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

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Crown Publishing Group, May 8, 2012 - Business & Economics - 304 pages
In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.
Still in his early thirties, Chris 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. 
There are many others like Chris – those who’ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful.  Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn’t depend on shelving what you currently do.  You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you're sure it's successful.
In preparing to write this book, 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 from that group he’s chosen to focus 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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The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

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World traveler, writer, and small business entrepreneur Guillebeau has taken the world of new entrepreneurialism by storm with highly personal ventures that capitalize on the information and lifestyle ... Read full review

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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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