Achieving Success on Your Own Terms: Lifestyle Business or Scalable Business

What’s your vision for your business? In today’s episode, I explore the difference between a lifestyle business and a scalable business. 

This topic isn’t just theory for me; it’s a reflection of my own evolution as an entrepreneur. I vividly remember the days when the dream was simply to break free from the constraints of a corporate job, armed with nothing but a used MacBook and a deep-seated yearning for freedom. 

Fast-forward to today, and the vision has magnified—not just to dominate a niche but to create a league of our own, helping thousands of women find their voice and their power in the entrepreneurial world.

This conversation is about recognizing the crossroads we find ourselves at when our business begins to demand more from us, not just in terms of work but in the very essence of who we are as leaders. 

It’s about the pivotal moment when we realize that scaling a business isn’t merely about financial growth but about the profound transformation from being a coach or consultant to embracing the mantle of CEO.

Key Takeaways:

  • The importance of a vision; what it is, what it does, and how it guides your strategic decisions.
  • Identity Evolution: Scaling means transforming from a coach to a CEO, where strategic leadership becomes intrinsic to our identity. 
  • How to embrace the costs of growth. Scaling involves embracing a new, bolder version of ourselves, ready to tackle the complexities of a larger business with resilience and foresight.

Resources Referenced:

Join us inside The Category Queen School where you’ll learn how to discover your unique niche, create content that converts, and enroll top-tier clients consistently. Enroll today and get instant access: https://kinseymachos.com/thecqschool

Ready to take your coaching business to the next level with a world-class scale plan? Get on the waitlist for the Scale LIke A Queen experience: www.kinseymachos.com/scale

Apple Podcast | Spotify 

Connect With Kinsey Machos: 

Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook 

About the Host

Kinsey Machos is the host and founder of The Category Queen, a podcast and community for coaches, consultants, practitioners, and professionals who desire to help more people with their unique expertise. 

Kinsey’s mission is to help women transform their unique brilliance into a profitable coaching business where they can experience true time and financial freedom while changing the world one human at a time.

Transcript
Kinsey Machos:

I'm Kinsey Machos, your host and founder of the category Queen. Welcome to the podcast for coaches, consultants, and course creators who don't just want to dominate their niche, but they desire to play in their own league. My mission is to help you unlock the power of your unique brilliance and use it as a vehicle to gain recognition, reach more people, and make more money. Not too long ago, I took a bold leap, leaving behind a six figure corporate salary with nothing more than a used MacBook and a burning desire for more freedom. Today, our brand has become globally recognized, helping thousands of female founders to become industry leading experts. Join us each week as we go on a journey together to discuss mindset, marketing and money, and more importantly, the real life discussions about balancing success with motherhood and marriage.

Kinsey Machos:

Because we're a community of women who build and scale impact driven businesses, but do it without sacrificing the things that matter most to us. Welcome to the category queen show. Hello my fellow category queens. So excited to be here with you today. I am coming in hot, ready to work. We just had our power go out. There's some construction going on around us. And so I was sitting here without power for a while, which was interesting and annoying and totally cutting into my time. But also it just forced me to get out and just go over a walk and really enjoy some of that space. So that was great. And now I'm ready to rock and roll.

Kinsey Machos:

Now we're entering scale season over here at the category queen, which means that we are taking applications and enrolling women into the scale like a queen experience, and we are gearing up for that scale like a queen retreat. So the scale like a queen retreat is the really the entry point to our scale, like a queen mastermind, where women are really growing their business, not just from the perspective of, you know, more money, if you will, but starting to put the systems in place to scale their offers, scale their systems, their marketing, their selling, and really step into the seat of their business. As a true CEO, this is a really big leap and one of the most challenging leaps.

Kinsey Machos:

When you think about going from maybe, you know, fifty k a year to year or one hundred k a year to seven figures, you're starting to actually build a new identity around who you are and who you are as a business owner, not just a coach, and starting to learn that you have to be a CEO of your business. And it's not just about you as the deliverer of your services or you as the coach in your business. It's so much bigger than that. And one of the key factors that goes into this is knowing really what your vision is for the business. So one of the exercises that we walk you through during the Scalia Kahuin experience is building out your three year vision. This is a really powerful exercise because what it does is it becomes your compass.

