Cover image for Company of one : why staying small is the next big thing for business / Paul Jarvis.
Company of one : why staying small is the next big thing for business / Paul Jarvis.
Title Variants:
Company of 1
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.

Physical Description:
xvi, 249 pages ; 22 cm


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
658.022 JAR Book Adult General Collection

On Order



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.

Author Notes

PAUL JARVIS is a veteran of the online tech world, and over the years he has had corporate clients such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Mercedes-Benz, Warner Music and even Shaquille O'Neal. These days, he teaches courses online and does consulting from his home on a remote island off of Vancouver.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Entrepreneurs feeling abashed that their businesses haven't grown to the Fortune 500 level should relax-sometimes slow or no growth is the right approach, argues consultant Jarvis in this persuasive manual. A "company of one" is a business that "questions growth," the business world's default strategy; while pursuing growth may be the most intuitive decision to make, Jarvis observes that it's not always the best one. Aggressive growth means an increase in operating costs, organizational complexity, and responsibilities for management, which doesn't suit everyone. Staying small, meanwhile, doesn't have to be the prelude to something bigger, but can be the whole strategy. Using case studies and (refreshingly briefly) his own story-of working as a website designer, first for an agency and then for himself-Jarvis walks readers through the steps of cultivating a company that intentionally doesn't grow: determining what motivates one beyond generating a profit; building a "scalable," or appropriately sized, infrastructure; starting and developing the company at a workable pace; and satisfying customers all the while. Though somewhat light, Jarvis's soothing guide is a good reminder that chasing the million-customer mark is not the right choice for every entrepreneur. Agent: Lucinda Blumenfeld, Lucinda Literary. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. xi
Part I Begin
1 Defining a Company of Onep. 3
2 Staying Small as an End Goalp. 24
3 What's Required to Leadp. 45
4 Growing a Company That Doesn't Growp. 60
Part II Define
5 Determining the Right Mind-Setp. 77
6 Personality Mattersp. 94
7 The One Customerp. 105
8 Scalable Systemsp. 124
9 Teach Everything You Knowp. 135
Part III Maintain
10 Properly Utilizing Trust and Scalep. 149
11 Launching and Iterating in Tiny Stepsp. 163
12 The Hidden Value of Relationshipsp. 180
13 Starting a Company of One - My Storyp. 198
Afterword: Never Grow Upp. 215
Acknowledgmentsp. 227
Notesp. 229
Indexp. 239