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

April 12, 2000


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The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
EP of the Month -- Stephanie Conrad of Conrad Concepts, Inc.
EP Times -- "When an EP Takes Wing"
Making Money Matters -- "The Cabinetmaker," LaCrews, Inc.
What's Happening at EP -- EP Gift Basket Winner, Plus...
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!



Ever have your laptop stolen? Jennifer Schu, a freelance writer for a women's
business publication, is looking for anecdotes and stories from entrepreneurs
and SOHOs who have had their laptops stolen. This will be a service article
on how to prevent theft. She'll include the business owner's name, a
description of their business, and possibly a link to their web site. Her
deadline is April 15, so if you have a story to tell, contact her asap!
Mailto:[email protected]



Submitted by NAEP Member, Anne Ramstetter Wenzel (mailto:[email protected]):

The other day I was typing furiously on my computer, trying to finish some
data entry so I could e-mail an editor with files for an upcoming
publication. My 6 year old son kept pestering me, asking, "When can we go to
the swing near Jack's house?" We often walk our dog to a neighborhood park
that has a rope swing hanging from an old oak tree. I told him, "As soon as I
finish this." Then I heard him say twice, while my concentration was focused
on my data entry task, "I am an alien!" I turned to look, and there I was,
face to face with an adorable boy with a bunch of Nerf foam darts suction
cupped to his forehead! He looked so cute, I stopped to laugh and realized,
"This is a work environment I can enjoy!"

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:[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!

Stephanie Conrad, Conrad Concepts, Inc.

In February, 2000 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 Stephanie Conrad, an EP Mom to two children, ages 6 and
9. Her company, Conrad Concepts, Inc., develops Allergy Awareness Products
such as stickers, badges, buttons, keychains and more for children who are
prone to severe allergies. We love how Stephanie is exercising her
entrepreneurial skills to reach out and help parents and children who have a
vital need. Her concept and products are not only unique, but serve as a
relief and affirmation for so many of us who have children suffering from
asthma and other life-threatening allergies.

As an advocate of children, Stephanie is right in tune to our mission of
responsible parenthood here at The Entrepreneurial Parent, and we're very
pleased to have her as a member of our EP Community.

<begin round of applause>

Please welcome Stephanie by viewing her Profile Page at:

and/or sending her a welcome message at:
mailto:[email protected]

</end round of applause>

To All -- Please Note: We now hand out an "award" graphic to our EPs of the
Month! We also continue to offer our selected EPs a FREE Profile Page at the
EP Showcase and a photo link from our home page all month. So please spread
the word among your friends, colleagues and email loops -- invite the EPs in
your life to join as a registered member, and let's build the
EP Community together!


"When an EP Takes Wing"
© 2000, Lisa M. Roberts

They say there's no business like show business. That may be true, but
there's also no business like parenting, like being a solo entrepreneur, and
certainly there's nothing like combining the two as an Entrepreneurial
Parent. Last week I saw the similarities of all three -- show business,
parenting and entrepreneurship -- crystalize. And what a moment it was.

It happened at our elementary school's annual Talent Show. My son Jimmy, 6
years old and going on 16, gave his debut performance, singing a solo of the
song "I Believe I Can Fly." After weeks of preparation, he got up on the
stage and indeed soared -- right into the hearts of many a parent who
attended the show. A few days later one Mom stopped me in the school parking
lot to tell me she and her friend starting crying in the middle of Jimmy's
performance. She said the two whispered to each other, "His mom must be
somewhere in the audience crying her heart out!"

I was not. I was standing on the sidelines screaming (in silence, of course),
"Jimmy, come on -- smile! Have fun! Let it rip!" Night after night in the
living room, my son would belt out the song and soar into motion with gusto
and zest. He'd wear the song like a leather jacket -- cool and confident.
That night on the stage, however, he sang softly and almost in slow motion.
He wore the song like a pair of cozy pajamas. The charm was still there, but
a vulnerability I hadn't expected was too. Another mom put it this way -- she
told me she had wanted to go right up on the stage and squeeze him with a
tight hug.

