When I quit my lucrative but exhausting job as a full time OB/GYN, I wasn’t fully aware of the fact that I was about to become a somewhat reluctant entrepreneur. I didn’t have a business plan or even an idea of how my leap of faith would turn into revenue. I just knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing for 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 Daddy who works his ass off but doesn’t get paid, the responsibility for paying the bills falls to me, which was fine when I was making a multi-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 (don’t try this at home!) Then I wrote a book that never sold, started a blog I didn’t try to monetize, opened - and then closed - an integrative medicine practice, and published two books that didn’t even come close to paying the bills.
In January 2011, I heard Marie Forleo say “If your business isn’t making money, it’s a hobby, not a business,” and I thought, “Oh shit. What am I doing?”
Lucky for me, this is when my friend Chris Guillebeau invited me to call him so we could strategize about how to turn my hobby into a business- he called it "Lissa 2.0." 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), Lissa 2.0 was born.
In one year, I transformed my business from one that cost me $5000/month to run but generated zero revenue to a business that brought in more revenue in 2011 than my doctor job once did. Phew.
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) isn’t 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, but you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. You also don’t have to pay big bucks to hire some business consultant to strategize how to transform doing what you love into a business.
Instead, you can just buy Chris Guillebeau’s 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. (Um…who doesn’t want that?)
Chris has a dream - to visit every country in the world by the time he turns 35. He’s now less than a year away from his April 2013 birthday deadline, with only 8 countries to go, so you can be sure he’ll 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.
In The $100 Startup, he generously shares not only what he’s 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 didn’t 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 with his signature writing style, Chris teaches you how to:
I’d say that Chris’s book is a more approachable, nitty gritty, business-school-for-nonconformists version of Tim Ferriss’s 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, I’ll just tell you that my copy of Chris’s book now has at least 3 dozen folded up favorite pages, about ¼ 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 you’re still not convinced that this book could change your business and your life, read more and check out the free resources at 100Startup.com or go meet Chris in person as he tours all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica) on his book tour. (I’ve heard the cupcakes are awesome. Find his tour schedule here).
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 can’t refuse. For 72 hours only beginning today 4/30 at 12:00 pm EDT / 9:00 am PDT, you can get Chris’s 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 - I’m 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 his book.)
If that doesn’t rock your world, and you, like I did, need a 2.0 version of your business, you can still preorder Chris’s book, which launches May 8, here or anywhere else you normally buy your books.
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 OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Revolutionary, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
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