Why We Have A Lifestyle Business

Gavan Henrichs with a laptop

nature or nurture

Should I try the jelly babies, soft chewy and quick to swallow or eat the cobber, harder to chew and swallow if I get caught?

One of my many decisions growing up and living in a unit attached to the back of our shop. Yes, I spent my formative years hiding in the lolly counter. Learning to serve customers, making milkshakes, sorting live worms for fish bait. All in a days adventure when your parents own a mixed business. 

Jelly Babies
And down the road, my grandparents owned a caravan park and shop. Is it nature or nurture, for me it was both.
Rowena Henrichs

That's where my mother's parents come in. I developed the love of travelling, photography and video. Being the eldest grandchild it was my privilege to travel with them in the school holidays. camping became our families way to escape the long hours of work in the business.

Starting a Lifestyle Business

You wanted to give up the 9-5, and work for yourself, being self-employed, being your own boss, not answering to anyone.

Then reality hits how do I live?
Where is the money coming from?
What happens when I get sick?

So you start working 60 and 80 hour weeks, the stress adds up and it is not what you dreamed your life and business would be.

What if I told you we have been there and done that, there is a different way!

Design and create a business around your lifestyle instead of the other way around.

We have labelled ourselves as Self Employed, Remote Worker, Digital Nomad, Virtual Assistant, and Lifestyle Business Owner. A lifestyle business allows you to work from wherever you want, on your own schedule and gives you the freedom and flexibility to do the things you want to do on a regular basis. 


We started our business in 1996 building it up, working both remotely and with our clients onsite. In 2003 we decided that lifestyle was our priority over building a bigger business. Yes, I am a planner and took 12 months planning to change our business into a lifestyle business. We had many not understand our decision, hitting the road in our 40’s to travel and work where we wanted, when we wanted. It was not the norm.

Gavan Henrichs 12 Apostles

In 2004 we packed the car and hit the road to travel and work around Australia. We have stayed in 5-star resorts to walk-in camping in national parks. The first year we were on the road, Gavan had his laptop but I still had a desktop PC. Yes, we packed up the tower a 15” monitor and printer. Once we got back to Brisbane we made sure to get a second laptop.

Our work became varied, both onsite and working remotely for business on the other side of the country. Providing we could get an internet connection we were fine. I was working as a VA, helping others build their businesses, with websites, databases, projects, organizing conferences, automating systems, workflows & procedures. 

Gavan Henrichs with a laptop
Gavan worked as a business consultant, IT in the mines in Qld & NSW, Payroll and customer support. We even did Workplace Health & Safety inspections and sales at one time.

10 years living the lifestyle, travelling Australia joining the grey nomads on their annual migrations going north for winter and south for summer.

How Our Life Changed in An Instant

Life was great. we had a thriving business. working the hours we wanted, taking the children for mini breaks once a month, able to take holidays during the school holidays.

That's when things changed one day my health was fine and the next our world caved in. during our holidays to Noosa, in Qld. I became extremely tired, unable to function with unbearable pain. Within weeks I had no use of my left side, extreme pain at a slight touch. Unable to even roll over in bed and my husband became my carer and the sole parent.

As the year went by I had to retrain my brain to use my left side, learn to walk again. While still working in our business. Being a remote worker meant I could still work from my bed, which has been the norm on and off for 20 years. Yes, we developed our lifestyle business and travelled from 2004 – 2014. When I got hit again with another relapse. Back to bed and a lengthy recovery of learning to walk again.

Rowena Henrichs Murray River

Characteristics of a lifestyle business

Your Why Your Goal

  • Your goal is for a business that has sustainable and recurring income streams.
  • Your business can grow as fast or as slow as you wish, your goal is your lifestyle, not monetary milestones.
  • Working hard while setting up your business, setting up systems and operations that will allow you to work fewer hours.
  • Your business can operate without you or for the numbers of hours per month you want to work.

Minimal Outsourcing and Size

  • You set the size of your business and how much income you wish to bring in to sustain your lifestyle.
  • A smaller business is easier to manage.
  • With systems in place, you can outsource tasks to help you run your business.
  • Outsource tasks that will free up your time.

There was not a lot of smaller business online back then. Even though some years we were earning 6 figures and some we didn’t, it was the lifestyle we were chasing not the money.

This lifestyle choice was thrust upon us. Learning to live with chronic Illness means you have to adapt, learning to balance illness and work to suit your situation. Learning the balance was not easy. But from years of experience and living this way we could never go back to a 9-5 job.

We want to share it with you, what we have learnt through trial, error, and research on how to make this lifestyle work. 

System Audit
Why we have a Lifestyle Business Gavan Rowena Henrichs

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