Giveaway: “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup giveawayThis week I’m going to be giving away a free signed copy of Chris Guillebeau’s new book The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future!

Chris Guillebeau is a solopreneur, meaning he’s been working for himself for a number of years, mostly as a professional travel hacker and writer. His first book was named after his popular blog entitled The Art of Non-Conformity.

Chris spent time working with Mercy Ships in West Africa, where he met and worked with charity:water founder Scott Harrison (years before charity:water was even imagined). That spirit of giving back and making the world a better place (which I’d say is very missional!) is still a big part of all that Chris does in his work and in his writing. Chris and I also have a little bit of personal history, which always helps when you want to give a free book away on your blog!

Why Am I Giving Away a Business Book?
The answer is simple: In the future, I believe the majority of missional church leaders will be — by choice and/or by necessity — bi-(or tri-)vocational, meaning they’ll have one or more other jobs that provide income in order for them to do the missional community work that they are doing.

Many immigrant and ethnic church planters are already doing this, and many missional church leaders have already shown interest and acumen in entrepreneurism. I simply believe we need a lot more creative, entrepreneurial ideas about how to start new missional communities of practice and how to fund them!

I believe Chris Guillebeau’s book could be an excellent guide for some missional leaders to use in charting a path to sustainability and really to aligning their personal passions, gifts, and abilities with their calling to do missional church work in the world.

How Do I Win?
Great question! There are two ways you can enter to win:

  1. Leave a comment on this blog post with your answer to the question: What is your best/favorite missional business idea? Every comment with a legitimate answer to this question will be considered an official entry in the contest. So start brainstorming!
  2. Tweet about this contest on Twitter and include in your tweet two things: a link to this blog post and @knightopia (so I can keep track of your tweets)! Feel free to tweet as often as you want to. Each tweet that meets the specified requirements will be an official entry in the contest.

The contest will run through Sunday, June 10. I’ll pick a random winner after midnight on Monday and announce it here on the blog in next week’s Missional Monday post.

I’ll be blogging every day this week from the book, as well, so watch for missional insights from The $100 Startup all week long, and good luck!

So, alright, here we go … What is your best/favorite missional business idea? Share it in the comments!

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  • Paul

    my favorite misional bussines story: One day in late august about 8 years ago when my youngest daughter was about 5yrs old i looked out the front door to see that she had set up a table at the end of the driveway. Wondering what she was doing I asked my wife. She had no idea. So we both went down to find out. She had set up a table to sell rocks. Yes, rocks. Not painted rocks. Not polished rocks. Just rocks. She had made a sign. “ROCKS FOR RAFIKI” A couple from out church had recently moved to Africa and opened the Rafiki Childrens Orphanage and School. My daughter wanted to raise money to help. Since then my daughter, Irelyn ahs made various products to sell to raise money for missions projects. Finger Buddies. Duct Tape Shoes. T-shirts. Knitted hats for the Pregnancy Crisis Ceneter. She is always creating.

    • Steve Knight

      Awesome story! Thanks for sharing that, Paul, you’re entered to win.

  • Patrick Green

    There was a woman in the neighboring church to mine that recently passed away from cancer. She had a business that started out as housecleaning, but morphed into something else. She would do light cleaning as well as pick up prescriptions and groceries for the elderly in town. She had a very reasonable weekly rate and she would add a generous time frame in between appointments so she could just sit with them and spend time with them. When some hit the point they could not pay…she would still provide the services for them and talk to the other clients she had about the grocery and utility and other needs of other clients. She became a bridge for people to aid others and the money she asked for was never for her own reimbursement. Those just became ‘pro bono’ accounts.

  • Chris

    My favorite idea, not sure how missional it is, thopugh. There is a church in my area that has a Subway franchise in the church building. They use it not simply for money making, but also to give job experience to people.

  • Jonathan Blundell

    For a number of years Fellowship Bible Church here in Dallas offered training to African refugees living in the area to learn culinary skills that then allowed them to get a start in the culinary field which is always growing in our area.
    Now they offer a broader selection of training and classes with the ultimate goal of helping the students enroll in our local community colleges.
    Also, the work Claudio Oliver is doing in Brazil is amazing as well – taking used cooking oil from the community and turning it into fuel and candles and such and then reselling it to the community at a discounted cost that not only helps the community at large but also the faith community.

