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How to Create Personal Freedom Through a Very Small Business


One of the most common questions I get via email is how to create a financially successful small business online. So today I will take a closer look at one of the best guides to help you with that.

First, one very important thing to note is that building a popular blog and creating a financially successful small business online is not automatically the same thing.

I for example had a very popular blog for quite some time but made little money from it because it didn’t view it as a business first. If you want to create a popular and well-read blog that helps a lot of people then that’s a great goal.

But if you also want to create a business that not only helps people but also makes a nice chunk of money, perhaps after a while even enough money to support you fully then you need to look at this the right way. You have to look at it as a business first.

One of the best guides – one that I sure wish I had read a few years ago since it would have saved me so much time, energy, frustration and trouble – to help you to look at this from the right perspective and take action to create the small business for yourself is The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself. This very concise and practical guide is all about what I do in my own life with my website and newsletter: Creating Freedom for Yourself Through a Very Small Business.

Visiting every country in the world while being self-employed

This e-book is written by Chris Guillebeau, many of you have probably already heard about him in some way and he has quickly become one of my favorite people online.

Chris has set up a very cool and fascinating lifestyle for himself. He helps people live unconventional lives and to change the world through his website, his unconventional digital guides and The Art of Non-Conformity book.

At the same time he is travelling the world and his very ambitious goal is to have visited every country before his 35:th birthday on the 7:th of April, 2013. Things seem to be going very well as he has already visited 149 out of 192 countries. Chris has been self-employed for his whole adult life and in The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself he shares his advice based on more than a decade of experience.

As I mentioned above, I think this is one of the best guides I have found so far to help you start and run your own very small business online. Why?

The pros:

  • Not just about blogging. Chris outlines many different ways of creating a very small business such as creating sites and monetizing them, selling on Ebay, creating information products, selling your photos and so on.
  • Grounded in reality, not get rich quick schemes. Chris does not claim that you will start making thousands of dollars this month. Instead he writes that he will he share how to make $200 or more each month through your own very small business. I really like that goal and that the book is grounded very much in the reality I have experienced too during these past four years. Yes, you can create a flow of money from your business but it requires hard work and takes time.
  • Very concise. What I have seen people go over in 100+ pages Chris covers in 53 pages without missing much details. I love the non-fluff approach and light and sometimes humorous conversational style of the writing.
  • What not to do. Chris shares not just what to do but also what to not do by explaining 6 common mistakes that new entrepreneurs make and by sharing 4 highly overrated businesses.
  • Lots of actionable and specific advice. The book is a very helpful combination of not just healthy mindsets but also lots of concrete advice in the action plans at the end of each chapter. The action plans are a big positive for me, they make it easy to get started and create clarity.
  • Very well designed. This may not be a big deal for everyone, but I do like a well designed e-book. When it is nice to look at it becomes easier to relax and take in the advice.
  • Excellent frequently asked questions chapter at the end of the guide.
  • I learned from it. Even though I have been doing this for 4 years now and I know quite a bit there were really good tips for me too in the book. I for example learned a few things about opportunities such as speaking on cruise ships and some smart tips I hadn’t thought about for launching products.

The cons:

So those where the positive things about the guide, how about some negatives? Well, I have a few thoughts.

  • Not very in-depth at times. Since the guide is so short it is not very in-depth sometimes. But it does contain good references to check out online.
  • A workbook would be a nice bonus. The action plans are as I mentioned excellent and at the end of the book Chris also gives you a great exercise to help you focus on the business you want to build with the help of pen and paper. But one idea got while reading the book was that a printable workbook would also be useful to help the readers find clarity.

Who is this guide for?

No guide fits everyone’s needs. So…

This guide is for you if…

You want to start to break out of your 9-5 job. It’s for you who are willing to put in the hard work and want to start a small business to earn extra income on the side or in the long-term work for yourself full-time.

This guide is not for you if…

You already know pretty much everything about running a business online. The guide is aimed at beginners and intermediate people. It’s also not for someone who wants some magic pill that will make it possible to make a ton of money in very little time and with pretty much no effort.

