What can I say, I am an avid Chris Guillebeau fan. In the last four months, I think I have read all of his books but one, Born For This.
The most recent book of Guillebeau’s that I finished was The $100 Startup. I’m normally not the type of person who is heavily passionate about business-related books, but I do really enjoy reading success stories. That, and well I am a frugal individual. If I can learn how to start a profitable business for under or right around $100, you better believe I am going to jump at the opportunity to find out how.
The good news is that The $100 Startup provided insight into both of my wants. Not only is it comprised of success stories from individuals who have started successful businesses with under a $100 initial investment, but there are also many action steps for how individuals like you and me can do the same.
Okay, I guess the final reason you should consider reading The $100 Startup is because Guillebeau is an amazing author. I promise that you will learn at least one valuable skill, piece of advice, or theory with the turn of every page.
If you find yourself in a slump and still aren’t sure why you should consider reading The $100 Startup, let me give you some insight into what you can expect.
1. Follow some passions, but not all.
When starting any type of business, you want to make sure that it is going to be something that you are passionate about. If you are not passionate about what you are trying to sell, it’s probably not going to work out too well for you.
Along with this, however, you also want to make sure that what you are passionate about is also something that others are passionate about as well. The whole idea of owning a business is to do something you love while making money from it. You can’t create a successful business if you are not passionate about it, and you can’t create a successful business if you are not providing value to the lives of others.
Providing value = sales. If you want to sell something, you need to give people a reason to buy it. So for the things that you are passionate about but question whether or not others are as well, either test these ideas to see if there is a market for them or simply keep them a hobby.
2. Give them the fish.
Well, I kind of touched on this already, but if you want to generate sales, you need to give people a reason as to why they should purchase whatever it is that you are selling.
How is something you are selling going to provide value to the lives of others?
How is what you are selling already different from what’s already out in the world?
Why do others NEED to buy what you are selling?
These are all questions that you should be asking yourself. Without customers, there is no business. Without providing value, there are no customers.
3. Show me the money!
The point of this is to start small and work your way up. What I mean by this is that most individuals never get started because they think that they need more than they truly do to actually get started. It makes no sense to plan for 100,000 sales before you even make your first.
The goal of any business is to make money. Start small, and as you find a need and continue to expand your customer base, then start venturing into new opportunities. But don’t put yourself in debt and never even give yourself a chance to climb out.
4. But what if I fail.
This one goes far beyond starting a business. It can also be seen in life itself.
How would you define failure? Would you define failure as being broke, losing your job, failing an exam? Or would you define failure as never giving yourself the opportunity to live the life that you want to live?
Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
What’s truly remarkable about this book is all of the success stories from aspiring entrepreneurs that are included in it. None of these stories would have been possible, though, if these entrepreneurs didn’t first take a chance and give themselves an opportunity to succeed.
With everything in life, there is always the opportunity of failing. But failing doesn’t make you a failure. Never even giving yourself the opportunity to achieve your dreams does.
The life that you are living is yours to live. You make the rules! Whatever it is that you want to do in life, be willing to at least give yourself the opportunity to achieve your desires. You don’t need to be the best. You don’t need to be the smartest. And as you can see from the various stories in this book, you definitely don’t need thousands of dollars to get started.
Wherever you are at, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to get started. Everything is figureoutable as you go, but nothing will ever change in your life is you don’t first start.