At no other time in our history has our world been as ready for lifestyle businesses as it is right now. In fact, you could say it’s a perfect storm.
Corporations no longer provide a major benefit to their employees. Pensions are disappearing. Benefits like health insurance are diminishing. Yet risk is moving sky high – will your job really be there in a few years?
Employee pay is down. Internships consistently offer college kids an opportunity … as long as they are willing to work for free. When you move into a paying position, pay is kept low. And why not? With hundreds willing to take your position for less money, why not get the highest quality person for the lowest pay possible. And when you’ve worked your way up to a level of authority, and some might dare say security, layoffs occur at a rampant rate.
Overworking is now a part of our lives, especially if you’re an American. We’re one of the only industrialized nations that doesn’t have a maximum length of workweek. There are no requirements for number of paid sick days per year. We have no legally mandated annual leave requirements. And paid parental leave? We’re the only country without it.
On the more positive side of things, we live in an equal playing field environment, thanks to all the Internet brings to our lives.
A small business can create a website, create content, share on social sites, build up a HUGE following in exactly the same way as a large corporation. And in some cases even better because they don’t have to move through the red tape like a large corporation has to do.
You can market a business for pennies on the dollar. Advertise on Google, Facebook and more – the top sites on the Internet – for as little as a few dollars a day.
We all have equal access to the Internet – pay your monthly service fee and you can surf, post and connect with virtually anyone around the world with a click of your mouse.
Add it all up, and it’s the perfect opportunity for taking your big idea to whatever level you choose.
Where Your Big Idea Comes From
I was talking with a woman this past week who told me she has no idea what she wants to do next in her life. Her kids are in college, so she’s at the next phase of her life. Her job is becoming more demanding all the time. She sees it as something that pays the bills for now, not something she wants in her life long term. Yet she doesn’t know what’s next. Volunteer work? Charity work? Another job? Building a business?
How do you choose when you’ve been living on autopilot for so long? And I understand her pain. Running after kids and doing your job in the process often means long hours just to keep everything afloat. You never really have the time to ask what’s next in your life.
And so she finds herself at this new phase with new questions. And she’s not alone when she says she’s not passionate about anything enough to see that as her “next” in life.
So the question becomes, now what?
There’s a common misnomer in the world that some people “find” their passion as if it was lost. They walk down the street and suddenly, there it is! Or it suddenly falls from the sky, knocks them on the head, and wakes them up to what they really should be doing in this lifetime.
Nope. Instead a big idea simply comes from something you find yourself doing, researching and enjoying. You do it enough, share it with those around you, and at one point you say to yourself “hey, I could turn this into a business model if I truly wanted to”.
I attended a book talk this past week featuring two men who fit this description perfectly.
Joshua and Ryan from The Minimalists spoke about how they “fell” into minimalism. Both worked the corporate jobs, dozens of hours of overtime each week, bought the big houses and all the “stuff” that is required to go along with it, had failed marriages … and neither was remotely happy with their lives.
Then something changed. Joshua began his journey into simplification and minimalism. He began reducing his attachment to “stuff”, and focusing in on what was truly important to him. After a few months time, his friend Ryan began noticing the changes. And like any good friend would do, he took him out to lunch to find out what was happening. Together they developed a crash course to help Ryan embrace the minimalist movement. And soon after did what anyone in that situation would do. They started a blog about it.
The blog became a business. They found success with it. And it’s helped them develop a lifestyle that others aspire for.
They didn’t set out to create a popular business around minimalism. Minimalism didn’t hit them over the head and say “pick me”. Yet they developed it because of how it impacted them in a personal way.
That is how Big Ideas usually are formed.
Moving It To The Internet
This leads me back to the biggest opportunity available right now. The lifestyle business.
Lifestyle businesses are typically built around an online business because of ease.
- Its easy to create
- Its easy to operate
- Its easy to do what you want to do
And the earning potential is unlimited.
But lifestyle businesses aren’t usually created to make a billion dollars. They are created with the concept of making a business that sustains your lifestyle. That allows you to be present, happy, enjoying a full life, whatever that means to you.
- If you want to travel, it will give you the income and the freedom to travel.
- If you want to spend more time with family, you can build your working and playing hours any way you chose.
- If you have a message to share, you can do it through all of the tools available to you online, either for free or in a very inexpensive way.
Today we all have messages. We all have things we enjoy. We all have things we would want to pursue if given the opportunity.
That’s where a lifestyle business comes in to play.
A lifestyle business looks differently to every lifestyle business owner. In most cases though, it starts with something in their life that moves to the forefront of his or her consciousness.
- Its something you know a lot about.
- You have the desire to learn even more about it.
- And you have people around you wanting to know what you know too.
It sounds difficult, but in reality this should be easy for everyone.
- What do you like to do?
- What are you good at?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What have you always wanted to learn more about?
- What do people come to you for? What do you enjoy sharing with others?
With 7 billion people out there, there are many that would enjoy hearing what you have to say. They would happily pay you to hear about your experiences, knowing they could shorten their own learning curve in the process.
That’s what you design an online presence around. That’s how your lifestyle business begins.
Lifestyle business equates to having a presence online. And typically you sell information in some format or another.
- Membership sites
- Video training
You produce it. You share it. You do it on your own time.
Much like I did when I decided to share my knowledge about building a six figure photography studio.
I started my photography coaching site as a way of sharing my knowledge and experiences with other photographers. I loved what I did and wanted to give back to the community I was a part of for so many years. And lets face it; most photographers love to take pictures, but they suck at the business side of things. My site provided a wealth of information to help them through that process.
So I built the site. I added content to it year after year. I created all kinds of products – coaching programs, books, training products, teleclasses, and more. I learned all I could and shared even more.
And I did well with it. But like everyone, my life changed and morphed along the way until one day, photography didn’t “do it” for me anymore.
Because I had spent so much time with it, I had value in what I had built. Rather than letting it go, fading into the sunset, I realized that someone out there may have the same passion I did all those years ago. So I put the feelers out and found someone ready to buy it for a healthy profit. They can add more ideas for building a photography business. They can provide guides and samples and even more concepts around growing a photography business. And I support them and wish them well.
So now I’ve come full circle, and am building sites once again around what I love to do right now, as of today.
In effect, I’ve created a lifestyle business that allows me to share my ideas and my knowledge with the world, whatever that happens to mean for me right now in the present. Yes it can change. But I have the skills to know I can build this type of business over and over again, whenever and wherever I choose.
Once you have the skills of a lifestyle business owner, you’ll know you no longer have to rely on our old world thinking in order to maintain your lifestyle. You can choose whatever lifestyle works best for you, doing what you want to do right now.