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For Better or For Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families Hardcover – March 5, 2012
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''[One of the] 12 Most Anticipated Business Books of 2012.'' -CNBC.com
''[One of the five] most influential, inspirational business books to be published this year...Meg Cadoux Hirshberg's goal is to instill hope in weary entrepreneurs and to help them better manage the difficult balancing act of successfully running both a business and a family.'' -Entrepreneur magazine
''This honest text...should help to navigate the dangerous pitfalls of allowing a business to come and squat in the midst of a family.'' -Financial Times
''An immensely beneficial, contemporary analysis of what makes modern-day working families really work.'' -Kirkus Reviews
''An indispensable tool. '' -Publishers Weekly
''Hirshberg's candid advice is not just refreshing but could prove essential to the success of a new startup...her hard-won lessons for relationship survival are worth more than a read-you might actually want to print them out.'' -Forbes Woman
''Hirshberg is writing about the elephant in the entrepreneurial room. Read For Better or For Work and you'll clear out a lot of that unspoken clutter between you, your business, and your family.'' -Small Business Trends
''Meg Cadoux Hirshberg has given us one of the best descriptions of the entrepreneurial experience that I have ever read. It is quite simply a marvelous book--beautifully written, unflinchingly honest, profoundly true.'' -Bo Burlingham, author, Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
''Meg brings to life the craziness of entrepreneurship, and offers excellent advice for surviving the madness.'' -Ben Cohen, Cofounder, Ben & Jerry s Ice Cream
''I loved this book! I wish I'd had it when I was trying to start a business and raise my kids. It is wise and wonderful.'' -Eileen Fisher, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Eileen Fisher
''My wife, Nancy, and I highly recommend that all entrepreneurial families read For Better or For Work. Knowing the reality upfront, you can prepare for it with eyes wide open.'' --Ron Shaich, Founder and Executive Chairman, Panera Bread
About the Author
Meg Hirshberg is a freelance writer, the author of the ''Balancing Acts'' column for Inc. magazine, a highly regarded speaker, and the wife of Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Yogurt. Although it took nine painful years to become profitable, Stonyfield is now the largest organic yogurt company in the world. Meg has written two yogurt cookbooks and her writing has appeared in Yankee, New Hampshire magazine, and the Boston Globe magazine, among other publications.
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Top Customer Reviews
I do believe that Meg Cadoux wrote this book as her personal therapy session. For example, there is a whole chapter on how her husband uses her smartphone too much. I agree, this is a problem, but it's also the 21st century. And if you're going to take that topic on, you better come with good solutions to the table. I am all for bringing in personal stories to the forefront, but the book is missing any type of resolutions to them other than what any husband or wife would naturally say.
If you want to get work-family-life advice for the struggling entrepreneur, look elsewhere. Or look to your friends and you'll get the same from this book. I was looking for help as my wife and I start a company together, so as to set up the right systems from the very start. What I got was nightmare stories after nightmare stories. Very few inspiration stories on success. I know the odds are against us. That's the nature of this game. Yet after reading this book, I still don't know what to do about it.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, guess what.. your spouse and family are on it with you, and you didn't really ask if they mind, did you?Read more