- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
March 8, 2000
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- The Funny Things EP Kids Say
EP of the Month
EP Times -- "The Things We Want Most"
Making Money Matters -- Your Office Annex
What's Happening at EP
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
throughout each month -- feel free to check in regularly via
the What's New
banner on our homepage. Welcome
all new subscribers!
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR
Are you a parent who wants to
work from home? Or do you want to HELP other
parents work from home? WAHMfest, the work at home moms expo,
may be the place for you! This year's off-line event is taking
place Saturday, April 8
in Northern Virginia, but we are on-line year 'round! Drop by
to learn how you can stay home or help others who
want to stay home. Subscribe to our ezines, become a sponsor,
learn from our
moms who are already living their dreams! Any questions? E-mail
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THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber
and featured MMM survey respondent,
Wendy Brown (mailto:[email protected]):
Living and working with a two-year-old
can certainly be a challenge,
especially when trying to keep the messes to a minimum. I try
not to stress
out too much when it comes to having toys all over the place,
but food messes
are a particularly strong pet peeve.
The other day, I was behind schedule
with work and trying desperately to
catch up. My daughter poked her head through the kitchen door.
piped. "Come look." I said, "At what?" not
missing a keystroke. She replied,
"At the floor." Eyes still glued to the computer screen,
I asked, "What's on
the floor?" She said, "Sugar's all over the floor."
I exclaimed, "Oh,
Kaya," jumped up from my chair and sprinted into the kitchen,
clean up some horrible, huge mess she had made. When I got there,
seconds later, the "sugar all over the floor" was just
a few grains. I
quickly swept and went back to work. She came over to me a couple
after I sat back down, kissed me on the arm, looked at me with
a smile so
sweet, I swear I got a cavity, and asked, "Are you happy
Why work at home? So you can hear the funny things your EP Kids
throughout the day. Share with the EP Community something your
or did recently that made you smirk, giggle, or LOL. Send your
via e-mail to:[email protected].
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!
EP OF THE MONTH
Jim Wiederhold, Wiederhold &
In February we kicked off a monthly
feature that highlights the
achievements of one of our newly registered members. Selecting
from our new
member forms, we take a look at business names, niche markets,
special PR or advertising techniques, innovative products or
services, and other types of
unique business practices.
This month we chose Jim Wiederhold,
an EP Dad to two children (ages 13 and
17) and owner of Wierhold & Associates, Inc. We love his
special niche -- as
a "headhunter" for the healthcare industry -- and the
fact that his company
has grown 50% each year since inception. But what we respect
most about Jim
is his commitment to children's charities, to which he donates
5% of his
company's annual revenue. He also works in the summer with Camp
Sunshine, and he will be in training this month to work with
children in Hospice. Now
that's one special EP Dad...
As an advocate of children, Jim
is right in tune to our mission of
responsible parenthood here at The Entrepreneurial Parent, and
pleased to have him as a member of our EP Community.
<begin round of applause>
Please welcome Jim by viewing
his Profile Page at:
and/or sending him a welcome
</end round of applause>
To All -- Please Note: We offer
our selected EPs a FREE Profile Page at the
EP Showcase and a link from our home page all month, so spread
the word among your friends and let's build the EP Community
TIMES -- AN EDITORIAL
"The Things We Want Most"
© 2000, Lisa M. Roberts
Sometimes my work tires me. Not
the professional work -- rarely the
professional -- but the parenting, often the parenting. It's
physical work that tires me (the cleaning, the taxi-driving,
but the perpetual, daily work of building character in each and
under our care. "Focus on one thing at a time." "Keep
track of your stuff."
"Sit straight with your feet in front of you." "Use
your words, not your
hands." Over and over and over again. It's exhaustive.
Then someone somewhere reaches
out to me, or turns my head in a new
direction, and I realize I can do this. We are blessed. The kids
and there's a much bigger picture than the one of my small home.
three separate paths led to the same place in my heart -- the
first took the
form of a book, the second a movie, and the third a visit --
and all in the
span of one month.
