We’re all familiar with the general entrepreneur. They’re the ones with a knack for business; the kids selling lemonade out on the sidewalk, or mowing lawns for everyone in their neighborhood. They embark in the business world with an idea and a pitch, hoping to land investors or funding. They build their empire quickly, taking big risks thriving at the center of their growing company. They’re the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of our world. We know them well.
But there’s a new kind of entrepreneur entering the scene, one whose popularity has grown almost seemingly overnight. They are the lifestyle entrepreneur. The lifestyle entrepreneur is one who often exists quietly in the background, slowly waiting for their budding business to grow into an empire. These entrepreneurs aren’t at the center of their business, in fact, it mostly revolves around them. They put their ideal lifestyle first and let the business work around them. They’re the Lewis Howes and the Tim Ferriss of our world. We may not know them well now, but we certainly will.
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What is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur?
The term “Lifestyle Entrepreneur” was coined by Lewis Howes, and though it has various different meanings, the general idea is that the lifestyle entrepreneur is a person who creates a business with the intention of altering their lifestyle, and not for the sole purpose of making profits. They focus more on the rewards provided to those who enjoy and have a passion for what they’re doing in life. Generally their business does well because of their true passion – it can be contagious. People (and customers especially) can’t help but to flock toward those who’ve “figured it out” – the ones making money doing what they truly love.
And though the lifestyle part looks different for each lifestyle entrepreneur, the point is they don’t work in their business and then come home for the day – their business supports their life, it’s a part of it, it’s in everything they do because it’s what they’re passionate about.
Regardless of the differences among lifestyle entrepreneurs as individuals, they all tend to share some similar traits. Here are some things that set lifestyle entrepreneurs apart from the business crowd.
Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Put Life First
Of course money is important to anyone starting a business or working in the professional field in general, but for some entrepreneurs, money isn’t everything. A lifestyle entrepreneur will often measure success by how much they love their work, not how much they earn.
To a lifestyle entrepreneur the freedom to work in their own way by their own rules, the flexible schedule from any location, and the ability to spend more time with the people important to them are all more important than the money in the bank. Paying the bills and being able to survive are still a must for them. They wouldn’t thrive in their lifestyle if they weren’t making ends meet. The difference is that they aren’t defining themselves by their net worth – they don’t focus so heavily on the numbers, and center their business around the other benefits they receive.
Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Spend Time in Their Business Because They Love It, Not Because They Feel Like They *Have* To
For the lifestyle entrepreneur, business and life become one symbiotically working machine – and that’s a great thing! – because they’ve taken what they love and figured out how to make that pay for their lifestyle, rather than the other way around. It’s an idea that is sometimes called a muse business, one that starts with an interest and then turns into a product or service.
It can be thought of as a sort of means to an end, though oftentimes for a lifestyle entrepreneur there is no hard “end” in sight. They’re doing what they love so what’s the rush? Their business may take some time to build, but for them that’s cake compared with spending the rest of their life working a standard 9 to 5.
Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Turn Passions and Interests into Products and Services
Given that your standard lifestyle entrepreneur is going to wind up putting in a lot of long hours building up the business that will eventually buy their freedom, it’s critical that they build off of this idea of a muse business and stick with it. Though the particular qualities for a business will vary depending upon the person building it, they should at least adhere to a few standards of success.
First, the business needs to be able to grow without demanding a ton of extra time. If freedom and flexibility are the heart and soul of a lifestyle entrepreneur’s ideals, a ton of extra time being “plugged in” isn’t going to align with that.
Of course, there are going to be times when the lifestyle entrepreneur is going to have to put in a few extra hours here, maybe a weekend there, which is fine, because they’ve built it all around something they enjoy. There isn’t anyone breathing down their neck or keeping them on the clock, so if they don’t like what they’re doing, it can be detrimental to their business.
Second, the foundation of a muse business is that it’s automated for the most part; the lifestyle entrepreneur is a professional at delegating tasks, and constructing things in such a way that they are easily repeatable. They are well organized and don’t make major changes all the time, which means that they aren’t spending extra time monitoring tasks or redoing those that weren’t done right. They have time to focus on the big picture, so they can grow over time, in a way that works for their business.
It’s about striking a balance between knowing what only they can do, and knowing what can easily be outsourced to virtual professionals.
Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Embrace the Value of Outsourcing Early On – and Reap the Benefits Later
Which brings us to the last characteristic: lifestyle entrepreneurs know the value of outsourcing. In fact, small businesses often center their success around outsourcing the tasks that used to have to be completed by an in-house team.
Technological advances have made it easier than ever for businesses to outsource all kinds of professionals, from receptionists and assistants, to entire sales, marketing, and accounting departments. If a function repeats at regular intervals, it’s likely something that can be systematized, automated, and handled by an entirely virtual team.
We’ve written plenty of articles about why businesses should take advantage of virtual assistants and tips for succeeding with virtual help, but at the heart and center of it is this idea that the virtual assistants take these everyday, repeatable tasks – the social media posts, phone calls, copy editing tasks, etc. – and complete them as if they were a part of the actual in-house team. There are cost saving benefits on top of time saving benefits and increased efficiency – all details that are familiar to the lifestyle entrepreneur who’s comfortable handing off a thing or two.
The business style of a lifestyle entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, but it’s a growing trend that’s here to stay. It’s likely that technology will continue to empower these kinds of people to get out there and craft the life they’re excited to live. May they continue to bring us innovation and inspiration (and maybe a little envy for their laptop lifestyle!).