Kinsey Machos:

And when we strategically guide you throughout the exercise, what you're going to walk away with is that roadmap and where you are now and where you're going. And it becomes that anchor point for your decision making, what you're launching, the types offers that you have, what your campaign cycles look like, the team that you're going to need. And it really just clears the emotions and allows you to make decisions at a higher level. Because that leap starting to shift from a coach to a true CEO of a business is just so big. And you're going to have ebbs and flows. And if you're making decisions through the emotions of that experience, you will literally burn your business down. I promise. I've done it several times. And you have to learn how to be a more strategic level thinker.

Kinsey Machos:

And this is the skill that we really extract out of you and help you master. But really, when it goes back to the vision, it's really important to understand what you're building. And I want to go over the difference between a lifestyle business and a scalable business so you can understand the difference because nobody talks about this enough. And I was just having a conversation with a girlfriend around this and I was like, oh, my gosh, like, this is really such a good topic. For one, it's going to give you clarity of what you're working for, getting some concrete sort of pillars, if you will, to what to watch for, what to avoid, what to consider, and also really what you're walking into if you are trying to shift from one for the other.

Kinsey Machos:

And I want to walk you through even my own personal journey and the journey that I see a lot of women take so that you can again, put some frame around this in context and make some really key decisions that are going to be in alignment to where you really want to go in your business. Now, when it comes to building a lifestyle business, I believe that most of us get into coaching or, you know, consulting, really in the online space, if you will, to really just build something. It's like there's more of a short term desire that's that we wanted to be filled. And so we sometimes accidentally stepped into our businesses as a way of getting something that we want. Right. I wanted to get out of corporate. I wanted more time with my family.

Kinsey Machos:

I knew that building a business would allow me to have a little bit more of that freedom. And I learned how to package my expertise into a coaching offer. So I really did sort of accidentally fall into coaching. But again, I didn't have sort of this grandiose vision of, like, where my business would be. I've always been so drawn towards the impossibility of something I love to really challenge myself to go big and see what I can do. It's not that I didn't have big goals, but I didn't know what I didn't know. And I was really just stepping into business ownership as a way to have this kind of short term or meet the short term goal, which was getting out of corporate and just building my own business.

Kinsey Machos:

That really, in my mind, I was kind of tracking along as a lifestyle business. I'm going to talk about that here in a minute. And I think that most of you get into coaching in the same way. You just want to. There's some sort of short term gratification, even if it means, like, I really feel like I meant for more and I want to explore this. Right. And you're just sort of like feeding that curiosity and feeding that desire. But as time goes on, that grows bigger and our possibility scope, our scope of what we think we can do kind of becomes bigger and more expansive. And so the scope of work just grows and our vision grows, and that's when we start to fall into a scalable business. Now, let's talk about the difference between these two and why this is so important.

Kinsey Machos:

I am defining lifestyle business as a sort of just comfortable way of life where you are designing something that can allow you the flexibility that you desire, the time freedom that you desire, but it's less maintenance. It doesn't require a team, it doesn't require you to really create a lot of systems. The focus isn't necessarily to grow a lot, but really just grow enough to meet your desired lifestyle goals. Right. And it's really about, is this allowing me to live in this comfortable way and meeting those desires? It also involves more of you from the perspective of you're doing all of the things, you're doing the day to day operations, you're also doing the delivery. Right. You're doing the delivery of your offers, meaning you're coaching or you're delivering the services, whichever that looks like. And you're making the decisions.

Kinsey Machos:

You're making decisions at a high level and you're making the decisions right in the day to day sort of tasks and activities. You may have a va, but like I said, you're not going to have a large operational structure to manage because you're not really exponentially growing or the purpose isn't to exponentially scale. Now, when it comes to a lifestyle business, I believe that most of us sort of fall into this and build to some degree build our business within these parameters. It's just like, I would love to make this much money. I would love to help this amount of people. I would love to have a flexible schedule. And that sounds great. But like I said, I think that a lot of us, we catch that bug and we start to become open to the possibility. We expand our vision.

