If the measure of a Scarsdale education is the accomplishments of its alumni, then Scarsdale is top-notch. SHS grads are in the headlines daily. With the recent publication of her book, “For Better or for Work,” Meg Cadoux Hirshberg, a 1978 graduate of Scarsdale High can be added to the list of notable alums. Her guide to surviving the entrepreneurial life draws on her own experience as the wife of the founder of a successful business as well as powerful stories and insights from other families, gathered through hundreds of interviews.
Meg and her husband Gary Hirshberg live in New Hampshire where Gary cofounded Stonyfield Yogurt and currently serves as Chairman. According to Meg, the company “took nine painful years to reach profitability, and now, with about $370 million in sales, it is the largest organic yogurt company in the world.”
She is a freelance writer who focuses on work/life issues and contributes to Yankee, New Hampshire Magazine, and The Boston Globe Magazine and is a regular columnist for Inc. Magazine.
In “For Better or For Work,” she examines the impact of entrepreneurship on families and relationships. The book is a 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. Cadoux examines real-life situations like office romance, raising children while parenting a new business, nurturing a marriage and a new venture and what happens when illness strikes.
New Hampshire is miles away from Scarsdale in both distance and mindset. We asked Meg how her roots in Scarsdale influenced her life journey and here is what she shared:
“Growing up in Scarsdale, I felt a sense that anything was possible. We were taught to think and dream big. I developed my love of language and writing as well as an appreciation for rigorous thinking from some amazing teachers: Mr. Greenwood, Mr. Ladensack and Mr. Cauble in the English department; and Mr. Feig and Mr. Rothschild in the History Department. As students we were all incredibly lucky to be exposed to such excellence in a public school. I suspect that Scarsdale today has transformed along with the rest of our culture, and that students feel much more pressure to perform, and to funnel themselves into certain lucrative professions. I see that in what I'd imagine is a more muted form in my semi-rural New Hampshire community.
Entrepreneurship, which is what I write about, is a far riskier path—but full of many possible rewards, both personal and financial. You have to dream big to be an entrepreneur. When you move in the direction of your dreams, you can more fully realize your human potential. I hope that the parents and teachers in today's Scarsdale continue to send that message.”
The book has received positive reviews from the Financial Times, Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly as well as from many entrepreneurs who intimately know the content she covers. Ben Cohen, Cofounder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, says, ““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.”
Learn more about Meg, read and excerpt from her book and order your own copy at meghirshberg.com
(Pictured at top: Meg Cadoux Hirshberg)