What is a lifestyle business? What does it look like? How can you start one? These are the questions I answer in this article in an effort to inspire you to break free from the 9-5 job that’s holding you back from living the life you want.
The new wave of lifestyle entrepreneurs want more time away from their desk, a flexible schedule, the ability to combine their skills and passions into their business, and the freedom to be their own boss and chase their dreams.
What Is A Lifestyle Business?
A lifestyle business is one that offers a sustainable income and the freedom to create a life you want. A few components of a lifestyle business include passive income, location independence, time freedom, and the ability to sustain a life you love!
I found a thoughtful definition of a lifestyle business from Jo at Your Lifestyle Business:
“A lifestyle business is an opportunity for you to turn your passion into profit. To build a location independent business, doing something that you love to do, when you want to do it and from anywhere in the world, whether that be your kitchen table or a beach in Fiji.”
That pretty much sums it up. Simply put, it is a business that affords you the lifestyle you want, whether that’s sitting on a beach or spending more time with your kids. Let’s take a look at a few of the many benefits of a lifestyle business.
Benefits of A Lifestyle Business
For those of you looking to start a lifestyle business, let’s talk about the many benefits afforded to this new wave of lifestyle entrepreneurs, and then we’ll cover the various business ideas we recommend you consider when starting your own small business.
The first benefit of building a lifestyle business is that you get to set a schedule tailored to your needs. This allows you to focus on other areas of your life when you need to, while picking and choosing the most optimal times to work on your small business in an effort to be more productive and efficient.
My favorite aspect of a lifestyle business. Whether you start a profitable blog or create a streamlined affiliate marketing business, as a lifestyle entrepreneur you’re able to live wherever you like. Starting a lifestyle business give you the option to travel while still building your business and growing your income!
This might mean monthly stays in AirBnb rentals or moving to an online entrepreneur hub like Bali. So often do people feel stagnant and tied to one city when the world has so much to offer! Once you’re able to establish your online presence reach a particular level of income, you’re free to live the life you want.
Become More Adaptable
Building off of my last point, making the commitment to build a lifestyle business forces you to think and act like an entrepreneur, which means you’ll be forced adapt and resolve certain issues as they arise. This constant effort to be better and improve your small business will translate to your personal life as well.
As you become more adaptable, you’ll get a better sense of what is most important. Now that your lifestyle business provides you this freedom, you’ll be able to respond accordingly. Internet entrepreneurs in particular are known for being adaptable as the online landscape is ever changing.
Build Lifelong Relationships
Increased freedom to follow your passion and pursue your dreams means you’ll have a chance to be around and interact with more people that share similar passions and values. Being around like-minded people is inspiring and boosts your mood, which translates to increased happiness and greater productivity.
This all goes back to the point of creating a life you want and love. You want to create your small business, but also redefine your identity as a lifestyle entrepreneur which will give you the opportunity to spend time with and learn from other successful lifestyle business owners that share many of the same values.
Travel The World
Again, a lifestyle business is location independent. This means you can operate your business from anywhere in the world with a laptop and internet connection.
Of course, we don’t necessarily want to be working while we are traveling and exploring new places! Well, a key component of a lifestyle business is to create passive income. This might take you a year or two to really build your passive income machine, but it also allows you the opportunity to take a 4-6 week sabbatical and really discover what the world has to offer!
For you travel junkies out there, we know that starting a lifestyle business is for you! I’ll go through the list of most profitable business ideas here shortly, but for those of you that want to live life on the go, take the leap and get started!
Control Your Circle
How many times have you found yourself driving to work thinking about that awful coworker or boss that you have no interest in seeing or talking to? A benefit of running your own business is the control it provides.
You now dictate every aspect of your life, to include when you work, who you work with, what clients you choose to work for, so on and so forth. This sense of control can feel like you’re taking back your life!
Maximize Your Income
Your income will depend on you, and you alone! This can be scary at first, because you’ll be starting from zero in all likelihood, which means no income. My advice is to build your lifestyle business on the side of your full time job until you replace at least 75% of the income it provides.
From there, there is no limit on your income! You are free to continue building your business however you’d like, whether that means achieving a comfortable $30,000 a month or building out a team to help you achieve multiple six figures a month. Again, you’re in control!