  • Lucas Land

    I suppose I started a “missional” business. See if you think Edible Lawns counts The question is whether or not “creation care” is essential or peripheral to the mission of God.

    Now you have to give me a book or you hate the earth.

  • eric

    We are working on a church plant in Houston and my wife and I are also photographers. It’s become a great way to create income, but also get a chance to build relationships with couples (weddings) and young families (newborn and children).

  • Will

    Ive wanted to start an organization for about a year now. The main purpose would be to teach people about eating healthy and freeing them from the oppression of Being overweight. The concept would be for missionary personal trainers to live with a person for several months and then teach them the skills to pass it on.

    • Paul

      Love this idea Will

  • Jan Edmiston

    Still a fan of coffee shop ministry. People gather, drink joe, talk, share their lives. I fantasize about this All the Time.

  • Doug Black

    I’m a huge fan of bivocational ministry. You actually get to be out in the world with those that Jesus called you to reach.

    I think any job can really be missional. I’m in mental health work, and get to work with a great team and great people in the community. It’s amazing work, and the state basically pays for me to bring Jesus to people…my tax dollars hard at work! :D

  • Adam Gonnerman

    I don’t think so much in terms of “missional business” as I do “social enterprise,” but I think they can describe the same organization (though I suspect they are not always interchangeable). I’ve heard of social enterprises being either non-profit or for-profit, and even of situations where a non-profit is supported by a for-profit.

  • Brian

    I buy the concept. Before I left Kenya, I developed a few basic business lessons that integrated discipleship lessons so that that business was conducted effectively and in a way that honor’s God. This would seem to be a “meta” level to build a community of church planters. Unfortunately, I didn’t try to find a way to be compensated for teaching.

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  • Glen Davidson

    Thanks for this post. I have been following this blog for not too long now, but I am finding the posts inspiring.
    My best missional business idea is ( after going for a walk ) a community gallery and art studio focused on impacting sub cultures within the art community. The gallery/studio would host exhibitions focusing on relevant international and local social topics. I would want the studio to be a community which is built on love, creativity and life. When I go to galleries they are often quiet and stoic, but I would want this gallery to be full of life, featuring new indy bands, poetry nights, paint expression art classes and many more events and workshops. I would want to promote local talent and have fund raisers for the poor and justice issues. Out of the studio I would like to come art movements and styles that are fresh and original. It would be a place that embraces street and urban art as well as graffiti artists. I would like to include housing for homeless people at the studio and also use it as a place for counselling people using art therapy. I would set up a studio to film interviews and make documentaries of artists at the studio and publish them online. It could grow and house more expressions of art and entertainment like dance, acting, filming…

  • Steve Knight

    These are great ideas, everyone! Thanks for posting them. Keep ‘em coming!

  • Nick Larson

    I would love to create a real live “theology on tap” pub. It would be great fun to find an aging church building that we could renovate into a functional micro-brewery that would be able to be a local place that theological nerds could hang out in, drink responsibly in, and create an awesome community. We could even theme beers and drinks after famous theologians. You know… like make a triple IPA that’s super bitter and name it after Karl Barth :)

    It would be awesome if we could source all the brewing ingredients and such through responsible small farmers and possibly even local (depending on location). Plus then I know I might have free space to use for worship on Sunday’s that would be able to hold a group.

    • Cheri Holdridge

      I like Nick’s Theology on tap idea. My husband and I have wondered if anyone could think of a creative use for all the church buildings of the congregations that are putting them up for sale.

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  • Cheri Holdridge

    I have a friend who has a dream to start a theater group with teens and young adults. She has the gifts to do this, and she has a passion for ministry. I think there is a way to partner this with a start up church and do amazing ministry together. She could offer drama classes, summer camps, put on several shows and year and sell tickets. My church currently rents a worship space on Sunday mornings that is in a movie theater that also rents space to theater companies. The collaboration opportunities are great. The local performing arts school is already collaborating with us for their spoken word nights, and it would be easy to do open mic nights. I have seen many church plant/coffee house ventures fail because the planter took on too much too fast by renting a coffee house 24/7. The dream is great but as my MBA sister said, you are basically trying to launch two businesses at once: a church and a coffee house. I like using shared space first until the ministry grows to demand the space 24/7. Just a thought.

