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Book Review: Company of One by Paul Jarvis

February 2, 2020

By: Kyle Van Deusen

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I’m just wrapping up reading ‘Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business’ by Paul Jarvis.

I gotta say— I’m not a huge reader, but this book has had me hooked.

When people ask me about my business (especially outside of “our” circle of web designers and developers) I often feel a bit of embarrassment or shame that it’s “just me”. Wondering if that’s a legitimate business or if I’m “just” a freelancer pretending to be a business.

But over and over again, I come to the conclusion that “me” is what I want my business to be. I don’t have aspirations of having a building full of staff or spending my days managing a team of remote contract workers.

But because “growing big” is the thing most people tell you a business should do— I always had a nagging feeling I was doing something wrong.

Well, this book ended all that for me—for good.

Company of One put into words a ton of the feelings I had about keeping my business lean, growing slowly, and simultaneously creating the lifestyle I want to have. It not only gave me permission to feel okay with this— it’s chocked full of examples of companies I might have considered “big” doing the same thing.

Not only doing it— but being extremely successful with this “Company of One” (just FYI, “company of one” doesn’t necessarily mean there is only one person— it’s more of a mindset).

Instead of telling you exactly how it has to be done (I hate when books do that) it constantly challenges you to answer questions and create your own path. There are plenty of examples in the book, but the real call to action is for you to understand the concept and then see how you can apply it to your own business (that has its own unique set of circumstances).

Company of One is a perfect mindset for small web agencies, but it’s not specifically written to only apply to them. In fact, there are examples of companies applying these principles to all kinds of businesses. I already have a few customers of mine in mind to send a copy to— and their business has nothing to do with technology.


You can buy Company of One here: https://www.amazon.com/Company-One-Staying-Small-Business/dp/0358213258/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Check out the author, Paul Jarvis, here: https://pjrvs.com/

Sign up for Paul’s email list (he sends out an email every Sunday full of gold) here: https://pjrvs.com/

Listen to the Company of One podcast here: https://ofone.co/company-of-one-podcast/

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Kyle Van Deusen
@kylevandeusen

Kyle is the co-host of The Admin Bar, the owner of a agency of one called OGAL Web Design and the co-founder of Docket WP. You’ll likely find him trolling The Admin Bar community.

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