A F*REE electronic magazine... December 18, 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)"
"David made over $5 million at home and wants to help you
do the same or more"
Mark Victor Hanson, co-creator of the #1 best
selling "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series
I n T h i s I s s u e . . .
Happy Holidays to all of my loyal subscribers! I can't thank
you enough for all of your messages of support during this
difficult year. I feel like I have found a new family!
1. A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
2. Feature: Article
"How to Be Wrong 50% of the Time"
3. Feature: "Ask Dave" - My take on your business problems
Dealing with isolation
4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
Phoebe and the pot
5. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
6. Who the heck am I, anyway?
7. How to get on or get off of this list
You are on our list as <$email$>
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PLEASE FORWARD THIS issue to each of your friends who have
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it without asking, which is a big no-no!) Thanks!
(c) Copyright 2002, A Few Good People, Inc. ALL RIGHTS
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11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
I just returned from a cruise in the Indian Ocean, the
purpose of which was to observe a total eclipse of the sun.
Eclipse chasers love T-shirts that commemorate their beloved
eclipses, but there were no shirts to be found for this
A group on board organized (a week or so before I boarded)
to create and produce such shirts, and permission was
obtained from various of the ship's officers to sell them.
A percentage of sales was offered to the ship but refused.
They designed and ordered the shirts from a company in the
Seychelles Islands, arranged for shipping to one of our
ports of call, and generally made the impossible happen.
Enter the Assistant Purser. He raised hell, after the
shirts were ordered and paid for, and insisted that the
ship's home company be notified to make sure that it was
okay to sell the shirts to passengers. When the home office
was notified, they said "no."
The organizers were out of pocket several thousand dollars
and were not allowed to sell their shirts on board, despite
the permission that was previously obtained. They told me
that the purser in question was trying to score points with
the home office, looking for a promotion.
Two things: first, let's get out our customer service
manuals and read the section about making your customers
angry over something that has zero affect on you. There was
no reason given for refusing the sale of the shirts, but
on-board management had given permission so the home office
should not have overruled it. If they had a problem with
it, they should deal with the officers that gave that
permission rather than make a lot of their customers angry.
Next, let's get out the manual on climbing the
organizational ladder. I'm not sure that making your
customers angry is on the list of things that earn brownie
(As it turned out, the Purser said, "I cannot control what
you do dockside...", so they sold the shirts from the dock
when the ship was in port. All the cruise line succeeded in
doing was to make it more difficult to do what they had
given permission to do in the first place.)
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22222 A r t i c l e "How to Be Wrong 50% of the Time"
By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO(tm)"
Have you ever made a mistake?
Duh, of course you have! We all have.
I have good news, and bad news. The good news is that it's
not your fault. Up here in the Stay-at-Home CEO's private
laboratory (!) we have identified a new disease that is
running rampant among the general population of our country.
We call it "C.A.D.": "Chronic Assumptive Disorder." This
insidious condition causes us to assume things.
The bad news, unfortunately, is that there is no cure. We
can, however, put it into remission, so that's what I'm
going to try to do in this article; help you put your CAD
into remission. (I offer a 45-minute program on this very
topic; visit my website and click on "Speaking Topics" for
more information.) (I'm assuming that I can condense that
presentation into this short article!)
The problem is a serious one for several reasons:
1. A small assumption can have a huge effect on your life.
A good analogy can be found in the Voyager spacecraft,
launched on a mission to Jupiter in the 1970's. A few days
after launch, it was determined that the Voyager, on its
current course, would miss Jupiter by MILLIONS of miles!
They calculated that burning the on-board rocket for just 45
seconds would fix the problem, so they did the 'burn' and
several YEARS later, Voyager arrived at Jupiter. Think
about that: a 45-second rocket burn made a difference of
MILLIONS of miles. So it is with assumptions: I assumed I
couldn't afford a mountain cabin, but when I realized that I
was assuming and looked into it, I discovered that I could,
in fact, afford a mountain cabin. Now I live in the
mountains full-time. My life is millions of miles different
that it would have been had I not made that "45-second
rocket burn" and simply inquired about the cost.
