Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale a new start-up, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? Suppose the better - and smarter - solution is simply to remain small? This book explains how to do just that.
Company of One is a refreshingly new approach centered on staying small and avoiding growth, for any size business. Not as a freelancer who only gets paid on a per piece basis, and not as an entrepreneurial start-up that wants to scale as soon as possible, but as a small business that is deliberately committed to staying that way. By staying small, one can have freedom to pursue more meaningful pleasures in life and avoid the headaches that result from dealing with employees, long meetings, or worrying about expansion. Company of One introduces this unique business strategy and explains how to make it work for you, including how to generate cash flow on an ongoing basis.
Paul Jarvis left the corporate world when he realized that working in a high-pressure, high profile world was not his idea of success. Instead, he now works for himself out of his home on a small, lush island off of Vancouver, and lives a much more rewarding and productive life. He no longer has to contend with an environment that constantly demands more productivity, more output, and more growth.
In Company of One, Jarvis explains how you can find the right pathway to do the same, including planning how to set up your shop, determining your desired revenues, dealing with unexpected crises, keeping your key clients happy, and of course, doing all of this on your own.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 32 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 15, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #9,115 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#9 in Home-Based Businesses
#25 in Small Businesses
#65 in Entrepreneurship (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2019
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Top reviews from the United States
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I really appreciated this book because I have a hard time explaining to people why I offer my services through a company rather than as a sole proprietor or as a freelancer. Now that I've read this I'll better be able to express my choices.
I also will be focusing on my customers and my customer service to ensure I keep my clients for years and their referrals .
When we first started emailing, he told me about the book and how he was working with a traditional publisher which meant it was going to take at least a year longer than if he self-published. I don't think that the delay added any value to the book...and I am interested to see whether the publishing deal translates into greater visibility and sales. I hope so since the author is a good person and more importantly these are important ideas that are not usually given much attention.
Having waited a year for the book, though, I was disappointed. The ideas are important, and Jarvis does a good job of providing data and examples to support his point of view. Unfortunately, many of the stories he uses are of companies that are not companies of one. They may share some of his values about building relationships with customers and quality over growth, but they are not examples that support the larger argument about a company of one.
There are examples of companies that do follow this model, and it is a missed opportunity to not talk more about those in greater depth. For example, he talks about a design firm that is a network of designers. It would be great to understand better how they operate, what systems they have in place, and how others could follow from than example.
Jarvis talks about his accountant and lawyer, but I know from his other writings that he works with a team of other contractors. Yet the book does not really go into those details. Overall, the book is NOT a how to manual. It is what I would describe as a manifesto that articulates a particular vision and set of values, but it could do that much better. I wonder how much the publisher and editor influenced the direction of the book in this way, because it was not as strong as his weekly newsletters.
My personal belief is that the future of business will be very large companies and lots of companies of one that form networks to solve problems. This book is a first step in articulating some of the values and reasons for this future. Interesting omissions, though, are the idea of the long tail and 1,000 true fans that are foundational to the shift from mass marketing and production to micro marketing and production that leverage personalization versus scale.
Maybe the book would have been better as two books. One on the company of one and the other on relationship marketing. While these are related ideas and both reflect how Jarvis operates his own company, they are also separate. This would allow discussion of how companies like Basecamp operate to develop relationships with customers and how companies of one can operate their businesses.
Despite my frustrations with the execution of the book, it is still a valuable read and important.
Paul Jarvis' book is something different entirely. He flips the idea of 'bigger is better' on its head. He also makes a compelling case that you can personally make more money by staying small, versus trying to grow your company at all costs. The book in its entirety is a compelling case for how you can scale your business, delight your customers, and make more money while staying small and enjoying the experience instead shaving years off your life from unnecessary stress.
I cannot express enough how much this book resonated with me. As a life-long entrepreneur, the ideas in this book have reshaped how I'm approaching my new business. For many people, Jarvis' ideas are an antithetical approach to how they've been told to run a business. Paradoxically, by staying smaller and rethinking how you grow and interact with your customers, you will end up with much more than you expected.
Top reviews from other countries
As a long-time company of one, this book didn't give me anything new whatsoever, and no real concrete advice I could use. Midway through I felt sure it wasn't going to provide, but I finished it anyway.
It's a valiant attempt, but more hype than substance.
Save yourself the time and get the value you need on a forum like Indie Hackers instead.
I purchased the kindle version of this and love it, so easy to read and add notes to and highlight! I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested or running a business already. If you’re looking for an alternative way to run a business, this is the best book to read in my opinion. It’s based off research and real life people/businesses as examples to back up what Paul says in the book.
The book is not badly written and Jarvis refers to lots of real world examples to back up his points but those points are the same ones recapitulated for 220 pages. This isn't an instruction manual for doing more with less. There are some allusions to the ideas in Eric Ries' The Lean Startup but I found this book too obvious and lacking in any new insight.