How Covid Made The Lifestyle Sector Grow Up

You And Your Business Is A Marriage… Will The Pandemic Spell D.I.V.O.R.C.E.?

Lifestyle choices are, ideally, uplifting. From jogging to journaling to Jägerbombs, they’re positive commitments you make to yourself and connections you make with your family and friends. Having a giggle and feeling good: it’s what makes life fun and worth living.

Lifestyle businesses, therefore – whether yoga studios, clean-eating plans or wild weekend breaks – have always been built on fun times and good vibes.

Until the pandemic. The coronavirus changed the lifestyle business model forever. Why? Because it made it take itself seriously.

Business In Motion

Business in motion can bluster happily through most challenges; it’ll paper over the cracks. You rob Peter to pay Paul; you borrow; you ignore a looming bill. When a business grinds to a halt, though, due to, say, a pandemic, it can look dead rickety. The coronavirus squeeze might have meant you applied for financial support, which probably threw an embarrassing spotlight on the dark corners. Your biz ticked along fine when running but your figures on paper look rough. It’s exposing, demoralising and detrimental.

Let’s equate you and your business to a relationship. When a marriage is in motion – family obligations, shopping trips, shared goals, health, holidays – there’s no time to take stock. A marriage in motion papers over the cracks. The changes in pace, the responsibilities and the commitment to keeping the love train on the tracks all carry a couple through challenges.

But when partners stop and take stock, as many have been forced to during the pandemic, they see their relationship clearly, minus duties and distractions. Lockdown had many couples forced to re-evaluate. According to UK couples advice bureau, Relate, a lot split up.

Back to business. A business in motion papers over the cracks. In 2020 / 21, when some businesses ground to a halt – especially lifestyle-facing companies – it was an enforced pause that made us all take stock. Many called it a day; those who stayed the course took their work more seriously. Directors sorted out finances, stepped up staff care, improved projections and more. Owners living the ‘crazy-fun Brand Lifestyle’ values dialled it down – in a good way.

In a pandemic, there’s no space for precarious.

Essentially the producers of positive lifestyle vibes have been forced to grow up a bit. You’ve had to answer to your customers, your suppliers, your bank and your staff in a new, more robust way.

So yes: COVID sucked a lot of the fun out of running a lifestyle business. The last two years have spelled ‘professionalism or die’. The silver lining? You’ve taken yourself seriously. You’re going next level. You’re holding yourself accountable and down for the responsibility.

And while in the short-term that might mean fewer Jägerbombs, it definitely makes for healthier, more solid companies and careers. Congratulations.