Nothing Happens
by Itself
Copyright © 2023 Karl W. Palachuk

Hello Karl,

Baby Watch - Final, Final Update

Just over a week late, Emma was born Wednesday at 4:00 AM on the dot. Here's my happy daughter with Emma at about 14 hours old.

No conehead. Lots of hair. All fingers and toes accounted for. I know I'm biased, but she has a super sweet face and a personality to match.

I know lots of people are not "baby" people, so I appreciate your patience with me. I am a baby person. And now I'm a grandpa.

-- -- --

How Do Processes Disappear?

Time and time again, I find myself wondering how it's possible that a long-standing event or business appears to have no written processes.

Events run by volunteers make some sense. Whoever ran it last time isn't running it this time. No one was being paid. Nothing was written down. And whoever's running it this time has to start over from scratch.

But in business, this just shouldn't happen. But it does - ALL the time.

Outside the world of IT, I constantly hear about old businesses that somehow manage to get by year after year, decade after decade with no standard operating procedures. Some are even successful to a degree. I say that because I always hear about the lack of processes in the middle of a tirade about all the things that are wrong with the company.

As you know, I believe SOPs - standard operating procedures - over all else. You have a problem? A process will fix it!

Over time, every business develops some processes, whether they're written down or not. In other words, whether they're standardized or not. But somehow, those processes don't survive.

I have a lot of thoughts on this topic, but let me start with question: How do processes disappear? Where do they go and why? To really dig into this, we need to look at two related questions. #1 is easy. #2 is more difficult.

Q #1: Why do processes disappear. Answer: It's the way of the world. Change is constant. Everything atrophies. Entropy is the natural force that causes order to dissolve into disorder.

So, "why" is easy. People leave. Companies get sold. Managers come and go. Management fads make the rounds. There's no historical memory. A crisis causes a temporary interruption and things never return to "normal."

The much bitter question is ...

Q #2: Why is this allowed to happen? Answer: There is no commitment to processes. So, everyone's allowed to do whatever they want. Companies are built around personalities instead of processes.

I have literally seen companies with great processes fall apart very quickly with the loss of one person, simply because that one person took the commitment to processes with them. And in response to a unique situation, no one picked up the mantle of process enforcement.

I recommend two processes be created and placed above all others. First, the "prime directive" of operations shall be that, wherever there can be a standard operating procedure, there shall be a standard operating procedure.

And, second, there must be principle enforcer to make sure that SOPs are written, promulgated, implemented, enforce, and fine-tuned.

The way of the world - entropy - will never stop. The one person who knows everything will disappear. Old procedures will become irrelevant. Employees, clients, and vendors will change. Products and services will come and go. "Stuff" will happen.

But if there's an institutional commitment to processes, then everything can get back to normal (the state of well documented SOPs). Even if a company has to be rebuilt from scratch, it can be.

Maintaining SOPs is a lot like maintaining your house, your car, or your client's technology. If you ignore maintenance, something big and expensive happens, things fall apart, and fixing it becomes a project. And, often, it's an expensive project.

Bottom line: Process maintenance needs to be a regular part of your standard operating procedures.

PS: See the classic (early) SOP below - very relevant to managing SOPs.

-- -- --

Q4 - A VERY Busy End-of-Year


The first major change to the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community in five years!

Current members: You are automatically upgraded to Community Plus - and your membership price will never increase, no matter how much value we add.

New Membership Level

Since day one, we have worked hard keep adding new products, new programs, and new content. Members always get new books free of charge (see below). And all members have traditionally attended all of our 5-week courses for free.

But we noticed that some members take very few - or no - classes. So we're creating a new membership level that includes just one class and one certification exam over at IT Service Provider University. Everyone can use one free class, right?

So . . . Starting December 1st . . . the classic membership will become:

Community PLUS Membership - Includes all courses at ITSPU (currently 25 classes). Now includes three certification exams.

And the new 

Community Membership - Includes one course and one certification exam

The key differences between the classic membership (now Community Plus) and the lower-priced Community Member are:

Price. The new program is $799.

