Entrepreneurs / Investors

133 of the Best Paul Jarvis Quotes (COMPANY OF ONE)

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A minimalist approach to business, Paul Jarvis is the founder of PJRVS and the author of Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business.

His focal point is to question business growth.

Not all business growth is good.

Countless businesses failed, not because of competition or bad business plans, but because they scaled up too quickly.

‘Growth at all cost’ is a broken, outdated, and unsubstantiated model that disregards what research has told us about the hazards of growth and scale.”

Paul Jarvis

Growing too quickly can lead to undue stress, overhead, and responsibilities. Sometimes, staying small is the smartest strategy for the longevity of your business.

These are the two key points behind Company of One’s philosophy:

  1. Question growth because not all growth is healthy.
  2. Build your business around your life, not the other way around.

If you want an ultra-lean approach to running your business – little to no overheads and fast to profit – then Jarvis’s book is definitely a must-read.

Further reading:

Below are the best Paul Jarvis quotes so you can take a mindful approach to run a Company of One business without having to bother with infinite growth.

(MUST READ)

18 Quotes on Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business

A Company of One resists and questions some forms of traditional growth, not on principle, but because growth isn’t always the most beneficial or financially viable move.”

Paul Jarvis
A Company of One is simply a business that questions growth.
A Company of One is simply a business that questions growth.
There's a core assumption that growth is always good, is always unlimited, and is required for success.
There’s a core assumption that growth is always good, is always unlimited, and is required for success.
If you are a company of one, your mind-set is to build your business around your life, not the other way around.
If you are a company of one, your mind-set is to build your business around your life, not the other way around.
This fetishization of wanting more, are empty promises of happiness and fulfillment that never seem to come to fruition.
This fetishization of wanting more, are empty promises of happiness and fulfillment that never seem to come to fruition.
Sometimes 'enough' or even less is all we need, since 'more' too often equates to more stress and more problems.
Sometimes ‘enough’ or even less is all we need, since ‘more’ too often equates to more stress and more problems.
We can easily run a business with less, although to many people that seems counterintuitive.
We can easily run a business with less, although to many people that seems counterintuitive.
Basically, I'm not interested in addressing problems by throwing 'more' at them.
Basically, I’m not interested in addressing problems by throwing ‘more’ at them.
Solving with 'more' means more complexity, more costs, more responsibilities, and typically more expenses.
Solving with ‘more’ means more complexity, more costs, more responsibilities, and typically more expenses.
More is generally the easiest answer, but not the smartest.
More is generally the easiest answer, but not the smartest.
I've found both delight and financial benefits in working out solutions to problems without growing.
I’ve found both delight and financial benefits in working out solutions to problems without growing.
Even at a large corporation, you're essentially the only person who looks out for your own best interests.
Even at a large corporation, you’re essentially the only person who looks out for your own best interests.
For me being a company of one means not having to bother with infinite growth.
For me being a company of one means not having to bother with infinite growth.
I just focus on maximizing work in a way that works for me, which can sometimes mean doing less.
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.
Work can be done at a pace that suits my sanity rather than one that supports costly overhead.
As much as I enjoy growing my wealth, I also realize that there's a point of diminishing returns if I don't take care of myself and my well-being.
As much as I enjoy growing my wealth, I also realize that there’s a point of diminishing returns if I don’t take care of myself and my well-being.
Growing your business might actually be the worst decision you could make for the longevity of your business.
Growing your business might actually be the worst decision you could make for the longevity of your business.
A Company of One is not anti-growth, or anti-revenue, and it's not just a one-person business either (although it certainly can be).
A Company of One is not anti-growth, or anti-revenue, and it’s not just a one-person business either (although it certainly can be).
A Company of One questions growth first, and then resists it if there's a better, smarter way forward.
A Company of One questions growth first, and then resists it if there’s a better, smarter way forward.

