June 3, 2020

When growth becomes “business cancer,” with Paul Jarvis

Episode 942:

Paul Jarvis is a writer and designer who has had his own company of one for the last two decades. His latest book, Company of One, explores why bigger isn’t always better in business.

He’s worked with professional athletes like Steve Nash and Shaquille O’Neal, corporate giants like Microsoft and Mercedes-Benz, and entrepreneurs with online empires like Danielle LaPorte and Marie Forleo.

Currently, he teaches popular online courses taken by over 14,00 students, hosts several podcasts, and develops small but mighty software solutions.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Paul’s career started in boutique web design before shifting to creating products like books, courses, and software
  • How Paul made the transition between web design and thought leadership over the course of 2 1/2 years
  • Why giving up working with long term clients was challenging for Paul, and how he realized that the changing nature of his business required saying goodbye
  • How the first product Paul decided to offer was a cookbook that did surprisingly well in sales, helping him enter the product lane
  • How Paul listens to his established audience and then designs products such as courses that answer their questions and address their needs and problems
  • How Paul was able to use response data from his mailing list to prove the value of his book Company of One to a publisher
  • What key concepts Paul’s book shares with readers about why “growth for the sake of growth” isn’t always the best way to run a business
  • Why up to 70% of businesses fail because they can’t sustain the resources they need for their own rapid growth
  • Why prioritizing growth can often cause you to make poor decisions for the long term health of your business
  • Why every business has an “organic size” that they need to be to operate, and why staying at the organic size of your business is critically important

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Additional Resources:


Stephen Woessner

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.