Tell me what you would do if you worked hard to build your own business, lived your dream life, and then an old friend called you up offering you a… job?
Well, that actually happened to me. I’ll tell you what I did.
I’ll also share with you why I think having a lifestyle business is one of the best ways to have a truly happy life. Sounds fluffy, I know.
But I can back it up.
In fact, I’ll break down exactly how:
- a lifestyle business can help you make a bigger difference in the world
- creating a business is the fastest path to wealth and a lifestyle business is the fastest business model
- a lifestyle business puts you 100% in charge of your own income
- a lifestyle business addresses your happiness because it’s built with your values in mind
- a lifestyle business represents freedom
- a lifestyle business has so many key advantages over any other business model
- it does take a lot of work, but the payoff of a lifestyle business is real and arrives much faster than through traditional business models
Making a Bigger Difference in the World
There are some very definite advantages to a lifestyle business over a traditional business. I already mentioned some of them in the last chapter but I’m going to break down some of the choice benefits here.
But before I do that, let me share with you an interesting experience that I had with an old friend somewhat recently.
Let’s just call my friend ‘Mike’.
Mike and I have been friends for over a decade now and have kept tabs on each other via social media – we’ve both moved around a lot. Mike is actually a super gifted dude with an impressive background that includes working at both YouTube and Google. He saw that we were back in Southern California (this was in 2015 – see our timeline here) and wanted to chat.
“Welcome back to the United States!” Mike said as we hopped on the phone.
“Thanks man. It’s good to be back. We’re taking a little ‘American breather’ as we like to call it before heading out on the next adventure.”
After that, Mike asked me about my business and how everything was going. After some specific questions about what kind of work I do in my business, he then said, “how would you feel about doing online marketing for only one client? Like, my company?”
Honestly, I felt like this is why he was calling.
To be brief, he wanted me to come onboard and help out with the online marketing for his startup. He already had a few million in funding and was offering me a job – the kind where I commute and report to a boss and stuff. That kind of thing.
To be nice, I then said, “Well, it would have to be pretty interesting and the compensation would have to be pretty great.”
He said, “Just assume the compensation is there. Would you do it?”
I said, “Well, you have to understand where I’m coming from. I haven’t had a job in 6 years. I’ve lived in other countries. I have a lot of freedom. We’re actually getting ready for our next adventure. I wake up and do whatever I want. And you’re asking me to give all of that up.”
Once he saw that I was leaning towards a big no, he then started to question my values.
“How long are you going to do this man? Don’t you want to make a bigger difference in the world?”
I have to say that it was such an odd experience being questioned about what I think is a pretty fantastic lifestyle. It’s never happened. In fact, it’s always been the opposite.
We wrapped up the conversation by me saying I’d put the word out. He said, “I don’t need you to put the word out. Just promise me you’ll think about it.”
I said, “I can promise you I will definitely think about it.”
And that was it.
What’s super ironic is that just before I hopped on the phone with Mike, I had just gotten off the phone with a guy that I met at a business summit about a month prior.
I was sharing some pointers on how to create a lifestyle business. He thanked me profusely and told me it was life-changing info. So I went from that kind of phone call to one where I’m not only being offered a job but having my core values questioned.
As far as making a bigger difference in the world?
Well, I suppose I could clock in somewhere, run reports, and make my boss happy.
But honestly, I’d be lying to myself. It goes against who I am.
Heck, just look at my job record to see that. I’ve either been laid-off or quit every single job I’ve ever had. I did put in a two week notice at one of my jobs but they forced me to leave the day before my last official day. I got fired one time AFTER I had given my resignation.
I’m not kidding!
No, a job isn’t for me. And if you’re reading this, my guess is that it’s not for you either.
To answer my friend’s question about making a bigger difference in the world – well, if you read this book and make some positive changes in your life, isn’t that making a difference?
Based on my own set of values, helping you is way more motivating than doing online marketing for a startup.
In fact, one of my deep down core values is to share with others how they can make a real difference in the world while being able to live their dream lifestyle – all paid for with a business they created themselves.
It makes me happy. It makes others happy. It’s actually super cool.
Why would I want to do anything else?
And for the record, wanna know what happened to my friend’s business? It went out of business about a year later.