  • Chris Guillebeau

    Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway, Steve.
    I love what you’re doing here and am honored to be part of it.
    All the best to everyone with their ideas as well.

    • Steve Knight

      Thanks, Chris! You are the man. Literally. :-)

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  • tony sheng

    steve — i think this is great stuff. we’ve been trying to move a little bit in this direction with some of the students we are working with in terms of other avenues of revenue, much in the same way. we call it the creative revenue plan [ ] and its definitely an experiment, but one i think is worth trying.

    • Steve Knight

      Thanks for posting this, Tony! I love what you’re doing, man.

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  • Janine

    I’m a crafter, and would like to lead workshops for those who want to extend their faith through art journaling or crafting. Many people are lonely and would like to be with others, and in a carefree setting, it allows them to talk and share. A healing journey, perhaps.

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  • dlw

    I’m close to finishing writing a biblical fiction novel that has Mary the sister of Martha and her husband Clopas give an oral performance of the gospel where they tell their own story. Mary is the former prostitute Jesus saves in John 8 and Clopas is the former blind man Jesus saves in John 9. It combines the Gospel of John and Luke and some of my own story to become, “The Story of Jesus and Us: A Love Story in the Shadow of the Cross”.

    I expect to e-self-publish it and devote 20% of the profits to fighting sex-trafficking(or the commodification of sensuality) and another 20% to helping the disabled (or to helping the development of technology so blind people can see) and 20% to the politics of Jesus, or subverting the cut-throat competition between our two major parties by pushing for the use of American forms of Proportional Representation in “more local” elections.

    For more on the 3rd idea, check out my blog, A New Kind of Third Party!

  • Shell

    I have tried a few things for fund raising for church missions, such as sending kids to church camp, one of the most rewarding is to have the kids who will benefit from the fundraising actually do the work. They are laborer’s for hire, with an adult there for supervision/quality control of course. (This was actually our youth pastor’s idea, I was an onsite “nag”… I mean quality control person. :o) Many people were so impressed with the kid’s good and helpful attitudes, and were so pleased with the work the kids did that they donated well beyond what had been anticipated. All the kids who signed up for camp this year at our church are able to go with out worrying about the costs involved. Praise the Lord, cause it’s expensive! My idea is to do this year round, and offer more services, so that the kids aren’t in a huge push right before camp – they may not get as much in a single donation, but would be able to provide more and get more experience in “missionary” type work, and help more people. The other thing I am trying to get the church to do, is allow their empty land that is reserved for future building to be used as a community garden – even if it’s only for a few years.

  • Ana Hernandez

    Love this, Steve! Thanks. My idea is to start community sings all over the country, preceded by potluck suppers where everyone gets to participate at their own level, feed be fed, and build community over food, drink and song. It’s a way to build relationships across all boundaries (external and internal); where we can learn how to listen to one another, find our voices, and reflect on our actions in the context of community. Hard to explain, but so beautiful and easy to sing together! Keep up the good work!

  • Debra Avery

    My best idea is still to be realized:
    A coffee shop/art gallery which serves good food and has several quiet nooks where small 8-10 people) support groups can meet for conversation (not necessarily Christian) related to grief, chronic illness, cancer, spiritual direction, divorce, empty-nesting, job loss, etc. Staff of coffee shop will also be the ones stepping out from behind the counter to facilitate a group until a leader emerges from within the group. If it could be located near a yoga center, that would be ideal. At night, there would be open mic poetry slams, book readings, small local combos and other performances offered free of charge though with free-will offering to go to the performers. This could be a venue where up and coming musicians and/or writers could perform/get exposure. Worship/Bible Study/Spiritual practices would be offered on an “as scheduled” basis, some of which would take up the whole space and others would simply use the small group setting.

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