A controversial topic but hey, not one we’re going to shy away from. In short, a lifestyle business is a business that openly intends to sustain a certain lifestyle for its owner. The business isn’t really involved with anyone else as paying people a salary would be detrimental to the business and the person (who are essentially one and the same).
Tom Ferris popularised the term with his book The 4 Hour Week. He seemed to consider being a lifestyle businessman the same as being an entrepreneur. A lot of the examples mentioned within the book focus on sales. Sales of e-commerce, fitness advice, club membership are good examples of how these people make money for themselves.
These are the sort of people you see plastered all over the internet and are very openly anti-9-5. They seem to serve as the antithesis to the working week and are constantly trying to convince you that you can have it all for minimum effort. So can you?
No. Everything takes work, come on it’s not going to be a magic pill that equates to the life of your dreams. The people who make a success out of selling a lifestyle know exactly what they are doing; they’re talented marketers as well as diligent workers with gobs of business acumen to boot.
Unlike regular entrepreneurs, lifestyle entrepreneurs don’t answer to investors as their purpose isn’t the development of the business but simply themselves. These are not people who are interested in the long-term success of their business; they are interested in money in the bank and fast.
This is why many people aren’t exactly impressed with lifestyle entrepreneurs, there seems to be no strategy other than the next day and unlike many businesses, there are no plans to exit or retire. So the majority of criticisms see blending life and work this finely and fusing them together is dangerous in the long term.
For obvious reason, this is popular among millennials, or at least those who have few responsibilities and for whom the most important thing is to be ‘free’. Of course to get there the intensity of the work you do actually do is often extreme to maximize profits through immediate transactions.
It’s certainly not a traditional route but it’s a way of life that is gaining momentum in the 21st century. I’d say don’t knock it till you’ve tried it but giving up a regular pay cheque is easier said than done.