Work at Home, Home Business, Small Business, The Stay-at-Home CEO

The Stay-at-Home CEO™
My only mission:  to help you
  "Make More Money and Have More Fun"
with your small business!

FREE Newsletters and More!
for small/home business owners who want to
"Make More Money and Have More Fun"

Newsletter Archive


Speaking Topics

Educational Resources
("Big Bucks Boutique")

Product Reviews

Published Articles

Who IS this guy?

Life on the Ranch

Contact Dave


Newsletter Archive
May 22, 2002

Previous Next
A FREE electronic magazine...                        May 22, 2002
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)
Check out this endorsement!!!
   "David made over $5 million at home and wants to help you
    do the same or more"
             Mark Victor Hanson, co-creator of the "Chicken Soup
             for the Soul" series
(Scroll to end for subscribe / unsubscribe instructions)
The "Big Bucks Boutique" is now open!  Resources and materials
that will help you "Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your
business are now available online with secure ordering.  Take a
look now! Limited time... FREE T-SHIRT WITH ANY ORDER OVER $30!
I n   T h i s   I s s u e . . .
   1. A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
   2. Feature: Article
   3. Feature: "Ask Dave" - Can I help with a business problem?
               "The Crystal Ball"
   4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
               "Bad news at the ranch"
   5. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
   6. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
   7. 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!
Copyright (c)2002, A Few Good People, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
My wife often orders through mail order catalogs.  She saw
some gloves that she wanted (for working around the barn).
The listing said "...available in a variety of colors", so
she called the company to order them in brown, green, and
black but was told that you cannot specify the color you
want:  you get whatever is in inventory at the time they
pull the merchandise.
She is supposed to enter the "glove lottery" to see what she
gets?  Needless to say, she didn't order them.
I believe that I see an opportunity for this company to
improve its customer service!
22222 A r t i c l e "Priorities"
By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
Unfortunately, most of us need a little reminder every now
and then about what is really important.  Something will
happen in our lives and we just sort of sit up, slap our
foreheads stupidly, and say "DOH!  Of course!  I knew that,
but I forgot that I knew that!"
The trouble is that we never know when that's going to
happen and, when it does, it may be too late.  If you lose a
loved one in a tragic accident, how will you be able to say
those things to them that you meant to say but never did?
My guess is that you probably don't have to think very hard
to figure out your top priorities in life.  Are you taking
the time, however short, to think about it?  And are you
acting accordingly, spending your time and financial
resources where it matters the most?
I just got a reminder of my own; Chris, my bride of 19 years was
just diagnosed with breast cancer (see "Meanwhile, back at the
ranch..." below) After we got the news I felt two profound
emotions:  fear and gratitude.  The fear, of course, was about
what the future held.  The gratitude was for all the time we have
been able to spend together by working at home for over 20 years.
After her first surgery we learned that it had spread.  When
the situation is dire, it's easy to drop the things that
used to be soooooooo important and focus on the things that
really are.
I was in the parking lot of a local market and I saw a man
and woman arguing about something.  I thought about how
their anger was probably over something that, in reality,
just doesn't matter a hoot.  Someday they, too, may get a
sudden reminder and they will hopefully realize how
unimportant and insignificant those types of arguments
usually are.
In going back over this article, it reads sort of negative,
doesn't it?  (SORT OF???)  I don't mean to put you on a
downer, I just want to make sure that you keep balance and
perspective in your life.  I want my reminder to serve as
your reminder.  It's amazing how quickly 'important' things
can become unimportant.
It's easy to work a lot when you own a small business (I'll
bet you didn't know that...) which makes it hard to achieve
that balance and perspective without some conscious effort.
Are your priorities in order?  Don't wait for that giant
reminder to come and slap you in the face.  The next time
you get angry with a loved one, ask yourself if it really
matters that much.
One of my favorite movie quotes is from "Mr.  Mom", one of
Michael Keaton's first movies.  In it, he loses his
corporate job, can't find another, and his wife (played by
Terri Garr) ends up going back to work for an advertising
firm leaving him at home to take care of the kids.  She ends
up working too much, so he says these eight words to her.
Now I'm saying them to you:
"It's easy to forget what's important.  So don't."
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 help you make "Big Bucks"!
   (Maybe not!)
Today's question:
Dear Dave:
What wacky ideas do you have for my business?  Wait for it Dave
------ I am a crystal ball reader (no laughs yet) and ookey as
that is, well, it is the one thing I have done all my life that
is effortless and I love (probably because it is so natural to me
--- not work).
However, these days with the eyeballs on professionalism, I
decided to call myself a "personal consultant", thinking I could
gain more clients by taking away the gyspy image (tell 'em lies
and rip 'em off).
I used to have my room set up in exotic gypsy style that was
something to see, but now I think perhaps I should tame it down
to a smart office to attract business clients.
I can write ebooks, reports, give freebies (their own reading on
CD to keep), live adivce by phone and webcam, and every thing
else, but I have never settled on my image.
By the way, I believe in answering people's problems and I am
excellent at telling them what to fix up in their lives and how
to go about it (especially romance), so it is not just a
market-place reading.  I have made a lot of money at fairs etc
but I stopped going because I felt I might be tarnishing (heh
heh) my profession by mixing with obvious frauds.  (There are
some who are not frauds, but how does one overcome the damage
done to the public by those who offer ten buck tarot readings and
are here today, gone tomorrow)?
                               E. J., Australia
    Dear E.J.
    What does your crystal ball tell you to do?
