Every Business is a Lifestyle Business

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“Every business is a lifestyle business.

Whether you’re miserable or living in paradise, that’s the lifestyle you chose.”

Bo Burlingham
Nov 21st, 2014 interview

Almost exactly five years ago today, I rented a car in Manhattan and drove the 35 minutes to Hastings-on-the-Hudson.  My then-fiancée (now wife) was with me, and we were nervous.  I was driving to the offices of the one and only Seth Godin ~ a hero of mine who I was interviewing for what would become episode #1 of the From the Horse’s Mouth video series.

Not since that day, arriving at Seth’s office for the first time, have I experienced quite the same combination of nervous-giddy energy… until this past Friday.   To be fair, I’ve had some amazing conversations with some truly world-class thinkers, and I don’t mean to downplay any of those.   Who can explain where these feelings come from?  But I digress.

This past Friday, five years later, I experienced that same feeling again.  And again, I found myself on the opposite side of the mic from another of my heroes, Mr. Bo Burlingham.

Bo and I had a meandering conversation about his new book Finish Big (due out Friday, but available for pre-order now and a great read*), his first solo project Small Giants, the nuances of entrepreneurship and human motivations in general.  We talked for almost an hour and the time flew by.  Bo suggested we keep in touch, my wife and I went out for dinner to celebrate and it’s been a great weekend since.  But that feeling – that tingling, adrenaline fueled anticipation, and the fact that it’s only come up a couple of times – has kept me thinking.  What was it about these two gentlemen that caused it?

It comes down to belief.  Seth and Bo write regularly, and with brilliant articulation perfectly capture my beliefs in how work is meant to be experienced.  With meaning.  With direction and purpose and fun and achievement.  Without politics.  In projects, but built into a wider sweeping arc of a life well lived and anchored in clear ideals. Of a life that means something. Of hard work, and mistakes and skinned knees and getting back up and doing it again.  In the company of those who appreciate the effort as much as the accomplishment.  Surrounded by those who tell you what you need to hear even if you don’t want to hear it, but never knock the individual, only the idea.

I think what keeps me voraciously reading everything that Seth writes – everything that Bo writes – is the belief that I know their motivations.  I know what they believe and the change they’re working to see in the world.  And they say it really well.  No bullshit.  No false pretenses.  I admire that greatly.

Thanks to Seth, Bo and all you others out there who hold us to a higher standard.

Originally published at

About the Author - a company dedicated to using business books as a platform for leader and team growth - earned Chris 2009's Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, a shortlisting for PROFIT's Fuel Awards (2011) and has been the topic of articles in the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star and Toronto Business Times, as well as an audio interview for Profit Magazine's BusinessCast.

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