No one has limned the personal side of entrepreneurial life more vividly and honestly than has Meg Cadoux Hirshberg. Her column, Balancing Acts, grew out of a story, published in our 2008 Inc. 500 issue, that revealed how company building—in her case, the company was Stonyfield Farm—affects the relationship between husband and wife.
Her writing was so engaging, her story so resonant, that it begged to be continued in a regular column. As good columnists do, Meg quickly gained appreciative fans. Some of them were entrepreneurs who hadn't realized the toll their work was taking on their families; others were spouses who saw in Meg a reflection of their own concerns and doubts. But the message was invariably the same: Thank you for getting it so right.
The silent presence (and the occasional heavy) in Meg's columns is her husband, Gary Hirshberg, who built Stonyfield Farm from scratch into a national brand, sold it to the international concern Danone, and recently left his CEO position (though he remains chairman), which frees him to throw himself into a variety of new ventures. Many Inc. readers, and certainly Inc.'s editors, have wondered what Gary thought as Meg laid out the history of their life together. What was his reaction to those columns that revealed her intimate concerns about the often-strained relationship between entrepreneur and spouse?
This month's Balancing Acts answers those questions—because this one belongs to Gary. In an interview with Meg's editor, Leigh Buchanan, Gary talks about how Balancing Acts has influenced his thinking and behavior, and which columns made him cringe. Like Meg, Gary is appealing, honest, thoughtful, and reflective.
We are running this special Balancing Acts to mark the fact that Meg's columns have been collected and expanded into a book titled For Better or for Work. It's the first book to be published under our new imprint, An Inc. Original, and it will be available at all the better places. We are pleased to have had the good sense to give Meg a voice, doubly pleased that her experiences and insights will now be shared with an even wider audience.
By the way, as of this month, there is another way to read Balancing Acts and the rest of Inc.: We are now on the iPad, and also on the Kindle and the Nook.