The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

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Crown, May 8, 2012 - Business & Economics - 304 pages
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Lead a life of adventure, meaning and purpose—and earn a good living.
“Thoughtful, funny, and compulsively readable, this guide shows how ordinary people can build solid livings, with independence and purpose, on their own terms.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project
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.

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I am an honors student from the University of Twente. I am enrolled in the Entrepreneurship and Business Development track. Reading the book $100 Startup: Reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love, and create a new future was a pleasure. I have read this book for an assignment in which this book was recommended reading material. I really like the way the book is put together. It exists of all kinds of small stories. These stories are fitting the subject which is discussed in a certain chapter. Especially when you are thinking about wanting to start your own startup or when you are having a business idea it is useful to read about the experiences of other people. During the reading I certainly found some things I was struggling with. Reading about other people’s experiences about these matters helped me with the trouble I am experiencing on the same matter. Also, I have read about lot of things I did not even think about before. For other entrepreneurship students it could be useful to read about other people’s experiences too. This way they will have to think about stuff they would never have thought about themselves. It could also be reassuring to read about things you are currently struggling with. I thought because of all the small stories in which you learned about various subjects in a fun way, it did not become boring to keep on reading the book. I do think that sometimes there could have been more theoretical information included in the book instead of mostly experiences of people the author interviewed. Overall, I thought it was a great book. I would certainly recommend others to read it! 

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This book is poorly written and The e-book version cuts off words, and leaves a lot to be desired. The book gives the reader a false sense that it is actually possible to start a business for $100. When anyone should know that after paying the fees to register a business with the state, and purchase a business license, the lion's share of $100 would be used up if not more. The book starts with a story of people who lost their jobs and turned to self employment as an alternative rather than to seek other employment. It would be inspirational for anyone who knows nothing about business.
Starting any business requires that you have enough money to buy the basics of being in business, You would then have to wait for the business to break even and ultimately make a profit. The author misleads readers by glossing over those facts. The book opens with a story about a man who found a deal on overstocked mattresses, was able to open a showroom and develop a unique delivery system. His situation would have required he be in the right place at the right time and have enough money in reserve to support himself until his business became profitable. To even start such a business would have required several thousand dollars to acquire the initial inventory, several thousand dollars to rent a showroom and enough to cover the cost of living until the business had at least a positive cash flow.
If readers are looking for inspiration, books like this and the lean start up are great starting places. If they are looking for step by step instruction on starting a real business where the cost of entry eliminates the poor souls deceived by the illusion presented by multi-level marketing schemes, they should buy "Starting a Successful Business From Scratch" for future millionaires or a similar book. Otherwise all they actually have is inspiration, not instruction on how to get started. This book may help you to think, but it will not get you started.

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About the author (2012)

CHRIS GUILLEBEAU is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The $100 Startup and The Happiness of Pursuit, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller Born for This. He is creator and host of the annual World Domination Summit, a gathering of cultural creatives that attracts such speakers as Susan Cain, Brené Brown, and Gretchen Rubin. Guillebeau speaks at dozens of events, companies, and universities, including Google, Facebook, SXSW, Evernote, LeWeb, and more. He recently completed a personal quest to visit every country in the world (193/193).

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