to run a lifestyle business or a big corporation?

See also Business Design for Lifestyle Success article and blog post on Work Life Integration.