Book Review – The $100 Startup By Chris Gullebeau

$100 StartupOkay the name of this book might sound a little cheesy, like one of those books that promises to get you rich with little money in 24 hours. Far from it, Chris Guillebeau has written a book based on his experience and that of others on how to start a business without breaking the bank using your skills, passion and a legitimate need. This is not the stuff where you need to get investors onboard, rather it’s about business based out of necessity. Okay you can take the $100 with a pinch of salt, it’s more of a title to emphasize Chris’s view that you don’t need tons of dollars to start a business. Also he is trying to make a point that, you no longer need to work nine-to-five for a big company to make a living. According to Chris, the book will help you learn how to:

  • Earn a good living on your own terms, when and where you want.
  • Achieve that perfect blend of passion and income to make work something you love.
  • Apply crucial insights from 50 ordinary people who made it work with $100 or less.

The author writes the book from some serious experience. Chris had travelled to every country on earth by the age 35 despite never having been employed. He sponsored all his travels by starting solo businesses. The book has lots of stories of people who under different conditions created solo businesses, and Chris has lots of advice to help you set up your own business too. This is not a big book. It has just 285 pages and 14 chapters split over 3 parts. Here are some things you can expect to learn about from the book:

  • The fact a successful business can be based on simple formula – Passion or skill + usefulness (of the product or service) = success.
  • How to sell benefits and not features.
  • How to discover business opportunities from what you already have.
  • Building a business where location is not key.
  • How to evaluate and choose business ideas to work on.
  • How to market test your idea.
  • How to write a business plan in one page and a one sentence mission statement

There are also lessons on promoting and launching your business, and much more.

What is so great about this book? To start with there is no unnecessary business jargon, neither is it a dry read. Since it’s mostly based on real life stories, it has a realistic feel which leaves you thinking, I CAN DO THIS!

Over the next two weeks I will write about the three key lessons I learnt from the book in more detail. These lessons are:

  1. How to write a business plan and mission statement in 30 minutes.
  2. How to evaluate multiple business ideas and choose which one to go with.
  3. How to launch and promote your product.

This review might also recieve more updates if I read about something else in the book I think you should know. In the meantime watch out for my three lessons over the next couple of days.

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