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August 2, 2001

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A FREE electronic magazine...                     August 2, 2001
B I G   B U C K S   I N   A   B A T H R O B E
Make More Money & Have More Fun With Your Small Business!
Publisher:  Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
    Comments, suggestions, or questions are always welcome.
(Scroll to end for subscribe / unsubscribe instructions)
I n   T h i s   I s s u e . . .
   1. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
   2. Article "At What Cost?"
   3. Ask Dave - Can I Help You With a Business Problem?
   4. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
   5. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
   6. How to Subscribe / Unsubscribe
PLEASE FORWARD THIS to each of your friends who have small or
home-based businesses; they'll LOVE you for it!  (Be sure they
know it's from you, or they'll think I spammed 'em!)  Thanks!
11111  A b o u t  "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe"  N e w s l e t t e r
Welcome to my second issue! You are receiving this because either:
   -I know you personally and thought you'd like it
   -I asked you if I could send it and you said "Yes"
   -You requested it after seeing me at a speaking engagement
   -Someone forwarded it to you because they thought you'd
    like it.  Scroll to the bottom for subscription instructions.
If you don't want to receive future issues, simply forward this
message to and you'll be removed
from the list.  No harm, no foul, no hurt feelings!
My goal is a bi-weekly newsletter that will:
   -help you with your small busines or home business
   -share articles of interest
   -be informal and informative
   -answer specific questions asked by readers
(c)2001, A Few Good People, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
22222  A r t i c l e   "At What Cost?"
By Dave Balch, the "Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
Do you like to save money?  Duh...  Of course you do!  When you
own your own business, you really appreciate the value of a
dollar and want to squeeze everything you can out of each and
every one.  Right?  RIGHT!  But at what cost?
I SAVED $50! (...or did I?)
I remember shopping for a laser printer about 10 years ago.
Living in a rural area, mail order is the way to go for me and I
combed the ads in the back of PC Magazine.  Many of them didn't
even show a price; it just said "Call" and I did.  When I got the
price I wrote it down, then discovered that terms varied.
Considerations such as shipping costs, credit card surcharges,
sales tax if purchased within California, etc. all affected my
bottom line cost, and whenever I discovered a new consideration,
I had to re-dial the companies I already spoke to in order to get
their policy on the matter.  I figure I spent at least 10 hours
doing research.  I also figure that I saved about $50.  Pretty
good, huh?  NOPE!  I probably could have made a heckava lot more
than that had I invested those 10 hours in my business!
I'm not saying that it is a waste of time to shop for a good
price.  Far from it.  But there is a line, however, that you
should be careful not to cross because that's when you enter the
never-never land of diminishing returns.  In the first hour, I
could have determined that the price of my printer wouldn't vary
by much.  At that point I should have just made a decision,
ordered it, and moved on.  I would have saved 9 hours of my time
and probably only spent $20 or $25 more than I did.
What I'm saying is that you have to remember to consider your
time as part of the price.  There are other considerations
besides price and your time.  Availability, for example.  If I
needed that printer for a project that had a deadline, there
would have been a cost associated with getting it too late to do
that project.  That situation may have made it worthwhile to pay
more in order to get it sooner.  How about the out-of-pocket
costs to purchase the item?  If I had to drive 100 miles
round-trip to save $30 on the printer, is that a good thing to
do?  No, because it will cost $34 in auto expenses (at the
current IRS rate of $ .34 per mile).  Not to mention the time it
would take.  Unless I really need that printer right now, it
doesn't make sense, does it?
The point I'm trying to make is that, no matter what you purchase
there are tradeoffs.  Time versus money.  Convenience versus
money.  Opportunity versus money.  Be sure that you consider all
of the factors, not just the 'sticker price'.  Whether you like
it or not, the true cost is a combination of all of those
Saving money is great.
But it's gonna cost you!
