I found The $100 Startup to be a very informative, and helpful tool to use. For a while I’ve wanted to either start a record store, or start some sort of shop where people can hang out, drink and listen to vinyl records all day. The part on making your passion marketable really spoke to me because of that. Then I realized history is another passion of mine, and so by writing about history I am making my passion marketable, to a degree. However, the one part of this book that really jumped out to me was the importance of value. Providing a service for others, instead of simply wanting to cash in was one of the themes of this book. Instead of simply giving people what you want to give them, or what you think they should have, give them what they want, provide a service for them. As historians, that is a great goal to have in the sense that we should be helping others. While we shouldn’t give the people what they want all the time when it comes to history (since it will amount to Searching for Sasquatch), providing a service is a good model for us to follow. It seems a lot of companies today are more interested in giving us what they want to give us rather than what we want, so I felt the portions of the book where he talked about providing a service was valuable. He did mention the importance of making money, which I agree with, but there was more than just making money.
Another reason I appreciated this book had to do with the uncertainty in the job market, so being more creative with your options opens your possibilities. With history there is no guarantee to making money once you get a degree, it’s helpful to learn other ways to put that degree to use besides finding a museum or a school to work for. It also encouraged me because it made me realize there are many options to pursue in your job hunt. You shouldn’t feel tied down to only one or two options, and making a passion like history become a career can be more accessible than many might realize. Guillebeau combined great advice and encouragement with an easy to understand approach.