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The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future [Hardcover]

Chris Guillebeau
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 8 2012
In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.
Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back. 
There are many others like Chris – those who’ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful.  Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn’t depend on shelving what you currently do.  You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you're sure it's successful.
In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies.  In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.
Here, finally, distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who’ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment.  It’s all about finding the intersection between your “expertise” – even if you don’t consider it such -- and what other people will pay for.  You don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees.  All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid.
Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick.  Among Chris’s key principles: if you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish – sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.
In ancient times, people who were dissatisfied with their lives dreamed of finding magic lamps, buried treasure, or streets paved with gold.  Today, we know that it’s up to us to change our lives.  And the best part is, if we change our own life, we can help others change theirs.  This remarkable book will start you on your way.

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The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future + The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.
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"The $100 Startup is a twofer: It's a kick in the pants to get started on your dream and a road map for finding your way once you begin. If you're not ready to launch your own business after reading this book, you need to go back and read it again!"
-- Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

"In this valuable guide Chris Guillebeau shows that transforming an idea into a successful business can be easier than you think…You are in charge of which ideas deserve your time, and this book can help you wake up every morning eager to progress to the next step."
--Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO
"The money you have is enough. Chris makes it crystal clear: there are no excuses left.  START.  Start now, not later.  Hurry."
--Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author of The Bootstrapper’s Bible
"Everything Chris Guillebeau does is in earnest. The ideas inside this book will lead you to a better place." 
- -Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works and author of Trust Agents
“With traditional career doors slamming shut, it’s easy to panic, but Chris Guillebeau sees opportunities everywhere. Making a career out of your passion sounds like a dream, but in this straight-forward, engaging book he shows you how to get it done, one simple step at a time.”
--Alan Paul, author of Big in China
"Delivers exactly what a new entrepreneur needs: road-tested, effective and exceptionally pragmatic advice for starting a new business on a shoestring.”
--Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur
“Guillebeau has been in the trenches for years, and in The $100 Startup he guides you step-by-step through how he and dozens of others have turned their passions into profits. It's essential reading for the solopreneur!
--Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative
"This book is more than a "how to" guide, it's a "how they did it" guide that should persuade anyone thinking about starting a business that they don't need a fortune to make one."
--John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine

“Crammed with data, checklists, models, and concrete examples.  Thoughtful, funny, and compulsively readable, this guide shows how ordinary people can build solid livings, with independence and purpose, on their own terms.”
--Gretchen Rubin, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project

About the Author

CHRIS GUILLEBEAU is a writer, entrepreneur, and traveler. During a lifetime of self-employment and ventures ranging from online publishing to volunteer work in West Africa, he has visited nearly every country on earth before the age of 35. Host of the World Domination Summit, an international gathering of creative people, Chris is focused on encouraging individual quests while also “giving back.” His main website,, is visited by more than 300,000 people a month.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Are these reviews genuine? Dec 8 2012
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER
When reviews are tightly clustered in time, make minimal mention of a book's content, with at least one full of absolute drivel (according to its author), one has to ask if they are genuine.

Read the sample chapters and ignore all the reviews.

I was thinking of buying this: then I became suspicious of the reviews.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice." -- Proverbs 16:8 (NKJV)

The book's title is probably what attracted you. That was true for me, as well. While it's possible to start a business for $100 (I started my first one for $12), the bulk of those studied by Chris Guillebeau spent between $100 and $600. The point is to start small, experiment, and stick to low-cost methods. You will probably be surprised by how little the book actually has to say about how to keep investment costs down in other ways. That's because the book is mostly focused on personal services, professional services, and selling information products. These kinds of businesses are more marketing than investment intensive.

Because of his love for travel, the book is also filled with the notion of using the freedom that a business can bring to move around and enjoy a better lifestyle. That, too, is true of entrepreneurship kept in perspective.

The book's great strength is in lots of information about low-cost ways to acquire and make more profits from customers. It's one of the best small business marketing books I've read. I intend to recommend it to my adult education classes.

The book is also helpful in providing a lot of success stories. If you are looking for ways to copy those success stories, you won't find the details here. You'll have to track down the entrepreneurs and ask them your questions directly.

Although the book displays a strong counter-culture flavor, the advice is pretty much traditional business 101, except scaled for a start-up person with limited business experience.

