How to Start a Life Changing Online Lifestyle Business

When I started my online adventures back in 2010, I had no idea that I was essentially building a lifestyle business.

My partner & I had decided to pack up our lives in the UK, had sold everything we owned, packed 3 suitcases, scooped our 4-year-old daughter under our arm, and set off to house sit for a friend in Cyprus.

With no income and not a lot of savings, we knew we had to start earning fast and the friend we were house-sitting for was involved in something called ‘Internet Marketing’.

We wanted to continue travelling and knew this remote-based, location independent lifestyle business model was our ticket if we could figure out how it all worked.

Within 8 months I’d had my first 6 figure week, within a year I was generating a very healthy 5 figures a month and within 5 years we had our first 7 figure year.

In the last 14 years, we have travelled and lived in over 40 different countries all the while growing our online lifestyle businesses as we went.

It’s now my mission to share our experiences, and help others create their own nomadic solopreneur lifestyle that gives them the freedom to live and work from anywhere in the world.

Screenshot of Your Lifestyle Business Mission page

Table of Contents

What is a Lifestyle Business?

A lifestyle business is a venture designed to support the owner’s desired way of living rather than focusing solely on maximizing profits or growth. The lifestyle business owner structures the business around their passions, interests, and ideal work-life balance, often prioritizing factors such as location independence, flexible hours, and personal fulfillment over rapid scaling or exit strategies.

By aligning the business with their values and aspirations, lifestyle business owners aim to create a sustainable and enjoyable career path that allows them to pursue their chosen lifestyle while generating sufficient income to maintain it.

In short, a lifestyle business is an opportunity for you to turn your passion into profit. To build a location independent business, doing something that you love to do, when you want to do it and from anywhere in the world, whether that be your kitchen table or a beach in Fiji.

A lifestyle business is your chance to become a master of your own destiny and generate a monthly income that funds your ideal lifestyle whatever that is to you.

lifestyle business definition with beach background

When I started, I just thought I was making money online as a beginner. Some 10 years later I now realise I was building a business I love, to fund our lifestyle.

Lifestyle Business vs Startup – The Difference and Which is Best For You

A startup is usually associated with raising capital, starting with an exit plan in mind, and slogging away to build the next ‘unicorn’ to be sold for billions in the corridors of silicon valley.

A Lifestyle Business is about you, deciding how much you need to live your ideal lifestyle every month and then building a lifestyle business doing something you love to generate that income.

It might be something you build that you intend to sell at a later date, it might not. It might simply be a hobby you’re monetising, or a passion you love to talk about and can make money from, or a problem you solved for yourself that you can now solve for others.

Either way, the key phrase here is ‘Lifestyle’.

The point of a Lifestyle Business is that your lifestyle comes first.

As an example, we just took a family road trip all around Northern Thailand. I hardly worked for the 4 – 5 weeks we were away and that’s because I’ve built my lifestyle business to work around me, my family and my lifestyle.

lifestyle business quote with beach background

Why Start a Lifestyle Business?

1. Complete freedom to work from wherever you want in the world.

  • If you like to get up at 10, grab a cuppa and work from your bed for the next few hours, you can.
  • If you enjoy walking to the local coffee shop and flipping open your laptop while enjoying a latte, you can.
  • If you’re a night owl and like to work from your kitchen table while everyone else is asleep, you guessed it, you can.
  • Or if like me, you love to travel the world, exploring different countries and cultures, you can work while you’re on a plane, in a bus, at a hotel, or even at the beach!
running my lifestyle business on the beach

Hot Tip, get an anti-glare screen protector, it works wonders for seeing what you’re doing on a sunny day.

2. You’re creating something from your passions or interests.

Imagine working on something every day that you really enjoy!

  • Perhaps you’re a fitness nut who just loves to talk about Zumba all-day long, record Zumba videos, sell Zumba clothes, promote the Zin program, go to Zumba retreats, etc.
  • Maybe you’re passionate about baking and just want to spend all day in your kitchen, baking up beautiful delights for your family and friends and now you can share that with the world while selling baking books, products, courses, you name it!
  • You might be just like one of my best friends and spend your days doing challenging jigsaw puzzles. What I’ve learned about how to organise pieces, layout corners and straight lines, collate colours or patterns from my buddy! Who knew so much went into puzzles? Imagine talking about that all day, designing new puzzles, selling themed puzzle boards, uploading photos of completed puzzles.

In today’s world whatever your interest is, as long as there is a market out there interested in the same thing you can turn almost anything into an online lifestyle business!

3. You’re selling to a global marketplace.

And here lies the secret of why building an online business is so powerful. You are reaching the world.

Unlike a physical retail store, an office, or an education centre which can only cater to the immediate surrounding area, you can reach anyone, anywhere, in any time zone, in any country around the world.

4. You can get started with relatively low upfront investment or even no money down.

Depending on the business model you choose, you might need a few quid to get your website set up, get some graphics done, or invest in stock, but with most online models you won’t need to layout a lot of upfront cash and in most cases these days you can get started for free!

5. You can diversify across multiple models and have several streams of income.

Keith Cunningham the inspiration behind Robert Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich Dad’ in his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad‘, once said;

‘You get rich focusing in on one thing, you stay rich diversifying’.

With a an online lifestyle business, your goal is to make enough money to fund your lifestyle with one business model, and then you can systemise, diversify, and add multiple streams of income.