Where's the EP lesson in all this? In every business, there's a subtle, quiet
transformation that takes place in between conception and execution. The
ideas that come to us and the projects we fervently work on in the quiet
corners of our living rooms, dining rooms and around the kitchen table look
and feel and *are* one way. But when those ideas and projects are presented
in the public arena -- delivered to our clients, customers, target market --
they often look and feel and *are* quite different. The service or product
can still work splendidly, but it can also be unrecognizable from its early
stages. The transformation is almost magical. And it's always exciting.

Jimmy's recast performance held other business lessons too. Here are a few
you may relate to as you expand your current business or get your first one
off the ground.

EP Lessons:

---> Pick a business, or add on a new product or service, that *means*
something to you.

How often have you heard that you gotta feel good about what you're doing if
you expect others to as well? With Jimmy, I suggested "I Believe I Can Fly"
because about two years ago when the song was popular on the radio he was
singing it constantly. This was also during the time when my father fell
fatally ill, and I remember watching Jimmy (then four years old) at the
playground, swinging high, and singing "I believe I can touch the sky!" and
feeling the bittersweet awareness of letting one precious spirit go while
watching another emerge. It must have meant something to him too because when
I mentioned the song his face lit up. We bought the sheet music the next day.

---> Become proficient in the basic core of what you do first; worry about
"image" and panache' later!

As soon as we held all the words to the song in our hands, he learned every
word by heart. Singing out of tune, not knowing what the song was all about,
standing stiff as a board as he sang were all of no consequence. He needed to
build his self-esteem through the act of competence first. Once that was
down, the rest would follow.

---> Dress for success!

This much ballyhooed business and career technique comes naturally to Jimmy.
I first noticed his innate awareness of the value of one's appearance this
past New Year's Eve, when he woke from his early evening nap and came down
the stairs to join "the party" wearing dress pants, a button-down shirt, tie
and dress shoes (the rest of us were in jeans and khakis). Likewise, when he
was getting ready for his first dress rehearsal for the talent show, he came
down the stairs with a huge grin and a clip-on tie hanging from the
turtleneck shirt he was wearing that day. I got the message. I smiled,
changed him into a dress shirt, put the tie back on and off we went. The next
day I let him choose a new dress shirt to wear for his final performance. He

---> Find a mentor.

After I taught Jimmy the words to the song, I stepped aside. My husband, who
used to sing and perform southern rock music in a band and has a voice that
can make rap music sound like a lullaby, stepped in. From my husband, Jimmy
learned that every song is a story, and this particular story was about a man
who believed he could achieve whatever he set his mind to. He also taught
Jimmy that when he was up on the stage, he had total control of everything he
did up there. He would have a captive audience and would be free to turn the
song into anything he wanted it to be. Together, then, they added gestures
and movements as he sang, experimenting this way and that until they came up
with the following "act":


"I Believe I Can Fly"
(Words and Music by R. Kelly)

I used to think that I could not go on
that life was nothing but an awful song
but now I know the meaning of true love
I'm leaning on the everlasting arms. (Jimmy leans his body over)


If I can see it, then I can do it.
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it! (shoulders shrug)
I believe I can fly (arms stretched out as wings)
I believe I can touch the sky (arms over head, reaching up)
I think about it every night (thumbs down) and day (thumbs up)
Spread my wings and fly away (arms as wings again)
I believe I can soar (arms as wings in motion)
I see me running through that open door (Jimmy runs in place)
I believe I can fly (wings), I believe I can fly (wings), oh I believe I can
flyyyy.... (wings)

You see I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes silence can seem so loud (hands over his ears)
There are miracles in life I must achieve (arm outstretched, with an
enthusiastic thumbs up)
But first I know it starts inside of me (thumb pointing to his heart)

Repeat Verse

---> Do it.

All the preparation in the world will mean nothing if you don't have the
courage to go out there and "just do it." Sure, Jimmy was reluctant to carry
out his performance, especially as the date neared. But every time he'd feign
cold feet he'd have a smile on his face. That night, as the curtain rose, he
stood for a moment in silence, almost looking petrified. (Later I asked him
how he felt. He said, "I was like, oh my gosh, I have to sing in front of ALL
these people??") But then he did begin to sing, and when he leaned his body
over at the right note of the song and the rest of the practiced motions
kicked in, he was home free. In the end, he delivered.

