- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
- Volume 2, Issue 8
March 24, 1999
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A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:
For EPs, the Web is Working.
Thanks to the Internet, many thousands of
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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,
Joyce Melton Pages
Says Joyce, "I don't know whether the following
says the most about my son's concept of "forever" or
the relevance of his
spelling lists!" :-)
You know the routine. The spelling
words come home on Monday, the practice
spelling test is on Thursday, and the "real" spelling
test is on Friday. My
first grade son brought home his list this afternoon and we started
practicing the words. He managed to learn all of the words tonight,
the more difficult bonus words. I said to him, "Look, Daniel!
Monday and you already know all of your spelling words! I expect
this week on your spelling test!"
With all of the enthusiasm that
a seven-year-old can muster, he exclaimed,
"Mommy, I put the words in my brain forever, and ever, and
ever, and ever,
and ever, and ever...until Friday."
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
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
"Screensavers Saving Humanity"
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts
I remember when screensavers
were the latest "cool" software program you
could pick up for your home computer. The concept was novel at
the time --
when your keyboard was at rest, unusual shapes and colors could
across your computer screen, all awaiting interruption at the
touch of a
fingertip. Back then, the hardest decision to make was what visual
could tolerate the longest -- eye-draining mazes, landscape scenery,
Ah, those were the days...
Today I find choosing a screensaver
a daunting exercise in parental
diplomacy. If I wasn't obsessing so about it, I'm sure I'd find
it all very
amusing...but right now I have to make one of those choices parents
In this case, it's a matter of tapping into the possibility of
(literally, no exagerration) with my eight-year old son, or building
bridge of communication with my eleven-year old daughter (who
is on the
brink of adolescence, no less!).
Talk about advancements in technology
and communication...check this out:
The Planetary Society (a space-interest
group) and Paramount Pictures have
joined forces to distribute an innovative screensaver program
that "goes to
work" when you are not. Its mission? "To seek out new
life and new
civilizations" by processing data captured through radio
signals in outer
space. I first heard about all this on Good Morning America months
from my understanding of this highly ambitious search effort,
signs up for the SETI@home screensaver (at www.planetary.org)
assigned a "section" of the galaxy to cover. On an
average day each
screensaver will be monitoring the standard background noise
space, displayed as a graph on the screen. At the same time,
it will be
"listening" for a parting of the usual soundwaves --
sensational detection of "ET."
While every Trekkie that ever
owned a computer has surely hopped on board
this interplanetary quest already, this is also a truly fascinating
opportunity to involve our children in a global experiment with
far-reaching implications. For my eight-year old, who has barely
of the "U.S.S. Enterprise" but has been an aspiring
scientist since the age
of four, the concept of participating in such a program is phenomenal.
Meanwhile, back in this everyday,
earthly world, my sixth-grade daughter
has been on a quest of her own. Just a month ago she inherited
Gateway 2000 P5-120, and all the scraps of technical errors it
accumulated over the years. One of the features that got lost
along the way
was -- you guessed it -- the system's screensaver program. While
even noticed it was missing, my daughter became fixated on the
it's inaccessible to her. I didn't think much of it until one
morning, when I sat down for a work session and noticed some
scrolling across my monitor. Sure enough, dancing across a blue
on the computer screen were the words "I love you, Mommy."
Needless to say, I felt hugged
and loved all day long and decided then and
there I don't EVER want a different screensaver for the rest
of my life!
The next day the words changed to "Have a good day, Mommy",
then at night
it was "Sweet Dreams, Mommy" and the following day
a whopping "U R the Best
Mother Anyone Could Ever Have! :-)" (That one I wanted to
video tape for
the teenage years to come when she will deny ever having even
no less wrote it!)
Today the "honeymoon period"
of our mother-daughter message board is over;
presently my screensaver serves more like an electronic chalk
board. As I
write this essay and pause to form another thought, I am reading
Mommy, Today I have math meet after school. Please pick me up
unless I call you. With love, Jessica Vincenza :-)".
Maybe the time has come to sign
up for the exploration of strange new
worlds and new civilizations with my third-grader? But this is
where I get
stuck. What if, in between the lines of her hearts-and-flowers
Jessica is really saying, "Hey, I'm here too, DON'T FORGET
What if, in her nearly twelve years of watching her EP mom focus
computer screen on and off -- as other stay-at-home parents might
a TV screen or newspaper or neighbor (!) in between caregiving
-- she is revealing an "issue" with me she has been
harboring all these
Hence, my original conflict.
If I cut off this bridge of communication my
daughter has built for us now, will I create a lasting gap between
us? If I
pass on pulling my son into this scientific venture, would we
priceless opportunity in the present that could pave a path for
I guess these are the questions
parents of the Information Age must learn
to answer. And I suppose it could be worse. At the pace technology
children are flying ahead these days, we COULD be hurling through
instead of in our comfy home offices dealing with these issues.
