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

May 10, 2000


Do you find EPnews useful?
Please forward to a friend, or recommend it to your favorite Web site or
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For easy reading, simply print out this newsletter.


Take our EPnews Survey -- Win a Free Ad!
The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do
EP of the Month -- Laura Holgate
EP Times -- "Mom's Eternal Gift"
Reader Feedback -- Claire Cooper
Making Money Matters -- DH Communications, Inc.
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!




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- WriteBack -

Let us know how you'd like EPnews to develop by taking this quick poll.
Additional comments are welcome and a selection will be printed in our next

Now, considering that EPs are very busy folks:

Q: Please rate the following columns according to your preference, with "1"
being your favorite:

___ The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
___ EP of the Month
___ EP Times
___ What's It Worth?
___ Making Money Matters
___ What's Happening at EP
___ EP Expert Q&As
___ We Recommend

___ Comments on what you'd like to see more/less of are very, very welcome!
The best comment will WIN A FREE AD!

mailto:[email protected]


Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Jeanine Garcia, EP to Shelby, just turned 3
(mailto:[email protected]):

The last few weeks have been particularly busy for our home business (which
is a good thing!). However, it never fails, when you're busy that's when the
kids get sick. We spent most of our time running between the office and the
front room where my son was stationed riding out his illness, trying to
administer his medicine. And we certainly had no time to fight with the
toddler about taking his medicine. So after several attempts of trying to
get the medicine in him, each met with a "No, No, don't like it," I decided
to try something I am completely against: I laced the medicine heavily with
sugar, thinking that this will work. But once again, he fought me. Just when
I thought that again he had me beat, at an opportune moment when his mouth
opened in protest, I lunged -- spilling a bit into his mouth. Stunned, he
stopped, tasted the medicine, and began in protest, "No, No, I don't WANT to
like it!!"

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!


Laura Holgate, The ORDER of Things

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 Laura Holgate, an EP Mom to three children, ages 9-16.
Her company, The ORDER of Things, is a professional organizing service
specializing in residential, home office and relocation time and space
management. We believe Laura has developed a sharp, articulate and
well-organized web site that seems to be right in line with the services that
she offers -- the first step in developing trust among prospects. Her site is
a reflection of her organizing skills, which is an effective marketing tool
in and of itself!

We're happy to have Laura as a new member of our EP Community.

<begin round of applause>

Please welcome Laura 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!


"Mom's Eternal Gift"
© 2000, Lisa M. Roberts

I remember the day my mother gave me the gift that has lasted a lifetime. She
spoke just a few words, locking her eyes -- brown, warm, tearful and earnest
-- with mine, until we connected on a level that only mothers and daughters
can. She gave me a gift that now, as a mother myself, I understand as the
pearl in the oyster of parenthood. The gift was this:

At the peak of my teenage "identity crisis" (I have had many, so I'll
identify this one as "teenage"!), when I was feeling the weight and enormity
of being the youngest child of two very bright, ambitious and articulate
older siblings, I blurted out in the privacy of our kitchen that I was
certain I would never be all that my sister and brother were. (They were both
law students at the time.)

My mother, recognizing what I was missing and seizing the moment, said, very
slowly and carefully, "Lisa, I don't care if you become a doctor, a teacher,
a pilot or a secretary, you will still be Lisa and that's who I love, who I
will always love."

As my tearful eyes met hers, I understood. I knew what she knew, saw what she
saw. "Lisa," whoever she was, whatever she did, was on the inside; her
profession, whatever that may be, was what she would one day "wear" on the
outside. One did not define -- or confine -- the other.

My parents were perfect examples. My mother, who was a secretary, and my
father, a construction worker turned custodian, had always been my greatest
source of pride growing up because of their resourcefulness, their
generosity, their loyalty and their wisdom. What they did to put food on the
table came secondary to the conversation that ensued as the meal began.
Likewise, whatever it was that they loved in me, they loved regardless of my
grades or my ambitions, and continued to regardless of the many "hats" I've
worn since then.

Over the years I have sometimes lost sight of the "it's not what you are but
who you are" lesson my mother continues to teach me to this day. I sometimes
feel like a revolving door of "identities" despite her efforts to slow me
down. Mother. Entrepreneur. Author. Consultant. Wife. Volunteer. EP. The
labels are academic. Underneath, I am only one. She knows it and I know
it...and surely my children see only "one" too.