For example, you may start as a blogger selling affiliate products. Once you reach your ‘ideal monthly lifestyle budget’, (more on this below), if you want to you could now add your own products, courses, ebooks, physical products, services, whatever makes sense to your lifestyle business.

Or not! It’s completely up to you and your lifestyle and monetary goals. But the option and opportunities are there.

6 Steps to Starting Your Online Lifestyle Business

  1. Know Your Lifestyle Goals Before diving into the world of online business, it’s crucial to define your lifestyle goals. This includes determining how much money you need to fund your ideal lifestyle. Having a clear understanding of your financial requirements will guide your business decisions and keep you motivated.
  2. Choose Your Business Model There are various online lifestyle business models to choose from including becoming an influencer, selling digital products, selling physical products, selling services and more. Consider your skills and interests, and select a model that aligns best with your goals and strengths.
  3. Choose Your Niche and Target Market Narrowing down your niche and identifying your ideal customer is essential for creating targeted content, products, and marketing strategies. Avoid trying to appeal to everyone; instead, focus on a specific group of people who will benefit most from your offerings.
  4. Build Your Audience & Refine Your Brand Start building your online presence by creating a blog, podcast, or engaging on social media platforms. Focus on providing value to your target audience and growing your email list. As you interact with your audience, listen to their feedback and refine your brand message accordingly. 
  5. Create, Launch, and Sell Products Develop products or services that solve your target market’s problems or fulfill their desires. This could include digital products like ebooks and courses, physical products, or services such as coaching or consulting. Launch your offerings and focus on sales and marketing to grow your revenue. Note: For ecommerce businesses, this step may come before step 4. After launching your initial products, use customer feedback to refine your offerings and expand your product line.
  6. Scale and Diversify As your lifestyle business grows, consider hiring a team to help you scale and systematize your operations. Identify areas where you can streamline processes and maximize profits. Additionally, explore opportunities to diversify your income streams by adding complementary products or services, or expanding into new markets.

Remember, building a successful online lifestyle business takes time, effort, and continuous learning. Embrace the journey, stay focused on your goals, and be willing to adapt as you grow.

Here are the above steps in more detail;

1. Know Your Life & Business Goals

Getting clear on your life and business goals is essential to stay motivated and focused when starting your lifestyle business. If you don’t have a specific vision of what you want to achieve, it’s easy to get sidetracked or give up when facing challenges.

One of the biggest mistakes I see new solopreneurs making is that they don’t know with clarity what they actually want to happen. They simply say ‘I want to make more money’. Well don’t we all!

But…

  • How much specifically?
  • Doing what exactly?

To create a lifestyle business that truly fulfills you, it’s crucial to identify the kind of lifestyle you want to live and what you imagine yourself doing every day. This means getting clear on how you want to spend your time and how much money you need to support your desired lifestyle.

To help you envision your ideal life, I recommend doing the “Perfect Day Exercise,” that I first heard described by online marketing OG Frank Kern.

Find an inspiring space to sit with a pen & paper or your computer, fast forward to a time in the future, I like to go 1 year ahead, and ask yourself questions like;

  • Where are you?
  • Who are you with?
  • What are you doing?
  • How did your year go?
  • What are you proud of?
  • What did you learn?
  • What did you achieve?
  • What breakthroughs did you have?
  • How has your life changed?
  • What are you looking forward to in the next year?

Be specific! Really place yourself there and imagine everything as if it’s already happened through the year. By answering these questions, you can paint a vivid picture of the lifestyle you want to create and the business you want to build to support that lifestyle.

Here’s Frank himself explaining in more detail;

Once you have a clear vision, the next step is to create a lifestyle budget. Determine how much money you need each month to live the life you’ve envisioned. You might be surprised to find that it’s less than you initially thought.

Consider accommodation costs, travel expenses, luxury items and anything else you need to live your ideal lifestyle. Here’s an example budget sheet to get you started;

ideal lifestyle budget

By the end of this exercise you’ll have a much clearer idea of your ideal day to day lifestyle and how much it costs to fund.

Now as you start to consider the kind of business or side hustle you need to grow to fund your ideal lifestyle, you’ll be in a better position to pick a business model and strategy that meets your needs.

2. Choose Your Business Model

There are so many ways to build your lifestyle business. To try to go through each and every one would take far more than I could fit into this post, however for ease I have grouped them into three main models.

The 3 Most Profitable Lifestyle Business Models & Which is Best For You

Pretty much every single lifestyle business type fits into one of these models;

1. Digital Marketing

Call it what you like;

Digital Marketing, Information Marketing, Internet Marketing, Info Products, Creator Economy.

So many names for what is basically generating an income, by delivering information, by way of digital products that solve a problem in the market place.

Whether you’re selling ebooks, coaching programs, online courses, templates, sponsorship, anything that can be sold online and downloaded or accessed digitally (as opposed to a tangible physical product), comes under the umbrella of digital marketing.

2. A Service-Based Business

A service-based lifestyle business is a business which offers ‘services’ rather than ‘products’ to clients.

You’re essentially utilizing your skills or the skills of others to help entrepreneurs, businesses and companies achieve tasks in their business they don’t have the time or the in house skillset to do.

