How awesome would it be to travel to cool countries while still making money? The first time I heard someone talk about “lifestyle business,” I thought they were lying.
Making money online seemed like a dream, but in the last three years, I have seen it’s possible.
For 12 years, I worked a physical job that I hated. I woke up at midnight to deliver bread and deal with angry customers at grocery stores. The first time I heard a podcast talking about lifestyle business, I was hooked. I wanted a lifestyle that involved travel and location independence, so my family could move to Maui, Hawaii.
When I put my toe in the water in 2011 by self-publishing my first book, I got a rude awakening with the all too common experience of not selling any books. I turned to the Internet for answers but all I got was myths and commonly-accepted hype.
Here are five lifestyle business myths I had to overcome to build my dream business and life:
1. The money is in the niche
One of the most common pieces of advice you get when building an online business is to “niche down.” You’re told the more you niche, the more money you can make. While industry-specific niches can be profitable—such as teaching Real Estate or how to become a flight attendant—theme specific niches need to be more general.
One of the best ways to build traffic to your online business is by writing for large authority websites such as the Huffington Post, or Entrepreneur Magazine. These sites have millions of visitors, being too specific won’t appeal to the wider audience. There is money in certain niches, but niching isn’t the only way to build.
2. Copying successful entrepreneurs work
Just because a strategy or way of running an online business worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work out for you. In fact, it’s very unlikely you can duplicate someone else’s success by copying. Your goal should be to model success and systems. Not copy them.
People buy from someone they know, like, and trust. That happens when people connect with you and that connection can’t come when you’re copying. Be you. Be original. What makes you who you are is what helps you and your business stand out.
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is going to be, why not create a life you don’t have to escape from.” – Seth Godin
3. Become an expert
While there is some truth in becoming an expert, the way that it’s taught isn’t helpful. People connect with people, not “experts.” If they don’t like or respect you as a person, it doesn’t matter what you’ve accomplished. True experts focus on adding value to their audience, not pushing titles to impress people.
You become a real expert when you add value to your audience. When you continue to learn and hone your craft, when you build a loyal following and they connect with your message, then you become an “expert.
4. Create more products and courses
When you see entrepreneurs who haven’t been successful online, it’s because they’re focused too much on the products and courses. They’re always designing a new course and creating new products, but don’t have an audience to sell them too.
If you only have ten minutes, you should spend eight of those minutes building your audience, one-minute creating the offering, and one minute resting. Building an audience is the hard part and the step too many people don’t spend enough time on. Build your audience now—even if you don’t have anything to sell. Having an audience means you can always sell later.
5. You will make money quickly
One of the most dangerous myths is that you can build an online business and make money quickly. The people preaching this myth are probably trying to sell you their program or course. Before you buy into the myth, realize that this lifestyle takes time to build.
There are 900 million websites, 250 million blogs, and 150,000 podcasts. No matter what your business topic is, many others are also talking about the same thing. It takes time to stand out from the crowd and build a solid foundation. You only get what you put into this. If you hustle, you can build quicker, but it will still take time.
Once I was able to see the truth, I was able to build my business. It was slow going at first, but I was able to eventually leave that job I hated. Today, I operate a six-figure-a-year business from my home base in Maui, Hawaii. The business supported our move here 14 months ago.
Waking up every day and experiencing the freedom to spend my days on the things that are important to me is priceless. I wasted so many years existing and have made my goal to live truly for the rest of my days. I hope you’ll join me.