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The Stay-at-Home CEO™
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  "Make More Money and Have More Fun"
with your small business!

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September 27, 2001

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A FREE electronic magazine...                  September 27, 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)
  Back issues at
    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 "Deadlines are Lifelines"
   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! 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 on my website or 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.
My goal is a bi-weekly newsletter that will:
   -help you with your small or home-based 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   "Deadlines are Lifelines"
By Dave Balch, the "Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
Nobody likes deadlines.  Pressure!  Stress!  Anxiety!  But we've
all dealt with them.  If you've ever written a term paper the
night before it is due, raise your hand.  (Mine is raised.)  If
you've ever "crammed" for an exam the night before it was given,
raise your hand.  (Mine is raised.)
It has been said that 75% of all modern technology was perfected
within 48 hours of a trade show.  Why?  The trade show is a
perfect example of a deadline; products simply must be ready
because the stakes are high.
Even though they tend to be unpleasant, they can be turned to
your advantage.  How?  By using them to motivate yourself to get
things accomplished!  Here are some examples of how I have
purposely set deadlines for myself in order to insure that I get
things done.
As I learned about the speaking business, it became apparent that
it was critical that I write articles such as this one.  They can
be used in a number of ways to further my career, but I knew that
they would never get written unless I had deadlines.  When John
Patrick approached me to write this column in the Alpenhorn
newspaper, I was thrilled; not only because I would have the
opportunity to be printed in his paper, but because I knew that
the deadlines would get me to actually write these articles!
I offer several different speaking programs, one of which is "10
Simple Things You Can Do Right Now to Screw-up Your Small
Business".  Before the program was even developed, I made a
commitment to give it at a local Chamber of Commerce.  They
scheduled a date, sent out notices, arranged a special luncheon,
etc.  Do you think I was ready when the time came?  You bet I
was!  Do you think I would have developed that program without
the deadline?  Probably not!  Now I have a program that I can
offer; a product that was created by forcing myself into a
deadline situation.
Do you have an idea for a product or service that you'd like to
develop?  Are you waiting for "just the right time" to get it off
the ground?  Do you think you'll really do it?  Set a deadline.
Make a commitment to someone other than yourself; a commitment
that, if missed, will cause you great embarrassment or loss of
credibility.  You'll be amazed at how motivated you get!
Somebody once asked me, "Why don't you just set your own
My answer is this:  for me, that isn't a great enough motivator.
If I just post a note on my computer that I have to do
thus-and-such by a certain date, I don't really take it
seriously.  It doesn't work, but that's just me.  If it works for
you, great!  Do it!  I need to make a commitment to someone else
to make this concept work for me.  And I do.  And it does.
Find out what works for you, and then do it.  You'll be amazed at
what you can accomplish.
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:
Everyone tells me that I should have an 800 number, but I don't
want to spend the money.  Is it really worth it?
                                    S.S., Oregon
   Dear S.S.
   In a word:  absolutely!  First of all, an 800 number (I'm
   assuming that you mean any toll-free prefix such as 888, 877,
   or 866) isn't that expensive.  I have two and there are no
   monthly fees for the numbers; I only pay for the calls.  And
   those cost exactly the same as if I had made them myself.
   Sure, there are occasional wrong numbers, but since they are
   very short, they usually only cost a penny or two each.
   As I see it, there is no downside whatsoever.
   1. It makes you look more substantial.
   2. It makes it easy for your customers to call you (and you
   definately want that!).
   3. It shows a certain class that you are willing to pay for
   your customers' calls, regardless of what they want.
   And there are a few advantages you may not have considered.
   1. It makes it easy for YOU and your family to call IN when
   away from home.  Just pick up any phone; you don't have to
   mess with hotel charges, calling cards, or change.
   2. Your toll-free number will not change, even if your area
   code does.
   3. Every month you get a listing of who called and when.  If
   you get nuisance calls or someone is abusing the number,
   you'll be able to find out the number from which the calls
   were made.
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"
   (Photos and short bios of the complete "cast of characters"
   are posted at )
Keno is a very good boy.  And, as horses do, wherever he goes he
leaves "piles" of evidence.  (I really meant horse manure, but I
was trying to be polite!)  One of the many privileges of horse
ownership is picking up these piles in order to keep the corrals
and turn-out areas looking nice and smelling fresh.  ('Smelling
fresh' is a relative term...)  The "PC" (politically correct)
word for this activity is "mucking".  To put it bluntly, when you
are mucking you are shoveling horse manure.  (In case you were
wondering, we shovel it into a barrel for later disposal.)
As a side note, mucking is actually a very soothing activity.  I
get a lot of great thinking done while mucking, and Kate, my
assistant, actually asked if she could do it for us after getting
a stressful family phone call.  There's just something about
But you don't just use a shovel; oh, no, that would be way too
easy!  You must use a manure "fork", which looks like a wire
basket at the end of a broomstick, except that it's made of
plastic.  It's shaped so you can pick up the manure and shake out
the dirt without dropping the manure.  (Isn't this fascinating?)
I AM getting to the point; be patient.
We are lucky because both of our horses are very clean animals.
They rarely relieve themselves inside the barn as most horses
will.  Even if they are eating in their stalls, they always go
outside to take care of business and then go back into the barn.
Sometimes Keno actually digs a little hole first, like a cat
would do in a litter box!
As I said, Keno is a very good boy.  He likes to 'help' when I am
mucking his corral by standing close by and keeping me company.
And, if the urge strikes him while he is 'helping', he will turn
around.  I get the signal and place the manure fork behind him...
you can complete this picture for yourself.  Let me put it this
way; he makes a contribution DIRECTLY INTO THE FORK so I don't
have to pick it up off of the ground!
Isn't Keno a good boy?
55555  W h o   t h e   H e c k   a m   I,   A n y w a y ?
I've generated over $5 million (so far!) 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
Visit me at for descriptions of
the programs and educational materials 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
Please note:
   - This newsletter is sent every other week.
   - Subscriber information is NEVER shared with
     anyone for any reason.  PERIOD.
   - Contact me at
   - HOW TO SUBSCRIBE  If this issue was forwarded to you
     and you would like to receive your own copy,
     click here
                   A Few Good People, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391



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