- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
- Volume 2, Issue 7
March 10, 1999
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A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:
As every EP knows, starting your
own business means plenty of sleepless
nights! When you're not obsessing about clients and deadlines,
worrying about things like...the cost of your health insurance.
there's great news for EPs still struggling with those high COBRA
(or, even worse, with no health insurance at all): Now you can
affordable, quality health insurance at group rates, even if
only consists of you and Rags, the cocker spaniel! Even better,
apply online -- at HealthAxis.com, America's premier, on-line
insurance Web site. HealthAxis.com offers you an affordable Web-based
alternative to having no insurance or high-priced individual
insurance. So, if you like the idea of health insurance without
insurance agent, visit HealthAxis.com and get a free quick-quote!
and tell them EP sent you.
The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
EP Times -- An Editorial
What's It Worth?
Making Money Matters
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
is updated every weekend; look for new content on
THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber,
Kathy Sutherland-Erwin (mailto:
I was sitting at my computer, holding my three-year old daughter
my lap. She had been up all night with a 102 degree fever and
lethargic most of the day. As we were sitting there, I felt her
and sighed with relief as I told her, "I think your fever
has broke." She
looked up at me and said, in a tone filled with sincerity, "Mommy,
broken, it's fixed now."
Share with the EP Community something your child said or did
made you smirk, giggle, or LOL. Send your submission via e-mail
[email protected] 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
Funny Things Kids Say" @ http://en-parent.com/familybooks.htm.
stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!
TIMES -- AN EDITORIAL
"Organizing Your Home Office"
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts
As I spend this morning gathering
material together for this issue of
EPnews (and wondering what I'm going to write about this week),
I have been
engaged in a battle of sorts. My whole body has been involved
struggle -- my feet are kicking things, my fists are crumbling
arms are shoving things, my waist keeps bending over, my legs
my chair backward to re-strategize, and my face periodically
little fits of anger, frustration, impatience and infinite procastination.
What's all the fuss been about? You guessed it -- my waste basket
overflowing and paper keeps leaping out, attacking both my feet
I know all I have to do is find
a huge bag that could fit this unwieldy
mass of POB junk mail, pre-school crayon doodles, printer casualties,
used email print-outs and toss it all in the recycling pile in
but the morning goes by and it just doesn't happen. Meanwhile,
as I kick
around the used paper under my desk, there's more denial going
on in plain
view. While I do keep a handy accordian folder on EP on top of
(with files like: EP Expert Questions, EP Idea Folder, EP Contacts,
Links, EP Volunteers, etc.), I am crowded by five stacks of paper
as I type
that yet need to be processed.
In striking contrast, behind
me is my husband's side of the office, neat as
a pin. Granted I don't know what his desk in "corporate
like, but my guess is it *doesn't* look like mine!
Luckily, life has a way of working
with you sometimes. The moment I
realized that this was the topic I wanted to cover in this week's
Times" was the moment I remembered that one of our original
Williams of "Let's Get It Together," is being featured
in our "We
Recommend" column this issue. Debbie specializes in offering
organizing and time management skills for busy parents and is
her first ever Online Organizing Expo in less than two weeks
Debbie was happy to come to my
aid -- and any other disorganized
procastrinators like me who are determined to avoid, tackle and
beat office clutter once and for all. Her advice follows:
To keep your home office clutter
free, provide a dedicated place for
--> Store hanging folders
in file cabinets or in portable crates under the
--> Purchase stackable bins for processing paperwork.
--> Purchase a drawer divider for stationery and desk supplies.
--> Utilize a master calendar or wipe off board for coordinating
--> Clip or scan articles, and file in a folder for reading
at a later date.
--> Maintain a workable follow up system with an index card
accordion file. The dividers are numbered 1-30, and documents
cards) are filed on the appropriate day of the month for future
Now that you've set up your personal
space, take just a few minutes a day
to preserve it:
--> Write your "to do
list" for tomorrow.
--> Straighten your desk before you leave the office.
--> Purge your files on a consistent basis.
--> Begin each day with a clear desk and a clear mind, and
fervor in the work that brought you here in the first place.
If you, like me, feel like you've
been in the boxing ring with the paper
opponent one round too often, try following the above tips. And
soon, let's think about scheduling a monthly "EP Office
Clean-up Day" --
one morning a month that all members of the EP Community commit
up their home office. We can form an email and/or phone chain
to send each
other encouraging messages, put up a special Web page with an
clean-up checklist, and hold a "Before and After" home
office photo contest
(winner gets a free product at the EP Member Store).
What do you say? Should we host
an "EP Office Clean-up Day"? Mailto:
with your vote...!
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
"Loyalty Doesn't Pay"
by deB Sechrist
Couponing is a major savings
trend these days, and I'll be the first to
admit that there are many who do it much better than I, paying
for cartloads of groceries, traveling the world on mileage points
discount coupons. But there are many potholes on the coupon path,
them subtly reinforced by the advertiser's subliminal messages.
