by Paz Hernandez Diaz, PhD
The lifestyle entrepreneur is one of the latest additions to the list of types of entrepreneurs today. Lifestyle entrepreneurs choose business content that reflects their passions. They are more focused on doing something they love rather than being focused on the pure profit motive alone when starting their business. This includes making deliberate choices to fit a business around their way of living, thus, preserving time for a hobby or interest, a sport, with children and family, or some other element of their life, which they wish to keep in a place of importance. Some will talk about yoga and direct readers to the yoga classes they are running, or will show off their culinary arts and offer their services to families as chef for a day or for a special occasion. She usually starts small and stays solo for most of the time.
The sole purpose of the lifestyle entrepreneur is not to make huge profits but to be rewarded for doing what she loves, so she can continue what she is doing. The entire focus is different where the goal is not to build a big business that involves large profits but to generate streams of income that be sustained over the long term. The idea is to create “enough” money so one can support one’s lifestyle and make the most out of one’s life. One needs great creativity to monetize one’s passion.
Lifestyle entrepreneurs enjoy the flexibility of their own working hours; they take the time to enjoy their hobbies, spend time with friends and family, as well as attend any social and charity work they want to pursue. They differ very much from traditional entrepreneurs because there is a deliberate balance between work and play – to create lifestyle businesses so they can keep doing their favorite things while making money. Lifestyle entrepreneurs can play an active part in the communities, like volunteering in civic organizations, which is part of balancing their lifestyle, not business-driven networking.
In this type of business model, the entrepreneur assumes personal risk, but is rewarded (if the business survives) with independence and autonomy from authority structures. For example, those who love fashion may start a blog where they review the latest on the catwalk and link their story to an online store where customers can buy similar items. Or, someone could have a passion for the internet and see oneself as a lifestyle entrepreneur who might want to start an e-commerce site. In this case, this type of entrepreneur is quite fortunate, as start-up costs will be relatively low.
Jesse Krieger, author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur and founder of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy teaches that someone can take one’s interests and passions and turn them into products and services that bring value to others. He encourages lifestyle entrepreneurs to explore these interests and passions and have a creative and engaging lifestyle that is a reflection and really an amplification of one’s own interests, reaching the whole world with little more than a laptop and an internet connection.
There are all kinds of lifestyle businesses out there. Among the popular ones are the following:
The brick-and-mortar lifestyle business – Someone who loves hang gliding or photography can build their own hang gliding outfit or photography business. They are doing what they love, and have built a brick and mortar lifestyle business.
The enabler – If someone is a search engine optimizer (SEO) or a copywriter simply because she likes the freedom it affords, one becomes an enabler; one can become an online consultant or teacher. She can also enable others to do the same and can manage an outfit offering a specific service; it enables the entrepreneur to do the stuff she likes.
The passion – This is what people often think of when they think of a lifestyle business. “Follow your passion; build a business around what you love!” Yes, that’s the clichéd advice, but when done properly, this can be the best kind of business to own.
Photo: from scottasai.wordpress.com
(The author co-wrote Entrepreneurship: Study and Practice published by the SERDEF for use of students of entrepreneurship. She is the secretary of the Board of Trustees of SERDEF, vice president for academic affairs of Roosevelt Colleges, and national treasurer of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines.)