Sunday, September 07, 2008

Lifestyle or Business? Why not Both?

I'll admit it. I like to enjoy the finer things in life. Gourmet food and superb wines. Luxurious and stylish clothing and furniture. Art. Gadgets. You name it. But more than that, I have always enjoyed sharing those things with others and sharing the stories about how I found and chose the possessions and experiences I have, and how I've used those things to create the environment in which I live - the environment that reflects who I am and what I value. This has been nothing more than a lifestyle choice for many years, but I've known for a long time that a lot of people are intrigued by how I discovered and chose the often obscure but usually exceptional things that inhabit my life. Now I see that I might make a nice little business as a "lifestyle consultant" doing the things I enjoy and do daily as a matter of habit.

The decision to create this business, Living! by Allen, wasn't entirely my own. After all, I was just a Maven/Relater going about my business and living life on my own terms. It was two close friends, Bijoy Goswami, an Evangelist/Maven, and Marcy Hoen, another Maven/Relater, who recognized that my approach to consciously crafting my lifestyle was quite unique in their experience and urged me to turn my knowledge and discernment into a business. I was already living my future business and bringing people together within the Bootstrap Art Subgroup I lead and through other efforts in the community and in my personal life. Living! by Allen is simply a way of taking those skills, interests, and relationships public. For those who are unfamiliar with the terms, they come from Bijoy's book, The Human Fabric. A Maven is a "subject matter expert" who delights in knowledge and analyzing or creating things. A Relater builds relationships and community. An Evangelist is a champion for the ideas or products he/she strongly believes in. My internal Maven/Relater duality creates a "power of two" which is necessary for the success of most ventures. Likewise, combining a maven energy with an evangelist energy creates a "power of two" that really gives a venture legs and hope.

For this bootstrap (ad)venture, I will be taking advantage of the "power of two," "demo, sell, build," "right action right time," and especially the "use everything" concepts that can make or break a business that's moving from the Ideation phase to the Valley of Death. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. In the mean time, if you are in Ideation and thinking about starting your own business, try incorporating different aspects of your life and weaving them together. And for more information on the Bootstrap concepts and terminology mentioned above, visit the Bootstrap Map.

Allen Beuershausen started and leads the Bootstrap Art Subgroup at Bootstrap Austin. He will be chronicling his adventures on the Living by Allen blog.

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