The $100 Startup

When I quit my lucrative but exhausting job as a full time OB/GYN, I wasnít fully aware of the fact that I was about to become a somewhat reluctant entrepreneur.† I didnít have a business plan or even an idea of how my leap of faith would turn into revenue. I just knew I couldnít do what I was doing one more day. The pain of staying put finally exceeded my fear of the unknown – so I jumped.

Because my hubby Matt is a stay-home Dad who works his ass off but doesnít get paid, the responsibility for paying the rent falls to me, which was fine when I was making a six-figure income as a doctor, but left us hurting financially after I left my practice. For the first two years, I paid the bills between generating revenue as a professional artist and living off my retirement account (donít try this at home!) Then I wrote a book that never sold, started a blog I didnít try to monetize, opened – and then closed – an integrative medicine practice, and published two books that didnít even come close to paying the bills.

Is Your Business Making Money?

In January 2011, I heard†Marie Forleo say ďIf your business isnít making money, itís a hobby, not a business,Ē and I thought, ďOh shit. What am I doing?Ē

Lucky for me, this is when my friend†Chris Guillebeau invited me to call him so we could strategize Lissa 2.0, which is what I spent the next month doing, with his guidance and the advice of a few other friends who lovingly but firmly kicked my ass (special thanks to†Danielle LaPorte,†Mama Gena, and†Dana Theus).

In one year, I transformed my business from one that cost me $5,000/month to run but generated zero revenue, to a business that brought in more revenue in 2011 than my doctor job once did. Phew.

Donít Do What I Did

Suffice it to say that the way I fumbled into the life of an entrepreneur who works from home (or Lake Tahoe or New York or pretty much anywhere with internet access) isnít the best way to start a business.† But what did I know? I was a doctor/ artist/ writer with no business experience. And although my hubby has an MBA from Dartmouth, he swears they teach you how to get a six-figure job in a soul-sucking consulting firm but never actually teach you to run a small business.

My business mistakes cost me a small fortune and all of my retirement account, but you donít have to make the same mistakes I did.† You also donít have to pay big bucks to hire some business consultant to strategize how to transform doing what you love into a business.

The $100 Startup

Instead, you can just buy Chris Guillebeauís latest book,†The $100 Startup, which maps out how you can discover where your passion converges with what others care about, work from anywhere, live a life of meaning and purpose, launch a business with little cash output, and make a killer living doing what you love. (UmÖwho doesnít want that?)

Chris has a dream – to visit every country in the world by the time he turns 35. Heís now less than a year away from his April 7, 2013 birthday deadline, with only eight countries to go, so you can be sure heíll succeed in realizing his dream. But Chris does more than travel.† As you can follow on his wildly popular and†fabulous blog and see demonstrated from his business of selling†Unconventional Guides, books, and tickets to his sold-out†World Domination Summit, Chris practices what he preaches.

Launch Your Business Without Breaking The Bank

In The $100 Startup, Chris generously shares not only what heís learned about how to start up a lucrative, do-it-from-anywhere business on a shoestring, he also researched over 1,500 individuals like himself who built businesses that earn more than $50,000/year with minimal startup costs. (No, they didnít all startup for $100 – some had to buy a computer – but the median startup cost was $125 and the average was $408.)

Compiling all the wisdom these budget entrepreneurs shared and sprinkling it all with his signature approachable, likeable, easy-to-follow writing style, Chris teaches you how to:

  • Put happiness in a box and sell it (or as he writes, ďGive them the fishĒ)
  • Get paid to do what you love by making sure what you offer actually inspires people to pony up the cash
  • Run your business from anywhere
  • Operate from a simple, no-nonsense one-page business plan, rather than letting complicated business strategy keep you stuck
  • Create an offer so awesome nobody can refuse it
  • Launch a product to the stratosphere (from a mobile ďbloggerís loungeĒ on a train called Empire Builder, in his case!)
  • Hustle – or ďthe gentle art of self-promotionĒ (and why advertising is like sex – only losers pay for it)
  • Get creative with unconventional fundraising
  • Make small tweaks that translate into big increases in income
  • Clone yourself for fun and profit
  • Make the right decision about how big to let your business grow
  • Succeed even when youíre afraid of failing

What I Think

Iíd say that Chrisís book is a more approachable, nitty gritty, business-school-for-nonconformists version of Tim Ferrissís†The 4-Hour Workweek, except that Chris hates comparisons and rightfully likes to think of himself and his work as one-of-a-kind.

