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How to Build a Lifestyle Business

The lure of being an athlete comes from the glorification of the fame and financial gain sports greats enjoy. I mean who wouldn’t want to make millions of dollars a year playing a game they love!

While obnoxiously high-priced cars and homes built for the gods sound great in theory, those are not the things that make most of us happy, but the freedom that money does buy?  I’ll take that all day long. But what if I told you that going pro wasn’t the only way to live that life!

More people are making the conscious decision to pursue lifestyle businesses, where entrepreneurs can dictate their own income and work schedule while pursuing their passions, whether that’s exploring distant parts of world, building camps for kids, or helping other people become great at something.

Lifestyle businesses sound sexy and cool but lifestyle business or not, it’s a business and it takes work. Sitting on the sandy beaches of Costa Rica with a lap top in your hand doesn’t mean your lifestyle business is going to be able to support the “lifestyle” you desire if you can’t make money. But at the end of the day a lifestyle business is not all about the money, it’s more about building a business that supports your core values and desires.

Being able to live your ideal day is more important than being able to outspend your peers.

Being able to hang out with your BFF or pick up your kids in the middle of the day is more important than being chained to desk just to know you have the stability of a paycheck every week at a 9 -5.

Lifestyle means different things to different people, but the bottom line is that you design your life based on what makes you happy before designing your life based on income potential.

For example, someone who enjoys extreme sports may create a podcast that interviews adrenaline seeking athletes and sell ad space. Someone who enjoys hip-hop music, may host a web show, and monetize a hip-hop blog. I started my business so that I’d have the freedom to spend time with my kids, travel when I pleased and help other athletes like me figure out what’s next. So I launched a blog and create online courses so that I can create passive income without sacrificing the things that matter most in my life.

Regardless of your passion, you can turn just about any business into a lifestyle business. The key is to monetize your expertise by implementing a leveraged business model that produces passive income versus a linear business model where you’re trading your time for money. All that one on one, I do a service you pay me stuff, is not conducive to a true lifestyle based business.


Your income is directly tied to your ability to show up for your clients. You don’t show up, you don’t get paid and since we all have the same 24 hours a day to work with, there’s always a cap to the amount of money you make with a linear business model. The more you want to make, the more you have to work which means the less time you have to enjoy your life. So the payoff many times is not worth what you have to give up, if a lifestyle business is truly what you seek.

So let’s talk about some of the more popular leveraged business models you can implement so you can make more money and sip more Mai Tais on the beach.

1: Package Your Genius

Hands down, selling your expertise is one of the best ways to inject consistent cash into your business. Digital products in the form of an eBook, online courses or bootcamps, virtual coaching workshops, and apps are all great ways to launch your lifestyle business. You don’t need to stock inventory, package products or worry about shipping. Selling physical products is cool for some people but it’s a little bit too hands on for me. Creating a digital product once, uploading it to your site and selling it again and again is something you can manage any time, any where in the world. Plus, digital products are inexpensive to create. Look even Oprah understands the monetary value of creating on-demand courses.

Take a minute to think about your skills. What do you know that others would pay to learn?

You don’t have to be a GURU to create a successful info product, you just have to be a few steps ahead of the beginners.

2: Leverage Passive Income Streams

I prefer to define passive income as money you earn when you’re not actively working. Another name for passive income is residual income. You may do a lot of work up front to get the ball rolling, but eventually you reach a point where the passive income starts flowing in. Passive income can last weeks or even decades. This could be royalties from a book, sales from a DIY video course, or commissions from a network marketing or affiliate program.

3: Create Multiple Streams Of Income

I’m a true believer that as an entrepreneur, if you can make money in one arena, you can do it in another. Leveraging your varying levels of expertise is a powerful way to create multiple streams of income. It’s never smart to shoot your wad in one area. Having multiple income streams allows you to have multiple contingency plans when one revenue stream dries up. As an online entrepreneur, I make money blogging, speaking, consulting, selling my own signature products, and through affiliate sales. All of these multiple streams come together to create a river of revenue for my business.

You can have as many income streams as you want. I personally enjoy having multiple streams of income. It keeps me engaged in my business, provides me with a greater sense of security, plus there’s just something really cool about seeing “payment received” notifications hitting my account at random times throughout the day (and night)!

Athlete’s In Action: Steps To Creating Your Own Lifestyle Business:

Step #1: Identify your Ideal Day.

Envision what you want your life to look like. What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? How do you want to live your life? Think about how much money you need to pay for that lifestyle you desire. What tools, resources and support do you need to make it happen?

Your lifestyle goals may be very different from the next person’s but so what, you want to build a business that is aligned with YOUR needs, your desires, your skills and your passions.

Step #2: Identify your Lifestyle Goals.

The key here is to figure out what makes YOU happy. If you’re planning on retiring from competitive sports, get hurt or realize the collegiate ranks is the end of the road for you, think about what you need to have in place to support the lifestyle you want. Will you have to save, cut back, put some money aside? How much money per month do you have to earn to live your ideal lifestyle?

Tally those expenses of yours (keeping in mind things like eating organic costs more, maintaining luxury cars costs more) and then begin to build a business that supports what you value most.

Step #3: Identify your Skills.

What sports skills or super hero strengths can you turn into passive income?

Are there any specific skills you need to learn to create the lifestyle business you desire? What are they?

When you play within your passions and operate in your strengths you are bound to see greater success. More than anything I want you to live a fun, free and happy life and that means finding work that allows you to focus on what’s important.

What passions or skills do you think you can turn into a lifestyle business?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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