- in Entrepreneurship by Wuyen Hsu
5 Reasons You Must Start a Lifestyle Home Business Right Now (Even If You Have No Idea Where to Start)
The alarm is ringing again.
You toss around for a few more minutes but you know this is the snooze alarm—the second chance—and it’s time to get ready for your 9 to 5 (or at least you hypnotize yourself that it’s only a 9 to 5).
Again, for the thirteenth time this month, you murmur, “Is this how I want to live my life?”
It’s hard to explain how tired you are for working so much while, at the same time, crushing your dreams for like, 15 years.
You didn’t think the emotional stress could have a physical effect on you because it seems like that’s just the way life is for everyone.
And it’s not just the 9 to 5 schedule (or the lack of freedom)…
But it’s also the fact that you can’t help noticing…
Honest, hardworking, and talented colleagues are being laid off.
Your LinkedIn contacts are changing jobs all the time…even when they seem to be working for companies with good reputations.
The industry has been going through major changes over the last decade and you’re not sure how soon you’ll be obsolete.
But it’s very nerve-racking to even think about it because you are clueless on how to change the status quo and you’re not sure if you’re even “allowed” to dream about it.
The scariest part is that you have no idea what you can do and you feel like you never learned a trade, skill, or got the education and training to one day transition your knowledge into a business of your own.
That’s why you start persuading yourself that there is no incentive for you to start a business.
As your objective is not to spend more time working, you’re not fond of the potential of working 60-80 hour weeks while facing an 80% risk of failing in the first year and another 80% risk of failing in five years.
In the end, working for a company just might be the best route, right?
Well…at least that’s what you want to believe for as long as possible (perhaps until you actually face a mental or physical breakdown).
But, secretly, you still want to create something powerful and to find a place where work and play intersect, and where you can, sometimes (at least a few times a week), just have fun while you’re working.
Is it possible that you can stop building someone else’s dream and start building your own, even if you feel like you don’t have any knowledge or skill you can use to open a business?
Why does it have to be so hard?
I don’t have a way to magically make all the hard work disappear by a spell or potion, but I do have 5 good reasons why you need (no, MUST) start a lifestyle home business right now, even if you have no idea where to start and don’t believe that you have any knowledge worth making a business out of.
1. It’s risky not to start a lifestyle home business.
“Safe is risky.” –Seth Godin
Statistic shows that 4 out of 5 businesses fail in the first year and another 4 out of 5 fail in the first five years. That means 96 percent of businesses will never make it.
Holy crap! A four percent success rate is super risky, right?
Opposite to common sense, it is far more risky NOT to build a lifestyle home business.
Why is it risky to stay comfortably at your 9 to 5?
The process of mindlessly working at your 9 to 5 is like a frog being boiled.
The changes in your industry, your lack of constant improvement, and the disadvantage you have compared to younger freshmen (who enter the competition whether you like it or not) all build up like slowly rising water temperature.
Before you notice, your inability or unwillingness to react and be aware of threat will put you at a very risky standpoint.
Don’t think it’s possible?
The power of digitalization made Kodak obsolete.
The capability of smartphones and the Internet made Nokia worth almost nothing.
What used to be a trade, skill, or knowledge that promises a good living can instantly become obsolete because of an industry change.
Even if you are continuously improving and innovating in a fast-growing company, all you really need is a little unexpected event to shatter the safety you think you have:
- An unreasonable layoff because top managers are making space for a friend.
- Or, a terrible car accident (or sickness) that takes away your ability to work a regular 9 to 5.
- Or, a sick family member that requires you to move back and take care of him or her.
Do you still believe it’s safe to stay exactly where you are in the 9 to 5 world?
But how can a lifestyle home business help?
First, building a lifestyle home business (or the process of learning how to) gives you an opportunity to generate income through something you might be passionate about.
I’m not saying it’s easy to generate money through your passion because it’s not. And I’m not saying that it’s always going to be rainbows and unicorns without you getting stressed out, bored, or feeling like you should complain.
What I’m saying is that if you are fully in charge, it is possible to train yourself to be passionate about whatever you are doing.
It’s true. Thousands of people have already done it.
Second, building a lifestyle home business is a great exit strategy—a Plan B when something goes sour.
A lot of bloggers say that you don’t need an exit strategy if you’re building a lifestyle business. However, look at your lifestyle business as your exit strategy.
Whether it’s for leaving your current 9 to 5 or it’s for changing your runway completely, you have the confidence (and skill) knowing that you can always build another business whenever you need.
The fact is, no one can guarantee that your 9 to 5 (or even your own business) will stay hot 5 years from now or that you will have the same amount of passion in the topic forever.
But you’ll never be scared about having no idea what to do next.
Takeaway: safe is risky. Start protecting yourself by having multiple options when life-changing events happen.
2. It’s the best investment you can ever make, and not because of the reason you have in mind.
“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” –Robin S. Sharma
Let me guess. You’ve heard that building a lifestyle home business can make you rich. At least, that is what all those online experts and Internet gurus told you.
If so, I worry about your chances, because rarely does anyone succeed online when they are in it completely for the money. Your audience is well-trained from their years of experience to tune out the minute they sense a hint, even the slightest bit, that you are in it only for the sales.
“But… but… there’s no point if it doesn’t make money for me!” you will say. My answer: yes, you ultimately need to be making a profit to carry on the work, but that doesn’t mean you should be in it only for the money. The money will follow after (and only after) you’ve helped enough people get what they want.
So why is building a lifestyle home business the best investment you can ever make?
