The Lifestyle Entrepreneur

By Cato Hoeben & Angela Neustatter Paperback £8.99 / 978-1-78334-001-9

Imagine you could earn money or even a living from your interests, passions, skills and talents, shaping your working hours and family time as you choose. Instead of commuting or discussing work politics around the water cooler, you would have time for what enthuses you and energy for partners and children at times when you are not exhausted and frazzled from a day at the office. That is what it means to be a Lifestyle Entrepreneur.

It would have sounded like a Utopian dream to Cato Hoeben four years ago. Yet he had to redesign the way he worked and lived when he met his (now) wife, who did not live in the same city he did. Today he earns a living with stable income from three very different enterprises he has set up, working the hours he chooses, and with a lifestyle shaped as he wants it around work and family. No longer tethered to a boss or job insecurity, he calls himself a Lifestyle Entrepreneur.

This book is a step-by-step guide for people of all ages, looking in depth at what is entailed in becoming a Lifestyle Entrerpreneur. As Cato discovered for himself, even if you start from your kitchen table with no start-up money, there is huge potential through internet service-exchanges for running all kinds of enterprises: from music, film, handcrafted products running a brewery and a fashion brand. Uber may be the only known example of such an exchange, but its success pales in comparison with the variety, depth and volume of other service platforms - as Cato and other entrepreneurs tapping into this digital revolution demonstrate in the book.

Lifestyle Entrepreneur is based on Cato’s experience and those of the 30 - odd people aged from early 20s to 70s interviewed for the book, who have followed dreams, developed marketable skills and responded to lightbulb moments to build their enterprises. Some have as many as four or five different earning streams, while others put their all into a single one and plenty choose to set up social enterprises where they may not earn a lot but they feel good about themselves. Yet all, including those who have hit hard times, or had to survive on peppercorn earnings while building up, are positive they have chosen the right way.

Cato Hoeben has written Lifestyle Entrepreneur with his mother, journalist Angela Neustatter who has long combined a variety of income generating projects and an entrepreneurial lifestyle. The book takes us through the ways people have started their entrepreneurial lives, what has been entailed, what they needed to know and how they learnt it. There are chapters on where and how you can learn to be an entrepreneur, the tripwires, the psychological mindset needed to work this way of life and how to become part of a supportive community. One of the chapters deals with integrating this style of work with family and there are several chapters looking at how to navigate your way through the huge number of online resources that can be valuable.

Cato Hoeben and Angela Neustatter are available for interview and to write articles.

Cato Hoeben