Paul Downs: My Lifestyle Business

Paul Downs: My Lifestyle Business

We’re continuing our series with guest writer, Paul Downs, author of the book Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business


In 2011, I wrote a post to mark the completion of my 25th year in business. I took the opportunity to congratulate myself for having survived for so long. Commenters joined me in my celebration, except for one, who wasn’t so impressed. His denigration prompted a second post. Without revealing the details, I’ll say that these two posts capture the tension I feel as an owner: have I succeeded, and can I rest on my laurels, or should I always be trying to grow the business? Who benefits if I deploy my talents to their fullest, and is it worth it? I still don’t have an answer for that question.

Here are the posts:

Twenty Five Years, and I’m Still Standing

My Five Stages of Accepting Advice

Paul Downs

Paul Downs started making custom furniture in 1986, shortly after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in engineering. Downs has only one line on his résumé but he has a wide variety of skills gained in twenty-four years of running his business. His clients range from individuals and small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, all branches of the military, and foreign governments. Downs lives with his wife and three sons outside of Philadelphia.