Starting a business with $100

I have been reading “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau lately. It’s a good read for me because I’ve always been interested in the idea of micro-businesses – businesses that can be run by one person, and that doesn’t need a huge amount of money to get off its feet.

When I started doing photography, my first few jobs were done using a friend’s camera. Yes, I didn’t even have my own camera! So in a sense my startup cost was almost negligible. Later on I bought my first proper camera, the Canon 5DMI, and paired it with a USD$100 Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. People always think you need expensive gear to shoot for big jobs and big clients, but this $1,000 setup served me well throughout my first year or so as a professional photographer. So you really don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to become a photographer, just as how you don’t need a lot of capital to start a successful business.

According to Guillebeau, “where passion or skill meets usefulness, a microbusiness built on freedom and value can thrive”. When you can provide true value, people will be willing (and sometimes queuing up) to pay you for it.

How do you find that thing that people are willing to pay for? It’s useful to ask yourself, “How can I HELP people become HAPPIER with the SKILLS that I have?”

Somewhere in there lies the answer that you’re looking for.

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