James Janakat: ‘The book that Jerry didn’t return to the library was Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.’

Adam: ‘I am looking into starting my own business (Vending Machines). I was wondering if you know of any books that I can get that would help me towards developing a business model. Maybe one of the “For Dummies” books to give me a run through of business models plus a business law book to go over it laws and regulations dealing with partnerships for example. I just want to make sure I track everything and analyze everything angle that I possibly can. Thank you in advance for your help!’

☞ I’m sure there are some books closer to what you’re after (and that some of our good readers will suggest them), but in the meantime, I commend to you my friend Terry Allen’s new book, No Cash, No Fear: Entrepreneurial Secrets to Starting Any Business with No Money. It is enormous fun to read about his exploits – he started his first business, selling worms, at six and now, 20 businesses later, gives $1,000 a day to charity. You might even pick up a tip or two. Speaking of which, Terry has a web site that could be helpful to someone just starting out. For example, his ‘tip #3 – incorporate’ leads you to a site that will get you set up as a corporation or a Limited Liability Company (probably better for your purposes) and provide some of the guidance you might need. Terry gets a cut from the various tips on his web site, including, somehow, I imagine, the free business cards he’s wangled for you in Tip #8. But I find his enthusiasm and good will infectious.

For the legal side of your question, check out Nolo.com.

Rob Sartain: ‘I’m shocked, shocked to read that you’d suggest checking out a service (PayTrust) that charges a $1.00 fee to process a bill payment. Such advice seems contrary to the frugal advice in TOIGYEN, where you urge bulk buying of commodities and other penny-pinching tips. Heck, even avoid the $0.34 postage cost of bill-paying by getting a good on-line bank that doesn’t charge a fee to process a bill payment for its customers. First Internet Bank of Indiana is one. Well, I’m telling you this all tongue-in-cheek, of course, but really . . . why should we pay a fee for the privilege of paying a bill?’

☞ Why indeed! The answer is that for some people, convenience and ‘features’ trump cost. But that’s what the demos are for. If it makes you feel any better (it makes ME feel better), the new suit I wore last night, in a room surrounded by $700 and $1,900 suits, cost $225. So, I haven’t entirely lost my mind.


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