The purpose of the The $100 Startup Book: The $100 Startup is one of the best books on starting your own business written by Chris Guillebeau. He has shared some great techniques on how you can start your own business with no capital, no manpower or resources.
The purpose of The $100 Startup Book Summary: After reading The $100 Startup Book Summary, you will know ‘what are your skills that can be monetized’ and ‘how you can start a profitable business. I will also tell you one business idea that I worked on after reading this book. So, shall we?
How To Build A Business That Thrives:
I am dividing this blog into 2 sections, section 1 is about finding a perfect business idea and section 2 is about how to execute that business idea.
But before that, let me give you a quick summary of what The $100 Startup is all about.
What Is The $100 Startup:
The $100 Startup is a business book by Chris Guillebeau that discusses how you can start a business with less than $100, leave your job, work from anywhere in the world yet make a fortune out of it. 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.
Now, let’s start your business journey:
The $100 Startup Book Summary
1. Think Of Convergence When You Think Of Business:
One of the most popular pieces of advice that almost all of us have come across is ‘do what you are passionate about’ Although, it is a piece of good advice only when not implemented. Why? Dude, you can be crazily passionate about eating pizza but no one is going to pay you for that.
So, what should you do instead?
Well, while building a business, you need to focus on Convergence. Convergence represents the intersection between something you especially like to do or are good at doing (preferably both) and what other people are also interested in. The easiest way to understand convergence is to think of it as the overlapping space between what you care about and what other people are willing to spend on.
The link between what you are passionate about and what people want is where the microbusiness built on freedom and value can thrive.
2. Skill Transformation:
Now, most of you must be thinking, Okay, Renuka, I already know this but I don’t have any skill or I am not an artistic person. Well, if you think you don’t have any skill then,
a) You are like me and
b) You are wrong.
Chris suggests a unique way of approaching your skills and how you can monetize it. He has suggested a concept called, ‘Skill Transformation’ which means that one core skill can make you good at 5 other skills.
For example, Teachers are good at teaching, right? But this one skill of teaching enables teachers to build other skills too like communication, adaptability, crowd control, lesson planning, and coordinating among different interest groups.
When I read this example, I realized that although I consider myself dumb, I have some skills too. Do you want to see how I reflected on the skill transformation concept? Let’s see:
I consider myself a good reader. Now, for most people reading is a habit but I believe reading is a skill that I am good at. When I sat down and thought about how being skilled in reading helped me gain other skills too, I realized,
- I am a good reader which makes me a clear thinker,
- I am a good reader which makes me a good decision maker,
- I am a good reader which has improved my analytical skills,
- I am a good reader which is making me a good communicator too. And this blog is an example of the same. I am trying to communicate my point through this blog to you and
- I am a good reader which is helping me improve my writing every day.
Did you see how just one skill, reading, helped me become good at other things too? I monetized my passion for writing and became a freelance writer in 2020. And after reading this book, I realized I can further monetize my communication skills by working on my YouTube channel, can’t I?
I don’t know who you are and what you think about yourself. I want you to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think of one skill that you think you are good at. It could be any random skill and then think how that one skill is making you good at the other 3–4 skills too. Don’t pressurize yourself to think of 3–4, even if you can come up with 1 or 2 more, it’s fine. After that, think, about how you can monetize any of your skills as per Convergence.
“To succeed in a business project, especially one you are excited about, it helps to think carefully about all the skills you have that could be helpful to others and particularly about the combination of those skills”.
3. The Magic Formula:
Bringing the first two ideas together, here is a simple well-known magic formula for microbusiness alchemy:
Passion or Skill + Usefulness = Success
We just discussed skills but how do you know if what you have to offer is useful or not?
While thinking of usefulness, place yourself as a customer and think ‘If I were offered this product/service, would I have purchased it?” In simple words, make what you want to buy yourself, and other people will probably want it too. You can analyze the usefulness of your idea based on these 3 questions:
a) Are people willing to pay to gain or otherwise benefit from your expertise?
b) Are people really suffering any kind of problem that you can solve?
c) How will your product make their (customers) life easy with your product/service?
If this question is a little big for you, consider basic human nature. We, as humans, want something that can make us happy or take away our stress. “The secret to a meaningful new career is directly related to making people feel good about themselves”
Once you have a good business idea to work on, you need to launch it and for that let’s see Section 2.
