“This is a lifestyle business, so I’m OUT!”

It seems dragons and sharks have an aversion to lifestyle businesses.

Have you noticed?

It’s an accusation often levelled at people, usually women, when the judgy investors on Dragon’s Den / Shark Tank think a business is too small or doesn’t have the potential to scale … and is usually followed by them hugging their wodges of cash ever tighter.

To them, a lifestyle business means that you’re playing small, that you’re working from the kitchen table, knitting yoghurt (or something ridiculous like that), that you’re basically keeping yourself busy…. and that you’re never going to make any money.

How patronising!

I, for one, rather like working at the kitchen table. The light in the kitchen is nice. It overlooks the garden and Bobby the dog likes it too.

Plus, I just don’t get why designing a business around your lifestyle is a bad thing. Surely it makes more sense than NOT doing that.

I feel very strongly that little big businesses are the way forwards.

It’s totally possible to scale up a business from the kitchen table, from your home office, or from the local cafe. To work just a few hours a day. To be able to travel. To serve clients all over the world. To create a business that works around your life.

I’m a mum to one fur baby and one rather less furry, soccer mad, string bean. I’m a wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend. I have a lot of stuff going on in my life and a lot of people who need me.

These guys are the reason I run a business. And the reason it’s going to be a little big business.

I remember a few years ago… I was running a PR company – called Media Darlings. It was growing and growing. But I came up against some issues with my business partner who had ambitions to turn my little big business into a really big business.

She accused me of playing small. Of running a lifestyle business.

It got ugly.

The business I was running from home during school hours was getting out of hand. We took on employees. Meetings in London became a regular event. My phone was strapped to my ear.

She even wanted to open offices in NYC and Shanghai – which seemed totally bonkers!

I was distracted, stressed and unhappy.

This wasn’t why I started my own business!

Since that horrendous time I’ve made some pretty dramatic changes to the way I work and the way I design my business around my life.

I have achieved the perfect balance and created a Little Big Business which I love.

So what is a Little Big Business?

It’s little because it’s just you – although you may have a virtual team helping you with bits and bobs.

You work just a few hours a day, so you have time for the other important things in your life.

And it’s big because you’ve designed your business to scale up.

You’ve moved away from selling your time.

You’ve gone beyond local and may have global customers and clients and be reaching a huge number of people.

You’re having a huge impact.

No playing small for you!

The future is in the Little Big Business.