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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
@ www.en-parent.com

January 12, 2000

~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_

Do you find EPnews useful?
Please forward to a friend, or recommend it to your favorite Web site or
e-zine. Thanks for your support!

For easy reading, simply print out this newsletter.

_______________CONTENTS_______________

The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
EP Times -- "The (LOUD) Music of Parenthood"
Making Money Matters -- Babylounge.com
What's Happening at EP
We Recommend
ka-Ching/Oxygen Media Spotlight
MORE Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
__________________________

Editorial Note: EPnews is back to a twice-monthly schedule with an all-new
automated mailing service from ONElist.com. We are now splitting the content
and will shift between Lisa & deB's editorials and other selected columns.
EPnews is distributed the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month. The
Entrepreneurial Parent web site is updated on an ongoing basis throughout
each month -- feel free to check in regularly via the What's New banner on
our homepage (en-parent.com). Welcome all new subscribers!

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THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!

=====
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber Marie Sullivan (mailto:):
=====

I was driving my girls, ages 8 and 10, to school this morning. My oldest
daughter, Danielle, was sitting in the back seat of the car. As we approached
a stop sign I heard her say, in a serious voice, "Mom, there's something
wrong with my eye."
I turned around to look. There WAS something wrong. It was big, round and
bright orange. She was holding an orange up to her eye socket.:) I laughed at
her imagination. Danielle said, "I just had to make you laugh!"

=====
Why work at home? So you can hear the funny things your EP Kids say
throughout the day. Share with the EP Community something your child said
or did recently that made you smirk, giggle, or LOL. Send your submission
via e-mail to:. And if you need a stockpile of smiles
to get you through your EP day, pick up your own heartwarming copy of Grace
Housholder's "The Funny Things Kids Say":
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0963871536/theentrepreneuri. On those
stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!

____________________________________
EP TIMES -- AN EDITORIAL

"The (LOUD) Music of Parenthood"
© 2000, Lisa M. Roberts

Wow, that was neat -- changing the 1999 to 2000 copyright date. So here we
are, folks. It happened. A new year, a new century, a new millennium clicked
over...and it looks like we all got safely to the "other side." So now what?

Well for me, it's time to get ready for yet another celebration. Little
Thomas, the child who was conceived at the same time I started writing my
first book, is turning four later on this month. As I mentioned in my
editorial last January, I can no longer refer to him as my "baby" -- he's a
"real boy" now! And boy, is he for real. Ever-curious, every-playful,
ever-messy, ever-LOUD, ever-demanding. Unlike this time last year, it's hard
to still refer to him as a "sparkle" in my heart...he's more like a
firecracker!

Like his older siblings, these days Thomas seems to only emit that
angelic-baby-peace at night when he is sleeping. In the quiet and calm of
tucked in blankets, dark rooms and distant nighttime sounds...all four of
them join that divine space in time filled with harmony, happiness and hope.
But that space is broken abruptly at the crack of the first waking child's
dawn! And that crack whips my dreams right from under me EVERY morning.

As I keep reminding my family, I grew up in a very quiet home. I was the
youngest of three and both my siblings were considerably older than I -- 6
and 9 years older. My brother was an aspiring pianist so I would wake up each
morning to the music of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. My sister's passion was
reading (the most silent of activities), and my parents were more often than
not quietly occupied with household chores and projects. Noise? That came
pouring in only during the holidays, when my cousins would tumble in for
their visit.

Fast forward to 2000 and my family at present. Four kids from tween to
pre-school, and a spouse who was weaned on country rock. Let's just say I
very appropriately included ear plugs on my Holiday Wish List. But guess who
got an electric guitar for Christmas? My 6-year old and 41-year old -- yes,
two of them -- one a toy and one a BIGGER toy! While I admit to thoroughly
enjoying the elder's new favorite pasttime (which lullabies me as I fall
asleep), I am not at all encouraged that the volume of this household is on
its way down. I insist on facing the new century based in reality. The
rumblings of small children will grow into thunder sooner rather than later.
And with a spouse who grew up banging drums in a basement band, they clearly
have a father who knows how to lead the way.