Includes ONE course and one certification exam. Also includes 50% discount on all classes and certification exams at ITSPU.

Both programs includes all of my books, checklists, trainings, audio programs, workbooks, weekly community Zoom meetings, and special members-only classes.

See all the details in my blog here:

Please email us if you have any questions: [email protected] or [email protected].

New Book . . . Sales are going well!

The IT Consultant's Year of Intention

We are in the final pre-release stage of publishing a new book: The IT Consultant's Year of Intention - A Workbook Dedicated to Your Success.

This is truly more than "a book" - it's a form-filled workbook to help you organize the year ahead. It is NOT just a simple business planner. It is guide to a successful year in your SMB IT consulting business.

Book release will be in October. Presales start NOW. This 150-page workbook will sell for only $29.95 (which is a great deal).

You can save an additional $5.00 if you order now! No code. Just order before October 10th. Buy now at

Note: Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community members should NOT order this book. You will receive it free inside the community before it is released to the public. Keep an eye out for the "Final Friday" newsletter on September 29th.

AND There's a Class!

Along with the book launch, we are holding a special series of classes and launching our new accountability group program - Breakouts. The series will kick off with four classes:

Members can find details and register FREE here:

Classes will be held

  • November 9
  • November 16
  • December 7
  • December 14

In each meeting, we'll walk through some pieces of the workbook, then have interactive discussions and a planning session related to the materials. Some attendees will then be part of an ongoing Breakout group that continues meeting into 2024. This will NOT be an never-ending peer group, but have a definite ending point. Having said that, I suspect some members will continue to get together when the formal meetings have come to an end.

Please note: Anyone and everyone is welcome to use the book. Only SBT community members have access to the classes and Breakouts.

Tid Bits . . .

I added the ITO Compass to my calendar below. If you have updates on events you plan to attend, please send them to me. Thanks.

-- -- --

Know a Toronto Tech?

One of our Community members is looking for a superstar tech in the Toronto area. He's absolutely not looking for a quiet quitter or someone who's not willing to work hard for a great salary.

If you are or know such a tech, email me - [email protected].

-- -- --

Note on AI Content (we don't use it).

As a professional author, I think it’s important to make clear my newsletter is written by me without any assistance from AI tools or apps. I'm sure we could generate massive amounts of mediocre fluff from large language models. But I think you would find that boring and mediocre.


A good friend told me the story of running an advertisement for a remote work customer service person. He asked for an essay on "what customer service means to you." He got 1,800 responses, nearly all identical in format and content. That's the current state of AI.


I promise: If we ever post AI-generated writing, it will be clearly labeled. We've added an "AI Transparency" statement to the end of this and all of our newsletters.

-- -- --

Please send me your calendar updates for this year or next!

That's it for now. Have a great week.

  • Karl P.


Join me live at . . .

  • Beerfest - October in Perth, Australia

  • SMB IT Pro Conference - October 27-28 in Melbourne, Australia

  • MSP Rescue - November 29th in SoCal

  • ASCII event - December 7 in Waikiki, HI

  • Karl's 2024 State of the Nation report for SMB IT - Register Now

Links below in the events calendar - or at

Refreshed Class!

ALL NEW Class Stars October 24th

Profit First for MSPs

Taught by Lori Hardtke

MSP and Certified Profit First Professional

- Five Tuesdays

- October 24th - November 21st

Register Now - Only $399*

(Only $349 with code below)

Learn how to break through to a 6-figure salary and build a profitable and valuable MSP business. You’ll learn the benefits of having multiple bank accounts and how to make financial business decisions by simply looking at your bank account balances.

Running and growing a business can be one of the most rewarding things you do in your life…it can also be one of the most frustrating and challenging endeavors you embark on. As an IT business owner myself, an educator, and a certified Profit First Professional, it’s my mission to help business owners of any size eliminate debt, prioritize profits, provide clarity, and reduce financial stress.

Can You Relate To Any Of These?

