The Problem With Lifestyle Design


I’m all for getting what you want out of life. Too many people blindly go through the motions without ever questioning what’s really important.

But there’s a growing cadre of ‘lifestyle entrepreneurs’ advocating that you should design your ideal lifestyle before you get started in business. Your business should suit your desired lifestyle, they say, and not the other way around.

Tim Ferriss, in the 4-Hour Work Week, talks about how his supplement company was extremely profitable — but he was extremely miserable. He was making money but he wasn’t actually enjoying the work. Ultimately, he discovered creative ways to automate the business to take himself out of the equation.

But here’s where most people miss the point: Tim Ferriss had a profitable business to automate.

There’s no point worrying about automating your business if you don’t have a business.

The problem with lifestyle design, or building a business with the goal of achieving a certain lifestyle, is that the road to getting there is almost always paved with hard work, risk, and uncertainty.

It’s no easier than building any other kind of business.

And if the only reason you’re in the game is to ultimately sit on the beach and do nothing… I’m not sure you’ll have what it takes to push through when things get messy.

The truth is, the people that have actually built successful lifestyle businesses are extremely driven, worked extremely hard, and probably still do. The difference is now they do it because they want to.

This post is my submission for day 6 of #YourTurnChallenge, a 7-day blogging challenge orchestrated by Winnie Kao, Special Projects Lead for Seth Godin.

Flickr creative commons image via Luke Ma.