When we are young, we are taught to follow our dreams and do what makes us happy. Yet when it’s time to decide on a major, most of us are encouraged to choose a career path that has the potential to give us financial security or even make us rich. While earning a lot of money is great, it doesn’t have to be the priority. In fact, many people feel stuck working for the same company and yearn for more flexibility. Luckily, it’s possible to combine work with pleasure and provide for yourself at the same time. Lifestyle entrepreneurship is a unique work style that allows an individual to ditch the 9-5 model and turn their passions into profit. Even if profit isn’t impressive at first, being able to do what you love can be extremely fulfilling. If this sounds appealing, keep reading to learn more about this concept.
What Does it Mean to Be a Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Is it The Same as Traditional Entrepreneurship?
Nowadays entrepreneurs are depicted as profit-oriented businessmen, which might make the ‘lifestyle entrepreneur’ seem like a contradiction. However, unlike traditional entrepreneurship, the purpose of becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur is to improve your personal lifestyle and not necessarily gain a lot of profit. Lifestyle entrepreneurs aim to grow their business not because they define success as achieving business goals but because they know that being successful will help them gain more freedom, which then allows them to spend more time with their family or focus on their hobbies.
A typical example of a lifestyle entrepreneur is someone who travels the world, also known as a travel entrepreneur. Such person sets a limit on how much work they’re willing to do; they’re satisfied as long as it allows them to achieve their personal goals and they don’t necessarily strive for making their business successful. On the other hand, a traditional entrepreneur would happily do overtime and sacrifice their social life to make sure their business reaches its full potential. Since a lifestyle entrepreneur is someone passionate about what they do, financial success isn’t completely out of question, it’s just not the priority.
The Benefits and Disadvantages of Lifestyle Entrepreneurship
Being a lifestyle entrepreneur often leads to more freedom and fulfillment but to get there you have to put in a lot of work first. To consider if it’s the path for you, have a look at the benefits and disadvantages first.
Being a lifestyle entrepreneur is definitely rewarding as it gives you more flexibility. It also means:
1. Being more in control of your life
As a lifestyle entrepreneur, you no longer have to get up early to go to work and support someone else’s business. You get to choose when you work, when you take a break and how to utilize your skills.
2. More freedom
Whether it means the freedom to sleep in, having more time to spend with your loved ones or focusing on your hobbies, being an entrepreneur gives you a chance to make your life about what matters to you and not just your job. It even allows you to work from anywhere in the world and become a travel entrepreneur.
3. Personal growth
To be a lifestyle entrepreneur and succeed, you have to develop multiple skills such as problem-solving, time-management, planning, goal-setting, resilience and many more, which allows you to grow as a person. Additionally, as you have more free time, you can devote it to developing other unrelated skills such as learning a foreign language.
4. Effort-based salary
It’s human nature to be the most motivated by seeing positive results. When you run your own business, your salary reflects the effort you put in, which encourages you to keep improving.
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5. More excitement
While routine might feel safe, it gets boring after a while. When you are a lifestyle entrepreneur, no day is usually the same and you can expect new challenges and opportunities to arise all the time. This can make things exciting and a lot more fun than following the same schedule every day.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that being an entrepreneur is far from easy. You have to be strong-willed and ambitious to cope as it comes with:
When you’re in the process of establishing your business, you might have to do work whenever a client asks you to. This means that your work will become the priority at first, which is the opposite of what lifestyle entrepreneurs want. But the good news is that it’s just a transition period and once you’ve become more successful, you’ll be able to set a more regular schedule.
2. Lack of security
When you decide to become a lifestyle entrepreneur, you ultimately give up financial security. With no paycheck to keep you afloat at the end of each month, this kind of lifestyle can be extremely stressful. If you tend to become overwhelmed by stress, you should pay extra attention to this disadvantage; even when you grow your business, there will be financial ups and downs.
3. Extra responsibilities
When you’re an entrepreneur, you can’t just show up for work and expect to be told what to do. You’re the one who has to know what needs to be done, which also includes taking care of boring tasks such as filling in the paperwork. As a lifestyle entrepreneur, you’re classified as self-employed, which means you have to keep a track of your earnings among other things. Additionally, if you become a travel entrepreneur, you’ll have to research each country’s law to make sure it’s legal for you to work there.
4. More pressure
Leaving your current lifestyle to become an entrepreneur is a big risk that might fill you with excitement but also put you under a lot of pressure. Whether you succeed or not is now down to you and if you don’t make it happen, you might have no plan B to fall back on.
