I read this book titled Company of One by Paul Jarvis. It kind of helps me question the status-quo of the ‘growth’ status every company so ardently wants. The word ‘growth’ does sound competitive, aggressive and progressive – and seeing it from the lens of an a ‘company of one’ perspective gives me a new high!
Come to think of it – every individual, whether leading a team in a company to a company owner to a professional using his consulting chops to the hilt – we all are small business owners of our little ideas.
But having a business intention that is predicated on commercialism and growth can [sometimes] overshadow our creation capabilities and [sometimes] limit our creative imagination to surface. After all, it’s all about maximising your evolution. We all want more commercial success when we work hard so to get there.
This may sound contrarian, as I liken what the book says, ‘to never grow up, and why staying small is the next big thing for business’.
Now it doesn’t mean we can’t think valiantly and let our imagination be limitless. Instead, it’s about putting your gifts to use in a way that serves as a fuel for your customers/ audience to keep recommending you for your work.
It’s important to find your personal enough point – so that you feel free to operate as your best version. Knowing that being a business owner doesn’t necessarily mean racking more customers, or being in an acquisition mind-set to constantly thinking about how much money you’re making, can help you question what your growth inflection point is.
Plus: it is very difficult to operate as a solo business owner/ entrepreneur when our quest for getting more business is trite. We might have not figured out just yet as to why and how can we can get more business as a solopreneur.
And that’s why it’s crucial to find what you stand for, and what you can offer, but with growth that defines your upper bounds and unleashes your best potential.
So what does ‘you are enough’ mean in the context of being your company of one?
Here are some views that I align with – and you can, too:
- Thrive in your exist strategy. Says Natasha Lampard of the popular conference in the book: to focus on sticking around, profiting and serving your customers as best as you can. Loyally serving your customers over the long-term pays off massively than drifting in short-term money-making spiral that could dwindle if you are not offering the best customer experience. Maintaining real relationships that are rooted in trust, humanity and empathy gives you can edge over your other company owners to win and expand your existing customer base. Maintaining your brand image then gives you a sound social-proof when your customers become your brand champions.
- Choose customers that align with your brand. It’s certain that you might get knocked-down from some business deals and new business proposals. But some rejections can push you to determine which customers you’d like to do business with, and which customers you’d like to gracefully decline. Your customers are a reflection of how your brand values and serves in the longer scheme of things. So why miscommunicate or let ambivalence kick-in when you don’t quite find a fit with profitable customers? Look for purpose over profits – and in due course your purpose will strengthen your business valuation.
- Find your [brand’s] true north. Talking about self-awareness doesn’t sound cliche or passe. In fact, it pushes you to know what’s your DNA, how does it operate, and how it can be manifested in ways that carves your brand identity. When you find your values that speak your core [aka your truth]- the person you are and not always what you aspire to be – can differentiate your services from others. Staying small also brings you from a humble place of what your inner muse thinks in its contours of imagination and possibilities. And when these possibilities meet opportunities, growth occurs!
The crux is – as long as you have your brand chops in place and an idea that can generate curiosity in people’s minds, your work will never be stale.
You are enough! – to inspire and create a business of your dreams.