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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Being an entrepreneur is tough. Really tough. It hasn't just been challenging for me, it's been challenging for my wife and children. My wife happens to be my business partner, so perhaps this has been tougher than usual, but from what I've heard, for all entrepreneurs with families, the balance between our business and our family is challenging.
I met Meg Hirshberg three weeks ago at SXSW where she spoke with her husband Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm, a $300 million yogurt company and the second largest in the U.S. I met her after reading her book For Better or For Work and being really moved and inspired by the stories I read. I was further inspired after hearing Meg talk at SXSW. Inspired as a busy entrepreneur, but also really inspired as the spouse of an entrepreneur.
Meg wrote the book to share what she wished she had known and done before the many years of struggle while growing both a business and a family.

Here are seven lessons I learned from For Better or For Work, a book I very highly recommend, for both entrepreneurs and their families.

1) Turn off the smartphone. Make time every day for your spouse and children, time completely uninterrupted by emails and other notifications. It doesn't always have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be uninterrupted.

2) Prioritize each other's communications. Respect each other enough to put the other at the top of the queue on any given busy day.

3) Take family vacations. No matter how difficult it may seem to find the time or money, find it. It won't make or break the business and it might make the family a lot happier.

4) Befriend other company-building families. For me, Entrepreneur's Organization has been a lifesaver in helping me meet lots of other CEO's and their families, people who know from experience what the roller coaster ride is like.

5) Take frequent inventory. Ask each other how you're doing in balancing work vs. the relationship. And even ask the kids how you're doing and what you can do better.

6) Give each other a voice. The entrepreneur is used to being a boss, and needs a voice at home. But the spouse of an entrepreneur absolutely needs a voice in business decisions that may affect the family as well.

7) Make family dinners a priority. Find time to all sit together in an electronics-free zone, listening to each other and talking (mostly) about stuff besides the business.

I learned these lessons and so much more from reading For Better or For Work, many of which applied to me as an entrepreneur, or spouse of an entrepreneur, but many of which also applied to me as a businessperson, husband and father.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The other reviewers have explained how profoundly this book will impact your life. I'd like to praise the writing.

Two of the many beautiful turns of phrase to be found within:

"But although entrepreneurs may be teachable, they are not wholly reformable. As I spoke to divorced company founders, I heard underneath the grace notes of good intentions a common bass lick: the business will still come first."

"Scary as those experiences were, they had the salubrious effect of redirecting entrepreneurs' noses toward roses and away from grindstones."

Meg Hirshberg's book doesn't merely provide a spouse's perspective on the entrepreneurial life. It also provides a word artist's perspective on the way the story can be told. A great and rare pleasure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Very insightful! I'm not an entrepreneur or married to one but I found the book helped me understand what that world is all about. I also think the advice transcends the entrepreneurial family and often applies to the rest of us too, maybe just in lower doses! I highly recommend this book for anyone trying to balance a demanding work life with a rich family life. Told through her own stories and those of others, the author makes her points without a professorial tone or clinical jargon. Well worth the read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Entrepreneurship is one of the scariest lives one can endeavor upon. There's the life that the entrepreneur him/herself will accept as the "price to pay" for typically an undetermined period of time. Then there's the life that they share with anyone they infect with their charisma, enthusiasm and often poorly researched idea of what market has shockingly been untapped. There are so many "victims" of entrepreneurs; spouses, children, employees and the infamous "friends and family" that are typically the informal "series A" funders of the next great idea. As the closest people to the entrepreneur, with statistics working against them, they need our support more than ever, but often powerless to help and frankly FREAKED OUT by the seemingly never-ending troubles of business ownership - what can we, entrepreneur-adjacent friends and family members do? Meg's column in Inc Magazine is priceless, the value of her experience and her ability to cull meaningful advice and guidance will keep many future entrepreneurial families together and will increase the probability that our start-ups will succeed. "For Better or For Work" is THE MUST HAVE GUIDE for anyone who is an entrepreneur (and doesn't live in complete isolation) and anyone who loves an entrepreneur. This book gives practical and doable advice on how to keep the support system together so that everyone can succeed and be around to celebrate the spirit of the entrepreneur we all love.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderfully readable book about relationships, life and work. Meg Cadoux tells the stories of families in business, but her stories are anything but business like. This is a must read for anyone who is in a family business, anyone who is thinking about starting one and, frankly, anyone at all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is so insightful. My husband is an entrepreneur and I gleaned an incredible amount of wisdom that has already made our relationship stronger and my connection with his business more positively focused.

Please read For Better or for Work for your own good! A great gift for entrepreneurs or anyone thinking about starting a business wih a family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! It's beautifully written, truly felt and great to read. It made me cringe or beam with recognition and, more importantly, startled me with new insights and changes in outlook. As an entrepreneur of 21 years, I believe it will help to make me a better and happier CEO, mother, wife and friend. I couldn't put it down and now I keep thinking about it through my days and nights at work and with my ever-more-appreciated family and friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm self-employed, my wife works an intense job, and we have two little kids. This book helped us both think about how we spend our time, how and when we prioritize family over work and vice versa, how she should and shouldn't help me with my business, and for me, how I grow my business. It's an amazing mix of powerful stories and practical advice. It helped us both focus better at work and at home, and so our marriage and family is stronger.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Meg Cadoux Hirshberg's "For Better or For Work" is a compelling read from end to end, with invaluable insights for ANY family or couple trying to survive in the face of heavy work commitments on the part of one or both partners. Actually, her wisdom is about more than surviving, it's about thriving. She writes with humor, honesty and thoughtfulness, and inspires readers to apply the same traits to our own lives. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
No two businesses are alike and no two entrepreneurs experience the same journey but Meg Hirshberg's book, For Better or For Work makes us all seem more similar, more connected. This book shares real stories of entrepreneurs and those living with them, the different perspectives felt by all involved. It's eye opening to see and talk about those other perspectives. This book is a terrific tool to talk about all of the issues of mixing business & pleasure as entrepreneurs usually know no balance. In Meg's Inc. magazine column, Balancing Acts her honesty and deep look into common issues facing entrepreneurs & family have been so enlightening, I knew this book would be more of the well crafted story telling that is Meg's gift. We don't usually get to hear about the nitty gritty in between the beginning and the success of a company, this is Meg's specialty. It's been the missing link and now we can all learn, discuss,laugh at and improve the balance in our entreprenurial lives. I also love the Afterword written by husband Gary Hirshberg, they share a very strong bond that I truly admire. It's beautiful to see Meg come full circle and turn the tables on Gary as she wrote this book and became an "authorpreneur!" Thanks, Meg for giving us all a reason to stop, listen & balance our entrepreneurial lives.
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