Issue 89 - 01 | The Promise of Entrepreneurship
By Adelaide Lancaster Published Dec. 7, 2011 12:00 p.m.

“We are made to believe that when it comes to business success, bigger is always better. In our super-sized, consumption-oriented culture, not even small business is exempt from the pressure to grow for growth’s sake. We fixate on top-line revenue growth and increasing numbers of employees and locations. We pepper entrepreneurs with questions such as, 'What are your plans for expansion? What’s next? How many cities will you go to?' instead of asking what their goals are or why they started their business in the first place. When talk about growth we focus on speed, not sustainability. When we talk about success we focus on size, not satisfaction.

So much so that entrepreneurs doubt their own success and skill if they aren’t pursuing the largest form of their business possible. We’ve talked with countless business owners who run profitable ventures, make a good living, enjoy what they do every day, and have significant impact in their industry—but who also hesitate to call themselves successful. Why? Because their companies could be bigger, or they decided not to open several more locations, or they don’t have the largest market share—even though these are not the things that they want.

We believe that it doesn’t have to be this way. There is an alternative that is both rewarding and attainable—it just requires rethinking things a bit.”



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About Adelaide Lancaster | Adelaide Lancaster is the co-founder of In Good Company, a community, business learning center and coworking space for women entrepreneurs in Manhattan. She is a small business expert and has advised thousands of women entrepreneurs on how to create businesses that meet their needs and keep them satisfied over time. She earned two graduate degrees in psychology from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree from Colgate University.

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