The book, The
Things I Want Most: The Extraordinary Story of a Boy's Journey
The Things I Want
to a Family of His Own, by Richard F. Miniter is the portrait
Entrepreneurial Parents who, after raising six children, decided
their parenting skills one last and fierce test by opening their
their family and their home to a young boy named "Mike."
in the limbo land of foster care, was profoundly emotionally
disturbed from a
tortured and unspoken past. Yet he was able to express a simple
wish in a
language that the heart of every parent can understand. At the
self-awareness he had once scribbled on a piece of paper:
A fishing pole
And because of this articulation,
he found one. Chronicling the relentless
year Mike's wish came true, his father writes about parenthood
in a language
most all of us can understand. For instance, early in the book
he offers us
an indelible image of fatherhood when he sees the silhoutte of
biological son, Liam:
"The sun had been setting
west over Shawangunk, and just a few shafts of
light remained. One of them reached arrow straight from the top
mountain ten miles away and lit up a spot in the meadow about
yards away. I said to Liam quickly, 'Can you run out and catch
that before it
goes?' The boy ran down the hill in the darkness, through the
along the deer run, and far out into the field. In the instant
that the light
disappeared I saw him there, a far-off tiny figure jumping around
arms raised, twinkling golden in the rushing darkness. The stars
when he came back. 'Liam,' I said, 'to me you'll always be the
last light in
When Mike moves in and starts
sharing a room with Liam we begin to understand the enormity
of this family's mission, but are replenished by the humor of
the author. Liam reports to his father:
"Dad, this kid is nuts.
He was upstairs arranging his pillows on his bed.
First he put one pillow on top of the other, and then he switched
he switched them again and then again. He kept doing that for
minutes before he made moaning sounds and started to pull his
hair." (The Dad
shrugs, and then says...) "Everybody gets a little tense
at pillow-arrangement time."
But it's when Mike wreaks havoc
in reaction to the commonplace routines of
childhood the rest of us take for granted that I, as a reader,
greatest impact. His parents' search for simple truths helped
my own parenting style and perspective:
"Sue, remember all those
'activity resources' the children's home was so
proud of? They had a pool for the children, crafts, art class,
games, TV time, baseball, basketball, a little natural history
library; they took them fishing, tubing, hiking, had a computer
games...Well I remember being terribly impressed, even overawed.
But when you think about it, you have to concede that few families
on earth can come close to that ideal. In a real family there's
one or two or three things, and a kid spends most of his time
on one of them...At some point in (Mike's) life, pride and self-confidence
have to come to him, and they must come from his
own lonely effort in some activity."
How did this remarkable book
find its way into my POB? A few months ago I
went in search of a slippery statistic: how many entrepreneurial
there are in the U.S. I found an article published by Reader's
1999) entitled "Entrepreneurial Parents Profit from More
Time with the Kids;
Family Values Driving New Work-at-Home Boom" and decided
to contact the
author, Rich Minitir (!), to see if he turned this number up
in his research.
Although we spoke at length about entrepreneurial parents, we
of course did
not go into our life stories. But when I found his father's in
Entrepreneurial Parent mail, I felt a strong bond. Even my 12-year
daughter felt a connection -- she read the book before me and
said, "I know I
don't really know Mike, but in a strange way I feel now that
Then not too long ago I took
my daughter to see "The Cider House Rules," a
film adaptation of John Irving's novel of the same title. Up
for Best Picture
of the Year, it's a heartwarming tale of an orphanage in Maine,
that existed long before the present-day foster care system came
to be. While
primarily the coming-of-age story of the eldest orphan, Homer
Wells, the more
impressing character depictions (for me) were the many younger
were growing up at St. Cloud. They grow, learn and dream under
affectionate care of the resident doctor, Wilbur Larch, who acts
surrogate foster parent. As the children wait, yearning and hungering
adopted by a "real" family, Homer learns something
the others don't
understand yet. These children already have a family -- each
The last piece of this puzzle
came last week, when I had the opportunity to
see first-hand what a surrogate family staffed by paid professionals
like. My sister, Dr. Joann Galley, is a resident psychologist
at the New York
Foundling Hospital in New York City, an establishment that cares
sick and/or severely disabled children. Some of the children
are there for
only rehabilitative purposes, but many more stay for years, sometimes
for the duration of their entire but short lifetime. Joann has
worked in the
hospital for four years, and throughout has shared many heartwarming
about "her 163 children" with me. But it was only last
Friday that I found
the courage to visit her and "her children," and only
at the request of a
friend of mine who had an interest in volunteering at that particular
hospital. I guess I was afraid I'd be so moved to tears at the
sight of these
poor children, that they'd see the pity in my eyes and feel even
vulnerable than they were. I just didn't know what to expect.
