A FREE electronic magazine... June 5, 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)
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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?
"Should I hire my husband?"
4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
5. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
6. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
7. How to Subscribe / Unsubscribe
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Copyright (c)2002, A Few Good People, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
We went to a wonderful restaurant recently; the food and service
As usual, we took some of our meal home for lunch the next day so
the server took our plates and returned with the usual Styrofoam
containers... each tied with a colorful ribbon and bow! It was
a delightful surprise.
Giving that little something extra doesn't have to cost much,
22222 A r t i c l e "Be Afraid"
By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
There's no doubt about it: fear holds people back. Period.
Fear is probably one of the most important obstacles to overcome
in order to be successful. "Fear of what?" you may ask. Fear of
failure (you probably guessed that one) and fear of success.
Fear of success???
Absolutely! People fear success because there is a lot of
pressure to stay at the top when they get there, and there is the
feeling that they don't deserve what they've achieved; someone
will eventually discover that fact and it will all go away. I
saw an interview of Chevy Chase last night and he said that most
of the celebrities he's ever known feel like someone will
"discover" that they really have no talent after all.
I think that a lot of people get to a certain level of success
and stay there because they just don't feel comfortable at a
higher level. In retrospect, I think that may have happened to
me and caused me to sort of slack off when I got to a comfortable
income level. Looking back I actually felt a little fear at the
idea of making more money than I already was, and it held me
People fear failure because their self-esteem is too tied-up in
what they are doing. If they fail then they are somehow
diminished and less of a person. And, they are concerned about
what others will think if they make a mistake or if something
isn't perfect because they depend on the approval of others in
order to feel good about themselves
When you are afraid, you go into a protective mode that includes,
but is not limited to:
1. Giving up too easily. You can't be good at what you
do if you give up too easily. Some things just have to
be hammered-on repeatedly until you get the results you
want. Fear of failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy,
because when you give up too easily failure is almost
assured. Weird how that works, don't you think?
2. Not trying at all. Sometimes fearful people won't
even try. If it's something new, forget it! How can you
get the best out of yourself and others if you don't even
try? And how can you innovate if you don't try new
3. Anger. When your fear manifests itself as anger, very
bad things happen. You alienate your family, friends,
and employees. And, you become unpleasant to be around,
which is a good way to lose customers.
4. Overcompensation. Instead of getting angry, some
people overcompensate. By that I mean that they are so
afraid that they will make a mistake that they will go
overboard to make sure that they don't, wasting time,
money, and other resources.
So what's the cure? Self-confidence. That's easy to say but
hard to get. The good news is that books and tapes are out there
that will help you. Find them. Study them.
Constantly remind yourself that nothing worthwhile happens
without some failure along the way. If you're not making
mistakes, you're not trying hard enough. Besides, you can never
completely fail because, in your attempt, you succeeded in
overcoming the fear of failing.
If you have to be afraid of something, be afraid of being afraid.
Nothing will kill your dream faster.
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"!
I am a sole proprietor consultant. Last year, my husband
retired from teaching school and has been helping me with
various tasks now that he has some time. I would like to
know the pros and cons of paying him a salary. (While
trying to get my business on a solid footing, I have barely
paid myself one.)
Some of the things I have heard were benefits of doing this
are: (1) I could legitimately deduct his travel expenses
when he accompanies me to help me do workshops around the
country (2) I could deduct his and my medical and dental
insurance premiums and cash outlays if I fill out a simple
form called a Self Insured Medical Reimbursement Form and
(3) he could contribute to an IRA (which he cannot do now as
he is earning no wages, only his pension).
Some of the reasons I've heard not to hire a spouse include
(1) additional paperwork to have an employee (2) additional
costs since I would evidently then have to provide worker's
compensation and maybe some other fees I'm not aware of.
Do you have an opinion and can you tell me to whom I need to
go to get whatever permission is required?
I am not a CPA, (and I do NOT play one on TV). I'll be
glad to give you my 2-cents' but check with your
accountant before you do anything.
