So why did I create a lifestyle business? Because my 8 year old self would have cried if he saw who I became.
When I was 8 years old, I used to write stories about giant booger monsters attacking the city. The people’s only hope was if I, Mike Vestil the hero of the universe, swooped in and saved the day by throwing orange juice at the crusty criminals.
The world would now become a better place because of one man’s (in this case boy’s) existence.
But something weird happened as I got older. I lost my imagination and my drive to live a crazy life. While my mind was telling me to explore, to laugh, and to live, the world was telling me to sit down, shut up, and learn how to get a job.
I no longer was the hero of my own movie. But rather, I was a slave to society’s norms.
I was so brain washed by society that I even forgot the dreams that my 8 year old self had even after I took a drop shipping business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months.
Back in the day, I was working 8-10 hours a day on my drop shipping business – and by working I mean refreshing my Facebook Ad stats while watching Vampire Diaries on Netflix (don’t judge). But even though I was making more than most people’s parents, I didn’t really enjoy my life. Instead of living a life of freedom and adventure, I realized that I had become a slave to my business.
That is when my 8 year old self popped out out of nowhere. He kicked me in the gonads and got me to get my life together. And that was the birth of Mike Vestil – the goofy ass kid stuck in a grown up’s body that gets paid while he travels the world making YouTube videos.
This is how it happened.
- The Main Problem
- Step 1) Define Your Goal
- Step 2) Identify What It Is People Want To Listen To
- Step 3) Building an Audience
- Step 4) Ranking on YouTube and Google
- Step 5) Creating Cashflow
- Step 6) Filling The Void
- List of Successful Lifestyle Businesses
I needed to define what it is that I wanted out of life. At first I thought it was money but I was wrong. I wanted time freedom. I wanted the ability to not look at my phone for weeks and still not worry about if money was coming in or not. This was the birth of my lifestyle business.
From there I meticulously recorded what I did on a daily basis. Turns out it wasn’t really that much.
- I woke up every single morning
- Ran Facebook Ads
- Fulfilled Orders
- Did customer service
Once I figured out what the hell it is I did, I wrote down specific steps on a piece of paper called my SOP (standard operating procedure). I then went to upwork.com and began hiring out the tasks one by one with the cashflow from my business.
Whew. That took some work. But it was worth it.
For the next couple of months I traveled the world, worked 2 hours a day, and got drunk and fat wherever I went. But something was missing.
This wasn’t a lifestyle business. This was a cashflow business – a business to get money in the bank fast. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just wanted something even more passive.
As most entrepreneurs will tell you, one of the hardest part is finding people that care about your business more than you do. I mean its true. And even though I have an amazing team of 8 people that help run this cashflow business, it was really hard to scale it past the size that it was. That is because for every single person you hire, the level of complexity increases by 10 fold. With constant changes in the marketplace, competition being annoying, and updates in the advertising platforms, I constantly still had to be on my toes.
I wanted to grow even more, but the increase amount of headache was not worth it to my 8 year old self.
But then one day aimlessly scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed, I heard a fellow Filipino, Pat Flynn, who makes over $100,000 a month PROFIT blogging about his business. I thought he would have a huge team like mine. But he didn’t. It was just him and maybe an assistant or two. The way his business worked was that he would podcast, write a blog post about it, then share what he learned. Once that blog post was out, it would be put to work forever and ever and ever.
And the way he was living his life, spending more time with his family than his business, he was definitely the hero of his own movie.
He was making more than me with less effort. And that is when I wanted in on the action.
So what is a lifestyle business? The way I define it is something that brings about a level of income in order to enjoy a particular lifestyle. How is this different than a cashflow business? The work that I do now will compound and give me greater results in the future. Hypothetically, I would be able to work less and less and make even more the longer I build it.
So what is the best lifestyle business?
