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Why “Lifestyle Business” Is Not The Kiss of Death

Around here, we take our own medicine. (If we were cobblers, our children would have nice shoes.) And as such, we spent a few days this month putting ourselves through what all our accelerator members do on Day One – defining the vision, strategy and goals for the year ahead.

This process always starts with what we want our life to look like – our whole life, not just the business piece. Because one of the fundamental tenets of growth is that a business’s vision for growth must be aligned with the owner’s vision for growth. If the owner doesn’t want to work as hard as the business will need, the growth plan will flop.

And as I thought about every single woman who’s ever gone through our program with the goal to double her business, grow a new line of services, launch a completely new company on top of the one she already runs, turn around a company, raise money, and so on, I also thought about what she’d say about what she wants her life to look like. What always comes up is: make time for my family, work less, travel more, focus on relationships. And in saying those things, she commits to making it happen.

We did the same thing when we worked on our strategy. We’re crystal clear about the fact that between the two of us, Kimberly and I have six kids. Both our husbands travel. We are ambitious and driven as hell, but we want this business to support that other very important part of our lives, just like our members do.

And yet … we are surrounded by a culture that vilifies the lifestyle business as though it somehow is a separate thing from companies that have “real” growth goals.

Is Her Corner a lifestyle business?

I don’t think so. But on the other hand, we are building a business around the lifestyle that we want. But who cares? And why do we allow our society to impose on us what it thinks we “should” be building?

What I’ve learned from working with women business owners is that the sky is the limit. We start these businesses for different reasons than men do, and we grow them differently. Women aspire to create what we were inspired to go build, and we want to do it our way. We build them around our busy lives, our families, our personal ambitions.

And you know what? I can’t wait for the day when the term “lifestyle business” is the brass ring. Women will have an edge on attaining that brass ring, because we’ve been in on this secret for a long time.

Let’s keep on being true to who we are and what we were inspired to build. The brass ring is waiting for us.

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