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Chester Says:  An Autobiography of a Business

By George I. Martin, EdD


       Imagine if a business could speak for itself and you added an imaginary partner that would offer additional insights to help you succeed.  

            This book is written in the context of our environment:  a mostly suburban area several miles from Richmond, Virginia.  Travel just a few miles in any direction from our location and you will find vast differences in demographics.  However, since our clientele have come from many walks of life, we believe sharing our experiences can be valuable to anyone wanting to start a small business or who is growing his or her business.

            As of this writing, we have been in business for seven years, well within the time frame of the three-to-five years experts insist are necessary to remain in a business to ensure its viability.  The context of our business is education, an area of business that is here to stay but valued by some far more than others. 

            We explain first hand various choices we have made, including early decisions about whether to begin a business, how to promote it, dealing with landlords, establishing relationships, and how running a business affects one’s personal life. Browse a bookstore for information on starting or running a business, and you will find much advice:  legal, investment, marketing, personnel, etc.  Although books have written by CEO’s of major corporations, few  books are available for laypeople who wish to start and/or maintain a small business.

            This book is a narration based on personal experiences, with each chapter followed not by advice, but by one or more lessons learned.  What has worked—and not worked for us (my wife and me)—may or may not work for you.  However, we surely wish such a book had been written before we had begun our own business.  We would have benefitted from foresight and saved much money, time, and tribulations.

            The format of this book is not sequential or chronological; rather you will find that some areas overlap from time to time. Chapter length will vary considerably.


 ChesterOur imaginary partner, Chester, will make comments at the end of each chapter.


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Wives 1 & 2

Me:  Honey, I made the bed.

W1:  You need to fix that right corner; it’s got wrinkles

W2:  I was going to get to it later today.

Me:  Should I run the dishwasher?

W1:  Not yet; wait until I finish this tea so we can fill it up completely.

W2:  I can’t believe it’s full again already.

Me:  I mowed the grass.

W1:  It’s about time you did it without my having to ask you.

W2:  Good, the Homeowners’ Association will be proud of you.

Me:  Have you seen my reading glasses?

W1:  It’s not my responsible to keep track of your things.

W2:  You have a pair in the car.

Me:  Do we have any bills yet to pay this month?

W1:  We wouldn’t have so many if you didn’t go out for pizza once a week.

W2:  I just paid all except one, but we can wait until next week.

Me:  I cleaned the top of the stove.

W1:  Are you implying that when I cook I make a mess?

W2:  It looks as good as new.

Me:  Where’s the mayonaise?

W1:  It’s where you left it.

W2:  It’s on the middle shelf, to the left, behind the jelly.

Me:  Do you recall how to reset the computer to an earlier time?

W1:  If you weren’t on the computer so much you wouldn’t have to ask.

W2:  Google it.









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