Do YOU believe you can fly? Tell us how your wings felt the first time you
put yourself and your business out there, and the lessons learned in the
process. (mailto:[email protected]) Also, if the mood strikes, consider
teaching your children the words, the music and the message of this special
song and then watch how they "wear" it. Chances are you will not only believe
that they -- and you -- can indeed fly, you all will.

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: and
through Amazon, at:


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:[email protected] with the subject heading "MMM Survey." We look
forward to hearing more about you!

This month Mark Crews, "The Cabinetmaker" and President/CEO of LaCrews, Inc.,
shares his marketing tips with us. Mark provides kitchen and bath cabinet
services and is an EP to one elementary schooler and one preschooler. His
contact info is:

Mark Crews, The Cabinetmaker
LaCrews, Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Ph: (703) 318-7231
FAX: (603) 947-7815
Postal Business Address: 13014 New Arden Ct. Oak Hill, VA 20171-2657

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

I offer cabinetry services to commercial (contractors) and residential
clients to include: matching finishes, refacing, designing and building
cabinetry & built-ins, finish carpentry, and sale of doors, drawers, and
hardware. The "mission" of our family business (my wife works with me) is
primarily to provide sufficient income to support our family needs. We gave
up our careers almost 6 years ago in order to grow our business to be able to
be home with our kids after school once they reached school age. Now that
our kids are in school, we're finding that we can hone our "professional
mission" by noting our clients come to me for expert cabinetry skills.

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?

The jobs I sell the most include designing and building custom cabinety and
built-in furniture, including matching existing finishes in a client's home.
My hourly rate is $50/hour + the cost of materials. I've determined this
pricing based on fair market value in the industry.

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

I really enjoy creating custom furniture as it provides a creative outlet.
This has come primarily in the sale of custom cabinet humidors that I sell

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)?

Personal networking has worked the absolutely best for me. Our
marketing/advertising includes: website, leadshare groups, membership in
Chambers of Commerce and trade associations, yellow pages, trade shows, ads
in local church bulletins, and a Directory of Services listing in a local
paper. I get leads personally, online, and by phone. After qualifying these
leads on the phone or e-mail, I close the sales face to face (cabinets) or on
the phone (cabinet humidors).



1.) EP Office Clean-Up Day. It's that time of year again, folks -- time for
the EP Community to join together to do some "spring cleaning" of their home
offices to make the way for summer activities! This year we're going to skip
the essay & photo contest and head straight for the practical,
roll-up-your-sleeves-and-just-do-it approach. Want to join in? Sign up for
our Email and/or Phone Chain. All those who wish to participate will remind
and encourage each other to get through our office cleaning day by joining
our email and/or phone chain. For all those interested, send a message to
[email protected] with the subject heading "Email Chain" or "Phone Chain"
and we'll put you on our Email/Phone Chain list. A few days before the "big
day," you'll get the name of a fellow EP to contact, and we'll pass your name
on to someone else as well. This is a fun way to "reach out and touch
someone" while motivating each other to tackle the job of all
jobs...filing/sorting/cleaning/etc. If we stick together, we can do this! And
oh how good it will feel...

2.) EP Gift Basket Contest

We have another winner! Rebecca Davenport of Middletown, Ohio was randomly
selected (by Lisa's son Jimmy!) to receive our February/March EP Gift Basket.
Here are some words from Rebecca, along with the items she has selected:

"I am a stay-at-home mom with 3 children. It's really important for me to
stay at home with my children so I started a business selling cellular phones
and accessories. My kids are home-schooled so they are here with me all day,
and they also learn how to run a business right along with me. I will soon
have a web site, but right now I am just selling out of a catalog. Thank you
very much for picking me as the winner. I am so excited. I like how you
included your son in on what you do. Kids learn so much just from watching.
Thanks again!"