6 Paul Jarvis Quotes on Resiliency

Contrary to popular belief, resilience isn't something that only a select few are born with.
Contrary to popular belief, resilience isn’t something that only a select few are born with.
The first trait that resilient people have is an acceptance of reality.
The first trait that resilient people have is an acceptance of reality.
I'm not going to stop writing today because my neighbor is using his deafening chainsaw.
I’m not going to stop writing today because my neighbor is using his deafening chainsaw.
The second characteristic of resilient people is a sense of purpose - being motivated by a sense of meaning rather than just money.
The second characteristic of resilient people is a sense of purpose – being motivated by a sense of meaning rather than just money.
Company of One know that they can enjoy their work without always enjoying every aspect of it.
Company of One know that they can enjoy their work without always enjoying every aspect of it.
The last trait of resilient people is the ability to adapt when things change - because they invariably do.
The last trait of resilient people is the ability to adapt when things change – because they invariably do.

5 Paul Jarvis Quotes on the Reality of Life & Business

And not only was I still making more profit than if I had been salaried at an agency, but I could still make the most of the price I was charging because my overhead was almost nothing.”

Paul Jarvis
62 percent of jobs in America will be in danger within the next ten to twenty years.
62 percent of jobs in America will be in danger within the next ten to twenty years.
As much as we can joke about 'welcoming our robot overloads,' the threat is real.
As much as we can joke about ‘welcoming our robot overloads,’ the threat is real.
However, what's difficult to automate is exactly what makes a company of one great.
However, what’s difficult to automate is exactly what makes a company of one great.
The role of creatively solving difficult problems is more dependent on an irreplaceable individual.
The role of creatively solving difficult problems is more dependent on an irreplaceable individual.
I had a model for revenue that larger agencies couldn't have replicated without scaling down immensely.
I had a model for revenue that larger agencies couldn’t have replicated without scaling down immensely.

6 Paul Jarvis Quotes on Automany and Control

People want autonomy and control in their lives, especially when it comes to their careers.
People want autonomy and control in their lives, especially when it comes to their careers.
Being a Company of One lets you control your own life and your job.
Being a Company of One lets you control your own life and your job.
Having complete control but not a clue what you're doing is a recipe for disaster.
Having complete control but not a clue what you’re doing is a recipe for disaster.
Companies of One know how to break standard rules for the greater good.
Companies of One know how to break standard rules for the greater good.
Freelancing now accounts for more than one-third of jobs in America.
Freelancing now accounts for more than one-third of jobs in America.
Companies of One need to be generalists who are good at several things - often at once.
Companies of One need to be generalists who are good at several things – often at once.

4 Paul Jarvis Quotes on Speed (VELOCITY)

Companies of One work best under constraints - because that's where creativity and ingenuity thrive.
Companies of One work best under constraints – because that’s where creativity and ingenuity thrive.
Companies of One question their systems, processes, and structure to become more efficient.
Companies of One question their systems, processes, and structure to become more efficient.
Speed is not merely about frantically working faster. It's about figuring out the best way to accomplish a task with efficient methods.
Speed is not merely about frantically working faster. It’s about figuring out the best way to accomplish a task with efficient methods.
An aspect of speed in a Company of One is the ability to pivot quickly when a customer base or market changes.
An aspect of speed in a Company of One is the ability to pivot quickly when a customer base or market changes.

8 Paul Jarvis Quotes on Minimalism and Simplicity

For a Company of One at any size, simple rules, simple processes, and simple solutions typically win.
For a Company of One at any size, simple rules, simple processes, and simple solutions typically win.
For a Company of One to succeed, a strategy for simplifying isn't just a desirable goal but an absolute requirement.
For a Company of One to succeed, a strategy for simplifying isn’t just a desirable goal but an absolute requirement.
Simplicity has to be a mandate.
Simplicity has to be a mandate.
If you have an idea for starting a business that requires a lot of money, time, or resources, you're likely thinking too big.
If you have an idea for starting a business that requires a lot of money, time, or resources, you’re likely thinking too big.
Do it now, do it on the cheap, and do it quickly - and then iterated upon.
Do it now, do it on the cheap, and do it quickly – and then iterated upon.
Start without automation or infrastructure or overhead.
Start without automation or infrastructure or overhead.
Focus on helping people immediately with what you've got available to you right now.
Focus on helping people immediately with what you’ve got available to you right now.
Start out as simple as possible, and always fervently question adding new layers of complexity.
Start out as simple as possible, and always fervently question adding new layers of complexity.