You also get three audio guides and one SEO-guide

I purchased the basic version of the book, it included three audio bonuses in mp3 format that are somewhere around 30 minutes each. You also get a 26-page Search Engine Optimization guide by the expert Naomi Dunford (well-known from for instance Copyblogger.com) that will help you to rank better in the search results on Google.

A brief rundown of the audio bonuses:

  • Questions and answers. Chris answers questions from readers. Some really good stuff here such as how to get people to buy your product and not to just look at it.
  • How to get started. This one answers one of the most common questions Chris gets and it’s a good guide that helps you with what to do first when you get started with your small business online.
  • How to get traffic to your website or offer. About how important it is to find the right readers or customers for you. And other good thoughts on for instance what to avoid and the power of guest posting on blogs.

You also get free updates of the book for 6 months.

If you get the complete version of the book you also get these bonuses:

  • The Creating a Brand to Build a Lasting Business audio guide.
  • A 17-page report on Turning a Hobby into a Source of Revenue.
  • The 10 Ways to Earn Income through Travel Mind-Map with detailed notes.

100% Satisfaction and Effectiveness Guaranteed

Chris has come up with a excellent guarantee to make sure that getting the guide will be risk free for you. Here’s what he writes:

“If you read the guide, listen to the audio sessions, and put in a good-faith effort, I am not allowed to keep your money if it doesn’t work for you. You have to let me know if this happens, and I have to refund your money promptly. You have 60 days to succeed before I return your money.”

Specifically, I want to ensure that you can earn at least $200 a month ($2,400 a year) in new income through what you learn. Obviously, I want you to do even better than that – but this is the bar of success for the guarantee.

In addition, there is the usual, 365-day guarantee – if it doesn’t rock your world anytime in the next year, just tell me and you get your money back.

I make both of these guarantees in part to reassure you, and in part so I can reassure me. I really don’t want anyone’s money who can not seriously benefit from this information for any reason.

Click here to get your copy of the The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself today.

That is an affiliate link above, but I do not recommend anything that I do not find insanely useful.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • zeus February 1, 2011, 4:45 am

    Positive thinking brings positive results when paired with motivation, determination and confidence. And don’t forget to mix in a little craziness. http://www.thesocialgods.com

  • Ryan February 1, 2011, 6:22 am

    Great Article!
    I think I will have to look into making a small business.

  • Daniel M. Wood February 1, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Hey Henrik,

    I haven’t read Chris book, I probably should.
    I agree with what you say about having it grounded in reality. Building a business online is the same thing as building a business offline. You need products, distrubution, marketing, sales, a financial department and so on.

    The difference is that the product, distrubution, marketing and sales is a lot cheaper online, at least if you work with information products.

    That makes many believe you can use “get rich quick” schemes. But what it doesn’t cost in money it instead costs in time. You have to create a great product, a great blog or other communication channel and so on.

    Their are no short cuts in life, just faster roots.

  • Mazzastick February 2, 2011, 12:20 am

    I just started my blog at the beginning of last month. I am looking for creative ways to make this my full time career. This book sounds like it has something to offer for me. Thanks for the article.

  • Barb February 2, 2011, 9:44 pm

    I am going to pass this information on to someone who I think would be very interested. This is a great site!

  • Henrik Edberg February 4, 2011, 9:51 am

    Thank you all for adding your comments and insights! :)

  • John Sherry February 4, 2011, 4:20 pm

    This guide raises a flag for those flagging in their work to mark a new territory ripe for settling in. It’s a call for aspiration and has a buzz of possibility about it. If you want a new start and a blueprint to get you on your way, this will do very nicely.

  • hank February 16, 2011, 6:51 pm

    I have been discussing with my family starting my own on-line business, because I am unemployed. This book sounds like one of the first tools I will be needing. Thanks!

  • Anarela February 22, 2011, 7:01 am

    What a great resource! I’m so glad that I found this blog. I have been trying to explain to someone that I need personal freedom and need to work for myself. Perhaps this will give me some do-able tips.

  • Social Natural March 7, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Thanks for the resource. I’m gonna have to check it out!