How to build your own business with only a $100

The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau, Macmillan

The 100 Dollar Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love And Work Better To Live More – Chris Guillebeau

In short

This book aims to show that you can indeed do what you want in your life and that it really is not that hard. While it is a book about entrepreneurship, it focuses on it from a (currently very hip) lifestyle angle. According to the author the most important lesson in the whole book is “to stop wasting your time living someone else’s life”.

What is the book all about

The book is divided into three major parts:

  1. Unexpected entrepreneurs – This part of the book acts as your personal coach. It inspires you by showing case studies of other people who succeeded. Also knowing that the single biggest reason the people fail to take action is that they have no idea for a business, the book helps you to find one.
  2. Taking it to the streets – This part works as your personal business incubator. You will learn how to turn your idea into a real business. Quick and dirty is the name of the game. You will learn how to finance your plans and how to do planning, marketing and sales the startup way.
  3. Leverage and next steps –This part of the book is your personal management consultant. As you now should have a thriving new business, you will learn how to develop it further. You will also get a glimpse to franchising your business and get into a discussion about going for growth versus staying small.

What I love about the book

I really enjoyed reading through this book. It was easy to read with full of useful ideas and suggestions. My top favorites:

  • Awesome stories of successful entrepreneurs made me all exited and ready to try creating a microbusiness of my own.
  • The focus on cutting the crap and getting to work. Too many people focus on wrong things like creating a business plan that no-one ever reads. Planning is good for entrepreneurs, but it should be done quick and dirty. As an example of this, the book is full of one-pagers – one-page business plan, one page promotion plan and one-page business audit. They help you to concentrate on the thing that really matters, finding your first customer.
  • The chapter “Show me the Money. You will learn how to make more money with your products through three different strategies – 1) You should price your products/services based on the value it provides; 2) You should offer your customers a limited range of prices; 3) You should aim to get paid more than once for the same thing.

What could be be better

Due to the wide range of subjects, each subject gets only few pages. I would have loved to see a list of “books to read” after each subject. That way I could have gotten deeper into things that I found especially interesting.

However as the whole book is about ”less talking and more doing”, I can understand that the author has chosen not to have such lists there. For many that could be one more excuse to delay taking action.

Who is responsible of it all – @chrisguillebeau

The author of the book is a formidable man. He lives the life he preaches. Chris is a writer, traveler and in short – a person who likes to do things different.

He has written another book called Art of Non Conformity (I have not read it myself, but I have heard that it is a lot like The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris) and a series of “Unconventional Guides”.

He is also a passionate traveler who has a goal of visiting all the countries in the world until 2013 and responsible of creating the World Domination Summit in Portland – convention that gathers together the “People Who Make Things Happen” from all around the world.

I have followed his blog for years; it is worth checking out at

Taking it all together

The book is interesting, it is easy to read and you can learn a lot. It has definitely potential to make you richer; I expect to read it again in the future just to remind me of all that I learned.

If you are into earning more money by building your own microbusiness, this is definitely “the go-to” book for you alongside Ramit Sethi’s (much more expensive) Earn1K course.

Even if entrepreneurship is not for you, you might get some good ideas. Especially the quick and dirty methods aiming for less talk and more action can be useful to everyone.

The book “The $100 Startup” is available for example and

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