Chasing Your Dream: Venture Start-ups Versus the Lifestyle Business

There is a lot of talk about chasing your dream, and there should be because it's important to pursue one's passion.

What if you could simultaneously chase your dream and live the life you want? Currently, there is debate over which is better: the venture start-up or the lifestyle business.

The venture start-up is all about making money and achieving goals, while the lifestyle business is focused on enjoying life and having a good work/life balance. 

Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of venture start-ups and lifestyle businesses.

The Venture Start-up

Venture start-ups are also known as growth businesses. They are businesses designed to grow quickly and make a lot of money. Most times, venture business owners will grow their business and then sell it for a profit. They are not always interested in the company's long-term sustainability but rather the short-term gains. 

The Other Side of the Venture Start-up

Venture start-ups are often criticized for being too risky and for resulting in large financial losses for investors. One of the most common downsides to venture startups is their growth. 

Oftentimes there is pressure by investors to grow—perhaps too quickly. This can lead to the startup taking on too much debt, hiring too many employees, and expanding into new markets before they are ready. Another reality of venture startups is that their founders often feel pressured to sell their company before it is ready. This can often lead to the startup selling for less than it is worth, thus missing out on large profits.

Venture Start-ups can:

  • Make a lot of money
  • Be very stressful
  • Involve working long hours
  • Be risky and lead to financial losses

While the venture start-up can have some downsides, it can be very rewarding and profitable. Take, for example, Jane Park, CEO, and Founder of Julep, who raised an initial $30 million in Series C capital to launch her cosmetic business. Julep was later sold for $120 million to a private New York City firm in 2016.

Lifestyle Businesses

As mentioned, a lifestyle business provides the owner with the freedom to live the life they want. It can be a physical business or an online business. Still, the fundamental purpose of a lifestyle business is that it allows the owner to control their time and how they spend it.


  • You can still make money, although you may not make as much as a venture start-up.
  • More flexible hours—make your own hours, work from anywhere in the world, and be your own boss.
  • Better work/life balance

The Ugly Side of a Lifestyle Business:

There are a few ugly sides to having a lifestyle business that you should be aware of before venturing into this type of business. First, a lifestyle business can be all-consuming. If you're not careful, you can easily find yourself working 24/seven and never taking a break—leading to burnout very quickly.

Second, a lifestyle business can be very isolating. If you're used to working in a traditional office setting, you're accustomed to seeing other people daily. You can go days or weeks without seeing anyone when you work from home, which can be a very isolating experience.

Third, a lifestyle business could mean the business only exists with you in it. This means zero vacations if you don’t have the right systems in place to make money when you’re not around. 

Despite the ugly sides of starting a lifestyle business, a lifestyle business can be a lot of fun.

Antoinette Belson, Founder of Happy Your Space, has rediscovered fun and her happy space. Antoinette left a lucrative career as an Architect at a large firm to start a lifestyle business. She now spends her time teaching people how to create happy, healthy working spaces in their homes.

"I am so grateful I took the leap into starting my own lifestyle business. It has allowed me the freedom to live the life I want, pursue my passion and spend more time with my son. I would never go back to working in a traditional office setting." -Antoinette Belson

Which is it for you? The venture start-up or the lifestyle business?

Both the venture start-up and the lifestyle business have pros and cons, so it depends on what you're looking for in a business. A venture start-up may be right for you if you want to make a lot of money quickly and don't mind the stress and long hours. If you want flexibility and want to enjoy life more, a lifestyle business may be a better option.

Only you can decide which path is best—you only have one "lifestyle" to live, follow your dream!

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