I just wish
there was a way to pull the breaks on technology for just a moment,
EPs could catch our breath before making any more decisions...
(Got an opinion? I'm all ears
-- mailto: [email protected])
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." For more info on her
book, go to
"A Stitch in Time..."
by deB Sechrist
Today I delivered my income tax
paperwork to the accountant: a good bit
later than he wanted to receive it but hopefully still in time
to file by
April 15. This year I actually had to take time off from my EP
finish this project, and I learned a lot about how to make next
much smoother. Since the accountant tells me I'm not much different
anyone else (he doesn't expect to have time to even sleep for
the next 3
weeks), I thought I'd pass on what I've learned...
- - - > Get organized and
stay that way! I had fallen into the habit of
piling receipts, statements and notices into a folder for when
I "had time"
to work on them. Of course they piled up for months, and it took
to sort it all out, then enter the info in my financial software,
to balance everything. I've now made myself a promise to spend
just a few
minutes every day entering that day's paperwork and to file it
I even moved my files to the credenza just behind my desk chair
to aid in
the quick filing process.
- - - > Balance every financial
statement as soon as it's received. I'm
embarrased to say that I discovered a bank deposit error from
that I could have easily resolved if I had balanced my statement
away. Instead, it went unchallenged for so long that the bank
charge me a fee to research the error and I still may not be
recover the difference. Most institutions allow only 60 days
to report a
dispute, so quick action is necessary. I've also uncovered several
incorrect charges on credit card bills and even utility bills.
receipts for all credit card purchases and match them to your
Document the details of every phone conversation with customer
representatives, and be sure to get their name(s). Verify your
readings to the numbers shown on the bill. Keep a phone log to
your long distance phone bill charges.
- - - > Don't let fear or
worry take over. When it's a struggle to make
ends meet and the bills begin to pile up, it can be difficult
depressing to review your finances or to even deal with the situation
all. There have been times in my life that I just couldn't even
envelopes because I knew I couldn't pay the bill anyway, and
the tone of
the collector's letters was upsetting. But I've learned that
exactly where you stand and what you owe is an important step
control of your situation and resolving the problems. Communication
creditors and utility companies can lead to new arrangements,
payment plans to fit your situation, even reductions in interest,
and costly fees.
- - - > Hire a good accountant.
I'm a true do-it-yourself kind of person,
but when it comes to the taxes, a good accountant is worth every
least when you need to do anything more complicated than the
form (which is the case if you have a home business). Having
preparer is good insurance if there are errors which could result
penalties and interest charges. And just having an experienced
to double-check your figures can save you from costly mistakes
Next year I plan to hand over
my paperwork to the accountant by early
February, after no more extra preparation than printing out the
from my software. Of course it will take some discipline to keep
the daily entries and filing, but I know it will be well worth
deBorah Sechrist is the mother of three, Webmistress 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! We're
space this week, but next issue Susan Pisani of "Cruisin
get Oceans of Options for Cruises and much more!" shares
her marketing tips
with us. (In the meantime, you can reach Susan at [email protected],
by phone at (888) SEA-EASY, (732-3279), or her Web site at
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!
From our EP Telecommuting Expert:
Q. I've been working as a scientific
programmer for the same company for
the past 3.5 years. When I had problems with my 2nd pregnancy,
to work part-time from home (10 hours) and part-time in the office
days). I talked to my boss before my baby was born and he agreed
to let me
continue to telecommute after I came back. Now he says he wants
me to work
a more "normal" work week (5 days per week in the office).
I have continued to get all my
work done and have even been more productive
working from home. And with my salary, fulltime daycare for 2
would take 50% of my income and doesn't seem worth it. How can
him to continue letting me work from home? I'm so upset about
almost ready to quit and try something else, but my family cannot
live without my income. To top it off, my boss is an older single
has never had a family (or even a pet) and I'm having trouble
need to be with my children while they are young.
A. This is a very interesting,
and somewhat complex, question. It seems to
me there are three issues here:
1. Why your boss wants you to
come back to the office full-time.
2. Whether and how you are able to juggle your work and your
3. What the consequences might be to you and your boss if you
are unable to
comply with his request.
The first is the most important,
it seems to me. You don't say anything
about why he wants you to return to the office full-time. Assuming
agrees with you that you are able to do at least as much work
when you are
telecommuting, I'm not sure why he is pressuring you to return.
motivating his request? Don't put him on the defensive -- you
it with a non-accusational statement such as, "Frankly,
I'm a little
confused about your request. What have you seen in my work while
telecommuting that makes you feel you want me to return to the
My hunch -- and it's only that
-- is the boss's request has nothing to do
with your own work. It is more likely due to pressure (subtle
he is getting from his peer managers or his own boss to end this
flexibility. He may also be getting some requests from your co-workers
want to telecommute for various reasons, and is uncomfortable
"no" after having told you "yes."