It is because the process of building a lifestyle home business is the best way you can invest in yourself.
Through the process, you have the right (no, you must) continue to challenge yourself by pushing into unknown boundaries every single day. These challenges you face are what help you continue to improve yourself.
It’s hard to admit, but you simply don’t get the same level of challenge in most 9 to 5 jobs. There is nothing wrong with a regular day job, but it’s just a fact that most 9 to 5 jobs are designed to operate in a stable, low-risk, and repeatable environment.
While, on the other hand, starting a lifestyle home business means exposing yourself to a wide variety of challenges and opportunities on a daily basis. The confidence and fulfillment are your reward for building a lifestyle home business, and that is the best investment you can ever make.
Takeaway: if you want to start a journey in which you are continuously improving not only your life but also the lives of those around you, it is essential you start investing in yourself by building a lifestyle home business. Trust me, you’ll find the fulfillment like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
3. No, you won’t have 100% freedom, but you will have the right to make conscious decisions.
“Nobody’s life is ever all balanced. It’s a conscious decision to choose your priorities every day.” –Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Here’s your thinking: if you start a lifestyle home business, you’ll have 100% freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want to. No more bossing around. No more alarm clock. You’ll never have to deal with anything you don’t like and you’ll live completely on your own terms.
Yes, if you can make a good living completely through your own lifestyle home business, you will have much more freedom than those who work for others. But that does not mean you will never have to negotiate with a client, and will never have to do anything you don’t like to do ever again.
In fact, a big part of building a business is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and picking up tasks you never had to deal with when working with others.
But you know what’s great about this lifestyle?
You made the decision yourself.
In my opinion, most people are living their lives like walking zombies. Most people have no idea why they are doing what they’re doing every day.
This is why they say that most employees have already quit. They just haven’t left yet.
Pursuing a lifestyle business is largely about always making conscious decisions to prioritize what you’re doing and why you’re doing so.
If you value family time more than money, you can rightfully decide that you don’t need to acquire every single client and vice versa.
If you want to travel more, you can make the decision to build your business infrastructure completely online so you can remotely operate it anywhere with an Internet connection and vice versa.
In other words, you are consciously determining your own definition of success and building a lifestyle home business that can support such a definition.
Takeaway: yes, you’ll probably still need to make yourself flexible (and even set an alarm clock) to match your clients’ or partners’ schedule. But, you can have the peace of mind knowing that you are making a conscious decision on prioritizing what you want every waking moment—and that is already the maximum freedom anyone can ever have.
4. I’m sorry, it really takes time to build….So, it’s never too early to start.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb
People love stories—stories about how someone made 100K in a single month by selling homemade jewelry, writing a blog, hosting a podcast, or playing with LEGOs.
Well, here’s the hard, brutal truth.
The amazing story you hear about—the astonishing success—is, if lucky, a quarter of the story (most of the time it’s more like one-tenth). The rest of the story—the boring part you don’t hear about—is the months and years of hard work, involving rejection, complete setbacks, and the act of picking themselves back up.
What is often overlooked is that successful businesses do take time to build.
Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the most well-known leaders in the social media world because of his hugely successful wine show, consulting company, and best-selling books (maybe also his use of language).
What most people don’t know is even with 10+ years of research and experience, Gary had almost no viewers for six months when he first launched his Wine Library TV. Even with his level of hard work, six months can be considered pretty lucky.
While overnight success is definitely possible (and did happen for some people), the more popular reason is that you are probably not hearing the whole story.
It could be by design, where the person or the media wants to position the story in a certain way or, in other times, it could be that there just isn’t enough space to tell the whole story.
The bottom line: you need to start taking action right now if you ever want to have a successful business.
Takeaway: the first rule of building a successful lifestyle home business is to start taking action today. The second rule of building a successful lifestyle home business is to start taking action today.
5. Earning the right to help others, leave your legacy, and make the world a better place.
“First we eat, then we do everything else.” –M.F.K. Fisher
Do you hold back from helping others because you don’t have the time or money? Or worse, do you hold back from helping someone in need because you are in need of helping yourself?
Let’s face it. If you want to help others, leave your legacy, and make the world a better place, you need to have some of these resources: time, money, or useful connections.
(Yes, you don’t need all three and you don’t need to have a ton of these resources, but no, I don’t think you can make it work without any of them.)
While you can arguably help others and make the world a better place by acting with good faith every day, it’s undeniable that you can have a stronger advantage when you have more time, more money, and better connections.
The maximum freedom (both in time and location) you gain from building a lifestyle home business gives you the possibility to engage in more opportunities to help others.
Other than the additional resources and freedom you have, one of the core principles of building a viral lifestyle home business is to build trust with your audience so that you can find their aching pain and help them solve their problems.
In other words, the core concept of operating an ethical, successful lifestyle home business is to continuously help others and make the world a better place—which is also one of the best legacies you can ever leave.
Takeaway: I strongly believe that 90 percent of people are naturally good and more than willing to help others. But you can’t deny the fact that you are much more likely to make a difference if you don’t need to worry about the next meal and have the freedom of more time and resources to make things happen.
Are You Ready to Get Started Today?
Yes, starting your own business—regardless of type and size—can be tough and challenging.
But it is possible, and the reward is well worth the hard work.
Just imagine being able to have maximum freedom by deciding consciously for yourself when, where, what, and how you want to spend each and every day.
Or, the amazing lifestyle of making money by pursuing something you are passionate about and actually being admired and respected, not because of the hours you spend in a cubicle, but because of your true passion.
So, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start acting up.