I’ve never been accused of being a big reader. I’m on the slow side and my mind consistently wonders off, causing more frustration than pleasure. Let’s face it, I’m borderline handicapped in terms of literacy.Luckily my thirst for knowledge superseeds my brain’s need for instant gratification, so I pick up a book every blue moon. I’ve recently gained interest in reading ‘self-help’ books and received The $100 Startup as a Christmas gift this year. It sat on the self until I couldn’t sleep one night and decided to open it up. I expected nothing more than a few helpful hints and tips on starting a new business, but instead, it turned out to be the single most influential book thus far in my life.
If you are trying to get out of the rat race of working for others, this is an awesome place to start. Chris Guillebeau takes you through a journey of 50 unique stories of people that turned their lives around with small ideas and even smaller budgets. Every chapter I read spawned new ideas that I had previously been incapable of monetizing. Although I am a slow reader, I absorbed every word of this 300+ page book within a week.
The idea is simple: In today’s internet driven world, anyone can take the expertise they have gathered in life so far, create a business model that monetizes that knowledge, and take action for $100 or less of startup money. The stories are incredibly motivating and each tell a lesson on how bad fortune can turn into the best thing that ever happened to them. One particular story that sticks out in my mind was the tale of a married couple that wanted a large-scale map of the world so they could chart where they have been and where they want to go. Unable to find a viable option online, they decided to make their own and print it out. Much to their surprise, other people loved their maps and wanted to purchase them, so that is just what they did. They reprinted and sold replicas of their original map and were both able to quit their jobs to create and sell more maps full-time. The book is full of feel-good motivational stories with much more detail on their steps to success.
The end goal of these stories is to show people how to generate a comfortable income and live on their own terms. Chris not only records the steps necessary for these fairy tale stories to come true, but he also motivates the reader to take immediate action and gives them the tools to facilitate the process. The online tools (comes with the book purchase) show the reader each step to take to have their own business running within a month. If starting your own business is your dream, read The $100 Startup and make it a reality.