The $100 Startup

A couple of weeks ago, I won a copy of Chris Guillebeau’s latest book, The $100 Startup via his facebook page.  I have read it twice since. If you would like to “Reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love, and create a new future”, then this book is for you.  I did a lot of highlighting and thought I would give all of you kindred spirits out there a teaser…

1.  “Two years ago in Minneapolis, Lisa Sellman attracted my attention by telling me about her dog care business.  At first, I didn’t think much of it.  How profitable could a dog business be?  But then Lisa told me how much money she made: $88,000 the previous year and on track to clear six figures the next.”

This one appeals to me for obvious reasons : ) Pick something you love and pursue it.  

2.  “To succeed in a business project, especially one you’re excited about, it helps to think carefully about all the skills you have that could be helpful to others and particularly about the combination of those skills.”

What are your skills?  Write them down and brainstorm.  Some of the entrepreneurs featured in this book are doing things I never would have guessed there would be a market for.  Good for them!  

3.  “The basics of starting a business are very simple; you don’t need an MBA (keep the $60,00 tuition), venture capital, or even a detailed plan.  You just need a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid.”

Having a diploma doesn’t guarantee success and not having one certainly doesn’t equal failure.  More startup capital would have been nice when it came to my businesses, but it wasn’t a necessity and less important than my goal of becoming debt-free.   

4.  He kept waiting for it to be perfect…and then he kept waiting.  “I finally just had to give up on perfection and get the thing out the door,” he said later.

Odds are you do not have to wait until you finish taking those classes or writing that business plan to get going on that exciting project.  I struggle with this one and am really trying to just learn as I go versus reaching ‘perfection’ before even trying something new.  Obviously, this is relative.  I am not performing surgery on anyone, after all.  Odds are you aren’t either.

5.  “The point is to do what makes sense to you.  Get up in the morning and get to work.”

It is hard to work at something that doesn’t feel right.  So many of us complain about our jobs over and over, all of the time.  If this is you, please ask yourself what it is you would rather be doing and brainstorm ways of making that happen. You will be doing yourself and everyone around you a huge favor.  

6.  “Low paying buyers are the worst,” one business owner who sold a broad range of products at different prices told me.  “We have far more complaints from people who pay $10 and expect the world than from those who pay $1,000.”

Some people will appreciate you and your services and some won’t.  It does not behoove you to take it personally; those people are most likely treating everyone around them the way they have treated you.  Let them and their $10 go.  Seriously.

7.  “My rule of thumb is that a successful partnership (or any type of collaboration) should create a combined business which is at least 33 percent larger than the sum of what the two individuals can achieve on their own.”  Ralf Hildebrandt

I hadn’t looked at Caretaking Couple like that before, but it is absolutely true for us.  We can say yes to more opportunities as a team.  While we split a lot of CC down the middle, I enjoy promoting our biz via networking and social media, while Paul is really good at packing up the 4Runner and mapping our routes when it comes time for our next sit.  We save a lot of time & money this way.

8.  “All the bad days have two things in common: You know the right thing to do, but you let somebody talk you out of doing it.” Tom Bihn.

Tune out those that think they know what is best for you when it comes to your business and your personal life.  You know what is best for you.  Respect to the intuition.

9.  “Without a doubt, the smartest decision I made was to set a specific intention to not grow the business.  Growing up as the daughter of an entrepreneur, I watched my father’s creativity and inventor mind-set get sapped as the business grew from just him to over fifty employees.” Cherie Ve Ard 

Go with what feels right to you and your business model.  Again, don’t listen to what everyone else says (especially those that have never owned and operated a business).  By the way, if you are a fan of location independence, you owe it to yourself to check out technomadia.

10.  “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.”


Chris Guillebeau will be at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR on Wednesday.  Click here if you would like to catch him on tour!



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