What I found moved me not to
tears but to joy. Joann took us on a tour of
four floors, showing us the recreational room, the library, the
and all the other wonderful physical resources available to these
much like Minitir talks about in the above clip. But to me more
than all that was how well-staffed the hospital was, how strong
between the children and the staff seemed to be, and how important
communication was among all. These caregivers were not harried
and worn, as I
imagined, but energetic and cheerful. I noticed this in the little
the smile on the face of a nurse that was carried down the entire
the hall and was given to her by a teen-age patient. Three girls
the gym -- one with a severe heart condition, another paralyzed
waist down, and another who breathed through the tube in her
throat -- who
spoke to each other with the ease, familiarity and affection
of sisters. The
boy lying still in a stretcher who asked me a question as I passed
couldn't understand. He tried and tried to articulate and finally
I made out
the words. He was calling for his favorite nurse, not from pain
but just to
talk, and when I repeated her name, "Mary Lou," his
entire body resonated
I left my sister, and the movie
house, and closed the pages of "The Things I
Want Most," with many questions. How can I communicate to
my children how
much I love them, how blessed they are, how much I hope they
can reach out
and touch others as they grow in ways I know I cannot? How many
parents like the Minintirs could there really be, when it takes
on earth to endure what they did? Is the present-day foster care
failed ideology in practice, with more children in need of a
home than there
are extraordinarily resolute foster parents available to take
Wouldn't children whose parents are no longer physically or emotionally
"there" for them, and who are labeled "difficult"
and therefore not strong
candidates for adoption, be better off in a less-taxing system
drastically overworked foster care one? Wouldn't they at least
be able to
build family bonds with each other if they lived in the stable
environment of an orphanage?
In the end, I believe what Mike
wants is what we all want -- people who love
us, things we like to do, people who love us. The children at
the New York
Foundling Hospital had people who loved them...my sister being
had personal goals that were not unlike those of a more able-bodied
and they strove to achieve them with a combination of self-determination
the patient help of others who truly cared about them. Most poignantly,
boy who wouldn't give up on communicating with me spoke for us
all when he
finally did. I will never forget his face, and the feeling expressed
the feeling of being "heard" and understood. I have
seen that expression
before -- in the faces of my children, my husband, my sister
-- and have felt
such exhilaration myself. Ah, yes, you heard me, you know me,
you love who I
am. Finally. Like Mike, it's what we want most.
To read more about "The
Things I Want Most," go to:
To read Rich Minitir's Reader's
Digest article about EPs, go to:
and search for "Entrepreneurial Parents Profit"
If you'd like to share how YOU
have been inspired to continue your parenting
work, please write to us at mailto:[email protected].
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
through Amazon, at:
I just read Lisa Roberts' article,
"Beyond Schedule C":
My schedule C bottom line is
nothing to write home about. I make enough to
pay the bills and keep the business afloat. It was refreshing
to read an
article that talked about the intangible profits of working from
you very much. You made me remember why I'm doing this.
Dianna Huff, Amesbury, MA
DH Communications, Inc.
Marketing Writing for High-Tech & Industrial Companies
e-mail: [email protected]ions.com
Profits from 1999 -- The average administrative assistant in
my area is paid
an annual salary of around $28,000 per year. I made $15,000 last
my virtual office service, and I only worked 25 hours per week.
gain was substantial, when one considers the savings in job-related
But in addition to the monetary gain, I learned a great deal
about running a
business last year.
Non-monetary Profits in 1999.
Things I've learned:
a.. Web Design - I designed and
published four sites in 1999 using
FrontPage 98. I learned how to create a site (one of which has
pages. I learned how to publish that site to a host server. I
to make changes and updates to the page. I learned how to download
entire site so that I had a copy on my hard drive. Of all of
the things that
I learned from my business in 1999, I believe this will be the
profitable for me in the future, because not only did I publish
web sites for
my client, but I also published a site of my own. I learned how
to read and
down menu. I
learned how to submit web sites to search engines. I learned
how to write
meta tags for web sites. I learned where to find affiliate programs
my sites would have paying advertisers. -- All for FREE, and
all from the
comfort of my home.
b.. Marketing Techniques for Corporate America
c.. Managing Business Finances
d.. Filing Corporation paperwork
e.. Internet research
f.. Effective e-mail correspondence techniques
g.. Preparing advanced slide show presentations using Power Point
h.. Creating Business Brochures in PowerPoint
i.. Creating address labels using MS Access
I've done so many things this
past year that I had never done before, and
I've learned so much, that in reading over the above list, it
sounds like the
course requirements for a degree in Administrative Assistance.
