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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
Volume 1, Issue 2
October 14, 1998


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For easy reading, simply print out this newsletter.

The Funny Things EP Kids Say!
EP Times -- An Editorial
Making Money Matters
What's It Worth?
EP Member Essay -- On Becoming an EP: One Woman's Journey
We Recommend
What's Happening at EP
Our Sponsor
email "[email protected]" for ad rates

Note to New Subscribers: EPnews is published and distributed on the second
and fourth Wednesday of every month. The Entrepreneurial Parent at is updated every weekend; look for new content on


Submitted by EPnews subscriber, Stacy:
It was the first day of kindergarten and we said to our daughter, tongue in
cheek, that it was important not to get sent to the principle's office while
at school. She came home that afternoon very proud of herself and said,
"Mommy, I was very good and I didn't get sent to the President's office."
That's my girl!

If you'd like to share something your child said that made you smirk,
giggle, or LOL, you can send your submission via e-mail to:
[email protected] with the subject heading "A Funny Thing My EP Kid
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" @


"On the Other End of the Phone"
© 1998 by Lisa Roberts

My two and a half year old has been pushing the envelope for two and a half
years now. It feels like I have just about reached my limit lately. No sooner
do I sweep the floor (for instance) -- shaking off the crumbs and dried mud
off the dust pan into the pail -- when I turn around and another trail of
crumbs and dried mud is making its way into the living room. No sooner do I
pick up every last crayon (for instance) -- whole, broken; wrapped, unwrapped
-- when I turn around and the children's books -- whole, torn; covered,
coverless -- are piling up on the playroom rug.

Mind you, this is my fourth toddler. My fourth jumping bean, bouncing and
dancing along the wood floor like a little elf casting a spell of cheerfulness
-- and chaos -- everywhere he goes. Believe me, my husband and I have tried
every trick we could think of to keep our house in some semblance of order.
Just a year ago, my husband put down a floor and built shelves in the attic so
we can keep much of our "stuff," including a trillion toys, out of the
walkways of everyday life. It hasn't helped much. At day's end, we're still
tripping over toy cars, wayward legos, and little plastic people.

It's been eleven years and frankly, I'm tired. I'm drained. I'm worn out.
Can't do this anymore. And just the other day, just as I'm praying for some
patience, tolerance, humor, whatever it'll take to keep my sanity for one more
day, the phone rings.

"Hello, is this the Entrepreneurial Parent?" a woman's voice asks me, with
sounds of an office (and civilization!) in the background.

I hesitate before I answer her. I'm not feeling very entrepreneurial at the

"Yes, can I help you?" My son sees the phone at my ear, and dashes (with
excitement) for the refrigerator.

"Well, I'm reading about you in Fortune Magazine," (Fortune Mag?? I'm
shocked -- when did EP get mentioned in there??), "and I'd like to know how
can I work at home? I just came back to work, just had my baby, and don't want
to do this anymore. Can you help me?"

Don't want to do this anymore, I repeat to myself. I think I know the feeling.
I glance at my son. He is having a field day with the refrigerator door wide
open. Pulling out the margerine sticks from their wrapper, putting three on
the butter dish at once. There are margerine smears on the door, and gold
wrappers in between mayonaisse and jelly jars...

"I'd like to be able to help," I say, "but need to know more about your
situation. Where are you working now? "

As the voice on the other end of the phone begins to tell me about her job,
her home in Florida, her three children, her frustration and exasperation
about being a full-time working parent, I am pouring orange juice in a tippy
cup, getting together a plate of crackers and cheese, and rescuing my printed-
out email from greasy cherub fingers. I get put on hold. When she comes back
on, I tell this fellow tired mom the truth.

I explain that it's possible to work at home, that many parents are doing it
and doing it well, but that the income stream doesn't happen overnight. It's
not like getting a traditional job, where you're "hired" and a paycheck gets
handed to you at the end of a week's work. It takes time to make the
transition, and the best way to do it for someone in her situation is to build
a business on the side. Don't turn in your resignation, I tell her, until you
have carefully evaluated your household income and budget and know you and
your family can make it through the transition okay.

