In late-2010 I wrote about lifestyle design. The topic of starting an online business has been pretty popular around here. I’ve been exploring the idea of working online and traveling the world ever since I read the 4-Hour Workweek and become a huge fan of the idea.
The last time I wrote about starting an online business and traveling the world I received some interesting comments. Since Studenomics is more about you guys than me, I wanted to share what you guys had to say about the idea of lifestyle design and starting an online business. I’m going to share what everyone had to say and then let you guys form your own opinions on lifestyle design and starting an online business.
Sunil wrote in with some thought provoking points about both sides of the coin on lifestyle design:
This is an interesting article and I can understand both sides to the argument equally well. I had a career that I loved, but at the end of the day there are inherent limitations that come with it. You can’t call all your own shots. Even the best of us dread work every now and then, even if it’s because we want to sleep in on a misty overcast day.
That said, lifestyle design maybe a choice for some who can’t get a job of their dreams, but it is also a conscious choice for those who are already in a job of their dreams. I was in one. I know of people who have given it all up. and from a financial perspective, them and I are much better off today while enjoying the freedom and flexibility we have. I’m not saying this is the norm, I’m simply highlighting the other side of the coin.
I actually feel that many in their so called dream jobs use that phrase to convince themselves that their situation is ideal, but somewhere very deep inside there’s a voice that speaks against that very sentiment. It’s human nature. From a psychological perspective, it’s one way humans make themselves feel good. I’m not saying it’s a wrong or poor approach, I’m simply saying that it’s a fact.
Study after study shows many people are unhappy doing what they are doing, and most people don’t like their jobs (they don’t necessarily have to hate it). To your comment about lawyers and doctors, their paychecks are likely what keep them from breaking free and traveling the world. Some are passionate indeed, while others are not. Unfortunately for many, it’s too late by the time they come to this realization.
Every coin has two sides to it, and only the coin knows which side it truly prefers better.
Eemusings had to say the following about travelling and leaving home:
I love travel, but at the same time love the comforts of home, and for now I much prefer working a full time job and travelling for holidays.
Even working for yourself is hard work. I do a spot of freelancing, and while I do it for “fun”, building a portfolio and money, it’s still work. Hustling for clients is something I’d struggle with and like you I’m not keen on taking huge risks (I’m 22). I’m only just starting to get a really solid financial footing, and the thought of taking off on a traditional route right now and going broke doing it just doesn’t appeal.
Brenton really had plenty to say on the idea of lifestyle design and starting your own online business:
My thoughts are that the people whose lifestyle design involves making money online are also those who know how to spread messages through the internet and want to share their story of lifestyle design success.
Some want to share their story for altruistic reasons of sharing. Some want to share their stories to leverage off for further business opportunities. Most share their story for a combination of both these reasons.
People who achieve their lifestyle design in other ways such as helping the underprivileged through social work or as a prosecutor bringing criminals to justice generally don’t have the online skills or the inclination to spread their own messages of lifestyle design success.
Who wouldn’t want to embrace lifestyle design and live a life that you consciously create (whatever it looks like) instead of living your life by someone else’s design?
For me ‘lifestyle design’ is simply consciously identifying how you want your life to look and then taking steps to create your chosen lifestyle. Unfortunately most people instantly identify this with passive online income, digital nomads, location independence.
Some people may find taking entrepreneurial risk too stressful so their idea of a perfect lifestyle design may be doing what they love in someone else’s business. They do what they enjoy and get paid accordingly while someone else takes the risk.
Others may have a passion for leading people in adventurous and exciting situations so their perfect lifestyle design may be as a military officer.
I believe that lifestyle design is all about identifying what you want from life to make you happy and fulfilled and then implementing that design. For some this may be the Tim Ferriss/Corbett Barr/ Chris Guillebeau method of online income, for many others it may look completely different.
Financial Samurai was a bit more negative on the idea of lifestyle design:
Lifestyle design is a fine choice for those who can’t get the job of their choice due to economic issues. At some point, it’s important to see what’s behind the curtain and take a look at people’s finances.
ANYBODY can go travel the world and say how great their life is on a blog. It’s better to have a choice, then to be stuck.