I would have sold out only to have been out of a job a year later.
Boy am I glad I have my values in place! More on that later…
A Lifestyle Business Solves a Need for a Profit
Let’s just take a step back for a moment and talk about making money and creating wealth. Creating a business that solves a real need is the fastest way I know of to make money.
If you go to the bookstore and look in the finance section, you can learn all about how to put just a little bit of money away every month and in 40 years become a millionaire.
Well, I’m just not that patient! And I have no guarantee that I’ll even be around long enough to enjoy it. I want to live the good life now! I don’t want to put it off.
The solution is just to go where the money is – business. Trade. Commerce. Whatever you want to call it.
It’s where people pay other people to solve a problem for them. It might be a service or a product. It doesn’t matter. There’s a problem. You see it. You solve it. You collect. Money. So easy! There’s nothing complicated about it!
I was talking to a buddy of mine who’s a genius when it comes to investing and works for a huge financial firm. I know he’s making sure his family will be taken care of and I know he’s smart in how he uses his money. But it was funny when I told him that when I want more money, I just sell more. It seemed like a new concept to him.
I can literally make myself more rich by getting out there and hustling. I don’t have to wait for a boss to like me enough to then give me a 4% raise. I don’t have to wait for the market to move in the right direction.
I’m 100% in charge of my own income.
A Lifestyle Business Solves the Need for Happiness
A lifestyle business is about happiness.
I’m telling you that this business helps you focus on happiness?
I know, I know. It’s sounds like hippie talk right? But it’s true.
In my next blog post, I’ll share with you how to identify your values and create a business based on those. But quickly, when you create a business based on your positive core values, you set yourself up for success right away.
Why? Because you’re focusing on things that make you happy. You can’t lose!
In other words, happiness IS the basis for this business. You may have a fulfilling job. You may even enjoy your work. But if it’s not your own business based on your own core values, you can never experience the level of satisfaction that’s completely available to you.
What It All Represents
Before I get into some of the really cool benefits of a lifestyle business, I wanted to share what it all represents. To sum it up in one word: freedom.
In 2015, when we’re living in Spain, I met a man named Monday. Monday is from Nigeria and moved to Spain for a better life for him and his family. As we got to talking, he told me his dream country to live in was Canada.
I said, “Canada! OK. Cool, cool. So are you making any plans to go there?”
He said, “Well, I’ll go if I can get a job”.
Later that day, my wife and I were talking about Monday and the conversation we had. I realized that what we had done was actually the exact opposite of Monday. Not only did we not rely on a job, we had taken income and the whole money thing into our own hands.
Then, we did whatever we wanted to do. At that time, it meant living in Spain.
As I already mentioned about million times, you never know what could happen at your job. You could be cruising along just fine and then, out of the blue, get laid-off or fired or the entire company could go down.
It’s just not very secure. Think you’re safe because you’re a C-level exec or partner? It doesn’t matter. If you’re an employee, your fate is not up to you.
By starting your own business, you’re taking matters into your own hands. You’re working hard towards to your own freedom. If you do it all right, then you’ll wake up one day and realize the entire day is yours to do whatever you want!
If you want to travel, you can do that. If you want to dedicate more time to your church or your community, you can do that. If you just want to play video games on a Tuesday morning, you can do that too!
Recently, I was watching Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank in the sister show, Beyond the Tank. He was speaking with a woman whose business he invested in.
She was discussing some trouble growing and he said, “What you just said tells me you’re going to be small forever. If you want to run a lifestyle business, go run a lifestyle business. Give me my money back and go run a lifestyle business.”
I literally laughed out loud when I heard him say it. With his tone, he was totally putting down the concept of a lifestyle business.
In his mind, it’s a business that’s small and insignificant.
Well sorry Robert, but not all of us care about the cars and ritzy lifestyle. More importantly, that’s the magic of a lifestyle business – it can be as big as you want it to be!
If you want the Lamborghinis and mansions, that’s totally up to you. We all have different values and things that make us happy.
To be clear, a value we all share is freedom.
For some, that means the ability to own fancy cars. For others, it means having millions in the bank. For others, it means traveling.
