Why I Loved “The $100 Startup”

by Tammy Strobel on May 7, 2012

It’s hard to believe I’ve been working for myself since January 2010. A lot of people helped me make the transition from my day job to self employment, including Logan, my family and all of you! But one person, in particular, inspired me to start thinking about taking the big leap into the land of self-employment and that person is Chris Guillebeau. When I read his free guide, 279 Days to Overnight Success, I started to rethink my work life and more importantly I started taking small steps that enabled me to leave my day job.

The thing I love about Chris’ writing – both on his blog and in his new book, The 100 Startup, – is that it’s conversational and he doesn’t sugar coat anything; including the idea of making money from your passion.

Running a small business isn’t easy and it requires a lot of hard work. But in my opinion, the benefits outweigh potential costs. Besides, doing work you love is fun and rewarding. For instance, it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m working from home. I’m sitting in my loft, editing my manuscript, and loving every minute of it. And later today I’ll re-read a few chapters in Chris’s book.

In my experience, a little knowledge can go a long way. Reading books has opened my mind to new perspectives, ideas, and they have helped me start my own small business too. If you’re thinking of starting a small business but don’t know where to begin, go buy a copy of The 100 Startup today!

What books have had a significant impact on your life? Leave your thoughts in the comments section . . . 

Be well,
Tammy

{Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book a few weeks ago.} 

1 Jennifer Blair May 7, 2012

Amazon sent me an email today saying that my pre-ordered copy of The $100 Startup has been shipped. I’m curious to read it and see what Chris and the folks he interviewed have to say.
Meanwhile, let me answer your question: “What books have had a significant impact on your life?”
To give full credit, I’d have to go back to the 1970s, when Barbara Sher published “Wishcraft”. It made my head spin with possibilities, and quite frankly, scared me a little. She was telling us that we could *all* have our dreams, even if we “had no goals, no character, and were frequently in a lousy mood”. Well, that fit me precisely! She also mentioned that you didn’t need to be as qualified as standard wisdom stated in order to get the job of your dreams. That was an eye-opener! And it led me to taking a risk and applying for a job that I wasn’t “qualified” for, and getting it.
Fast-forward to 1994. Just laid off from a big company, $30,000 in debt, with nothing but a few skills and a good idea, I started my own business. The book that helped me the most then was “Guerrilla Marketing”. I became a marketing fiend. I earned as much the first year as my old corporate management job. The second year I doubled that. I was so excited by the possibilities that I only slept four hours a night! I couldn’t wait to get going in the morning!
That career has led me around the world, and I’ve had some wonderful experiences. Now I’m thinking of “retiring” from commercial work and doing something more creative/satisfying. I hope to be inspired by Chris’s new book, and I continue to be inspired by Barbara Sher. (I just signed up for her BarbarasClub.com – which has got to be one of the best bargains around, as her inspiring voice is in your head three times a week.)
- When you find really good role-models, you want to read their blogs, be inspired by their books, and hang with them as much as possible. Their vision, their attitudes, their insights are all antidotes to those who would squelch your dreams.
Thank you for posting this, and making me reflect on where I’ve been, where I’m going, and those who helped guide me along the way.

2 Frugal Portland May 7, 2012

I pre-ordered this and I’m jealous you’re already done!

3 Alannah May 7, 2012

The Autobiography of Malcolm X is one I go back to time and time again. That book really speaks to me and inspires me. Also When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron (I also have the book on cd and play it in my car over and over again through rough periods in my life). It still makes me cry, no matter how many times I’ve heard/read it.

4 Karan Goel May 7, 2012

Hi Tammy

I think the only book that left a deep imprint on me, and realized a sense of change in me was “How To Win Friends And Influence People”.

It does say some things that are true to me, my life and people around me.

- Karan

5 Katherine B May 7, 2012

Anyone interested in simplifying their life absolutely needs to read “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. It will make you think about how you are trading your “life energy” for stuff and probably reevaluate very quickly your spending. I read it in 1996 and finally defined my level of what is enough and was able to retire 2 years later to a much more sane and simple life out of the corporate grindstone. De-cluttering and resisting the urge to buy is an ongoing battle in this culture, but it can be done.

Tammy, I thank you for this website and your tiny house experience. BTW, do you know what has happened to the Minimalist Packrat? Thanks!

6 Tammy Strobel May 7, 2012

@Katherine – Ohhh I loved “Your Money or Your Life!” I’ve read it a few times.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to the Minimalist Packrat. Sorry!

7 Greg Watson May 7, 2012

Great timing on this post for me! I will be getting a copy of The $100 Startup as part of the latest Only 72 sale.

I decided to drop out of the corporate world in 1986 and moved to an island with a population of 3500 people to bumble my way through the world as a self employed artisan of sorts.

The books that influenced me back then were:

“How to Survive Without a Salary, Learning how to live The Conserver Lifestyle” by Charles Long. (I view “Your Money or Your Life” as an updated 21st century version)

“Living in the Light” by Shakti Gawain really inspired my journey into trusting my intuition

And while Wishcraft influenced me to envision my ideal day, “A Pattern Language” authored by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein completely changed the direction of my life. (Along with developing a mentoring relationship with architect Hank Schubart whose own mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright some of you may or may not be familiar with ;-)

Also, “Do What you Love, The Money will Follow” by Marsha Sinetar deserves an honourable mention too, as I seem to remember it helped me to begin the process of weaving my unexplored passion for design, my growing trust in following my intuition with a minimalist lifestyle to create a lifestyle that has sustained me for all these years.

I’ve entered into a process recently of re-envisioning my life and the notion of developing an online business, holds a great deal of appeal. I’ll be curious to see if The $100 Startup becomes a new touchstone in my life.

Cheers

8 Jen May 10, 2012

When I was in college, I loved the SARK books. Her website has grown since then (and is no longer as intimate), but it’s still great. Her books are better. =)
I also really enjoy etsy’s “Quit Your Day Job” series, start at the beginning as the older ones are better ;) So very many different models – singles, couples, families; people who run a business and work part time (or job share) because they LIKE their jobs, who run several small businesses, etc… Really diverse expamples of finding a unique balance that really works for you.
One of my favorites is here: http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2009/quit-your-day-job-piddix/

I have to confess… I have mixed feelings about “Your Money or Your Life” and similar. I learned this lesson very young, and so never became a corporate lawyer or the like in the first place… but that also means I’ve never really earned any money to speak of, and it makes these books really annoying to read. I’d have no problem doing what they did on their salary! Doing it on $10 is… different. If you know of any books for young-ish people who want to keep it simple and have meager salaries (and no trust funds or houses to sell)…. let me know!

9 Brianna May 11, 2012

Or take it out of the library!

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