Examples include;

  • Web development
  • Graphic design
  • Ghostwriting
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Social Media Manager
  • Facebook Ads Specialist
  • VA Services
  • Music Teacher
  • Language Teacher
  • Podcast Producer
  • Booking Agent
  • Proofreader
  • Technical Support
  • Voice Over Talent
  • Translator
  • Coach (some cross over with Info Marketing also)

3. An Ecommerce Business

Ecommerce can literally be used to describe any kind of business transaction online. However, for the purposes of this article, I’m specifically talking about the sale of physical products vs digital products or services.

This might be on Amazon, via your own online store, Print on Demand, an Etsy shop, dropshipping, etc. If ecom is your jam then read my full guide on starting and growing an ecommerce business.

Here are the three models broken down further with examples;

lifestyle business models

The Different Models of Digital Marketing

Within the realm of Digital Marketing there are several common business models to consider:

1. Educator

Creating and selling information products like courses, ebooks, and membership sites to teach others a skill or help them achieve a goal.

Examples include;

screenshot of Digital Course Academy Main Page

 Amy Porterfield is the ‘go to’ person if you want to know how to build a list, create online courses and promote yourself via webinars.

iPhone photography digital course main page

 Emil is the ‘go-to’ person for learning how to become an expert photographer using only your iPhone.

screenshot of Marie forloe B-School Main Page

Marie Forleo for many years has been known for inspiring you to build a business & life that you love.

2. Author

Writing and publishing books on a topic of expertise.

Examples include;

screenshot of mark manson blog Main Page

Mark Manson has fast become one of the most popular authors of the last decade with his fresh perspective on personal development. He started his career as a dating blog which over time morphed into his humorous and what he calls negative self-help.

His blog gets over 1.5 million hits a month.

screenshot of creative penn author Main Page

Joanna Penn writes both fiction & non fiction and is also a New York Times bestseller with her fiction writing. As part of her success as a writer she wanted to share her journey and so also runs her educational blog alongside her writing career.

3. Affiliate Marketer

Promoting other people’s products and earning a commission on resulting sales.

What I love about this model is that it’s a win-win. You can both network with like-minded entrepreneurs by promoting their product and provide huge value to your audience by bringing them the best of the best, or promote products from the world’s largest marketplaces which audiences already know and trust.

Affiliate marketing program example;

amazon associates affiliate program

4. Influencer

Building a large following on social media or a blog, then monetizing through sponsorships, ads, speaking engagements, or product sales.

Service Based Lifestyle Business Models

There are a multitude of service-based businesses you can start as you can see from my post – 190+ Online Lifestyle Business Ideas, but to make it simpler I’ve grouped them into 4 main groups;

1. Freelancing

Freelancing is one of the fastest ways to get your lifestyle business off the ground.

Typically you will have a specific skill – writing, graphic design, customer service, social media etc. You’ll then pitch yourself to businesses who are looking for that specific service. You might work for them on a one-off project or more long term, but generally, you choose when to work and agree measurable & deadlines etc with each client individually.

This post goes into great detail on how to start freelancing, but some of the best places to get started are;

Screenshot of upwork lifestyle business resource Landing page
Screenshot of fiverr business resource Main page

 2. Coaching

If you have a lot of experience in a particular niche or huge empathy and your goal in life is to help people reach their true potential, then coaching might be for you.

Building a lifestyle business as a coach is very similar to building an information marketing business, as essentially you’re selling your experience and information, but you’re doing so in a one to one or one to many setting.

This post walks you step by step through how to grow your coaching business, but here are some of the heavyweights in the coaching world;

bob proctor coaching Set a Goal Message
Screenshot of tony robbins business coaching Main Page
Screenshot of life coach school page

3. Starting an Agency

Starting an agency is the next level up from freelancing and involves providing a service like marketing, web design, or content creation to other businesses.

However, rather than you doing all the work, you’ll likely hire people to be able to cover more services.

Here are some great examples of agency models;

Screenshot of vaynermedia online media business page
Screenshot of digital marketing agency example
Screenshot of Audacious Agency a digital marketing agency example

4. Starting a SAAS Business

A software as a service business means developing a piece of software that solves a problem for a specific target market, then charging for access to it.

Here’s some great examples of SAAS based lifestyle businesses online today;

Screenshot of Connectio page
Screenshot of buffer Main page
Screenshot of Leadpages Main Page

Ecommerce Lifestyle Business Models

If you’re interested in selling physical products online, there are several popular ecommerce business models to consider:

1. Amazon FBA

With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you leverage Amazon’s powerful platform and global distribution network. You find or create products, send your inventory to Amazon’s warehouses, and they handle the storage, order fulfillment, and customer service.

Advantages of FBA include built-in trust from Amazon’s brand reputation, access to Prime customers, and simplified logistics. However, there are FBA fees to consider and competition can be fierce in popular product categories.

amazon best sellers

2. Your Own Online Store

Building your own ecommerce store using a platform like Shopify or WooCommerce offers more control and customization compared to selling on a marketplace like Amazon. You’ll need to handle marketing and customer acquisition yourself, but you also have more control over branding, pricing and the customer experience.

Shopify is a popular choice for ecommerce beginners because it’s user-friendly and requires no coding skills. WooCommerce is well-suited for those who want to add ecommerce functionality to an existing WordPress website.

nomatic - online store

3. Etsy Shop

If you create handmade, vintage, or craft products, setting up an Etsy shop is an excellent way to reach millions of potential customers looking for unique items. Etsy handles the technical details of hosting your shop and processing payments.

