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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
Volume 1, Issue 1
September 23, 1998


Do you find EPnews useful?
Please forward to a friend, or recommend it to your favorite Web site or
e-zine. Thanks for your support!

For easy reading, simply print out this newsletter.

The Funny Things EP Kids Say!
EP Times -- An Editorial
Making Money Matters -- on making money
What's It Worth? -- on saving money
EP Member Profile
We Recommend
What's Happening at EP
Volunteers Needed!
Our Sponsor
At first distribution, EPnews is being sent to
a 100% clean list of 725 subscribers.
Be the first to sponsor this bi-monthly newsletter -
send an email to [email protected] for ad rates!
(Please Note: We absolutely do not accept
any ads for work-at-home "job opportunities"
that require an investment on the part of our subscribers.)


Welcome to the first issue of EPnews! This extra-long issue was designed to
introduce you to our regular features and the new services at our site, The
Entrepreneurial Parent. For those of you who have been waiting on this mailing
list for awhile, thank you for your patience. We're back in full swing and
look forward to providing you with one of the most trusted work-at-home
resources on the Internet on a regular basis. Have a suggestion/comment? Send
us an e-mail at: [email protected] any time.


Why work at home? To lighten up whenever you hear the funny things your kids
might say throughout the day. EP Kids are the primary driving force for most
Entrepreneurial Parents who choose this work option, and here at The
Entrepreneurial Parent we like to showcase the talent and spirit of our
children before we get to ourselves. (See how we do this with the artwork of
some of our EP Kids at the Member Showcase,

If you'd like to share something your child said that made you smirk, giggle,
or drop your keyboard in a laughter tantrum (!), you can send your submission
via e-mail to: [email protected] with the subject heading "A Funny Thing
My EP Kid Said!"

Here's our latest favorite EP Kid quote:

Dave and Lorraine Lindsey of Tekonsha, Mich., were traveling with Scott, 9,
who has a good knowledge of computers. Several times Scott asked if he could
do something, and his parents reminded him that they had answered the question
already. "Process that information," his parents said, hoping he wouldn't ask
the same question again.

"Access denied," Scott said. "It doesn't compute!"


Want a few more chuckles? Visit Grace Housholder's Funny Things Kids Say
project at, or pick up your own heartwarming,
coffee table copy of one of her books, "The Funny Things Kids Say, Vols.
1-3" @


Look here for editorials on the life & times of an EP.

"Living in a Three-Ring Circus"
© 1998 by Lisa Roberts

There's a well-kept secret on my block that nobody knows about but me. Well,
maybe my kids know about it too, but not my husband. And maybe the UPS and
Federal Express guys have taken a peek, but not my neighbors. OK, everyone
knows that I'm an "Entrepreneurial Parent" -- but what they *don't* know is
what my household has to turn into for this to happen.

The truth is I run a three-ring circus every weekday, right here in my home.
No kidding. You have to see it to believe it, and very few do. It's a circus
with no audience and no set act, no fancy costumes, loud music or live
animals. But if you open the front door when youÌre not expected to, you are
sure to find a whole lot of activity going on -- including balancing acts,
gymnastic-type leaps, some clowning around and, on a few glorious occasions, a
touch of magic...

If you're an Entrepreneurial Parent, you know what I'm talking about. In one
ring there's the kids -- toddling or scurrying about -- looking for fun,
adventure, and a wipe (thank you very much!). In the second ring there's your
household -- chores, bills, repairs, calendar-tracking, holiday planning and
the like. And in the third ring there's your work -- documents, clients,
keyboard activity, phone calls, mailings, bookkeeping, taxes, et al. Your role
as an Entrepreneurial Parent strikingly resembles that of a Ring Master, and
if you don't take command of this demanding job that circus of yours will
simply fold.

How, as a Ring Master, do you keep the show going without compromising each
act? The first trick is to make sure all three rings are properly prepared,
practiced and can operate independently at times.

For instance, if that first ring includes pre-school age children, then it
should also include a steady babysitter. No question, supplemental childcare
is a must for this circle to operate effectively on its own. Preparation here
means finding the right chemistry between childcare provider and child(ren),
ongoing and honest discussions with each participant, and monetary budgeting.
The practice part is simply putting in the time, preferably on a steady and
part-time basis. With your monitoring and their enthusiasm, you should find
(most of the time!) that this ring can and will run independently when you
need it to.