Here are some of the benefits:
Now blogging is a beast on its own. I get to write down my own thoughts. I am able to publish the lessons that I have learned to help the next generation of entrepreneurs. And it kind of turns you into a mini internet celebrity which a little bit of fame wouldn’t hurt 🙂
Here are some more reasons:
- More Freedom – Every single blog posts will last forever and will continue to make you more money as your blog becomes more popular
- Minimized Stress – I don’t need a huge team to run this business (less moving parts = less stress)
- They’ll Think You Sell Drugs – Thats what people think when I try explaining to them what I do
What is it do you really want in a lifestyle business? So many people think that “oh more money would be cool.” Don’t fall into this trap. The thing about making money is that it is like a drug. Every single time you hit a revenue goal, you feel happy for maybe 1 second. Then you set another revenue goal and you repeat that process until you die.
Create a goal that is specific or you will end up like me in my initial business – making money but living my life watching Netflix.
Here are my goals:
- Have blogging income surpass drop shipping income so that I no longer have to rely on paid traffic.
- Write more books and share more of the lessons learned to impact more people. I’ll do this by writing two articles a week on this blog (every Monday and Thursday) to help you guys on your path so much so that you feel obliged to buy my books muahaha.
- Record my life on YouTube so that I can show my future family when I am older exactly how they should live their life and fight for their dreams as well.
- Build a stronger network of high level entrepreneurs
- Make sure I am growing in ALL ASPECTS of life: Health, Wealth, Love, and Happiness. This blog holds me accountable.
What is it specifically do you want out of life? Who are the type of people that you want to surround yourself around? What is the car you want to drive? Where are the places you want to travel to and see? When do you want to do this all by?
Write this down now, don’t put it off. The thing about creating freedom is that if you don’t know what it is exactly what you are going to do with it, you will just create more work for yourself like I did.
Do they want to be entertained? Do they want to learn something? Maybe a little bit of both? When I was looking into what to actually blog about there were only a couple of options I had: Health, Wealth, and Relationships.
One of the biggest questions people would always ask are more ways on how to make more money. I got so tired of repeating the answers that I created this blog and YouTube channel for the sole reason of being too lazy to repeat my answers.
Another category that people seem to want to listen to are irrational passions. From learning how to jump higher, to scrapbooking, to knitting, there are so many topics out there that people are irrationally obsessed about. The hardest part is choosing a topic that you are personally excited about.
I ended up also choosing travel because it is one of my irrational obsession. Lucky for me, I just so happen to know how to make money while traveling the world. I am extremely passionate about both so I chose to write about them because that is what made me happy.
The best thing to do is to write from experience. That is what resonates the best with an audience. What journey are you currently own that you think people would be interested in following? Do you have passions that excite you? What topics do love talking about so much that your friends can’t get you to shut up about?
Remember you do not need results to start blogging. All you need is a passion, a drive, and a mission to want more out of life and to share it with the world.
Before I could actually start blogging, I needed to figure out my unique selling proposition (USP). What separated me amongst the noisiness of the internet? Why would people care about Mike Vestil in a world filled with Tai Lopez’s.
Here were the problems I found in the existing internet marketing space:
- Everyone hides behind their laptop
- Everyone is private about their personal lives
- Many that teach internet marketing look unhappy, old, not passionate, and have hidden agendas
- No one is relatable
Lets see what I had going on for me
- I love sharing my personal life like introducing my friends and my family members in the YouTube videos for you guys to meet to show you that I am a normal average human being
- I enjoy sharing my message to the world and to inspire those that don’t believe in themselves
- I’m excited about life and want to bring you guys with me in my journey, not just with success in money but in all aspects of life
There wasn’t many people that openly shared their entrepreneur life on YouTube when I started so I thought heck why don’t I just be the first. So I began recording my adventures while traveling and people began getting curious.
“Who the hell is this hilarious kid with a red bandanna?”
A lot of people definitely hated though. They said things like “Mike you suck,” and “Mike no one cares about your life.”
I wanted to quit many times.
But I kept on going.
