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The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Reinvent the way you make a living.

Do what you love, and create a new future.

I’m pretty sure you all know the global art project “Before I die …”, that invites people to contemplate death and reflect upon their lives. The only thing I want to write on that wall is "to start and run my own business successfully” (you should know by now). I’m a firm believer that making a career out of our passion sounds like a silly dream but should be the ultimate aim for every one of us.

In $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau’s shows how to get it done, one simple step at a time. And he knows exactly what he is talking about. The $100 Startup hit shelves and grabbed bestseller titles from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. This book is all about how to lead of life of adventure, meaning, and purpose or simpler: Inventing your livelihood.

The $100 Startup is more than a “how-to guide”, it’s a “how they did it” guide or a manifesto for micropreneurs. Before writing, Guillebeau vetted 1,500 people who were able to put together SMEs, and who now earn US$50,000 or more per year from said business. In each case, he found people with no particularly special skills who were ultimately able to use their interests to profit. All they needed was a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid.

“Not everything that you're good at and excited about can become a business model—but something can. This is why you need to find a convergence between those skills and passions, and what other people also value. Spend as much time as you need figuring out this part.”

Starting your own business doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. This book is not reinventing the wheel, it is not telling you how to become the next Steve Jobs but to Guillebeau’s credit, he takes a slightly punchier, more example-driven approach to build a streamlined and creative SME. Guillebeau claims to base his message on “planning, action, and sacrifice.”

I learned how freedom is connected to responsibility, and how I could combine my desire for independence with something that helped the rest of the world.

In addition to off-beat case studies, the practical advice and efficient blueprints for entrepreneurial success in this book will help you to get you on the path to being responsible for – and in control of -your future. These include simple documents like the one-page business plan, a one-page promotion plan, and seven steps to market testing.

Conclusive, this book doesn’t go very deep into scaling up, it doesn’t talk about the next stages but it is very inspiring for future micropreneurs like myself. As in ancient times, people who were dissatisfied with their lives dreamed of finding magic lamps, buried treasure, or streets paved with gold. Today, we know that it’s up to us to change our lives. And the best part is, if we change our own life, we can help others change theirs.

This remarkable book will start you on your way.

About the author:

Chris Guillebeau is an American author, entrepreneur, blogger, and speaker. He is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck. Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back.

My favourite quote:

"The goal isn’t to get rich quickly but to build something that other people will value enough to pay for. You’re not just creating a job for yourself; you’re crafting a legacy".
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