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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Company of One by Paul Jarvis, read by Sam Woolf. 

What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale up a new business 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? 

Company of One is a refreshing new approach centred on staying small and avoiding growth for any size business. Not as a freelancer who gets paid only on a per piece basis, and not as an entrepreneurial start-up that wants to scale up as soon as possible, but as a small business that is deliberately committed to staying that way. By staying small, you 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 realised 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 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 do the same, including planning to set up, determining desired revenues and keeping clients happy - and, of course, doing all this on your own. 

©2019 Paul Jarvis (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

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title is misleading

As a solo-preneur I looking forward to this but it cites the same examples as so many other 'new economy' books I have read. (e.g. Bernadette Jiwa's books, The $100 Dollar Start Up, Habit books etc) Do they all HAVE TO mention Casper Mattresses? Nothing against Casper but again? also they are NOT a company of one! So many of this author's examples are about companies who are just that, firms that employ lots of people. At the end he does talk a little about his own business but in general terms. I have already figured out a lot of stuff on my own and was looking for a book that helped guide me as I progress on my journey both with practical advice and with examples of other people who genuinely work for themselves and are looking to build on that towards a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable business experience; a real behind the scenes of what it is like physically, emotionally and financially to really be a Company of One. Very disappointing. I will return this one.

6 people found this helpful

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Good introduction to lifestyle business

While much of this references to other books that’s not necessarily a bad think, unfortunately for me I have read most of these and story was more introduction than reinforcing. Would definitely recommend to someone starting not so much for people who have read a few business books. That said the initial arguments for staying small are good and worth a read

2 people found this helpful

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Psychological Guidance

Paul Jarvis in his book presents examples of how other people started/managed a company of one and how it was done. He also talks about his own experience in this matter. With that, the book does not only feel like a simple guide 'How to..." but it gives you psychological guidance too. Vast examples and authors' comforting words can make you consider starting such a company. All I missed are so bad examples where the company of one failed andy why.

1 person found this helpful

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Great but cultural intrusions

Overall a very tight & interesting piece of writing in a sea of ra-ra self help books.

One piece that personally annoyed me is the author would, now and again, use the feminist trope of muh-white-men bad; which the narrator would translate into the most annoying "oh my god these annoying white men" voice.
It's basic sexism and relies on the worn out and disproved notion that men are somehow repressing women in a sea of big businesses instilling quotas, events, groups and policies against them. God forbid there are biological differences between the two groups.

I think this was unnecessary of an author who either believes academic feminist research or is trying to score brownie points for them - either should be pointed out.

Other than that, a good book, easily listenable - some points are obvious and laboured but you really can't fault that as the author makes clear each aspect of the concept. A lot more interesting than a lot of business / self improvement books out there! Overall, big value add.

9 people found this helpful

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Insightful reading / listening for those 99% of businesses who are truly small

It’s a sad reflection that the vernacular of small business is obsessed with ‘growth’, ‘investment’, ‘scaling’. It’s language banded around by what seems a noisy 1%, or worse still, those actually in employment who purport to be champions of small business but who have empathy constipation with what that actually means.

99% of businesses will always remain small, often by choice or design. Paul Jarvis speaks this tribe’s language: assuredly, convincingly and supportively. There are some fabulous insights and glaringly sensible recommendations in his book.

The mantra is “be too small to fail” but there are some great surprising stories and case studies along the way, including businesses that will be well-known to you.

Highly recommended.
(1.7x speed listen)

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Aligns perfectly for what I want

Great voice, easy to listen to. Delivering a message worth consideration for me. Reframing what we ate told, aligning to what I want to create in my life for my family and I, this was a breathe of fresh air.

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Brilliant read for Solopreneurs and Bootstrappers

Growth for growth's sake is definitely a thing. VC backed companies go down this route to varying levels of success. This book focusses on the benefits to keeping your business small, on purpose. An excellent read and a lot of really valuable learnings to be taken from it.

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Well thought out an delivered

The principles in this book are well laid out and clear. The approach makes obvious sense and has served the author well.

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Very Good Book

The book is mostly a reminder of things I know already but that's because I read a lot and have read similar books. Overall, it's very good and I'll recommend.

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More than I expected!

The main idea is the ‘company of one’ ethos, and that is present throughout. However, many other ideas are presented with this, for example relationships and building a brand voice. I got a few new ideas to play around with and some data driven research to back them. Thanks!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-19

Some pretty good ideas, but no financial freedom

I enjoyed this book a lot. Some ideas (from stories) was actually awesome as well as the concept of helping the customers one by one and don't focus on super growth and new customers only. My only problem was that the author din't show how to apply these strategies to achieve a financial freedom. Some of the advices actually contradict the idea of financial freedom, but I am sure that there is a way to combine these in real life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-19

The right stuff for every free and skilled spirit

A roadmap on how to put your skills to work for you and the things you enjoy in your life and not the big or any other boss.

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  • VChungu
  • 08-02-19

Good use of my listening time

Really good job illustrating the need to map our personal and company values to business size and growth