The $100 Startup – Starting a Successful Business

Starting a successful business is a dream of many entrepreneurs and wantrapreneurs. Building a company of your own that provides value to others and pays you at the same time… what is not to like? Yet most people dream of starting businesses versus actually going out and doing it.

Questions like where do I get the money? Where do I get the time? Can I actually do this? Often stop people right from the start. In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau lays out a path for starting a successful business to live on your terms. The key motivation behind Guillebeau’s advice is providing people with freedom.

man with sunglasses at coffee shop on phone

What’s the first step to starting a successful business?

In the book, Guillebeau lays out how to home in on an idea evaluating factors such as the impact on customers, effort to start the business, profitability, and vision to help narrow your focus. I’ve now done this exercise twice this week. First with my girlfriend and then with a small group of friends who are planning to travel the world soon. They want to build a successful business that can be managed while they travel and produces an income allowing them to travel without worries.

This exercise helped us organize our thoughts and focus in on the most promising ideas from a list of possibilities.

Then what?

Now with the most promising successful business ideas, we can dive into a deeper planning stage. In the book, there are 1-page business plans and marketing strategies that help to pave a path forward for you to pursue.

One of the ideas we came up with was a personal finance curriculum for middle school and high school students. This is an area that overlaps a couple of our skill areas and combines our passions. As the only grandchild on both sides of the family, there is a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. It is very important that I have a strong financial base in order to support my family and family in the future. For my girlfriend, she has a similar motivation being an only child and experiencing a huge hit to her credit score due to a lack of her graduate school & creditors not knowing she was still in school.

While it is in the early stages, our visions align around the importance of financial literacy being taught in the education system. The $100 Startup’s guide has helped begin to tease out how building this curriculum could have a huge impact on kids while also being a promising successful business opportunity.

students sitting n a classroom listening to a teacher present

How can I get started on starting a successful business today?

The first step to starting a successful business is understanding the why behind wanting to build a business and what type of business fits into that why. The $100 Startup is about building “micro-businesses” that provide from $50,000 to a few hundred thousand. His philosophy is focusing on giving people the freedom that comes with starting a successful business that aligns with your life’s vision/mission. He is not rah-rah about following your passion. Rather pragmatic about finding something that provides an impact on customers and compliments both your skill set and ideal lifestyle.

As a next step, I recommend reading the book or visiting The $100 Startup website. The website has resources that will help you organize your business idea, strategy, and launch plan. Don’t get caught in your own head, but actually get started on building your business. Talk to your friends or family about what you want to do. One of the most fun and creative ways to get started is bounce ideas off of others.

Of course, you can also comment and discuss with me on the socials. Good luck starting a successful business… you can do it!

More posts…

The Life of Benjamin Franklin

The Lean Startup

3 Keys to Personal Finance

Blue Ocean Strategy


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