As for the second and third rings, technology lends a hand to boost the
independence level within these arenas. From dishwashers, microwaves and
dryers, to computer programs, modems and voice mail systems, a few of the
juggling acts within the household and business routines are "Ring Master-
Free"! Put in a load of dishes, a load of laundry and a leftover meal; let the
answering machine take your calls, the accounting program calculate your
monthly profit margin, and your web page answer some of your prospects'
questions. No guilt necessary -- you're a working parent and you need help.

The other responsibility of a Ring Master is to be ready and able to step into
all three acts yourself as needed. This is simple enough one step at a time,
but it's quite a feat when all three rings need your help at once.

Unlike a real circus grounded in rehearsals and repetition, Entrepreneurial
Parenthood is often free-flowing and spontaneous, uncovering a new act every
day. Sometimes -- despite your best attempts at planning -- the school bus
pulls up the street at the same moment the express mail truck pulls up the
driveway at the same moment the dryer bell rings. You have to weigh needs
versus consequences before deciding which one of the rings to step into first.
Do you greet your kids with a welcome home smile or turn your back? Sign for
the package or make the driver wait a few minutes? Fold clothes immediately or
let them become one big ball of wrinkles?

Coming up with a work ethic to live by can help. Mine is family first, career
second, housekeeping third. Although I make it my business to alternate center
stage activity among all three, having that value system in place helps me
prioritize when all three acts unexpectedly demand my performance at once.

Running a circus can be fun and tedious, energizing and exhausting. We hope it
will be lucrative. We also hope we can keep it our little secret. Towards that
end, it may be a good idea to tip the pizza man with a wink and a couple of
bills every Friday evening. After all, you wouldn't want him to spread the
word around town...(the last thing this circus of yours needs is an

Want to learn more about how to run your "circus" and make a profit too? Pick
up a copy of Lisa's book, "How to Raise A Family & A Career Under One Roof: A
Parent's Guide to Home Business" (Bookhaven Press, 1997) @


Have a question? "Ask the EP Experts!" Look in today's "We Recommend" feature
to meet our 18-member expert panel who are ready now to answer your questions
on a weekly basis (go to: to ask your
question). We'll select the most universal and/or unique ones and post them
here in each EPnews issue.

Q: I am a single parent who has been sorting through the possibilities of
making ends meet while retaining some creativity of my own. (I am a painter
and graphic designer.) For years before my two year old was born I've had this
dream of having my own business. I know nothing of where to begin with it. Is
this a crazy time to get started? I want the truth. I am so happy to have
found your website!

A: Liz,

A wonderful book title says it all for me: "It's only too late if you don't
start now!" Though this book is about mid-life changes, it's true. Your two-
year old is not going to be two forever, but you could work your day job
forever and she'll soon be 7 or 12, and you still won't have a business that
fulfills you. So, start now!

If you have a day job, you can start slowly. Apprentice yourself (informally)
to another designer, paint on the weekends or at night, locate outlets to show
and sell your work. My best tip is this: find someone just like you and start
a network, a co-op, or a support group! There is strength in numbers. You can
talk about art/design while the kids nibble on each other.

One book to consult for basics is by Janet Attard, _ The Home Office and Small
Business Answer Book._ It has very basic but thorough Q&As for just about any
subject for SOHO entrepreneurs. (Note: Janet's book is available through the
EP Bookstore at

And finally, start developing a focus for your business: ask yourself what it
is that will make your business uniquely yours, why do you *need* to be in
business. Then create and fine-tune your vision from there. I don't know of
any business with a strong focus that has met with initial failure.

Good luck on your journey!
Jay Ann Cox, Ph.D., (Mom to Charlie 1-13-96)
EP Single Parent Expert
Sarabi Consulting and home pages
AP-BIZ listowner
Seeds list owner & author,
mailto:[email protected]


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! We're cramped for space this
issue, but here's where the spotlight on specialty home businesses and how to
make money with them will shine. If you have a unique home business or home
career and want to share tips with the EP Community on how you've made money
(what marketing efforts work/don't work), send an e-mail to [email protected] with the subject heading "Making $$ Matters." We'll be happy to collect your hard-earned ideas and post the best of them in EPnews and/or on the EP site! (Thank you!)


