Can You Start A Business With $100? Chris Guillebeau Thinks So.

Like most of the “original gangstas” I followed online, I can’t remember exactly when I discovered Chris Guillebeau.

What I do remember is how struck I was by his post, The Case for the $100 Business, written back in 2009. 

So much so, that I was inspired to write a post of my own called 5 Ways to Start a Business for Under $1000 about a week later. Mine and Chris’s posts got 105 and 63 comments respectively, proof that starting a business on a shoestring budget is a hot topic.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Chris, a gentleman, world traveler and entrepreneur, when he was on tour promoting his first book in 2010. And now, I have the even greater pleasure and honor to be included in his brand new book, The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.

Since y’all are a bootstrapping kinda crowd, I decided to talk to Chris about The $100 Startup and share it here. 

Tell us a little about yourself, Chris.

I’m a writer, entrepreneur, and traveler. For almost ten years I’ve been on a quest to visit every country in the world, and along the way I’ve been meeting a lot of interesting people.

What inspired you to write The $100 Startup?

On my first book tour, I went to every U.S. state and Canadian province. At many of the stops, I met people who had started all kinds of interesting businesses.

Most of the people who did so weren’t necessarily entrepreneurs — they were just ordinary people from all walks of life who found a way to make a living doing something they enjoyed. I wanted to tell their stories and provide a blueprint for readers who wanted to do the same thing.

Who is this book for? Entrepreneurs in the “idea stage”, established business owners, anyone with the entrepreneurial itch? And, could established business owners use the information from The $100 Startup to “do over” their business model? Could they use it to reduce expenses, cut costs, find free ways to market, etc?

Long story short, it’s for anyone in search of freedom. The book is about freedom and value — how to create more freedom for yourself while making something valuable for other people.

Chris, I love what you said in the press release: “The money you have is all you need. The skills you already have can be put to use helping others and earning a good income for yourself.” When I was building my baby blanket business, I had a fortune (from a fortune cookie) taped to my computer screen that read “Many a false step is made by standing still”. I loved that – it made me see that I should be doing something, anything, each day towards building my business. And that’s how I’ve operated since – I start from where I am, with what I have. I take action every day – some days it’s a baby step and other days, it’s a big leap of faith – but it’s action. Do you think that anyone with your book, $100, an idea and the commitment to take daily action has the recipe for a successful business?

I agree with your philosophy. As for “anyone,” well, I don’t necessarily think everyone wants to start a business and work on their own. But certainly a lot of people do, so for those with the drive and the commitment to daily action that you mentioned, the recipe is fairly clear.

What about my story struck you enough to include it in The $100 Startup?

I loved how you had essentially reinvented yourself. Your first business was highly successful, but instead of coasting on that, you regrouped and decided to do something new with The Mogul Mom.

What is the most important lesson from The $100 Startup?

It’s what you alluded to earlier: if you want to establish more freedom for yourself, you don’t need a lot of money, an MBA, or a 60-page business plan that no one will ever read. You just need a product or service, a group of people willing to purchase, and a means of getting paid.

Where can we purchase The $100 Startup?

It should be widely available at all bookstores, or direct from (Go on! Buy your copy now! :)

Do you think you can start a business for $100? What are your favorite bootstrapping tools and resources?

Heather Allard

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7 Responses to “Can You Start A Business With $100? Chris Guillebeau Thinks So.”

  1. I think it’s possible and it requires some hard and smart work. My main bootstrapping tool is my blog since it’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to start and set up.

    I love the emphasis on doing something you love while creating value for other people. I was raised by parents who belonged to the “employee generation,” where the typical track is study, graduate, get a job.

    This is something I’m trying to change in my mission to be a mompreneur. It’s certainly a challenge to learn about business and actually growing one. But I’m committed to doing it in exchange for the freedom it will bring.

    Thanks for sharing this interview, I look forward to reading the book! :)

    • Hi Jayme!

      I agree with you – it’s definitely possible but takes hard work, focus and smart strategies.

      Congratulations to you on your business – I know you can do it and I’m always here to help! :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks so much for posting this, Heather!

    We were thrilled to have you in the book. You have such an inspiring story.

  3. Lovelene says:

    With this economy, it pays to have your own business than work for wages. Even though network marketing gets a bad rap, I was able to start a business offering skincare and nutritional products I love. I wanted to start a skincare company years back that’s natural, safe and botanically based. Doing the research, formulating products and marketing was too expensive so instead with a $100 investment, I partnered with a great company in the anti-aging and wellness industry. The products speak for themselves and its also a great opportunity for people looking to supplement their income and leverage their time.

  4. Carrie says:

    I don’t usually buy books like this but I think I will have to check this out. I’ve been wanting to go down this path for awhile but my main problem has been finding my passion. Have you seen it? :)

    I’m hoping this book will inspire me to keeping looking for the right opportunity.

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