Crumbs are slipping out of my son's mouth, through his fingers, onto the
floor. I also tell the voice on the other end of the phone that working at
home is not for everyone. It can get isolating, just like it can for other
stay-at-home parents, and it can get overwhelming, just like it can for other
*working* parents.

She thanks me and answers *my* next question (no, EP wasn't mentioned in
Fortune Magazine, but another site that had a link to EP was). We wish each
other luck, and hang up our ends of the phone.

Afterwards, as I shake the cracker crumbs off the dust pan into the pail, I
picture this woman reading business magazines, surfing the Internet and
researching ways to quit her job while she sits at her office desk. I am
reminded of all the hours I have spent reading career magazines, surfing the
Internet and researching ways to return to the traditional workforce while
sitting at my kitchen table. Even though our outside lives were so different,
inside weren't we very much the same? Just two more moms indulging in our pipe
dreams -- the "other" lives we could be living -- the fantasy lives we turn to
whenever we feel we've reached our limit?

The next day, a new day, the phone rings again. This time it's a business
contact on the other end, a former host of a cable show who interviewed me
twice about my book in the recent past. He wants to know if he can pass my
name on to another producer who is putting together a segment on home business
next week for a new cable show. "Yes!" I answer (feeling quite entrepreneurial
at that moment!).

Afterwards, I look at my calendar and note that the TV show is scheduled the
night before I am to deliver a workshop at a job market conference for women.
And the conference is the day before I have plans to get together with some
friends. It's a social week next week (yes!), and will call for serious,
reliable childcare support. So I call my mother, who was planning to visit
anyway, and everything is set.

Now my toddler pulls at my sleeve and says, "Mommy, no go owside, is raining
owside." I smile (without effort) and nod. "Mommy," he says, "go in attic, get
a toy!" His face lights up as he begins to jump in his elf-like way, reaching
out his arms wide open. I fling them around my neck, and together we climb
lots of stairs until we're in toyland.

In toyland, we both throw order, civilization and sanity to the wind. In
toyland, my son casts his spell on me, and pipe dreams become silly and
mundane. In toyland, my son and I are both on the same end, and, without
question, happy to be there.
Want to learn more about the EP work-life option? 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)! Order online @, or call toll-free @ 1-800-782-7424.

Have a question? It may already be answered in 1 of the 8 EP Expert Q&A
pages now up and running! Check them out at (follow the "Q&A" links). If your question
isn't answered there, then send it to: [email protected]. We'll be glad
to help you out if we can!


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 surveyed a few of our new
members, but space permits us to use only one in this issue. EP Member Jeff
Miller, who can be reached at [email protected], kicks off this new
EPnews feature (thanks Jeff!):
Q. In a 2-3 sentence statement, explain what your home business is about,
including your target market and "mission statement."

A. Satori Media is a multimedia design firm for theatrical, educational, and
commercial digital media ranging from slide projection to web design.

Q. 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?

A. Satori Media grew out of some projects I began in college, doing web,
projection and CD design for various departments and firms. Recently I began
needing to hire contract workers for some projects, and decided to bring all
the pieces under one roof. I charge depending on the project: $65/hour for
web design, $35/html maintenance, and various rates for other projects. It's
difficult to come up with rates, because people generally involve me in
projects which don't have set fees or a lot of colleagues to

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

A. I enjoy the challenge of doing multimedia design, especially since I have a
laptop and can work many different places (for example, at the playground with
my kids).

Q. 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)?

A. Right now I'm strictly a word-of-mouth business -- since I'm all alone
raising 4 kids, and going to school, and running the business, I tend to pick
and choose my clients and projects so that they won't be overwhelming
(doesn't often work, but I try...). I've found, however, that having a cell
phone, a nice business card, and making a strong presentation (not looking
like a harried single parent entrepreneur, for example) makes all the
difference. I try to act as if I have a large staff, plenty of office space,
and all the time in the world to work on a project. Clients want confidence,
I think, especially in technological fields where they may feel insecure.

Q. Any additional comments are welcome.

A. My favorite recent quote: "I love deadlines -- especially that whooshing
noise they make as they go flying by..."


by deB Sechrist

Ever wonder if it's worth it to clip and use coupons? As Karen describes
below, it takes time and attention, but it certainly can be worthwhile...
by Karen DeLuca Katchmeric

Clip manufacturers' coupons,
Ones you'll use, not every one,
File by monthly expiration date,
Category if there isn't one.

