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Chris Lautenslager: Big Success in Small Companies

Chris Lautenslager: Big Success in Small Companies
Photo Courtesy: Chris Lautenslager

Chris Lautenslager offers a refreshing perspective: the key to success and fulfillment sometimes lies in going small. With a wealth of experience in both large corporations and small private companies, Chris’s insights shed light on why joining a small business can be a game-changer for your career and personal satisfaction.

The Illusion of Corporate Love

Chris Lautenslager’s journey began with a deep-seated passion for the corporate world. Fresh out of Northwestern with an MBA, he landed prestigious roles at Credit Suisse and Intercontinental Exchange, some of the world’s renowned corporations. Like many, Chris initially felt a sense of accomplishment and belonging. However, over time, he came to a painful realization: corporations don’t love you back.

“I remember feeling special, like I’d won my version of The Bachelorette by being selected over a slew of other candidates,” Chris recalls. “But it became clear that the corporation didn’t share the same level of commitment. They are accountable to their shareholders, not their employees.”

This realization is a common experience for many corporate employees. Despite the hard work and dedication, the loyalty and love you might expect from a long-term commitment are often absent. Corporations primarily focus on reducing costs and maximizing shareholder value, leaving employees undervalued and unfulfilled.

The Allure of Small Private Companies

Faced with the disillusionment of corporate life, Chris sought alternatives. His answer? Small private companies. Unlike their larger counterparts, private companies operate with greater flexibility and a focus on meaningful experiences for employees, customers, and communities.

“Small private companies are the overlooked, unpolished gems in today’s world,” Chris asserts. “Sure, they’re not perfect, and some can be challenging to work for, but they have the potential to be amazing. They’re leading innovations in fields like 3D printing, sustainability, and gene editing.”

Private companies, unshackled by the relentless pressure to reduce costs, can prioritize different values. They can create supportive, engaging work environments that foster personal and professional growth. This flexibility allows them to innovate and adapt quickly, often leading to breakthroughs in their respective industries.

The Personal Touch: Get Looped

In 2001, Chris co-founded Dune Energy, a private company that went public on NASDAQ in 2004. This experience further solidified his belief in the power of small businesses. Today, as the president of Get Looped, an organization dedicated to the advancement and advocacy of small businesses, Chris works with hundreds of business owners to help them realize their dreams.

“Get Looped is all about supporting small businesses,” Chris explains. “We provide the resources, advocacy, and networking opportunities they need to thrive. Seeing these businesses grow and succeed is incredibly rewarding.”

Through Get Looped, Chris helps small businesses navigate challenges and seize opportunities, reinforcing the idea that small companies can achieve big success with the right support and mindset.

Key Lessons from Chris Lautenslager

Drawing from his extensive experience, Chris shares three primary lessons for anyone considering a shift from the corporate world to small businesses:

  • Corporations Don’t Love You: Corporations can offer stability and experience, but they can’t provide meaning and fulfillment. Recognize that while they can help pay your bills, they are not committed to your personal growth or happiness.
  • Small Companies are Hidden Gems: Small private companies might not have the same resources or prestige as large corporations, but they offer unparalleled opportunities for innovation and personal impact. These companies often lead in cutting-edge industries and can provide a more satisfying and dynamic work environment.
  • Life is Short, Prioritize What Matters: Time moves quickly, and it’s essential to align your career with your values and passions. Working for a small company can allow you to prioritize meaningful work and create a positive impact on your community and industry.

Embracing the Small Business Mindset

Chris Lautenslager’s advocacy for small businesses goes beyond mere preference; it’s a call to rethink how we define success and fulfillment in our careers. By embracing the unique opportunities that small companies offer, individuals can find more than just a job—they can find a purpose.

“Going small doesn’t mean thinking small,” Chris emphasizes. “It means focusing on what truly matters and making a significant impact in ways that large corporations often can’t.”

For those feeling stuck in the corporate grind, Chris’s message is clear: consider the path less traveled. Explore opportunities with small private companies where you can contribute to innovative projects, build close-knit teams, and enjoy a work environment that values your input and well-being.


Chris Lautenslager’s insights into the benefits of working for small private companies provide a compelling argument for those seeking greater fulfillment and success in their careers. By choosing to go small, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities where your contributions are valued, and your work has a direct, meaningful impact. In the pursuit of professional and personal satisfaction, sometimes going small is the biggest decision you can make.

Chris is a professional speaker who inspires and motivates small businesses and their members at conferences and private events throughout North America. He can be contacted at


Published By: Aize Perez


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