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It must be nice to have a hobby

Do you know that your small business is labelled as a lifestyle business? Further, do you know that any outsider who compares your small business to high growth business feels that you’re a less than serious entrepreneur who attends to your business as you have time for it? Yikes!

In the article 3 Reasons Why the Term ‘Lifestyle Business’ Doesn’t Work, Adelaide Lancaster reveals that there are two distinct, yet misguided perspectives on small business: high-growth businesses and “lifestyle.”


Lancaster goes on to explain that the mandate for high-growth business is to create the biggest opportunity possible fueled by rounds of funding with the founders having an exit plan. Build low, sell high. Wow, that’s certainly not my objective and that’s probably why I’m constantly getting the ‘must be nice to have a hobby‘ comment. I don’t know about you, but that just chaps my hide.

Many find it easy to simplify business into 2 categories, but it’s not your father’s company anymore. Because of the oversimplified way others think about our business, that view can undermine the choices and risk that we have taken to sync our business environment into our lives. It’s unfortunate that those on the outside, whether they punch a clock for someone else or have been retired for many years, have no idea the sacrifices of both time and money that small business owners forfeit in order to grow a business. I also find it interesting that this term is disproportionately applied to women (I know you guys get it, too), discrediting the very reason we chose to work for ourselves.

  • We thoroughly enjoy the intellectual challenge and creative freedom our small business give us
  • We work harder and longer than we ever did for someone else
  • We take responsibility for everything –good and bad
  • We never complain about working nights or weekends
  • We never complain that our boss won’t grant us permission
  • We get to choose any 90 hours of the week that we want to work

So why are we still confronted with this misguided mentality? I think it’s because like so many events over the past 100 years, our small business is compared to the giants of yesteryear. Frankly, I’m not planning to become a giant, I’ve seen what happens to them. I want to enjoy the benefits of being agile and small, making decisions without the bureaucracy forcing me to ‘dumb it down’ for my customers and homogenizing my art. There are plenty of artists illustrating fat chefs out there, I don’t want to be among them.

How about you? Are you still struggling with getting your parents and neighbors to understand your choices? What have you said or done that help quell their anxieties and misinterpretations?

Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence

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Lisa Stewart
CREATIVEGoddess, Design Entrepreneur, Guide for; Huge Pet Advocate; Lover of Wine, Food, Travelling, Tech & Laughing. Dreamy & Practical.

4 Responses to “It must be nice to have a hobby”

  1. Vivianne says:

    Hi Lisa
    Love IndieCreatives !! I have a question tho, I have a product, how do I take it from a prototype to getting it manufactured ? It is a piece of clothing, and I am trying to figure out the steps to getting my design actually sewn by someone else and then I can market it and have it available for sale — does this make sense ? Any idea on where I can go to help figure this leap out ?

    • Hey Vivianne! Good to read you here.

      My first question is how many do you want made?

      Since each need is different, I’ve sent you a private email to talk this out further.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Yeah, misguided is right. :-p

    I still work for The Man, but am taking on more work for myself. I’m happy to put in the extra hours because I like the independence. I’ve been in corporate America long enough to know that everyone is expendable.

    My dream is to be entirely self-sustaining, and not rely on any one employer or client for my monthly income. For that, I don’t have to be huge. I just have to be “big enough.”

    Thanks for the article, Lisa!

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