The $100 Startup – Equal Parts Motivation and Instruction

The $100 Startup - Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create A New Future by Chris Guillebeau - Photo by Caroline Wik

“There’s no rehab program for being addicted to freedom. Once you’ve seen what it’s like on the other side, good luck trying to follow someone else’s rules ever again.” – The $100 Startup

What if you spent your life doing the things you wanted to do, working only on projects that you want to, going where you want to go, and having a happy, meaningful existence?

For many people living life on their own terms is just a dream. A fantasy they don’t even consider because it doesn’t seem possible. After all, who actually does that?

The truth is, lots of people.

Chris Guillebeau is one such person. He always knew he didn’t want to work for someone else, and worked very hard to ensure he never had to. He also wanted to visit every country before turning 35. He has only eight countries left.

I first learned of Chris when I was a senior in college through his blog, The Art of NonConformity. He challenges people to live unconventional lives and obtain the freedom to control their own lives by doing what they love. It was then that I realized my dreams of traveling and owning my own business were actually possible, and not just a dream completely out of my reach.

I knew I would never be happy working for someone else. I had tasted freedom and had experienced an intense rush and happiness from traveling and knew there was no other way for me. What on earth happened that we got sidetracked and bought a house and got “real” jobs, I don’t really remember. All I know is that I woke up one day and realized we made a terrible mistake, then have been working since to correct course.

Last Saturday I was feeling kind of de-motivated. Although I’ve had great success in pursuing greater health and fitness, we haven’t been doing so well as entrepreneurs. As I opened our front door to go out, a package fell on my foot.


Yeah, Chris had surprised us with a free copy of The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, and it proved to be just what we needed. Thanks Chris, I’m pretty sure you read my mind.

An extension of his blog and previous book, The $100 Startup is dedicated to helping people figure out a business idea they can start for relatively cheap – guiding the reader from idea to launch and beyond.

After having just read the first page the excitement was already starting to build in me – the book is instantly motivating and helpful. Chris explains how to find the convergence between something you are passionate about and what others care about. Then, goes more in depth on ways to actually build, launch and grow your business, particularly without much startup capital. Several examples from varying industries are used in the book from bloggers to yoga instructors to artists and even consultants.

The advice given is practical, thorough, and geared for efficiency. Fears and doubts are crushed but he also gently reminds you of reality and what is reasonable to expect.

Does everyone want to travel? Does everyone have to be a nomadic entrepreneur? Certainly not, and they don’t have to. The point is to have the freedom and control to decide how you spend your time, rather than being a slave to someone else’s machine. There are even plenty of cases in the book of people who have their own businesses and earn a good income from them, but also have some other “normal” job they still do – because they enjoy it.

Even if you chose to continue working at your job, wouldn’t it be nice to have a backup source of income you enjoy? Or just something you like that brings in some extra income?

If you’re unhappy with your work situation, want to gain freedom and control over how you spend your time or just want some extra income for peace of mind you need to read this book. Not should, need. Anyone can start a business – and it doesn’t have to be an expensive venture.

“It’s not an elitist club; it’s a middle-class, leaderless movement. All around the world, ordinary people are opting out of traditional work – usually without much training, and almost always without much money. These unexpected entrepreneurs have turned their passion into profit while creating a more meaningful life for themselves.” – The $100 Startup

What are you waiting for?

You can pick up a copy off Amazon here: The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau [Full disclosure – we do get a small percentage of sales through that link so by buying through it you’ll be helping us out too. If you’re not cool with that we still highly recommend Chris’s book and you can get a copy by doing a normal search through Amazon.]

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