24 Paul Jarvis Quotes on Defining and Determining the Right Mindset

Businesses often forget about their current audience - the people who are already listening, buying, and engaging.
Businesses often forget about their current audience – the people who are already listening, buying, and engaging.
Make sure you're listening to, communicating with, and helping the people who are already paying attention to you.
Make sure you’re listening to, communicating with, and helping the people who are already paying attention to you.
Businesses failed, not because of competition or bad business plans, but because they scaled up too quickly.
Businesses failed, not because of competition or bad business plans, but because they scaled up too quickly.
Growth, as a primary business strategy, is not only a bad business strategy, but an entirely harmful one.
Growth, as a primary business strategy, is not only a bad business strategy, but an entirely harmful one.
86 percent of companies that succeeded in the long-term did not take VC money.
86 percent of companies that succeeded in the long-term did not take VC money.
Companies of One focus on stability, simplicity, independence, and long-term resilience.
Companies of One focus on stability, simplicity, independence, and long-term resilience.
Companies of One focus on what can be done in the here and now, not what can be done with investment.
Companies of One focus on what can be done in the here and now, not what can be done with investment.
There is never enough for the hungry ghost, so it's always looking for more.
There is never enough for the hungry ghost, so it’s always looking for more.
In business, the hungry ghost is the quest for more growth, more profit, more followers, more likes.
In business, the hungry ghost is the quest for more growth, more profit, more followers, more likes.
Starbucks learned the hard way that better isn't always bigger.
Starbucks learned the hard way that better isn’t always bigger.
Sometimes the best plan is focused on your current customer's success, not on chasing leads and growth.
Sometimes the best plan is focused on your current customer’s success, not on chasing leads and growth.
Staying small is my end goal... I look toward betterment instead of infinite growth.
Staying small is my end goal… I look toward betterment instead of infinite growth.
Small can be a long-term plan, not just stepping-stone.
Small can be a long-term plan, not just stepping-stone.
The business world is constantly being disrupted with new automations and technologies, and this is a good thing.
The business world is constantly being disrupted with new automations and technologies, and this is a good thing.
Technology has made it easy to do what used to cost thousands or require a team of people.
Technology has made it easy to do what used to cost thousands or require a team of people.
There is no longer the single track to security of going to school, getting a degree, and finding and keeping a job until retirement.
There is no longer the single track to security of going to school, getting a degree, and finding and keeping a job until retirement.
Jobs and career tracks are no longer as secure as they were decades ago.
Jobs and career tracks are no longer as secure as they were decades ago.
When you hire employees, you're responsible for them.
When you hire employees, you’re responsible for them.
The Census Bureau data shows that each year it becomes easier and less risky to work for yourself and still make a decent living.
The Census Bureau data shows that each year it becomes easier and less risky to work for yourself and still make a decent living.
The number of non-employee establishments with an annual revenue of $1 million grew by nearly 6% in 2015.
The number of non-employee establishments with an annual revenue of $1 million grew by nearly 6% in 2015.
You can outsource or hire freelancers to cover tasks that were traditionally done by an employee.
You can outsource or hire freelancers to cover tasks that were traditionally done by an employee.
As long as you're doing great work that's in demand, working for yourself has no limits.
As long as you’re doing great work that’s in demand, working for yourself has no limits.
Most businesses set goals and targets, but few consider having an upper bound to them.
Most businesses set goals and targets, but few consider having an upper bound to them.
If growth happens too quickly, problem can arise.
If growth happens too quickly, problem can arise.

6 Paul Jarvis Quotes on People and Personalities

Socrates said that envy is the ulcer to the soul, meaning that we can easily become negatively affected by the success of others.
Socrates said that envy is the ulcer to the soul, meaning that we can easily become negatively affected by the success of others.
We idolize other people and think that their path to success is our own key to happiness.
We idolize other people and think that their path to success is our own key to happiness.
Envy is hard to manage, as it's a socially unacceptable emotion.
Envy is hard to manage, as it’s a socially unacceptable emotion.
When we give in to envious feelings, the best we can hope for is second best.
When we give in to envious feelings, the best we can hope for is second best.
Envy is based on a false comparison, like comparing uncooked ingredients to a delicious baked pie.
Envy is based on a false comparison, like comparing uncooked ingredients to a delicious baked pie.
Every business has not only its successes but also its failures.
Every business has not only its successes but also its failures.