While you can build a strong brand on Etsy, you are ultimately dependent on the Etsy platform. It’s a good idea to eventually build your own website as well to establish your own independent brand.

etsy products

4. Print on Demand

A print-on-demand business involves selling customized products like t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases that are printed after the customer places an order. You create the designs, but the print-on-demand company handles production, shipping, and customer service.

Popular print-on-demand companies include Printful, Printify, and Redbubble. These companies integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy, allowing you to easily sell print-on-demand products on your own site or through marketplaces.

redbubble products

5. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a fulfillment model where you don’t keep products in inventory. Instead, when a customer places an order on your site, you purchase the item from a third-party supplier who ships it directly to the customer. You profit from the retail markup.

Dropshipping offers low overhead costs since you don’t hold inventory. However, profit margins can be slim and you have less control over product quality, branding, and shipping speeds compared to stocking your own products.

To find reliable dropshipping suppliers, you can use directories like Spocket, Dsers, and AliExpress.

dsers - dropshipping tool

The model you choose will depend on your skills, interests, and the needs of your target market. You don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to just one model, but it’s usually best to start with one and add on additional income streams as you grow.

The key is to be true to yourself and build a business that energizes you and plays to your natural strengths. By aligning your business model with your personality and interests, you’ll be more likely to stay motivated and committed for the long haul.

3. Choose Your Lifestyle Business Niche & Target Market

When considering various lifestyle business models, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the core business you’re creating.

Simply stating, “I want to be a life coach” or “I want to be an affiliate marketer” is not enough. You need to dive deeper and identify your target audience and the specific market you’ll be serving.

For instance, if you want to be a life coach, you need to determine who you will be coaching. Are you targeting young professionals, entrepreneurs, or stay-at-home parents? Each group has unique challenges and goals that require a tailored approach.

Similarly, if you’re planning to be an affiliate marketer, you need to identify the products or services you’ll promote and the audience most likely to benefit from them.

By selecting a specific niche and target market, you can attract the right people to your business. Trying to appeal to everyone often results in appealing to no one.

When you focus on a particular group and their needs, you can create content, products, and services that resonate with them on a deeper level. This targeted approach helps you establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field and build a loyal following of individuals who trust and value your offerings.

When I first started, I was already an entrepreneur in the offline space, and I knew I wanted to help small business owners build an online presence. However, I lacked experience in building an online business myself.

So in the early days, I focused on mastering Facebook fan pages as a means to generate leads for small online businesses. I immersed myself in learning everything I could about using Facebook fan pages effectively and quickly became recognized as an expert in Facebook marketing for online businesses.

By going niche and becoming an authority in one specific aspect of online business, I attracted an audience of small online business owners. As my expertise grew, I gradually expanded my focus to encompass all social media platforms and, eventually, marketing as a whole.

Today, after 14 years of hands-on experience, I can confidently teach and demonstrate how to build a successful lifestyle business online because it’s precisely what I’ve done myself.

Here are 7 things to consider when thinking about your ideal niche;

1. What type of lifestyle business model attracts you the most?

  • Educator
  • Author
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • Influencer
  • Coach
  • Freelancer
  • Agency
  • SAAS
  • Amazon
  • Own Shop
  • Etsy
  • POD
  • Dropshipping

While it’s possible to diversify and have multiple income streams in the future (which I actively encourage, as you’ll read later in this post), having a clear starting point is crucial.

Consider your passions and strengths when choosing your ideal business model. For example, if you love to educate, via big posts, podcasts, videos, then educator is definitely for you, but you may choose to educate for free and monetize via affiliate offers.

As your business grows, you can expand your offerings.

  • You may want to start as an educator and then become an author, or start as an author and add an education side to your lifestyle business.
  • You might start as a freelancer, build your skills and income and turn that into an agency or a coaching business or your own educational website.
  • You might become an author, an educator and an affiliate marketer and then down the line grow into an influencer.
  • Or you might start out with influencer in mind and your whole focus will be on growing your audience to attract sponsorship deals.

I couldn’t find an appropriate ‘mind completely blown‘ meme for this part of the post, but your challenge will never be lack of opportunity. Rather too much choice.

The key is to identify your initial focus and target market, so you can establish a strong foundation for your business while leaving room for growth and diversification in the future.

2. Make a list of all your interests, things you love to do, talk about and things you’re good at.

Some examples might include;

  • I love tinkering with websites & anything technical,
  • I love photography,
  • I love home decor,
  • I spend all day discussing the future of AI & technology,
  • I love travel & Instagram,
  • I’m a keen gardener and enjoy helping my neighbors with their gardens.
  • I love baking.
  • I’m a natural-born coach and love to help people feel great about themselves,
  • I‘m a fitness fanatic and love talking about nutrition
  • I love writing
  • I love marketing
  • I love business

What are the lifestyle business opportunities you can pursue from your interests?

Here are some examples;

Screenshot of WPBEGINNER Main Page

Primarily an education site on all things WordPress, they’re affiliate marketers and a SAAS company, monetising via affiliate offers on their site and selling plugins they build. NB: Syed Balkhi, the brains behind wpbeginner.com bootstrapped this business to some very large numbers and has gone on to start numerous ventures.

Screenshot of Iphone Photography School Main Page

Here Emil brings his love of photography alive through his educational website and monetizes primarily through his courses.