So instead, Iíll just tell you that my copy of Chrisís book now has at least three dozen folded up favorite pages, about ľ of the book is highlighted for future reference, I kept a notebook of inspiration and ideas for my business that this book inspired, and unlike most books I read, which get donated to the library as soon as I read them, this one will be staying on my bookshelf.

If youíre still not convinced that this book could change your business and your life, read more and check out the free resources at† or go meet Chris in person as he tours all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica) on his book tour. (Iíve heard the cupcakes are awesome.†Find his tour schedule here).

To Chris, let me just say that Iím super duper proud of you, I love your book, congratulations on your book launch, Iím sorry I wonít be waving at you from airlines as we criss-cross the country this time around, and I hope to see your well-deserving book on the NY Times Bestsellerís List! Oh – and thank you – for the kick in the ass, for Lissa 2.0, for your continued generosity with all the people you serve, and for being who you are.

Learn How To Launch Your Own $100 Startup

To help Chris launch his book, two of the rock star entrepreneurs profiled in The $100 Startup, Karol Gajda and Adam Baker, compiled one of those offers you canít refuse that Chris writes about in his book.†For 72 hours only beginning today 4/30 at 12:00 pm EDT / 9:00 am PDT, you can get Chrisís book, as well as a boatload of other super valuable digital products aimed at helping you succeed in business, for only $100. (Check out the too-good-to-refuse offer here. And yes – full disclosure – Iím an affiliate for this program, so if you buy it, I get a cut, an easy income-generating strategy which Chris also teaches you about in The $100 Startup.)

If that doesnít rock your world, and you, like I did, need a 2.0 version of your business, you can still†preorder Chrisís book, which launches May 8, here or anywhere else you normally buy your books.

Tell Us Your About Your Business

Do you have entrepreneurial success stories of your own? Are you as clueless as I was? Share your stories here.

Learning as I go,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†,†Pink Medicine Revolutionary,†motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about†Lissa Rankin here.


Deborah D.
Deborah D5 years ago

I will request it from my library first, to see if it helps inspire my career 2.0

I do feel a bit like I just read an infomercial

Laura H.
Laura H5 years ago

So...another example of not paying for sex or for advertising? Yawn

Celeste Yarnall
Celeste Yarnall5 years ago

Thank you Dr. Lissa, I think it is great to share something that has worked for you so beautifully and helped you to work for the greater good. I As a fellow Care2 blogger (my blog is entitled Celestial Musings and you can see we have much in common in our interests in the alternative health care model here:
I respect the spirit in which you have presented this opportunity to over 19,000,000 Care2 members and shared it’s potential value to everyone, if we just get out of own own way and see how we too might profit, as you have by exploring this small investment further. I welcome your full disclosure and am very happy to see you profit by sharing this. I will take a close look at it and contact you privately.
All my best, Naturally
Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

Kelly B.
Kelly B5 years ago

huh. an infomercial that offers absolutely no information. sweet. thanks.

oh... do what you love and get paid wads of cash to do it? why didn't i think of that? :rolleyes:

Bruce K.
Bruce K5 years ago

Did you have to pay care2 for the ad time

Christine C.
Chandra C5 years ago


No Body
Chi Warrior5 years ago

I'm saving my money to start The Phoenix Hydrogen Co-op. I well need to save $30,000 so far I have $4,200 and I have 103 fortnights to my business launch. Saving my money for my own business is half the fun

Erika M.
Erika M5 years ago

thanks, I may check out the book. I'm an entrepreneur.

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez5 years ago


Ryansixtyone W.
Ryansixtyone W.5 years ago