How we each manifest that freedom is different and I’m not here to judge what makes you happy.
I am here to tell you that the goal of freedom is a noble one and the fastest way I know of to achieve it is through a lifestyle business.
Some Choice Benefits to Running a Lifestyle Business
I already listed out some cool benefits to a lifestyle business over a more traditional business.
Right now, I want to dive a little deeper into these and really sell you on why I think this is a fantastic business model!
A LIFESTYLE BUSINESS IS THE MOST ACCESSIBLE WAY TO MAKE MONEY
The main vehicles to wealth include business, real estate, and stocks. Real estate and stock trading can be tricky to get started with for many people.
However, most people I know grew up mowing lawns, selling lemonade, or babysitting as a way to make money when they were kids. Most people don’t think anything of it but for that kid mowing lawns or selling lemonade, that was a business. There was an opportunity in the market and they capitalized on it.
With that in mind, starting a business is one of the most straightforward ways to create wealth in your life. Without the hassle of investors, loans, or tons of equipment needed, you’ll see how a lifestyle business is a fantastic starting point.
I’m not saying that your lifestyle business will be your end-all business or career.
It’s just a starting point. For many people, this is their first touch with their own business.
YOU CAN START QUICKLY
Starting a lifestyle business isn’t something that has to take a long time. In fact, I’m going to push you to take forward action and make it happen as you go along – it’s kind of the point of Family Rocketship!
When I started my business, it took all of about two days to set up a website and do all the paperwork I needed to. Within the first 30 days, I had my first 3 clients. You can get started literally in one day. Really!
IT’S THE PERFECT LAUNCHING POINT
For many people, the thought of creating an entire business from scratch seems daunting. Creating and running a lifestyle business is the perfect jump into entrepreneurship for most people.
Additionally, it allows for balance. Many entrepreneurs don’t understand balance because they go so hard building their business often for years and years. Once it’s built, they don’t know what to do.
A lifestyle business allows for balance because you’re going to be focusing on your values all along the way (time with family, exploring talents, etc).
Now, I were with you personally, I would push you to go hard for 60 days. So it might be a bit unbalanced at the beginning. But that’s a far cry from going for 5 years without a paycheck in the hopes of selling out to Google!
LOW OVERHEAD WITH HIGH PROFIT MARGIN
With many lifestyle businesses, your actual costs are pretty low. In some cases, the only cost is the monthly bill from your internet service provider! If you decide on a service-based business, then it really boils down to your time.
For example, I run an online marketing agency. Besides my staff, my costs are under $100 a month. Because everyone is virtual, I don’t have to pay for an office and everything that goes along with that.
Also, my profit margins are high. My prices are loosely based on what’s happening in the market but mostly what my clients consider fair.
YOU CAN BOOTSTRAP THE ENTIRE BUSINESS
In many cases, you don’t need any startup capital. That means no bank loans, no investors, and no taking money from your Granny. That’s a good thing!
In many cases, when people get a large sum of money to start their business, they get sloppy.
With a mean, lean lifestyle business, if you do make any investments, you’ll be sure they’re absolutely necessary to grow the business. You’ll always think in terms of R.O.I. (return on investment).
This means you won’t be buying t-shirts and stickers for your business as “marketing materials” unless they’re absolutely relevant to your sales… which they probably aren’t.
As you grow the business, you may or may not need to make purchases of equipment or staff or whatever. The big advantage is that you can do that all from your own cash flow. And, because you’re not investing millions of your family’s hard-earned money, there’s…
VERY LITTLE RISK OR DOWNSIDE
Unlike some traditional businesses that require large sums of money or loads of equipment to get started, a lifestyle business can get started in your garage or with your laptop. In the worst case scenario, if for some reason your business tanks horribly, you’ve really only lost some time.
This one is actually pretty big. One of the main reasons people don’t start their own business is because they’re afraid of losing everything. That’s understandable if you’re taking out a second mortgage to finance your new HVAC company but that’s not the case here!
In most cases, there’s very little risk involved. As more people learn about this business model, we’re seeing a lot more people jumping into the world of entrepreneurship.
YOU CAN RUN IT ON AUTOPILOT
Once you establish some groundwork, you should be able to remove yourself from the day-to-day of the business. The success of your business will depend on your ability to first sell, then to create systems and a team.