Kinsey Machos:

We really realize that our impact is so great, or the potential for impact is so great. And so we start actually surpassing that initial vision of just a lifestyle business, and we start to really think about a model around a quote unquote scalable business. Now, what is a scalable business? Well, it's really just a little bit more opposite, if you will. In contrast to a lifestyle business, it's really about growth and scale, really reaching more people, but doing so in a way that doesn't require more of you. It does mean that you have a team, right? If you think about growing a bigger business, if you don't want to burn yourself out, you have to have people to help you.

Kinsey Machos:

If you don't want to be working around the clock, you have to have team and systems to be able to help you meet these desired results. You also have to have a little bit of a different role. You take a little bit of a different role in a scalable business than you would in a lifestyle business. If you're the only one running the business, you're wearing all the hats. But if you are growing and scaling a business, you have to actually learn how to shift your roles, right? It's not just about being a coach, but it's also about being a CEO.

Kinsey Machos:

It's also about learning how to manage a team, lead a team, knowing how to do all the HR of that and what that looks like, and knowing how to create a infrastructure that can run pretty smoothly without you having to be in the weeds all the time. In a scalable business, it's infinite, right? If you think about the growth in scale or growing and scaling something that can kind of live beyond you, it's something that's bigger and it requires a vision that's bigger and it requires also more to manage. And here's what I really want to sort of highlight before we even talk about the disadvantages and advantages of both, is that most women just like me, again, really catch that bug, right? It's like, ooh, I want to go beyond that. I want to push myself.

Kinsey Machos:

I hear clients all the time say, oh, it'd be nice if I could just make two hundred k a year. And that's amazing, right? That is so amazing. This is not to undervalue what your goal is or what you're reaching for, but a lot of women start to realize like, oh, that's just me playing small. I actually have a greater vision, right? And we're just sometimes really afraid to admit it or afraid to even see it for what it is because it's scary. Your vision should scare you at least a little bit. I know mine does, right? But for those of you that have a bigger vision for your business beyond a lifestyle business, I know what happens is, yes, you want something bigger, but you don't understand, or you don't understand yet the difference between the two.

Kinsey Machos:

And it requires a different version of you, but it also comes at a cost. And this is a huge realization for so many people. And also it's a huge realization for me in knowing that this is not something that we are talking about enough in with our audience, because what happens is if you try to build a scalable business while still living in an identity of a lifestyle business, it freaking sucks. It's going to feel hard, you're going to spin out, you're going to think that you're doing all the things to go big, or you think you have the bigger vision that should be really driving you forward, but you're still really operating and behaving in a really small, condensed capacity. And so it requires more of you, or rather it requires a different version of you.

Kinsey Machos:

When you shift from building a lifestyle business to starting to think about what it means to build a scalable business. And so that's first, what I really want you to sit with is, am I trying to build a scalable business while still really acting as an owner of a lifestyle business? And what I really want to help you see is that there's huge differences, right? And I hope that even in the comparison of the two, you're starting to see what this looks and feels like, but also what the advantages are and disadvantages are, because with everything we go after, there's a cost. There's a cost, right? There's a cost of either not having something or a cost of turning away from something or a cost of time, money value, whatever that looks like.

Kinsey Machos:

There's a cost associated with that and it's important to know what the cost is so that you can go into that prepared. And this is what nobody prepared me for when I started to really shift into a scalable business. Nobody, nobody prepared this for me. And also nobody helped me understand the difference of these and what it would require. Would I have done anything differently? Probably not, but I think I would have had a little bit more of a understanding of like why things are happening and where I need to shift and have, and I could probably have much, you know, faster results, if you will. But all that to say, we learn the lessons that we're supposed to learn in the way that we're supposed to learn them. And so I'm so grateful for that.

Kinsey Machos:

But I hope that through this conversation it can really shortcut a lot of pain and suffering for you and also force you to start making some really key decisions in your business when it comes to not just the vision or where you're going, but also who you need to be in order to get there. So when it comes to a lifestyle business, let's talk about the advantages and disadvantages. I think first of all, the most obvious one of really just again, the thinking about a lifestyle business, whether that's small or big, I think you could probably build a lifestyle business in the low multiple six figures. I think that it just depends on the price of your offer and what your capacity is from a coaching perspective.