  • You run your business paycheck to paycheck
  • You are stressed out every month worrying about how you’ll pay all the bills, your employees and/or consultants.
  • You shuffle money from your personal account to your business thinking you’ll pay yourself back in the next month or two or ten.
  • You, the business owner, don’t pay yourself a respectable salary if at all, or you wait until the end of the year to see how much profit you made
  • You don’t want to learn or understand how to read your financial statements
  • You see a decent profit at year end (from your Profit & Loss Statement) but wondering why that amount of money isn’t in your bank account
  • You keep thinking you just need “1 more big client” or “Better PSA, better tools” or “A sales person, another tech, etc.” and then the money will come pouring in
  • You want a sustainable, profitable business month after month, year after year
  • You want your staff (W2 and/or 1099) to have a vested interest in the success of your business
  • You dream of having no A/R, no debt, and cash in the bank.
  • You want to be insanely profitable!

If you answered Yes to any or all the above, then you need Profit First!

Lori Hardtke would be honored to help you pave your way to financial freedom. Sign up now!

Only $399 - only $349 with code

Top Take-aways:

  • Breaking through to a 6-figure salary

  • Avoiding burnout and building a business that serves you

  • Recognizing and eliminating unnecessary expenses

  • Learning how to pay off debt and saying good-bye forever

  • Funding your retirement account year after year

PLUS lots more.

Here are the specifics of what you'll learn, week by week:

Unit 1 Why Profit First and How It Creates Predictable Profits

Unit 2 Determining CAPs & TAPS and Creating Allocation Rhythm

Unit 3 Cutting Expenses, Learning How to Pay Off Debt

Unit 4 Disbursing Quarterly Bonuses and Owner Tax Reimbursement

Unit 5 Funding Your Retirement Account & Creating Stronger Money Management Habits

Delivered by Lori Hardtke, MSP, Certified Profit First Professional, Peer Advisor and Coach. Lori has been an MSP for many years and lives and runs her MSP remotely (in Hawaii) for clients in 7 different states with no full-time employees.

Includes five weeks of webinar classes with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor.

Includes five weeks of webinar classes with related handouts, assignments, and “office hours” with the instructor.

This course is intended for business owners or finance managers.

(The title “Profit First” used with permission.)

ITSP University Certification:

Meets Certification Requirements for:

  • Management

This class will be recorded. Each unit is generally posted within 24 hours of the live class. These recorded units will become the On-Demand class and you’ll have lifetime access to it.

Register Now - Only $399*

Save $50 with code above

Note: * Members of the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community attend at no additional charge. See details in the Community

All the Resources That Are Fit to Print
Recent Blog Posts, Podcasts, and Videos

Small Biz Thoughts Blog:

SMB Community Podcast - New episodes drop every Thursday

National Society of IT Service Providers News Blog

Relax Focus Succeed:


Video of the Week . . .

A classic from Nine Years ago - but still great advice!

Selected Recent Videos and Webinars:

Our YouTube IT Consulting channel now has more than 9,200 subscribers and 712,000 views! Subscribe today and don't miss a thing!

OR my Relax-Focus-Succeed Channel at

Community News
Join us every Thursday

9 AM Pacific / Noon Eastern

All members welcome.

Jayson Duncan

Next on the SBT Roundtable: Jayson Duncan on Using Storytelling Your Marketing

This Thursday!

Join us via Zoom on


October 5th

Jayson Duncan is the founder and Chief Storyteller of Miller Farm Media. Helping your marketing efforts increase revenue. From marketing strategy, branding, website design, cinematic award-winning video production, and digital advertising to social media management on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Trusted by small and large brands such as Microsoft, Google, and Nestle since 2000.

No registration necessary. Members can always find the Roundtable link in your dashboard.

-- -- --

Members: Do not order the book.

You'll get it free in the Community.

We expect to drop the ebook edition in the Community the first full week in October. Our official launch date for The IT Consultant's Year of Intention is October 9th.

Remember: YOU always get my new books free of charge inside the Community.

Keep an eye on the What's New area of the Community site. And, of course, the new book will be available in the Book Resources section as soon it's released.

