People sitting in chairs talking

Recognizing the Value of Lifestyle Business

One of the first decisions you will be faced with is what type of business do you want to start. Do you want to build one that you can eventually sell? Would you rather work a lifestyle business that will generate just enough revenue to support the lifestyle that you desire?

For our conversation, we describe companies that are founded with the express purpose of eventually selling as “startups.” We suggest that you think of those that are founded because of the desire to support a particular lifestyle as a lifestyle business.


Debunking rationales against your lifestyle business

A lot of very serious people will look down their noses at a lifestyle business. The rationale being that lifestyle companies are not scalable. There was a time when this argument held water. On the other hand, that was before the Internet became widely available to the general public.

A more cynical rationale is that a lifestyle business is simply a con created to fleece customers. You can understand this rationale when you consider that most lifestyle businesses are started based on the skill set of a single key employee. Post-Globalism, most companies will start this way including those that are backed by venture capitalism.

Manufacturing is becoming a two percent solution for job creation much like agriculture. Only two percent of the US workforce works in the Agriculture. The majority of farmers are now hobby farms, means that they are small and family owned. In the near future, the majority of manufacturers will be lifestyle businesses.  


Ignore media preferences

Since the 1990’s, the media has been in love with the notion of startups and entrepreneurship. They’vecrafted a narrative of the lone wolf entrepreneur or solopreneur.Unfortunately, the media’s image of the solopreneurslooks more like used to be called starving artists than owners of lifestylebusinesses.

For the record, lifestyle businesses are not your typical small businesses. They are structured the same way. Nor are they capitalized the same. Many in the media like to think that a small business is really big businesses with fewer people. And they cover them using the criteria.


Turning weaknesses in strength

Lifestyle businesses are built to order. Each one is unique because every niche is just a little bit different. Lifestyle businesses have a stronger connection to customer success. They tend to be high touch, which leads to scalability fears. On the other hand, many of these fears can be mitigated by innovative use of technology.

You could make the case that where the press sees too few people to get the job the reality is greater potential for profitability. The press sees inefficiency where  there is potential for flexibility and faster time-to-value.

The Hard Truth

As Albert Einstien said, “you can’t solve problems with the same kind of thinking used to create them.” The old corporate structures are being replaced with transnationalism. These new transnational corporations are beholding to anyone. They are almost like countries unto themselves. And these transnational corporations don’t have a problem leaving people behind.

There is still value in work. There is still value in getting up every day with a purpose to guide you. Work is good for people with disabilities, returning veterans, and people who have been out of the workforce for many years.

Lifestyle Businesses may be provide the only means for maintaining this work ethic. Recognizing the value of lifestyle businesses may be the only way that people who have been left behind to legitimize their self-worth.


Conclusion

Debunkingthe rationales against lifestyle businesses may be the only way to protect working-classAmericans from the whims of large transnational corporations.

Zachary Alexander