"Psychology of Thrift"
by deB Sechrist

Since many Entrepreneurial Parents are on tight budgets as they struggle to
balance work and family through limited resources, this EPnews feature is
devoted to sharing frugal living tips. If you want to contribute your money-
saving tips with the EP community, send an email to [email protected] with the
subject heading "$ Saver." We'll be happy to collect your hard-earned ideas
and post the best of them in EPnews and/or on the EP site! (Thank you!)

When it comes to living thrifty, most of us weigh the value of our time
against the value of money being saved. We expect a certain minimum investment
of our time, and we've come to expect that it takes awhile to find the best

But if you're having difficulty stretching that dollar enough to make ends
meet and don't have more time to invest in hunting down bargains or Do-It-
Yourself projects, you can still probably improve your cost-efficiency by
understanding the psychology of thrift.

For example, many of us save some money by buying goods in bulk -- with
coupons, on sale and at warehouse discount stores. This becomes a routine that
easily fits into our schedule once we decide to do it. But having a
"stockpile" of goods can create an atmosphere of waste. Simply moving your
"stockpile" to a less convenient or visible location (like the basement or a
large pantry) can help reduce this effect, and meanwhile you'll get the full
value of your good buying habits.

Training the family to become thrifty is a challenge that is well worth the
effort. Here are a few ideas to get the kids involved:

--> Challenge them to find ways to save money, time or energy and reward them
with part of the money saved or special time spent the way they want to spend
--> Let them earn extra allowance money through recycling/reusing efforts such
as washing out sandwich baggies for reuse.
--> Ask them to cut, sort and file coupons, and pay them a penny for each
expired coupon they weed out of your files.
--> Teach them how to use a calculator in the grocery store to determine the
best buy on items.

Finally, brag about it! Share your money-saving tips, tricks and ideas with
others. You'll always find someone willing to tell you what they saved and
you'll pick up even more ways to cut costs or add value to what you do spend.

deBorah Sechrist is the mother of three, Co-Founder of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find out more about deB


Selected straight from our "EP Showcase." (If you'd like to purchase your own
EP Profile Page and spread the word about your home career on the Web and in
EPnews, read how to do so at:

EP: Debbie Williams, Mom to a 2-year old boy
HOME BIZ: "Let's Get It Together," a home and office organizing and time
management service for busy parents.
MISSION STATEMENT: To help parents balance work and family by offering
organizing tips and teaching time management skills.
TOP PRODUCTS: Organizing Newsletter * Organizing Forms * In-home Consulting *
Online Consulting
EP DISCOUNT: If you're interested in Debbie's services, mention the EP
Profiles and you'll receive a FREE back issue of the "Let's Get it Together"
newsletter (hard copy or electronic version). Just send a message to Debbie at
[email protected], with the subject heading "EP Profiles" and your preferred
contact info, and you'll receive your copy asap!
EP REWARDS: Although our household budget is challenged by the lack of an
additional income, my husband and I agree it is definitely worth a few
sacrifices. When you stay at home to raise your kids, you don't seem to need
lunch money, working wardrobe, or day care fees. If you are creative, you find
bartering systems for babysitters, are able to go to work in play clothes, and
learn to like pbj every day of your life. And it's so rewarding to watch your
kids at work or play, and secretly catch them being GOOD.
Debbie Williams
Let's Get It Together
P.O. Box 590860
Houston, TX 77259
Email: [email protected]
To learn more about Debbie, her work-family tips and her professional
services, go to: today!


