Don’t Give Away Ownership As If it Were Just Credit. Please.

by Tim Berry

Please, entrepreneurs, this is important. Please don’t give away ownership in your startup, ever, except to partners who offer permanent help and value to the business, and will be there forever. That’s team members working the business, investors, or strategic partners with long-term commitments you can’t live without. Separate ownership, which is critical, and should... Read More »


7 Questions to Ask Before Doing Business With Your Spouse

by Tim Berry

I often say “choose an investor like you would choose a spouse.” Sometimes I say “choose a partner like you would choose a spouse.” But what if you already have the spouse, and you’re looking to start a business together? What do you choose? Before you start, it’s a yes or no question, I think.... Read More »


Some Suggestions for Family Business

by Tim Berry

I’ve done business with my wife, daughter, son-in-law, and various mixtures of those. Of course the classic advice on this is not to mix business with family. But people do. I read somewhere that 62 percent of the gross national product of the Western world is produced by family businesses. Furthermore, I don’t believe (much) in... Read More »


Reflection: 10 Lessons Learned in 22 Years of Successful Bootstrapping

by Tim Berry

(I posted this about two years ago on Small Business Trends. I’m reposting it here today because this is a good time of year for this kind of reflection. And maybe also for not writing a new post. Tim ) Last week a group of students interviewed me, as part of a class project, looking for... Read More »


Torn: True Stories on Kids, Career, and Conflict of Motherhood

by Tim Berry

Today is the first day of distribution for Samatha Walraven’s book Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career, and the Conflict of Modern Motherhood. I got an advance copy and it’s a good read: for working moms, of course, but also for working dads, and everybody else who cares about understanding some of the people they... Read More »


Family Business Succession 4 Years Later: The Rest of the Story

by Tim Berry

There I was, minding my own business, watching my twitter flow, contemplating my next blog post, when what should appear in my twitter but … well, you can see it here to the right, in the Tweetdeck version: mommyceo is Sabrina Parsons, my second of five grown-up children, who has been running Palo Alto Software... Read More »


An Entrepreneur’s Valentine’s Day Challenge

by Tim Berry

Today is a good day to object to all the phony entrepreneurship lore that has people putting aside life and love for business. The whole mystique of giving it all, being obsessed, and burning the midnight oil, while it might inspire some, leaves me as cold as ice. It’s a ruse. Don’t buy it. Despite... Read More »


True Story: Do Entrepreneurs Like Risk?

by Tim Berry

The answer to that question is: no. Not any more than the next person. They just like their business better. They took risks because they saw the goal. It was the dark side of building the company. They had to. But when it comes to savings and investment, no. Well, actually, the most correct answer... Read More »


3 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Exit Strategies

by Tim Berry

I’ve been hearing that phrase, exit strategy, for about 30 years now. I used it a lot as a standard component of business plans back in the 1980s when I made a living writing them. And I ignored it myself as I built my own business, for really good reasons, for a long time. I... Read More »

Thanks to Jonathan for the Profile

by Tim Berry

Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade, drew out the best of me for his podcast with me that he posted yesterday. He has a real knack for getting into the bigger issues, like both sides of entrepreneurship, and how important the rest of your life is, as compared to your business. Yes, we do talk... Read More »