So to me, 2000 marks the time in my life when I start mourning not only the
peace and tranquility of my babies, but that of my own childhood. Not that I
have any desire to be a kid again -- I really don't (OK, except when I've got
the flu!) -- but I miss the calm, the structure, the effortless days. Of
course I realize those "effortless" days were fashioned through great effort
on the part of my parents, and more than ever I appreciate all the work that
was behind the steady rhythm of my early life.

My mother likes to remind me that life is always changing, nothing stays the
same. One look at Thomas and that's clear. Yet even though for a long time I
craved such changes as greater freedom of movement -- that is, not confined
by strollers and diaper bags and nursing schedules -- now that I'm firmly on
this side of parenthood I see the tremendous workload still up ahead. OK
sure, I signed up for this life twelve years ago and as always, it's time to
move on. But honestly, must everyone be so noisy about it?

=====
Lisa Roberts is the mother of four, Web Producer of The Entrepreneurial
Parent , LLC and the author of "How to Raise A Family & A Career Under One Roof: A Parent's Guide to Home Business." (Bookhaven Press, 1997) Copies of her book are available for purchase at: http://en-parent.com/order.htm and through Amazon, at:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0943641179/theentrepreneuri

___________________________________
READER RESPONSE

Have a comment or question about anything you read in EPnews? Hit reply to
this email and send it on in -- we'd love to hear from you!

=====
RE: "2000, The Year (The Century) of the EP" (December 15, 1999 issue)

I loved your article, especially the part about the 20th century being a blip
in time that families were estranged from one another. This is what I would
like to see also.

I think that the advances made in the women's movement were a small victory,
but that the family unit has suffered as a result. It seems to me that more
parents are seeing the importance of being available to their children. With
advances in technology and increased education and experience for women in
the workplace, we're at a place in time where we really can have the best of
both worlds. This applies to men as well, I see more fathers working at home
also while mothers take on traditional jobs. I think it's fabulous for dads
to be at home with their children. I was born in the late 50's <gasp!> and
grew up in the traditional family of the time. Fathers were the bread winners
and mothers were the nurturers.

One of my brother-in-laws works third shift and takes care of the kids during
the day while his wife works. He helps out at school functions, makes
costumes for the kids, etc. He's exhausted by the time his wife comes home,
but he's involved with his children's lives. I truly believe that the long
term rewards of this time will pay off ten-fold.

Salutes to all of you EPs!

Jeralynn Burke
EP Forum Moderator
E-Scent-ials
Fine, quality natural aromatherapy products designed to indulge the senses.
http://www.E-Scent-ials.com

_____________________________________
WHAT'S IT WORTH?

WIW will now run on the 4th Wednesdays of every month.

=====
deB Sechrist is the mother of three, Webmanager of The Entrepreneurial
Parent, LLC and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find out more about
deB at http://www.en-parent.com/webdsn.htm.

____________________________________________
MAKING MONEY MATTERS

Being available to your kids and managing a career under one roof sounds to
many like the best of both worlds, but without pulling in some kind of income what's all the effort for? Making Money Matters! Let's hear how YOU earn your keep as an EP. (Please keep in mind that this column is here to spark marketing ideas for the already-established EP, not a
venue to recruit aspiring EPs into a business opportunity, so no MLM or
packaged business opportunity submissions please.) To take our survey,
mailto: with the subject heading "MMM Survey." We look
forward to hearing more about you!

This month Shawn Collins, Co-Founder of Babylounge.com and EP Dad to 7-month
old Caitlin, shares his marketing tips with us. His contact info is:

Shawn Collins
Co-founder
BabyLounge.com
mailto:
Ph: (973) 921-0852

=====
1. In a 2-3 sentence statement, explain what your home business is about,
including your target market and "mission statement."

