The $100 Startup Review
Scroll down to the bottom for a chance at winning a free copy of The $100 Startup!
I’m a big fan of Chris Guillebeau’s work.
Chris is the guy behind The Art of Non-Conformity, a fantastic site that publishes great content about travel, life, and doing things that are both remarkable and unconventional. If you haven’t visited his site before, I really recommend you take a look: he has a lot to offer.
He’s also the guy behind The Empire Building Kit, a program I bought a couple years ago that taught people like myself how to build their own empire.
But enough about Chris! Today I want to spend some time talking about his latest project: The $100 Startup.
A Startup of One
When we think of startups, we usually picture some high-tech company with a new app or website that’s all the rage. We associate words like IPO and VC and angel investors.
This is something totally different. This book is about starting a business with almost no overhead at all and doing something you’re passionate about.
I know that sounds like something you’ve read about a million times, but Chris tells his story differently. He focuses on real people who’ve done it, how they’ve overcome obstacles, and what they learned from it.
The early parts of the book are very inspirational and motivating, which is good because it gets you in the right frame of mind.
Value and Freedom
For the skeptics, the two concepts that Chris sees as the basic building blocks of any “one-person” startup are value and freedom.
In order to provide something valuable that people are willing to pay for, you need to create something valuable. There aren’t any ninja marketing techniques here to get people to buy your thing if that thing isn’t helping them in some way.
It’s tough to fully comprehend the idea of creating a business built on helping other people, but that’s what Chris is suggesting.
And I’m totally down with this. That’s why I started over and that’s why I enjoyed the book so much.
Freedom is why so many of the case studies in the book got started. They wanted to spend their time working on what they wanted to work on.
This is the most alluring part of the book: the idea of being able to create a business where you’re the boss and dictate your own hours.
While the book offers a good measure of encouragement and inspiration, this is not a feel-good book. It also contains actionable advice and worksheets to make sure you get off your ass and start creating.
The amount of case studies he has in the book are so varied that you shouldn’t have trouble finding examples of how you can create your own business and how to grow it.
And if you need more help, Chris has tons more resources on 100startup.com.
Don’t Forget: It’s a Business
There’s a chapter at the end of the book called Show Me the Money. I’m glad it’s in there because I can see how some people might read the book and start feeling all positive-energy-ish and happy and mushy and the possibility of starting their own business.
Of being empowered and being their own boss. Of helping other people around them and doing good things.
But if you’re going to call yourself a business you need to remember: it’s about making more money than you spend.
It’s about the money.
Helping people and making money isn’t mutually self exclusive.
Win a Copy!
Leave a comment with an idea for your own microbusiness and you could win a new copy of The $100 Startup.