There are two things regarding books that I very rarely do these days: 1) purchase one (most books I either get from the library or have publishers send me for free) and 2) read a hard-copy version (I either skim the book for highlights -- which I can do in about 30 minutes -- or get an audiobook version from the library that I listen to in my car.) But over the past couple of months I broke with tradition and actually purchased and read (completely -- and took notes!) TWO hard-copy books. They were both about making money and both were AWESOME.
My original plan was to tell you about both books in one post. But as I began putting it together the post kept growing and eventually became too big IMO. So I'll tell you about the first book in this post, then highlight the second book in today's afternoon post.
The first book is The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. Here's a summary of the book from Amazon:
In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.
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.
And here's a trailer for the book:
My personal summary of the book is much shorter than the above:
There are thousands of people who started with little money invested and used skills they already had to create unique businesses that allow them to live as they want while making very good incomes.
Sounds interesting, right? It is.
The best part IMO is that the author uses TONS of real-life examples to highlight the various ways people have come up with their own businesses. He then distills the vital factors that made these efforts successful and suggests ways we all can use them to create our own businesses. It's a very nice back-and-forth (examples and then practical tips) that makes the book an enjoyable learning experience.
The examples both inspire and challenge the reader as well as really get the potential money-making ideas flowing (at least they did for me.) And it's written in a very digestible style and layout -- very, very easy to read. I read the book in short increments here and there while traveling on a couple business trips.
If you've ever thought about starting your own business, you have to get this book and check out the concepts in it. You won't be sorry.
Click here to read part 2 of this series.