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  "Make More Money and Have More Fun"
with your small business!

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Newsletter Archive
February 12, 2003

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A F*REE electronic magazine...             February 12, 2003
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 . . .

   1. Feature: The Stay-at-Home CEO Recommends
   2. A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
   3. Feature: Article
               "Sharpen Yourself and Your Tools"
   4. Feature: "Ask Dave" - My take on your business problems
               "Maybe now is not the time..."
   5. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
               "Dry weather: my fault?"
   6. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
   7. Who the heck am I, anyway?
   8. How to get on or get off of this list

(To be added/deleted from this list scroll to end for link.)

  PLEASE FORWARD THIS issue 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 sent
  it without asking, which is a big no-no!)  Thanks!

(c) Copyright 2003, A Few Good People, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS

11111 The Stay-at-Home CEO Recommends:

      According to my recent subscriber survey, many of
      you wanted my recommendations on various books
      and products.

      You can read past recommendations here:

      (While it is true that I may make small amounts of
      money on some of these recommendations, my integrity
      is NOT for sale:  I would never recommend something I
      didn't believe-in 100%, just to make a buck or two.)

Announcing "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe Marketing Tips" Newsletter

... and it's FREE

I am very excited to announce a new newsletter focused on
Internet marketing.

"Big Bucks in a Bathrobe Marketing Tips" will be delivered
to you by email twice a month, containing lots of tips and
tricks that will help you increase your business and exposure
on the Internet.

Read all about it here:

22222 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation

A good friend of ours went into an upscale clothing store in
a mall, where she was summarily ignored by the salesman.
Even when she asked for help, he snubbed his nose at her.
She finally walked out in a huff.

She is sure that the reason she was ignored was because she
was wearing jeans and didn't look her usual best.

Big mistake!

Her husband is an attorney and they have lots of money, but
she won't go into that store again, or any of its branches.

Something to think about, isn't it?



"Secrets of an Actual $5 Million Home Business"

Eight e-mails in eight days that will change the way you run your
small business!

33333 A r t i c l e "Sharpen Yourself and Your Tools"

By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO(tm)"

We live in the forests of the San Bernardino Mountains, and
we have a disaster on our hands in the form of dead trees.
over 100,000 of them; this is a very serious problem.
Drought and insects have taken their toll, and very few
homeowners have escaped untouched.

Unfortunately, we are no exception but I consider myself
lucky because we've only lost 2 of the 200 or so trees on
our property.  Still, at roughly $1,000 each to cut them
down, I'm not too happy about it.

I have used one particular tree service for many years, as
various trees have fallen on hard times, been damaged, or
for some other reason had to be removed or trimmed.  The
service has always been exceptional and their crews very
pleasant and professional.  I was talking to the owner
recently about removal of one dying tree near the house when
I casually asked how often they have to sharpen their chain

"We have an electric sharpener and we sharpen all of our
saws every morning before we leave for a job.  That way, we
always know that we are starting off with our tools in
tip-top shape."

That got me thinking.  This is an excellent philosophy; take
care of your tools before they NEED taking care of.

I was reminded of the dark ages of computing, when a
'computer' was a monstrosity that required an entire room
that was not only air conditioned but which had a raised
floor.  The early computers had regularly scheduled down
time for "preventive maintenance" when the technicians took
it over and ran various tests, changed certain moving parts,

Airlines do the same thing with their aircraft, in fact it
is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Mechanics swarm all over a jet and check everything
imaginable, replacing worn parts and parts that are merely
thinking about becoming worn.  Better to change a part and
be wrong than to not change that part and be wrong; there
isn't a lot of wiggle room when it comes to a failed part on
an aircraft, and the consequences can be catastrophic.

And then there is Steven Covey, who writes about "Sharpening
the Saw" as one of his "Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People."  In this case, he is drawing an analogy between
sharpening a saw and sharpening your mind; he is talking
about reading and learning to become better at what you do.

So here's my question to you?  Are you taking care of your
tools before they need taking care of?  In this case I'm
talking about the tools you need to conduct your business,
whether they are office machines, trucks, or chain saws.
Are you keeping them clean and in good working order?  Are
you inspecting them for damaged parts or for wear and tear,
so you can replace things that haven't failed but which are
ready to fail?


