Be Selfish and Build Your Lifestyle

There is one main reason I have set out on the path of entrepreneurship — lifestyle. I don’t care nearly as much about making millions of dollars as I do about the ability to live each and every day the way I want. I’m broke right now, but happy I don’t have to show up to an office by 9 a.m. every day and report to someone. Not only business owners, but everyone should set out to build a lifestyle and not a business or a career. I have a simple equation:

Lifestyle = Happiness = Success

Breaking it down, this means that by focusing on building your lifestyle you will end up being happier. If you are happier in life you will be more likely to succeed. But here is the kicker for all of you who dream of Ferraris and beach side mansions. I’m not just talking about success in the sense that if you’re happy you are already successful. I’m saying that if you’re happy you have a better chance at making the big bucks. This doesn’t just apply to people starting businesses. If you’re starting a business you better be doing something you are passionate about, which means you are already heading down the right path. But even for everyone out there who aspire to careers and corporate life, you need to think about the lifestyle first. Live where you want to live and fight for the jobs that you want. If you are happy at your job you will be more likely to rise to the top, because going the extra mile doesn’t feel like work.

The first step in all of this is figuring out what your perfect lifestyle is. What setting will you be the happiest in? What are you passionate about?

For all of you that fall into the Gen Y category you better be listening to this. This gets harder to achieve as you get older and take on more responsibilities. It’s never impossible, but the less holding you down the easier it is to pick up everything and pursue your dream. Figure out exactly what you want to do while in college if you can, don’t worry about what your degree is in.

I love talking about luck and how successful people aren’t lucky, they simply set themselves up to get the good breaks. The better you position yourself the more likely a break will fall your way at some point. If you’re hoping to live in Chicago then why are you applying to jobs and moving to Boston!? Go to Chicago and get involved in the city. That is setting yourself up to get that break you’re looking for in Chicago, even if you haven’t found what you are looking for before you get there.

Go after what you want. It will be uncomfortable at first, but that’s the sign that you are doing something different and that’s a major step in the right direction.

Don’t focus on the money and don’t worry about being a little different. Be selfish and focus on your life and what you want. Then go get it.

Jared O’Toole is co-founder of His mission is to lead people to go out and do something they are passionate about instead of falling into the rat race and playing by corporate America’s rules. Under30CEO’s newsletter allows anyone to ask a business question and get answers from real people in their inbox or Twitter feed.