Length: 304 pages
Audiobook Length: 8 hours and 14 minutes
First Published: 2012
Still in his early thirties, Chris Guillebeau completed a tour of every country on earth 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.
Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and focused on the 50 most intriguing case studies. In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.
Here, finally, distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who’ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment. It’s all about finding the intersection between your “expertise”—even if you don’t consider it such—and what other people will pay for. You don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees. All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid.
Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick. Among Chris’s key principles: If you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish—sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.
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.
Quotes from The $100 Startup
Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
As you begin to think like an entrepreneur, you’ll notice that business ideas can come from anywhere.
If you make your business about helping others, you’ll always have plenty of work.
Bringing the first two ideas together, here is the not-so-secret recipe for microbusiness alchemy: Passion or skill + usefulness = success.
About Chris Guillebeau
Chris Guillebeau is the author of The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit, The Money Tree, and other business books. He is also the host of the podcast Side Hustle School. Visit the author’s website →