Do You Need Credentials to Build a Lifestyle Business?

Are you looking for approval from an outside source?

You don’t need credentials to build a lifestyle business around your passion. You just need to know what you’re talking about.

Knowing what you’re talking about doesn’t mean being the best in the world.

It means being able to help people improve some part of their lives, no matter how small it is.

If you think you need credentials, you’re looking for outside permission to do what you love, and the only person that can give you permission is you.

It’s time to stop looking for permission or confirmation, and just start doing what you feel called to do.

If you’re passionate about a subject, you have knowledge, experience and you can teach people something that will help them.

People care about results, not letters after your name or diplomas on your wall.

Where Real Credentials Come From

Real credentials come from being passionate about what you do.

When you’re passionate about something, you can’t stop learning, which means you’re constantly improving.

You use your friends, family, and yourself as guinea pigs, so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

Real credentials come from producing positive results for people, which is what your readers and customers want.

But Will People Take You Seriously?

I don’t have an MBA, nor do I need one for what I do right now.

You seem to take me seriously, don’t you?

Why is that?

The answer to that is the same answer other people will have about the work you do.

My clients and customers are attracted to me because of what I know, and how I do things.

But life is never black and white. There are times when credentials help.

When Credentials Help

If you want to become a brain surgeon, I don’t recommend you use your family as guinea pigs.

But if you want to help people get in shape, you don’t need credentials.

Yes, being a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, or nutrition consultant helps, but they should never stop you from taking action.

When credentials help you improve, you’re naturally attracted to getting them, and when they don’t, the interest just isn’t there.

There’s no reason to wait.

You can start building an audience and a platform for your lifestyle business right now.

Building Your Platform

You see, you don’t need to be the best in the world to start producing content that helps people.

If you have no experience, you get experience along the way.

You never wait for perfection before you start, because it’s not going to happen.

If you’re passionate about fitness and nutrition, you probably know more about it than most people, which means you can help someone.

You can begin writing articles, recording podcasts, and even writing ebooks that help people get fit and healthy.

Yes, there are people out there who know more than you, but so what?

It’s time to forget all your excuses and just start.

People Who Started Without Credentials

Many others have gone before you.

And many of them have had bigger excuses than you have now, but they’ve taken action anyway, and that’s why they are successful today.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Benny Lewis travels the world and shows people how to learn a language in 3 months.
  • Leo Babauta teaches people how to live healthier and happier lives.
  • Steve Kamb teaches nerds how to become fit, strong, and healthy.
  • Darren Rowse has one of the biggest blogs in the world on digital photography.

None of the above people have official credentials, yet they have built successful businesses they’re passionate about.

And you know what?

So can you, but you have to take action.

The Art of Taking Action

It all comes down to how determined you are to keep moving forward when things get rough.

Are you letting your excuses grab control of your life, or are you pushing forward anyway?

The answer to the above question will determine your success.

In most cases, thinking you need credentials is another excuse. You can start your lifestyle business today.

Whatever excuse you have, forget about it, and just start.

Start today.

Start now.

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  1. Henri:
    You wrote:
    “My clients and customers are attracted to me because of what I know, and how I do things.”
    That’s true.
    I would just add you also know how to explain ideas.
    I think a person either needs to have that ability already or must learn it if they want to succeed as a blogger.

    • Good addition, Shlomo.

      Something to keep in mind is that you have to find a style of communication that fits you.

      For me that means writing. It’s something I’ve done for a long time, and something I enjoy doing. I’ve put in the hours, so to speak.

      We all have to find our thing.

  2. I liked very much your article on credentials. Thank you Henri!

  3. Love this post, Henri, I needed to have some of this pointed out to me. Wonderful confidence-booster, thank you!

  4. When I was growing up and going through grade school and college, friends and family were telling me I needed a degree to make my way in the world. That’s if I wanted a job.

    Our world is socially conditioned to believe that we need credentials or a title after our name to start working. That is true for health professions. But for most other careers, it’s not necessary.

    If I start a lifestyle business, it’s not necessary for me to officially register my business (so it’s on record in New York State government) until I make sustainable income.

    My profession is blogging, and I certainly don’t need any credential to do what I love.

    Great post man!

    • If you want a job, you have to conform, which isn’t fun at all.

      Thanks Scott!

    • The trick is other people recognizing that not having “proper credentials” doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing. My husband runs up against this time after time in the corporate world. They want to see the certificate, the title. Then you get to work with the people who do have the credentials and find out how clueless many of them are. So frustrating! Fortunately this social conditioning is changing, albeit slowly.

      My personal pet peeve is the ‘expert’ mentality one finds (is it just a U.S. thing?). I just read a review on Amazon for a book I love (Gardening Without Work, by Ruth Stout) in which the reviewer states, “While this is a valuable tool in gardening this book is not written by an expert (and she never claims to be an expert).” Huh? Ruth Stout is 87 years old and has been gardening successfully for what, 60 years? You can’t buy that kind of experience, but unfortunately most people seem to think you can. She’s an expert in my book.

      • It’s not just a U.S thing. I live in Argentina and happens a lot,corporations and media installed the myth that a college degree makes you better than the average, so you should go and get your title, or if you dont want, you will be stuck in a shitty-job.

        But you said it: Fortunately this social conditioning is changing

        Agree, and we must be part of it!

  5. Great stuff here, Henri!

    Do what you love and love what you do. If that’s a quote I’m forgetting to give credit for, my apologies.

    Just like with me, I’ve been blogging off and on since 09, have learned a lot and love it, but I don’t consider myself an expert, nor will I ever most likely.

    Just having the passion to do something and keep on going with it because you can do it is enough, and getting paid is even better.

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