The $100 Startup

  • by Chris Guillebeau
  • Narrated by Chris Guillebeau, Thomas Vincent Kelly
  • 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau tells you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose - and earn a good living.
Still in his early 30s, 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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What the Critics Say

"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 number-one New York Times best seller The Happiness Project)
"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 best-selling 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 best-selling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Enviable, Learn-able, Actionable, Doable!

Where does The $100 Startup rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

Right up there with the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, this book delivers in ways that are just as revolutionary, but probably MORE usable...

Before I bought this book, I had found that The Art of Non-Conformity was the only real follow up to Ferriss's work, but Chris Guillebeau has now over-delivered and really developed a capstone to what my searches have uncovered in the last two years on digital nomadism and innovative, one-person entrepreneurship.

But this is not only a book about those things. Chris outlines EVERY form that new-school small business takes; and EVERY contemporary method of measuring how well those forms work.

I cannot recommend it highly enough; it is destined to become an anchor title for small business.


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- Webster

This book is poison for new entrepreneurs

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I am an avid audiobook listener. 90% of them relate to business and entrepreneurship. I listen when I go running or mountain biking. When I first began listening to this book, I liked it. I didn't learn anything specific, but it did help my brain process some ideas I'm currently working on. As I continued to listen, however, I began noticing contradictions in what he was saying. Then I began noticing the promotion of subtle falsehoods that a new entrepreneur would not notice. While listening to the end of the audiobook, while biking on one of my favorite bike trails, I exclaimed out loud several things like, "This guy is a hypocrite," and "This guy is an idiot," and "This book is poison for new entrepreneurs."

I have never given a book this harsh of a review. Seasoned and successful entrepreneurs will see right through this book, but my fear is that new entrepreneurs will eat this up. It's written in a way that mingles a lot of sound advice with advice that is crippling.

If you are a new entrepreneur, skip this book, and replace it with the following 3 Books:
Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss


What could Chris Guillebeau have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

It's an academic study... not based on personal experience. He takes stories of both success and failure and interprets their results with his own spin. I've had many similar experiences to the stories he shared, and saw right through his terrible advice.


Would you be willing to try another one of Chris Guillebeau and Thomas Vincent Kelly ’s performances?

I don't think so


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- Nate Woodbury

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-08-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio