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The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business That Works for You

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All entrepreneurs start their companies because they think it will give them freedom-freedom to work on their own terms, be their own bosses, and create a company that meets their needs. But so often the opposite happens, and they end up encumbered by businesses that bear little to no resemblance to those they had envisioned. They wind up working for their companies, but their companies don't work for them.

Despite the freedom that striking out on your own promises, most of the ...

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The Big Enough Company: How Women Can Build Great Businesses and Happier Lives

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Overview

All entrepreneurs start their companies because they think it will give them freedom-freedom to work on their own terms, be their own bosses, and create a company that meets their needs. But so often the opposite happens, and they end up encumbered by businesses that bear little to no resemblance to those they had envisioned. They wind up working for their companies, but their companies don't work for them.

Despite the freedom that striking out on your own promises, most of the accepted wisdom on how to build a small business advocates a one- size-fits-all approach. So-called experts-and sometimes just well-meaning friends-urge business owners to grow fast, be more profitable, and imitate other successful start-ups. And while these tips may work for some, they fail to consider the astounding variety of values and motivations that individuals have for starting a business. Too often, owners sacrifice their personal satisfaction in order to conform to unnecessary (and often unworkable) standards.

Adelaide Lancaster and Amy Abrams have seen this problem for years when working with women entrepreneurs like themselves. They set out to explore how successful female business owners have grown their enterprises in a way that sustains their own personal goals and needs, not someone else's standards.

Drawing on the true stories of nearly 100 entrepreneurs, as well as their own experiences, Abrams and Lancaster guide readers through the best principles that really matter when you work for yourself. For instance:

  • Figure out what's in it for you: Clarify why you started your business and what you want to get out of it over the long haul.
  • Find a role that suits your strengths: Identify where you add the most value and can have the most impact.
  • Embrace experimentation: Trying new things gives you the opportunity to see what works and what doesn't and opens up unseen possibilities.

This book empowers entrepreneurs to ignore popular "wisdom" and peer pressure to take charge of their businesses in a way that will help them succeed on their own terms.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lancaster and Abrams, the founders of In Good Company, a New York City community workspace for female entrepreneurs, draw on the acumen of 100 businesswomen for tips on building a strong, sustaining company tailored to your needs and capabilities. Entrepreneurs, they argue, frequently start their own businesses because they think leaving the corporate world will give them freedom and the power to be their own bosses—but as time goes by, the pressure to expand can leave them feeling that the businesses are owning them rather than the other way around. How do you sustain a company that is just big enough to deliver what you need and achieve what you want? The authors use case studies from their interviews to illustrate the need to undertake smart growth that is strategic, creative, and goal-driven, to clarify your goals and your purpose, to build and manage an effective team, and to keep focused and keep goals reasonable. Their approach is inspirational and strategic, rather than immediately actionable; it's smart, helpful reading that stops just short of providing a toolkit for putting real change into effect. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews

In Good Company founders Lancaster and Abrams interview 100 businesswomen in this snappy guide to entrepreneurial bliss.

This well-crafted book certainly isn't just for women, but rather for anyone dreaming of making their career work for them. Eschewing the traditional (and admittedly male) grow-it-and-sell-it model of entrepreneurship, the authors focus on helping struggling entrepreneurs create the kinds of companies they dream about. Sadly, write the authors, despite huge reserves of energy, drive and intelligence, many of those modern entrepreneurs end up getting in their own way. They take bad advice, expand when they shouldn't and sell things they don't care about. Lancaster and Abrams provide a recipe for success that begins with a series of simple yet penetrating questions that crystallize why someone would want to venture out on their own in the first place—and, subsequently, where they could go wrong. They advocate savvy business solutions that that would likely be anathema in the male-dominated corporate arena—e.g., sharing, cooperation, even friendship. Smashing the corporate paradigm is possible, and it never looked so rewarding and fun.

Knuckle-draggers in pinstripes will probably continue to look for the easy kill, but readers with a soul will want sit down, uncork the highlighter and dig in.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591844211
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/15/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.22 (w) x 6.26 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author


Amy Abrams and Adelaide Lancaster are the founders of In Good Company, a collaborative workspace for women business owners in New York City. In addition to their entrepreneurial ventures, they also work as consultants and career advisers, and their work has been featured in The New York Times and on MSNBC. Visit ingoodcompany.com.
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