If your weakness in starting a business is marketing, you will find this book valuable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Read - just Fluff March 4 2013
By dna0101
Perhaps I have read one too many motivational books cause this one fell flat. Very little substance to motivate and carry me on to further areas, leads, web links. He seems just to scratch the surface on topics. Much of it is common knowledge. (sense) I couldn't even finish it. I was looking for feel good success stories with insight but found little of it that could motivate me. Maybe adequate for someone just starting to consider running their own biz.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Chris Guillebeau is awesome. His writing is so massively USEFUL, but also fun and interesting. This is not a 'business' book in a dry sense; it's an inspirational guidebook for the future if you value freedom and service. You know that whole, 'be the change' thing? Chris IS the change. And he wants you to be too. And all of us.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maestro Aug. 14 2013
By Max I
Format:Kindle Edition
I really expected more from this book. Even though it does have good ideas, it does not have any real guides, how to's and such. It should have been called "a collection of success stories", because thats what it is. A collection of stories where people woke up and had their paypal account filling with orders, where without any marketing and networks apps launch and get thousands of downloads out of nowhere, where someone publishes an ebook and customers are pouring in. Are you kidding me? Try launching an ebook without networks and marketing by just uploading it on Internet. This book keeps on saying people just woke up rich, without saying how actually he went about it and what were exact steps taken to comeup with idea, research, market and so on. Not satisfied with this book at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An honest look Sept. 7 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
So this is actually the first review I have provided on amazon.

This book is not a how to guide but gives you advice and to think differently. There is no how to, why? Well no two business are the same, even if they are in the same market. It gets your mind thinking, and away from seemingly hard lined business steps. If your looking for motivation then I have some hard news for you self employment is not for you. I have been self employed for years now and this book helped me to rethink how I am doing business and implementing the ideas to my own situations have been a big help. I have known people who are exactly like those in this book. Started a amazing and booming business even before they had any tools or materials, Their cost input was $0 and just a little time. While reading this book I kept thinking this is how They did it. Its not a guarantee to a successful business, but gives you a new and different view point, that is sure to help new and old business find their way in the modern highly connected world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book June 23 2012
By Katja
I really enjoyed reading this book and already gave a copy to a friend as well. The author walks you through all the steps to start and grow your own microbusiness giving lots of valuable tips and ideas on the way that gave me a lot to think about. And he gently pushes the reader to action. Of the "start your own business" books that I have read this really is the best so far!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Start Up Book I've Read June 18 2012
If you're looking for tips on how to start your own business in today's Internet economy, this book is for you. Chris gives advice you can use; my copy of The $100 Start Up is riddled with post-it notes, and I've already re-read several chapters. Rather than just talk about the great parts about a life outside of the 9-5, Chris also tells you how to get that life for yourself, and gives examples. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Purchased the Audible version for driving listening
Excellent! Purchased the Audible version for driving listening, then the Kindle version for notes and review. Read more
Published 1 month ago by sheryl
4.0 out of 5 stars A good primer for new entrepreneurs.
I enjoyed this book. A good primer for new entrepreneurs. It has some good advice and definitely demonstrates that you don't need a ton of capital to get started with a small... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jeremy Parkin
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Book
This so fine, it blew my mind. OH Read it, ya ya, OH READ IT! *boom boom chick chick boom*
Published 4 months ago by Eric Moran
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book.
This is one of the best written startup books I've read to date. Very easy to read, lots of practical advice, and tons of effort in researching and interviewing so many case... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paul Frew
4.0 out of 5 stars One $100 Start Up
I purchased this book merely because i was curious. I enjoy a variety of books. This was one I found an interesting read. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Sonia Chablo
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple ideas
I'm half way through the book and have already gleaned a number of useful tips and ideas for building a small business.
Published 14 months ago by Gerald R Trees
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Depth
Lots of research went into this book there is no doubt, but not enough how to in order to make it fully developed.
Published 15 months ago by Janet Kretschmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read to get you motivated
The $100 Startup was a great read. As someone who likes the idea of earning a little extra money on the side, The $100 Start shows you how to find your idea and taking it to... Read more
Published 16 months ago by S. Ciampa
5.0 out of 5 stars Best business book to date
Finally, a business book that's not complete BS. The author used actual success stories to prove his points, and did so very well. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jeton
4.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas for inspiration
Although I haven't started a business for $100, this book puts ideas/hobbies/skills into perspective. The book is mostly real-life examples, which are pretty interesting. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Crystal Dixon
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