Community Economic Development Fund

What’s wrong with being smaller?

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By Anthony Price

Company of One by Paul Jarvis is a contrarian's message against the popular business mantra of growth at all cost. This growth message is ingrained in business but rarely questioned. We watch stock prices of public companies as if it is the national sport. But should we worship growth? Is growth always in the best interest of employees and the company?

Growth can be a curse when the focus moves from satisfying customers to arbitrary financial numbers that often reward wrong behaviors as opposed to continuously improving products and the customer experience. Jarvis asks, “What if you worked instead toward growing smaller, smarter, more efficient, and more resilient?” 

Jarvis seeks to “build better, not bigger, businesses.” In the book, he says, “Staying small doesn’t have to be a stepping-stone to something else or the result of a business failure—rather, it can be an end goal or a smart long-term strategy.” 

Company of One is a powerful message for a one-person business and a philosophy employees can use working for larger corporations. This book is an instant classic for any person making a living as a business or selling their skills in the marketplace. 

Jarvis toiled for twenty years as a one-person business. Over the years, he worked with Warner Music, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, and was featured in USA Today, Fast Company, and WIRED. His online courses have helped over 13,500 students.  

Jarvis earned his master’s the hard way, not as a freelancer exchanging time for money, but as a business satisfying customers one at a time. Operating a business is not easy, and doing anything well for a longtime commands respect. 

Along his journey, Jarvis learned much about creating a sustainable business. And now he has something to share with you in his magnum opus: Company of One.  Jarvis takes on questions about growth from his unique perspective. 

Next time you see your favorite business magazine with the hotshot of the moment on the cover, keep walking and do it your way. Read more about Company of One here.

Middletown-based Anthony Price, CEO of LootScout, is author of Get the Loot and Run. He works as a business consultant and trainer across Connecticut.



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