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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
@ www.en-parent.com
Volume 3, Issue 2
April 28, 1999
 

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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.

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A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:

For EPs, the Web is Working. Thanks to the Internet, many thousands of
parents are operating successful, satisfying businesses without compromising
their family life. In fact, the climate for starting a successful home-based
business has never been so favorable. The Internet is helping entrepreneurs
indirectly, as well, by creating exciting new ways to purchase essential
services. Take health insurance, for example. Remember when you needed to be
part of some huge organization to get affordable group rates? Well, EPs no
longer face such barriers. Thanks to a company called HealthAxis.com, you can
get web-direct group rates, and buy your health insurance online!
HealthAxis.com eliminates the bureaucracy (and the costly agent,s
commissions) and passes the savings on to savvy EPs. Go to
http://www.healthaxis.com, spend 30 seconds to get a free ClickQuote, and
then apply online. And make sure to tell them you read about it in EPnews!
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_______________CONTENTS_______________
The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
EP Times -- An Editorial
What's It Worth?
Making Money Matters
EP Q&As
We Recommend
What's Happening at EP
NAEP Membership Diso Lt Reminder
_________________________________________

Note to New Subscribers: EPnews is published and distributed on the second
and fourth Wednesday of every month. The Entrepreneurial Parent at
http://www.en-parent.com is updated every weekend; look for new content on
Mondays.

____________________________________
THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!

Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Jenny Waizecker (mailto:):
=====

My 4 1/2 year old son was talking with his friend. They were trying to
decide who was taller. After agreeing that the friend was taller, my son
replies (matter-of-factly), "Well, my pockets are bigger."

His friend agreed, and they went off to play. :-)

=====

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" @ http://en-parent.com/familybooks.htm. On those
stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!

____________________________________
EP TIMES -- AN EDITORIAL

"Letting Spring In"
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts

Imagine coming home from an afternoon errand to find that every bed in your
house has been made with fresh clean sheets, every window washed until each
glass pane is clear, every floor swept, scrubbed and polished to a shine.
Imagine that this was all done for you without any guilt strings attached,
without hint of hard labor or begrudging comment, without barely a whisper
of effort. Imagine the sense of cleanliness and rejuvenation such a moment
could bring...

This is what springtime feels like to me. In the home outside my house, the
ground has all fresh coverings, the air is crisp and clear, the trees and
shrubs hold new light and life...and all this has sprung up with barely a
whisper of effort! It's truly a miracle, and even in the midst of horrific
news swirling around the country and the world, it's hard *not* to feel
hope blowing in through nature's wind.

So with hope to lead us, blue skies to cheer us and fresh air to cleanse
our thoughts, let's try pledging our spring "time" to renewals on all
fronts. As a community of Entrepreneurial Parents, this pledge will help us
loosen the mud of negativity that can form on dreary days that rain
horrendous news, and keep us moving forward toward the light of new
beginnings.

RENEWAL #1: Clean some business slates. The spring is a great time to wrap
up those lingering business projects and clear the way for new ones. Only
you know what's weighing heavy on your To Do list -- scratch them off once
and for all by either spending a few late nights in a row or by simply
dropping them altogether through a re-prioritization of your goals. Use
spring time to meet or delete business goals, save the summer for planning
the next school year's business agenda, and the fall for launching new
projects.

RENEWAL #2: Plant a garden with your children. Take time to smell the
roses...and plant new ones! To usher in each new spring with a wonderful
sense of affirmation, design a perennial garden with your children.
Watching the plants take root and then blossom in the same spot each year
is redeeming and replenishing for all.

RENEWAL #3: Date your spouse. February may be billed as the month of
romance, but just about all who know love know that the months of spring
pull more heart strings than any other. Start a new hobby, take a new
course, or have a private dinner once a week -- whatever you choose, just
do it together! There's no time like the present time to restore and/or
strengthen your marriage, so express your intentions today.

RENEWAL #4: Rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. One way to carry out all
three at once is to exercise...outdoors. There's nothing like fresh air to
clear the mind and brighten the spirit, whether you're taking a relaxing
stroll or an ambitious mountain climb. So leave the gym, the aerobic videos
and the running machines behind and take to the sidewalks, bike paths and
wooded trails to get your heart pumping. For a great piece of inspiration
and advice on this very subject, check out the April Stress Management
column, written by EP Volunteer Desiree Scales, at
<http://en-parent.com/EPcenters/stress4.htm>.