I knew that I didn’t need everyone to like me. And if I could create an audience of 1000 raving true fans, then this blog would have served its purpose.
One of my biggest battles was wondering if I was even fit to teach. There are people far more qualified than I am at talking about eCommerce. Some of the people I hang out with make $10K/day on a BAD day. One of my mentors has made even more than $100K in a single day SELLING only T Shirts. WTF.
I didn’t think I had what it takes to teach.
However, I was still further ahead than other people in the human population so I thought “why not?”
So for those that followed my footsteps and started off in eCom.. I would still recommend starting a blog regardless even if you haven’t made much money yet.
Because even if you are just a little bit more ahead of someone else, you still have advice to give. There is also nothing more rewarding than being able to look back at your life and know the ups that you have experienced as well as the downs that you overcame. You can even end up monetizing your blog so you can have additional sources of income other than eCommerce.
If you don’t want to blog about your eCommerce journey, that is fine as well. There are so many different things you can blog about. But just remember, if you want to build a huge audience, you need to be passionate about what it is you write about.
The way I set up the mikevestil.com lifestyle business, i wanted to make sure that I didn’t rely on paid traffic. I wanted to give so much value that I naturally just rank for certain keywords in the search engines.
Each piece of content that I put out then becomes like a little employee of mine that will work for me 24/7. Remember that leverage I talked about in the beginning? Well the more and more content I put out, the more I will naturally get free traffic. There will be a point in the future where I no longer have to put out any more content and I will continuously get free visitors to my websites all because of the time I am investing in right now. Meaning I will end up working less and less while making more and more.
READ HERE: If you want to learn more on how I rank on YouTube and Google
The lifestyle business has one goal and one goal only when getting started. I needed to first create cashflow. This was hard because I initially didn’t have a product to sell and it would take months before I had one ready. I couldn’t wait that long. So I turned to affiliate marketing.
I started to sell other people’s products that I knew would help my audience with their needs. This is where the initial cashflow came within the first 6 months of the mikevestil.com blog.
Here are some of the products I recommended
This is the software I used to create projectbestme.com. The amazing thing about Clickfunnels is that Russel Brunson, the founder, also gives out free training on how to build an online business. When I got started with the Mike Vestil brand, I learned a lot of my internet magic from this software and training platform. So I decided to share it.
I ended up creating a simple, low quality, YouTube video and ranked it in the search engines. You can see the exact video here.
Now this video absolutely sucks in comparison to the newer videos on the YouTube channel. But it did bring in some money passively and added on to my lifestyle business. I no longer have to promote these products as this video will now last forever. After a couple of months it began ranking and I started to make some money from it.
Yay cashflow! Russel even used Clickfunnels to create a string of websites that sold a specific supplement that made him $17,947 in a single day. So I felt good knowing that my audience would be able to learn a thing or two from this internet marketing legend.
Now I began promoting this because it just made sense. I use shopify to run my eCom businesses. So wouldn’t it make sense to recommend it to the people that asked about how to start an eCommerce business? The results speak for themselves.
Anywhere from $1500 to $2000 gets deposited into my bank account every two weeks. All by recommending a product that I personally use to people that asked about it.
If someone came up to you and asked what was your favorite restaurant, you would tell them right away. You wouldn’t worry due to “lack of results” and not tell them would you? No. You would tell that person simply because you are a happy customer of their service.
Guys, its the same thing with blogging. There are people out there in your life that are probably asking you about what it is that you are working on. Even if you aren’t making any money yet, you would still recommend it like you would a sandwich or a Yoga instructor. Putting your affiliate links in a blog like this would allow you to make a constant stream of income without any more work. Yay lifestyle businesses!
You can do the same thing. What product have you used in the past did you really enjoy or that has helped you out a lot? Which products did you love so much that you had to tell someone about it.
Whenever my mom falls in love with a product, she it literally on the phone for hours convincing all of her friends to try it. She loved our new Chiropractor so much, she personally picked up her friends and drove them to meet this guy with magical back aligning powers and forced them to try him. The downside is she never got a commission for recommending him. But you definitely can with the products you have used when you create a blog and start your own lifestyle business.
