Meg’s Book

For Better Or For WorkHow does someone who is obsessed live peacefully with others who are not? That question summarizes the quandary faced by company founders and their families. To answer it, I examine the impact—for better and for worse—of entrepreneurial businesses on families and relationships, and vice versa.

For Better or For Work is a vital guide to navigating the emotional and logistical terrain of business-building while simultaneously enjoying a fulfilling family life. From the trials of co-habiting with a home-based business to the queasy necessity of borrowing money from family and friends to the complexities of intergenerational succession, no topic is taboo. The entrepreneur will learn how to build a successful business without sacrificing healthy family relationships to the financial and emotional rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship.

This book is also a reminder that no entrepreneurial family trudges the hard trail of company-building alone. If you have embarked on such an enterprise, you and your spouse will find comfort and guidance in the experiences of others like you. If you have not yet started a business, this book will allow you to take a good hard look before leaping. I draw on the struggles and triumphs that my husband Gary and I experienced as he built Stonyfield Yogurt, and I also share powerful stories and insights from other families, gathered through hundreds of interviews.

For Better or For Work will remind you that the long hours and late nights spent on the business or with the family are worth the effort, and will give you tools for making both endeavors successful.

Listen to Meg describe the book here.

My Book is available to order now through:

Click on appropriate logo to be taken directly to their ordering site

Media Reviews

“[One of the]12 Most Anticipated Business Books of 2012.”

“[One of the five] most influential, inspirational business books to be published this year….Meg Cadoux Hirshberg’s goal is to instill hope in weary entrepreneurs and to help them better manage the difficult balancing act of successfully running both a business and a family.”
Entrepreneur magazine

“One of the 12 best business books of the year….Small business owners and entrepreneurs, this book belongs on your shelf.”  AMEX Open Forum

“This honest text…should help to navigate the dangerous pitfalls of allowing a business to come and squat in the midst of a family.”
Financial Times

“An immensely beneficial, contemporary analysis of what makes modern-day working families really work.”
Kirkus Reviews

“An indispensable tool.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Hirshberg’s candid advice is not just refreshing but could prove essential to the success of a new startup…her hard-won lessons for relationship survival are worth more than a read–you might actually want to print them out.”
Forbes Woman

“Hirshberg is writing about the elephant in the entrepreneurial room.  Read For Better or For Work and you’ll clear out a lot of that unspoken clutter between you, your business, and your family.”
Small Business Trends

“This timely, engaging, and thought-provoking book offers important advice and perspective.”

Globe and Mail

“An indispensable new guidebook.”

“A rich source of anecdotes and insights.”
ForeWord Magazine

People Are Saying…

“I whole-heartedly recommend For Better Or For Work, not only for entrepreneurs but for their spouses and families, who all go through it together whether they like it or not…Meg is on my list of the 21 amazing authors that just might change your life.
—Dave Kerpen, NY Times Best-Selling Author & Keynote Speaker

“In For Better or For Work, Meg Cadoux Hirshberg has given us one of the best descriptions of the entrepreneurial experience that I have ever read. It is quite simply a marvelous book—beautifully written, unflinchingly honest, profoundly true.”
—Bo Burlingham, author, Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big

“I loved this book! I wish I’d had it when I was trying to start a business and raise my kids. It’s a must-read for anyone trying to build a balanced, passionate life.”
—Eileen Fisher, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Eileen Fisher

“Meg brings to life those crazy start-up years, those crazy entrepreneurial personalities, and the crazy effects of both on families trying to live with it all.  She offers excellent advice for surviving the madness.”
—Ben Cohen, Cofounder, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

“Meg Cadoux Hirshberg hits the sweet spot where remorse and laughter meet. I grew up around the kind of entrepreneurial energy she describes, and now I’m living it, so I know how exhilarating and frustrating the experience can be. While it is important to celebrate the accomplishments of those who turn dreams into brands, we must also recognize the hidden costs to their families and relationships. This book is a therapy session for founders’ families and for entrepreneurs themselves (assuming they can make time in their superhuman schedules to read it). I absolutely loved it!”
—Nell Newman, President, Newman’s Own Organics

“As a third-generation entrepreneur, I had a deep, emotional response to Meg Cadoux Hirshberg’s For Better or For Work. Meg has been first mate on an entrepreneurial voyage for most of her adult life. Having lived the adventure, body and soul, she distills her experiences and the gentle wisdom gained from them to readers on their own entrepreneurial journeys.”
—Jeff Swartz, former President and CEO, Timberland

