Give them the fish

May 24, 2012

Connection, Experience

I’m halfway through the book The $100 Startup. The author, Chris Guillebeau, sent me an unexpected surprise advance copy! I started reading right away and was quickly reminded how important it is to feed your mind with motivation and information to keep moving forward.

For the year leading up to the day I quit my corporate job, I developed a habit of reading for an hour every morning before work (with coffee, of course). I was hating my job and that hour helped me start the day with a feeling of independence and confidence that I would find something better.

Now that I’m out on my own, I’ve kinda gotten away from that good habit. Chris’s gift to me was the perfect little nudge. His book is filled with inspirational true stories of people who started their own businesses with minimal up-front investment. People who started things on the side and kept their day jobs. People who took something they already loved to do and found out that a lot of other people want to do it, too.

He also shares his own experiences in starting his business and becoming a writer. I’ve read about half the book and already his real-world, able-to-be-applied-now tips are helping me serve my customers better. I’ll give one example that’s become my new mantra:

Give them the fish.

Your customers don’t want to know all the details of how the thing you deliver gets delivered. They don’t want to look under the hood and see how it works. They don’t want to know all the different ways to bait a hook. And they certainly don’t want you to ask them whether to use a worm or a minnow. They just want you to give them the fish.

Reminding myself that I need to “give them the fish” has also eliminated some of my frustrations. My expectations of my customers needed to be adjusted.

This is just one of many invaluable tidbits in the book. I love Chris’s writing style and all the entrepreneurial stories will get your juices flowing. (His first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, is a must-read for anyone dissatisfied with their job/career/life.)

When I finish The $100 Startup, I’ll likely read it again! After that, I plan to keep up the habit of reading something similar everyday. It keeps my spirits buoyed and ideas percolating, and reminds me that there are many different ways to happily make a living.

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2 Comments on “Give them the fish”

  1. onlineghostwriterforhire Says:

    Gretchen, you are awesome, and you are on your way!
    There is nothing better than being self-employed!
    It is always exciting to see an enthusiastic, fellow entrepreneur!



  1. Time to do something remarkable | All Fives - July 16, 2012

    […] written before about Chris Guillebeau (What color is Texas? and most recently Give them the fish). His blog and his first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, changed my life – well, changed my mind […]

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