What bothers me is that this term is almost always referenced in a derogatory way. People will say things like “Oh, it’s ‘just’ a lifestyle business”. Or, “I wanted to do something bigger than just have a lifestyle business”.
The thing is, every business, every single one, is a Lifestyle business.
Andrew Wicklander talks here about the negative or derogatory manner in which ‘Lifestyle Businesses’ are referred to. Every business affects your lifestyle, it’s a personal choice to either devote your life to the business or to allow the business to dictate your lifestyle. The negativity certainly stems from the venture capital community that will often associate a business that doesn’t have a clearly defined growth path and exit strategy as, “just a lifestyle business”, or in some cases more colorful terms! If your desired lifestyle includes the involvement and accountability to venture partners accept that choice and build your business and live your life to those constraints.
If on the other hand, your desire is to build a strong growing business using your own resources, this will also influence your lifestyle. Success, failure, or mediocrity in your business will manifest in your lifestyle – work is life and life is work when you run a business. Be prepared to closely align both when you are in a (lifestyle) business.