Once you find out what's going
on in his mind, it will be easier for you to
address his concerns.
Next, I'd ask you to honestly
assess how you have been able to manage child
care and job simultaneously. This can be extraordinarily demanding.
you say that your work hasn't suffered, might there have been
for example, your boss called you and heard crying in the background,
otherwise felt that your child care was intruding on your work?
If so, he
might be very uncomfortable with that -- and perhaps rightly
so. The key to
blending telecommuting and child care is to NOT do both at once,
have unusually docile, compliant, and perfect children (which
Last, what WILL you do if the
boss persists in his request? Will the
financial consequences you describe be serious enough to cause
you to quit,
or to cut back to part-time? And if you do either, how will that
boss and the department's workload? I'm not suggesting you threaten
boss with the possibility of quitting, but IF that is real, you
certainly note that you are faced with this dilemma. If you are
valuable, and will be hard to replace, then you might get your
attention. But if you can be replaced in a heartbeat or perhaps
would be eliminated if you left, then you have less leverage.
Finally, your comment about how
his single/male/childless perspective might
make it hard for him to appreciate what you are going through
correct -- but that's not going to be a fruitful topic of discussion.
need to keep things focused on your ability to get the work done,
ability to rely on you to do so.
Best of luck,
Gil Gordon is the president of Gil Gordon Associates, specializing
helping private- and public-sector firms establish successful
programs. To learn more about Gil's work, go to http://www.gilgordon.com;
to ask him a question, go to http://en-parent.com/Experts/exp-gordon.htm
For Dads: MenWeb @ http://www.vix.com/menmag/menmag.html.
information and support for men, and a new definition of "Men's
their own voices:
---> We celebrate the expression
of mature and creative masculinity and
men's creative engagement in the community.
---> We creatively support men in their many roles, including
---> We support and reflect the values of equality, diversity,
non-violence, healthy spiritual connectedness and ecological
For the EPs on this list who
recognize that "men's stuff" is not just about
competition but cooperation and connection as well, you may enjoy
the pages of MenWeb!
For Moms (to be!): Moms Online
has a new feature for "wannabe Moms" @
Whether your first
baby is six months from now, five years, or already HERE, Moms
just the glimpse into real motherhood that you've been curious
Here's what they have in store for you:
---> Before Sperm Meets Ova:
A preconception to-do list brought to you by
Moms Online's roster of Pros (including the "WAHM Pro"
-- EP's Lisa
---> Telling It Like It Is: What you might NOT expect about
being a Mom!
Get an earful from some experienced Moms (who promise not to
"sweetheart" or "dear"), and see if you find
yourself ovulating in sympathy
or running to the airport for some tickets to Tiajuana...
---> A Maternal Readiness Quiz: Just for Fun: Find out if
you're ready to
make the leap.
---> Preconception Message Board: Swap angst and ambivalence
For the many EPs on this list
who have "been there, done that" re: the
above, you'll find the "Wannabe Moms" link at MO a
source of reminiscent
chuckles and a refreshing reminder of how far you've come. For
of those who are expecting their first child, this site may be
you've been longing for. Either way, enjoy!
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
IN THE EP COMMUNITY: In the last
issue of EPnews, the concept of a monthly
"EP Office Clean-up Day" was proposed. The idea was
that if one morning a
month all members of the EP Community would commit to cleaning
home office as a group, then it wouldn't be such a chore for
each of us to
tackle the job in our individual home offices. A "thumbs
up" vote came in.
We plan to kick off our first one in May, so stay tuned in our
for directions on how to participate. In the meantime, suggested
are most definitely welcome -- mailto:
[email protected] and let's work
on this together!
NEW SERVICES: Confused, bewildered,
stumped? If you're an EP or would like
to become one, and need some one-on-one guidance regarding your
career (selecting, managing, expanding, etc.), check into our
Improved" EP Home Career Counseling services at
When you have more than one question
to "ask the experts," this professional service may
be just the answer for
IN THE NEWS: Dan Poynter, best-selling
author of "The Self-Publishing
Manual" and owner of ParaPublishing (www.parapublishing.com),
is writing a
new book tentatively titled: "Successful Authors: Tips for
Nonfiction Published." Scores of published authors have
been selected to
"reveal their inside secrets," and Lisa Roberts is
one of them :-)! Her
book and the EP web site will also be included...so let's hope
becomes another best-seller for Dan!
Have an opinion or idea? Let's
hear it -- mailto: [email protected].
look forward to your feedback!
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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