Make shopping lists from ads,
From places frequently shopped,
Attach coupons noting number,
To limit what's picked up.

Add store coupons,
Double coupons that you can,
Join store savings/discount clubs,
Watch your total bill descend.

Save receipts and UPC symbols,
Send in rebates and you'll see,
Following this advice you'll get,
Some items close to free.
Other ideas to help you stick to the coupon habit:
* Join a coupon clipping group to swap coupons.
* Form a "coupon support group" offering friendly competition in saving money
and sharing tips.
* Co-op with a friend to watch the children while you shop, trade off weekly.
You'll be better able to concentrate on using your coupons wisely. Or shop at
night while your partner stays with the kids.
* If the kids are old enough, have them help weed out expired coupons, and cut
out, sort and file new coupons.

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


Last week we received an email from a new member expressing appreciation for
creating EP & interest in participating in our community. We asked her to
"tell her story," and less than 24 hours later we received the following
eloquently-written essay! Saba told us it was the first time she put her
experience down on paper, and it was a catharsis for her. We thank Saba for
sharing herself with us, and for inspiring Lisa & deB to continue on this
path. We welcome every subscriber to share their EP stories, and hope to hear
from many more of you!

Saba is presently the Owner & Co-Founder of Superb Promotions Inc., An
Advertising Specialty, Promotional & Incentive Company located in S. Norwalk,
CT. Ph: 203-838-6587, Fax: 203-838-6563, Email: [email protected]

(For easy reading of this essay, and for the full text, visit "Info to Go!"

"On Becoming an Entrepreneurial Parent (EP): One Woman's Journey"
© 1998 by Saba Kennedy

On January 22, 1997 it happened! I had just returned to work from voluntarily
taking off to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday the day before.
Unfortunately, that year it was not politically correct to make such a choice
on Wall Street. It was a year before Jesse Jackson had begun the "Wall Street
Project" -- the endeavor by Mr. Jackson and his Rainbow Coalition to
investigate firms which have had complaints of racist or sexist practices.
Sometimes I wonder if things would have been different had I decided to take
off one year later?

It was work as usual at the global securities firm for which I had been
employed in marketing and incentives. At approximately 5:30 p.m. I was
summoned into the conference room (out of the blue) for a closed-door session
with my supervisor, who was armed with a memo boldly highlighting the words
"Final Warning." As the conversation proceeded my boss' tongue became a whip
as the words lashed me with every syllable.

My job performance was on the line and my time management skills where being
evaluated. I was told I needed to re-evaluate my child care schedule. My
present arrangements were causing me to be late and my periodic absences due
to my infant's sickness was a bit much -- and technically not a justifiable
reason to take off. In other words, *my* sick days did not cover my *child's*
illnesses. I was told that things needed to change.

I began to wonder, is this when I am supposed to start feeling guilty for
being a mother, or to feel like an impotent worker because I am a mother? Next
I was asked to sign this make-shift document which would indicate my having
reviewed and discussed my unprofessional conduct "the firm's way." Was this a
death sentence I had signed for my career, agreeing that one cannot be a
loving parent and have a career? I was incensed!!!

As I walked out of that conference room with this solitary warning (marked
Final!), I began to wonder; "Is this all worthwhile, the prestigious Wall
Street address, and all the trappings that come with it?" Well, I justified,
everyone else is doing it and, after all, I am a professional woman on Wall
Street -- I have arrived! Just at that moment my hurt intensified. After
busting my butt, taking on projects, working over-time, eating lunch at my
desk, shuffling my daughter to nannies, and arriving home generally past 9:00
p.m. nightly, the only thanks I received was a "Final Warning." This had to
come to a halt! I needed to take back my and my family's life. I needed to
follow my soul.

I decided that this time around I would find an environment where my choice
to be a parent would be celebrated. A coup-d-etat! I was going to stage a
takeover of my life which began with a two-page memo in response to my
supervisor's allegations. I outlined my accomplishments during my tenure
(which helped to build back my self-esteem and re-define me in my own terms),
placed a reminder that the firm knew I was a parent upon hire (this took away
my parental guilt), acknowledged specific instances of lateness (this allowed
me to own up to the accusations), discussed my documented over-time and "desk
lunches" (this re-stated my commitment to my job and level of professionalism)
and finally, I cc:d a copy to the firm's Equal Employment Opportunity Officer
(showing my use of company structure to resolve issues). I felt so empowered!