I also joined
the Society for Human Resource Management, which gave me a great
information about the world of Human Resources. Since I operate
office service, the information I get from my membership in SHRM
invaluable for marketing my business to companies in my area.
Finally, the most important thing
I've learned is how to balance my job and
my family. I've learned not only to be a success in my career,
but I'm a
pretty darn good Mom, too. :-)
Please Note: to learn more about
Wendy's home biz, keep on reading!
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
with the subject heading "MMM Survey." We look forward
to hearing more about you!
This month Wendy Brown, Owner
of Your Office Annex -- a virtual office
service, and StudentPoetry.com -- a poetry web site, shares her
tips with us. Wendy is an EP to a 2-year old daughter, and her
Your Office Annex / StudentPoetry.com
Email: [email protected]
Address: 1 Arnold Road, Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064
1. Please explain what your home business is about, including
market and "mission statement."
My primary business is Your Office
Annex, a virtual office service. I
thought at first that my market would be small companies who
secretarial services, but I have realized over the past two years
best market is larger companies, specifically the HR departments.
there is one administrative assistant in the HR department, and
individual is in charge of several projects. Being able to outsource
the work to me enables that person to focus on other areas. My
slogan is "Administrative Task? Just Ask."
My secondary project, which is
funded entirely by what I earn as an office
assistant, is StudentPoetry.com. StudentPoetry.com is a poetry
designed with the intention of providing a place for students
poets to showcase their work. As a former educator, I know the
feedback, and so by providing this outlet for their creativity,
my hope is
that I might encourage more students to explore writing poetry.
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
right price/fee schedule for them?
Your Office Annex offers a full
range of office services, and I have done
everything from typing a student's term paper to web site design.
rate is based on 60 wpm/$15.00 per hour. I determined my rates
calculating what I wanted to earn a year, and by weighing that
the local economy. That is, I had to determine what I thought
businesses would be willing to pay. My fees are flexible, however,
will reduce my rates when offered a long term contract or a really
project. For example, right now, I am contracted for 25 hours
a week, every
week, for an unspecified amount of time. I am paid $10.00 an
years ago, I was offered a data base project by a local Fortune
Rather than pay me an hourly rate, they negotiated a flat rate
StudentPoetry.com is a free,
online, publishing service. I recently started
offering merchandise for sale on the web site, but haven't yet
had any orders.
3. What are *your* favorite products
and/or services? Why do you like to
My favorite project is StudentPoetry.com.
Working on the site has been a
challenge for me, because ultimately I want the site to pay for
to date it hasn't even come close. But because it has been so
unsuccessful, I keep looking for new ways to make it work. When
the site, I tried to find local sponsors/advertisers. While everyone
the idea, no one was willing to support it. Next, I found affiliate
that paid by the click or by the lead. To date, I have earned
My next venture is to publish an anthology of my 1999 poets.
I am also
offering tee-shirts and mugs for sale on the site, have posted
a request for
sponsors ($25 for an advertisement and a tee-shirt), and I am
affiliate of several e-commerce sites. I figure, if I keep looking
enough, I will eventually find the magic formula. In the meantime,
has been a tremendous success in that 60 young poets found me
last year, with
almost no advertising. The Internet is truly an amazing vehicle,
just happy that I get to be in the driver's seat occasionally.
4. Tell us a bit about your marketing
campaign. When did you start noticing
your first sales (after which marketing technique), what marketing
have you noticed yield the greatest results, and how do you make
contact and subsequent sales (via online, phone, fax, mail, face-to-face)?
My first sales for Your Office
Annex came through word-of-mouth
recommendations from friends/family members, but there weren't
a great deal
of those. I tried mass mailings, cold calling, and newspaper
but none of them were at all successful. In fact, I didn't get
from any of those methods. My only success, in fact the one that
current client, came from answering Want Ads. I decided that
the best way
for me to find potential clients was to contact companies who
need for the kind of services I offered. So, I started sending
letter and my resume to employers who needed data entry clerks,
administrative assistants, secretaries, and typists. I answered
or not they stated "Work-at-home," but was careful
not to apply for jobs that
sounded like they had to be done on-site. After a few months
of that kind of
marketing, I answered an advertisement for a data entry clerk.
was really looking to hire someone to work from his office, but
to my "business" impressed him, and he hired me to
work out of my home. The
things that sold him on hiring me were: I brought my daughter
interview, and I gave him a business card. The fact that I was
entrepreneur, and I was committed to finding work despite having
child, really impressed him.