There's a magnet on my refrigerator that always makes me smile. It's a
character shaped like a yam, and underneath a smile and twinkling eyes are
the words, "I Yam What I Yam!" In my own kitchen now, I listen to my children
and sometimes I hear A Teacher, A Scientist, An Entrepreneur**, A Musician in
their voices. But when I look in their eyes, I see Jessica, William, Jimmy
and Thomas. And hopefully, when they look back, they see "Lisa" underneath
the "Mom."

A mother's love for her children should never come into question. That is the
pearl we hold in our hands, our hearts, and our eyes. For this rare and
priceless gift, I thank you, Mom, and I pray that I am passing it on...

What was the greatest gift YOUR mother gave you? Share the heartfelt lessons
she taught you, and thank her today -- mailto:[email protected]

**See "More Funny Things Kids Say" in this issue...

Lisa Roberts is the mother of four, Web Producer of The Entrepreneurial
Parent 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:


EPnews Subscriber, Claire Cooper ([email protected]), responded to last
month's EP Times editorial, "When An EP Takes Wing." Claire, EP to Duncan,
now 7, and Shani, 21, is a court transcriptionist and desktop publisher. I
hope you find her story and insight into becoming an EP as inspiring as I
did! Thanks, Claire, for "speaking up" and introducing yourself -- you're a

"I have been a "shadow" EP for about a year now. By shadow, I mean I've
received your newsletters, enjoyed them and forwarded them to friends in my
home country in South Africa, but never contributed. You have inspired and
encouraged me so many times over the past year that I feel I owe it to all of
you -- those unknown EP's in America -- to thank you for helping and
encouraging me in creating a new business in a strange country.

We live in England now -- we left our home in South Africa in 1998, having
emigrated to England because of the violence in the country and the
deterioration of the educational system. My husband and I both sold thriving
businesses in order to move to England. We knew that we had to start from
scratch again with no network or contacts. We also found, once we were here,
that it was not easy to run our son's life and work at the same time. We
decided that one of us would work in full time employment and the other would
try to start a business again. My husband duly trudged off to work with a
large company (which he still does not enjoy!) while I stayed at home and
started to generate work.

It has been very difficult because for the first three months I earned no
money at all, but in my fourth month I actually managed to invoice £51. We
certainly had times when we doubted whether we had done the right thing and
considered my returning to a 9 to 5 job. But I had been self-employed in
South Africa for about 11 years and I just simply couldn't contemplate how my
freedom would be curtailed and my ability to be available to our son, Duncan,
could be accomodated by both of us working full time. So we perservered.

During that time EPnews has consistently arrived on my desktop and in days
when I felt like giving up, provided me with inspiration and reminders of why
I keep trying to do things this way.

I'm happy to report that a year down the track, I've just worked out my
figures and my income has increased by ... wait for it ... 800% !! We made
the right decision. We made a lot of sacrifices, we worried an awful lot,
but as we stand today we've proved that we can make it work both ways -- Mom
has always been there. She's sometimes worked late at night. She's
sometimes been a little short on time and patience -- but she's always been
there one way or another.

We've finally managed to buy our own home in our new country -- something
which wasn't easy with no credit record and one self employed partner without
a trading record -- but it has been worth every moment of the struggle. Our
little house is deep in the countryside, a few minutes walk from school and
surrounded by Duncan's friends. I've started to feel quite redundant lately
-- not to mention finding myself with loads of extra time to work -- Duncan
flies in from school every day, throws some nourishment down his throat and
disappears for hours with his mates. They trudge around the fields
surrounding us, digging up hidden treasure, go fishing, make "ladybird dens"
and generally doing what children should be doing out in the fresh air.
Every moment of worry, every minute of stress has suddenly become worth it.

The vacation starts next week and we have plans for picnics at the stream,
movies, baking of bread and all sorts of schemes and ideas. And I'll be
there to organise and share in them. I'll probably have to do a lot of
catching up in the evenings, keep my mobile phone with me on the picnic and
do some hustling to keep it all together -- but hey? What's the alternative?
He'd be with a childminder and a whole lot of other kids -- pretty much like
being in a pen. And I'd also be penned up in an office missing out on all
the fun.

