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Customer Review

221 of 254 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As inspiring as The 4-Hour Workweek, but more diverse and less smarmy., May 21, 2012
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This review is from: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future (Hardcover)
In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau (author of The Art of Non-Conformity) accomplishes something unique. Instead of discussing how to grow, scale, leverage, and sell a new business--typical of much of the entrepreneurship literature--he focuses entirely on "microbusinesses": tiny, one- or two-person operations that maximize freedom and generate roughly $50,000 per year.

Much of Chris' advice will benefit solo creatives who rely upon strong online presences. (Chris himself makes a living from writing, blogging, and selling digital guides.) But the stories that he culled from hundreds of interviews with entrepreneurs satisfied my need for a diverse proof-of-concept. Product- and service-based--online and offline--freelance, partnership, and employee-hiring: all such business are represented in this book.

As a serial microbusiness entrepreneur myself, I especially appreciated Chris' discussion about the benefits of staying small, serving a tiny niche, and avoiding the hassles of hiring and managing employees. And his discussion of self-marketing, a.k.a. "hustling," felt refreshingly ethical.

Most importantly, The $100 Startup demonstrates that you do not need to go into debt to start a profitable and meaningful business. If more people took this advice in the realm of schooling--realizing that you don't need to go into debt to give yourself a higher education--then our world would benefit from an incredible boost in the number of creative entrepreneurs ready to tackle our problems, both big and small.

I highly recommend this book to teenagers, young adults, recent graduates, and transitioning adults who are eager to begin crafting a tiny yet profitable business, right now.

-Blake Boles
Author, Better Than College
Founder & Director, Unschool Adventures
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 4, 2012 2:43:37 PM PDT
Blake, I'd really challenge your review because I think it glosses over some major faults in this book. I'm an entrepreneur myself and I can tell you that (a) the concepts of staying small, nicheing, and not hiring employees are readily available (for free) on the web and that Mr. Guillebeau contributes nothing to this discussion (the 4 Hour Work Week does a far superior job and even if you don't like the book it serves to point you in numerous directions) and (b) Mr. Guillebeau ignores the multitude of difficulties in starting a company.

I'd also say the biggest fault with this book is the lack of discussion about the multitude of difficulties in starting a business. As an entrepreneur yourself I'm sure you're very familiar with these and I'd suggest that this book fails to discuss this most important of issues. Nicheing is all well and good - but if you can't get over your your mental road blocks and off the ground what good does it do you?

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2013 1:41:41 PM PDT
Marc says:
Chris,

Im the biggest fan of Anthony Robbins and Brian Tracy and Marsha Sinetar and the new(old?) breed of self employment "coaches" that are out there writing books on how we can do it. But that said, does Warren Buffett or Bill Gates offewr courses on how to do what they did? Does even the biggest realtor in your neighborhood sell books on how he got rich in realestate? No, and probably not. -) Why? These people are too busy being successful to stop and start another business in teaching people how to get rich being self employed. I notice that most(not all) people who get rich in this venue, like the author, get rich by selling other people on how "good the chances" are that they can do it too!
Me? I want to open a martial arts school that will attract rich and wealthy businessmen that can afford 100k plus for lessons from the best teachers.....or they get their money back, and yuh know what, if I can do this, I will not have a spare minute to write books telling other people how to do what I just did. -( But I am going to keep an open mind and because of how much books like Do what you love, the money will follow by Marsha Sinetar motivated me(I still havent taken action after 8 yrs!!!), I will keep an open mind. I also hear the author has a course which costs $120-150 a month for a year. Thats the problem I think most of us have, we unlike Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, we didnt have a couple if very very close trustable friends who were exactly on the same page we are and the responsibility could be divided exactly by each persons skill set! Bill made the product, Wazniak got the financing and the other partner got the appointment with IBM and did the marketing. Success assured with a trio like that! Now...how does hois book or course help us get that "trio." THAT'S THE REAL SECRET TO SUCCESS RIGHT THERE AND I DIDNT EVEN CHARGE YOU A DIME.

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 11:59:24 PM PST
Awesome review! Thanks Blake! This book also changed my life (in a very good way) and it also led me to finding this other total life changer http://tinyurl.com/p465mtu
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