Do What You Love–And Make it Pay: Creating Online Lifestyle Businesses
I want to share with you some research I’ve been doing and
something that has intrigued me. I’ve named it a Lifestyle
business because it takes into account your passion and
lifestyle first and money second.
Everybody’s has heard the advice “Do what you love and the
money will follow”. Well I’m not 100% sure that’s the case.
I’ve yet to find someone who will pay me to eat sushi and
pizza and play video games. That wouldn’t work because
there is no value derived from watching me eat and play
video games. Now with that said, you can do what you love
AND provide value to others who love the same thing to
profit from it. Otherwise there is no exchange of money.
Let me start with an example from one of my last vacations
and then you’ll get a better idea…
For two years now I’ve gone away to Turks & Caicos in the
Caribbean to go play beach volleyball for an entire week.
In fact, 50 other people from all over the world came to
join me. Actually one of my highlights from my trip last
year was to play doubles with an AVP Pro, Adam Jewel,
against Olympic gold medal winner, Eric Fonoi. We won!
It’s something called “Volleyball Vacations”
(VolleyballVacations.com) put on by an AVP pro Albert
Hannemann. AL-B’s been doing this for the last 8 years. He
gets a couple buddies to come down for the week, play
volleyball and party (sometimes not necessarily in that
order). While the rest of us pay for the privilege.
AL-B partnered up with a travel agency to handle all the
nitty gritty details and he just gets paid a certain
percentage on every package sold. I don’t know the exact
economics but I do know its some nice extra money for doing
something you love and getting paid to vacation. A
lifestyle business usually centers around something you
love and would do regardless.
Here’s another ‘experience’ one…
Have you heard of the Baja 1000?
It’s an all-out endurance race of a thousand-mile (mostly)
off-road race through Mexico, from one end of the Baja
Peninsula to the other. A guy named Todd Clement started an
adventure outfit called Wide Open Baja (wideopenbaja.com)
after winning the grueling Baja 1000 in 1997. He recruited
some other winners and seasoned guides to open a Baja
racing adventure experience. Corey Rudl first told me about
them and convinced me to go last July. I’m glad he did. It
was pretty crazy. You get to drive these incredible Baja
race cars on some of the same trails as the famous Baja 500
and Baja 1000 races.
This is trip is not for meek of heart or wallet. I believe
it cost about $7000 (not including airfare) for 2 people
for our 4-day trip. I’ve spoken to the guys at Wide Open
because I’m always curious about business models and they
run 2-3 trips a week from each location (they have 2 main
ones of Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas for 4-day trips.) And
each trip is usually sold-out months and months in advance.
We had 10 cars in our group – sometimes there are more. But
10 cars x $7000 = $70,000/trip. Now of course, that’s not
all profit and the cars are very expensive, there’s
maintenance, food, employees, etc. But it can add up to
some good money – once again for doing something you love.
Racing is good one because lots of guys (and some gals) are
very passionate about the sport. Of course, there are tons
of racing schools around the country that cater to this and
once again it isn’t cheap. There’s even a racing school
that lets you drive F-1 race cars (basically jets on
wheels) in Europe.
If you notice there’s something else that really drives
these lifestyle businesses is passion. The more passionate
the niche the great likelihood they’ll spend money for an
experience. Plus, there’s also a social network around it.
i.e. beach volleyball nuts get to hang out and party with
other beach volleyball nuts.
Now that I’ve shown some “experience” lifestyle businesses
let me give you another point of view and highlight some
information product examples that I’ve discovered. Many of
you should be familiar with information products ranging
from ebooks to newslettes to DVDs, etc.
The first example is Robert Parker at www.eRobertParker.com
If you’re familiar with wine you’d immediately know who
Robert Parker is. His 100 point rating scale for wines can
either make or break a wine. I’m going back a bit – but
this example is powerful. According to his bio, Robert fell
in love with wine during a trip to France in 1967. Then in
1975 he thought about creating an “independent consumers”
guide to wine. And finally in 1978 he plan became his wine
newsletter called “The Wine Advocate”. He started off with
600 charter subscribers in August of that year. Now today –
his subscription base has exploded to over 40,000
subscribers at $60/year. (hmmm…adds up to $2.4M to me.)
But that’s not all – his wine empire has spawned some spin-
offs. i.e. his membership website at $99 (renewing
annually), “Parker in your Palm” which is a listing of
certain wine ratings that can be downloaded into your Palm
Pilot, books, back-issues, wine events, etc.
My bet is there are lots of little niches out there where
people would pay you for experiences. Sometimes there are
even combinations like a wine tour with a bicycle tour. Or
for instance golf with travel www.adventures-in-golf.com,
I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing something in the
extreme adventure travel business and maybe combining it
with my passion for Entrepreneurship and business. I’d love
to hear from you if you decide to launch a “Lifestyle
business”. So keep me posted.
Just 33-years old, Yanik Silver leads the “Ultimate
Internet Lifestyle” of fun, freedom and financial
independence funded by the Internet. He has shown thousands
of others how to do the same thing… even though he’s a
complete “computer dunce” and still doesn’t know how to put
up his own website. More information can be found at www.InternetLifestyle.com