A must-read guide for small business owners navigating a critical turning point: when you either level up or give up.
It’s never been easier to start a business—and it’s never been harder to scale it. Half of new businesses in America don’t make it past five years. Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson want to help today’s entrepreneurs beat the odds by revealing the unseen tethers that keep small businesses from growing and thriving.
Drawing on firsthand experience starting and scaling multiple companies over nearly two decades, Now® cofounders Abrams and Hodgson crystallize their hard-won advice into a single how-to, got-to guide for small business owners. In Level Up, they share intense behind-the-scenes stories of building their own businesses, as well as actionable, get-it-done principles for founders looking to propel their ventures forward.
This is straight talk from the trenches on real issues like hiring, identifying a revenue strategy, recognizing when growth is a trap, and managing cash flow, from a duo that’s been there. Abrams and Hodgson also elevate and share the experiences of other successful founders including, Jules Pieri of The Grommet, Alisa Clark of Glory Professional Services, and Sheila Jordan of Knowledge Architects.
New businesses started by entrepreneurs drive net new job growth. Yet, for the last four decades, startups have increasingly struggled to overcome a system of red tape and barriers to capital and commerce. As a new generation of founders launches a flurry of firms in the wake of the pandemic recession, Abrams and Hodgson offer key insights and support to help entrepreneurs break free and get to the next level.
About the Author
STACEY ABRAMS is the three-time New York Times bestselling author of While Justice Sleeps, Our Time is Now, and Lead from the Outside, an entrepreneur; and a political leader. A tax attorney by training, she served eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives and seven as Minority Leader. Abrams has launched multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at the state, national, and international levels. She is the founder of Fair Fight, Fair Count, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project. A small business owner, Abrams co-founded the financial services firm NOW Corp. and Sage Works Productions, Inc., a media company. She has received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School.
LARA HODGSON is President and CEO of NOW Corp, and has served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School. Prior to Now, Lara co-founded Nourish (a children’s products company), and Insomnia, LLC, a firm specializing in investment, development, and management of complex and innovative “worldchanging” projects. Her background also includes 5 years with Dewberry Capital Corporation, an Atlanta-based commercial real estate development and investment firm, where she served as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Lara received an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a BS in Aerospace Engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Today, she serves as a Trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation in addition to other Boards. E&Y recognized Lara as a 2018 Finalist for the Southeast Entrepreneur of the Year. and named her to the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2019.
HEATHER CABOT is an award-winning journalist, author, and former ABC News correspondent/anchor. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed business narrative, The New Chardonnay: The Unlikely Story of How Marijuana Went Mainstream (Currency, 2020), co-author of Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), and a freelance writer published in Forbes, Elle, Parents, The Huffington Post, People, USA Today, and more. Following her time reporting for ABC’s Good Morning America and anchoring World News Now/World News This Morning, Cabot served as Yahoo! Web Life Editor from 2007-12 and appeared regularly on NBC’s TODAY, cable news outlets, and daytime TV talk shows to report on consumer tech and digital trends. She is a member of the Alumni Board of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and was an adjunct professor at the school from 2012-17.
Author Residence: Abrams and Hodgson: Atlanta, Georgia