- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
April 12, 2000
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- The Funny Things EP Kids Say
EP of the Month -- Stephanie Conrad of Conrad Concepts, Inc.
EP Times -- "When an EP Takes Wing"
Making Money Matters -- "The Cabinetmaker," LaCrews,
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
throughout each month -- feel free to check in regularly via
the What's New
banner on our homepage. Welcome
all new subscribers!
PROMO OPPORTUNITY FOR EPs
Ever have your laptop stolen?
Jennifer Schu, a freelance writer for a women's
business publication, is looking for anecdotes and stories from
and SOHOs who have had their laptops stolen. This will be a service
on how to prevent theft. She'll include the business owner's
description of their business, and possibly a link to their web
deadline is April 15, so if you have a story to tell, contact
THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!
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
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
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
cupped to his forehead! He looked so cute, I stopped to laugh
"This is a work environment I can enjoy!"
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
Stephanie Conrad, Conrad Concepts,
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
such as stickers, badges, buttons, keychains and more for children
prone to severe allergies. We love how Stephanie is exercising
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
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
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
</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
the word among your friends, colleagues and email loops -- invite
the EPs in
your life to join en-parent.com as a registered member, and let's
EP Community together!
TIMES -- AN EDITORIAL
"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,
certainly there's nothing like combining the two as an Entrepreneurial
Parent. Last week I saw the similarities of all three -- show
parenting and entrepreneurship -- crystalize. And what a moment
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
attended the show. A few days later one Mom stopped me in the
lot to tell me she and her friend starting crying in the middle
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
and zest. He'd wear the song like a leather jacket -- cool and
That night on the stage, however, he sang softly and almost in
He wore the song like a pair of cozy pajamas. The charm was still
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
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.
ideas that come to us and the projects we fervently work on in
corners of our living rooms, dining rooms and around the kitchen
and feel and *are* one way. But when those ideas and projects
in the public arena -- delivered to our clients, customers, target
they often look and feel and *are* quite different. The service
can still work splendidly, but it can also be unrecognizable
from its early
stages. The transformation is almost magical. And it's always
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.
---> 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
fatally ill, and I remember watching Jimmy (then four years old)
playground, swinging high, and singing "I believe I can
touch the sky!" and
feeling the bittersweet awareness of letting one precious spirit
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
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
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,
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
turtleneck shirt he was wearing that day. I got the message.
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
---> 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
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
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
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
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
You see I was on the verge of
Sometimes silence can seem so loud (hands over his ears)
There are miracles in life I must achieve (arm outstretched,
enthusiastic thumbs up)
But first I know it starts inside of me (thumb pointing to his
---> 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
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
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
process. (mailto:epi[email protected]) Also, if the mood strikes,
teaching your children the words, the music and the message of
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: http://en-parent.com/order.htm
through Amazon, at:
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 Mark Crews, "The
Cabinetmaker" and President/CEO of LaCrews, Inc.,
shares his marketing tips with us. Mark provides kitchen and
services and is an EP to one elementary schooler and one preschooler.
contact info is:
Mark Crews, The Cabinetmaker
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
cabinetry & built-ins, finish carpentry, and sale of doors,
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.
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
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?
The jobs I sell the most include
designing and building custom cabinety and
built-in furniture, including matching existing finishes in a
My hourly rate is $50/hour + the cost of materials. I've determined
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
have you noticed yield the greatest results, and how do you make
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
Chambers of Commerce and trade associations, yellow pages, trade
in local church bulletins, and a Directory of Services listing
in a local
paper. I get leads personally, online, and by phone. After qualifying
leads on the phone or e-mail, I close the sales face to face
(cabinets) or on
the phone (cabinet humidors).
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
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
and encourage each other to get through our office cleaning day
our email and/or phone chain. For all those interested, send
a message to
with the subject heading "Email Chain" or "Phone
and we'll put you on our Email/Phone Chain list. A few days before
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
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
"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
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.
very much for picking me as the winner. I am so excited. I like
included your son in on what you do. Kids learn so much just
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
(Honeysuckle, kiwi, peach, French Vanilla, Pear/Rasberry), Hydroherapy
Foaming Bath, Hydrating Body Lotion (Vanilla or Honeysuckle/Peach),
Foot Scrub, Spa and Bath oil
Donated by: Elizabeth Osmola
Email: [email protected]
2. A Large Silver Triple-banded
Donated by: Margaret Salmond
of Bridal Accents
Email: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.wedday.net/
3. A Petpourri, Two bars of Natural
Herbal Soap, and a Natural Herbal Bath Bag
Donated by: Jeralynn Burke and
Linda Faust of E-Scent-ials
Email: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.e-scent-ials.com
A SPECIAL THANK-YOU
A special thank you goes to this
month's selected contest sponsors, and
especially Jeralynn Burke and Linda Faust who have graciously
volunteering to collect the prizes and put together beautiful
for all our winners. Jeralynn & Linda, you guys are terrific!!!
much for your continued support.
Do you want to win our next EP Gift Basket -- filled with $100
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
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].
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
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
"What is your favorite way
to save time or money for your business or
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
-- sign up at:
Chat: EPs are (slowly!) starting
to gather on Monday nights (10:00 p.m. EST)
over at the ka-ching.com 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.
folks -- EP will soon be infinitely easier to navigate and read
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"
In the meantime, thanks for your
Lisa's column at Oxygen's business
& finance site, www.ka-ching.com, 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!!
MORE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!
Let's close up this e-zine with
another LOL --
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Lorrie Perry
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
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
It was truly hilarious.
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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