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

April 26, 2000


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The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
What's It Worth? -- "Countdown to Summer Vacation"
EP Expert Q&As -- Disabled Worker
What's Happening at EP
We Recommend
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!


Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Dennis Pilapil

My 2 1/2 year old daughter was jumping up and down on our bed where
my pregnant wife was lying. So I told her, "Pam, no jumping, Mommy
and baby will get dizzy!"

A few days later, she saw me skipping rope (an exercise that keeps me
hopping!). Naturally, she reminded me, "Daddy, no jumping!"

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!


"Countdown to Summer Vacation"
by deB Sechrist

The other day I consulted a calendar to make an appointment and
realized that my daughter has only 7 more sessions of preschool left.
Looking further, I see that my boys will be out of school for the
summer in exactly one month. I don't really think of the schools as
babysitters, but the reality is that once I become accustomed to
having that time while the kids are in school to get some work done,
I begin to depend on it. Then it becomes difficult to find
replacement time to keep my business running smoothly when they are
out of school.

Actually, I enjoy summer vacation. Lazy afternoons at the pool, easy
light dinners, bike rides, making juice popsicles. But having the
kids home all day every day usually precludes getting any work done
for my business. Although my habit is to work at night after they're
asleep, summer vacation has a way of loosening the structure of our
days, and bedtime is often 1-2 hours later than it is when they have
to get up for school the next morning. That reduces work time even
further, since staying up later than my usual 2 am is pretty much out
of the question.

In past years, my answer to summer vacation has been to scale back
and simply work less. One year I hired my teenager to act as
activities director under indirect supervision from me while I worked
in the home office. The teen was happy for the extra money, the kids
were happy with all the fun things they were doing and the attention
from their brother, and I was able to work a couple of hours a week

Another year I worked with a neighbor to swap babysitting time.This
worked fairly well, as would a babysitting co-op, especially with a
group of EP's who need daytime work hours to run their businesses
efficiently. The trick is to find people with kids of similar ages,
interests and location, who are motivated to grow their home
businesses and committed to making this type of arrangement work.

For a while I considered summer camps, especially day camps where the
routine would be similar to school days. But the cost of sending 2
kids to camp for even one week was more than my budget for the entire
summer! There are some great programs from local community centers,
the city and county parks departments and libraries, and local
schools, universities and museums which cost less, but often require
parental involvement or participation to some degree. With a little
planning, there could be some weeks where I could take advantage of
the programs with minimal cost and find a few hours to work if

This year, the teen has a summer job and I'm on my own once again,
with early schoolers who deserve an active and enriching summer
vacation. So my plan this year is to work with them to help me take
care of the household chores and allow me to work uninterrupted for
an hour or so in the morning in return for my undivided attention in
the afternoon at whatever summer fun activity we agree on for the
day. I don't expect to be able to get a lot of work done, but I
should be able to keep up with email and simple routine tasks during
the day, which frees up some of the night session for work requiring
more concentration.

I've been doing this sort of thing with the other school vacations
and holidays throughout the year with varied success, and have
learned a few things worth noting:

-- It's best to maintain the school day schedule as much as possible.
Get up around the same time each day, eat and sleep in roughly the
same schedule. If times do slip a little, give yourself at least 2
weeks prior to the start of school in the fall to ease back into the
school day schedule.

-- Plan the mornings carefully so they are busy and full. Assign very
specific activities for the times when you plan to work at your home
business, check back with the kids often on their progress. Be
disciplined with your own work habits to best utitlize your time.

-- Pick a specific afternoon activity and briefly plan it out with
your kids to help motivate them in the mornings. Picking chores from
a job jar and fun activities from a vacation jar can help to make
both seem more fair and more fun.

-- Occasionally switch the day around: go have fun in the morning
and do the chores in the afternoon. Don't get too upset if the chores
don't happen tho. It is, after all, SUMMER VACATION!

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. I am a disabled female and am trying to start my home business.
The Dept. of Rehab. has set me up with all the necessary equipment
from a Pentium 11 400 mgh computer, scanner, color photo quality
printer, fax machine, CD writer,and copier. I am proficient in all
the latest software such as Excel, Micro-Soft Office, Peachtree,
Lotus, QuickBooks Pro and more. Spreadsheets, file archiving, mass
mailings, payroll,to every type of clerical duty necessary is not a
problem for me.

My problem is not being able to do the work, but finding employers or
procurring contracts from the government or anyone else that are
willing to give me a chance. I have faithfully been searching the
classified ads daily, and searching the Internet but to no avail. My
goal is to get off SS and become a productive citizen of the work
force again. I found I could run a home and still have plenty of time
for my family easily. Now I have many empty hours to fill.

Any help from you would be greatly appreciated for I am very sincere
and dedicated in obtaining my goal.

Thank you,

A. Dear Elaine:

You sound most sincerely dedicated to your goal and have taken many
of the initial steps necessary to get your business off the ground.
As you indicated, your problem, now that you have the resources to get
the job done, is finding a way to attract customers and or/employers
to your services. Rather than concentrating on getting somebody to
hire you as a home based employee (which is very difficult to do
unless you've worked for the company before), try marketing yourself as an
independent freelance worker and find several different businesses to
be your clients.

Learning how to effectively market and position your services can be
accomplished several different ways. Consider attending a workshop on
marketing a small business. Contact your local unemployment office,
community college, town run adult education program, or chamber of
commerce to identify courses suitable for your needs. These courses
are typically very inexpensive and provide useful information, an
opportunity to network with other small business people in your area
(some of whom could probably use your services) and invaluable
emotional support. Speaking of networking, you need to get out
in your community and let people know about your services. Consider
joining a local leads group or small business association. You'll
find word of mouth advertising to be far more effective than trying
to locate employers through the Internet or the classifieds.

It does take time to establish a word of mouth reputation, but one
way you can speed up the process is to do some work on a voluntary
basis for some worthy nonprofit institution in your area. Perhaps
your church or children's school could use some help with their
projects-in exchange you'll build up goodwill and work experience to
impress other potential clients.

Best wishes for much success with your new venture and do let us know
how you progress.

Nancy Collamer, our EP Part-Time Transitions Expert and an EP Coach,
is president of Collamer Career Counseling. You can learn more about
Nancy at her site, Jobs for Moms, at,
and at her EP Bio page:


Have a question or comment you'd like to share with fellow EP

Write to:
OR post your ideas at:

Thanks for sharing!


Does EP seem extra quiet this month? If so, that's because deB and
Lisa are in the throes of a sweeping site redesign! That's right -- is getting a "face lift," and we've been at the
operating table almost daily lately. With over 450 pages to touch up,
this may take a bit more time to complete, but when we're done we'll
LYK so we can pop the cork together. Our self-imposed deadline is end
of May, right before the school year ends, so stay with us! "School's
out for summer" will be ringing in your ears soon enough...

Meanwhile --

New EP Gift Shop Booth:
Tammy McConnell - New Englander Crafts

New Member Profile:
JoAnn Piper

New EP Advertisers:
We're lining up some new advertisers for the month of May -- visit
our home page next week to see who's sponsoring us now!


The IVE League: Give the Gift of Learning
===== -- disability information for the disabled community
Sara Jordan's Edu-mart Resources -- Songs that Teach


Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Wendy Brown

I work on the internet all day, and have a web site, about which I am
very vocal and very passionate. We often discuss dotcoms within
earshot of our daughter. While she was typing away, she kept saying,
"PBS (dot) com. PBS (dot) com!"


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:
List owner:

Shortcut URL to this page:


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