I have a hard time with the term “lifestyle business”. There are many definitions of what exactly a lifestyle business is, but I think the prevailing definition is any business which doesn’t have a sale as an exit strategy or where the owner of the business puts personal motivations ahead of the success of the business.
Let’s take my company MediaLeaf as an example. I have no plans to ever sell my company, or any part of my company. This is where a VC would write me off as owning a “lifestyle business”. However, I don’t see MediaLeaf in that way at all. I believe it is as valid a business as any in Silicon Valley. What about butchers, salons, grocery stores, etc.? I highly doubt that most of those kind of businesses are built with an eventual buyout in mind, but that doesn’t invalidate them.
Instead of “lifestyle business”, let’s simply call them businesses. They all have the same basic goals, which are to make money for the principles of the company.
What are your thoughts on lifestyle businesses? Do you like/dislike the term?