8 Lessons I Learned From The $100 Startup

Brent Pittman —  05/31/2012

I’m fired up and ready to go after reading The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

I have ideas floating around in my head, a long ‘to do’ list forming, and motivation to continue in this small business adventure. Let’s do this!

8 Lessons I Learned From The $100 Startup

Chis has been a successful entrepreneur for a while and he’s traveled to almost every country in world–oh yeah and he’s only 35. Chis interviewed thousands of successful entrepreneurs and share many inspirational stories intertwined with helpful advice.

This book has a ton of information and action points, but here is a a few things I learned in The $100 Startup:

1. Following your passion doesn’t make you successful. Having a passion that others care about (and will pay for) leads to success.

Passion or skill + Usefulness= Success

2. Create something of Value- Chris’ definition of value is something that helps other people. Solve a problem, save time, reduce stres, etc.

3. Every morning spend 45 minutes to activities that improve your business–not just maintain it.

4. Perform a business audit regularly: Where do you make money? How good is your messaging? Are your prices where they should be? How are you marketing to existing customers? Are you tracking, monitoring, or testing, enough? Where are the big missing opportunities? (questions from p 219-221 of the book).

5. Talk about yourself  more on social media. [This one shocked me.] People follow you and your brand for a reason, they don’t want your curation of the entire internet.

6. Small tweaks can increase profit: Increasing site traffic, conversion rates, or increasing average sale price by small increments can prove to be a large profit over time.

7. Don’t price your service per hour or based on the cost to produce it; price the item according to the benefit it provides.

8. You’ve got to hustle.  Hustling can be better than paying others to market for you–you’ll benefit from the experience and gain new relationships along the way.

What Am I Going to Do Now?

1) I’m going to become my own publisher and write an E-b00k hopefully in time for Christmas–more to come later.

2) Review and redefine the core benefits that I offer through writing and coaching and focus on those benefits.

3) Create a list of items that will improve my business and work on them each day.

4) Create a FAQ for my coaching service. (p 121) *Updated- Hey check out my FAQ based of $100 Startup.

5) I have a longer list I’m working on, but I’ll spare you the details for now.

If you are considering starting a small business, or improving your existing business then reading this book will be worth your time and money. Plus if you buy from my link, you’ll make me smile 🙂

Have you read The $100 Startup? What lessons did you learn and how will you apply them to your business?

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
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  • These are awesome takeaways Brent! I’m rethinking a couple services I was working as well thanks to this book. And something totally new to me – I’m going to actually LAUNCH them!

    • The launching and marking ideas are sweet eh? Holler if I can help with the launch. 

  • I can identify with not being able to pinpoint your passion. That is a tough one for me too. If I help others and have fun along the way, I can’t be too far off–as long as I’m paying the bills of course. 

  • I ordered this book about a month ago, and sadly the publisher lost my order. But it should be here in a few days and I can’t wait to read it. His story is very inspiring, it sounds like you learned some great stuff.

    • Great book and the artwork is awesome. This is one of those books you’ll read through once a year to pick out the good stuff and keep on track. 

  • Nice review Brent. I got to meet Chris last week when the book tour
    stopped though my hometown. I have not had a chance to start the book yet but I
    am really excited to do so.  Chris
    interviewed a ton of entrepreneurs for the book so I am looking forward to
    learning from a lot of different people and see what I can apply to my own

    • Jon,
      That is cool! What did he talk about at the book signing? He’s in L.A. tonight, but I can’t make it. 

      •  He talked for about 20 minutes why he wrote the book and what he learned from those who he interviewed. The best part was the Q&A, lots of great questions and Chris answered all of them openly.

  • Sounds like an interesting book.  I am very interested in the part about following your passion and having a passion that others care about.  I have always felt that if you follow your passion, there are people out there that share the same and care about the subject. If you follow the other steps you can find them and create something around that.
    Shawn @ Managing The Money Wars

    • Finding a passion that also helps solves a problem for others is important. Are finances your passion?