2. An assumption can have a huge effect on a moment of your
life. I left a conference late one evening, way too hungry.
All of the restaurants in the area seemed closed except for
one, which had a line out the door and down the street. I
almost walked by, assuming that the line was for seating in
the restaurant. When I realized I was assuming, I went in
and asked and was seated IMMEDIATELY. I never found out
what the line was for, but I was sure glad I asked anyway.
3. An assumption can cause havoc in your life. The evening
before a big party, we went to pick up party supplies and
party platters that we had ordered and discovered that the
store closed earlier than we thought it did. We had no food
for the party! We ended up having to pick up the food the
morning of the party; the store was 45 minutes away, and 45
4. Assumptions can cause us to lose sales. It's too easy to
assume things about someone by the way they are dressed.
Someone at Harvard made that mistake when a large donation
was offered, so the contributor was sent packing... and
founded Stanford University!
So what do we do about this? How can we put our CAD into
remission? The key is AWARENESS; be aware of your tendency
to assume. It is human nature to make assumptions about
people, situations, and things. If you can catch yourself
in the act of assuming, you're way ahead of most folks.
When you catch yourself in the act of assuming, ASK
Never let down your guard because it's much easier to assume
something than to ask the necessary question(s).
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"!
Over the course of the last 8-9 months have been working on
my own business. I have worked from a home office for
years, but was an actually “employee”. Now that I am on my
own, and just starting up, things are a bit slow and I’m
struggling a bit with the isolation.
My business was designed as an outsource business
development company to assist other small businesses with
marketing, public relations, and sales.
I have three clients, and am doing sales for all of them.
My challenge has been implementing a structure for myself
and combating the isolation that I am just now beginning to
I thought I would reach out and drop an e-mail to you.
After all, making connections is what this “bathrobe gig” is
all about, right ?? I love being a Bathrobe CEO. But do
you have any advice for a newly crowned bathrobe CEO when
the isolation starts affecting motivation?
Isolation is definitely a problem we face. I suggest
getting out into the community... your local Chamber of
Commerce would be a good start. It is possible that
members are potential clients and even if they aren't, it
can't hurt to get involved with the local business
community. You'll be amazed at what you can learn from
unrelated businesses that will help you with yours.
And, it will get you out of the house for their luncheons
and events! You may meet some people you want to lunch
with (or even work with) outside the chamber, too.
There are also business networking groups out there that
organize meetings for those who want to connect with
other businesses... I don't know if there is one in your
area, but it is something to look into.
Go get em!
44444 "M e a n w h i l e, b a c k at the 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 )
Chris and I were sitting in the living room talking and she
pointed out that she had moved one of the outdoor plants to
a pot inside the house because of the winter cold. No
sooner had she finished the sentence than Phoebe, one of our
cats, walked over to the pot, climbed onto the dirt, dug a
nice little hole, and proceeded to relieve herself! Right
in front of us! We just sat there with our mouths open in
She finished her business, covered it up nicely, and walked
away tracking dirt all over the carpet. I picked her up
immediately and washed her feet while Chris went to get a
plastic bag in order to retrieve what Phoebe left in the
I guess Chris will be covering the exposed dirt with rocks!
-------------------- CHRIS' CANCER UPDATE
Radiation treatments have begun, and Chris is taking it all
in stride, as usual. The treatment center is 27 miles from
home, or about 45 minutes' drive each way, and she has to go
every day, Monday through Friday, for six weeks!
She looks at it as her "job" and just does it. The skin around
the treatment area is starting to feel like a bad sunburn, so she
bought an Aloe Vera plant and every day when she gets home she
snips off about an inch, opens it up, and smears it all over the
area. It makes a huge difference.
We are having a big snowstorm today so I'm not sure if she'll be
able to get off the mountain. If not, she'll just have to cancel
today's treatment and continue tomorrow.
55555 A b o u t "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe"
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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 business!
Visit me at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com 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
<A HREF=" http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/boutique.htm ">GO!</A>
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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