My company, BabyLounge.com, is an online birth announcement service, as well
as a baby portal that is targeted towards expectant and new parents.
BabyLounge.com is a Mom & Pop company with Mom being a stay at home Mom, and
Pop doing BabyLounge.com work on evenings and weekends. Our mission is to
provide an affordable, fun and unique service to new parents, while making
ends meet at home.

2. What are the most popular products and/or services you sell? How much do
you sell them for (or what's your hourly rate), and how did you find the
right price/fee schedule for them?

Currently, we sell two products: online birth announcements that come in
three packages ($50, $75, $100, plus a free version), and MoM site block
software ($20). The price points for the online birth announcements were
determined by researching the competition, as well as the going rate for
various baby gifts. The MoM software is a set price established by the
software company that we have partnered with to sell the software.

3. What are *your* favorite products and/or services? Why do you like to sell
them?

My favorite is the online birth announcement. We came upon the idea because
we wanted to share our baby with friends and family around the world. After
we received a wonderful response, we decided to go into business with the
idea. It's really rewarding to get feedback from the family and friends (and
of course the parents) when they get to see the
online birth announcements.

4. Tell us a bit about your marketing campaign. When did you start noticing
your first sales (after which marketing technique), what marketing efforts
have you noticed yield the greatest results, and how do you make your first
contact and subsequent sales (via online, phone, fax, mail, face-to-face)?

We market in a variety of ways: we've optimized the site for search engine
rankings, established partnerships with successful baby and parenting sites
to exchange traffic, sent out press releases, sent out web cards (postcards
with a screen shot of our Web site), posted announcements to newsgroups and
discussion lists, and established an
affiliate program.

The first big surge of traffic and sales came when we were listed in Yahoo.
After that, the steady traffic and sales can be attributed to our affiliate
program. We have low overhead, so we are able to pay affiliates 20% of every
sale that they refer to us. Generally, our entire transaction is completed
online, though we do communicate by mail with customers that are not able to
transmit photographs digitally.

5. Any additional comments are welcome.

We noticed that a good amount of traffic comes from the search engines, but
most of it does not convert into a sale. We attribute this to a lack of
targeted traffic that is directed to the site by mistake in some cases. For
this reason, we created a new pregnancy, birth, baby and parenting search
engine: the BabyLounge.com Search Stroller at
http://www.babylounge.com/stroller.shtml to help other baby sites gain
exposure.

_____________________________________
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP

1.) EP Gift Basket Contest

We have a winner! Linda Raee-Foshtami of Sunland, CA was randomly selected to
receive our first EP Gift Basket. Here are some words from Linda, and the
items she has selected:

=====
"In 1994 I started a business named Graphics by Linda, worked out of my home
and at first held down a full time job as well. I made computer personalized
cards, stationary, etc and also designed flyers and brochures. In 1998 I was
put on disability by my doctor who said I couldn't work anymore so I quit the
job and tried to keep Graphics by Linda going but because of poor health, could not. I really enjoy your site and am very happy I found it. I wish I would have been connected with you when I started my business. Thanks, and I am very pleased to be your December winner!

Thanks...this is exciting...my choices are as follows:

Wearable Mammas T shirt - Celebrate Design - (www.lollygag.com/mamas)
Mother Beads - necklace and bracelet in blue colors - (www.motherbeads.com)
Escent-ials - Petpourri & Bath Bag (www.E-Scent-ials.com)
Keystone - CD preferably country...just not rock - (www.keystoneconnect.com)
Coyotes Corner - one of their beautiful blankets in aqua - (www.coyotescorner.com)
EP-tote bag - (www.en-parent.com)"
=====

Do you want to win our next EP Gift Basket -- filled with $100 worth of
donated prizes from EPs that YOU select? As an EPnews Subscriber, you're
automatically eligible to enter! Just go to the following URL and take this
month's poll:

http://en-parent.com/contest.htm

And see what our Contest Sponsors are offering this month at:


http://en-parent.com/contest-sponsors.htm

 

2.) EP December Poll

We polled over 100 EPs during our December contest...and learned so much
about why and how EPs make the leap into self-employment. Again, the question
was:

"What was the key catalyst that gave you the courage and ability to start
your own home business?"

