Book Recommendation: Company of One

After you begin your solo 1099 career, you will feel tempted to want to grow the company. That could mean bringing on more clients or hiring employes or even starting a new business on the side.

If you're considering doing so, I recommend reading Paul Jarvis' book, Company of One.

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business

Paul questions the idea of growing a business for the sake of growth, and makes a compelling case for building a successful business that supports your broader lifestyle vision. Instad of building a bigger business, perhaps focusing on building a better one is the way to go.

"If you’re a company of one, your mind-set is to build your business around your life, not the other way around. For me, being a company of one means not having to bother with infinite growth, since that was never the purpose of my working. Instead, I just focus on maximizing work in a way that works for me, which can sometimes mean doing less. Work can be done at a pace that suits my sanity rather than one that supports costly overhead, expenses, or salaries. As much as I enjoy growing my wealth, I also realize that there’s a point of diminishing returns if I don’t also take care of myself and my well-being."

This is not just from woo-woo self-indulgent idea either. Paul features a bunch of companies in his book that executes on this vision, including himself, who moved to a remote part of Vancouver island to slow down his pace of life, reduce his cost of living, and structure his business to work for him rather than the other way around.

From a 1099 angle, the immediately applicable idea is to simply focus on raising your rates but decreasing the amount of hours your work. Even if you aren't in love with the work or client, life gets a lot better when you're only working 3 days a week. You ever go to grocery store a Thursday morning? peaceful.

Okay that may not be the most enticing reason to become a "company of one" but the examples and lessons from the book are good to think about as you go down the solo 1099 path.

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