There was no response to my memo until 2-3 weeks later, when I was called into
the office and told about my "marked improvement in my work since our last
conversation." I could only nod my head and tell myself "give it another

The subsequent 12 months were spent planning and setting-up meetings with
outside contacts to begin the formation of my company. I had decided that I
would bring together my marketing, promotions, and communications skills in a
profitable venture. No one would ever put me in the position to choose between
my work or my family again. I took control of my career and my destiny in the
subsequent year, which led to the start of my advertising specialty/promotions
company (and even a raise to boot!).

I attended the company Christmas party that December where I danced up a
storm, then returned to work bright and early the next morning, armed with my
letter of resignation and ready to begin this New Year very differently from
the last. I started it by working on my business full-time, growing it pretty
successfully with my business partner. (I even took off on MLK's Birthday!)

My former supervisor? Well she has since had her own baby, and from what I
understand has managed to negotiate a one day a week work schedule while
maintaining full-pay. Rumor has it, however, that her "unproductive" work
schedule is not good for the bottom-line and is being evaluated. She too may
have to choose soon.

There are moments when I know I must forge ahead as an Entrepreneurial Parent
because we are all leading and changing the world by example. Who knows? Maybe
one day my former supervisor may receive *her* "Final Warning." At least for
her and others like her, we would have built a place from which solace,
encouragement, and alternatives can be found...The EP Community.

Want to help build the EP Community? Share your struggles, joys and insights
-- send your story to "[email protected]" w/ the Subject: "EP Story."
(Thank you!)

Kids Click -- For 'Net-savvy EP Kids, here's a search engine compiled
by librarians and designed for kids.

The Ad Graveyard -- Enjoy this quirky, generous resource that is updated
nightly and includes tutorials, tips and tricks for designing web sites plus
much more.


The foundation of our community is starting to take hold. New subscribers and
member forms are coming in every day, many with wonderfully supportive
messages. Lisa and deB are excited about the response we've received so far
and hope to be able to continue providing the information, resources and
support you are looking for.

As for publicity happenings, Lisa will be a guest tonight (Wed., Oct. 14th) on
the MSG Metro cable channel (Ch. 18 in NY) from 8:30-9:00 p.m. (EST). If
you're in the area, you can call 877-MSG-METRO & ask her a question while
she's on live!

The next day, Lisa will be participating in a workshop entitled "Balancing
Home and Career -- How to Have a Job and a Life Too" at the "Exploring Your
Future in the Long Island Job Market Today: A Women's Conference." The
Conference, sponsored by the Displaced Homemakers Program, will be held 8:00 a.m. to 3:00
p.m. in Hauppauge, NY. For more info on attending, call (516) 853-6620.

What's new at the EP web site? The EP Expert Q&As -- again, check
them out at (follow the Q&A links). Also
visit Info to Go! at for our latest articles
and essays.

Finally, behind the scenes we're developing:
--->a "WAHD (Work-At-Home Dad) Central" for all at-home working dads.
--->a "WAHM (Work-At-Home Mom) Central" for the moms.
Please Note: Suggested resources for both of the above are welcome.


If any of you are in the home-based Medical Transcription, Medical Billing or
Medical Coding fields, Liz, an EPnews Subscriber, needs your help! Please
respond to her survey directly at "[email protected]". (Thank you!)
Attention MT's/ Med Billing/ Med Coding EPs!

Hi, I'm an at-home mom thinking about starting my own business in one of
the above medical fields and would like as much input as possible. I'd
appreciate it if you could let me know how you got started, what type of
training you had, what kind of investment you've made, how much you charge,
how much profit could be expected, and what is the most challenging part of
your job. I plan to collect this info and share it with others at EP. Thank
you and I hope to be hearing from you soon. --Liz
EP Volunteers are always welcome! Sharpen your skillset on an EP
project and spread the word about your services at the same time. Send a
message to "[email protected]" with the subject heading "EP Volunteer" and
let's work together to reach our goals!


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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