The lifestyle business
Sometimes a lifestyle business could make more sense than playing the startup game. Running a business is about making money, so let’s start here. Money is merely a function of time. Basically, you either get compensated for your time through a salary, or investor funding; or you earn your time through revenue.Getting compensated for your time comes with red tape. You’re not allowed to work on anything else. Like, legally. But most people will take this route because it facilitates or accelerates a certain lifestyle. Essentially, in this scenario you allow a third party – and not a customer – to control how you manage your time.
However, some people like to do things on their own, and don’t follow the hustle bustle of the internet startup deathtrap. These people reflect and make their own decisions. When founding their business they want it to make money right away, and as quickly as possible. These people don’t gamble on future markets or complex and long term business models. Instead they know what people want, how much they want to pay for it and how to ship it today. But most importantly, they want to run their business to provide for a steady and profitable income so they can find a healthy work/life balance. Alas, freedom.
These are the lifestyle business founders…
There is little glory in this game. You will not see their faces in magazines, or newspapers. They are not after big futures, and you will hardly see them on public speaking occasions. They prefer to run their businesses and balance this with a lifestyle, with as little as possible distractions. Hidden in the shadows, they focus on their business and the things that are dear to them.
You can choose a lifestyle where you want to plaster your head on a Forbes magazine, raise US$ 200M in funding, be a public speaker all over the world, and deal with investors on a daily basis. And that’s good, because we need those kinds of people so that younger generations get inspired. But it’s a mirage. There’s only one Steve Jobs, one Mark Zuckerberg, … It’s ingrained in the DNA of the young and fearless to take their dreams for reality. And we should be thankful, as innovation would come much slower.
What to choose?
That’s entirely up to you. Find a style that fits who you are. A lifestyle business will provide you with the ultimate freedom in how you manage your time. There are no distractions from fundraising, there is no stress from pumping your valuations, doing press releases, manage complex interpersonal shareholders relations, etc.
The only question you’d need to ask yourself is if you want to own 10% of a 1 billion dollar business, or 100% of a 10 million dollar business? Do you want to be Mark Zuckerberg, or Manfred Bogdahn?
How similar it may sound bottom line, the difference in lifestyle is huge. Think about it when you’re considering your next venture…