What kind of business are you?

January 24, 2012

I was recently introduced to an interesting way of defining a business; high-growth and lifestyle.

Per allbusiness.com, here are the definitions of each:

Lifestyle business: A small business that reflects the general lifestyle of the individual entrepreneur. Lifestyle businesses are not high-growth enterprises. The principal objective is to generate “adequate” income while living where the entrepreneur wants, doing what they love, or having the flexibility to be around when the kids come home from school or take long weekends in the winter to go skiing.

High-growth business: Small businesses designed for the purpose of achieving high growth and rapid profit increases. A high-growth business is one where the owner intends to build real assets with a growable, tangible value that can be bought and sold – either as shares or the entire business. Success would be defined as the increase in value of the business over time.

The high-growthers get the majority of attention, the majority of the press.

I am a lifestyler, hands down. Always intended to be, always plan to be. Barring any unforseen developments, of course. (Not saying it will never happen, just don’t currently have any plans to make it.)

At first, upon reading these definitions, I was a little taken aback. High-growth sounds fancier and more complex. Like it requires a higher level of complexity, intelligence, and experience. It sounds more aligned with the traditional definition of success. Ugh!

The feeling was fleeting, however. A lifestyle business, per the definition, is exactly what I want. It’s what I wanted, it’s what I worked towards, it’s what I have today and want to grow stronger.

I do want the time freedom to be able to stay home with my family.
I do want the flexibility to be able to attend all of their school events, field trips, and PTA meetings.
I do want not only myself, but my husband, to have that kind of flexibility.

I want to be able to travel wherever and whenever I please, for as long as I please, and I want to live in a comfortable house, with the ability to have or provide additional comforts as I wish, and I want to be able to give, freely, when I see fit and feel inspired to do so.

And I want to be able to do all of those things without a single worry about money.
THAT is what lifestyle business means to me.

Income, as passive as possible, coming in from multiple sources that allow me, that allow us, to wake up every morning and define our days as we, and only we, see fit.

I’m a lifestyler. I might not ever have Founder or CEO next to my name on a marquee, and I think that’s okay with me.

And I’m glad that I am now aware of the distinction. In some small way, knowing what type of business I’m growing gives me confidence in knowing that I’m headed in the right direction.

What type are you?

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