by Dannielle Cresp on September 21, 2012
‘That’s all well and good but how do I actually implement that?’ – This is how I’m often left feeling after reading about a way to make my idea better, and make a better business.
The brilliant thing about the $100 Startup is that when I said that to myself in one section pausing before reading the next paragraph, Chris Guillebeau (the author) actually wrote just that in that next paragraph and then went on to explain different practical, achievable steps for doing exactly that.
I have read a lot of books about business and how to get ahead, and what I really enjoy about Chris’ writing is that it reads like a friend giving you advice. It’s all very take it or leave it, but here’s the research I’ve done and I actually believe that this is something you can do. I have been working for myself long enough to know that when you find someone who thinks that you can make it in a microbusiness and life the life you really want to you hold on to those words because they ‘get-it’.
I won’t lie, when I first started reading this book a couple of months ago, I only got through the first chapter. It was too hard to read while I was working the day job to help save for next years move overseas. It was depressing because I knew this book would help me and that I had not found happiness in working for someone else.
But, this last week, after getting a virtual pass to the Artful Business Conference and getting closer to my leaving date for the day job, I had been inspired to get my thoughts in order and get ready to make something of them and I read this book in 5 days. I had to keep stopping so that I could write down more possibilities for my big idea and how it could help people. Helping people is at the heart of this book.
It isn’t sleazy marketing tricks that leave you feeling awful, it’s a book of case studies on how other people have made their microbusinesses work and bring in a proper income for their family that allows them to live a great life, in the way a great life looks to them. It isn’t preachy. It gives you the chance to think each step through and work out exactly what you need to make your big idea work.
Do not get the wrong idea though, this book doesn’t hand you a successful business on a platter and it doesn’t give you the idea. That bit is all on you. This is just a fantastic book for people who are ready to hear this kind of help.
I love that Chris has highlighted that so many people in this world can do what they love and that there are people who do believe in you.
The fact that it’s not sugar coated but is positive is great for me. I need the positive encouragement, but I know from my first business being a flop that you don’t need people telling you that something will work that really won’t.
I feel now that my idea is more than just some crazy half-baked idea now, it has more parts and I am understanding more what I want from it and how I want it to work and that’s awesome!
Thank you so much to Chris, yet another book of yours that has been added to my favourites list!
If you’re interested, Amazon have this book for sale here.*
If you’d like to read my review of Chris’ other book Art of Non-Conformity, you can read that here.
*I am an Amazon affiliate, but I only review books I really love.
by Dannielle Cresp on December 7, 2011
For as long as I can remember I have been interested in homes. Not just the outside design, but the little things that turn a house into a home. Over the last 5 years or so, we have sat down as a family to watch the TV show Grand Designs, which I love. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a show where the narrator and host Kevin McCloud follows a house from it’s beginnings right through to completion (usually). So, when I saw this book by Kevin McCloud, I just knew that I had to buy it.
I wasn’t disappointed. Kevin has 43 principles that span the book which is split into four parts: Energy, Buildings, Things and Sharing. Each section could be read on it’s own easily but reading all four together gives a great overview of the things you should be considering when building, renovating or just making a place your own.
He talks about the environmental impacts of what we put in our homes and how some of the things we falsely believe are good for us may not be. But the book is not all doom and gloom, as it may appear. It gives you ideas on little changes you could make and (for people like me) reinforces that idea that keeping things that are old and well loved is a good thing. He talks about how you should buy the “autobiographical” i.e. buy things where you know who made them and where they came from. Something that the handmade community already understands well. He talks about how craftsmanship is so important and often worth saving up for.
I think one of the parts of this book that I really enjoyed was where he described what areas of your house are not worth investing a lot of money in as well as the areas that he believes are. This book is full of suggestions and ideas and certainly got my mind racing about what’s in my home and how I use it.
I think that the only thing I didn’t love about this book was that some of the pages were difficult to read. In this version some of the pages were a dark colour (dark red or deep purple) with black text and I found those pages took a lot longer to read than the black on the lighter and brighter backgrounds. There weren’t too many pages where this was the case but it was a little bit annoying.
While it’s clearly written for Britain, I found that this book was applicable to places all over the world. Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in ideas on creating a sustainable and beautiful home that suits their lifestyle. Kevin truly believes that homes should be functional and shouldn’t look like they’re from a catalogue.
I bought this in my favourite book shop so I don’t have an online link for you, but I believe this and the original hardcover book are available online.
Do you think about what you put in you home and how it makes you feel?
by Dannielle Cresp on May 25, 2011
I meant to write this ages ago when I finished the book, but better late than never.
Logo Design Love by David Airey is a must read if you’re interested in Logo and Graphic Design.
As someone who never had the chance to study design, this book exceeded my expectations. I’m never quite sure what I’m getting when I buy a book about design. Some of them turn out to be just full of images to gain inspiration from, which wasn’t what I was after. This is anything but.
Detailed and knowledgeable, one thing I really love about this book is that David doesn’t make me feel stupid for not knowing about negative space or the correct way to price for clients.
He writes as though he’s a good friend or a great teacher that understands that you are there to learn and just want to understand and enjoy great design.
This book inspired me to create my logo and the branding for my business.
I wanted something simple yet effective and this book helped me to realise that that was more than ok.
I purchased it for the kindle which was great for reading it from cover to cover but I’m hoping to also buy a paperback version to use as a reference in the future.
I would recommend it for anyone interested in learning this sort of thing. It’s something that I will return to over and over again.
If you’re interested you can buy the book here.
Have you read thing book? What did you think?
* I am an Amazon Affiliate.