I believe that everyone is a lifestyle designer one way or another, it’s just that most people haven’t defined what they truly want and haven’t made a plan on how to get it.
We live in a world of free will, and that gives us the chance to create the ideal life for us. That means choosing how we want to spend our time, what work we want to do, and how often we want to travel. We can basically have everything we want if we take a step towards defining it today.
It’s not hard to get, and it also means saying no to many things in order to say yes to the few that you desire the most. You can’t have it all, and you don’t need to. Lifestyle designers live the way they want and do the things they enjoy. And you can do it too.
But before talking about how one can become a lifestyle designer, we’ll start by explaining what lifestyle design really is.
One of the first people who dared to speak up and define the term openly was Tim Ferriss. He dedicated a book to that almost a decade ago – The 4-Hour Workweek – and to this day is one of the most inspiring lifestyle designers.
In the book, he draws a picture of the ideal lifestyle and gives everyone a step-by-step plan on how to get it. It’s all about doing what you love, reclaiming your time and thus having the freedom to travel whenever you want without being stuck in an office 8 hours a day.
Lifestyle design doesn’t include a 9-to-5 job, but doing what you’re passionate about remotely, and eventually turning it into a business you can run from anywhere. And one day outsourcing it, being able to scale and having even more free time to do what you enjoy.
It’s the ultimate freedom and independence. And we can all have it.
In fact, there are some options for you even if you’re just about to graduate.
Tim Ferriss called lifestyle designers the New Rich and mentioned them in the very introduction of the 4HWW:
“The New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design (LD).”
Another successful lifestyle designer – and an entrepreneur, writer and world traveler – that’s worth mentioning is Chris Guillebeau.
In Why You Should Quit Your Job and Travel The World, he advises you to ask yourself whether you’re satisfied with your work and the life you live now. And that’s how you start your journey to becoming a lifestyle designer – by analyzing your current situation.
How to Become a Lifestyle Designer in 5 Steps
1. Define your ideal lifestyle.
You don’t need to start building a business today, to become rich, or do anything you’re not ready to do or don’t feel like doing.
Lifestyle design is about living life on your own terms, having the time to do all the things you want, and also eliminating what you don’t like about your current lifestyle.
What is it? Maybe there are bad habits you want to avoid, people that bring you down all the time, working a job that never lets you show your talents and unleash your potential.
Whatever it is, you can remove it.
You don’t need to answer anyone else’s expectations, to spend time doing activities that don’t bring you results, or to work just to make someone else rich without improving your skills.
Get clear about what you want in life, and about what you don’t want. That will help you take the next steps.
2. Calculate it.
In order to have the freedom, time and happiness of a lifestyle designer, you’ll have to make the money that will cover the life you want to live in the near future.
So calculate it.
Some want to travel the world while working from their laptops, others want to have the chance to just spend a few months away every year. Or you may not want to leave home at all, that’s fine too.
But think about how much all that will cost you. Most of the time it will be less than what you’re currently spending.
Once you have a number (including your free time activities, accommodation, traveling, food and other daily expenses) you’ll know what to aim at.
3. Be willing to work hard.
Here’s what Dan Andrews from TropicalMBA – a successful location independent entrepreneur – says about the willingness to work as a key ingredient of being a lifestyle designer:
“Will you challenge yourself everyday to create and build things that are valuable to yourself and others? This is different from a willingness to be employed. A rule of thumb here is the 5 hour rule. If you are willing to work on a project or craft 5+ hours a day, everyday, you are in great shape. Don’t worry if you aren’t right now, some exercises below can help.”
You need to be a hustler if you want all the freedom, mobility and opportunities we’re talking about here. You need to work hard to get it. And to make it a priority.
Also, you should know it’s a lifelong journey and a learning process. If you’re not willing to accept it as such, maybe lifestyle design is not for you and you’ll feel more secure with a day job and average life.
Here are some resources for lifestyle designers looking to build an online business as soon as possible:
How to Start a Profitable Blog – This step-by-step guide to starting a blog is a must for everyone who wants to start earning online and become self-employed. Having your own blog is the first step to selling products, making money from affiliate marketing, building a name for yourself, getting traffic and monetizing that attention.
Blogging Resources – To build a powerful site that turns visitors into buyers and monetize it well, you will need the right tools. In my Blogging Resources page, I’ve gathered the best of the best and the exact tools I’ve used to grow Let’s Reach Success and be able to make a full-time living as a location independent freelance writer.
How to Become a Millionaire Online
My Monthly Income Reports – If you’re curious how bloggers make a living online, check out my income reports. I publish these monthly and share all the numbers together with the lessons I learned and the new things I’m working on.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – If you’re not earning money through affiliate marketing, then you are leaving money on the table. This step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course shows you how to increase your affiliate income and make more money blogging. It’s my Michelle from Making Sense of Cents who went from $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month (and also the first online course I’ve ever taken).
4. Reclaim your time.
So what do you do to have all the time in the world and be able to go anywhere whenever you feel like?
You simply create an online business, become a freelancer, or do what you’re currently doing remotely.
Freelancing is the best way to get started online. That’s what I did and started without experience. Now, I’m earning over $4,000/month blogging and freelancing as you can see from my monthly income reports.
It takes time, dedication, focus and initiative. Often, you may have to be doing something for free for a long time just to build your portfolio or the foundation of your business which will later bring you passive income.
But once you have that, you’ll be the richest you’ll ever be – you’ll have all the time in the world and no day job will be able to take it away from you.
Plus, you have the chance to work as much as you want, to build 6-figure businesses in a short time, to start new projects whenever you feel like, and to monetize your passions.
5. Automate what you can.
Another part of being a lifestyle designer and creating the life you desire is using the power of automation. One way to win back your time is to automate what you can.
It all starts with using the right tools (free or paid) to make your online businesses work when you’re not on the computer.
Then, you can outsource your whole life by hiring virtual assistants and delegating your tasks for almost no money. And thus having the time to work on more important things that will bring you results.
Here are some ways to automate your income and simplify your life.
Also, check out The Psychology of Automation – a post by Ramit Sethi on how to build a bulletproof personal-finance system.
So that’s how you start your journey to becoming a lifestyle designer and living a happy and fulfilling life. It’s nothing hard, really. All you need to begin is a definite desire and a willingness to learn and change.
So what can you do today to design the life of your dreams?