Inside: How to start a lifestyle business & what exactly is that? 

There’s been so much chatter online lately about the concept of being a #girlboss. Is it empowering? Is it belittling? Are we all called to be bosses?

What makes you a boss? And what exactly are you in charge of?

I’d like to hope that we are actually in charge of a lot more than we think when running our online businesses. In fact you are in charge of the whole thing, how it fits into your life or better yet… How your business can support the life you want to live instead of the other way around.

Grab a cup of flamingo coffee and let’s chat about it.

Coffee in flamingo cup talking about a lifestyle business

I’ve been blogging now for 11 years. Which seems absolutely crazy and like many bloggers of these earlier internet times, I never anticipated my company getting to where it is today.

It was started as a hobby and then turned into a part time gig and then quickly snowballed into the book writing, brand promoting, product selling business it is today. I’ve had employees, contributors, virtual assistants and even family jumping in the mix to make it all happen.

I’ve been boss, mom, manager, PR director, and to a few larger businesses I’ve even been employee.

There have been seasons where we have sped it all up, and seasons where we have slowed way down.

What is a lifestyle business?

I first heard this term “lifestyle business” a couple years ago and it was liberating. Defined it means: A lifestyle business is a business set up and run by its founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more; or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle.

So a business that exists to support your lifestyle. INSTEAD of a lifestyle that exists to support your business.

I run a lifestyle business

When the rubber hits the road the one thing that has stayed consistent for me is that I am the boss of my lifestyle. That matters to me even more than being the boss of my business.

I run a lifestyle business

This type of business is world’s different than being a:

  • #girlboss
  • lean in advocate
  • start up wizard
  • hustle forward company CEO

I’m not trying to be the next huge start-up brand. I can all but guarantee you we will never go public. I turn down opportunities to grow in ways that don’t match the particular lifestyle I want to live. It is wonderfully freeing and wildly awesome!

I love my lifestyle business. I love what it provides in both income and flexibility for my family. I adore what I get to do everyday. There is nothing lacking in my need for rest & cuddles over hustle some days.

Hustle is not the almighty prize.

Life is… And balloons of course. 😉

If you happen to be in the same boat, I feel like you might need a voice. Someone to come alongside you and say, “it’s okay to not be going for huge, millions, #girlboss status. It’s okay if you want to run your business your way”.

Then I am your girl.

Whether it is blogging, selling jewelry, teaching yoga, speaking, writing, who cares – just rock it how you want to rock it.

In many GREAT ways we’ve begun to redefine the American dream towards a woman empowerment business sense, but the problem is we all need to live our own dreams.

Just like you don’t need 2.5 kids, a house and dog to be valuable…


Our lifestyle business has looked really different during different seasons of life. But it’s always been based on my values and the lifestyle I want to live.

  • When the kids were smaller it meant I got to stay home with them and I worked a lot during naps and evenings.
  • Now it means I work from 10-3 and stop everything to pick them up from school and enjoy our evenings together.
  • It means I turn down great paying gigs that require me to travel across the country… because that’s not the lifestyle I want.
  • It means I don’t keep adding on more, because I value taking summers off and I want to be able to stay home sick when a kid is home sniffling and it would be really hard to do that if 14.5 people depended on me for their salaries.

To some – the lifestyle dream might be the exact opposite of mine, including lots of travel and all night work marathons.

The important thing is to know what your lifestyle dream is and then be sure to rock your own dream, not someone else’s.

how to start a healthy lifestyle business?

What is the lifestyle you want to live? Here are a few easy steps to figure it out.


Start by brainstorming the elements of your life that make you really grateful. What do you want to be sure not to miss? Think about your own actual ideals and not someone else’s here and really take stock of what is important in your current season. This will change over time and that is 100% okay.

The great thing about having a lifestyle business is that it can adjust as you do to determining your next steps.

Decide what your business needs to do for you

Make a list of what your business needs to provide to have the lifestyle you want. Perhaps its just Target trips & a house cleaner? Or maybe you need to carry your families full budget or anywhere inbetween.

You should be able to come up with a number here that is important. I am not inferring you can just do no work and have any lifestyle you want. Although that would be fun! Instead this is a practice to show exactly what it is you’ll need your business to bring to the table to support your lifestyle.

Map it out

Now the important step of putting all of this together and mapping out a plan for what a future lifestyle business will look like.

  • How many hours do you need to put in to make your number?
  • How does that connect to your hours needed to live the lifestyle?
  • What adjustments can you make inside the business to get more from your hours, or to adjust those hours to better suit your life.
  • What can you cut out that is not serving your lifestyle and not making you money right now!

Instead of determining our worth from how badass and #Girlboss we are, perhaps we need to step back and look at the lifestyle we want to guide what our work should be.

Be a #MeBoss instead

Our businesses should serve us… We should not serve it. Let’s lose the pressure of becoming the next big startup queen and be a #MeBoss instead.

(Photography @Giada Canu/Vera Lair Stocksy United).