21 Paul Jarvis Quotes on What’s Required to Lead

Charisma can be taught or brought out when required, even in quiet individuals.
Charisma can be taught or brought out when required, even in quiet individuals.
A company's goals are best achieved by helping workers or customers achieve their goals.
A company’s goals are best achieved by helping workers or customers achieve their goals.
Companies of One are sometimes quiet people who are internally motivated to make a difference in the world without shouting.
Companies of One are sometimes quiet people who are internally motivated to make a difference in the world without shouting.
I've turned my introversion into a positive tool, instead of an excuse for inaction.
I’ve turned my introversion into a positive tool, instead of an excuse for inaction.
A leader's job is to provide clear direction and then get out of the way.
A leader’s job is to provide clear direction and then get out of the way.
The time is at hand to embrace generalist thinking and the understanding of many things.
The time is at hand to embrace generalist thinking and the understanding of many things.
You need to know how and why people make decisions about your products or services.
You need to know how and why people make decisions about your products or services.
The more we learn about effective communication, the better we'll be at leading, as our directives will be better understood.
The more we learn about effective communication, the better we’ll be at leading, as our directives will be better understood.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
We should never assume that having an abundance of knowledge is the same as having an abundance of wisdom.
We should never assume that having an abundance of knowledge is the same as having an abundance of wisdom.
The truth is, much of business is a guess.
The truth is, much of business is a guess.
It's important to be able to bounce back and reenergize a team when failure strikes. Because it will.
It’s important to be able to bounce back and reenergize a team when failure strikes. Because it will.
More isn't better - better is better.
More isn’t better – better is better.
Do we really need to push our workers and ourselves to work longer hours to see better results?
Do we really need to push our workers and ourselves to work longer hours to see better results?
The value of leading a company of one is your ability to stay agile and nimble.
The value of leading a company of one is your ability to stay agile and nimble.
In saying no to anything that doesn't fit, you leave room to say yes to those rare opportunities that do fit.
In saying no to anything that doesn’t fit, you leave room to say yes to those rare opportunities that do fit.
The qualities that lead to the leadership roles we achieve are the exact qualities that diminish once leadership roles are attained.
The qualities that lead to the leadership roles we achieve are the exact qualities that diminish once leadership roles are attained.
As a leader of a company of one of any size, you're subject to the myth that you've got to be indefatigable.
As a leader of a company of one of any size, you’re subject to the myth that you’ve got to be indefatigable.
Self-awareness is an absolute requirement.
Self-awareness is an absolute requirement.
By recognizing that we are all human - we can break down and debug this idea that leaders have to be infallible.
By recognizing that we are all human – we can break down and debug this idea that leaders have to be infallible.
As leaders, our job is to be self-aware and to check in on ourselves regularly.
As leaders, our job is to be self-aware and to check in on ourselves regularly.