Whether or not you live in a part of the world that is experiencing the
natural renewal of Spring, this is always a good time of year for restoration
and reflection. Tonight, crack your bedroom window open and let the night air
cool down your worries. Allow some fresh thoughts and fresh dreams to ease in
with the breeze.

=====
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
<<http://en-parent.com/bkinfo.htm>>

_____________________________________
WHAT'S IT WORTH?

"Ms. Fix-it"
by deB Sechrist

Back when I was a single parent on a very tight budget, my microwave oven
just stopped working. As you can imagine, it was a disaster. Here was
something I used on a daily basis and could not afford to replace. Calls to
the local repair shop brought the dismal news that it would cost nearly as
much to repair it as it would to buy a new one. Learn to live without it? I
wasn't willing to do that. ;-)

So I decided to see if I could figure it out myself. First, off came the
cover. On close inspection of a fuse, I couldn't tell for sure if it was
burned out, so I removed it and headed for the appliance store. But after
spending the $4 for the new fuse and installing it, the oven still didn't
work. I checked the power cord and connections to all the parts inside. All
seemed fine. Then I checked the door latch assembly, which was a white
plastic affair that was made to catch on to another plastic set in the
door. I pushed down on the latch and it didn't move down enough to catch
the way it should. I tightened a loose screw holding the assembly in, and
tested the oven. It worked! I had just saved myself over $100 and had my
microwave back!

Since then, I decided to take on the challenge to fix things myself
whenever I can. I've repaired lamps (replaced the power cords), fans
(soldered a loosened control button connection), ceiling fans (replaced the
pull switch), my computer track ball (shored up a glued plastic button
hinge with a flexible eraser), toilets (replaced the flush mechanism),
plumbing leaks (replaced washers), video games (cleaned contacts with a
pencil eraser), and light fixtures (replaced the ceramic assembly and
rewired the fixture).

Over time, I've picked up a lot of tips and learned many procedures from
the DIY shows on cable TV such as Discovery or The Learning Channel (if you
don't have cable, check your PBS listings). The shows offer random projects
and very concise, clear explanations of how to repair many common household
appliances. A local library might offer books or videos on home repair, and
community colleges or high schools often offer courses in electronics or
auto repair. Check your community news to find retired plumbers,
carpenters, electricians and appliance repairmen who will repair more
complicated items but charge less than the service centers and retail
repair shops.

I wouldn't recommend trying to repair anything that's still under warranty
or covered by a service contract, as you'll void the warranty by opening
the appliance yourself. And I wouldn't recommend trying to repair anything
electronic until you've had some professional training -- many items carry
an electrical charge that could injure you if not handled correctly. But if
it's something you'd have to throw out or have someone repair before you
can use it, there's usually no harm in trying to fix it yourself, and you
can save yourself money if (when!) you succeed.

Armed with a basic tool kit and an intrepid spirit (which you already have
as an EP!), you'll be able to do things you never thought possible! It's
very satisfying to be able to fix things yourself, and you'll be pleased
with the money you'll save not having to repair or replace the things you use every day.

=====
deBorah Sechrist is the mother of three, Webmanager of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find out more about deB
at http://www.en-parent.com/webdsn.htm.

____________________________________________
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 kind of
income what's all the effort for? Making Money Matters! This week Brian and
Lois of Brimar Lodge, located on the Tutukaka Coast of New Zealand (near
the bottom of the world <g>) shares their marketing tips with us. You can
reach Brimar Lodge at 1890 Ngunguru Road, Tutukaka Coast, RD3 Whangarei,
Nthld., NZ, Ph: 64-9-4343951; Fax: 64-9-4344951, URL:
http://www.slatertrust.co.nz; Email:

=====
1. In a 2-3 sentence statement, explain what your home business is about.

We operate a fairly large Bed & Breakfast, called "Homestay Lodge" from our
home called "Brimar Lodge."

2. Tell us a bit about your latest marketing campaign. What marketing
efforts have you noticed yield the greatest results, and why do you think
they do so?

We have been in this business now for 7 years, and initially we advertised
only in the popular accommodation booklets. This type of marketing proved
totally inadequate and so we branched out to advertising in sporting
magazines dealing with sea-based activities, such as scuba diving, deep sea
fishing, kayaking, etc. Such advertising increased our visitor rate by
about 50% and we found that we received a greater percentage of scuba
divers than any other type of guests. They came from all over the world and
proved to be very interesting folk.