My bank balance isn't nearly what I'd like it to be, my car has seen better
days and the "new" house needs all sorts of renovations -- but they don't
really matter, do they? Every day my son runs in from school and I stand at
the window waiting for him. I can see him looking for me as he walks up the
lane - and the smile that lights up his face when he sees me is worth more
than anything money can buy.

Thank you so very much ... all the way from England ... for helping me to
keep the faith in being an EP!!

Claire Cooper"


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 Dianne Huff, "The Cabinetmaker" and Principal of DH
Communications, Inc., shares her marketing tips with us. Dianna is a writer
and consultant, and an EP to a 2 1/2 year old son. Her contact info is:

Dianna Huff
Principal writer and consultant
DH Communications, Inc.
PO Box 1201
Amesbury MA 01913
Email: [email protected]
Ph: 978.388.7318
Fax: 978.388.9120

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

I specialize in marketing writing for high-tech and industrial companies. My
services include all forms of marketing collateral (ads, brochures,
datasheets, white papers, web content, etc.) and project management.

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?

My main service is marketing writing. While I do have an hourly rate, I try
to quote per project. For example, a print ad could run a company anywhere
from $500 to $2,000 depending. Brochure prices are $300 - $400 per page,
depending on how much writing and/or work is involved. I started off my
business by charging too low, both hourly and per project. It took me a year
of asking around to get to my current rates, which are now "competitive."

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

My favorite service is when I can oversee an entire project from start to
finish. For example, if a company needed a brochure and had outsourced the
entire project to me, I would find the graphic designer, the photographer,
and the printer and coordinate the work of these team members as well as
writing the copy. The client would only have to approve the concepts, the
copy, the design, and the final product.

I like overseeing the entire project because one, that is what I'm good at!
and two, it gives me freedom to be a little more creative than if I have to
provide copy for something that will be designed in-house.

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)?

I started to notice a big increase in sales after I sent around a direct mail
letter to ad agencies. They are a natural target audience for me as they
regularly hire freelance writers. I now use this letter, customized for each
market or industry, for all my direct mailings -- it is that effective! I
find names in directories that I purchase from publications.

Before sending out the letter, I call the company or agency first to see if
they outsource their marketing collateral. If they do, I then send the letter
to either the marketing manager or marketing communications manager, or
creative director. Then I follow up with a call a week later. Sometimes the
prospect calls me first! In fact, this happens quite often. Then, if
the prospect is interested in meeting me, I go in and show my portfolio and
am sometimes given work on the spot.

I have found that companies hold on to my literature and call me months later
when they need a writer. I keep a database of all my prospects and call them
every other month to "check in." Most tell me to keep checking, either they
don't have work, or they do but they have to get it together, etc., etc.

5. Any additional comments are welcome.

I love what I do! My business fits my schedule, my life, my routine
perfectly. My son goes to daycare four mornings a week which frees me up to
attend client meetings and get work done. It also pays well -- I am able to
make half of what I made working full-time.


We're thrilled to have two new sponsors this month!

The first,, is a brand new business with a unique product
that's very pertinent to EPs. If you have ever been afraid of being "home
alone" while running your business and/or taking care of your kids, this may
be the answer to your fears. Expecting an unwelcome client to come pounding
on your door? Check out -- from your fellow EP member, Sibylle

The second,, is an innovative FREE service that allows you to
connect with clients, contacts and colleagues in with a secure, user-friendly
technology. If you miss being part of a "team" or need to strengthen the one
you're in, check out!


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

Submitted by EPnews Editor, Lisa Roberts (mailto:[email protected]):

Jimmy stunned me in the car the other day when he suddenly announced way in
the back of the van where he was seated that he knew what he wanted "to sell"
when he grew up. Cars. When I asked him why, he pointed to all the passing
cars and said, "Because look -- EVERYONE has to have one! And they cost a lot
a lot of money!"

(Geez. Uncanny entrepreneurial wisdom, wouldn't you say??)"

Thanks for reading :-) Remember to visit us online:


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:
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