There are so many products out there that have affiliate programs. Amazon.com even has one. Whenever someone buys a book, or a camera, or travel equipment that I recommend on this blog from Amazon, I would get a commission for it.
With affiliate marketing I can scale this mikevestil.com blog to as big as I want to without the challenges of building a bigger team. But don’t forget, you are on a similar type of journey as well, so don’t forget to record everything in a blog as well as adding affiliate links to the products that you use so that you can start your lifestyle business on top of your cashflow business.
Like I said before, money is not the ultimate goal. If you only allow yourself to be happy when you have a certain amount of money in your bank account, you will die unhappy and unfulfilled.
There will come a point in your lifestyle business that you are making enough money that you no longer have to work anymore. The thing is you just can’t stop working because then you would get extremely bored will all the excess free time you now have. This void will either do one of two things
- Turn you into a lazy piece of shit
- Make you go crazy because you feel like you need to work in order to feel productive again even though you don’t have to
This void can get dangerous the further down the lifestyle business path you get.
That is why you need to begin with the end in mind and already have certain activities to fill the void that used to be the time that you used to spend working.
This is how I fill my void.
I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand because there are a lot of digital nomads that live there that I could network with. And an adventure is only a short plane ride away. I could easily fly to the south islands to party and scuba dive if I want to. Or I could even fly to my home country in the Philippines to see my Grandma just a couple of islands over.
If I am going to be 100% transparent, its not all glamorous though. My love life kind of sucks because of my sporadic adventures. I have still yet to find a girl that is just as crazy as I am that can handle all the adrenaline. This may be too much information for this post but heck i’ll still put it in here because it is part of filling the void that I need to work on.
I will also start working on learning Muay Thai so I can play the superhero part and make my 8 year old self proud whenever I hear a cry for help.
These are what i have to focus on. Now what are the activities that you are going to focus on when you start your lifestyle business? Remember the goal with a lifestyle business is not just to make an obnoxious amount of money – even though that part is pretty cool. The goal is to prioritize a certain lifestyle that you want to live. So write that down now.
What would you do with the 24 hours in your day if money was no longer an object? Use your imagination and let your inner child run wild.
Matthew Karsten from expertvagabond.com
- His Story: “In the fall of 2010 I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and bought a plane ticket to Guatemala.”
- Niche: Travel
- His USP: Long term nomad, photography, highly in depth travel guides
- How He Monetizes: Affiliate marketing, photography sales, freelance writing
James Clear from jamesclear.com
- His Story: Wanted to be a pro baseball player and fell into entrepreneurship on accident
- Niche: Self development
- His USP: His simplicity in teaching how to increase productivity
- How He Monetizes: Online courses and books
Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness
- His Story: Read the 4 hour work week and created Nerd Fitness with the intent of traveling the world
- Niche: Fitness
- His USP: Unlike most fitness blogs out there, Steve takes out the sex appeal and writes about how “nerds, misfits, and mutants” can lose weight
- How He Monetizes: T shirts, ebooks, and courses
Benny Lewis from fluentin3months.com
- His Story: Wanted to learn learn Czech in 3 months. Used his blog to record his journey.
- Niche: Language learning
- His USP: Mastering a language in a crazy short amount of time
- How He Monetizes: Books, courses, and coaching
Overwhelmed? Where to get started
Now this was a lot to take in I get it. But the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. Don’t let all this information overwhelm you and prevent you from creating the lifestyle business that you deserve. The hardest part is just getting started. Lucky for you I made a complete guide on how you can make your first blog in under 5 minutes here.
If you had a conversation with your 8 year old self, would your 8 year old self be disappointed in the person they became?
Don’t let that happen. Becoming the hero of your own movie and I will see you on the other side my fellow freedom fighters!
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- How To Create Passive Income With No Money
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