Screenshot of A Beautiful Mess Main Page

These ladies bring their love of home decor, photography and lifestyle together into an inspiring website which started as a blog. They monetise via display ads, advertising, sponsorship, courses, books, their own Airbnb properties and I’m sure numerous other ways off of the site such as speaking opportunities, partnerships etc.

Screenshot of Nomadic Matt Main Page

Matt took his love of travel (particularly on a budget) and turned it into an informational blog monetising via guide books, print books, courses, affiliate income & revenue from display ads.

Screenshot of middle sized garden Main Page

Here this lady has turned her love of gardening into over a million views a year! She monetises via the Amazon Associates affiliate program, consulting, some guest posting and a book.

Screenshot of The life Coach School Main Page

Brooke Castillo is a force to be reckoned with. She started as a weight loss coach and over time has grown her own online life coaching school & certification program generating 8 figures a year.

Screenshot of Goins, writer Main Page

Jeff Goins has taken his love of writing and turned it into an educational writing blog for writers, monetising via his books, courses and affiliate sales.

3. What audience do you want to attract?

You cannot determine your niche without knowing who your target market is, however, honing in on a specific audience is often a challenging task for many nomadic solopreneurs.

As humans, we are hardwired with a fear of missing out (FOMO), which often leads us to define our target market too broadly. We worry that by niching down, we might alienate or miss out on potential customers who could benefit from our product or service.

However, attempting to please everyone is a surefire way to struggle in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

When your target market is too broad, you’ll spend too much money & time trying to identify your actual buyers. On the other hand, defining your niche too narrowly may limit your potential market size and you might not be able to make any money.

Striking a balance between an overly broad and an excessively specific target market is the key. Also having a well-defined target audience not only gives you the opportunity to dominate that particular market segment, which means you’ll be better positioned to expand and diversify as your business grows, but makes it easier for you to create a brand that resonates with your ideal customer.

Your communication will be more focused, and you’ll have a clearer understanding of the type of content, articles, or advertisements that will appeal to your target market. By speaking directly to your ideal customer, you’ll create a stronger connection and build a more loyal following.

Creating Your Customer Avatar?

Detailed customer avatars are helpful documents for huge corporations who are spending millions on advertising campaigns and need to know their audience down to the breakfast cereal they eat.

For the average solopreneur, we just need to know the type of person we want to network with online.

For example I want to chat with people who still play 80’s tunes on their car stereo, can talk about amazing destinations until the sun goes down, and who want to live a long life with passion and purpose!

Who do you want to chat with?

Working out your target audience doesn’t have to be a scientific experiment. Just think about the type of person you want to be connecting with via your brand and then as you create content work out these three crucial questions;

  1. What do they deeply believe in? (Their worldview)
  2. What are their greatest desires?
  3. What are their greatest fears/roadblocks?

The answers to those questions will help you create content, products and services that meet your audiences needs.

4. Where do you want to be and where are you now?

Focus in on your strengths, skills & interests.

  • What have you done, that you have a wealth of experience with that you can now help others in that space?
  • What interests you to the extent you’re willing to immerse yourself in and learn everything about?
  • What current niche could you hone in on that would attract the audience you want to expand into?

In my example, I had no Facebook skills (in fact if truth be told I wasn’t a big Facebook fan), but I had learned how to generate leads via a mentorship program I had attended and I was great at taking the complex and breaking it down into simple steps on video.

I immersed myself in FB and learned everything there was to know so I could teach others the same. This was a pattern throughout my online journey to be honest, so don’t let the fact that you’re not yet an expert in your given subject be a barrier to getting started.

As long as you’re willing to do the work and learn everything you can, there’s no reason you can’t teach as you learn.

5. Are you your own target market?

In other words, is there something you’re struggling with that you feel others are in the same position and you feel you have the solution?

Think ‘Joy’ here. Have you seen the movie with Jennifer Lawrence in which she portrays Joy Mangano who frustrated with her conventional mop, designs a new self-wringing mop and goes on to build a multi-million dollar empire?

According to Wikipedia;

“Mangano holds more than 100 patents for her inventions. “I think my products have been successful because they have mass appeal,” she has said. “I’m just like everybody else out there. I’m a mom, I work, I have a house to clean, things to organize. We all have similar needs, and I address them.”

What’s missing in your world that you wish there was a solution for and you’re sure others feel the same?

6. Can you do it better?

Perhaps you’ve spotted something already in the market that you just know you could do better a job of.

Maybe you’re frustrated by the service, the product, the operations, whatever it is you’re constantly saying to your spouse or friends, ‘if only I ran that business, here’s how I would do it!

Well here’s your chance!

7. Pick One Thing!

I can’t remember the number of times I’ve said this over the years. In fact, I’ve said it so often my old tech manager Neil (God Rest his soul), recorded a cartoon style audio of my voice speeded up shouting ‘Pick one niche’!

Unless you have unlimited energy and resources if you try to catch more than one rabbit you’ll lose them all, so pick one thing.

You can do anything my friend but you can’t do everything, so pick the one path that excites you the most, put your other ideas into a little black book and commit to making a lifestyle idea a reality, even through the tough times!


As you go through this post the goal is to define your market, your brand and your money path. The idea is that you come out the end with a very specific and clear description of who you are, who you’re for and what you do.

Spend some time here.

This is an area that trips people up. They pick something that doesn’t suit who they are or what they’re trying to achieve just because it looks good, easy or something someone told them to do.

