Author Chris Guillebeau is, in a word, ambitious. Beyond traveling to 183 countries, Guillebeau has gained a large following by turning dreams and ideas into a dependable income. And he's not yet 35 years old.
Guillebeau's latest accomplishment is his book called The $100 Startup, which, according to the website, "explores how to lead a life of adventure, meaning and purpose — and earn a good living."
The larger theme of his work focuses on the idea of personal freedom. "My definition of freedom is the ability to do what we want most of the time," Guillebeau explained to Think Out Loud's Allison Frost. Although he acknowledges the personal obligations of daily life, he also poses important questions about work: "Are we doing work that we enjoy? Are we doing something that we find meaningful... Is it also something that makes the world a better place?"
After a few jobs that he didn't find entirely fulfilling, including delivery driver and FedEx employee, Guillebeau adapted his idea of freedom into a globe-spanning career path. During his travels, he met 1,500 people who, like him, have been able to make a good living from their own creative ideas. According to Guillebeau, this kind of achievement doesn't require a whole lot of capital; many of the people he met were able to start their projects for about $100. But The $100 Startup is not about the low cost of starting a business. It's about redefining the model of business.
"The old model [for starting a new business] is going to require a lot of capital. You're going to have to beg the bank for money. You might have to beg your friends or family, or put this on your credit card... The new model is don't spend a lot of money. Think about the skills you already have. Get to market quickly, within 30 days, and then see what happens."
With chapter titles such as "Hustling: The Gentle Art of Self-Promotion," Guillebeau's book draws on the stories of people he met around the world who are doing what they love for a living. The book also provides a guide for readers who might want to do the same.
But if you're interested in seeing Guillebeau live, you might have to wait. Guillebeau refers to his supporters as "a small army of remarkable people," and their numbers appear to be growing. Last year, Guillebeau organized a gathering in Portland called the World Domination Summit. The second one — scheduled for July — sold out of its 1,000 tickets months ago.
Listen to the whole conversation with Chris Guillbeau on Think Out Loud.
This article includes contributions from Think Out Loud's Julie Sabatier.
- $100 Startup Think Out Loud