I must confess I was a bit skeptical about The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. First of all I never like a long book title. Second, I started his first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, and didn’t get very far. However, Chris surprised me in this latest book. The $100 Startup has a lot of practical information for micro-businesses and many inspiring stories from successful entrepreneurs.
Most of us have a lot of ideas, but those ideas never see the light of days. The most important step is to take action and begin transforming those ideas into real products and services. Many entrepreneurs in this book started small and grew organically. If the product has a market then you’ll be able to attract customers and generate some income. If your idea is a bust, it’s not the end of the world since the capital investment is small and you can move on to your next idea.
The micro-business idea is very attractive to me. Now that I am a stay at home dad, I won’t have a lot of money or time to invest in big projects. Some of my dream jobs/businesses require a lot of capital and time investment. At this point in my life, I’m not willing to put $50,000 into a business. Preserving capital is job one for our family right now. With that in mind, starting small is the way to go for me. Perhaps when we don’t have to worry about baby RB40 anymore, I can take more financial risks.
The first part of the book went over what make a successful micro-business. The product/service must bring value to customers and many businesses became successful by focusing on helping others. Chris also explained that following your passion doesn’t necessary translate to success. You also need skill and customer demand. This first section clarified many micro-business concepts and it was very useful for me.
The next section went into more details on how to start a micro-business.
- Write a one page business plan
- How to launch a product
- Product/service pricing
- Focus on making money or else it’s just a hobby
- Growing your business
- and more
This section is very useful, but I skimmed some chapters because I don’t have a product yet. It will be a great reference when I finally write that eBook or come up with another product.
All in all, I think this is a great book and every budding entrepreneur should read The $100 Startup.