Engagement and an Integrated Life [Quote]

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What is engagement? In this quote from author James Nolan, taken from his book Doing the Right Thing at Work, we take a look at how it ties in with living an integrated life.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. David says:

    I’ve been following your blog, and I have a question. Is it possible to be a small-time entrepreneur? You mention in your story how you grew from 6 employees to 600+. I realize this is not the path you chose, but could success be sustainable with 6 employees? I wrestle with this idea, and notice companies like this one.
    http://aurorashoeco.blogspot.com/p/our-story.html
    I haven’t bought shoes from them, or know much about them, but I’m interested in the possibility of a small company that has good products, good culture, pays a living wage, and where everyone works 40 hours a week on average. Do you think this vision exists in reality?

    1. David DeWolf says:

      Yes, building a small, lifestyle, business is achievable. I’d imagine that there are two challenges you’ll face.

      First, you’ve probably heard the phrase “if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward”. In many ways, I have found this to be true in business. It’s hard to maintain status quo. The weight of providing for your employees alone will likely drive you to push forward more than it will to pull back. Momentum is real, no matter what direction you’re taking.

      Now, don’t get me wrong. There are ways to create momentum without adding employees, but, the more momentum you have, the more tempting it will become to make sure that you don’t overburden your employees. I’m not sure what type of business you’re thinking about, but, the key for you will likely be finding leverage so that your growth and momentum don’t depend on additional employees (whether to drive the sales, deliver a service, or, provide support).

      Secondly, don’t underestimate the amount of work it takes to get a business off the ground and sustain it. I’m sorry to say it, but, a world where everyone works 40 hours a week on average is insanely difficult – especially in the entrepreneurial phases of a company’s lifecycle. I’m guessing you’ll find that the weight of providing for your people and the passion of making the business successful both drive you to do whatever it takes to keep the business going. I’m sure it’s achievable, but, as a first time entrepreneur, don’t assume it will be as easy as shutting down at 5:00. I can assure you there will be days when you’ll have to go above and beyond.

      You may want to check out my friend Stu McLaren. Stu’s mission in life is to help others build businesses that serve them and the vision that they have. He’s a great guy, too. Check out: http://stu.me/

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