You are living in the most exciting time in human history. At no point in the past has it ever been easier to create the lifestyle you want to live while building a business that fits into that lifestyle rather than the other way around. Affordable digital technology and easy access to the internet have made business models like the laptop lifestyle possible. Lifestyle design has been the buzzword of the past decade, and things are only speeding up from here.
So how do you set up your life on your own terms and live a dotcom lifestyle business? Below are three of the most common business models for creating the life of your dreams in 2018. But first let’s talk about what it means to have a lifestyle business.
What Is a Lifestyle Business?
Most people’s lives revolve around their job. Their employer sets their work schedule, and they have very little say in how they spend their time from the moment they clock in until the moment they clock out.
They are only allowed to be sick ten days a year. They are only allowed to go on vacation for one or two weeks a year. And they need to get approval from the boss and make sure that their vacation does not overlap with anyone else’s vacation time.
Nobody designs a lifestyle like this for themselves. If you had the choice, how would your ideal lifestyle look? Would you be bound to a timeclock? Would you live a robotic lifestyle? Or would you choose a better way?
Lifestyle design involves using technology and setting up systems that allow you to work from home according to your own schedule. It does take real work to be a successful entrepreneur, but you don’t need a ton of money to get started.
The three basic business models described here are affiliate marketing, Amazon FBA and freelancing. Take a look and see which of these might work well for you.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
An affiliate marketer is simply someone who sells products for other people without being an actual employee. So when you sign up for an affiliate program, you don’t work for that company. You’re not an employee. You don’t get benefits that employees would be entitled to receive. And there are certain limits to what you can and cannot do as you try to sell those products.
But being an affiliate marketer is actually really good because you have a lot more freedom compared to a regular employee. You promote the company’s products through your website, your email list and social media channels.
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you can set up your own business very quickly and begin selling these products. But you don’t have to design any products yourself, so the initial investment to join the affiliate marketing program and get started is usually very low.
So you don’t need to invest in manufacturing, design, research and development. You don’t have to purchase inventory or ship products yourself. And you don’t have to deal with customer service, disputes or returns. You just choose a reputable affiliate marketing program with good products and services, and you begin promoting those goods through your blog. When people click through your affiliate links and make a purchase, you get a commission.
What Is Amazon FBA?
The Amazon FBA program is a little bit different from the affiliate business models.
With Amazon FBA you need to create your own products or at least purchase them from manufacturers or wholesalers. You then pack and ship the products to Amazon, and they store them in their warehouses around the country. From that point on, you basically get to sit back and collect your earnings while Amazon sells the products and handles everything else.
So the Amazon FBA program is easier and cheaper than setting up your own business where do you handle all of the transactions yourself. But it does require some initial investment to create or source your products and build up your initial inventory.
There are some pretty strict rules that Amazon requires it’s FBA participants to follow, so you need to make sure that you do not violate any of their policies or risk getting your account shut down. Most of these are common sense rules, such as no selling of counterfeit merchandise and no selling of licensed merchandise without proper authorization. But you need to make sure that you read over all of their terms of service carefully to avoid any problems.
What Is Freelancing?
Freelancers provide services rather than manufactured products. If you have skills that other people are willing to pay for, then you can make a pretty good living as a freelancer. Freelancing is probably the easiest of these three business models, because it requires very little start up cost and there aren’t a whole lot of rules you have to follow. For the most part, you are your own boss. You still work for a client or multiple clients, but you have a lot of flexibility with how you run your business.
There are all kinds of freelance opportunities out there. If you are a writer, an artist, a videographer, a photographer, a wedding planner or a business consultant, Then you can start your own business and begin freelancing within a matter of days.
Which is right for you?
So which of these business models is right for you? Should you get into affiliate marketing? Should you try selling on Amazon? Or should you become a freelancer? Each of these business models have pros and cons.
Affiliate marketing will probably take longer before you start making a full-time income, compared to the other business models. But the good thing about affiliate marketing is that once you get your systems up and running and are getting traffic to your landing pages, income is largely passive. This allows you to have a lot of free time to use however you want. For many entrepreneurs, this lifestyle business is the ideal choice.
For others, however, a different lifestyle business model is required, at least in the beginning. If you need income right now, then you might not have a lot of time to wait around for passive income streams to pick up momentum. You need active income, so you would probably get faster results with freelancing or selling on Amazon.
No matter which lifestyle business you begin with, eventually you will probably want to shift away from active income sources toward passive ones. You want to not only have financial freedom. You also want to have time freedom and location freedom. This is more difficult to achieve with the likes of freelancing.
So as you begin to pursue your dreams and design your own lifestyle business, consider the pros and cons of these three models.