A Two-Minute Book Trailer and The Story of Freedom

Over the past six months, my video mastermind Wes Wages has been traveling the country on behalf of The $100 Startup. Along the way he met with several of the people in the book to document their stories.

It took a ton of work, but we have now pared down a few highlights from the interview into a two-minute trailer that you can see below or directly on YouTube.

In this video …

Emily Cavalier left a six-figure job in New York to run Mouth of the Border and Midnight Brunch.

Michael Hanna was unemployed and started an unconventional mattress store that offers delivery by bicycle.

Sarah Young founded a yarn shop at the height of the recession. She now employs seven people. In the video she talks about calling her dad after having her first $1,000 day. Last month, she had her first $10,000 day.

James Kirk packed up everything he owned and drove from Seattle to South Carolina to start a coffee bar in the land of biscuits and sweet tea.

Note: the book is fully international, with case studies from all over the world—but despite repeated requests from Wes, I did not fly him to the beaches of Croatia and Tahiti to film people there. You’ll have to get the book to read those stories.

My favorite part of the whole project, from writing the book to reviewing this footage, was hearing the stories of people who have created freedom for themselves by making something valuable for the world. Most of them aren’t professional bloggers. None of them went to business school. They are ordinary people from all walks of life who now work full-time doing something they enjoy.

A Note on Killing the Dream

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts lately that serve as reality checks on the concept of “quit your job and do what you love.” I always have mixed feelings about these things. Yes, it’s true that self-employment requires a lot of work and isn’t always what employed people perceive it to be.

In fact, in the book itself I tried to be fairly specific about the “follow-your-passion to the bank” thing. (More on this later. The short version is: sometimes you can do that and other times you can’t.)

But I also think it’s pretty important to be clear that working for yourself is awesome. In researching and writing The $100 Startup, I heard from hundreds of people who are all living the dream. Therefore, my message is “Don’t kill the dream! Don’t reality-check your life.”

As I said about failure recently, who says you’re going to fail? Success is better, and there’s no reason you won’t succeed.

Thanks again to Wes for his great work! We’ll be sharing more of these stories over the next few months.


*Our friends at are kicking off another epic sale today… and this one benefits the book! Check it out starting at 12pm EST today and lasting until… 72 hours later.

One week from tomorrow, it all begins! I’ll be visiting 22 cities to meet readers on The $100 Startup tour! Everything is frantic over here, but I’m also super excited about kicking things off.

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