18 Wise Paul Jarvis Quotes When You Are Just Starting Out

Working for yourself doesn't have to mean working by yourself.
Working for yourself doesn’t have to mean working by yourself.
Starting your own company of one with a focus on profitability right from the start is imperative.
Starting your own company of one with a focus on profitability right from the start is imperative.
Start with just the smallest version of your idea and a way to make it happen.
Start with just the smallest version of your idea and a way to make it happen.
Instead of waiting (sometimes for years) for bigger wins to happen, you can use small wins to propel you.
Instead of waiting (sometimes for years) for bigger wins to happen, you can use small wins to propel you.
Focus on where you can test the waters without a massive investment of time and money.
Focus on where you can test the waters without a massive investment of time and money.
Starting out small is the best time to learn what your business truly is and why it serves who it serves.
Starting out small is the best time to learn what your business truly is and why it serves who it serves.
Start with just the smallest version of your idea and find a way to make it happen.
Start with just the smallest version of your idea and find a way to make it happen.
Easing up on the 'growth equals success' mentality opens you up to starting and becoming more profitable much sooner.
Easing up on the ‘growth equals success’ mentality opens you up to starting and becoming more profitable much sooner.
Even a business that doesn't want to grow much needs to constantly learn, adapt, and refine.
Even a business that doesn’t want to grow much needs to constantly learn, adapt, and refine.
There's a real difference between growth as a goal and growth as a direct result of profit from sales of a valuable product.
There’s a real difference between growth as a goal and growth as a direct result of profit from sales of a valuable product.
Your business is more than just a pretty-sounding mission statement on your website; it's how your business acts and represents itself.
Your business is more than just a pretty-sounding mission statement on your website; it’s how your business acts and represents itself.
After all, doing business boils down to serving others in a mutually beneficial way.
After all, doing business boils down to serving others in a mutually beneficial way.
Whether you're a fortune 500 CEO or a freelancer, your purpose is what drives you to succeed and defines what success is.
Whether you’re a fortune 500 CEO or a freelancer, your purpose is what drives you to succeed and defines what success is.
Your purpose is your values put into action.
Your purpose is your values put into action.
Defining your purpose has more to do with your personal values and ethics than with business plans or marketing strategies.
Defining your purpose has more to do with your personal values and ethics than with business plans or marketing strategies.
If you don't feel a deep connection to your purpose, no one else will feel it either.
If you don’t feel a deep connection to your purpose, no one else will feel it either.
A lack of purpose will keep you focused on short-term goals over long-term sustainability.
A lack of purpose will keep you focused on short-term goals over long-term sustainability.
If your idea requires a lot of money, time, or resources, you're probably thinking too big too soon.
If your idea requires a lot of money, time, or resources, you’re probably thinking too big too soon.

17 Paul Jarvis Quotes on Passion and Being Unique in Your Company of One

It is more important to focus on solving problems than on passion.
It is more important to focus on solving problems than on passion.
Passion doesn't precede mastery, but follows it.
Passion doesn’t precede mastery, but follows it.
Passion isn't the catalyst that creates success, but more often what develops after success is achieved.
Passion isn’t the catalyst that creates success, but more often what develops after success is achieved.
The gist is this: you can pursue any passion you want, but you shouldn't feel entitled to make money off it.
The gist is this: you can pursue any passion you want, but you shouldn’t feel entitled to make money off it.
Passion in work comes from first crafting a valuable skill set and mastering your work.
Passion in work comes from first crafting a valuable skill set and mastering your work.
You can't somehow buy more hours, you need to find ways to use those hours better.
You can’t somehow buy more hours, you need to find ways to use those hours better.
Being vanilla isn't going to work. Company of One have to be the pistachio ice cream of their market.
Being vanilla isn’t going to work. Company of One have to be the pistachio ice cream of their market.
Start doing the kinds of unique and unusual things that attract attention in order to make your business distinct.
Start doing the kinds of unique and unusual things that attract attention in order to make your business distinct.
It's like creating messaging for pistachio ice cream lovers while poking fun at boring vanilla.
It’s like creating messaging for pistachio ice cream lovers while poking fun at boring vanilla.
If we try to appeal to everyone, we won't appeal to anyone in particular.
If we try to appeal to everyone, we won’t appeal to anyone in particular.
A company that isn't telling a compelling story can devolve into boring and forgettable vanilla ice cream.
A company that isn’t telling a compelling story can devolve into boring and forgettable vanilla ice cream.
As Company of One, we are very much in the people serving business.
As Company of One, we are very much in the people serving business.
Treating customers with respect shouldn't be rewarded - such service should be expected.
Treating customers with respect shouldn’t be rewarded – such service should be expected.
In truth, your customers don't care if your business is profitable - but if you help them become profitable too - they'll never leave you.
In truth, your customers don’t care if your business is profitable – but if you help them become profitable too – they’ll never leave you.
Empathy in business can sometimes mean just being a caring human begin.
Empathy in business can sometimes mean just being a caring human begin.
Most companies say that customers are their top priority, it's uncommonly rare to see that idea put into practice.
Most companies say that customers are their top priority, it’s uncommonly rare to see that idea put into practice.
Customer happiness is the new marketing.
Customer happiness is the new marketing.

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