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

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

Image of a bicycle with a bag of money on its back is under the title of the book in red.Summary:
Guillebeau investigated what makes microbusinesses (small businesses typically run by one person) successful by conducting a multiyear study interviewing more than 100 successful microbusiness entrepreneurs.  Here he presents his findings on what makes for a successful microbusiness and offers advice on how you can become a successful microbusiness entrepreneur too.

Review:
I found this book in a list of top books for small businesses published in 2012.  The title totally intrigued me, since starting up a business with very little funds is quite appealing.  I’m so glad I picked it up.  This is an awesome small business book.  It’s written for entrepreneurs, not MBAs, and it’s easy to understand, concise, engaging, and memorable.  Perhaps most importantly, the few tips and tricks I’ve tried out so far have actually worked.

The book is clearly organized with no-nonsense, easy-to-understand chapter titles like “Hustling: The Gentle Art of Self-Promotion” accompanied by memorable, informative illustrations.  This organization extends to the content of the chapters.  When possible, Guillebeau provides subcategories and lists, putting the information into smaller, more digestible chunks.  His writing also captures this no-nonsense, straight-forward style.

Focus relentlessly on the point of convergence between what you love to do and what other people are willing to pay for. (loc 2406)

It’s pretty near impossible to misunderstand any of the points he makes.  The chapters also provide graphs, illustrations, references, and guides to further aid you in following the steps laid out.

In spite of laying out steps and guidelines, Guillebeau successfully avoids promoting an unbelievable “one-size fits all” miracle model.  He talks about what worked and didn’t work for the successful entrepreneurs he interviewed, but he also points out repeatedly that it’s important that the reader understand herself and her strengths and weaknesses and always remember she knows her potential business and personality the best.

People who know less about the business than me do not get to make decisions about it. (loc 3296)

This honesty that one-size does not fit all and the clarity with which Guillebeau presents his research grants the book a trustworthy, believable vibe.  It instills faith in the reader and brings out her passion for her own ideas.  Plus, the fact that this is based on real research and not just Guilleabeau’s own experiences means the tricks and tips are more likely to work.  Nothing works perfectly every time, and the market is an unpredictable place, but having this research as a guide can help the reader avoid at least some of the hiccups, bumps, and pitfalls in starting and running a microbusiness.

Overall this is a well-organized, honest book clearly written for the entrepreneur, not an MBA.  It is based on market research, not exclusively the author’s own experiences, and offers tips and advice, not a one-size fits all model.  Anyone interested in starting their own small business or in what makes small businesses succeed should definitely give this book a read.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Library

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