Every single business you start is hard work. Some models may be simpler than others (which of course is subjective), but there is not one single business model that is easy money.

Start off on the right foot by picking a lifestyle business and niche you are passionate about and that you won’t give up on when the going gets tough, which it will!

If you still have absolutely no clue what you want to do, that’s ok, but you need to do something.

It’s taken me years to get super clear on my ultimate outcome, but I’d never have achieved that clarity if I hadn’t taken the action I’ve taken over the last 10 years.

4. Build Your Audience and Refine Your Brand

No matter your business model you need an audience of people interested in you/your brand.

Even if you’re selling on Amazon which comes with a ready made list of paying customers, competition these days is such that success is far more likely if you have your own audience.

Many would be solopreneurs spend months figuring out a name, logo and website design, when actually you should first be focused on growing your community. Then with feedback and a better understanding of your audience, you can refine your message, your brand and your offerings.

Here’s how to go about building your audience and refining your brand.

1. Build an Email List

This is the single most important thing you can do to grow your online lifestyle business.

You can grow a popular podcast, attract a million followers on Facebook, build a huge blog audience or become a TikTok superstar. But until you own your own distribution system, it can all be taken away in a push of a button.

Every single medium online is controlled by someone else;

  • Podcasts – Apple/Spotify
  • Facebook/Instagram – Meta
  • Blog Traffic – Google/Bing
  • TikTok – ByteDance

At any point, the controlling entity can change the algorithm and in a split second your business is decimated.

An email list is yours. You may use an email platform to store all the details and make it easy to send emails, but you can download the list at any point and use any platform of your choosing to deliver your emails.

Other than a user unsubscribing, no platform, monopoly or algorithm change can take your email list away. It’s yours.

So before you start worrying about brand colours, logo’s, website designs etc, start by creating a lead generator and ensuring that’s front and centre of everything you do.

Here are the key steps you need to take;

1. Sign up for A Reputable Email Provider

I’m currently using Beehiiv and Flodesk, but ConvertKit also comes highly recommended. Different email platforms meet varying needs so you need to do some due diligence and decide which one is best for you.

2. Create an Attractive Lead Generation Offer

A lead generation offer is something you’re willing to give away for free in exchange for an email address.

What can you give away for free to entice people to leave you their name and email address?

Here’s mine;


Subscribe to the Working Traveller Newsletter and alongside weekly money making and nomadic lifestyle tips, get instant access to my FREE ebook – 200+ Ways to Generate an Income While Travelling the World!

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3. Create Valuable, Entertaining or Educational Email Campaigns

This is where many get stuck and my advice is always to be congruent with your brand and write as if you’re talking to an individual rather than a big list of email addresses.

People do business with people they like, know and trust right? So don’t start sending official, corporate style emails unless that’s your brand ideal!

If you come across in all your content and social media as approachable and fun, then reflect that in your emails.

If your brand is more professional and informative then reflect that in your emails.

4. Ensure your lead magnet is everywhere you create and publish content

Now as you go out and start to make some noise on your platform of choice, you have a reason to be creating content.

Rather than just creating content for contents sake, you’re sending interested parties to a valuable resource and taking the first step in building a relationship with potential customers.

When the time comes to make an offer, whether it’s a new product, service, or piece of content, you’ll have a direct line of communication with your email subscribers.

By integrating your lead magnet into all aspects of your content creation and promotion efforts, you’ll be able to build an engaged email list that supports your sales goals, and provides a platform for launching new products or content with greater success.

2. Choose Your Platform and Consistently Create Valuable Content

Once you have your lead magnet set up you need to start attracting your target audience. To do this you’ll need to build your online presence, via the platform or platforms that align with your strengths and resonate with your target audience.

For example, if you love writing and storytelling, a blog might be your best bet. If you’re comfortable in front of a camera and can engage through visual content, YouTube could be a great choice. And if you have a knack for speaking and engaging discussions, podcasts can effectively showcase your expertise.

twt-facebook
Find me on Facebook!

While it may be tempting to establish a presence on every platform, it’s more effective to focus on one, or at most two, platforms initially. By concentrating your efforts, you can dedicate the necessary time and resources to master your chosen platform and create high-quality content consistently.

Once you’ve chosen your platform, the key to success lies in creating what Brendon Burchard refers to as “Prolific Quality Outputs” (PQOs) in his book “High Performance Habits”.

PQOs are the content that you choose to consistently create. Podcasts, videos, blog posts, reels, daily social posts, newsletters. Whichever medium you’ve chosen.

But a PQO isn’t just about producing a lot of content; it’s about consistently delivering high-quality content that resonates with your audience. It’s the secret sauce to building a successful online presence.

This means not only creating valuable content but also identifying the topics and formats that generate the most engagement. Once you know what works, you can double down on those elements and create more content in the same vein.

As you consistently deliver valuable content, make sure to guide your audience towards your email funnel. Include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) in your content, encouraging readers, listeners, or viewers to sign up for your lead magnet or newsletter. You can then build a direct relationship with your audience, nurture leads, and ultimately promote your products or services.

Building a substantial following and generating significant income from your content takes time and patience. It’s not uncommon for it to take months, or even years, to see significant growth.

However, by consistently creating PQOs, engaging with your audience, and optimizing your email funnel, you’ll lay the foundation for a sustainable and profitable online presence.

