How Would You Invest $100 in a Meaningful Way?

July 23, 2012 · 12 comments

On the last evening of the World Domination Summit, Chris Guillebeau gave everyone in the audience $100 to invest in a meaningful project or person.

Yes, all 1,000 attendees walked away with $100.

Chris tells us he's giving us each $100 to invest. (WDS, Photo credit: Armosa Studios)

Chris tells us he’s giving us each $100 to invest. (WDS, Photo credit: Armosa Studios)

It’s a cool idea on many levels: it’s great promo for Chris’ new book, The $100 Startup, and it directly supports the idea of giving back that we talked about so much at WDS. Even better, many conference attendees are online influencers, which means they’ll share the story of their investment with their community (like I’m doing now) or even ask their community to participate. In many cases, that $100 will multiply.

But two weeks after the conference, I still haven’t decided how to invest my $100.

I’m a big believer in giving back; I sponsor a (polygamous) Cameroonian family (with 18 kids) every year so all the kids can go to school and university, I used to organize a holiday adopt-a-family program when I worked in a newsroom, and I look for opportunities to mentor other side-hustlers and newbie entrepreneurs.

But I don’t just want to give this $100 away. I, too, want to think of a creative way to help it multiply.

The bar is high: WDS participants are doing COOL things with their money (here’s just one example). But every time I try to think of a creative way to invest, I’m paralyzed by that high bar. No idea seems good enough!

Does this ever happen to you when it comes to writing, starting a company, creating a new product? Yeah, so you know how it feels. Sometimes when we set expectations too high, we never even get started.

So right now I’m throwing that high bar out the window — both for myself and for YOU. Because I’m hoping YOU will help me figure out how to invest this money, how to use it to inspire and encourage others. And if we ditch the high expectations, our brainstorm is likely to be far more fruitful.

How would YOU invest $100 in a meaningful way?

(Unless you request otherwise, I reserve the right to steal and act on your ideas.)

Oh, and I have a copy of Chris’ book, The $100 Startup, to give away. If you leave a comment here, you’ll automatically be in the running. I’ll pick a winner randomly on Thursday night (7/26) and announce it on the blog Friday morning.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Duane Scott July 23, 2012 at 11:14 am

I have no clue how I would. No clue. But this book looks incredible!

Also, the link to the “one example” doesn’t work.
Duane Scott recently posted…why we need to be careful about what we read (and post) onlineMy Profile


Alexis Grant July 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for the heads up — Will fix!


Cassie Boorn July 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I would purchase ten copies of the book and give them to highschool students to encourage entrepreneurship.
Cassie Boorn recently posted…My Best Goodwill Find To Date.My Profile


Alexis Grant July 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Oh, I love this idea!


Elliott July 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I would loan the money through Kiva.


Alexis Grant July 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I’ve already got a $100 Kiva loan out there… but suppose I could always do more!


Drew Meyers July 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I was going to vote Kiva too. But you could give it to a smaller microfinance organization such as Lumana (


Julia July 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I think I would buy a domain name and make a simple website for writing services (namely resume writing).


Natalie Sisson July 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

Hey Alexis

I know what you mean. I had inspiration the minute he gave it out and have finally pulled an initiative together that I’m both hugely excited by and daunted by – oh and I want you to be part of it so I’m going to be in touch!

Natalie Sisson recently posted…Four Rules To Maximize Outsourcing In The Age of Global CommerceMy Profile


Alexis Grant July 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Awesome! Might there be an opp for us to pool our funds? 🙂


Ryan July 25, 2012 at 9:16 am

I would use it to pay for a year of hosting for my blog.
Ryan recently posted…Student Loan Debt is Crushing DreamsMy Profile


Alexis Grant August 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Just realized I hadn’t selected a winner for this — it’s DUANE! Duane, let’s get in touch so I can grab your address and send you the book.

Thanks, all!


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