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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
Volume 2, Issue 6
February 24, 1999


Do you find EPnews useful?
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For easy reading, simply print out this newsletter.

The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
EP Times -- An Editorial
What's It Worth?
Making Money Matters
We Recommend
What's Happening at EP

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, Angela Trapp of Palisades Mortgage Company,
Atlanta, GA, (mailto: ):
My 10-month-old son isn't talking yet but he sure DOES things from time to
time that get a chuckle out of my husband and me. He's teething now and, of
course, he loves cold things. In particular, ice. This morning when we were
getting ready to leave the house I noticed that he was a little fussy, more
than likely due to sore gums. I went to the refrigerator and gave him a big
piece of ice to suck on while I finished preparing the family to leave. Not
too much later, I noticed that he had dropped the ice on the carpet as I
had expected he would do with the cold treat. So what did he do? He dives
for the ice cube mouth first and starts scooting it along with his lips!

Never a dull moment...

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:
with the subject heading "A Funny Thing My EP Kid
Said (or Did)". 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!


"Marital Support of Your Home Business"
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts

Recently a request came in that said "EP Times" written all over it. When
asked on the application form what EP can offer, a new member wrote in,
"How to encourage your spouse to support your decision to work at home."

Now here's a subject near and dear to my heart. So much so that I devoted a
full chapter in my book about it. I called the chapter "Seesawing With Your
Spouse," and I procrastinated writing it until the very end. Later I
wondered how I could zip through the chapters on how home business impacts
on children, a household and the individual...but muddle so slowly through
the chapter about how it impacts on a marriage. The answer is simple: the
issue is complicated!

Yet it is a vital one that could make or break this work option for you. It
also, truth be told, could make or break a marriage. As aspiring and new
Entrepreneurial Parents, you should be aware that not all home businesses
have happy endings. Personally, two of my EP mentors have struggled through
the break-up of their marriages -- and one *after* fifteen years of
entrepreneurship and raising four children to adulthood. While clearly the
issues between these couples run deeper than choice of a career, both did
express to me that the subject came up in marriage counseling sessions, and
their spouses attributed the home business as a deep source of pent-up
hostility. The unhappy spouses cited the following issues as part of the

1. Competition with the home business (and clients) for attention
2. Jealousy of all the public recognition (via promotions for the business),
3. Resentment of being the one "stuck" with a 9-5, day-in, day-out
conventional job that *paid the bills* (and financially supported the EP
with the "fun" job).

Encouraging your spouse to support your decision to work at home involves
much more than the viability of the home business in question. How you
perceive yourself, how your spouse perceives him/herself, how you perceive
each other, are all embroiled in with the decision. While some of us are
blessed with easy-going relationships that thrive on "whatever makes you
happy makes me happy," many more of us deal with ongoing power struggles,
marital miscommunications, and middle-aged (yes, it's time for some of us
to admit it!) fears and insecurities.

The bottom line is that the new member who wrote in with her concern has
opened up a can of worms! If you've been looking to toss that can aside
yourself, here are a few concepts to consider. To promote your home
business as a positive force in your marital life, you should offer your
spouse the following:

--> Communication. There is no greater instrument in your work-family
toolbox than your words -- honest, direct, and as needed. Before
introducing your home business to your family, take the time to convey to
your spouse the whys, the hows, and the how oftens. Why is a home career so
important to you? (Remember to speak in terms of "I need" not "I'm not
getting.") How are you going to find the time, make the money, balance your
responsibilities as a parent, be there for your spouse? How often are you
going to be working in the home office, how often will you be fully
available to your family? Remember that "as needed" could mean every day or
once a month...whatever it takes to fully communicate with each other as
the big and small issues come up.

---> Involvement. Enlisting your children's involvement in your home career
is a must -- it ignites their creativity, teaches discipline, fosters
strong ties with you, develops a team spirit, and generates many more
positive experiences than can be listed here. But for some couples,
enlisting a spouse's involvement in a home career can be a "must not." You
need to get a sense from your spouse how much s/he wants to be involved in
your work, and in what way. For instance, my spouse has supported me over
the years by painting my home office, building me bookshelves, introducing
me to new software programs, discussing client issues, buying me an office
chair, and just letting me be (even when he would rather be with me). But
even though he is an MIS professional, he made it clear to me when I
purchased my first computer that he would not assist me as a technician.
Having to solve computer-related problems all day at work, he encouraged me
to learn how to troubleshoot my own computer so that he could get a break
from it all when he came home. So as a rule of thumb, extend the invitation
to involve your spouse in your business, but don't push. Respect his/her

