Growth is often seen as a measure of success in business but its not what everyone wants

When you’re booked to capacity and your earnings are limited by how many hours you can work, and you don’t want to employ other people or outsource, what’s the next step for your business?

This is the question many small businesses, freelancers and consultants face. They’re often urged to adopt tactics that them away from doing what they love and into the realms of managing other people which is not everybody’s idea of fun.

Bianca Botten was pondering similar questions about developing her busy VA business Neon B when she read the book Company of One by Paul Jarvis.
Jarvis is a veteran of the online tech world who realized that working in a high-pressure, high-profile world was not his idea of success. He now works for himself and no longer has to contend with an environment that constantly demands more productivity, more output and more growth.

Bianca wrote the following review of the book:

Company of One is a book about improving business and providing the best service to your current clients. It questions whether growth is right for you, or if having a business that fits around your lifestyle is better.

I found myself nodding along with the author for the first half of the book, agreeing that you should build long-term relationships with clients, (so they send you repeat business). Continuously searching for new customers is time consuming and costly whereas, “maintaining good business relationships with customers doesn’t require superhuman efforts. Rather, you simply need to do what you say you’ll do and customers will be grateful”.

I love the idea of becoming better at what you do by improving systems and processes to be more efficient in how you run your business. For me this feels like mastery and being the best version of myself.

The end of the book didn’t hold my attention and I found it a little repetitive. Throughout the book the author kept mentioning being a “Company of One” at an organisation, and I felt he was trying to appeal to people who work as contractors inside big businesses rather than microbusiness, freelancers and solopreneurs.

Company of One confirmed how I felt about my business and reinforced that I would prefer to provide a good service to a small group of loyal clients, as opposed to exponential growth, which would mean more noise and chaos.

I much prefer a business that fits around my lifestyle of raising children and being the best, least stressed version of myself.

I can recommend reading this book and give it 7 out of 10.

If you’ve read the book or find yourself asking the same questions as Bianca we’d love to hear from you – leave a comment below or get in touch at

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