I once heard it said that there are 2 types of business – A high performance business, and a lifestyle business. At the time, it was explained to me in terms of revenue/turnover, the usual stuff. You know, anything south of $2mil in turnover is a lifestyle business etc.
But I think like most things, it is subjective. I listened to a podcast recently on Mixergy, about a guy who sold $1.5mil of products through Amazon, with a net profit around 30%. But he wanted to make it very clear, he was not about taking over the world.
And I think that is the key – A lifestyle business, in whatever size that happens to be, is one that affords you the ability to enjoy the lifestyle you want. If you have extravagant tastes, well then your lifestyle business is going to require that much more cash.
I also think that a lifestyle business affords the luxury of making decisions that aren’t always about the bottom line. For us, we’ve completed countless jobs that were not profitable, simply because they seemed like a cool or fun thing to be part of. And of course, for us, having a cool portfolio could be seen as still looking at the long game, but it’s not what we focus on.
Similarly, as a lifestyle business, our aim is to work with people to help improve their lifestyle. As an employer of people around the globe, we try and ensure that we contribute not only to the staff member, but to their community and government, through paying the taxes etc. that often get overlooked. We want to help their economy grow, as much as we do them as an individual.
This doesn’t mean that doing good business can’t be profitable. As Richard Branson put it in his excellent book ‘Screw Business As usual’, “Doing good is good for business”