$100 Startup to Craft a New Historian

People often joke about thinking outside the box of changing your paradigm, but Chris Guillebeau’s $100 Startup promotes that train of thought at a whole new level.  With today’s economy and such stiff competition in the history world it doesn’t bode well for us to think in simple linear methods for our future career paths. Over and over again we’re told by our professors that getting a degree does not mean we’ll get a job. Guillebeau’s depiction of so many different people turning their passion or talents into moneymaking enterprises is encouraging. While I wish there were more examples of recent graduate students becoming successful rather than professionals with ready learned skills to take into the world, his message is readily applicable for people in our positions. Putman’s “Crafting a New Historian” could easily transition into Guillebeau’s book as one of his examples. All Putman needs to do is take this surprisingly successful (if unexpected) career path, apply Guillebeau’s different suggestions, and focus on the value his enterprise brings and he’s the next chapter of Guillebeau’s book.
I think there is incentive for us in all of these examples and suggestions laid out in $100 Startup. Personally I hope to apply this frame of thought and emphasis on value to my graduate project. Even before that I plan to integrate it into my everyday frame of mind and presentation. With summer approaching I’ve started looking towards internships or summer jobs in the history field. Adopting Guillebeau’s view on the value of the skills I have to share with the world, I will present myself in hopefully a new manner. I have no strong desire to become my own self-made entrepreneur in the historical world, but that does not mean that I can’t use these formulas in my resume and self presentation while I’m applying. These are skills we can bring to different institutions. While reading Guillebeau’s book I kept picturing different ways I could have applied it to my museum back in Billings and how the littlest suggestions could have helped promote and present my museum to its patrons. While I don’t plan on becoming a traveling yoga instructor, the values and message of $100 Startup will be something I use personally as well as professionally in the future.

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