One of the main ideas behind this blog is to encourage you all to take advantage of the internet and the income-generating opportunities available to us all.
People are starting businesses everywhere and I think that's the coolest thing ever
On our vacation recently, I read The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau.
I'd say it's a good book, full of examples of "normal" people who are making full-time incomes online. Some were strategic about it and for others, it was accidental.
Things I liked:
- Real people – Chris includes stories from a wide range of people in all kinds of industries and of all kinds of backgrounds and educational levels. They are "normal" people. I like that because as a normal person myself, it inspires me and gives me hope.
- Real numbers – When I started doing this blogging-for-a-living thing back in 2010, one of the things that drove me batty was that fact that no one ever talked about real numbers. (Thus my post How Much Do Real Bloggers Actually Make?) You get hard and fast numbers here.
- Real research – Chris considered something like 1500 entrepreneurs to be included in this book. That's a large pool and a lot of research. I appreciate that.
- Real tips – There are definitely some real tips here that anyone can implement (although not nearly as many as The 4-Hour Workweek which tackles mostly the same topic).
What I would have liked more:
I would have liked more details about each of the businesses he covers. Specifically, I was hoping for more of the how people got from their $100-ish investment to $50,000+ income.
But I agree with his premise
The whole premise behind the book is what I've been saying for a long time now: the internet has leveled the business playing field.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that anyone can start a business with such a tiny investment. It takes work, of course, but gone are the days when MBAs, deep-pocketed investors, lengthy business plans and multiple employees were the norm for entrepreneurs.
Now, we ALL have a great shot.
I LOVE that.
I love it because it suits me. I'm frugal by nature and frankly, I'm commitment-shy. I don't want to be indebted to investors. I don't want to have to manage people. I certainly don't want to go back to school and pay for an MBA. Really, I just want to wing it and see what happens.
Indeed, the internet has changed things drastically.
A few things to know
The common thread among all the entrepreneurs included in the book is that they put a good amount of time and energy into their business and they were willing to carry some risk as well.
So, take your present situation into account. If you're not in a spot to do the same (P.S. there is NO SHAME in that), this is probably a good get-it-at-the-library kind of book that will inspire you, instead of a manual for what you can do next (although the nice thing is, even if you decide to act but decide it's not for you, $100 isn't a whole lot to lose).
I'm in line again
I rarely read books twice and I had to return The $100 Startup to the library as soon as we got home since someone else was in line to read it. But I want to go through it again so I've put it on hold and I'm waiting (if I can't wait I might use some Swagbucks and get the Kindle version, which is quickly becoming my preferred method of reading anyway).
What about you? Have you read it? What did you think?
Disclosure: There are referral links in this post. My full disclosure policy is here.