Create A Life You Love
Finally, this last point cannot be overlooked. The goal with any lifestyle business is to create a life you love. This will be different for each of us as we all have different desires and life paths.
Creating your own business based on the brand of you gives you the freedom to influence and control every aspect of your life. Depending on what you want that day, or that hour, or that minute, you now have the power to act on that desire.
Some of us will want to sleep in and stay up late, others will hit a 6AM workout then work a 12 hour day, maybe some of us want to play video games or spend more time with our family. This is the freedom and joy a lifestyle business provides!
Define The Lifestyle You Want
So now that you know the benefits of a lifestyle business, let’s consider certain aspects of how you want to set up your life, which will dictate how you set up and run your business.
First and foremost, you need to decide how much money you want to make. This should be figured on a monthly basis, considering the business models we recommend are based on achieving recurring monthly income.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all income goal here, as everyone’s situation is different. For instance, a solo entrepreneur living in Bali can sustain a pretty luxurious lifestyle on $4,000 a month, whereas a single mother of 3 living in San Francisco might target closer to $10,000 or $20,000 per month.
So while this goal will be different for each of us, it is super important to establish this baseline as we all have to cover basic human needs like housing, food, etc. From there, you can leave your corporate job and focus on building your own business to achieve a much higher desired income level.
Next, you need to be clear about why you’re starting your business. I have a philosophy when it comes to values that I’ve learned from successful business owners and investors like Warren Buffet, Mark Cuban & Shaq. They all seem to say the same thing, which is that the most successful businesses are the ones that help the most people.
When I started Pursuit of Passive Income, I set out to help as many people as possible, and strive to help more and more people each day. My thought process is that if you can help enough people, the money will follow.
So when you consider what values are most important to your business, make sure to think about how you’re going to help others before thinking about how you’re going to help yourself.
You need to come up with a happy medium when it comes to deciding how much time you want to spend on your business. Of course, starting a business is extremely tough, so it’s likely you will need to spend more time on it up front, but once you’ve figured out the key aspects of your business, it’s time to consider trading your money for time.
The employee is your classic example of trading time for money. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we want to do the opposite and build out a team to help our business succeed and grow. As you continue to hire great people to take over tasks that don’t necessarily need your attention, you can start to take your hands off the reins and step back from the day to day operations of your business.
The ability to delegate is typically very unnatural. We as entrepreneurs are wired to believe that we can do everything in our business better than anyone else. While this may be true, that doesn’t mean every task must be completed to perfection. A lot of the time, it’s more important to complete 5 tasks to 80% perfection than 1 task completely perfect.
Take a step back, hire good people you can trust, give them proper training and do everything you can to help them succeed. Not only with this give you more time to do what you love and care about, but a lot of times you’ll find that people are better at certain things than you could ever dream of being.
Other Factors To Consider
Finally, there are plenty of other factors to consider when mapping out your desired lifestyle. Here are a few quick items to consider:
- Location: Where do you want to live? Is your goal to have a mansion on the beach in California or in a van with no expenses other than food, gas & insurance?
- Up Front Investment: We will get into the business models we recommend shortly, but what costs will your new business incur? You will want to plan in order to cover the necessary business expenses related to software, marketing, equipment, etc.
- Risk Tolerance: Where are you as far as risk tolerance? This goes back to whether you have dependents (kids, spouse, parents, etc.) or are on your own. Either way, you must evaluate a comfortable level of risk. Don’t bank on instant success. Entrepreneurship is about failure. Check out my story to see how many times I failed!
- Time Horizon: I cover this a lot when working with aspiring business owners. There is so much nonsense out there now promising the dream of becoming an overnight millionaire. A sustainable business takes time to create. At a bare minimum, give yourself a year to commit to your new business venture. If it’s really not working after a year, maybe it is time to consider shutting it down and move on to your next idea. But real businesses are not created overnight!
Now that you’ve set up your expectations and created a picture of what you want your future life to look like, let’s talk about how to get there.
The 3 Most Profitable Lifestyle Business Models
Let’s face it. We need to achieve a certain level of income to sustain our ideal lifestyle in today’s world. I’ll agree the money doesn’t buy happiness, but we all have certain human needs to survive, and most of the time our passions and dreams have a certain level of costs associated with them.
