Episode 209 of the Holistic Business Podcast, Small Business Degrowth

Small Business Degrowth

We are taught that growth is an economic requirement, a fact rather than a choice, and the only path to business success. But what if degrowth is what we need, both as a collective and as small business owners?

Why do you want to grow your business?

Is it because you have a specific revenue goal? A family to support, or dreams to fulfill? Something you’re saving towards, like a house, or debt you’re paying off?

Or is it because you think you have to?

Growth as a loose, undefined concept is everywhere. We’re taught that it’s an economic imperative, and that as business owners, if we’re not growing, we’re dying.

But what happens when growth is causing the problems we’re facing, either collectively in the form of climate change, or personally in the form of health issues and burnout?

What if what we actually need is degrowth?

After finding herself pursuing growth for the sake of growth, holistic business coach Sarah M. Chappell ran right into a nasty surprise: deep burnout. Tune in to hear what Sarah learned about the burnout of scaling, why she’s excited by the idea of economic degrowth, and how it might apply to small business success.


00:30—What is degrowth?
3:40—What kind of business models are valued?
7:10—Scalability and alienation
11:48—The functions of work
14:56—How to apply degrowth to small business


Ren Zatopek
“Reversing the Freight Train” by Geoff Mann
“The Precariat” by Guy Standing
“The Precariat and Class Struggle” by Guy Standing
HBP Episode 198: Why Holistic Business
Aja Barber

Share this episode with a friend and follow the Holistic Business Academy on Instagram and Twitter to stay connected!