Kinsey Machos:

If you're doing one to ones, obviously that just really caps you out in the number of clients you can take. But if you can increase your prices, that's how we grow in revenue. Again, you're not scaling. And so the obvious advantage here is, first of all, you just have more control over your schedule. And so if you don't have team meetings or you don't have to have an infrastructure that supports a larger business, you're just naturally going to have more flexibility in your day to day. You're also going to have a much more simple operation setup. So you don't have a lot of systems like I mentioned before, there's not a lot to really pay attention to and you are likely not going to have, you know, a lot of metrics to really measure or monitor and you really have a lower risk.

Kinsey Machos:

Right. If you lose a client or you don't have, you know, you maybe don't have as much volume one month over the next. Right. You're not going to feel it as much. But you're also not going to have a lot of risk from a expense perspective, right? You're going to have bigger this bigger profit margins for sure, because your expenses just are not going to be high. But a disadvantage from a lifestyle business is just that income ceiling. You will cap out. You only have certain amount of time, energy and availability available, right. If you think about who you can serve, if you're delivering one to one or even group, you still can only serve a certain amount of people a day or make a certain amount of money.

Kinsey Machos:

If you are not looking to really scale your delivery systems or scale your marketing and selling. Now I will say that if you are trying to build a lifestyle business with just a group program, the only risk there is that it's going to be really hard to scale an offer without scaling your marketing and selling. So if you're trying to scale your delivery, right, scaling your coaching program, but you don't have scalable marketing and selling systems aligned with that to fill the volume, then you're going to have issues with filling that program. And so that's where it comes into, well, we still need an infrastructure for that scalable offer around, not just in the offer itself but the marketing and selling. And so that's where it gets a little bit hairy. But that's a conversation for another day.

Kinsey Machos:

So disadvantages again, you might, you're going to cap out eventually with your income because there's only one of you. And if you're not bringing in the infrastructure to grow and scale, you run out of time or energy. And with that, again, limited scalability. So when expansion is not the primary goal, right, that means that long term, financially there's not a huge opportunity there. It also means that it's dependent on you. So if you are the only one coaching, that means when you leave for vacation or God forbid something happens to your business is dead. Your business dies with you. That's so morbid. But your business can no longer run because it's so reliant on you. You were the only one doing the coaching. You're the only one doing the marketing and the selling.

Kinsey Machos:

Maybe again you have a va, but everything was required on you to make money and bring in money and deliver on the promises that brought the money in. So it's very dependent on you. And then again you're going to have fewer resources. So if something, if you do get sick or you are feeling like you do want to take a vacation, just understanding that there's not going to be a lot of coverage there it means that you may not make money that month if you're not the one working and you have fewer resources to leverage in order to keep the ball moving, the needle moving, if you will. So from a bigger picture, those would be the advantages and disadvantages of a lifestyle business. Now let's talk about the advantages and disadvantages of a scalable business.

Kinsey Machos:

Well, first of all, just opposite to a lifestyle business, a scalable business has high revenue potential, right? It's really just an uncapped earning potential. And because you are starting to build the infrastructure for all around, right, scalable systems inside the business, scalable systems outside the business. You have the team to support. And with that comes another huge advantage is opportunities for innovation. Scalable businesses often really invest time, money or energy innovation and they're able to keep them at the forefront of industry trends. Because if you have a team, you're able to do this because you don't need to be the one even necessarily doing the innovation or studying the trends, you have a team member to do it. Or if you are right, that means that you have resources or team filling the holes where you're not spending time.

Kinsey Machos:

So that's what I love most, is having resources that can help me really innovate and stay at the cutting edge of our industry. I know I could not do that alone because I would be wearing too many hats already. Additionally, you're going to have more of that market influence, right. When you start to dip into scalable impact and you're helping more people, your reach is just greater. So you become more known and you have more influence in your market. In addition to that, obviously, you know, attracting top tier talent. So you're going to be able to hire more prominent employees. They're going to again serve the business probably better than you could. And then there's all sorts of opportunities around that. When it comes to potential for expansion or reaching into other markets or introducing new offers, there's a lot of amazing advantages.