1. One Page Business Plan:
If you need an entire PowerPoint presentation to explain what you do then probably you don’t even know what you do. In simple words, people don’t like to hear lectures, it’s your business, you can be passionate about it and write a whole book on how your business is great. But people have limited time and attention span, you need to explain what you do in lesser words, preferably 140 words.
Here is how you can make the audience or potential buyers understand what you do in fewer words but with a similarly strong impact:
Answer each question with one or two sentences.
What will you see?
Who will buy it?
How will your business idea help people?
What will you charge?
How will you get paid?
How else will you make money from this project?
How will customers learn about your business?
How can you encourage referrals?
2. Launch Your Business Online:
If you are still making excuses about not having enough capital to launch a business then probably you don’t even want to do business. Since the internet and social media have come as a blessing, launching your business and attracting ideal customers has become more like child’s play.
The $100 Startup book has examples of several small business owners who didn’t spend a single rupee on advertisement. Instead, they built a simple website and started selling their products. Let’s see one such example,
Example of $120,000 E-book: Brett Kelly used to work as an employee and had a credit card debt of $15,000 on his shoulder. Instead of taking it as a stress, Brett decided to combine his skill with usefulness and he launched an eBook about how to use Evernote, a note-taking application. You might think who the hell would purchase an eBook on an app? But Brett ended up making $120,000 a year with his eBook and when the CEO of Evernote got to know about this guide, he offered Brett an extremely respectful well-paid job.
What did he do again?
He built something that people wanted. Just like Notion, Evernote helps to structure an entire system that solopreneurs and small business owners mostly need but they don’t know exactly how to use it. Hence, they paid for it.
How did they pay?
Brett built a very simple website and added his PayPal. It was that simple.
If you don’t want to indulge in any of this technical stuff then simply market your services on social media. With just 500–1000 followers, you can easily make at least $1000/month.
One of the other ways to promote your business is to ask for referrals from your friends, family members, existing customers, or relatives. If you are selling something that others need, you can probably find your first customers in your own circle.
And as Chris says, only the first sale kicks your butt but after that, the numbers follow automatically. And when you get the first $1 for something that you are good at, you get an inspiration that now ‘sky’s the limit.
3. Create an Offer:
We have talked about everything that is essential to start your business, right from finding a monetizable skill to finding the marketplace, but the question is how can you create a tempting offer that is irresistible. Let’s first see what a good offer looks like,
For example, There was a marathon race where a volunteer handed out fresh orange slices on the side of the road. It’s quite obvious that tired participants would have accepted it wholeheartedly. In fact, the positioning and the offer came at a point when the participants would have paid for it willingly.
On the other hand, two miles ahead, there was another volunteer who was handing out donuts to the participants. No matter how much you love donuts or how many times previously you have chosen donuts over oranges, it is obvious that no one is going to take donuts. Taking sugar rush in between the races would be more like eating poison but praying for longer life.
This is exactly what the offer means. Most people have a misconception that an offer means some kind of sale or discount. But it’s the opposite that stands true. A great offer comes on your way when you need it the most so you end up paying even more yet feel satisfied.
Here is the Offer Construction Template that you can use to create a great offer:
What are you selling?
How much does it cost?
Who will take immediate action on this offer?
The primary benefits are — —
An important secondary benefit is — –
What are the 3 main objections to the offer?
How will you counter these objections?
Why should someone buy this now?
What can I add to make this offer even more compelling?
Any great offer addresses the objections of the audience with its possible solutions before the customer can think of it as an excuse, hence increasing the chances of purchase.
My Implementation From The Book:
Before I picked The $100 Startup, I was working on a guide. I completed writing the entire guide and it took me almost 1 month to do so. But I don’t know what went wrong with me, so I decided not to launch it. It’s after reading this book and the example of Brett, I launched my guide on Cash It on LinkedIn: Attract High-Ticket Clients and Generate 6 Figures Without Thousands of Followers. You can find my guide, here. It is about how to make 6 figures on LinkedIn and the guide is available for free.
Final Words on The $100 Startup Book by Chris Guillebeau:
All in all, you can see I loved the book. I have learned so much about business from this book that I am clear I also want to make an empire for myself. This book has made me realize that launching a business doesn’t need expensive skills, capital, support, team, great ideas, or any other excuse. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebea is one of the best business books that I have come across.
I hope you like this blog and if you really found this useful, make sure you never settle down for an ordinary job because you can ‘MAKE IT HAPPEN’.