That said, here are some thoughts:
1. If you have, or plan to have, any kind of retirement
plan (such as a Keogh, 401-K, or qualified plan), you may
have to include him as a participant. The IRS has some
sticky rules about participation in such plans in order
to protect employees from greedy employers.
His participation may be okay with you, but there will be
additional costs involved in administration of the plan,
and the amount of the contribution will inevitably be
higher than it would be if you were the only participant.
Will you have the cash to fund it?
2. Don't forget payroll taxes! You will have to pay in
the neighborhood of fifteen percent of his salary for
Social Security and Medicare. (It's really half paid by
him and half paid by you as the employer, but we both
know that is the same as you paying both halves.) I
wouldn't suggest that you try to get around this by
calling him an "independent consultant" because the IRS
has plenty of rules about that, too, and I doubt that he
would qualify. Penalties are steep.
3. If he is already retired, the new income may affect
his ability to collect social security. On the other
hand, it will give him more of a basis on which to
collect because he has earned more money. I don't know
much about social security, except that you will need to
look into it.
4. There are other costs involved such as training taxes,
unemployment taxes (state and federal), etc.
5. There could be a strain on your relationship over a
variety of issues such as how to do things, how much he
should get paid, for what he should get paid, etc.
6. Can you spend that much time together and maintain
your sanity? Many couples simply cannot do it, no matter
how 'together' they think they are. It's no reflection
on your love for each other; some people just need more
space than others.
I can't tell you how many people have looked at my wife
and I and wondered out loud how we can stand to be
together so much. Although it sounds like I'm kidding
around, I'm not. This is serious stuff.
7. Then there is the "Who's the boss?" issue, which could
get pretty sticky when you have different ideas about how
to do things, or when something is late or done
8. If you are not happy with his work, he will be very
difficult to 'let go'.
9. Who 'owns' any ideas he comes up with for services
Some of these items could be affected depending on how
you are organized (sole proprietorship, partnership, or
corporation), and the laws of your particular state.
Who should you contact for permission? I don't think
that 'permission', per se, is required. You might,
however, want to check with an accountant and a marriage
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 http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/theranch.htm )
Living in the forest, one of our biggest fears is fire, and
the fire danger has never been higher. We had the driest
winter since records have been kept, so everything is as dry
as dry can be.
Last Friday we started to smell smoke about 1:00pm, and by
1:30 it was like dusk. The smoke was so thick that the sun
was almost blotted out, and what little sun remained cast an
orange glow on everything. Ashes were falling like snow.
It was being covered on television news, and our community
of Twin Peaks was mentioned as being in danger. No
evacuation orders were even being considered, but the main
highway was closed.
First, I turned on the roof sprinklers to wet everything
down. (I was SO glad that I had them installed when I
did...) Then we started packing the car with food and
supplies for the animals, plus certain irreplaceable
valuables. I immediately began a fresh backup of my
We can throw the dogs, cats, and parrot in the car, but what
to do with the horses? We decided to walk them to a nearby
elementary school and put them in the soccer field which is
completely fenced. Even if there was a firestorm it would
not affect them there except for the smoke. I brought up
150 pounds of feed just in case.
It was pretty scary, I must admit. It certainly took our
minds off of Chris' cancer for a few anxious hours!
The end result is that the fire was stopped a very long way from
here. The fact that the smoke just happened to blow our way was
coincidental, but made it seem much worse than it actually was.
Two good things came of this:
1) we have now had a dry-run evacuation
2) where the fire did burn, we now have a 3,000-acre
As it turns out, the California Department of Forestry was
doing a training exercise that got out of hand; why they
would do that during the height of the worst fire conditions
in years is a mystery.
-------------------- CHRIS' CANCER UPDATE
(Chris was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 22.
Many of you were kind enough to express concern and have
requested updates on her progress so I will post a BRIEF
summary here in each issue.)
Mastectomy and reconstruction surgery is scheduled for June
13. Bone scan and CAT-scan were both negative, meaning no
cancer in her bones or in her abdomen.
55555 A b o u t "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" N e w s l e t t e r
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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
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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
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Twin Peaks, CA 92391