Here were some results:

=====
Surprising:

Is insufficient childcare the No. 1 motivating force for parents to become
"EPs"? No! Only 1.8% specifically named childcare as an issue.

Burn-out, elder care, being bored, recent purchase of a computer,
unemployment, health issues and simply having guts all scored the same...very
low on the totem pole of home biz catalysts.

=====
Not Surprising:

Top reasons for becoming an EP: To earn money, to be my own boss, to be with
my children, to have a flexible work schedule, because I had the support of
family and friends.

Are EPs more reactive or proactive? Proactive -- 65.2% *went after* something
they saw positive in the EP lifestyle, while only 34.8% saw themselves
*fleeing* from a bad situation.

=====
Next month:

"What's Your No. 1 Business Resolution for the New Millennium??"

(Aspiring minds want to know! Go to: http://en-parent.com/contest.htm and
tell us)

2.) EP Gift Shop

We're impressed with the wide selection of quality gift items in our EP Gift
Shop, our "Mom and Pop Gift Shop for the New Millennium." We hope by now all
EPnews Subscribers have at least taken a look to see the original work of
your fellow EPs at:

http://en-parent.com/gift.htm

Are you an EP who sells an original product? It's time to get in gear for the
Valentine's Day promo. We're now accepting new applications for annual
booths, from February 1, 2000 to February 1, 2001. Also, if anyone with a
booth would like to update their product photos from a Christmas to
Valentine's Day focus, feel free to send us an email and we'll take care of
it.

FYI, inclusion in the EP Gift Shop is FREE to NAEP members, so if you've been
thinking about joining the National Association of Entrepreneurial Parents
(NAEP) at the annual rate of $45.00, this is a good time to do it. Otherwise
a booth is still a low-cost advertising venue for only $25.00/year.

To sign up for your booth at the EP Gift Shop, go to:
http://en-parent.com/giftorder.htm

To learn more about all of the NAEP membership benefits, go directly to:
http://en-parent.com/membership2.htm

And to shop at the EP Gift Shop, go to:
http://en-parent.com/gift.htm

_____________________________________
MEMBER-TO-MEMBER Q&As

Sometimes fellow EPs are the best experts, especially when it comes to
balancing work and family under one roof. Have a question you'd like to pose
to fellow EPnews Subscribers? Hit reply to this email and send it on in!
We'll consider running it in our next issue.

_____________________________________
WE RECOMMEND

Woman's Work
www.womans-work.com
=====
FreetimeJobs.com
www.freetimejobs.com
=====
Child Secure
www.childsecure.com
=====

_____________________________________
KA-CHING SPOTLIGHT

Lisa's column at Oxygen Media's business & finance site, www.ka-ching.com,
runs Friday afternoons and throughout every weekend. The latest columns are
titled:

"Home Office Resolutions for 2000"
"Work at Home Options for the New Millennium"
"Get Off the Couch and Out of the Cookie Jar! Staying Focused When You Work
at Home"

You can catch the links at:
http://www.ka-ching.com/business

___________________________________
THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!

Let's close up this e-zine with another :-)!

=====
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber Elisa Dunham (mailto:):
=====

One day my 2-year old daughter was sitting on the floor and whimpering that
she got hurt. I asked her where she was hurting and she answered, "I hurt my
two-head." I didn't quite understand her and asked her to repeat and she said
it again. My 6 year old burst out laughing when she figured it out and
proceeded to tell me that her sister hurt her forehead.

I'm very glad to be home with my precious loves and these moments are so much
fun. Blessings to all!

___________________________
CONTACT/SUBSCRIPTION INFO

The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC is not engaged in rendering legal or
financial advice. If expert assistance is required, the services of a
licensed professional should be sought.

This newsletter may be redistributed freely via the Internet. Re-publishing
of separate articles for your print publication needs approval first; write
to: for permission.

© 2000, The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC
Editor: Lisa M. Roberts
EP Webmaster: Deborah Sechrist
POB 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432; http://en-parent.com
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email:

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