Kinsey Machos:

Obviously with scalable business. Now, the disadvantages, again just opposite to lifestyle is that it's increased complexity, there's more to pay attention to. You know, every level brings new devils and so there's going to be more challenges, right, higher risk, so you have more at risk if you think about payroll and expenses, right, it's larger, it's, you have more responsibility there, so it can increase your stress. If you aren't managing it, you have more of a potential workload, right? You're not just delivering coaching or, you know, doing this aside, business you have more to pay attention to. You have more to manage from a team perspective, doing your team meetings, really managing the workflow, the culture, etcetera. You have more to sort of grow from a capacity perspective, because again, this is where you're shifting from just a coach to an actual CEO.

Kinsey Machos:

And so your learning curve is so much higher. And this is where things really either make or break you if you think about really starting to make that shift into a scalable business model. Now, I want to reiterate, I think that, again, what happens is people come into coaching. It starts out as sort of a lifestyle business, even though that may not be what you're calling it. But then you get that bug for something bigger and you start to try to put the pieces in place to start to scale your business. But what's happening is most people still try to treat their business like a lifestyle business while trying to make it scalable. Right?

Kinsey Machos:

So something like this would be like if you're not feeling good, you decide to just take the week off, or you want to say yes to all the vacations, or you don't want to work a consistent schedule. I think that, again, there's always going to be nuances within this. But here's what I'm just saying, seen from that kind of shifting identity, is that when you don't treat your business like a scalable business and you kind of still treat it like this business, that's supposed to bring you all this flexibility and fluidity without knowing that the cost of building a scalable business is actually sometimes your time or sometimes less flexibility. Right.

Kinsey Machos:

Then what happens is we just stay at that lifestyle business level again, a lot of you may want to stay there, and that's totally fine, but I know a lot of women that don't. But they do keep themselves there because they have the mindset of that lifestyle business and not the identity of a scalable business. So we have Chelsea, who is a leadership coach, and she mentors our women in our mastermind, and she's constantly really teaching them that CEO mentality, that identity piece, what that means to really step into the seat of a CEO. If you're building your first six figures, you don't need to worry about what it means to be a CEO.

Kinsey Machos:

If you're really trying to make big leaps, though, and you see a bigger vision and potential for your impact and your income, this is when you need to start understanding that with that leap does come a cost. And I think that we often talk a lot about a business that brings flexibility and freedom 100%. But sometimes in certain seasons and pockets of time, you're going to have less of that flexibility, you're going to have less of that freedom. Right. And I think that there's always that trade. If you think about a lifestyle business, yeah, it's more flexible, but it also relies so heavily on you to do all the things. And if you're gone, the business is gone.

Kinsey Machos:

But in a scalable business, maybe you don't get as much flexibility as you would desire, but you have a team, you have an infrastructure that's moving, that keeps moving even without you. And so in that, in my mind, that actually gives me more flexibility if I know that I can take a vacation and the business is still growing. Awesome. I've done my job, but sometimes that means saying no. And I think that in that leap from lifestyle to scalable business, you have to know that there are things that you will have to give up. There are things that come along with the responsibility of building a scalable business. It's not just, I don't feel like it, or it's not just you seeing yourself as a coach. It's about you really stepping into a CEO and knowing what responsibilities come along with that. Right.

Kinsey Machos:

Managing a team is no easy feat, but your team is going to be the thing that catapults you forward. And I remember talking to Chelsea a couple years ago when I started to really get into leadership and having a bigger team, and I was like, oh, my gosh, I never anticipated this being so hard. I don't know if I'm cut out for this, right? I think that I always imagine I'm going to have a huge team, 20 plus people, we're going to have $100 million business. And then I was like, no way. I can't even manage five people and feel like I'm doing a good job. But I realize in that moment, that's where I'm being stretched.

