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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Book Review: The $100 Startup

Book Review: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau


Whether you are a young fulltime RVer looking to earn enough to live a comfortable life on the road while making a difference, a retiree or part-time RVer interested in making a little gas money while exploring a passion, or a stick-home dweller that dreams of the freedom of the open road, The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau could be the start of something beautiful.

Personally, as a young fulltime RVer I’m constantly evaluating the important combination of freedom, passion, income, and doing work that matters in my life. When Chris asked me to review his new book I was delighted. After all, the premise fits our lifestyle like a glove. Read The $100 Startup and you’ll find it offers a concise roadmap for those seeking independence and to live life on their own terms. At minimum, it is guaranteed to get your wheels turning…metaphorically speaking.

Chris is clear, however, that starting and developing a successful ‘microbusiness’ (also called a lifestyle business) is indeed work, albeit a labor of love. The ‘do what you love and the rest will follow’ mindset is replaced by the more practical concept of convergence – ‘your passion + what others care about’. This important distinction and the way he fleshes it out can be very helpful, especially when pondering concepts.

Throughout the book you will be inspired by examples of people just like us that have unexpectedly or intentionally created businesses around what they have to offer and what others need. Some entrepreneurs profiled in the book have made a huge splash while others have quietly conquered their corner of the world.

Each chapter offers actionable and specific details on the topic at hand. Some examples are given in graphical or chart format and readers will find key points – or takeaways – at the end of each chapter. From concept to promotion to growth strategies to fear of failure, you can explore it all in this book.

Regardless of where you are in your life, your business or your relationships, Chris refers to Seth Godin’s mantra, ‘ship’, and offers this wise advice: ‘You don’t need anyone to give you permission to pursue a dream’. As a young fulltimer I can tell you that this is the absolute truth…or maybe you already know this from your own experience.

If this calls to your dream – whatever it may be – get this book, stop ‘making a living’, and start making a life. 

If you already operate a successful lifestyle business tell us about it in the comments section. I'd love to hear how you are making the lifestyle work.  

See you on the road, traveler.


1 comment:

Portugal said...

This book gave me a lot to think about. I realized that as a writer, I was doing what the book described. And it gave me some ideas as to why I moved away from other careers and chose that one. I mean, here I am, writing! Yes, it is a passion in my life.

The book talks about various formats of businesses, from one-person (my favorite) to something big, even really big that you will eventually sell. It tells the things that attract you to which size of business.

What fascinated me the most was the stories of people who started successful businesses when something caught their attention, they tried it, and it worked. The book stresses that it can't work if you never try it!

If you are interested in finding a different way to work, read this book. Small business, including one-person business, is a lifeblood to the economy. And it's a more satisfying way for almost anyone to make a living than working in a big company. Honestly, our government could give a huge shot in the arm to small businesses by making health care readily available to them. Some options for that are discussed in this book, too.

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