For years, the American definition of success has been synonymous with income level and “bang for the buck.” The size of our bank accounts, the size of our homes, the size of (or luxury of or speed of) our automobiles have been the stick by which we measured – a mentality illustrated by the popular phrase “he (or she) who dies with the most toys wins.”
While Americans haven’t necessarily become less acquisitive, the definition of success is changing, particularly in light of the recent economic downturn, and with the advent of the internet and the growth of home-based businesses.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (link: http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/main.htm), women make up 46.8 percent of the American workforce, so It should come as no surprise that women account for more than 40 percent of all entrepreneurs in the United States.
What’s interesting is that women (and a growing number of men) are actively choosing to create a business life that is in harmony with their personal lives, often foregoing business growth that would require employees or expansion into other markets in order to allow for free time spend with family or to spend pursuing their own interests.
This approach to entrepreneurship is referred to as “pursuing a lifestyle business,” according to Erin Albert, author of Single. Women. Entrepreneurs.
While there are still many entrepreneurs who choose to pursue high-growth ventures with the promise of high revenues, that in itself is a lifestyle choice, as these types of businesses require a greater investment of time and that investment impacts free time available for pursuit of other interests.
Fortunately, owning your own business allows you the flexibility to tailor your business to your lifestyle choices: Living a life by design rather than living a life by default is the ultimate definition of success and perhaps best illustrates the American Dream!