I love to fish and play golf, both of which are expensive hobbies. I need to make money to sustain these hobbies, which is why I started a profitable blog, my favorite lifestyle business model. Included below is the full list of profitable lifestyle business models to consider starting today:
Start A Profitable Blog
First on the list of lifestyle business models is to launch a blog, and for good reason. While a blog takes a good amount of time and effort upfront, it can provide massive results and eventually become a completely passive source of income.
Here are the 5 steps to starting a profitable blog:
- Set Up Your Blog
- Choose Your Blog’s Niche
- Install WordPress & Choose A Theme
- Create Great Content For Your Blog
- Promote Your Blog
Once you’ve set up your blog, written some great content and acquired traffic by ranking for keywords on Google, you have a sustainable business. The next step is to build out your team of writers, content managers, social media creators, partnership managers, and more so that you can put your business on autopilot. It is fairly easy to step away from your blog and let your team run it for you which is one reason it is #1 on our list!
How Blogs Make Money
A blog acts as a mediator between brands and consumers. People trust third-party blogs to provide helpful information and commentary on certain products and services they are interested in. Therefore, blogs have a major impact on purchase decisions, which provides leverage.
So how does a blog make money?
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting a brand’s products or services in exchange for a commission in the event a purchase is made by way of the blog’s referral link.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you’re in the market to purchase a new TV. You might search something like “Smart TV” on Google, and what do you see in the search results? A list of blogs providing information and reviews of the latest Smart TVs on the market. You click on the title that resonates with you the most and read through the features, benefits, ratings and pricing guidance provided by that site.
Let’s say you’ve stumbled across a blog called Tom’s Guide. Once you’ve consumed the information and feel like you can make an informed purchase decision and buy the TV you want, you click the Buy Now button which takes you to Best Buy, LG, Samsung or another consumer electronics site.
Well, when you clicked the Buy Now button, that link tracked you as coming from Tom’s Guide, and when you make a purchase through the Best Buy website, Tom’s Guide makes a commission on that sale, generally in the 15-25% range for consumer electronics.
A 25% commission on a $3,500 TV equates to $875 to Tom’s Guide!
A blogging tool called Ahrefs tells us there are 166,000 monthly searches for “Smart TV” on Google in the United States alone. Let’s assume you write an article on your blog that ranks on the front page of Google for the keyword Smart TV, and 15% of the people searching for that term end up visiting your blog.
Of the 24,900 visitors to your Smart TV article, we’ll use an industry average conversion rate of 3% make a purchase of your top-rated Smart TV for $3,500 from Best Buy.
Your blog makes $875 per purchase on 747 total purchases for a grand total of $653,625. Did I mention these are monthly searches, so as long as your article is ranking on the front page of Google you’ll be making this kind of money month after month?
Of course, for a keyword like Smart TV with this kind of earning potential, there is a tremendous amount of competition. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to write articles targeting a keyword with less competition, but this is how blogs are generating revenue from affiliate marketing!
We will cover selling online courses as a top lifestyle business model later in this article, but many bloggers use their website to promote and sell an online course. For instance, let’s say you run a photography blog. Create an online course teaching people how to take stunning photos and offer it to your readers.
People are always trying to learn new things and increase their skill set, and are willing to pay for it. Consider how much a college education costs, and the fact that the global online learning market is expected to reach a value of $375 Billion in 2026. There is plenty of money to be made if you choose to go this route.
We’ve all visited a website or blog and seen the ads that line the page either at the top, along the sidebar, or within the article we’re reading. Of course, the advertiser is paying for these placements.
While we don’t recommend filling your blog with advertisements at the start, once you reach a traffic volume of 20,000 monthly visits you become eligible to join an ad network like Mediavine, which can bring in tens of thousands of dollars a month in ad revenue. Oh, and it’s completely passive!
Books & eBooks
I see this a lot as well on blogs. I personally haven’t tried this, but take Tim Ferriss as an example. He sells his New York Times Best-Seller The 4-Hour Workweek through his blog. Share your experience, thoughts and other lessons in the form of a book or ebook and promote it to your blog’s audience.
Coaching & Consulting
Plenty of bloggers offer coaching and consulting through their blog. Coaching checks a lot of the same boxes as creating an online course, with people willing to pay up for help learning or improving certain skills.