Internet has brought even more opportunity for those messages
accepted and to entice brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty is one of the pitfalls
of couponing. Once you get hooked on a
particular brand, you'll probably notice that the coupon supplies
trickling, or the values start sliding. The manufacturer hopes
continue to prefer that brand and will buy that item even if
you don't have
a coupon, even if it's a lower value coupon, or even if you have
more than one. The grocery stores reinforce this by offering
triple low value coupons, and these days they electronically
prices to the average shopping cart so they don't lose the difference.
So the obvious solution is not
to be brand loyal, right? Yes, but then
you're just playing the game with several manufacturers instead
of just the
one. With some products, it's probably better to just try to
play the game
well -- watch for sales, use your coupons in conjunction with
coupons with others, get coupons online, even buy coupons. But
some products you can go the next step further and just stop
Look around your home at the
everyday products you've been using for years.
With many, chances are you can make your own for much less. I
few of them in the last issue: using ammonia instead of the brand
window cleaner, dishwashing liquid for hand soap, etc. In personal
you can substitute corn starch for body powder or baby powder
-- buy one
container with your coupon, then recycle it each time you refill
the baby wipes with dishwashing liquid and paper towels -- buy
container of the brand name with a coupon and reuse it over and
with your homemade refills.
Do you use an after-bath oil/lotion?
Figure out how much you pay for each
bottle (let's say $3), then multiply that by 10 ($30). Then subtract
$2. This is how much I pay for a bottle of mineral oil and using
drops of my favorite cologne. Recycle an old shampoo bottle,
pour in 1/4
inch of oil, fill with water and add a few drops of the fragrance,
well, and you have a bottle of after-bath oil. Savings = $28
less containers used.
A drop of tea tree oil in a cup
of water makes a very effective mouthwash,
as does hydrogen peroxide. If you just can't stand the taste,
either of these products first, then follow with a rinse of your
mouthwash, diluted 1 part to 4 parts water; it will last 4 times
Petroleum jelly applied to dry, rough feet and covered with cotton
while sleeping costs much less than the expensive moisturizers
just as well to soften feet. A drop or two of mineral oil can
two weeks of use to a mascara that seems empty.
Just read the labels and think
about what substitutions and stretchers you
can use on the products you buy continuously. What seems like
here and there can add up tremendously over years of use. So,
that 75-cents-off coupon seems like a bargain, or the store will
that 20-cents-off to total 60 cents off, sometimes it's worth
it to pass it
Happy cautious couponing!
deBorah Sechrist is the mother of three, Co-Founder of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find out more
MAKING MONEY MATTERS
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
income what's all the effort for? Making Money Matters! This
Bradbury of "Personally Yours - Cards by Terri" (offering
handcrafted greeting cards for all occasions) shares her marketing
with us. You can reach Terri at [email protected]
or [email protected],
at her Web site, http://www.cardsbyterri.com.
1. In a 2-3 sentence statement, explain what your home business
including your target market and "mission statement."
My home-based business is offering
people an alternative to 'store-bought'
greeting cards by offering handcrafted, from the heart, greeting
target market is people who want unique greeting cards that are
statement to the recipients of their choice. My mission is to
highest quality handcrafted greeting cards possible and to make
and every customer is completely satisfied with their choices!
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?
The most popular are the greeting
cards, but the calendar tracking and
reminder services seem to be catching on and more people are
interest in them. The cards sell for $3.00 - $5.00 and price
by the products used and length of time it takes to craft them.
"right" fee for each card was tricky. I figured out
what each one cost to
produce, added a bit for my time, and then took a survey among
family and friends. They were an enormous help and greatly influenced
the final cost would be!
3. What are *your* favorite products
and/or services? Why do you like to
Oh, my favorite are most definitely
the greeting cards! Each one is like
one of my "babies" and I love to create them! There's
nothing like getting
those creative juices flowing to come up with new designs! Choosing
right images, colors and embellishments is the challenge that
going! I love it!
4. Tell us a bit about your marketing
campaign. When did you start
noticing your first sales (after which marketing technique),
efforts have you noticed yield the greatest results, and how
do you make
your first contact and subsequent sales (via online, phone, fax,
Well, I really don't have much
of a marketing campaign as yet. I'm just
starting out and trying to involve myself with reputable online
organizations geared toward women in business and homebred businesses.
want to promote other people with homebred businesses and hope
they will in
turn do the same for me. I do feel the best form of advertisement
of mouth, so I'm hoping satisfied customers will be spreading
5. Any additional comments are
I appreciate the opportunity
The Entrepreneurial Parent is offering and
look forward to working hand-in-hand with all members to ensure
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: [email protected].
We'll be glad
to help you out if we can!
