When I was starting out in business, I was totally seduced by the concept of complete passive income. Here was the plan: I would lie on a beach and do nothing while millions rolled in. That's why my early entrepreneurial efforts failed - they were always about selling something I didn't really care about so I could create the life I wanted LATER.
But the ultimate lifestyle business ISN'T about doing something unsavoury or unpleasant now for future reward. Neither is it doing absolutely NOTHING while you make the money.
The real deal is somewhat different than that, but entirely more satisfying.
Truly passive income is largely a myth (even multi-millionaire entrepreneurs like Ali Brown say the same thing). You still have to create the vehicle, market yourself and the product. Yes, you can outsource a lot of it, but a true lifestyle business is something that nourishes you, so chances are you'd still be involved. Especially if YOU are your business.
The idea is a leveraged lifestyle, entirely on your own terms. Meaning you choose when, why and how you work and most importantly, how much income you make from it all.
Here are the 7 steps to creating a truly satisfying lifestyle business for yourself:
1. Woman, Know Thyself
What are you really good at? Who are you really? What nourishes and excites you?
That's the first part, because the ultimate lifestyle business is totally based on your natural skills and talents - otherwise it's not a lifestyle - its a JOB.
You know that refrain - do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life. Well - you'll still have to work (ish), but be really honest about who you are. This is particularly important for us Jill of All Trades. Just because you're good at something, doesn't mean you HAVE to do it. Stop being a know-it all and instead work in your zone of Genius (Read The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks)
Now, I love chilling out at the beach but within a few hours, my mind is full of really exciting new ideas for my business. That's who I am! I'm a creative entrepreneur. Even if I sold my business for ten million dollars, I'd still have to create and implement new ideas.
ACTION - write down all the things you're good at. Then cross out all the things that you'd get bored of if you did them every day. That's a great start.
2. Decide what you (really) want
Tim Ferriss taught us that you don't need to be a millionaire to live like one, and not everyone wants a big company or a global career. It's totally okay to set a dream exactly how you'd like it - not what others think you SHOULD do.
I'm such a believer in regular goal setting and there isn't one right way to do it. Start by writing out your ideal day, mess around with making a dream board or every day start with your journal and ask yourself "What do I really want?"
This includes where you want to live (climate and country as well as what type of house), what you want to look and feel like, how you want to spend your day, who you want to hang around with, what type of hobbies or holidays you want and all the tangible stuff you want.
Knowing what you want (and how much it costs) is the catalyst for your lifestyle business. You have your WHY and your dreams will be linked to the success of the business. After all, you'll have an idea of what to spend the money on! (The Universe loves specificity too)
ACTION - write down your BE, DO + HAVE dream list for the next 12 months and put a cost on each one.
3. Decide HOW you'd like to work
How often do you want to work, how many holidays you want, etc? Do you want to see clients face to face or exclusively over phone (like I do)? Do you want to be sitting at a desk all day or do you NEED human interaction?
Personally, I love to work by myself. I've never liked collaborating in teams and even in my professional career, I sought out opportunities to work alone.
Other people miss the water cooler life and the interaction of other people.
Nothing is right or wrong - it's just how you are.
QUESTION - what has been your favourite working environment to date? How can you replicate it?
If you need people around you, then consider sharing a workspace, whether it's serviced offices or a creative communal space. If you love being by yourself, then make sure you designate a place that's yours alone and set it up so it's comfortable and you won't be disturbed.
4. Create VALUE (+ put a price on it)
I get a few messages every now and then from friends "I've started a blog, how do I make money from it?" God - I have no idea. I don't personally know ANYONE who makes money from blogging, but I know TONNES of women making money from services (coaching, writing, performing, consulting, organising, etc) and products (books, art, clothes, etc)
Basically, you've got to create an offer and ask people for money for it. It can be really simple to start off with. Once you've been paid once, you're effectively in business and you can rinse and repeat.
Theory about a lifestyle business won't cut it - you've got to take some action and make an offer:
Put together a website with a simple coaching offer plus a PayPal button
Write your own one-woman show, put it on and charge people money to see it.
Write an ebook and put it on Amazon Kindle (listen to my free webinar on that topic here)
Simple right? Receive money from something you love doing and you're in your ultimate lifestyle business!
5. Learn the power of YES, NO + MAYBE
I subscribed to Danielle La Porte's advice to "Say yes to everything for the first year". So I did. Of course, in your first year, you don't actually get many invitations, so it's an easy enough thing to follow.
Now, my business is growing at a steady rate, so I get more and more invitations. I've gotten myself into trouble by blinding saying yes to everything, only to find it creates a lot of work for not much value. I didn't ask for any information so I got stuck and resentful.
Say YES to things that make your heart pound, to opportunities that you're not sure you're ready for (like my Cleo magazine shoot) and with people who you admire.
Say NO to anything outside of your zone of genius, working with the wrong ideal client or doing work for free (unless it's for a purpose).
Say MAYBE to anything you're not sure about and ask more questions. "What's involved, what are your deadlines, what do you expect of me?". Then do some research - check out their Alexa rank, find out the dates and what it would cost you (in terms of time, energy and money) to be involved.
6. Get over your money crap
This is the single gift you can give yourself - the ability to earn money from your passion in life. I can't begin to tell you how awesome it is.
Money "stuff" comes up at every income level and can really hold you back energetically from living the life you really deserve.
Without working on this, you may as well go back to working for someone else. At least you'll get paid every month.
ACTION - write down the highest yearly income figure you've ever made. Make an intention to double it this year.
7. Hustle your little butt off (at first)
Contrary to what your parents (or society) tells you. Making money doesn't have to be hard. You don't have to burn yourself out (maybe like you did in your job).
But I'm not going to lie - creating your lifestyle business or career will take mega HUSTLE at the beginning. YOU gotta create the stuff. YOU have to decide on the price and YOU have to market it to people.
Follow a system, get yourself an amazing coach and commit to making it happen for yourself. As you go, you can get help and make it easier for yourself. LOVE IT, HUSTLE + MAKE $$
It's worth it!
P.S If the money stuff is your real sticking point, look out for my upcoming Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp - join my list below and you'll be the first to know.