Consulting is how most new bloggers monetize their blog initially. If you’re running a blog, you possess a certain skill set that is in-demand and can be sold to almost any business. Depending on the size and nature of your clients, there are plenty of consulting gigs that pay well over $10,000 per month on a recurring basis.
If you’ve built up a large following and showcase your knowledge and skills on your blog, it’s not uncommon to be asked to speak. Conferences and Summits need to fill their speaker slots and are always looking for guest speakers that can provide a good experience for their attendees.
Of course, public speaking isn’t for everyone but depending on the size of the conference, the pay day can be worth it, plus the chances are you’ll have the opportunity to visit a cool destination with all expenses paid.
Similar to consulting, bloggers are keen to sell their services on an as needed basis to businesses and other bloggers. Whether it’s help with Search Engine Optimization, link building, writing, website design or social media marketing, these are all skills and services that are in-demand among businesses both on a local and global scale.
Next Steps: Start A Profitable Blog
Now that you know how blogs make money and why we recommend starting a blog as our #1 lifestyle business model, let’s talk about next steps.
From there, you should be equipped with some general knowledge about what it takes to create a successful blogging business. All that’s left is the desire to create a sustainable business that allows you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of!
2. Create & Sell An Online Course
We talked briefly about people selling online courses through their blog, and how the global online learning market is expected to reach a $375 Billion valuation by 2026, but you don’t necessarily need a blog to capitalize on this opportunity.
There are many advanced online course platforms available such as Teachable and Kajabi that make hosting and selling your online course earlier than ever. So if you have a skill set or achievement that is marketable, package it up into an online course and sell it to people in your niche!
If you’re serious about getting started selling an online course, I highly recommend Parker Walbeck’s Course Creator Pro, which gives you everything you need to get started from a course creator that makes over $1 Million per month with his online course business.
We love the online course business model because it provides massive income potential and is completely location independent. Plus, once you’ve created the course, set up the infrastructure, and built a profitable sales funnel, there isn’t much to do other than reap the rewards and update the course here and there.
3. Consulting Services
Finally, consulting is a business model that has been around forever. There will always be companies, both big and small, with a need for certain specialized services. While those services may change over time, companies are always looking for ways to increase their revenue and remain on the cutting edge.
While consultants used to have to travel to the various headquarters of their clients, the internet now makes it simple and easy to provide consulting services from anywhere in the world, a trend that has only accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you’re interested in starting your own consulting business, here are a few ideas to consider.
Social Media Marketing Agency
A Social Media Marketing Agency (otherwise known as SMMA) is a great option for those looking to enter the world of consulting. Social media is always changing and ever growing, with new tips, tricks, techniques, and even platforms becoming available.
As a SMMA owner you have the ability to offer many service lines across the platforms of your choosing, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more. Here are some to consider:
Social Media Account Manager
Social Media Paid Ads
Search Engine Optimization
Every company wants to improve their search rankings and increase their presence online. Improved SEO can drastically increase traffic for companies which in turn boost their revenue! If you have knowledge and experience in this field, it’s a service that not many high level executives understand and are happy to outsource to a qualified consultant.
Almost all businesses have a website, and there are a limited number of people with knowledge on how to set up and optimize a clean site. If you have experience with web design, find a list of all the local businesses in your area and check out their website. If it needs improvement, offer to help!
Digital Marketing services are in high demand as well. Think email marketing campaigns, creating digital flyers, designing infographics, and more. This helps with SEO and allows businesses to grow their sphere of influence. A company will be more than happy to hire you if you can bring them more clients and customers.
For those of you ready to regain control of your life and create a business to afford you and your family a dream lifestyle, the best thing you can do is to JUST START! So often, it is the hardest thing to do, but we all have to start somewhere.
Of course, we would love to have you join our free Beginner Blogger course for those of you that see the potential in creating a blogging business. We teach you how to run your blog like a business in the 2020s and beyond, rather than follow the traditional advice that tells you to write about your hobbies.
A blog in today’s environment isn’t about you, it’s about creating a real business geared towards helping others make wise purchase decisions. After all, there has to be a purchase involved for your blog to make any money.
So make sure to check out our free course, and feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, successes, failures, stories and more!