3. Refine Your Brand

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos

As you consistently create and publish valuable content, you’ll start attracting an audience. This is where the real magic happens.

By engaging with your audience and gathering their feedback, you can refine your brand message to better resonate with their needs and preferences.

Take the example of Justin Welsh, who initially focused on sharing content about building a SaaS business based on his expertise. As he interacted with his audience, he realized that they were more interested in learning how he created compelling content and built his audience on LinkedIn.

By listening to his audience’s feedback, Justin pivoted his focus to cater to millennial solopreneurs and aspiring creators. This shift allowed him to build a stronger connection with his audience and establish himself as an authority in his niche.

justin-welsh - homepage

Your audience’s feedback is a goldmine of insights that can help you shape your brand message. Pay close attention to the comments, questions, and interactions you receive on your content. Look for patterns and recurring themes that indicate what your audience is most interested in and what challenges they face.

Use this information to refine your brand message and create content that directly addresses their needs.

What’s Your Brand Ideal?

As you refine your brand message, it’s essential to create a brand ideal that aligns with your values and resonates with your target audience. Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” concept is a powerful framework for developing your brand ideal.

As he says;

“The goal is not to do business with people who need what you have, but to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

Have you noticed how big brands like RedBull, Dove, Nike actually rarely talk about their products. That’s because they have a higher ideal, a bigger purpose and attract their audience via that purpose.

redbull brand ideal example

What I love about this strategy is that it doesn’t just help formulate your messaging and eventually your logos and colours, it guides you as to the type of content you should be publishing across the web.

My brand is all about lifestyle, freedom, travel and independence. So the bulk of my content represents the same.

jo barnes lifestyle business brand images showing how she enjoy travelling

By identifying your “why” – the purpose, cause, or belief that drives your business – you can create a brand message that goes beyond what you do and how you do it. Your “why” becomes the foundation of your brand ideal, guiding your content creation and helping you build a deeper connection with your audience.

To create your brand ideal, start by asking yourself:

  1. What do you stand for? What are your values?
  2. How can your brand improve your target markets life?
  3. What are 5 emotions you want people to feel when they come across your brand?
  4. Why does my business exist beyond making a profit?
  5. How can I communicate my “why” through my content and brand messaging?

Also watch the replay of the Facebook live I did all about the power of your brand ideal.

5. Create, Launch and Sell Products

When I started back in 2010, my first product was a $9 video course adapted from a PDF about landing pages. I made $27.

My second products was a much bigger video course called 2000 Fans in 27 Days, it sold for around $37 – $47 from memory and over the course of 2-3 months, we sold a few hundred.

jo barnes first video course

At the time I was creating a lot of content around Facebook fan pages and directing my traffic to a piece of software I’d had built to help build a simple landing page inside a Facebook page.

Within a year I’d grown to 18,000 people on my email list and when I launched my membership site ‘The Social Networking Academy’ in April 2011, I generated $117k in 7 days.

You can read my launch story here

The type of product you launch will depend on your chosen business model and the preferences of your audience. As you build your audience and engage with them, pay close attention to their feedback and the challenges they face.

This insight will guide you in creating a product that effectively addresses their needs, whether it’s a video course, a comprehensive guide, physical products, a service, or one-on-one coaching.

When launching your first product, consider creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP is a basic version of your product that includes only the essential features. By launching an MVP, you can test the market demand, gather valuable feedback from your early adopters, and validate your product idea without investing too much time or resources.

If you’ve chosen e-commerce as your business model, you may have already launched products before building your audience. In this case, use the feedback from your existing customers to refine your products and make data-driven decisions about new product launches.

Continuously engage with your audience, seek their opinions, and use their insights to improve your offerings and grow your business.

Your Profit Plan

As you start to create and launch your products, it’s important to align your efforts with the life and business goals you established in Step 1. If you created an ideal lifestyle budget, you’ll have a clear understanding of the income you need to generate to support your desired way of living.

Let’s say your ideal lifestyle budget requires an income of $10,000 per month. With this target in mind, you can create a specific profit plan for your product launches.

For example, you might determine that you need to sell 101 courses priced at $99 each, 400 products at $25 each, or conduct 40 coaching sessions at $250 per session to reach your monthly income goal.

Having a clear monetary target helps you focus your efforts and make strategic decisions about your product offerings.

Instead of randomly launching products and hoping for the best, you’ll have a specific goal to work towards. This clarity allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns, adjust your pricing strategy, and optimize your sales funnel to maximize your chances of success.

Once you achieve your initial income goal, you can start thinking about expanding your product line and scaling your business. By offering a variety of products and services at different price points, you can appeal to a wider audience and create multiple streams of income.

For example, you might start by launching a low-priced e-book or mini-course to attract a large number of customers and build your email list. As you grow your audience and establish your expertise, you can introduce higher-priced offerings such as comprehensive video courses, group coaching programs, or one-on-one consulting services.

By diversifying your product portfolio, you can cater to different segments of your target market and increase your overall revenue potential.

Remember, launching a product is not a one-time event. It’s an iterative process that involves continuous learning, refinement, and adaptation based on your audience’s feedback.

By staying attuned to your customers’ needs and consistently providing value, you’ll be able to create products that resonate with your target market and build a sustainable, thriving business.

6. Scale & Diversify Your Lifestyle Business & Add Streams of Income

In order to scale your lifestyle business, at some point you will need to start hiring and outsource some of your more low value tasks.