    I am soooo sorry...  I couldn't resist; it was just too
    But seriously... here are some words for you:  "define",
    "experiment", "testimonials", and "what others are
    Before you do anything you have to define who you are,
    what you want to do, and for whom you want to do it.
    Are you looking for bored housewives or business
    executives?  Do you want to really help people or
    provide entertainment?
    There are no right or wrong answers, but until you know
    exactly where you want to be, you can't come up with an
    You can have a catchy slogan like "I'm really on the
    ball" which might be fun if you are going for the
    entertainment angle but which wouldn't work so well for
    the businessman.
    Are there certain cultures, nationalities, or businesses
    that would be more prone to be interested in this sort
    of thing?  You might want to define your target market
    It is true that you have a rather unique obstacle to
    overcome:  the hocus-pocus image conjured by the service
    that you offer.  Credibility is the main issue, so there
    is no telling what will work.  That's why I think you
    need to experiment with different approaches to see what
    works best.
    By that I mean that you need to have a strategy, a
    targeted well-defined market, and a way of tracking your
    results.  You could try using "personal consultant",
    "personal advisor", or "The Conventional Advisor using
    Unconventional Methods".
    Here's an approach:  don't mention the crystal ball at
    all.  Promote yourself as a personal advisor and don't
    tell them how you come up with your advice... that's a
    tool of your trade and who needs to know that?  They
    want your advice; does it matter how you come up with
    You could try approaching the issue directly.  For
    1. "You may think this is a bunch of baloney.  It
    2. "They laughed when I sat down at my crystal ball, but
    when I started to speak..." sort of thing.
    The prune industry had a problem with their image, too
    because people traditionally don't like prunes, they are
    ugly, and they tend to act as a laxative.  The approach
    they took in their advertising was direct:  "Yes,
    they're ugly.  But they're good for you!"  Maybe you can
    adapt that sort of approach.  Maybe you can find some
    references on the internet about what the prune industry
    actually did and how it worked.
    One way to improve your credibility is to get some
    testimonials, hopefully from clients with names that are
    recognizable.  I recently wrote an article about this
    very topic.  Read it at
    Find out what others in your field are doing, both the
    good and the bad.  You want to know what works and what
    doesn't work, what you are comfortable with and what you
    are not comfortable with.  Take a look on the internet
    and you'll get plenty of ideas.
    Good luck!
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 )
Chris was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 22.  The first
surgery was May 10 to remove the lump and to see if the cancer
had spread to her lymph nodes.  As it turns out, it HAS spread to
her lymph nodes and the tumor was quite large and not contained,
so a mastectomy is next.
We had gone to the UCLA Revlon Breast Cancer center for 2nd
opinions both before and after the surgery and, for various
reasons, have decided to have the mastectomy and reconstruction
performed there.  At this writing it is being scheduled, so we
don't know yet exactly when it will be.  We do know, however,
that she will have to undergo radiation therapy as well as
chemotherapy, and the preliminary word is that, based on how
nasty the tumor turned out to be, that she's going to get a
pretty strong dose.
I am so proud of the way she has handled all of this; with
courage, grace, and humor.  She says, "Bring it on!  I've always
wondered what I'd look like with no hair!"
The night we learned her diagnosis, she called her brother and
told him the news.  Naturally, he was very upset and he told her
how sorry he was that he accidentally broke her finger back when
she was 4 years old.  Chris said, "That's when the cancer
Since her May 10 surgery, she has had limited use of her arm and
has, of course, been very tired so I have been bathing her and
applying lotion all over her body as well as washing and styling
her hair.  She likes to tell people that I have learned to use
a round brush, and says that I do a better job with her hair than she
does.  She has started calling me "Mr.  Dave".
She had a drain coming out of her side after the surgery and I
had to empty it every day into a paper cup.  The sound of the
fluid going into the cup gave Chris the heebie-jeebies so now,
whenever it's time to empty the drain, we sing "Oh, Canada" at
a very high volume so she can't hear it!
The next big step, even before the mastectomy, are the tests
which will tell us if the cancer has spread to her bones and/or
internal organs.  Those should be coming soon.
I only share all of this after considerable internal debate but,
after all, this column is about life on the ranch and this is
life on the ranch.  I figure that it can't hurt to have more good
thoughts going out into the universe on her behalf.
I will publish short progress reports in this column as her
treatment and diagnosis continue.
55555  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:
   -You requested it on my website or after seeing me at a
    speaking engagement
   -I know you personally and thought you'd like it
   -I asked you if I could send it and you said "Yes"
   -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, scroll to the bottom
for instructions on how to unsubscribe.  No harm, no foul, no
hurt feelings!
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
66666  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 resources that I offer.
The "Big Bucks Boutique" offers resources and materials that will
help you "Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your business.
Take a look at
77777  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.
   - Comments and suggestions are always welcome!
   - 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 (and OF COURSE you DO!),
     subscribe at
                   A Few Good People, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391




[Home]    [Signup for FREE Resources]
[Newsletter Archive]     [Educational Resources ("Big Bucks Boutique")]
[Product Reviews]    [Speaking Topics]    [Who is this guy?]    [Life on the Ranch]
[Published Articles]    [Links]    [Contact Dave]

© Copyright 2003, A Few Good People, Inc.
P.O. Box 824
Twin Peaks, CA   92391
909-337-4945 Fax