The $100 Startup written by Chris Guillebeau is a classic entrepreneur’s handbook that I like to reread from time to time. Luckily, this was one of those times, and I’m happy that I did. As I open this book and flip through the pages, I stumbled upon several chapters that reminded me why I refer to it on occasions. It gives practical advice and recounts stories from everyday Joes that managed to free themselves from the 9-5 routine. From the accidental startups to the structured business models, this book is geared for the regular citizen trying to break the norm and take control of their lives and paychecks.
In this book, Chris Guillebeau has done several case studies done on various entrepreneurs of different niches and backgrounds with the common thread being that they’re all happy and independent. They loved their businesses and started them with little to no capital. In this format, he tells the stories of the entrepreneur’s behinds the companies from their humble beginnings. Most of the businesses are online based, that have been cleverly crafted to work around their personal schedules. It’s a compilation of people taking a stance and following their passions towards financial freedom. You can quickly see why this book has received much praise and why he is a New York Times Bestselling author. It throws away the old mold of the typical corporate 9-5 and instead pushes you toward a life full of adventure and vigor.
Whether it’s traveling the world, skiing, or just relaxing with family all
the entrepreneurs interviewed in this book have complete control over their
situations and income. It lays out that you can live life on your terms and
have fun while doing it. One key takeaway after reading this book is that
starting a business does require work, but it’s not as hard as most people
think. A lot of business books pound on the idea that you have to work your
ass off to get anything done, and to some degree they’re right, but for some
just getting the ball rolling is all you need. Now it’s not a get quick rich
book or a book about spiritual enlightenment it merely points you in the
right direction and whispers in your ear.
Most of the cases covered were accidental, which is quite encouraging for
anyone nervous about creating a business. One case that stood out to me is
the story of a couple that were corporate web designers while planning a
trip to New York they were in search of a detailed map to use during their
stay. While searching the internet up and down they were unable to find one that
suited their needs, so they decided to create their own. Along the way they encountered a snag. The problem was that the printer they wanted to
use required a minimum of 50 orders which cost $500. It became quite more
than a project at this point, so they forked over the money and had 49 maps
left over. They tried giving them away to friends and were still left a
substantial number. So while trying to recoup their money, they decide to
build a one-page website for the maps and quickly sold out. The idea turned
into a home run and had decided to keep the ball rolling. Since the
couple have quit their day jobs and worked full-time designing maps and
while enjoying creative control of their projects and life. It’s a remarkable story of creative thinking to show you that it’s possible to start a business and it’s within anyone’s reach.
This book is littered with stories like that, describing accidental entrepreneurs that found practical solutions to everyday problems and becoming quite successful in the process. By bridging the gap between work and play they created value in the marketplace while having fun. It just goes to show you that you don’t need an MBA from Harvard or a lot of money to create a successful business, which is very encouraging for the average Joe looking to reinvent their lives.
I’ve read many books on business and entrepreneurship and having seen the good, bad, and the ugly; I can say this book is a winner. This book was written in a way that feels like you’re getting advice from a big brother and given a nudge in the right direction. By giving you these quirky case studies, it opens your eyes to the world full of possibilities.
After reading this, I have focused my attention to bringing solutions to this problematic world. From the way I look at store pricing, processes, and systems. This has shown me that small solutions can have big impacts in your life if you’re willing to put in the work.
What you have now is enough if you are prepared to put the work in. This
book bridges the knowledge gaps between I can’t and I will. It has a simple
and straightforward message that lets you know that your life doesn’t have
to be so dull and that you can make the steps necessary to live a life of
non-conformity that can be fulfilling and profitable at the same time. If
you haven’t read this book, I strongly encourage giving it a chance, who
knows it might change your life. Below is the link so you can secure a copy
for your personal library. The $100 Startup