The term ‘lifestyle entrepreneur’ is one that you hear bandied around a lot in the current digital age and it’s probably one that you will have encountered on your travels around the web. Generally it tends to conjure images of sitting on a beach somewhere sunny while sipping cocktails and tapping away on a computer. These are the sun-worshipping, digital nomads that we’re all secretly envious of, but often too afraid to try and emulate.
But that’s not actually what the term lifestyle entrepreneur means. Simply, the title really only describes someone who chooses to become an entrepreneur for the lifestyle rather than necessarily any financial reward. Often this means sitting on a beach and sipping cocktails – because apparently that’s what people want to do (though it doesn’t have to mean that – that’s what we’ll be addressing later…).
How to Become a Lifestyle Entrepreneur
Regardless of how you choose to use your new freedom, becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur has a number of requirements. Here are some actionable steps that will show you how to go from working 9-5, to gaining the kind of freedom that you previously thought impossible:
- First of all, choose what kind of entrepreneur you want to be. What are your interests and hobbies, and more importantly – your skills. By playing to your strengths and choosing a type of work that interests you, you’ll find it’s easier to get ahead and to stay motivated when you have to put in a lot of work. Being a lifestyle entrepreneur doesn’t have to mean working online, but that is one of the easiest ways to start out as it means you’ll be freer to work when and how you choose. Popular choices for business models include selling an eBook, running a website and making money through advertising, selling apps and software, providing a service such as writing or web design, doing SEO and web marketing, or acting as a reseller of services by hiring white label services.
- If you current work a normal job then you don’t need to give up on that right away. Instead, put in some hours around your other commitments and start building up your business that way – once you’re earning a steady flow of income you can then think about reducing or quitting your other work. Note that you will be very busy at first and that you will work very hard for the first few months to a year. It’s putting in the work now and setting up your passive income that will buy you the freedom later though. There’s light at the end of the tunnel!
- Now you need to start automating your business so that you can expand and scale while reducing your own work load. You can automate your business through the use of software, outsourcing, marketing and more. Build systems and identify the repetitive work that you could easily replace.
- Finally, start designing the lifestyle you want. Being a successful lifestyle entrepreneur means being able to comfortable live the life you choose – and part of that is finding ways to spend less and to work in different ways. Often you will find that more freedom is gained by learning to spend less, than by working out how to earn more. Of course this is when you also need to take a long hard look at yourself though and ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want. Do you want to travel? Do you want to work from home? Do you want to go to lots of business meetings? Or would you like more time to spend with your family? Sometimes it can be almost scary regaining this kind of freedom as you won’t right away know what to do with it. Being a digital nomad is just one option – it’s not for everyone.
The Problems With Being a Digital Nomad
The problem is that not everyone wants to commit to the whole idea of being a digital nomad. Sure it sounds fun – travelling from country to country with nothing but your clothes and a laptop, working on beaches and then partying during the evenings – but it’s certainly not for everyone.
You see the reality of digital nomadry (nomadness…?), is actually a rather harsh one. Sure, you get to see the world and escape the office – but do you really want to give up having a warm bed to sleep in? Do you really want to say goodbye to any kind of financial security? And are you really happy to live away from your friends and family for years on end?
Thus I am here to propose an alternative. As being a lifestyle entrepreneur means designing any lifestyle that you enjoy, you don’t necessarily have to make these compromises at all.
I personally would describe myself as a lifestyle entrepreneur. I’m not immensely rich, but I have the lifestyle I want, and I got there by choosing to become an entrepreneur. So what does a day in the life of me look like?
Day in the Life of a Unique Lifestyle Entrepreneur…
Well I live at home with my girlfriend who works a normal job. So when she wakes up at about 6am, I stay in bed an extra hour before joining her in the livingroom to watch ‘BBC Morning’ (I’m a Brit you see…). She then heads out to work at about 8, at which point I… kick back and relax. Sometimes I’ll read a book, sometimes I’ll play a game… but generally I make sure I have some ‘me time’ to just chill.
After an hour or so I will then go and wash up while watching YouTube. Now that may sound odd, but it makes a huge difference to my life and my general happiness. Ever felt depressed because tidying is getting on top of you? I never feel like that and it’s good for our relationship too.
Next I hit the gym for an hour. I’m an avid bodybuilder, and it’s only thanks to being an entrepreneur that I have time for this particularly intense hobby. I have access to a very nice gym complex that’s just across the road, so once I’m done I’ll have a nice, long hot shower and then a sit in the steam room.
It’s only now – at about 11am that I start work. To do that, I will grab my laptop and then choose a random place in London to visit. I’ll then work on the tube, and once I get to the destination, I’ll work in a park or a local coffee shop. Sometimes I’ll meet a friend who works in the city on their lunch break, but always I focus for about 6 hours of work to get back at the same time as my girlfriend. During this time I write articles which I sell, and develop some commercial apps. The writing is creative, while the apps are challenging and bring me great personal satisfaction.
Once home I then chill like anyone else until about 11pm before bed. But there are other perks too. You see often I’ll hop on a coach for about £10 and head to another country in Europe to spend a day or weekend working there (often with my entrepreneur friends). Sometimes I’ll go into work with my girlfriend for moral support, or I’ll head back to my childhood home in Bournemouth to visit old friends. I have all the freedom of a ‘digital nomad’, except I also have a home, and a routine and a personal life. And I can have a warm cup of English tea whenever I like…
Designing Your Own Lifestyle
But this is just how I chose to live my life. My routine might sound like a living hell to you which is fine – in fact it’s kind of the whole point. What matters is that I chose my lifestyle to suit me – and if you’re an entrepreneur then you can too. And it doesn’t have to mean living on the beach…
So take a look at yourself and ask yourself what would really make life better. Don’t be pressured by your responsibilities and commitments (we too often choose to use them as excuses), but likewise don’t feel pressured into ‘living life’ when you’d really rather spend your time at home with a good book. Be honest with yourself, and don’t be afraid to change your mind or to experiment a little until you find just the right balance – you might be surprised with what really makes you happy and there’s nothing wrong with taking a while to get it right. Becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur means accepting full responsibility for your own life, career and ultimately happiness. Are you up to the task?
The author of this post, Gregory Fisher, started Berkeley Sourcing Group eight years ago after realizing the need for efficient processes and coordination between manufacturing firms located in the United States and factories in China. He has a strong manufacturing and engineering background, and is proficient in Mandarin.
Image Credit: www.topwallpaperphoto.com