Recently we received the following
note from one of our original aspiring
EPs, Evelyn Bourne, who has been dreaming for over a year of
her 9-5 job to work at home so she can spend more time with her
Evelyn is a single parent, and ever since we received her request
of health insurance has been on our minds...
"Dear Lisa and deB,
I thoroughly enjoyed this issue.
I am writing because I have a question.
Would y'all do a story about how EP's deal with health insurance
I am in the process of doing some research into replacing the
benefits I get at my current job when I 'go home' and become
an EP. It
would be helpful to get some recommendations and find how other
Please keep up the excellent
work. Each issue of EPnews inspires me and
spurs me onward towards my goal of becoming a real EP.
We are thrilled to now recommend
to Evelyn " and to the entire EP Community
" HealthAxis.com @ <<http://www.healthaxis.com>>.
affordable, accessible and comprehensive health insurance for
small business owners, entrepreneurs and other self-employed
Their Web site (both on AOL and the Internet) offers sample profiles
advice to help you choose the Plan that fits your family's needs,
easy-to-use "ClickQuote" form will create a personalized
price quote for
you in a matter of seconds.
You may have noticed banner ads
for HealthAxis.com on America Online or at
Lycos...now you'll see them at The Entrepreneurial Parent (!),
Monday, 3/15/99. If you are researching your health insurance
you make the entrepreneurial leap, be sure to click on their
banner at EP
next week to see if they have the health insurance plan that
looking for " and at the group rate you can afford.
Don't let the fear of losing
employee-based medical coverage stop you from
your dreams of becoming an independent entrepreneur. Check out
HealthAxis.com, now sponsoring EP!
Organize Online in '99! Come to the First Annual Online Organizing
March 22-29, 1999 @ <<http://www.organizedtimes.com>>.
Awareness Week by attending this free Virtual Conference to end
in your life! At the Organizing Expo you can:
---> Learn practical solutions
to organize your home, live with ADD, manage
stress, organize your office, create a home office, and balance
---> Chat with the professionals in the chatroom about your
---> Learn valuable tips on organization from experts through
---> Enter drawings for a chance to win over 20 organizing
This expo is FREE of charge.
Visit any of the above features as often as
you like during the week-long event...and bring a guest! Let's
shoot for a
large showing of EPs to support Debbie and her innovative promotional
efforts. See you all at the Expo!
For more information about Debbie
and "Let's Get It Together," visit her
Profile Page at <<http://en-parent.com/Profiles/Williams.htm>>.
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
Now that we have our first advertiser
on board, we are looking toward the
future of EP with ever-more enthusiasm. Plans in the works include
producing more original and fresh content for parents and entrepreneurs,
promotional push to build the EP Community larger and stronger
networking purposes, developing strong alliances with other career
resources both online and
off, and expanding NAEP membership benefits to include a special
at EP to sell original products made by members (original products
not manufactured product lines). We are working on that business
present and, as always, will keep you posted on our progress.
Thank you all for your continued
and enthusiastic support of EP " whether
you realize it or not, together we are paving an alternative
that is wide in scope, abundant in course, leads to welcome detours,
getting noticed! This is a collective accomplishment, existing
because we as EPs are choosing it, but because our children,
our clients, our customers, our advertisers, our vendors, our
childcare providers, our extended family members and so many
supporting us. Today let's take a moment to thank whoever's involved
EP life, and tomorrow let's discuss other ways to band together
sure that the path we're paving becomes well-trodden by the time
children come of age ;-)
Have an opinion or idea? Let's
hear it -- mailto: [email protected].
look forward to hearing what you have to say!
What's New at EP? A lot! Stop
by today to discover the following:
EP Stress Management Center @
Are you looking to loosen up, unwind and relax? We've developed
Stress Management Center to help you do just that. Visit whenever
feeling stressed out...here you'll find:
---> A monthly column by EP
Volunteer, Desiree Scales of Bella Web Design
---> "How I Simplified My Life by Becoming an EP"
(A series of stories by 9
of our EPnews Subscribers)
---> Our favorite "Stress Management" Links
EP Resource Centers @ <<http://en-parent.com/EPcenter.htm>>
The EP Resource Centers are a new and evolving feature of The
Entrepreneurial Parent " where members of the EP Community
knowledge, expertise, interests and talents for the benefit of
back often to read new columns and discover new information centers.
"Your Business" Article
Learn how to "Move Your Existing Business to the Country"
from Lisa Rogak,
author of The Complete Country Business Guide: Everything You
Need to Know
to Become a Rural Entrepreneur.
The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC
is not engaged in rendering legal or
financial advice. If expert assistance is required, the services
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
to: [email protected] for permission.
© 2000, The Entrepreneurial
Editor: Lisa M. Roberts
EP Webmaster: Deborah Sechrist
POB 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432; http://en-parent.com
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email: [email protected]
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