Hands-Off CEO Podcast

The Lifestyle Business Lie

The Lifestyle Business Lie – E100

This is part 2 of a 2-part series on the Hands-Off CEO podcast, where you’ll hear me being interviewed by Ross Mayfield, a copywriter and marketing strategist on my team. In this episode, we share some of the more vulnerable stories and experiences we haven’t shared on the podcast before. We dispel the myth of the “seven-figure lifestyle business” and discuss the truth about what it really takes to become a hands-off CEO, including the impact this shift can have on your financial stability and your overall lifestyle.


Key ideas discussed include:

  • Many people start a business with the goal of making a decent salary and having a stress-free life. However, the concept of a lifestyle business can be problematic, as being a business owner can be stressful and demanding. You can become so consumed with running the day-to-day operations of your business that you miss out on opportunities and experiences, and even miss vacations. [1:58]
  • To enjoy greater freedom and a better lifestyle, CEOs must commit to expanding and developing their team. [4:29]
  • The missing component for CEOs of lifestyle businesses who want more freedom is implementing accountability structures. [07:29]
  • Mobilizing a team based on their goals and aspirations is key to freeing up the CEO from hands-on management and allowing for growth at higher levels. [09:12]
  • Build an inspiring vision that people can be a part of. People will only do something if they want to do it, so simply paying them more money will not motivate them in the long run. [12:50]
  • “I think that if you don’t have someone that’s bought into your vision, don’t even consider them,” I advise listeners. “It doesn’t matter how good of an applicant they are. They’re not bought into what you’re doing. They’re never going to fight for your vision. They’re never going to be part of it. Just keep looking.” [14:39]
  • To attract and retain top talent you need to build a world-class culture that inspires people to work for your company for reasons beyond just money. To do this, you must prioritize employee well-being and satisfaction. [20:33]
  • How John, Barry, and Finn were able to enjoy a happier lifestyle by embracing the hands-off approach. [21:23]
  • “We need to be able to have that ability to be able to step back and have this business to continue, generate income for ourselves, income for everyone on our team, and not have to just completely pause it or shut it down or any of those things when life does happen.”  [34:30]



“If people are working for your company just for the money, that’s a problem.”


“There is an issue with the concept of a lifestyle business, …but it’s not necessarily an ideal lifestyle. It’s a stressful job that can really tax you. …a lot of times people will say, I want a lifestyle business, not because they really want a lifestyle business. …they’re afraid of what’s next and are not willing to do what it takes to build the leadership skills to be able to have a real business that provides them a real lifestyle.”


“The reason why you can generate more growth in the business is because it’s not directly tied to your time. That’s how you remove yourself as the bottleneck to growth, and it allows you to create that next level lifestyle that you really want and the reason why you started the business in the first place.”



Mandi Ellefson on LinkedIn | Email | Twitter

Hands-Off CEO


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