#100Startup: Passion + Usefulness = Success

The $100 Startup giveawayThis week I’m blogging through Chris Guillebeau’s new book The $100 Startup and giving away a free signed copy! Find out how you can enter to win »

In the book, Chris Guillebeau talks about the “microbusiness revolution,” or people like him who are solopreneurs (entrepreneurs who work for themselves, usually have no employees, etc.). He writes, “Freedom is what we’re all looking for, and value is the way to achieve it. … Value is created when a person make something useful and shares it with the world.”

Here’s the secret formula (which isn’t really a secret), straight from the book:


Or, in other words:

Passion or skill + usefulness = success

Or, as Chris says later in the book:

(Passion + skill) → (problem + marketplace) = opportunity

The key is to figure out what you’re passionate about that intersects with what other people care about (i.e., what there is a market for). That sweet spot of convergence is the thing you’re good at that people will pay you for. Maybe it’s some kind of knowledge work or maybe it’s something hands-on, but whatever it is, figure out what that is and get started.

The future belongs to missional entrepreneurs who can create new models for sustainability. It starts with knowing who you are, your gifts, your passions, your abilities, and then where that connects with your community.

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” —Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

What are you passionate about that you could imagine turning into a missional business? Share that idea in the comments on the contest giveaway post for a chance to win the book!

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  • http://sociofaithful.wordpress.com Nathaniel Porter

    Buechner rises again (I was saying the Buechner quote to myself before I even saw you’d included it). Except there’s a danger in abstracting it from “the world’s need” to “what people want” and market-izing it. It seems to me anyway that there’s some danger of losing sight of purpose, but I could be wrong.

    • http://www.knightopia.com/blog Steve Knight

      thanks, Nathaniel, that Buecchner quote popped into my head as I was writing this, which is why I included it in here! But you’re right, I in no way meant to conflate “the world’s need” with “what people want.” That would be mistake, I agree.