Many of us spend hours, days, or even weeks designing our flats – choosing our dream blanket, ordering that Italian coffee table, importing the gorgeous Turkish rug. We set up discussion clubs around the type of coffee beans we drink and organic food recipes we experiment with.
Yet, so few are equally specific about the quality of life we choose to have. Isn’t that ironic – we know exactly what we want to put on the floor in the living room, and we often have no clue what we need and want from our lives!
I have always been very open about why I set up my first business twenty years ago, as well as the the other companies later on. I didn’t do that because I thought it would be cool to have a company or call myself an entrepreneur. I did it because I wanted to make a lot of money – much more than any regular “job” would give me and to be able to make the most important decisions – where and how I live and how I can support the ones I love.
I have never pretended that I set up my business to save the world, my motivations were much more “pragmatic” – not to have to look at the prices and not to have to do certain projects – just to make money. A few years ago I would accept any development project from any client – as long as they were ready to pay my rates. Now, I am much more selective and work only with these clients who really need my support to move further and are ready to work harder than ever before. As far as I am concerned – that is also an important aspect of my lifestyle – who I support and what REAL value and impact I have. I have decided to have fewer clients, but much “better” clients. Am I earning less? I’m pretty sure you know the answer!
So what exactly does “lifestyle” mean?
The word “lifestyle” is used in many contexts nowadays – we have “lifestyle magazines”, “lifestyle programs”, “lifestyle businesses”. I can’t help the feeling that “lifestyle” is one of the most overused words nowadays – especially if it refers to the magazines someone reads, the matcha latte they drink, or the gym they go to. Additionally, it has become so generic – in most cases it helps you define one of the groups you decide to become part of. And let’s face it – “lifestyle” businesses are booming nowadays, as they help people feel better and get that instantaneous gratification resulting from belonging somewhere.
Does that make our lives more rewarding and fulfilling?
I believe it does – in many ways. By choosing a certain option from the dropdown list of the “currently available lifestyles”, we can define who we are, what makes us feel happy, and what makes us feel special.
The thing is, that choosing such a “second-hand” lifestyle category, we actually never ask ourselves what it is that we really really want.
From my perspective, only if you are an entrepreneur, can you make some of the key decisions, and come up with your own definitions. Having a boss or working for Company X makes you part of the system. Having your own business gives you the possibility of creating the system you like, or deciding not to be part of any system – whichever you prefer!
What lifestyle do YOU want?