The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
My husband and I are among those hit the hardest by the Great Recession. My husband is a Construction Superintendent (don’t need to add anything there.) Me? Well, when we first got laid off (I had “retired” to travel with my husband on his job) I was actually told by a recruiter that he was sorry, but I was what they called “over/under qualified.” What he meant was I was over the age most companies are willing to hire someone with my skill set. He said younger people would work for less, plus any company that hired me to work for less than my former salary would think I’d jump ship when a better offer came around — better offer? Four years ago I was ready to take any offer.
I started Bootstrap Business Development in the middle of the desert (where my husband came to take a job – he is now what they call “under-employed.”) All I had was talent, skill, knowledge, and a passion for helping businesses succeed. I didn’t even have a car (we got rid of mine when I started traveling with my husband.) Oh, I did have a computer and an air card to connect me to the Internet.
I knew I needed to work. But how? What could I do out here in the boondocks in the company of cattle and coyotes?
Well, we all know how that turned out – I started a business doing what I was passionate about, as well as served a market where there is a demand for what I can provide. However, it would have helped a whole bunch if I’d found this book while I was racking my brain, as well as to pick up for inspiration when the bootstrapping got tough.
As a matter-of-fact, if I were going to criticize the book it would be that it is more a blueprint for staying motivated and perservering than it is a blueprint for putting a business together (that’s called a business plan.) Sure, I zigzagged through my B plan – that’s part and parcel to being a startup – but I don’t want you to read this book and think “I’ve got a great idea and it’s going to support me.” It doesn’t work like that.
Sure it is more than possible to “reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love, and create a new future” – but you better make sure that there’s a market for how you’ve decided to reinvent the way you make a living, that people are willing and able to pay you for doing what you love, and be prepared to create a better future via a lot of hard work.
At the same time, reading the stories in this book of people who put businesses together out of nothing (OK, some had a little more “nothing” than others) and are now raking in 50 grand a year will not only inspire you – but synapses are sure to fire in your brain as to how you might adapt some of their strategies to your own business.