How You Can Break Free From the Shackle of 9 to 5

Niklas Goeke has another great summary of The $100 Startup book. 

He said The $100 Startup shows you how to break free from the shackles of 9 to 5 by combining your passion and skills into your own microbusiness, which you can start for $100 or less, yet still turn into a full-time income, thanks to the power of the internet.

It is Chris Guillebeau’s 2nd book and maybe the only book you need to start your own business. It is the result of identifying 1,500 people who’ve made $50,000 or more with very modest investments like $100.

Based on his case study, Chris pulled out a step-by-step framework you can use to find where your passion meets your skills and turn those into an income from your couch.

Using nothing but a laptop and some wifi in most cases, you can build a thriving software, freelance or education business and scale it as far as you want.

Here are 3 crucial lessons from the book to get you started:

  1. Passion is only 1/3 of the equation, you also need skills and customers.
  2. If you want your passion to be more than a hobby, focus on income and costs.
  3. Keep your plans simple, because action beats them every time.

Lesson 1: Passion is only 1/3 of the equation, you also need skills and customers.

Chris argues for a much more practical approach, where you keep your day job at first and start a business on the side. He says passion is only part of the equation, one third, to be exact.

The other two parts are skills and customers.

You have to find the sweet spot where your passion meets the skills you’re good at and the needs of other people, which you can fulfill with those skills. 

Be flexible enough to stay open for a skill transformation, where you learn skills adjacent to your passion and then capitalize on those as best as you can. 

Lesson 2: Focus on low costs and being profitable to turn your hobby into a business.

You must look at funding, income, and costs of your business.

In a microbusiness, your income mostly depends on your hustle. The more potential customers you reach out to, the more affiliate partners you get on board, and the more traffic you build, the more you’ll sell.

For the cost, you’re forced to invest only in the most important parts of your business – the ones that directly drive sales. So don’t lightheartedly drop $1,000 on a website re-design when you could hire a sales person for a month for that, who might actually help you sell more.

Running your passion business should be fun, but it’s still a business, and if you don’t treat it that way, the only place you’ll run it to is into the ground. 

Lesson 3: Action beats planning, so keep your plans simple.

Action beats planning, every time. Write that on your wall. If you’ve ever bought a domain name you never ended up using or spent an entire weekend making a complex business plan.

Force yourself to put your business plan on a single page of the paper, and focus on what you’ll sell, who your customer is, why they’d buy it and how you get paid. “I sell custom diet plans to busy single Moms so they can stay in shape while raising a toddler for $50/month via PayPal” is about as specific as you need to get and answers many questions.

My personal take-aways

The Happiness Of Pursuit was about finding a passion project. Combine it with The $100 Startup, and you have a passion project that makes money.

What else can you learn from the blinks?

  • Several great case studies and examples who’re running their own successful microbusiness
  • How to make sure you actually understand your customers’ needs before even creating what you want to sell
  • Why you should always price based on value, never on cost
  • How to market for next to nothing
  • What you can learn from Hollywood about planning your launches
  • How to get paid more than once, and which aspects to optimize for maximum revenue
  • Which options you have regarding scaling your business: horizontal vs. vertical

The100startupwebsite contains a number of free resources given in the book which are useful. In particular:

  • 39 step product launch checklist (I thought this was rather good).
  • One-page business plan (useful when you’re just starting out).

Best Regards,


P.S. This is NOTHING like you’ve ever seen before!  It’s not your usual push button – make money crap. It’s TRULY UNIQUE and BRILLIANT in it’s SIMPLICITY! See for yourself

Life Hacks 🙂

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