Monthly Book Club: ‘The $100 Startup’

Mission Money author reads a lot. In this monthly series, usually coming out on the last weekend of the month, she will share one fiction or non-fiction book interesting enough to talk about.

Monthly Book Club issue 1: ‘The $100 Startup / Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love And Work Better To Live More’ by Chris Guillebeau

This book promises to be a ‘manual to new living’ for anybody hoping to start their own business. At 285 pages in paperback, it is not the biggest manual you’d ever see, but it is definitely one of the most readable ones I put my hands on. But with a title like that, I was a little weary of leaving it on my work desk just in case my boss gets the idea too soon!

The book is divided into three parts:

  1. Unexpected Entrepreneurs
  2. Taking It To The Streets
  3. Leverage It And Next Steps

The order of the chapters follows easy to understand logic from how to stumble upon an idea, how to take it further and how to grow it at a level that suits you. There is also a manifesto calling on readers to use their imagination – literally the first four paragraphs start with the word ‘imagine’ and it’s not a bad thing.

The paperback retails for £8.99 in the UK, thanks to the magic of ‘more buying options’ on Amazon (affiliate link on the bottom of the page) mine cost around half that. You will find this book in the non-fiction genre under Entrepreneurship, Startups and Finance interest groups.

What’s in the book?

Case studies. The book is jam packed with stories of businesses, mainly solopreneur and small operations, all making above $50k profit, most well in excess of. I counted 86 companies taking part. The case studies are ordered in a way that easily shows the reader how to start transitioning from an idea to operational business with a minimal budget. The book is clear that you can’t start all and every business with just $100 to your name but it does provide a large number of examples of people who managed to start a business with a pretty minimal amount of capital.

It also provides examples of business stories proving that not every idea is brilliant or unique, but if a good or useful idea is handled in a smart way, it can become marketable and turn into a successful business. There is a good mix of intentional and ‘accidental’ entrepreneur stories available.

The most useful parts

Author explains how to position a fact-based description of a business into emotionally appealing one – this is by far the simplest yet one of the most effective pieces of marketing advice I have seen. As a marketing graduate working in advertising, just this one thing made me like this book a lot.

Templates for impact assessment of a project, one page business plan and one page partnership agreement are also in the ‘most useful’ category.

In all honesty, there isn’t much fluff in this book, especially for a person in an entrepreneurial mindset, it’s consistently to the point.

The least useful parts

The case studies are not deep or very detailed  – they provide the high level key information and some interesting tidbits along the way, but not one of them is the sort of a case study giving you all the information you might want. If you are looking for advice on how to engage the right accountant or file company documentation, wrong book. If you want to see how people take an idea and run with it on a shoestring budget and without touching the bureaucratic side of things, right book.

Who is this book for?

People who have an idea and a desire to do something with their idea. Also people who want something other than corporate career but are too scared to step out of secure employment.


★★★★☆ – worth the money spent buying it.

Amazon Affiliate Link:


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