Displacement Principle in Startups and Small Business

by Tim Berry

It’s really pretty simple. Intuitive. I didn’t learn about it in business school; I learned about it while building and running a real business. I decided to call it the displacement principle. Displacement Principle: In the real world of small business, everything you do rules out something else you can’t do. My favorite metaphor is... Read More »

Lightning storm

Short Story on The Importance of Defining Blame

by Tim Berry

(Note: I happened on this story here on Quora, as an answer by Prashant Sharma. I decided to share it here because I like it. ) A bus full of passengers was on its journey. Suddenly the weather changed and there was a huge downpour and lightning all around.  The passengers saw that lightning appeared to strike their... Read More »

Don't tell your spouse

3 Things Never to Tell an Entrepreneur About her/his Spouse

by Tim Berry

I just read 7 Things Never to Tell Your Spouse About Business Finances, posted by Barry Molz on Amex OPEN forum. I like Barry and I like his work.  I’ve been on his podcast before and it was great. But his tone of voice in this post makes me uncomfortable. If you’re curious, compare Barry’s tone... Read More »


10 Mistakes Big Businesses Make with Small Business Owners

by Tim Berry

For several decades now I’ve been back and forth between working on and building my own business, helping others build theirs, helping people manage small business, and, occasionally, helping larger businesses understand and presumably sell to smaller businesses. So I watch and listen. And I see how big businesses try to reach the solopreneur, home... Read More »


Strategist? No, Please; not Me

by Tim Berry

I don’t want to be a strategist. Yeah, like you, I like to be a thinker. I like analysis. And strategy sounds cool. But the term strategist is too much pomp, arrogance, a relative of using utilize instead of use, or at that point of time instead of then. What reminded me was The Difference Between a... Read More »


Required Reading on Business Owners Making Critical Mistakes

by Tim Berry

For a good time take a look at the answers to this question on Quora: What are some classic examples of a founder letting his or her ego get in the way of making the right decision for a company? Now yes, that’s one stellar example of a loaded question. But — loaded or not —... Read More »


The Worst Business Pitch I’ve Seen in Years

by Tim Berry

Yesterday I received one of those hilarious examples of selling tactics that exactly contradict the pitch. This one was somebody selling business coaching and online marketing, hoping to target business owners. He was using an annoying website comment bot with generic praise, and links to a very ugly website full of absurd promises in bright... Read More »


Just Turned Down a Consulting Job and I’m Glad

by Tim Berry

I just answered a social media consulting inquiry with this… No, I’m sorry, that’s not what we really do well. We’re a business, so we’d have to charge you; and we wouldn’t be giving you your money’s worth. … and I went on to recommend somebody else. The person I recommended as a consultant does... Read More »


Is It Stupid to Ask for a Better Email Address?

by Tim Berry

He asked me about my business plan review, something I like doing, and that I charge for. I should be happy, right? And forthcoming? But his email address is three letters having nothing to do with his name, plus three numbers, at yahoo.com (like nnn###@yahoo.com). So I asked him, before sending a work sample, to... Read More »


Do You Underestimate Time for Tasks You Like?

by Tim Berry

Damn! I just did it again. Even after 30+ years running my own business I still underestimate time for tasks I like, and overestimate time for tasks I don’t like. I like writing, and I like programming, which is definitely cool because that’s how I built a business. But when I look ahead, trying to... Read More »