Rebecca chose:

1. The Melaleuca Spa & Relaxation Kit, consisting of:

Herbal Tea, Melaleuca Oil (aromaterapy), Pain-A-Trate deep rub for aches and
pains, Gold Bar a French Milled bar soap, Body Satin shower body gel
(Honeysuckle, kiwi, peach, French Vanilla, Pear/Rasberry), Hydroherapy
Foaming Bath, Hydrating Body Lotion (Vanilla or Honeysuckle/Peach), Herbal
Foot Scrub, Spa and Bath oil

Value: $57.00

Donated by: Elizabeth Osmola of Melaleuca
Ph: 707-451-8280
Fax: 508-462-5862
Email: [email protected]

2. A Large Silver Triple-banded Picture Frame

Value: $20.00

Donated by: Margaret Salmond of Bridal Accents
Ph: 510-547-7347
Fax: 413-451-3145
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

3. A Petpourri, Two bars of Natural Herbal Soap, and a Natural Herbal Bath Bag

Value: $19

Donated by: Jeralynn Burke and Linda Faust of E-Scent-ials
Ph: 847-298-3474
Email: [email protected]
Web site:


A special thank you goes to this month's selected contest sponsors, and
especially Jeralynn Burke and Linda Faust who have graciously been
volunteering to collect the prizes and put together beautiful gift baskets
for all our winners. Jeralynn & Linda, you guys are terrific!!! Thanks so
much for your continued support.

Do you want to win our next EP Gift Basket -- filled with $100 worth of
donated prizes from EPs that YOU select? This time you don't have to be an
EPnews Subscriber to enter, but EP is picking the winner based on the best
tip! So if you're up for it, go to the following URL and take our next poll:

"Tell us how YOU, as an Entrepreneurial Parent, market your products,
services or self without breaking the bank? Please respond by first
describing what you sell (in ONE sentence) and then your best
advertising/marketing/PR tip (whether that be an ongoing or one-time

Aspiring minds want to know! Go share at:

And see what our Contest Sponsors are offering this time around at:

NOTE: We Need New Contest Sponsors!!

The EP Contest runs for two months instead of one to give our Contest
Sponsors longer exposure on our site. If you'd like to donate a product or
service and spread some good will among the EP Community AND a good word
about your business, please contact us at mailto:[email protected]. We'll
be happy to include your full contact info & link to your site on our Contest
Sponsorship page (even after your prize has been selected, your info will
remain on the page); and when your prize is selected we'll also run your full
contact info in EPnews. Come join us!

3.) EP February/March Poll

We polled over 110 EPs during our February/March contest and learned some
terrific tips on budgeting time and money. Again, the question was:

"What is your favorite way to save time or money for your business or
personal life?"

Get a crash course on frugal living from your fellow EPs by visiting the EP
Frugal Forum, featuring most of our contest entries, at:

Editor's Pick of Favorite Responses:

Submitted by "Laurie":

"After having my second child and quitting my job, I had to learn to want
what I have."

4.) EP Forums:

Discussion Group: Help us celebrate our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the EP
Discussion Group! We started with 8 members and now have over 75. Let's aim
for that kind of growth in the next year too! Come join our daily discussion
-- sign up at:

Chat: EPs are (slowly!) starting to gather on Monday nights (10:00 p.m. EST)
over at the Lounge. Please join us next week and let's get this
group to gel. Go to:
Click on CHAT, log in & you're there!

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:


In case you haven't noticed, we haven't been adding much content to EP
lately. The reason? Because we've been busy "behind the scenes" working on a
site redesign. deB's been on a mission spearheading this project, and Lisa is
busy as usual mucking things up with new (or revised!) ideas. Stay tuned,
folks -- EP will soon be infinitely easier to navigate and read through. And
once we tackle the design issues, we'll be sending out a survey to tap into
your honest feedback so it'll be your turn "at the mike" pretty soon!

In the meantime, thanks for your patience :-)


Lisa's column at Oxygen's business & finance site,, runs
Friday afternoons and throughout every weekend at:

Also, any time you'd like to ask Lisa a question directly, stop by her
message boards at:

And again, don't forget to stop in for her weekly chat, Monday nights at
10:00 p.m. EST, at:

All EPs are welcome!!


Let's close up this e-zine with another LOL --

Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Lorrie Perry
(mailto:[email protected]):

WARNING -- not for the squirmish!

My almost 4-year old had diarrhea the other evening. He was using the toilet
while his 1 year old brother was bathing. He was....let's just say...less
than quiet, and the 1 year old was laughing at the noises.

My 4-year old says (with total sincerity), "Don't laugh! Do you think I'm
enjoying this?"

It was truly hilarious.


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: [email protected] 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: [email protected]

Community email addresses:
Subscribe: [email protected]
Unsubscribe: [email protected]
List owner: [email protected]

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