Is Your Business A Lifestyle? Women & Micro-Business!

Last Thursday I began a series on women and the micro-business industry! It’s one of the hottest topics in economics today; yet few folks know what they are. Nor can they define it in any meaningful way.micro-business

I laid out several challenges I believe we face as we seek to understand 9/10ths of the world’s economic growth. Economic growth due to the proliferation of micro-businesses, many of which are owned or partnered in by women!

A quick review of the subject reveals that micro-business is specifically defined as businesses with 4 or less employees. There are other variables, but the most salient is the number of employees a business has. A micro-business may enjoy annual gross revenue of less than $25,000 to well over $1,000,000. Gross annual income does not define a micro-business as is the case with businesses defined as “small”.

One of the challenges I laid out is the lack of a language specific to micro-business. Yet businesses in this category are the driving economic force world wide – especially in 3rd world countries where non-profit organizations work with impoverished women – training, equipping and establishing them in a micro-business to support their families.  Most of all, helping them develop a lifestyle safe from corrupt governments and human traffickers.

Ah, there’s that word “lifestyle“. Home-Based-BusinessI wish I could take credit for such a powerful descriptive word for the industry – but it was coined by friend and Boutiques member-owner Denise Cooper, solo-entrepreneur at CoachHR. As I ruminated about the various businesses of women I know who would be considered micro-business owners or partners; Denise exclaimed – “oh, it’s business built around a desired lifestyle!

And boy is she correct!

While passion and purpose are at the core for all the women I know; it’s the desire for a specific lifestyle that micro-businesses afford talented motivated women. Passion, purpose and motivation that lights the ‘fire in their bellies!’

Reduced to an equation, it would look like this: passion+purpose+motivation+talent and fire = micro-business! TWEET THIS!

So when searching for the beginnings of a language unique to and descriptive of the micro-business industry; “lifestyle” gets us started!  

To test this out, I asked a number of women solo-entrepreneurs and those who own or partner in a business fitting the technical description of a micro-business, their personal and professional “why“. Here’s some of the comments I heard:work-at-home-mom-scams

*in order to spend more time with my children, especially while they are young. . . 

*avoid the long daily commutes I hated when working in corporate America. . . 

*work from home for the convenience, as well as reduced business expense. . . 

*avoid the headaches associated with having employees and all that involves. . . 

*provide extra family income without working 40+ hours a week. . .

*to do what I love. . . 

*I don’t desire a large business with all that large business entails. . .

*to be happy and have less stress with what I do. . .

While women I’d call “feminists” are pushing for women to break the glass ceiling, occupy more corner offices and warm board room seats; the vast majority of women in business today are content to build a business around a desired lifestyle. Their passion is a deeply held sense of purpose unique only to them! A purpose to which they sense a “call” rather than a cubicle in corporate America!

Most of all, women owning or partnering in micro-business desire the freedom that comes with being their own boss rather than bossing others (or being bossed) in less than friendly environments! And the freedom to drop business at a moments notice to attend son or daughter’s latest athletic event!

A call that is less about business and more about lifestyle than anything else! Perhaps best said as building a life as much or more than building a business!

But doing so does comes with a downside as well. The women with whom I speak share the cons as well as the pros of making a decision for down-sized dreams, vision and mission.

Picking up the mantle that is owning a business many call “teeny-weeny” is no easy task. It has psychological and emotional aspects many women find the most challenging to overcome.  

So the next post in the series will deal with the downside of the micro-business boom. At least for many of the women with whom I’ve spoken over the years. We’ll examine the phenomenon from both sides now and hopefully add to a micro-business vocabulary we can all use as the future of the industry unfolds for women who love what it offers!



Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Neighborhood Boutiques-OPEN for YOUR BUSINESS
Empowering Women to Thrive
The Neighborhood at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at Facebook

Image Sources: Small Biz Trends; KBMediaBlitz and Career Vanity

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]

Linda S. Fitzgerald

I have a fiery passion to see women become all they are designed to be - personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness.


  1. Jana Denninger on May 7, 2015 at 7:55 am

    WOW…WOW…WOW….awesome post, Linda…and what I’ll pass on today
    at CITN-Southport…it’s totally IT… doing what we love that creates an
    income that supports a LIFEstyle we desire!!!

  2. Linda Ursin on May 8, 2015 at 9:50 am

    My business is most definitely a business built around a desired lifestyle. I could lay back and live off of my disability pay, but I won’t. I want more out of life.

    • linda on May 8, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Good for you Linda! I believe most women have too much ambition, drive, passion and sense of purpose to “lay back”. I’m well into my ‘vintage years and I have no intention of “retiring!”

      Thanks much for your response,


  3. Reba Linker on May 8, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Hi Linda, I love this post. You found a great way to clarify the distinction between the tradition concept of business, and the lifestyle-centered concept of business. It is a lot to think about. You really brought forward micro-business’s responsiveness to women’s needs and priorities. I look forward to your next post on the subject! Hav a blessed day, Reba

    • linda on May 8, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Thanks so much for such an awesome response Reba! Our entire vision and mission with Neighborhood Boutiques is to bring women in micro-business out of the shadows and help them find visibility in a crowded web world, as well as legitimacy in the eyes of those who view us as owning “teeny-weeny” businesses. Or not owning “real” businesses (subject of next post in the series).

      You might want to read the 1st in the series if you haven’t already. You’ll find it here:


  4. Marquita Herald on May 8, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Brilliant post and topic Linda! It is definitely about personal freedom for me. I was blessed to work for some amazing people in the corporate world and truthfully I don’t regret a minute of it because that was my training ground where I developed the discipline, confidence and courage to eventually go out on my own. Look forward to reading more!

    • linda on May 10, 2015 at 8:01 am

      Thank you Marquita! I too worked in “corporate America” albeit for small non-profits. But there’s nothing more thrilling and satisfying that being one’s own “boss”. But like you, I learned what I needed by being an employee. What to do and not to do.

      I’m thrilled you will continue to read and comment, as well as be part of the “movement” to bring women in micro-business into the spotlight where we belong!


  5. Stacey Toupin on May 9, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Linda! Loved reading your informative and relatable post. I started my own life and career coaching business less than a year ago and I can attest to the yearning of the lifestyle that brings comfort. By comfort I mean an inner peace and the financial freedom that is possible. I have a ways to go with the financial part, but I feel so peaceful! Thank you for a wonderful post. I really enjoy what you write! -Stacey

    • linda on May 10, 2015 at 8:03 am

      Thank you so much Stacey! Congratulations on making the choice to be your own “boss” and find the peace and contentment it brings. The financial piece will come; but in the meantime hard to put a price on the peace and sense of personal freedom. . . “priceless”.

      Thank you for commenting and planning to continue reading. So appreciated!


  6. Heather Bestel on May 10, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Thank you Linda, I will share your post with my mumpeneur community {another word to describe a growing community} as they all share those wonderful reasons for starting their businesses x

    • linda on May 10, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Thank you much Heather! And yes “mumpreneurs” are a growing community of women who choose stay at home while still building their own businesses. A growing group who definitely are micro-business owners and partners. They deserve to be in the spotlight for a change. And thank you for sharing with your community of “mumpreneurs”.

      Our business, Neighborhood Boutiques, is designed to do for women in micro-businesses what they have little time to do – and that’s marketing themselves to the world at large. Watch for more information forthcoming on how we do that.

      Thank you for commenting. . .


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