You are not an island and if you want to be able to spend most of your time exploring the globe or doing the things you love to do then outsourcing is the way to go.

This doesn’t have to be a big team, in fact you may only ever end up hiring one other person, only you will know who you need and where you’ll need them.

So start with the end in mind!

1. Building a Team

1. Make a big list of low value tasks / tasks you don’t enjoy doing

Low value tasks are the admin type tasks that aren’t direct money spinners.

Laying out blog posts, customer service, setting up emails, scheduling social media posts, formatting PDF’s; these are all jobs that can be handled by a perfectly capable VA of which there are many available.

Be sure to include jobs you dislike. If you hate to write content, find a writer, if you hate to post on social media, find a social media manager, if you hate FB Ads, find an FB Ads Specialist.

Some roles may cost you more than others and you might have to just suck up some of the stuff you don’t enjoy until you can afford someone, but at this stage just make the list.

2. Create an organizational chart

With your list in hand create yourself a little organizational chart of who you need to do what.

Then head to Upwork.com or Onlinejobs.ph to see what pay rates these type of jobs command. Then add the predicted monthly cost next to the job on your chart.

This is going to help you calculate at what stage you can afford to hire the team members you want.

3. Hire an awesome VA

As soon as you can afford it, hire an awesome VA.

If you’re anything like me, having someone who is better at the detail, better at the minutia and has better organisational skills; i.e., a multi-talented VA who gets to know all facets of the business, will be invaluable.

(Donna from Suits anyone?)

Donna meme knowing everything

As tempting as it may be to believe that it’s ‘just faster to do it yourself’, after an initial training period, having someone give you the time to focus on money-making tasks will probably be the making of your business.

4. Gradually begin to hire other necessary posts as your lifestyle business grows

You’ll know who you need and when from your list & chart.

It’s a fine balance however. Hire too early and you’ll eat up all your cashflow making it tougher to reinvest in the business which means you’ll slow growth.

Hire too late and you’ll be burning the candle at both ends, unable to meet the demands of your lifestyle business, potentially letting customers down and slowing down growth.

Only you’ll know when it’s right to start hiring a team/outsourcers to help you achieve your goals. But do remember why you started this in the first place, to create a business that could fund your lifestyle.

Be careful not to get so caught up in the ‘business’ you forget the ‘lifestyle’.

2. Adding Streams of Income

No matter which lifestyle business model you choose. Whether you become an author, an influencer, a video course creator, a coach, a consultant, sell products or services, as I’ve mentioned before,

Get rich focusing on one thing, stay rich diversifying

When you reach a point that your core lifestyle business model is bringing in regular revenue (I recommend your measuring point be, when you achieve your ‘ideal monthly lifestyle budget’) and you have a team and systems in place to allow you to grow, the sensible move will be to introduce further streams of income.

Going back to my examples above, the ladies from abeautifulmess.com for instance are monetising their site in over 10 different ways.

Here’s a list of all the potential lifestyle business models that eventually could work together;

  • Video courses
  • Ebooks
  • Membership Programs
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sponsorship
  • Advertising
  • Software
  • Apps
  • Partnerships
  • Physical products
  • Consulting or Coaching
  • Done For You Services

Look to others in your industry or niche for inspiration.

Using Ladyboss as an example again, she sells supplements, merchandise, coaching programs, digital programs and a book. She pretty much does it all!

screenshot of ladyboss online business

You don’t have to go this far, but you can see the potential to diversifying into lots of streams of income.

Please note though….

Start with one! Focus in, make it work and then add in others as you grow.

Get big doing one thing, stay big by diversifying!

Your Lifestyle Business & Your Bucket List

I do hope this post has been useful and has given you some solid insights into what you need to do to get your lifestyle business off the ground.

Your Bucket List

Something that always inspired me, even in the darkest moments of doubt when I wasn’t sure my business idea would work was my bucket list.

Things like;

  • Flying in a Hot Air Balloon
  • Swimming With Dolphins
  • Learning How to Scuba Dive
  • New Years Eve Fireworks Around the World
  • Visiting Disneyland
  • Living in Australia
  • Visiting the Taj Mahal
  • Seeing Mount Everest
  • Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Having a Picnic in the Grand Canyon
  • Visiting the Colosseum
  • Meeting Mark Zuckerburg on the Great Wall of China (meeting Mark Z was not part of my bucket list, he just added to the experience)
  • And loads more!

These make up just some of my bucket list items. I still have hundreds to go!

But just pulling out my list and imagining all the places I want to visit and the things I want to see, would drive me forward.

We’ve now been lucky enough to visit and live in over 40 countries in the last 14 years, and we’ve only scratched the surface. I have plans over the coming years to road trip through South America, bus and train across Canada, experience an Icebreaker in Antarctica, explore Africa and so much more!

I urge you if you haven’t already. Get yourself a big scrapbook or Pinterest board and start to fill it with pictures of all the things you’d love to do in this big world of ours.

In those moments when it gets too hard, or you start to doubt yourself, or others doubt you, pull out your bucket list and lose yourself in your dreams.

Then with a renewed sense of energy, make it happen!

Good luck!


Subscribe to the Working Traveller Newsletter and alongside weekly money making and nomadic lifestyle tips, get instant access to my FREE ebook – 200+ Ways to Generate an Income While Travelling the World!

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About the author

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