“Meg Cadoux Hirshberg presents an eminently practical guide to living with an entrepreneur without going insane. Written with authority and uncommon good sense, For Better or For Work champions entrepreneurial drive while helping protect the families who are the beneficiaries of that drive and—at times—its victims.”
—Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group, and author, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

“I found Meg Cadoux Hirshberg’s story deeply moving. Through her own story and others, she provides much-needed transparency into the complicated experience of company building and advice for achieving love and satisfaction in both the business and personal realms. For Better or For Work is a gift and an inspiration.”
—Paulette Cole, Cofounder, CEO, and Creative Director, ABC Home

“Meg Hirshberg’s book will become the What to Expect When You’re Expecting for entrepreneurs and their life partners. If my wife and I had had a copy before we launched Honest Tea, we would have been better prepared to cope with the trials and occasional absurdities of developing a struggling beverage enterprise, a family, and a marriage all at the same time.”
—Seth Goldman, President, TeaEO, and Cofounder, Honest Tea

For Better or For Work is a must-read for anyone engaged in or thinking about beginning the entrepreneurial journey. Funny and accessible, Meg Cadoux Hirshberg chronicles the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of building a business while building a family. The stories of her own experience in the entrepreneurial trenches and of other families chasing their dreams are unforgettable, and the lessons she draws are powerful.”
—Nancy F. Koehn, James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

“My wife, Nancy, and I highly recommend that all entrepreneurial families read For Better or For Work. Knowing the reality upfront, you can prepare for it with eyes wide open.”
—Ron Shaich, Founder and Executive Chairman, Panera Bread

“Starting Nantucket Nectars was among the most intoxicating, fulfilling experiences of my life. For my wife, it was a long, isolating period in which she didn’t see enough of me. For Better or For Work brilliantly captured so many truths—when I read quotes aloud to my wife, she shook her head in recognition.”
—Tom First, Cofounder and former CEO, Nantucket Nectars, and Founder, OWATER

For Better or For Work should be required reading for the spouses and families of potential entrepreneurs as well as for entrepreneurs themselves, who rarely (if ever) appreciate the toll that entrepreneurship takes on their loved ones. Every chapter has at least one “punch in the gut” realization but also provides concrete recommendations for how to avoid the potholes in the road. Reading this book will help entrepreneurs and their families deal with the toughest parts of the journey, rather than being blindsided by them.”
—Noam Wasserman, Professor, Harvard Business School, and author, The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup

“We celebrate entrepreneurs as the life blood of our economy, but Meg Hirshberg strips away the myths and misconceptions and paints a vivid picture of entrepreneurialism as it really is—the dreams and the sacrifices, the setbacks and the triumphs. As someone who started her own business years ago, I can attest to hard truths that are deftly embedded in For Better or For Work. This book is a gold mine of perspective and advice. It is a terrific investment for entrepreneurs or anyone living a mission-driven life.”
—Kelly Close, President, Close Concerns

“This is a must-read for every would-be or current entrepreneur. Meg Hirshberg has lifted the veil on a little-discussed or noticed subject—what life is like for the loved ones of the entrepreneur building a company. Meg’s courageously honest, and deeply loving, book is an essential guide for those who want their families to not only survive, but to thrive, alongside their professional dreams.”
—Linda A. Mason, Chair and Cofounder, Bright Horizons Family Solutions

“As an educator of aspiring entrepreneurs, I have just discovered the missing shadow curriculum! With this book, Meg Cadoux Hirshberg describes with candor the largely undiscussed challenges of building an enterprise and a family at the same time. She warns families what to expect and offers practical advice on dealing with the inevitable strains and setbacks. All will identify with her stories and benefit from her insights.”
—Len Schlesinger, President, Babson College

“A thoughtful, witty, and humane look at the complicated connection between entrepreneurs and the people who love them. There are plenty of books about how to improve your company. With its wealth of memorable stories and sage advice, For Better or For Work is a must-read for improving the relationships that matter to you most.”
—Dorie Clark, President, Clark Strategic Communications, and author, What’s Next?: The Art of Reinventing Your Personal Brand

“In my Wharton course on leadership and in my work with organizations, I try to teach people how to create harmony among the different parts of their lives. Meg Cadoux Hirshberg’s warm, witty, and insightful book provides powerful ideas with vibrant illustrations of entrepreneurs in pursuit of this goal. Her engaging stories and commentary are filled with practical wisdom that will be of great use to all budding entrepreneurs as  well as those intrepid souls, and their loved ones, who are already running a business.”
—Stew Friedman, Practice Professor of Management, The Wharton School, and author, Total Leadership

My Book is available to order now through:

Click on appropriate logo to be taken directly to their ordering site