Warning – the contents of this article have radically transformed the lives of many clients and friends. Reading this article may leave you dizzy with possibilities or trepidatious at the opportunity to expand your life and business.
How do you start building a lifestyle business?
Building a Lifestyle Business: “Start inside out”
Most people start businesses to gain either:
- Self expression and freedom and/or
- Make lots of money
Sometimes they get it, but the price is high. This price is usually time with family, time for themselves, the repression of their non-money-making loves and past times, and the repression of their true self-expression and (you said it) their freedom.
This is the price one pays for not thinking through from the inside out – most people start from the outside in i.e. they start with the externals e.g. money, hoping to make the internal better.
Outside in… Never works very well.
Building a Lifestyle Business: “Change the Mindset”
Start thinking inside out but get rigorous and disciplined in your approach.
I have friends who joined MLMs (Multi-Level Marketing businesses). These can be great businesses – do not get me wrong. However, one of the things that they don’t quite get right is when they ask newbies “What is your BIG WHY?”
BIG WHY meaning what is the BIG REASON for doing a business.
People who do not spend time in disciplined thinking around this question give pat answers e.g. more freedom, e.g. more freedom of time e.g. more vacations e.g. more time with the family.
But they don’t dig hard enough in their inquiry. This results in utter failure for most of them.
Digging deeper means asking more questions. e.g. What does freedom look like in my life? What does it really mean to me and my family? What would it imply to me directly and indirectly? How would it impact the future of my family? Why is time with the family so important to me?
What does it provide for my family? If there was no time with the family, what would or could the consequences be?
You cannot get this kind of inquiry done with an app. Sorry – not going to happen.
You cannot get this kind of inquiry done overnight. Sorry – not going to happen.
You cannot get this kind of inquiry done by yourself. Sorry – not going to happen.
Given the nature of us as human beings, we have to engage with the patient expenditure of time, self-reflection, and dialogue with others to truly get to the depths of these questions – the answers of which will lead you to untold riches – the kind of riches that you can say are truly yours.
Building a Lifestyle Business: “Build Your Vision”
What will the future look like?
What would you like it to look like?
If you say you don’t have a clue, break out the champagne bottle and celebrate – the best place to start is with an empty slate. The real answer could be that you get to design how it looks like. This means stirring your imagination and doing dialogue and internal self-reflection even more.
If you were designing a house or a car or something else that you love – how would you start?
Yes – you would start by listing the things that you want the car to do or have.
So start with what you would be doing in the future or what you would have in the future.
But don’t stop there, keep looking at and questioning if these ‘do’ and ‘have’ features would leave you satisfied.
Building a Lifestyle Business: “Valuing Time and the Meaning of Time”
We talk more about time management in our culture than really examine why we talk so much about it.
Why is time so important to you?
If you had more free time what would you use it for?
What are the meanings that you would like to assign to the time that you spend at work or with family?
If you schedule an hour to work on a marketing design, what do you want to see happen or experience in that time?
After all, at the end of your life, all you can really have in those final moments are the memories that you carry.
I purposefully did not give you specific tools. In my coaching program, I help clients define these tools based on what is needed. But what you read above should spur you to start thinking in the right direction – what is truly important to you?
If you design anything right then implement the design, there is a good chance that things will work right.
This statement pertains to your life as well. Design it right, and life will work for you.
Since 1991, I’ve been reflecting on, designing, and implementing methodologies and systems for bringing a transcendent, creative and innovative approach to critical aspects of entrepreneurship.