Paul Jarvis is not your typical entrepreneur. Similar to Jason Fried, Founder of Basecamp, and Joel Gascoigne, Co-founder of Buffer, he advocates for an atypical approach to running a business. In his new book, Company of One, he posits that growing a company for growth’s sake has significant downsides and remaining a company of one is better for your health and profitability.
I was particularly drawn to his book because I became burned out after running my own company for over a decade. I sold it in 2017 and have never looked back. Since then, I haven’t lost my entrepreneurial drive, but the idea of having employees and business partners again makes me cringe. After reading Paul’s book, not only did a company of one seem doable, it seemed ideal.
The interview I had with him was insightful and full of wisdom. The main topics we discussed were:
- Why he decided to move from the city to a remote town on an island
- What inspired him to write Company of One
- Why pursuing growth is an easy way to both solve and create more problems
- How staying small can make you healthier and more profitable
- How you can still be a company of one within a larger company
- Why it’s important to gain experience before blindly following your passion
- How focusing on the individual customer instead of growth will help you make a better product or service, and increase loyalty
- How much is enough and could you be chasing someone else’s idea of success
I owe a special thank you to my friend Kaleigh Moore, a freelance writer and writing coach, for connecting me with Paul. Together, they run Creative Class, an online course designed to help freelancers learn how to run their business better.
I hope you enjoy my interview with Paul as much I enjoyed talking with him.