Kinsey Machos:

That's the cost that I'm paying in order to really expand my vision, expand my mission and have a greater impact, but also really stretch what's possible for me. Right. The cost is I have to become a better leader. The cost is I have to learn how to lead and manage people, but the cost of not doing that right is far greater. It means that I'm not stepping into my full potential. It means that I'm not really seeing my truest desires through and I'm really backing down because I got too afraid or it got too hard. So when you start to really compare the cost and really understand what it is that you're saying yes to and the responsibility that comes along with that. You are going to be able to go into these seasons so much more prepared and equipped.

Kinsey Machos:

It's going to shift how you make decisions and the types of decisions you're making. You really have to learn how to put your big girl panties on and start to really see your business as something so much greater than just you. And I think that it is. Oh, my gosh. It's just one of the hardest things. I really think it's one of the hardest things. One of the hardest shifts you'll have to make in entrepreneurship is that learning curve and really seeing it for what it is. Sometimes even just in the way that I'm talking about it. You might not really resonate with it or you might not be feeling it, but you will. You will see it. And sometimes it's sort of hindsight and it's, again, kind of goes back to you.

Kinsey Machos:

You have to learn the lessons in the way that we have to learn them. But the most important thing is really understanding that when you're building a bigger business, something that's scalable, something that's really infinite impact and income, you have to make different decisions. You have to become a version of you that is not who you are today. That means probably unlearning a lot of what got you here and relearning things that are going to get you to that next level. A lot of it is like the unwinding and the reprogramming to step into that bigger version of you that can handle, really, the capacity it requires to build a scalable business. But I know you can do it if that's what you want. The last thing I want you to do is back down from that because it got too hard.

Kinsey Machos:

I am not here to tell you it's going to be easy. Is it worth it? If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. That is why only a small percentage of people ever make it to six or even seven figures. But we're changing that. That is our mission. And part of that is really helping you understand what's required of you at those different levels. But also, again, making a decision if you're okay at that 100k or two hundred k mark. Awesome. Good for you. Right? Even knowing the advantages and disadvantages under that will help you really set expectations for yourself and your family and your vision. So you're not doing things that are misaligned with that. And same goes for a scalable business. If you want to grow bigger, you have to know, you have to treat it different than a lifestyle business.

Kinsey Machos:

It means that you have to say no to things, maybe say yes to things that you never did before, and starting to roll into a completely new identity, not someone you're not, but more of who you're already becoming, but such a more expanded version of that. And it's such a beautiful, messy journey, but like I said, 100,000% worth it if that's where you want to go. So I hope this episode really put into context the difference between the two, give you some decision points as far as, like, where you need to lock down on. Like, if you do see a bigger vision for yourself, knowing that. That the time will come that you need to make that leap, and we want to obviously be the ones to help you do that.

Kinsey Machos:

But just knowing and being prepared, and it's going to require a different version of you and you being okay with that and then also walking away with maybe more inspiration to get more clear. If you didn't know before and you still are kind of waffling back and forth, then this is your sign to go get clear. But do not stall your vision or cap yourself out because of fear. I hear women all the time say, I don't know why I even dreamt that big. That's just silly. I'm going to go back down here. That is not the purpose. The purpose of these goals, the purpose of your vision is to drive you forward. It's to expand you. It's to stretch you so you can show yourself that it is possible.

Kinsey Machos:

But you have to be willing to lean into that fear and some of that negative, some of those negative emotions, that discomfort, which a lot of people use as leverage to back down or play smaller, I'm here to say, don't do that. That. Do not do that. I promise I've done it. And it just stalls me out. It sets me off course, and I don't want that for you. So I hope you enjoyed this conversation. If you're more interested in how we help you make that leap and what it looks like to scale like a category queen, we'll link up the next steps in the show notes so you can apply to work with us and see if we're a good fit together, we would obviously love to have you. And I'll see you next time.

Kinsey Machos:

Hey, if you're ready to stand out online and get paying clients consistently without having to fumble your way through tech run ads or create complicated funnels, I want to invite you to join us in the category queen school, where you're going to learn my simple, proven formula for getting clients online. It's risk free. Just head over to kinseymachos.com/thecqschool and join today to get instant access. Just head over to kinseymackis.com thecq school and join today to get instant access. We'll see you inside.

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