5. Any additional comments are
Before my daughter was born,
my husband and I had already made the decision
that one of us was going to stay home with our unborn child,
and because we
also decided that we wanted to breast-feed, the one to stay home
would be me.
When we decided to become parents, it was with the understanding
would be parents, and everything else would be secondary. It
been easy to do. Being a Stay-at-Home mom was far more difficult
for me than
being a Work-at-Home mom. In fact, while my decision to work
from home was,
in part, motivated by the money issue, I have put so much into
it because I
just like working. But my first priority is my family, and I
twice about leaving my business if it conflicted with my ability
my family's needs.
I love what I do, and I cannot
imagine working anywhere else, at this point.
In fact, I can see myself in ten years as the Chief Editor of
StudentPoetry.com Publishing Company. The only difference will
be that I
won't hear that cherubic little voice calling, "Mom"
every ten minutes
(because she'll be in school). But I think I'll really miss hearing
"...twinkle twinkle little star, like a diamond in the sky..."
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
Chat: EPs are starting to gather
on Monday nights (10:00 p.m. EST) over at
the ka-ching.com Lounge. Please join us next week!
Discussion Group: Spring fever
has hit the list. Join our daily discussion --
sign up at:
Message Boards: Have a question
or comment you'd like to share with fellow
EPs? Head over to our message boards at:
Have a question for Lisa? Ask
her directly at:
EP Expert Q&As
**Planning a complete re-design
for your spare bedroom home office? You're in
luck -- our EP Home Office Design Expert, Marilyn Zelinsky, has
and come up with some excellent suggestions for your design and
shopping needs. Go to:
**Expecting to move into a new
home this year but are itching to start your
**Is there a way to buy and sell products WITHOUT registering
for a resale
Terri Lonier, our EP Busines
Start-Up Expert, has some sound advice re: the
above questions for you at:
And because of Terri's increasingly
busy schedule, these will be her last
Q&As for EP. While we are sad to see her go, we are very
grateful for her
generous contribution to our community. Her Q&A page is full
useful advice for those just starting out, so please make sure
you refer back
to it whenever a new business start-up question pops up. She
just might have
answered it already!
Stress Management Article:
Stablize Stress by Donald Wetmore
Your Business Article:
Business Plans Most Common Mistakes,
by Daniel M. McGilvery
Lisa's column at Oxygen's business
& finance site, www.ka-ching.com, runs
Friday afternoons and throughout every weekend at:
The latest "Homeward Bound"
columns, found at www.ka-ching.com/business,
"The Home Business Workforce"
-- recommended reading for all!!
"Take Five: The Home Office Alternative to Coffee Breaks"
-- featuring quotes
and web links of EPnews Subscribers!
"Dressing for Success at Home" -- i.e., leave the sweats
at the gym...
"Friends, Family, Countrymen...Go Away!" -- how to
tactfully turn away
surprise company when you're working
Also, any time you'd like to
ask Lisa a question directly, stop by her
message boards at:
Or stop in for her weekly chat,
Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. EST, at:
All EPs are welcome!!
MORE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!
Let's close up this e-zine with
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber Cynthia Ho (mailto:c[email protected]):
The kindergarten my 4 year old
daughter, Joanna, goes to is teaching them
about the four seasons of the year. Joanna learns that in Autumn,
yellow and falls down from the trees and when Spring comes, green
comes out from them.
One day in early Spring while
we were in a hurry walking to visit my
husband's grandma, Joanna suddenly stopped, looked up to a very
tree and asked. "Mom, will there be someone climbing up
a long ladder to
stick green leaves up the tree in Spring?"
In the following weekend, me,
my husband and Joanna roamed the nearby parks for half a day
to see the new green shoots coming out from the stems. Joanna
called them "baby leaves."
The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC
is not engaged in rendering legal or
financial advice. If expert assistance is required, the services
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
to: [email protected] for permission.
© 2000, The Entrepreneurial
Editor: Lisa M. Roberts
EP Webmaster: Deborah Sechrist
POB 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432; http://en-parent.com
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email: [email protected]
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