Are you keeping yourself "sharp" by learning new things and
improving the skills you need to do what you do?

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that suffering because
of ignoring these things only happens to other people, not

If you aren't sharpening your saws before they actually need
it, you are flirting with disaster.

Don't make that mistake:  stay sharp!

44444  "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:

I envy your lifestyle.  But I feel like the aspiring
novelist who KNOWS he has a book or two in him, but he just
can't get started with page one.

There are personal situations in my life that contribute to
a lack of focus and lack of money (ie. downsized and
divourced in the nineties).  I'm recovering from those and
other "events" too slowly.  I'm beginning to think that
maybe the time is just not right for me to pursue my
ambitions right now.

Any suggestions?

FYI- I have a corporate background in a very large
telecommunications company.  During my career, I benefited
from a wide variety of corporate assignments.  I was also
very, very active in the community.

  Dear B.R.

  I strongly disagree with you that "maybe the time is just
  not right..."  - I think that fear and fear alone are
  holding you back.

  I'm sorry to hear that you had some setbacks in the
  nineties, but that was YEARS ago.  It's time for you to
  let the past go and forge ahead.  I don't know the extent
  of your setbacks, and I hate to be crass, but I think you
  need to hear these words:  "Get over it."

  You are lucky that have a desire that you can realize at
  no cost whatsoever!  You apparently have a computer or
  access to one, so you can start writing your novel without
  spending a dime.  Cash is usually the biggest stumbling
  block for most people that want to start on their own; you
  don't have that problem.

  Granted, getting started is the hardest part of doing just
  about anything.  I refer you to a previous newsletter that
  contains an article on that very subject:

  What it boils down to is this:  start now.  Start with
  anything.  It doesn't really matter what, just start.  Do
  something really small; how about coming up with a name
  for the hero of your novel.  That's all, just a name, just
  one lousy name.  You can change it later if you want, but
  at least you'll be able to start thinking about him or her
  in more specific terms.

  Then describe him or her, IN WRITING.  Tall or short?
  Thin or heavy?  Young or old?  Married or single?  My
  guess is that once you get started with these things,
  you'll keep going because it's so darned much fun.

  It is a daunting project to write a book.  No wonder you
  can't get started; it's too much to get your arms around.
  Instead of sitting down to write a book, sit down to name
  and describe a character.  Much less intimidating.  Much
  more doable.

  Another trick is to give yourself a time limit.  "I'll
  only spend 30 minutes at this, then I'll do something
  else."  This is a way to fool yourself into getting
  started; my guess is that once you get into it, that 30
  minutes will come and go and you'll never realize it.

  DO IT!


55555 "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 )

As I mentioned in this issue's feature article, we are
experiencing a terrible drought.  We were told that the
weather would improve, yet it has been almost six week since
we've had rain.

I think it may be partially my fault.  This is why:

In the article, I mentioned all of the dead and dying trees
in our area due to a combination of insects and drought.  In
December we had a terrible storm that caused many of the
dead trees to fall, one of which fell on some power lines.

The result was a power failure that lasted 18 hours in
30-degree weather.  Without electricity, the fans for the
heaters cannot distribute the heat, and the house got very
cold:  not good for us or our animals.

We were told that with all of the weather that was expected,
we could pretty much count on more power failures due to
falling trees.

So...  I bought a generator so that if there was another
storm that caused a tree to fall on power lines, we would be
able to stay warm.  And I had an electrician come out to
hook it up to the electrical circuits in the house so we
could power lots of things from the generator and live
somewhat normally.

And that's why I think that I am partially responsible for
the unexpected dry weather.  With the generator in place and
us somewhat immune to power failures, of course we're not going
to have any weather!

Maybe I should wash my car...  THAT would probably bring the
rain back!

66666  A b o u t  "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe"

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.

If you don't want to receive future issues, scroll to the
bottom for instructions on how to be removed from the list.
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

77777  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!

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

AOL users:
<A HREF=" ">GO!</A>

88888  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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                   A Few Good People, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391



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