Building a Lifestyle Business

CFD 460 – Building a Lifestyle Business


Aaron Muller is the founder of Lifestyle Business Owner Academy and a serial entrepreneur who currently owns eight multi-million dollar companies that run without him, including an eco-friendly truck washing company, a search engine optimization company, three auto repair shops, an auto glass franchise, a green pressure washing company, a matchmaking service, and an online business selling eco-friendly pet hair removers.

He is the bestselling author of The Lifestyle Business Owner: How to Buy a Business, Grow Your Profits, and Make It Run Without You. Aaron spends his time helping entrepreneurs succeed because it is what he enjoys doing. Over the last 15 years, Aaron has mentored thousands of small business owners as a business broker, consultant, and coach. His specialty? How to make a business run without you.

Podcast Highlights

 Who is Aaron Muller?

Aaron’s story starts in the fifth grade where he started up a little shrimp business. He sold shrimp to tourists and saved every penny he had. He didn’t come from a wealthy family and got his first job cleaning trucks at the age of 15, that’s where he learned to become so valuable at his job that he created his own opportunities. Aaron became an owner of that cleaning company and grew the business right out of high school. Aaron went on to buy an auto mechanic business and has been an absentee owner ever since.

  • Making Mistakes

When getting his first SBA loan, Aaron was told that he was going to fail and the only reason they were giving him the money was because he had a business that could guarantee the repayment.

You don’t need to invent original things to make money. Entrepreneurs are great at taking what other people are doing and improving and implementing.

  • How does someone buy a new lifestyle business and not get trapped?

A business broker is essential to the process. People buy a lifestyle business because they want to be an absentee owner.

Aaron doesn’t recommend buying a franchise, the fees and rules involved make it more difficult and your money and effort can be better spent elsewhere.

Look at the financials of the lifestyle business and make sure it is feasible to hire a manager to take care of the day to day activities of running the business. Contact a broker and if the financial info doesn’t make sense, walk away from the deal. Your broker should be able to make it very easy to understand the financial picture.

There is no exact science to business valuation, it’s going to be selling for between two and five times the owner’s discretionary income.

Keeping the owner on board after buying their business can create some conflict when you start changing things. It may be better to just hire a manager or promote one of the team members to a management position. You don’t need a special ability to hire the right people, you just have to keep at it.

  • Why did you feel the need to write the Lifestyle Business book?

Aaron had been buying and selling businesses for 17 years and saw many entrepreneurs essentially buying themselves a job. He wants to empower small businesses to be better and compete with the big box stores.

  • What are the barriers to entry?

Even if you don’t have the 10% to put down against a new business, you can still put in time becoming so valuable to the business as an alternative way in. There is always a way to structure a deal.

Reference: The Lifestyle Business Owner: How to Buy a Business, Grow Your Profits, and Make It Run Without You, Aaron Muller

  • Aaron’s Takeaway

Go to and start looking at businesses. Figure out what you have to make to survive and that’s where you start narrowing down the search. Consider what kind of background you have and try to fit the business to your personality.


The Lifestyle Business Owner: How to Buy a Business, Grow Your Profits, and Make It Run Without You, Aaron Muller

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