Since starting The Change Blog I’ve met hundreds of people who either were (or still are unhappy) with their life. In many of these cases the unhappiness related largely to their work – that is, they felt frustrated, stressed out, discouraged, unfulfilled or simply just bored by their jobs.
Some people solved this problem within traditional employment by either changing their attitude or embarking on a new career path with a different employer and/ or in a different industry. Other people, though, have found happiness and fulfillment by opting out of traditional employment and instead becoming their own boss by monetizing a particular aspect of their personal passions.
If you are unhappy with your job and would like your work to provide greater freedom and fulfillment (while still earning a good living) I highly recommend reading The $100 Startup by Chris Guilleabeau. Published last month (and already a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller), The $100 Startup is a guide to finding the intersection between your “expertise” (even if you don’t consider it as such) and what other people will pay for. The book is based on the lessons of hundreds of people who started a business and created a new life for themselves, without spending a lot of money and using the skills they already had.
Chris is currently on tour to promote The $100 Startup (I’m planning to catch up with him this Thursday when he stops in Vancouver) and was kind enough to answer some questions I put to him.
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Peter: How does your book differ from other books about starting a business?
Chris: A lot of books on starting a business are more motivational than useful. Motivation is good, but what do you do after you’re motivated? I wanted to provide a data-driven, very specific instruction manual (a blueprint, if you will) based on the study of 1,500 unexpected entrepreneurs who had started a business based on something they loved to do.
Peter: Is it really possible to create a successful business out of your passion?
Chris: Yes, but you need more than just passion — you need usefulness. You need to find the blend (I call it “convergence” in the book) between your passion and what other people value. This was the common theme to every successful microbusiness we looked at over several years of study.
Peter: In your book you write: “The constant themes in our study are freedom and value, but the undercurrent to both is the theme of change.” Can you please elaborate on this.
Chris: Freedom = what we all want.
Value = the means of achieving it.
Change = the inevitable result of choosing to take action.
I’d expect that your readers are somewhat comfortable with change, but for most people, change can be a little unsettling at first. When we begin to see it as something beneficial instead of threatening, a lot more possibilities enter our lives.
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You can learn more about Chris’ book at 100startup.com. Please note: I don’t receive any affiliate commission if you buy the book – I’ve published this post because I believe this book can change lives by helping people to find happiness through their work.