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What is a Lifestyle CEO?

What is a Lifestyle CEO™?

We Are Different From Traditional Entrepreneurs

A Lifestyle CEO™ is a person who owns a business in order to enjoy the entrepreneurial benefits of freedom, flexibility, and fun, usually through a recurring revenue business model.

I coined the term Lifestyle CEO on February 25, 2004. I knew immediately, that it perfectly described the kind of integration of life and business that suited me best.

A Lifestyle CEO™ is a person who owns a business in order to enjoy the entrepreneurial benefits of freedom, flexibility, and fun, usually through a recurring revenue business model. #lifestyleceo Click To Tweet

Today, as in 2004, most of the businesses featured by mainstream media are those with millions of dollars in annual revenues. They make for interesting and inspiring stories, and I enjoy reading them.

But I knew from the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey that my goal was not to make millions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with generating as much income as possible. I’m just not focused on that to the exclusion of certain lifestyle benefits that I consider to be more important.

From the start of the Indie Business Network, my goal has been to serve a specific type of client while supporting my specific core values and lifestyle goals. Whenever I have strayed from those core values and lifestyle goals, I have gotten into trouble.

Like the time I leased office space — and then un-leased it.

Or the time I hosted a grand opening for my office studio — and then hosted a grand closing (scroll to the bottom).

For Lifestyle CEOs, cash is is great, but it’s really just a means to an end. As long as our business supports specific core values and lifestyle desires, we are happy. We have enough.

For Lifestyle CEOs, cash is a means to an end. As long as our business supports specific core values and lifestyle desires, we are happy. We have enough. #lifestyleceo Click To Tweet

Lifestyle CEOs have these six priorities above all others.

6 Core Priorities of a Lifestyle CEO

1. Family

Whether it’s your cat or dog, your aging parent, your child, or your life partner, for Lifestyle CEOs, family trumps everything.

In many cases, Lifestyle CEOs reorganize their entire businesses to fit the needs of their family members. In my case, the main reason I closed my downtown office was because my son took ill the day it opened.

I lost a total of about 48 minutes that day (yes, I clocked it) for travel time to and from the office. There was no corresponding family benefit to offset the loss of that time, so I knew I had to make a change.

2. Freedom

As Brendon Burchard states in his book The Motivation Manifesto, a psychological predisposition for self-direction lies inside all of us. I believe this is true.

My desire for freedom was one of the things that led me to quit my job as an attorney in a Fortune 500 company to start my own business. While I enjoyed my job, it threatened to rob me of the ability to direct my own life.

The only option for advancement beyond my position of Senior Director was Vice President, yet I did not want to be a corporate officer. Other alternatives included becoming a partner at a law firm or working for the federal government. Either option would have paid well, but neither offered the freedom I so highly prize.

The only way to achieve the type of self-directed freedom I valued was to create it for myself. So I did.

3. Flexibility

When I started the Indie Business Network, I knew I wanted to have children. I observed with great interest how parents in my traditional job handled the childbearing process. While I admired them, I did not like what I saw.

I didn’t like the idea of having to appear in court, bleary eyed and exhausted, after being up all night with a colicky baby. I didn’t like the idea of having to call on my colleagues to fill in for me if I couldn’t come to work because of a sick child, or because I needed a mental health day.

I wanted my life to be defined by the needs of my family, not by a person who didn’t have a dog in my fight. I needed to hav the flexibility to be able to call the shots every moment of every day.

4. Fun

I was raised to think that work was important and necessary, and that if it was fun, it was a bonus. That wasn’t enough for me.

I didn’t just want to do work that was important and necessary. I wanted to have fun doing work that was important and necessary.

Lifestyle CEOs don’t embrace new opportunities simply because they will be profitable. We embrace opportunities because they will be enjoyable and make us happy.

For Lifestyle CEOs, fun is not optional. It's an inherent part of the work we do. #lifestyleceo Click To Tweet

Lifestyle CEOs welcome new opportunities to grow and make more money, but if we must sacrifice our desired lifestyle in order to pursue such opportunities, we prefer to pass them along to someone else.

5. Fitness

Because of the freedom and flexibility we enjoy, Lifestyle CEOs can fit in fitness on their own terms. We can exercise at home, at a local gym, on a business trip, or wherever we find ourselves. Like the work we do, fitness is wherever we are.

I have not always been consistent in this area, mainly because I’m not good at it. I’m clumsy, bumbling, and awkward. Those are lame excuses. Just writing this reminds me that I need to get back to the gym — and quick. Of all people, Lifestyle CEOs have no excuse for not developing good exercise habits.

(Talking to self here. …)

6. Finances

A Lifestyle CEO offers products and/or services through a recurring revenue business model because that model delivers everything that’s important to them, as listed here, using a recurring revenue business model.

Recurring revenue is all the rage today, but when I launched the Indie Business Network in January 2000, the term didn’t really exist. Up until then, no one had ever led an online business with a recurring revenue model. I actually think I am the first one to do so.

I had no road map. While I didn’t know exactly how I was going to make it happen, I know that I wanted to lead a business that made a significant difference in the world, and I wanted to do it in a way that allowed me the flexibility I needed to accessible to my children, especially while they were young. I also wanted my work to be fun.

When I put all of those things together, it was obvious to me that offering something of value that people wanted in their lives on a repeat basis was the way to make that happen. I didn’t know what to call it at the time, but in hindsight, it’s exactly what we know today as a recurring revenue business model.more?

The best thing about entrepreneurship is that it can make you so much more than money. #lifestyleceo Click To Tweet

Summary

Does any of this resonate with you?

If you find yourself not quite fitting the traditional definition of an entrepreneur, perhaps it’s because you are a Lifestyle CEO who values freedom, flexibility, and fun more than money.

Maybe it’s because, like me, you believe that the best thing about entrepreneurship is the fact that it can make you so much more than money.

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