The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, part 1

Episode 31: The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, part 1

In this new episode of The RevolutionFI Podcast, Tim discusses The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, part 1.

“So, the question is this: How can 50+ folks like us, honest and hard-working, how do we manage our current responsibilities and still plan for retirement? 401ks alone won’t be enough and we don’t have 40 years to save, so how do we leverage our experience and wisdom to gain financial independence? That is the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Tim, and welcome to the Revolution. The RevolutionFI podcast.”

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau – https://amzn.to/35LP0Q0

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Music: Cool Rock by Kevin MacLeod

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License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ 


Welcome to the Hump Day edition of the RevolutionFI Podcast. I’m Tim, and this is the Book Club of the Month episode. For the month of December 2020, we are going to be taking a deeper look at the $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. Before we get into the book today, just a reminder, if you need to grab the Solopreneur Formula Worksheet from revolutionfi.com, you can do it right now. Download it instantly, and hey, maybe you can start your $100 startup with that worksheet.

Okay, let’s get into the $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. This is a fantastic book. One of the challenges that I realized I was facing when I did The ONE Thing by Gary Keller is that it’s impossible to get everything in the book, but I want to in four short segments. It’s forcing me to really pull out what I think is the most important stuff, but really, if any of what I’m talking about is of interest to you, you should definitely read the book and there will be a link in the show notes. Definitely grab it, and if you want to read it during this month, it’s certainly something you could comfortably read in four weeks as we move through it here on the podcast.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Alright, so let’s crack the spine on The $100 Startup and get into a few segments that I have pulled out to talk about. In the very beginning, I think this was important, Chris set up the context for the book. He says, “Remember, this book isn’t about founding a big internet startup, and it isn’t about opening a traditional business by putting on a suit and begging for money at the bank. Instead, it’s the account of people who found a way to live their dreams and make good living from something they care deeply about.

What if their success could be replicated? What if there was a master plan you could follow learning from those who have made it happen?” Spoiler alert, Chris is definitely going to share that with us. I love the opening sentiment of this book. We’re not talking about Silicon Valley startups and venture capital firms and lots of seed money or applying for loans from small business administration. We’re talking about simple things you can do that you care deeply about that you can start with 100 bucks or less.

I think that’s a fantastic approach. It’s a great way to frame not only this book discussion, but start thinking about that, in your own life. What are the things that you care deeply about that you could teach other people how to do and make some money on that? Well, that’s my spin, but we’re gonna come back to that.

No Visualization Exercises

Okay, second segment, from The $100 Startup. Chris says, “This blueprint does not involve secrets, shortcuts, or gimmicks. There are no visualization exercises here. If you think you can manifest your way to money simply by thinking about it, put this book down and spend your time doing that. Instead, this book is all about practical things you can do to take responsibility for your own future. Read it if you want to build something beautiful on the road to freedom.” Again, I so love the sentiment here. This is not a hack. This is not a get rich quick kind of idea, and that’s not what I’m doing here, RevolutionFI either.

What Chris is talking about and what I’m trying to implement is to start down a path in thinking about who it is you can serve, what they need, and what skill set you have that will serve those people. This is not something that is going to happen in a week or a month, and this is not something you can use a vision board to manifest as Chris said. This is going to take some real work, and it’s going to take some rolling up your sleeves and getting into it, and I don’t think you’re afraid of that. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be listening to this podcast, but it is not a secret shortcut or gimmick, and I love that approach, too.

Follow Your Passion Model

The next and third segment of the book I want to talk about for today is what Chris calls the Follow Your Passion Model. He says, “Many people are interested in building a business that is based on a hobby or activity they’re especially enthusiastic about. As we’ll see, not every passion leads to big bank deposits, but some certainly do.” Here were a few of the criteria that Chris used in helping other people and writing the book. He sort of used these as benchmarks to figure out what that Follow Your Passion Model could look like. As he said, not every passion is going to earn you big bank. Clearly, the size of the audience and the people in need are going to have a big part of that, but there are certainly basic skill sets that can be applied in different ways.

The Five Items

There are five items here that Chris mentioned. First of all, low startup costs. He was looking for people who could build something with less than $1,000, especially with those that could do with less than $100. Secondly, he wanted at least 50,000 a year in net income. This is at least as much as the average North American income, or it was eight years ago. In that range, and that range will vary, but he believed that a baseline profitability of 50 grand a year was required.

Thirdly, he said no special skills. He was looking for ordinary people who created successful businesses, so this did not include degrees or certifications or long training to get to this place. These are simple things that people could learn in a short amount of time. His example was you can learn to be a coffee roaster on the job but hopefully not a dentist.

The Criteria

He was looking for people who had a full financial disclosure, so people who participated in his study had to be willing to tell him all about their finances, their actual income for at least the previous two years. Finally, he was looking for people who had fewer than five employees. Now, he explained that he was looking for unexpected or accidental entrepreneurs who chose to remain small. I like to use the term solopreneur for this. Just because you’re a solopreneur doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself, but the idea is you don’t have a team, you don’t have a staff or employees because that complicates matters. I think that’s a good framework for setting up this book and kind of what we’re going to talk about.

Next Wednesday, we’ll come back with part two of The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. Tomorrow is Thursday, and you know that means–Hair of the Blog is back. Tomorrow, I’m going to be talking about a somewhat informal response to Substack which is all the rage right now. I’m going to give you a little hint here, the title for tomorrow’s show is You Won’t Be Able to Retire on a Paid Newsletter. Come on back tomorrow. I’ll see you on Thursday. Have a good one.

Transcription by Otter.ai, please forgive the bot for typos and mistakes.

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