Can you start a business with only $100? Really?
I’ve always believed so. A few months back I wrote about how you can start a business with no money right now. Little did I know that a phenomenal book on the topic would be coming out.
Today I have a really cool treat for you. I have just finished up reading what is the best book ever and I was able to grab a hold of the man behind this book for an exclusive interview just for you guys.
I had the privilege of speaking with the author of The $100 Startup book and The Art of Non-Conformity Blog, Chris Guillebeau.
Me: You’re 22 years old, out of college, with a little bit of student debt. You don’t want a real job just yet. You want to set your own rules and live the life you want. What would you recommend doing?
Chris: Great. I’d recommend working through some of the exercises in The $100 Startup, especially the Instant Consultant Guide and the 1-Page Business Plan.
Figure out what you’re good at (everyone’s an expert at something) that other people might be willing to pay for.
Launch something quickly — within 30 days — even if the website isn’t perfect or you don’t have everything together. As soon as possible, get your first sale or your first client.
Then, regroup. Fix the things that weren’t working before. Think about how you can get more sales or recruit more clients. After a while it just becomes a process of continuous improvement.
Me : What if you only have a few hours per night to work on your own projects? What would you focus on?
Chris: Having only a few hours a day (or even less) to work on your project is ideal—it means that you can’t waste time on the unproductive aspects of your business.
As to focus, I’d focus primarily on income.
How will your business make money? How soon can it do so? After it makes some amount of money, even a small amount, how else can you bring in sales or increase average order size?
These are the important aspects of starting a business, not writing long business plans that will likely be irrelevant, and certainly not lining up to beg for money at the bank or from your friends.
Me: I often preach the idea of learning as you go. What are a few lessons we could learn from your mistakes that you made at the beginning?
Chris: Lots of things. I didn’t understand my market well; and I didn’t understand what they really wanted from me. I also didn’t understand pricing and the need to offer things at a variety of price points.
But most important, I didn’t start soon enough. One of my regrets is not beginning my writing career until I was nearly 30. So for a student or young person who has a head start, I’d say, don’t wait!
I like the old saying, “The best time to start was last year. Failing that, today will do.”
When I originally heard about this new book, I wrote a piece where I showed you how $100 can change your life. I love the idea of making money doing what you’re good at and focusing on what matters. I once wrote a colossal business plan for a class project and I didn’t learn anything except for how to write a long business plan that nobody reads. This is why I enjoy books that help you filter out what doesn’t really matter in making money.
My review of The $100 Startup is simple: Buy the book right now!
What are you going to do with a $100?