If you set everything up correctly, you can drastically reduce your personal involvement – if you want to that is. For many people, their business is fun and they want to be involved.
You don’t really ever have to sell it (and take a huge capital gains hit) or ever have to retire. You can streamline the thing so that you only work an hour a month on it or not at all. In fact, when you get a good team to do the actual work for you, your involvement is basically whatever you want it to be.
IT’S INFINITELY SCALABLE
Depending on the structure and nature of the lifestyle business, it can be infinitely scalable. If you set it up correctly, it won’t matter if you have 1 or 1,000 clients or customers, the work is the same. In fact, how big your business becomes is really up to you.
For some people, just having an extra $50K a year is more than enough.
For others, they want to make $50K a month. It all goes back to your own personal why for starting the business and your values.
This is your business. It can be as big or as small as you want it to be as it lines up with your lifestyle and values.
But Don’t I Have to Work 40+ Hours a Week?
With the above benefits, a few people have asked me about the validity of this kind of business.
It seems too good to be true.
Well, it’s true! I’m living it. I know a lot of other people living it. This kind of business, and the resulting freedom, is totally possible and totally available to anyone. I’ve gotten emails that looked exactly like this:
“But Sean, I just don’t think this kind of thing is possible. I mean, you can’t just do it. You have to work hard and you need to work at least 40 hours a week to provide for your family.”
Yeah, sure, if you want to. I’m not saying that starting your own business is going to be easy.
There are a lot of benefits to starting your own business but I would never list “easy” as one of them.
Just like anything that’s worth it, starting your own business is going to take a lot of work. You may actually spend the first little while working more than 40 hours a week!
I just want to make it super clear that the payoff is huge. You can work hard at a factory or a cubicle and wake up 40 years later and your life will be relatively the same.
Or, you can work hard for yourself and wake up just 2 years later (or even less) and realize you’re living your dream life.
Most people didn’t see the hard work that I put in at the start of our business. I literally went out and hustled in the morning and then came home and did all of the work myself at night. It wasn’t until later that I started leveraging a system and a team.
However, literally after two years of starting the business, I took my family to go live on a tropical island.
I’m trying to give you all of the shortcuts so that you can literally make it happen in 60 days. I’m not saying you’ll be making $50K a month in 60 days. You will however, have a fully viable business that’s starting to generate real income. From there, you’ll just need to scale.
Not too long ago, I got the following email:
My main question is, will it work? I’m currently a service member in the U.S. Army, and I am exhausted by the norm of it all. In two years I’ll receive my honorable discharge, and the thought of me sitting at some office, or going to college for a couple of years for a chance at a good job frightens me.
I need something like this, a lifestyle business. My wife and I would benefit from this immensely, and it could give us time to see the world, and focus on one another.
So again Sean, will it work? What kind of quality of life should I expect?
This was my response:
I can certainly understand where you’re coming from. To answer your question, well, a lot depends on you. I know from personal experience that it works. I created a lifestyle business myself and my quality of life has never been better.
If it works for you depends on a few things: your ability to create a business that sells something people really want/need, your ability to hustle, your ability to scale it, and what goals you and your wife put into place, and then executing on those goals.
It’s all up to you! That said, we’ve never lived in a better time to build a business and have your dream lifestyle.
I hope you can see how a lifestyle business is a really fantastic way to create some extra cash or even become a full-time income for you and your family.
In fact, as we move towards an increasingly 1099 economy, it’s one of the safest, most profitable ways to leave the job behind and jump into business ownership.
It’s actually hard for me to understand why more people wouldn’t want to do this! I mean, most people I know are hard workers.
Why not work hard towards your dream life instead of just working hard to live an average life? It will take work.
This includes working both smart and hard. To do this effectively, there are some mental concepts that we need to have in place before we begin. I’ll talk about that soon.
For now, recognize that if you’re looking for more happiness (and money and a cool lifestyle), starting a lifestyle business could be just what you’re looking for.
This is part of an ongoing series of posts all pulled from the book: The 60-Day Entrepreneur – Create Your Own Lifestyle Business, Scale Your Income, & Live Life on Your Terms