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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs

February 23, 2000


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The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
What's It Worth? -- "Wanting What I Have"
EP Expert Q&As -- Home Office Design
Member to Member Q&A
What's Happening at EP
We Recommend
Oxygen Spotlight
MORE Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!

Editorial Note: 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. Welcome all new subscribers!



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Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Sophia Brown ():

My 2 year old son loves Winnie the Pooh. He was wearing a Winnie the Pooh
outfit when his uncle came to visit. As he came into our home our son said,
"Uncle Rick, I have Pooh on my pants, do you have Pooh on your pants?"

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":

On those stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!
"Wanting What You Have"
by deB Sechrist

One of the most thought provoking responses to our contest this month,
where we ask for your best time or money saving tips, was from Laurie, who
said: "After having my second child and quitting my job, I had to learn to
want what I already have." To me, this is the cornerstone of living a
frugal lifestyle.

In a culture driven by consumerism, this attitude might seem
counterproductive. After all, most of us EP's depend upon being able to
sell something to make a living, whether it is services, information or
products. These days, it's almost impossible to go anywhere without
spending some money, and now with the internet, it's even easier to spend,
spend, spend without ever even leaving the house. The current rage of
e-caves is an example of what we've come to expect: sit in a room with a
computer and order up anything you need over the internet and have it
delivered, sometimes within moments of entering the last digit of the
credit card number.

Being satisfied with what you already have is a notion that our mothers try
to teach us from toddlerhood, but by the time that toddler graduates from
high school, he has come to expect that he can (and should) have anything
he wishes. Years of TV advertising, internet advertising, peer pressure and
social competition reinforce the idea that one must have it all to be
happy, accepted, or even normal.

So how do you learn to want what you already have? Start by questioning
yourself to learn what you really value the most and why. Ask yourself
every single time you buy something: "Do I need this or do I just want it?"
And if the answer is that you just want it, try to not buy it. Don't think
of it as denying yourself something that you deserve, but rather as
doingyourself a favor by saving your money for the things you and your
family really need. Question your motives, analyze yourself a bit, deny
your cravings. You'll find that it is easier than you thought, as long as
you have a positive mindset about it. Feel like you deserve a treat? Give
yourself a trip to the library, take a nature walk, form a playgroup, write
in a journal. There's still plenty in life that's free if you keep your
eyes and mind open.

For years, when my younger children were babies, we endured some very lean
financial circumstances. We did all the dollar-stretching things: made
homemade diaper wipes, created hand-me-down networks for kids' clothing,
made our own household cleaning solutions with vinegar, diluted the
shampoo, learned to cut our own hair, washed and reused plastic bags,
things like that. But somewhere along the way we shifted from an attitude
of forced frugality and depressing near-poverty to an attitude of
enthusiastically accepting a challenge to regain control over our own
lives. And even though our financial situation has improved, we still
continue to do many of those dollar-stretching things -- because it makes
sense, and because it makes me feel good to know that I have control over
my spending habits, over my cravings, over all the pressure out there to
have it all.

We're looking forward to more great money and time saving tips in the
February contest. Thank-you Laurie for your inspiring response!

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


Have a question? Our EP Expert Panel is available to all EPnews
Subscribers. Visit them at <>. If your
question isn't already answered on our site, then send it in to:
. They'll be glad to help you out if they can!

Q. We have a 10 x 9 foot room in which to fit both myself and my fiancé. We
both use computers along with 2 printers. We currently have a large desk, a
computer table plus another smaller desk, and an oak, two-drawer file
cabinet. At the far end of the room is a window in the middle of the wall,
measuring 5 x 5 feet. We would like to be able to utilize this space more
effectively. I was thinking along the lines of wall units. We would like to
be able to hide away the computer and related electronic equipment. We're
working with a standard 8 foot ceiling. Any help along these lines would be
appreciated. Also, cost is always important. We don't want to go into debt
over this!

Thank you,
Cynthia Morris

A. Dear Cynthia,

You and your fiancé are so lucky to have a good size dedicated room for a
home office. There are lots of opportunities for you to maximize your far
wall with the window. And, the beauty of it is that you can do it with
ready-to-assemble or modular units for well under $500, all the while
gaining valuable storage space.

From the description of what you have in your home office already, it
sounds as if you are in dire need of additional filing and storage space.
It's the number one problem in most home offices today! Lack of storage.
You have a prime opportunity to give yourself a wall of storage for both
you and your fiancé. Here are some ideas:

--> Online furniture stores have a dizzying array of ideas. Here's an ideal
and affordable solution from ( The site sells
the Sauder Library With Doors for $139.99 each. They are handsome units
with three shelves and a bottom storage area with doors. Buy two and flank
each side of the window with a unit--one for you and one for your fiancé!
Here are the specs: each unit is 71 and 1/4-inches high which is ideal for
your 8-foot high ceilings, 29 and 3/4 wide which fits in well either side
of the window and 13-inches deep which doesn't cut into valuable floor
space. There are wire management grommets so you can indeed place a
computer on the bottom open shelf. If you're interested, go to
and do a search with words "wall unit" and the Sauder Library should show
up. Most likely, the unit will be in the store nearest you so you can see
it for yourself. If you're interested in other sites with great home office
furniture styles, see, and
and have design consultants you can ask advice from via email
and phone. If you find a piece you like, take advantage, lots of these
sites have great discounts for first time buyers and shipping is free for a
limited time no matter how large the furniture! And, they'll set it up for
you, too. Take advantage now!

