A FREE electronic magazine... September 10, 2002
B I G B U C K S I N A B A T H R O B E
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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
"Give Yourself Permission"
3. Feature: "Ask Dave" - Can I help with a business problem?
Marketing a Collection Service
4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
"The neighbor's dog"
5. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
6. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
7. How to get on or get off of this list
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Copyright (c)2002, A Few Good People, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
This newsletter is normally published every other Wednesday,
with the next issue due tomorrow, September 11. I grappled
with the question of whether or not to publish on that date,
but it just didn't FEEL right to me. That's why you are
receiving this a day earlier than you normally would.
Therein lies yet another lesson to share. When a business
decision (or a personal decision, for that matter) comes
down to a judgment call, go with your heart. You've got to
do what FEELS right to you because that's where your
integrity bubbles to the surface. And, when all is said and
done at the end of the day, your integrity is probably your
most important asset.
And here is a business lesson from September 11.
A very good friend of mine was vacationing at Disney World
at the time of the attack. They had just finished the
"Pirates of the Caribbean" ride when they were told that the
park was being closed. They were due to come home the next
day anyway, but since all airlines were grounded they
Naturally, many of Disney's guests were in a similar
predicament so here is what Disney did. First of all,
Wednesday (the day after the attack) was a 'free phone' day.
All guests could call anywhere in the world at no charge.
Second, guests who had to extend their stay because of their
inability to fly out were not charged for the extra nights.
I guess Disney decided that they shouldn't be penalized
because the airlines were all grounded. Disney bore the
brunt of that situation because many arriving guests
couldn't fly in. So space that was actually sold for those
nights ended up being occupied by the previous guests at
You might say, "Disney can afford it" and you'd be right.
But the point is that they didn't HAVE to do it. They
certainly didn't do it for the publicity; I never heard a
word about it except from my friends.
They did what they felt was right, even though it cost them.
We're back to that integrity issue, and I have a lot of
respect for the choices that they made.
22222 A r t i c l e "Give Yourself Permission"
NOTE: This article was written and published only a few
days after the attack of September 11. I am re-running it
here because I think it is still relevant and important, and
always will be.
By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
It is September 14, 2001 and I am sitting here trying to
think of something to share: frankly, I can't. I'm still
in shock over the events of the last few days so I'm going
to offer you this:
I have always maintained that TV is the archenemy of the
home-based business owner because it's so easy to get
sucked-in and completely distracted. I've tried to work
while the TV is on, but I'm only at 50% capacity at best. I
suppose that's better than sitting on the couch with a bowl
of popcorn, but I prefer operating at a higher level than
The solution I have always recommended is to never turn on a
TV in the first place. It's amazing how easy it is to avoid
plot lines when you don't know what they are! That said,
when there is a major news event I find myself in terrible
conflict; should I keep my nose to the grindstone or just
'give-in' to the temptation to keep up with what's going on?
I have found myself in this predicament during major events
such as the Columbine shootings, the Northridge earthquake,
the Gulf War, and the Challenger space shuttle disaster.
When something happens that is so devastating, so traumatic,
so incomprehensible as the terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon, I am not doing myself a favor
by 'resisting'. I NEED to keep up with the details. I NEED
to know what's happening. I NEED to feel involved in some
fashion, even if only vicariously. So I gave myself
permission, and just left the TV on. I didn't even pretend
that I was trying to get anything done; I just stayed glued
to the tube to stay informed. Occasionally I had to remind
myself to breathe.
I didn't get much done, but it doesn't matter; I did what
was most important at the time. After all, my country was
under attack. Members of my American "family" were lost.
Others were heroes. The coverage of the events and all of
the incredible ramifications was nothing short of amazing.
It was a monumental moment of history, and I know I did the
right thing. If I had been in New York, I would have been
out of the house (or apartment) doing SOMETHING to help
SOMEBODY who was more directly affected than I.
In reading what I just wrote, it sounds like I feel guilty
doesn't it? Well, I do a little because I, like most
entrepreneurs, have a strong work ethic. On the other hand,
we also need to strike a balance between our work and other
I'm in great pain because of what I saw and heard, but in
retrospect I really had no choice. It was simply not
possible for me to ignore what was happening so that I could
"get some work done".
If it's a really important distraction, give yourself
permission. After all, some things are just more important
than a few hours of work.
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"!
Just one question for you, what is the best way to promote
myself as an Independent Collections Representative?
A few thoughts:
1. Testimonials - nothing says "Collections" like a
satisfied customer. Get 'em and use 'em on your website
and anything else that has your name on it. Here is an
article I wrote about just that - you can review it at
2. I looked at your website and the first thing that it
mentions is a "For a reasonable startup fee I will..."
the mere mention of me having to spend my money made me
flinch, and I'm not even looking for help! I suggest
that you just say something like "Reasonable fees" and
put it last. The important issue should be that you are
going to give money TO them, not take it FROM them! If
you can convince them that you can do that, fees are not
3. Specialize - do you or can you specialize is a
specific industry? If you focus your collection efforts
on, say, businesses in the commercial real estate
industry you can have more of an impact because you can
talk their talk and understand not only your customers'
problems and issues but THEIR customers' problems and
issues. I would think that that would enable you to be
more creative in finding a middle ground that would make
4. Give a free sample - offer them some sort of standard
collection letter that you have found to be effective.
Make it a gift just for letting you give them a quote or
an estimate. Chances are they'll never use it or won't
use it effectively, but it may open more doors for you to
get in there and make your pitch.
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 )
We only have one next-door neighbor, and they wanted to add
a dog to their family (they also have a 7-year-old son).
There is a lady in our area who is a fanatic about dogs and
rescues and places them as an avocation. She went to their
home to determine if they would provide a suitable home for
the new dog. She knows us very well and, after she had
visited them several times, told us that they were going to
leave the dog in the yard; they didn't want the dog in the
Well... that freaked us out, especially Chris who couldn't
stand the thought of a poor dog, all alone in the yard in
rain and snow. She asked me to talk to them.
I went to the Humane Society and got literature on "Lonely
Backyard Dogs" and advice on how to handle the situation.
(Dogs should never be left alone in the yard full time
because they are pack animals and consider their human
family their "pack". Left alone they are scared and lonely
for companionship and will bark and scratch and claw to try
to be with others, resulting in a dog that is a problem for
I took a deep breath and went over there. They were lovely
and warm, and scoffed at the idea that the dog would never be
allowed in the house. The actual story was that they were
asked what they would do with the dog when they went to the
market. "If the day is as beautiful as this one I'd leave
her in the yard," was the reply.
From THAT, we got the story that they would never let her in
the house. Amazing.
They have gotten their dog and they love it to death, IN THE
HOUSE OF COURSE!
It just goes to show that no matter how bleak a situation
seems or how horrible it sounds, there is always another
side to the story.
-------------------- CHRIS' CANCER UPDATE
Now her shingles are three weeks old and it is starting to
heal, but the distressing thing is that it hurts her now
more than it ever did. Her pain medication is not cutting
it, so we are going to try to come up with something else.
While all of this was going on, she started getting terrible
cuts and sores in her mouth, also a common side effect of
chemotherapy. It seemed to be similar but more severe than
her allergies to the cats, so we attacked the problem on two
First, we found a great product that has helped quite a bit
by coating the tissues in her mouth. Second, she is
sleeping in one of the guest rooms where the cats are not
allowed to go. It seems to be working because her mouth is
almost completely healed.
Next chemo is this Thursday.
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
Visit me at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com for descriptions of
the programs and educational resources that I offer.
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help you "Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your business.
Take a look at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/boutique.htm
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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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