33333  A s k   D a v e
   (Can I help you with a business problem?  I will field
   business questions in every issue.  Send them to )
   Ask whatever you'd like... all letters will remain anonymous.
   Maybe my 2-cents'-worth will make you "Big Bucks"!
   (Maybe not!)
Today's question:
Dear Dave:
Working at home I find that I have to wear an awful lot of
different hats.  I have to clean up, open mail, pay bills, etc.
and I absolutely HATE some of these chores.  I find that the
things I hate to do don't get done at all, but that's a
big problem because one of those things is paying bills.  I
don't mind spending the money, I just intensely dislike the
drudgery of writing the checks, getting the envelopes ready,
etc.  With things piling up that I don't like and don't want
to do, the pressure takes me away from the important things.
I've considered hiring someone to help me part-time, but
I live alone and my home is my "sanctuary"; the thought of
having someone in the house is worse than the problem that
I'm trying to solve!  How do you suggest that I reconcile
this so that everything gets done?
                                 S.S., California
   Dear S.S.
   Your problem is very real and I have a similar dilemma.
   But the bottom line is that your situation is called "life";
   you have no choice but to deal with it.  That doesn't mean
   that you can't find ways to MINIMIZE it, however.  Here are
   some suggestions:
     1.  Set aside one day a month to do all of the things
         that you dislike... call it "Hell Day".  That will
         relieve the pressure that you feel every day and
         put it all into a single day.  When it is over, reward
         yourself with something that YOU like: a special meal,
         a movie, a massage... whatever is special for YOU.
     2.  Hire a personal assistant who will do the work off-
         site, and who will only come over for a very short
         time to pick things up and drop things off.  This will
         minimize the intrusions, which you can schedule so
         there are no surprises.  (I hate surprise visitors in
         my home office!)
     3.  Find a VIRTUAL personal assistant who will not only
         do the work off site, but to whom you can SEND the
         required paperwork.  They can then do what you wish
         and SEND it back to you.  This will cost a little
         more for postage/shipping, but that's the price
         you pay for keeping your sanctuary your sanctuary.
         (I happen to know of such a person; if you'd like a
         contact, write to me at )
44444  M e a n w h i l e,   b a c k   a t   t h e   r a n c h...
       A Glimpse Into the Life of This "Stay-at-Home CEO"
        To see the complete cast of characters, visit
Last night I had the strangest dream.  My wife woke me up, "Lily
has a mouse and it's still alive!"  I looked at the clock: 1:24.
I got out of bed and the search was on... for Lily.  We found her
in the bathroom, staring intently at the portable heater in the
corner.  Suddenly, out comes a little field mouse making a
frantic little run for its little life.  Lily pounced, and she
had it again and carried to a different corner of the bathroom.
We can't have this, so we trapped the two of them in the toilet
room and waited until Lily let the mouse go.  It scurried away
and we "escorted" Lily elsewhere so she wouldn't interfere in the
capture of the little guy.  After a great deal of commotion, we
caught the mouse in an empty wastebasket and I escorted it out of
the house, down the driveway, and into the trees.  Lily wasn't
happy, but we were!  I imagine that the mouse was too!  What a
story it will have to tell over a few beers with the 'guys'.
That Lily!  And I thought it was bad when she brought in the
bird.  And the dead squirrel.  And the dead mice.  I guess she
really loves us a lot.
I got back into bed and looked at the clock:  2:05.
I told my wife about the dream this morning... funny, she had
the same dream!  Ok, ok; I confess.  It wasn't really a dream:
55555  W h o   t h e   H e c k   a m   I,   A n y w a y ?
I generated over $5 million from my own home-based software
business and I have a lot to share with you about how I did it
and what I learned along the way.  Now, as a professional
speaker, I offer programs that will help you and your employees
"Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your small or
home-based business!
Visit me at for descriptions of
the programs that I offer.
66666  H o w   to   S u b s c r i b e   /   U n s u b s c r i b e
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                   A Few Good People, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391
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