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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.

©2012 Chris Guillebeau (P)2012 Random House

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about The $100 Startup

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good motivating read but thats it.

if need a little push in the back to follow your dream, read it. If you look for information, guides, models etc. on how to start your own business, you should read another book.

31 people found this helpful

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Just love this book!

What did you love best about The $100 Startup?

This book is very interesting! I have read so called " start up" business books but this one takes the cake! This is something that anyone with a creative idea can use! this book has me looking at my own small business in a different way! Its time to get innovative and make some real money! Just love this book!

25 people found this helpful

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Great Content, Robotic Narration

I was glad to see this title in audio book format, as it's much easier for me to listen to business books than actually read one. Like those case studies in the book, I too am a micro-entrepreneur who started my business on a shoestring. It was inspiring to hear stories from others who have found great success starting out the same way I have. It reinforces the 'Follow your passion" stream of thought as well.
That said, the narration made it a less than stellar listen. To me it sounded almost like a computerized voice, lacking the very passion the book was talking about. I could only listen in short time periods before the robotic voice started blending into the background and I realized I had missed large chunks of the story he was telling.

49 people found this helpful

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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

113 people found this helpful

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AWFUL narrative, but...

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur and are interested in one day running your own business, I would highly recommend this book. Narrative was robotic and boring with zero feeling or emotion. The information itself though was rather valuable. I will be picking up the physical copy and retracing my steps. I wish more authors would read their own books!

5 people found this helpful

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Best book and most needed book these days

I have bought all the "Best 50 Jobs to Work Out of Your Home"-type books over the years.

This is the best by far because it shows how to tailor your own future based on your own skills and interests, and has excellent examples of people who have actually done this.

The author has done a tremendous amount of research to produce this book. So it was not just a one-off book written from the kitchen table.

I think everybody should get this book to understand its philosophy and to help protect against the future.

Very highly recommended.

21 people found this helpful

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Narrated by a Robot

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I really wanted to like this book after several recommendations, but I couldn't focus on anything but the robot like voice of the narrator.

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

Probably not.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It might be a good actual read vs. listen.

15 people found this helpful

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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.

29 people found this helpful

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  • 07-20-12

Good for anyone doing biz online

I recommend this book, I like the narrator and there is tons of good info in it. I have been listening to a lot of marketing books and I got the most "notes to use for later" out of this one than any other so far. Gets a thumbs up from me.

6 people found this helpful

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Robot voice ruined book!

This is awful. The books content is good I think. But the narration sounds like a computer. If your paying $10 for an audio book I expect it to be narrated by a real person. Terrible experience Audible!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • PEN_NAME
  • 11-07-17

Annoying!

I'm really p**sed off with this audiobook - I purposefully listened to the audio sample before I bought because I hate when you get an audiobook and hate the reader's voice. And the sample is a foreword by the author and then some guy with a dumb voice reads the rest of it! But they don't tell you that! Grrr!

You have been warned.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-24-19

The voice over is awful!

I'm not even two hours in and I'm struggling to take anything in, the voice over is so mechanically monotonous!

6 people found this helpful

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  • stuart
  • 10-20-16

Outstanding read/listen!

Great book well worth a read for any budding entrepreneurs out there. I'm buzzing with ideas again now thanks to Chris!! Big thumbs up!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • A. Casey
  • 01-29-15

Great reference, compelling story, poor voice over

Generally enjoyed the content of the audiobook, lots of inspiring stories, only spoilt by the robot voice over.
Perhaps buy the book instead.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Holly
  • 03-17-18

infantile trash

If the people who are giving this book 5 stars... are my competition... I'm going to be the richest man in Babylon.

Read rich dad poor dad *****
Read influence, the psychology of persuasion*****

This is just garbage telling you to follow your passion

5 people found this helpful

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  • max bumford
  • 10-04-19

The voice over was incredibly mundane.

Couldn't finish the book as I just could not concentrate on the voice. Waste of a credit.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Moses
  • 10-13-16

Great insight and inspiring

A great book with wonderful insight on how to get out of the rat race and live more freely, doing what you love. Requires a lot of concentration at times but great material.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rockydog
  • 08-01-15

Some good food for thought

Many different ideas and makes you really think about embarking on that startup. Well done

1 person found this helpful

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  • Musa
  • 07-15-21

Brilliant entrepreneurship book!

Superb distillation of research material presented in an easy to follow guide. Awesome value in every page...love it, love it. Got me to start!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-29-20

Motivated me to just get started

This is a great listen. It realy motivated me to just get started with my own business. the book has some great practicle advise.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-23-18

Biggest waste of time on Audible so far...

AudioBook is boring, very slow and has terrible narrative. I honestly could not find anything positive about this book. No in depth explanation on what is happening. Quite frankly, I did not learn nothing or remember anything what is in that book anymore. Don’t waste your time.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-22-18

Sooo Boring

First Business book I struggled to get through... Good book to listen to if you have trouble sleeping..

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-08-21

Best of the best

This book is full of practical and easy to implement. I love everything about it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-13-21

well worth the read

I read this right after you turn by Ashley Stahl and the 2 go very well together. The former giving a how to guide to find what work you should be doing and this book giving practical how tos for going it alone rather than being an employee.

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  • darcy
  • 04-02-21

awesome book

awesome book, has helped me get started with my side hustle on ebay, very easy to listen to, good info

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-23-20

A little dull and simple

I was hoping for more in-depth case studies but instead this is a pretty superficial meta analysis of his case studies which was disappointing. Also written style is fairly dull.

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  • Jonathan Chai
  • 09-04-19

Really monotonous

The contents are okay, but the narrator does it too monotonously. It's really uninteresting to listen to. I'm sure the book would be a good read, but listening is just a pain.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-21-18

good for motivation. lite on useful details

it was great to hear about all the case studies that the author uses throughout the book but if you're looking for a 'how to' guide...this won t have all the answers

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  • Davur Clementsen
  • 06-12-18

A decent collection of entrepreneurial successes

The content or topic is very interesting, but stories and language structure were often jarringly robot-like. Interesting nonetheless, but could be better.

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  • Jess
  • 02-09-18

Excellent

Very inspiring! Great examples and a very easy listen. Definitely worth reading, I have already recommended this book a few times.