---> Sharing. A home career brings in many rewards -- for your wallet and
for your spirit! Share the rewards of your home career liberally with your
spouse. As soon as you turn your first profit, thank your spouse with it.
Think about how your spouse would spend that money -- by going out for a
celebration, by taking a weekend vacation, by slipping it into a savings
account, by investing it in some stock?? Use your home business to spread
good will to others first, before thinking of yourself. And remember, if
your business puts you in a good mood, share the mood -- not the business

---> Commitment. Before you even start your first home business, decide
where your greatest alliance is. Will your greatest commitment be to your
career, your children, your spouse? My husband knows that I would drop my
home career in a heartbeat if I felt our marriage was at risk. I say this
not because I am a self-sacrificing martyr, or because I lack a strong
sense of self, but because I am committed to putting family first, career
second. Period. I make no apologies -- to my colleagues, to my customers,
to the women's movement, to my working parent peers in corporate America,
to anyone -- for that. Keeping this priority clear works for me, it's how I
remain "true to myself." You need to decide what being "true to yourself"
really means, and then remain committed as such.

For further exploration of this topic, feel free to read "Teaming Up With
Your Spouse," a book excerpt at,
or send a question to our EP Relationship Expert, Azriela Jaffe, at

Lisa Roberts is the mother of four, Co-Founder 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." For more info on her book, go to

"Keeping Healthy During Cold and Flu Season"
by deB Sechrist

Diligent cleanliness, boosting immunity and quick reaction to exposure are
the best ways to avoid catching all those cold and flu bugs that are flying
around this time of year. It takes a little time but it's worth every extra
minute to save days of illness, doctor's fees and medication expenses.
Prevention doesn't have to be expensive, either.

To keep the spread of germs and viruses to a minimum, we use antibacterial
soap for hands and kitchen and wash hands very frequently. After reading
the labels, I found that the active ingredient in almost all antibacterial
products (even deoderant!) is triclosan. I save a lot of money by buying
the antibacterial dishwashing liquid and using that to fill my soap
dispensers throughout the house -- compare the per-ounce prices of the
antibacterial dish soaps versus the antibacterial hand soaps. I also use it
in the kitchen to clean countertops and preparation surfaces (soap area
well, leave on for 10 minutes, rinse and wipe dry) as well as all my dishes
and pans.

In the bathrooms I use a bleach solution (3/4 cup to one gallon of water)
to wipe all surfaces and keep mildew growth down. Since bleach does not
disinfect, I use a concentrated disinfectant to clean at the first sign of
infection and regularly on specific areas, like the diaper pail. For
floors, mirrors, glass doors, and appliances, I use an ammonia solution
(1/2 cup to one gallon of water) in a spray bottle. All of these are just
pennies per application and work just as well as the expensive cleaning

Boosting your body's immunity helps it to ward off infectious germs and
deal with them more efficiently when exposed. Be sure to drink plenty of
fluids every day, including some with vitamin C and several glasses of
water. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and allow yourself extra
time during the flu season for rest, relaxation, adequate sleep, and a
daily walk or other exercise.

Quick reaction to exposure is necessary at the first sign of cold or flu
(usually sore throat, runny nose or cough). Our family uses an herbal blend
that contains echinachea; consult with your health professional to see if
herbs could work for you. Increase your fluids, especially water and orange
juice, or anything with Vitamin C. Use an antiseptic mouthwash to gargle or
rinse -- hydrogen peroxide works just as well and is much cheaper, but it's
hard to get used to the taste! We also give each affected person their own
box of tissues *and* their own plastic trash bag, so they can discard their
used tissues as needed and reduce the spread of germs.

I look at it as the "perks"of the EP lifestyle: the ability to control our
environment, limit our exposure and allow ourselves the extra time to
really take care of ourselves and our families when we need to.

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

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! This week Jeralynn
Burke of E-Scent-ials shares her marketing tips with us. You can reach
Jeralynn at , or at her brand new Web site,, or her brand new Profile Page at the EP

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

We make and sell handcrafted aromatherapy products such as candles,
potpourri, and bath products as well as carrying pure essential oils. We
are still in the process of identifying our primary target market, but
judging by the the fact that many companies are now developing
"aromatherapy" products, we feel that the market is fairly broad. Our
mission is to educate people about true aromatherapy which utilizes
essential oils. Essential oils are extracts from various parts of different
plants. The chemical constituents contained in the oils have different
properties depending upon the plant. For example, lavender is relaxing. A
product that has only a lavender scent has no real aromatherapeutic value.

