Highlights from the $100 Startup interview

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This guide is based on Mixergy’s interview with Chris Guillebeau.

Chris Guillebeau knew most entrepreneurs don’t win million-dollar funding rounds, so he started his business for less than $100 and wrote a book about how other successful entrepreneurs have done the same.

We invited him to share tactics from his new book, The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.

Here are the actionable highlights from the interview.

1. Find a passion so you can get paid to do what you love

Chris says that Brett Kelly wrote an e-book about the software Evernote because he was a big fan of Evernote and it didn’t have an English-language manual, and his e-book sales brought in $160,000 in a year.

Take Action:
Write a list of activities that you’re passionate about, and select one that connects to what other people want to be the focus of your business.

2. Over-deliver so you can exceed your customers’ expectations

Chris sometimes gives customers free upgrades to more expensive versions of his product, and they’re excited to get a better product than they paid for.

Take Action:
When people buy from you, send emails thanking them for their purchase, and include offers for free upgrades or extra features in some of the emails.

3. Outline your product offer so you can create an actionable plan

Chris wanted to build a resource to teach people about starting a business, and he decided to offer subscriptions to his Empire Building Kit course and send one email lesson a day for a year.

Take Action:
Decide what you’re going to sell, who you’ll offer it to, and how you’ll deliver your product to your customers.

4. Release your product quickly so you’ll be motivated to grow your business

Chris says that an artist offered prints for sale online and when he sold his first one for $50, he felt encouraged to continue selling online.

Take Action:
Launch your product as quickly as possible, and don’t worry if it’s not perfect or if you might have to make changes to it later.

5. Monitor two things so you can track your startup’s progress

Every day, Chris checks the number of new subscribers to his blog and the amount of revenue that comes in through his shopping cart.

Take Action:
Pick two areas of your business to monitor daily, and don’t get distracted looking at data from other parts of your business.

6. Persevere so you can recover from setbacks and failures

Chris tells the story of John Unger, an artist whose studio collapsed when he was on the roof shoveling snow and who lost his apartment and job, but he didn’t give up on art and he eventually built a successful sculpture business.

Take Action:
Don’t allow failures to discourage you, and stick with your business even if it doesn’t do well at first.

Want to make sure you get results?

Watch the full interview now
Written by Sarah Brodsky, based on production notes by Jeremy Weisz

  • http://www.mobileapptycoon.com/ Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Just got The $100 Startup in the mail today!  These are some great tips here – it’s obvious that there is a lot to learn in this book.  Can’t wait to start reading it!


  • https://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    It’s full of great examples.

  • I’mtrying

    Purchased kindle version, Inspiring stories, my only suggestion is I would of liked to have read how each featured business marketed their services.  Chris gave general tips but no tips from the businesses he featured.

  • http://www.mashgeek.com/ Karan Goel

    Seems like $100 Startup paid much more than $100 to be promoted here! :D

  • https://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    I’m not sure what you mean.

    If you’re suggesting that he paid to be on Mixergy, he didn’t. I don’t accept money from guests. There’s not enough money in asking guests to pay AND it could corrupt the value of the content.

  • http://www.mashgeek.com/ Karan Goel

    I meant exactly that considering the plethora of posts about the book here. Nevertheless, the advise is good (and free), so cheers.

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