In upcoming issues of EPnews we'll be highlighting outside resources (web
sites, associations, books, special services, etc.) for Entrepreneurial
Parents in this spot. Today, however, we'd like to recommend our own
18-member, EP Expert Panel -- including the products, services and web sites
of each. We're proud to say that our panel of EP Experts were chosen because
of their professionalism and dedication to their respective fields, and we
thank them in advance for offering their invaluable mentorship to all our EP
members, subscribers and visitors.
Your Family Experts:
Jodie Lynn, our Parenting Expert, is the author of Mommy - CEO (Constantly
Evaluating Others), 5 Golden Rules, and nationally syndicated "Parent2Parent"
columnist. (
Azriela Jaffe, our Relationship Expert, is the author of three entrepreneurial
books (two on relationships), and nationally syndicated "Advice from A-Z"
columnist. (
Grace Housholder, our Humor Expert, is the author and publisher of "The Funny
Things Kids Say" (Vols. 1-3), a freelance writer and a newspaper columnist.
Joe Spataro, our Homeschooling Expert, is the founder of the popular web site,
"Homeschool Zone." (
Judy Lederman, our Childcare Expert, is the author of "Searching for Mary
Poppins" and runs a home-based public relations company.
Jay Ann Cox, Our Single Parent Expert, is the mother of a 2-year old and a
writer, family/business coach and community organizer. ( and
Your Career Experts:
Paul and Sarah Edwards, our Home Career Selection Experts, are best-selling
authors of several home business books, radio and TV hosts, and newspaper and
magazine columnists. (
Gil Gordon, our Telecommuting Expert, is the founder of Gil Gordon Associates
and maintains a highly reputable telecommuting web site. (
Nancy Collamer, our Part-Time Career Expert, runs a home-based career
consulting firm that specializes in counseling stay-at-home moms looking to
re-enter the workforce and full-time working moms looking to start their own
Pat Katepoo, our Work-Family Transitions Expert, is the founder of a home-
based career consulting service, Work Options Inc., and creator of a popular
workbook-on-disk, "Flex Success: A Proposal Blueprint for Getting a Family-
Friendly Work Schedule." (
Your Business Experts:
Terri Lonier, our Business Start-Up Expert, is the creator of the award-
winning Working Solo product line, including books, workbooks and tapes,
offering independent entrepreneurs comprehensive information and resources.
Jan Zobel, our Recordkeeping/Tax Expert, runs a home-based accounting firm and
is the author of "Minding Her Own Business: the Self-Employed Woman's Guide to
Taxes and Recordkeeping."
Peter Kent, our Web Site Expert, is the author of several technical books
including "Poor Richard's Web Site: Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building
a Low Cost Web Site." (
Marilyn Zelinsky, our Home Office Design Expert, is a journalist and the
author of "Practical Home Office Solutions" and "New Workstyles for New
Silvana Clark, our Low-Cost Marketing Expert, is the author of "Taming the
Marketing Jungle" and the creator of a popular seminar entitled "Marketing
With A Big Imagination and A Small Budget."
Joe Vitale, our Copy/Cyber-writing Expert, is the author of "CyberWriting: How
to Promote Your Product or Service Online (Without Being Flamed)" and the
owner of a home-based copywriting service. (
Michael Lamb, our Profit From Home Expert, is the producer of an innovative
radio and Internet program, "The Moneyroom." (

Well, in a word, LOTS!! Today is the official "re-opening" of The
Entrepreneurial Parent - with all new community and career resources for
at-home working parents. Check it out!

Ask the EP Experts @
EP Member Showcase @
Discuss Amongst Yourselves @
EP-zine, Info to Go @
EP "Wave" @
EP Links @
EP Toy Store @
EP Video Store @
EP Software Store @
EP Bookstore @
EP Private Coaching Services @


Looking for a project to sharpen your home career skills on? The
Entrepreneurial Parent could use some help. Lisa and deB are swamped with EP
work and can't seem to get to everything we'd like to. If you offer any of the
following services through your home business, consider volunteering your
efforts and EP will post an ad, contact info and link to your site (if you
have one) at the top of the page you help us create!

EP needs help with:

Our message boards. Right now we have some bare bones cgi program and we'd
like to have a more polished area for you to "Discuss Amongst Yourselves" when
the mood strikes. If interested, go to: to
see what we have up now and to start brainstorming new ideas...
Setting up a chat room. Our plan is to have a chat room available for
scheduled topic chats, workshops and occasional seminars. Because we want EP
to be a safe, trusted source for work-at-home professionals and we're aware of
the multitude of work-at-home scam artists on the Internet, we don't want to
have an open chat room because we lack the staff to monitor it 24-hours a day.
However, we'd love to share some "real-time" with our members and invite guest
experts to share tips of their trades.
Inserting a search function throughout the site. No further explanation
needed. :-)

If you'd like to step up to the plate and volunteer for any of the above, or
discuss this mutually beneficial opportunity further, we'd love to take a peek
at your portfolio and/or learn more about what you can offer. E-mail us at
[email protected] with the subject heading "EP Volunteer," and let's touch
base. Thank you!


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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