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?

Our most popular and fun product for us are our Petpourris tm, they are
aromatherapy scented stuffed animals that we make and scent ourselves. They
are currently available in four different animals (dog, pony, kitten and
bear) in a variety of floral patterned colors and scents. We charge $7.50
for each animal and determined the price by adding up the cost of materials
to make them and adding in a price for labor.

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

Again, that would have to be the Petpourris. We enjoy selling them because
we have had such a positive response from those who have purchased them.
It's always nice to be complimented on something that you put so much of
yourself into.

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,

Our first marketing campaign began in November, just in time for the
holidays. After months of preparation, we were finally ready to sell our
products. Since capital for advertising had not been raised yet, we decided
to start out with a word of mouth campaign, sending gift baskets to friends
and family members at their workplaces and including our catalog. We
received quite a number of orders from this effort. We are currently
investigating other advertising options.

5. Any additional comments are welcome.

If any EPnews Subscribers would like a copy of our catalog or further
information, they can write or call. E-Scent-ials, P.O. Box 40, Des Plaines
IL 60016, phone: 847-298-3474 or e-mail: , Web site: Home Business Profile Page:


Have a question? It may already be answered in 1 of the 16 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: . We'll be glad
to help you out if we can!


Is your boss turning the table regarding your telecommuting arrangement?
Not sure why? Gil Gordon, our EP Telecommuting Expert, helps one of our EPs
figure out what might really be going on behind a request from the boss to
return to the 9-5 grind. Read what Gil advises at

Are you just starting your business and wondering how to keep track of your
records? Jan Zobel, our EP Recordkeeping/Tax Expert, gives an overview at

Tired of getting interrupted by your kids when you're on the phone or
otherwise working at home? Read the current Parent to Parent Column by
Jodie Lynn, our EP Parenting Expert, at

Contentious @ -- A Web-size for writers and editors who
create content for online media, this is a wonderful find for established
and aspiring writers who want to break into the new field of producing
online content.

Content-Exchange @ -- Affiliated with the above
Web site, this one is a job-matching service between content producers and
online publishers.

Member Store -- Show the world your entrepreneurial spirit, advertise your
home business, start conversations! EP T-Shirts are now available, along
with special T-s for EP Kids and EP Tote Bags too. Come visit our brand new
Member Store @ -- and stock up on your
favorite 1999 playground conversation piece today!

Publicity Happenings -- Lisa and her family spent the afternoon of
President's Day in a photo shoot for Home Office Computing! Look for the
whole motley crew in a photo, profile and accompanying article on
"Childproofing Your Home Office" in an upcoming HOC's Office Design column.

Hitting the 1,000 Mark -- Thanks to a great review of EP in a popular
Internet newsletter from, we made it over the "1,000 mark"
with our EPnews Subscribers. On February 19, our traffic more than tripled
and we received a surge of new subscribers (welcome fans!). This
one mention resulted in more visitors than the whole week we were on the
PBS show (80% of US households) or the ZD-TV show (10 million
homes)...which just goes to show where the bulk of an Internet marketing
campaign should focus on...(!)

NAEP Membership Packets: The first batch of NAEP New Member Packets have
finally gone out (whew!!). Look for new Member Profiles at the EP Showcase
soon. And don't forget to take advantage of your EPnews Discount Rate today
(details below) -- our offer will not be extended past May 1, 1999 under
any circumstances!!


The National Association of Entrepreneurial Parents (NAEP), a "real-time"
community and career resource for the 15-million strong who are pursuing
home- based careers while raising their growing families, is now accepting
Charter Memberships.


Get in as an EPnews Charter Member of NAEP and you'll receive a 25%
discount off membership dues! That's just $33.75 for the first year, or $45
for a 2-year membership. (Orders must come in before May 1, 1999 to get the
discount, and you must already be an EPnews subscriber BEFORE ordering your
NAEP Charter Membership. Just add the line "I am an EPnews Subscriber"
under the question "What would you like EP to offer, both online and off"
on the application form <<>>, so we can
apply the discount when we process your order. Only those orders that
follow the above instructions will receive the EPnews Subscriber Discount

We are so sure that membership in the National Association of
Entrepreneurial Parents will meet (and hopefully exceed!) your needs that
we are even offering a 30-day money-back guarantee on your membership dues.
You have nothing to lose, so join today! Go to:

Meanwhile....whether you plan to join immediately or not, voice your
opinion @ <<>> today. And to learn more
about what NAEP has to offer you, go to: <<>>


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:

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