My goal is that you'll use this new book for some serious planning for the next year. AND we're going to have a set of members-only classes to go through the book together. Plus, that will be the kick-off of a new program in the Community. Details soon!

We look forward to helping you in the weeks and months ahead!

Here's the last Community News video:

Picture of the Day

Wait . . . what?

If your skeleton is exo, do you need one on the inside as well?


Live Events Calendar
What's Here?

This calendar lists two kinds of things: LIVE in-person events from any organization that focuses on the SMB consulting community; and MY events, whether live, webinar, etc.

If you have live events on your calendar that may be useful to others in the SMB Community, please let us know. We'd be happy to list them.

  • Thanks


dattoCon 2023

Oct. 2-4, 2023

Miami, FL

More Info:

Nerdio Training Camp

Oct 3

San Antonio, TX

More Info:

XChange Best of Breed Conference 2023

October 9-10

Atlanta, GA

More Info:

MSSP Alert Live

Oct 9-11

Washington, DC

More Info:

XChange Emea

October 10-11

Amsterdam, Netherlands

More Info:

ChannelPro Summit

Oct. 10-11

Atlanta (Southeast)

More Info:

ITO Compass

October 13-14

Chicago, IL

More Info:

NexGen 2023

October 15-18

Houston , TX

More Info:

Acronis #Cyberfit Summit 2023

Oct. 16-18

Miami, FL

More Info:

Nerdio Training Camp

Oct 17

Dallas, TX

More Info:

NexGen Security Workshop 2023

October 18

Orlando, FL

More Info:

SMB TechFest Q4

October 19

Anaheim, CA

More Info:

ASCII Edge 2023 

October 18 & 19

Washington, D.C.

More Info:

XChange MSP

October 19

London, England

More Info:

Beerfest with Karl

  • October 2023
  • Perth, Australia

More Info: Details to be announced !!!

Join me Live in Perth!

SMB IT Professionals National Conference

October 27-28

Melbourne, Australia

More Info:

Join me Live!!

Channel Futures Leadership Summit

Oct. 30-Nov. 2

Miami Beach

More Info:


ChannelPro CyberSecurity Strategies

Nov 1-2

Los Angeles

More Info:

IT Nation Evolve Business Leaders

November 6-8, 2023

Orlando, FL

More Info:

Nerdio Training Camp

Nov 14-15

Austin, TX

More Info:

IT Nation Sales and Service Leaders

November 28 - December 1, 2023

Nashville, TN

More Info:

MSP Rescue from SMB Nation

November 29th

Los Alamitos, CA

More Info:

Join me Live!



Dec 3-6
Clearwater, FL 

Women of the Channel Leadership Summit East 2023
December 4-5
New York, NY

ASCII Navigate in Hawaii !!!
Dec. 7th
Waikiki, HI
Join Me Live in Hawaii!

James Kernan's Millionaire Mastermind Quarterly
Dec 7-8
Phoenix, AZ

Nerdio Training Camp
Dec 12-13
Los Angeles, CA

January 2024

Karl's 15th Annual
State of the Nation Address for SMB IT
Join me Live Online!

February 2024

Send us your updates

XChange Orlando
March 3-5
Orlando, FL

XChange UK

Channel Partners Conference & MSP Summit
March 11-14
Las Vegas, NV
Join me live!

Midsize Enterprise Summit IT Security 2024
March 18-19, 2024
Indianapolis, IN
April 2024

Send us your updates

MSP GeekCon
May 21-23
Orlando, FL

June 2024

XChange Best of Breed
June 2024
East Essex, England


XChange Security
July 15-17
Dallas, TX

Note: If you know of any in-person event for SMB Consultants, please send info to [email protected].
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Small Biz Thoughts is a subsidiary of Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc.
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AI Transparency Statement

We do not use artificial intelligence apps in the writing of any content for this newsletter. Some of our royalty-free paid graphics might use AI-generated images. But all of the writing is by Karl W. Palachuk, or others as noted.