“Lifestyle business” was a new term I discovered a few months ago, and it really hit home to me. According to Wikipedia:
A lifestyle business is a business that is 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.
A lifestyle business is almost embarrassing to say in the venture capital world, but I have no shame. A lifestyle business is my goal! I don’t need to be the next Mark Zuckerberg and make billions. I’m happy if I can create a business that gives me time and financial freedom. And that point has been hammered home to me in one big way.
When I arrived back home last September, my sister and brother-in-law had news for us: I was going to become an uncle (OK, they were going to be parents was probably the main story, but this is my post). My little nephew arrived in April, and being home and having the time flexibility during the day to spend time with him, my retired parents, and my sister on maternity leave was priceless. Before, living the 4-hour workweek lifestyle meant being able to travel the world and hang out at coffee shops, but I also saw the benefit of time flexibility in raising a kid.
My parents (his grandparents) volunteered to watch him after my sister returned to work from maternity leave. Today, like most babies often do, my little nephew would not stop crying. We had just changed the diaper, fed him, tried to get him to sleep, but nothing would work. My dad said maybe we should smell his diaper again just in case, so I put his behind up to my dad’s nose. Immediately, my dad started laughing hysterically. Yes, it was a diaper blowout that required a complete wash down. After the wash down, he sprayed all three of us and my parents bed as we were trying to get him dressed (as only boy babies can). I commented to my dad, if you weren’t retired, this would be a major annoyance. But since you are, we’re all laughing like we were at a comedy club.
A moment like this really showed me why having time flexibility is so valuable. I have the ability to help out the organizations I volunteer at during the day, as well as connect with people that I would not be able to connect with otherwise. Raising kids someday would be a much more pleasant experience. I already was sold on the lifestyle business in that I could travel the world and work from coffee shops, but more great advantages keep showing up. Now I just need to deliver on the lifestyle business to make this all happen.
I have an update from the last post, Reflections on 4.5 Years Post-Procter. I mentioned that I was waiting for inventory to show up to resume sales on Amazon. In the last week, I have been able to restock at the Amazon fulfillment centers, but sales have slowed down, possibly due to the summer season. Also, it may take a bit of time for sales to pick back up again after losing momentum. As usual, the entrepreneurial line is not linear…