--> You're safe using modular storage cubes for a wall like yours. There
are lots of options. Also on site is a modular storage idea
that is more modern than the more traditional-looking Sauder Library. The
Fellowes Neat Ideas storage cubes are 14-inch square cubes, each cube holds
50 pounds. Buy a pack of four cubes for about $25.00. You can put perhaps 8
cubes on each side of the window for maximum storage. If you're interested,
the item number on the site is FEL46414.

--> If custom is more of what you had in mind, there are ways to go about
it without breaking the bank. Find a California Closets (
or 1-888-336-9709 for a free, in-house design consult), Closets By Design
( or 1-800-BY-DESIGN), or any other closet
organizer (you can find them in local papers, sometimes they have little
kiosks in a local mall or look them up in the yellow pages). They'll come
to your house, measure, design and install a perfectly sized storage unit
for your wall around your window and in your budget range. Or you can see
if there's a Techline store ( or 1-800-356-8400) or
consultant in your neck of the woods. They are pros in designing offices
for the budget-wise, and would be happy to do a storage unit for a wall.
Or, call on a carpenter though they are awfully busy these days and it's
hard to find a good one that has time for a small project.

--> See if there's a Container Store in your area. For locations, see
their Web site at or call 800-733-3532. Or, call to
see if there's an Ikea near you at or 1-800-434-IKEA. Each
store typically has an in-store room planner that can help you figure out a
solution to your wall, and you aren't bound to buy products there if you
don't find anything you like. They have great, affordable solutions, too.

Good Luck! I envy the amount of great storage space you're destined to add
to your home office!

Best regards,
Marilyn Zelinsky is our EP Home Office Design Expert and author of
Practical Home Office Solutions (McGraw-Hill, October 1998) and New
Workplaces for New Workstyles (McGraw-Hill January 1998). You can learn
more about Marilyn at:

And check out Zelinksy's books -- they're terrific!!
Practical Home Office Solutions:
New Workplaces for New Workstyles:


From EP Forum Moderator, Jeralynn Burke, of

"I would like to get everyone's input on inexpensive methods that they have
used to get their name out there. What's worked well and what HASN'T worked?

For instance, has anyone purchased classified ads in magazines and
newsletters (specialty or niche markets), or local newspapers (if you run a
local business), either to sell your services or products? From what I have
read, classified ads can be very effective because readers are already
looking to buy something. Prices vary depending on the publication but are
usually affordable.

We personally have tried a classified ad in "Dog Fancy" magazine for our
Petpourris, but while responses for catalog requests were okay, orders
were minimal...I wonder what other forms of inexpensive paid advertising

Please share your ideas and first-hand knowledge so we can all benefit from
our collective experiences!

Write to:
OR post your ideas at:

Thank you!"



EP Gift Basket Contest:

Only a few days left to enter the February EP Contest! Win an EP Gift
Basket full of your choices of goods and services totalling $100. To enter,
answer the survey question at Good

EP of the Month:

By searching through the new member forms we've processed throughout
February, we'll be selecting our next "EP of the Month" by this weekend. If
you have friends, ezine subscribers, other discussion group cybercolleagues
or visitors to your own site that you think would like to be considered,
feel free to remind them them to register as a Member of EP (it's FREE) in
the next few days! They can do so at:

Thank you!


My ParenTime Free Listing
Business Thinkers
Attitude Box -- product that helps develop better learning and behavior
skills in children
Donut Box -- a site that sells "Calling Cartons (R)", which are customized
donut boxes with your company logo that hold donuts, bagels, muffins and
other treats and are used to promote a company, product or service. Looking
for a new twist to customer service? Hmmm.... (or rather, Mmmmm....)


Read how your fellow "EPs" take a break from their workload in:

"Take Five: Great Breaks to Take at Home"

an article that will be running this weekend, 2/25-27, at
Many EPnews subscribers shared their tips a few months back, so read what
they have to say and then share YOUR "Take Five" rituals on the Homeward
Bound message boards at:

We'd love to hear your work-at-home variation of the age-old "coffee break!"
Also, don't forget to stop in for Lisa's weekly chat, Monday nights at 10:00
p.m. EST, at: This week we can take the
topic further and talk about excercise, music & mayhem -- all welcome
distractions when we need that break...

All EPs are welcome!!


Submitted by EP Forum Moderator, Jeralynn Burke (

This evening I was explaining to my 5-year old daughter how some words and
names have different ways of being spelled, such as two and to. She thought
about it for a little while and then said to me, "There are lots of ways of
spelling nothing, right?" I replied, "No, there's only one way to spell
'nothing.'" Without pausing she asked, "Okay, what does t-v-a-f spell?" and
of course I said "Nothing." To which she answers, "See Mom!"


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;
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email:

Community email addresses:
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