7 Lifestyle Business Ideas in 2016

I run a lifestyle business. This means that the goal of my business is not to maximize profit or revenue. The goal is to maintain and improve my own personal lifestyle.

I didn’t intend to set up a lifestyle business. It just kind of happened that way. I was actually trying to grow a tech startup at the time, which is a very different beast.

Since setting up this first business, I’ve sure learned a lot! I think that the main requirement of a lifestyle business is that it must allow you to separate time from income, as Tim Ferriss explains in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.

To help ya out, I’ve come up with a few different ways to create a lifestyle business. I hope you find this list to be helpful!

1. Create an Online Course

I’m sure that you have some kind of speciality. Why not get paid it to teach to students online? An online course gives you a lot of flexibility. You don’t have to physically be there when someone buys your course and you don’t have to always be with them as they go through each lesson.

There are a lot of different platforms that you can use to host an online course, like Udemy or Lynda.

udemy

You can also host a course on your website by using a wordpress plugin like OptimizePress, WP Courseware, or ZippyCourses. Personally, I use Teachable to host my online course.

2. Write an eBook

You’ll probably have to write more than one eBook to be able to live off of its income, but this is another way to start generating some passive income and you can even start part-time!

I’ve published several Amazon ebooks and private ebooks that I’ve sold on my website. It’s become one of the passive income streams for my business. Every month, I’ll have money deposited into my bank account from Amazon. I talk about some of the things that you should know before going this route in an earlier post.

roaylties-kindle

If you’d like to publish an ebook on your own website, I’d recommend using something simple like Gumroad to deliver your ebook to customers. Of course, you could also always use a WordPress plugin.

3. Join an Affiliate Program

I’ll be the first to admit that affiliate marketing has its pros and cons. If you’re not familiar, affiliate marketing is when you promote or market a product on the creator’s behalf. If you sign up a customer for that product or service, then you’ll get a commission.

For example, if you are part of the Amazon affiliate program, you can earn a cut when someone buys a product through one of your links. Likely, you’d be recommending that product or providing information so that they can make a more informed decision.

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4. Create and Sell a Product Online

This is the focus of my other blog, where I talk about ecommerce and crowdfunding. While most people associate ecommerce with traditional business, it doesn’t have to be. You used to have to be in a physical retail location or hire staff members to mange your physical store. Now, you can coordinate everything online!

You can create an online storefront using Shopify or one of these sites pretty easily.

shopify

You don’t need to hire a sophisticated web developer. You can also acquire traffic through paid Facebook ads, social media marketing, or SEO. Finally, you can coordinate shipping by using a fulfillment center.

Of course, you’re going to have to put in a lot of work early on and figure out the entire supply chain for your product. You’re going to need to find a dependable manufacturer, along with how much it will cost to bring that product from the production location to your customer’s house.

5. White Label or Re-Sell a Product

When you white label a product, you are basically selling established products under your own brand name. While you don’t make the product, you’re allowed to put your logo or branding on the product, and the sell it to the public. You may even be able to coordinate a drop shipping system so that you don’t need to hold much inventory.

On the plus side, I think that this is a very easy way to get into ecommerce, particularly if you have more of a marketing background. Unfortunately, it’s not a very great longterm business strategy. You’re unlikely to have high profits and you’re going to be competing with other people who can copy that same product.

Still, white labeling a product is one way to generate the passive income needed to grow a lifestyle business. If you don’t like the idea of white labeling, you could also buy and re-sell products online.

6. Start a Blog, Podcast or YouTube Channel

This is another way of saying to start creating content through a medium that can be used to generate a relationship with a target audience. You can then monetize that content with ads or by letting people know about your own products!

I personally have built up a blog, a podcast, and I’m in the process of growing a YouTube channel. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s very difficult to live solely off of the advertising income of one of these channels (unless you have very low expenses). However, I think that growing a presence through one of these mediums is very powerful because it’s a continual source of leads!

In order to run a successful lifestyle business, you need both consistent sales and new leads coming in.

7. Invest in Real Estate

This option obviously requires some capital up front. However, once you begin to grow a real estate portfolio, it’s very easy to see how you can live off the income of your properties and quit your day job.

Remember that the main goal when setting up a lifestyle business is to generate income that is independent of your time. You don’t have to physically be there in order for one of your tenants to pay their rent. You may need a property manager, but eventually you can get to a point where you’ll have more of a hands off investment approach. You can also invest in real estate online.

Where to Go From Here

As long as you can automate the delivery of a product or a service to a customer and remove you, the entrepreneur, from the process, you can create a lifestyle business from that pursuit. To be honest, it all comes down to the income requirements that you have. I actually think this is the best place to start. How much income do you need?

If you’re living in Thailand, your income requirement is going to be far less than if you live in Manhattan. One way to decrease your expenses early on in a lifestyle business it to quite simply take advantage of currency arbitrage. Move to a location where your dollar counts for more. That way, you don’t have to earn as much income in order to achieve a certain lifestyle.

I hope that this article was helpful and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below!

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- Sal