What is a Lifestyle Business?

By Jason Moll • Updated September 9, 2023

Lifestyle Business

Lifestyle Business Characteristics

A lifestyle business is a business thats primary goal is maintaining the owner’s desired lifestyle.

In a world dominated by stories of startups aiming to become the next big tech giant, lifestyle businesses offer a different path.

In this blog post, we will outline a few characteristics that are typically associated with lifestyle businesses. To look ahead, those include:

  1. Growth Isn’t The Top Priority
  2. Work-Life Balance
  3. No Permanent Office
  4. Small Team Size
  5. Collaboration Over Competition

Read along to see if starting a lifestyle business might be a path you’d like to explore.

Growth Isn’t The Top Priority

Oftentimes, I think small business owners get sucked into the idea that they need to be growing all the time.

Growth can be good—and you’ll certainly need it to start. But, for a lifestyle business, growth isn’t the top priority.

In fact, unintentional growth can actually work against the business’s goal of maintaining the owner’s lifestyle.

Lifestyle businesses are intentional about their workload. Refining your customer base to optimize your workload is a great practice.

For instance, replacing lower paying customers with higher paying customers.

But, lifestyle businesses reject the fallacious argument that if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking. Choose refinement and optimization over arbitrary growth.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is the name of the game for lifestyle businesses.

You’ll find that these business owners plan their work around their life—not the other way around.

Work-life balance might look like taking mid-week breaks, extended holidays, or starting work at noon. It’s all about creating a schedule that fits the owner’s ideal lifestyle.

For a lifestyle business, work-life balance is the ultimate goal. In fact, it’s the whole point.

No Permanent Office

Most people don’t love going into the office. Truthfully, going to work is a drag even if your name is on the door.

That’s why you’ll find that most lifestyle businesses don’t have a brick and mortar office. Instead, their office is wherever they find themselves on any given day.

Personally, I frequent a few different coffee shops in my community. Otherwise, I am working from my home office, the kitchen island, or the couch.

As a lifestyle business owner you can work from wherever you like. For many lifestyle businesses, rent would just add unnecessary overhead.

Smaller Team Size

You’ll find that lifestyle businesses keep their staff size small. In fact, I would say the majority of lifestyle businesses have no permanent team members at all besides the owner themselves.

Although additional staffing can help business owners accomplish their tasks quicker, it also creates a new burden: managing employees.

Many business owners would rather do the work themselves than have to manage employees.

Due to the nature of the business structure, lifestyle businesses are often built upon the personal reputation or skillset of their owners. This can make it difficult to leverage a larger team.

Many lifestyle businesses fall within the following industries/niches:

  • Freelancing
  • Blogging
  • Influencers
  • Content and Online Course Creators
  • Coaching and Consulting
  • Professional Services (CPAs like me)
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Photographers
  • Health and Fitness Experts

Collaboration Over Competition

Lifestyle business owners have an abundance mindset. Not only are these business owners not capable of serving everyone, they don’t want to!

Because of this, lifestyle businesses don’t fear others working in the same space. Instead of viewing other businesses as competitors, they form collaborative relationships that help them better serve their customers.

Instead of fiercely competing in the market, lifestyle businesses often focus on building a community around their brand.

Start a Lifestyle Business

I am of the mindset that everyone who wants to start a business should do just that.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs get overwhelmed with the idea of growing a team and scaling business operations.

However, business ownership and the never ending pursuit of growth don’t have to coexist.

Creating a lifestyle business is a great way to make a living doing what you enjoy from anywhere in the world. If that sounds appealing, perhaps the lifestyle business model is your calling!

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