Signs That You Have the Potential to Be a Lifestyle Entrepreneur
Now you know that a lifestyle entrepreneur builds a business that supports their lifestyle, instead of building their life around a career. However, even though the idea of lifestyle entrepreneurship seems promising and living the life you want is the ultimate goal, not everyone is cut out for a more flexible work approach. Check out the signs below and see if you can relate to most of them:
1. There’s something you’re passionate about
Do you have a childhood hobby that developed into a passion over the years? Or perhaps a unique skill that you think is really useful? It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as doing it brings you joy and there’s a potential to turn it into a career.
2. You’re independent
Consider if you’d be able to handle growing a business with little to no guidance. You don’t need to be able to develop a business plan straight away but you have to know where to start. Evaluate your working style so far and ask yourself if you tend to rely on being told what to do or if you take matters into your own hands and work independently.
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3. You’re drained by your current work style
If there are some parts of your life that no longer make you happy, it’s a sign that it’s time to reflect. If you feel defeated every time you have to go to the office and yearn for something different, lifestyle entrepreneurship might be a career change worth considering.
4. You value freedom above all
Do you like being able to choose what to do with your life? If freedom is high on your core value list, you’re more likely to benefit from being a lifestyle entrepreneur; being stuck in an office and working for someone else won’t make you as happy as you could be.
5. You don’t like routine
If routine makes you feel unmotivated and lose interest in tasks you previously enjoyed, it might mean that you thrive in fast-paced, unpredictable environments.
6. You’re resilient
While luck can definitely help, it’s useless without resilience. Resilience allows you to overcome obstacles, which you’ll inevitably encounter on your way. Being a lifestyle entrepreneur might seem to be an easier approach than traditional entrepreneurship but it has its own challenges and you can’t expect success to happen overnight. The question is, can you keep at it even if it’s initially not working out?
7. You’re flexible
Growing a business isn’t a straightforward path and every entrepreneur has to be prepared to constantly adjust their approach. If you want to be a lifestyle entrepreneur, you have to adapt to a change quickly and focus on finding solutions instead of letting every setback put you down. People who have a flexible mindset see failure as a learning opportunity – if you’re focused on self-improvement, you’re halfway there.
How to Become a Lifestyle Entrepreneur
Now it’s time to move on to the good part; how to create the life you want by setting up a business?
First, you have to get to know your wants and needs.
Step 1: Picture your dream life
Get to know yourself by imagining what your perfect life would look like. Would you wake up at the same time in the morning or be able to choose when to start your day? Would you work from the same location or be able to move from place to place and become a travel entrepreneur? If you picture yourself having a flexible lifestyle with plenty of time to spend with your family, it’s a hint that lifestyle entrepreneurship is for you. Similarly, try to reverse this exercise and think of what you wouldn’t want your life to look like. Consider your dealbreakers; is it working late hours, waking up early or maybe having a desk job?
Step 2: Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses
Ask yourself what you’re good at; do you possess qualities that would make you a good entrepreneur? Is there any particular skill that you could turn into profit?
Knowing your strengths can be a great starting point but remember that being aware of your weaknesses is as important. When you come up with a new idea, it’s easy to become overly optimistic at first but the key to success is being realistic; could you handle running your own business? Revise the signs that you would make a good lifestyle entrepreneur listed above and consider if the description fits your personality, then compare your positive and negative traits. Just because you might not be the most independent person out there doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to learn how to do it but you have to be motivated and resilient to make it work.
Step 3: Consider if you could capitalize on your passion
Being a lifestyle entrepreneur is a lot of work, which is why you have to be passionate about something before you decide to capitalize on it. Is there anything you feel strongly about and would still pursue if money wasn’t an issue? Identifying your passion will help you choose the right business for you. For example, if you enjoy writing, there are plenty of routes to consider; scriptwriting, copywriting, creative writing and journalism.
Step 4: Research your idea
Next, you have to make sure that your idea can help you create the kind of life you want. Consider things such as income potential, competition and whether it would allow you to lead a more flexible lifestyle and work from anywhere you want.
Step 5: Develop a business plan
Make a list of your product/services, come up with a marketing plan and list anything else that can help you get your business started. For example, you should establish your presence online by setting up a website and social media accounts. It’s also important to remember to take care of any relevant paperwork that will allow you to run your business legally.
There isn’t one size fits all when it comes to becoming an entrepreneur but with enough wits and passion you’ll be able to succeed. Are you ready to live on your own terms?
Learn more about contributor, Joanna Cakala