This contact with scuba divers increased our personal interest in the
sport, and for the first time we became aware of the wonders of the "Poor
Knights Islands" which lie just 20 odd miles off the Tutukaka Coast.
Because of this interest we made friends with several dive operators who
had Web sites on the Internet. They reported phenomenal increases in their
bookings, so naturally we started our own Web site. Then of course we
learned that it was necessary to register with search engines in order to
be noticed by the "punters." Even with all this elaborate planning and
expense we only experienced a marginal increase in our visitor nights for
the first few months, and even then we were unsure of the exact reason for
the increase. In other words, we felt a little doubtful about the success
of this new medium.

However, soon we decided that our visiting friends (guests) deserved a
regular follow-up about the area and about the sporting activities through
the medium of a monthly e-mail newsletter. What a reaction! Bookings
started to flood in after the first few newsletters. It may be that the
regular contact keeps us at the forefront of our friends' minds, which in
turn results in referrals to like-minded folk, or maybe the hot link to our
URL held in our "signature" helps, along with the links to local dive
operator URL sites.

Whatever it may be, we are certain that the change in our throughput came
when we started to consider our visitors as "friends" rather than as
guests.

3. Any additional comments are welcome.

Now, through the added medium of EPnews, we aim to make *new*
friends...because "making friends" now matters far more to us than "making
money!" ;-)

____________________________________
EP Q&As

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
http://en-parent.com/experts.com (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!

From our EP Cyber/Copywriting Expert:

Q. Joe, I have a proven marketing process on video that shows companies how
to increase their business by 50% without increasing their spending. I
guarantee it will do what I say or I'll refund their money. I've got 4
pages of testimonials about this proven process -- about 60 so far. Any
suggestions for an ad headline or tag line?

Thanks,
Beetle

A. Beetle, your video sounds terrific. I mean it. I read your question
three times and thought, "Beetle should run his *question* as a headline!"
But since that might be too long, here are some quick ideas:

"How to Increase Your Business by 50% -- Guaranteed!"
"How to Spend No More Money Yet Double Your Business -- Guaranteed!"
"I Guarantee to Double Your Business -- or You Pay Nothing!"
"At last! New Method Can Easily Double Your Business -- Guaranteed!"

Those are off the top of my head. Another idea is to take any one of your
testimonials and run *it* as your headline. Testimonals can be powerful,
and anything in quotation marks tends to get noticed very quickly. A
testimonial-headline might do the trick for you.

And here's yet another tip or two for you: Go read anything by John Caples.
He wrote classic books on how to write advertising, including "How to Make
Your Advertising Make Money," which might stimulate your thinking. And read
my own book, "The AMA Complete Guide to Small Business Advertising," which
contains a chapter on 30 ways to write headlines. Finally, pick up a copy
of "Reader's Digest" magazine and scan their article titles. They know how
to write headlines and you might get inspired by reading a few of theirs.

Hope that helps.

All the best,
Joe

=====
Joe "Mr. Fire!" Vitale is the author of "CyberWriting: How to Promote Your
Product or Service Online (Without Being Flamed)" and many other books, as
well as the owner of a home-based copywriting service. To learn more about
Joe and get free marketing tips, go to http://www.mrfire.com; to ask him a
question, go to http://en-parent.com/Experts/exp-vitale.htm, and to get an
automatic reply about Joe, write to .

_____________________________________
WE RECOMMEND

As parents, we are all stunned and appalled by the tragedy last week at
Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Before the issues involved
(gun control, the proliferation of violent media, school security and more)
fade away from national attention, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you voice your
opinion to your elected officials. With the Internet, it's easy now to find
government offices and who represents you, track votes by your members of
Congress, and express your position on matters imperative to today's
parents. Go to:

My Government: Making it Work -- http://government.aol.com/mygov/

Also, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you take a close look at the "entertainment"
inventory your children have collected -- from video tapes to electronic
games to favorite Internet "bookmarks." While violence in entertainment
media may be just the tip of the iceberg of concern, this tip is sharp and
is relatively easy to purge from our individual homes...

=====
Work life, home life " most of us do our best to juggle the two. But a
growing number of Americans are choosing a different path. They're
telecommuting, working at home, and starting their own businesses " trading
"normal" work life for the freedom, financial reward, and family time they
couldn't find at the office. Sound rosy? Check out this month's edition of
Value America Live! as we examine the Small Office/Home Office
world...featuring "How to Raise a SOHO Family" -- an EP excerpt article!

Go to:
http://www.va.com/links/sohozine/

And don't forget to check out ValueAmerica's main site -- home to the best
products from over 1,200 brands you already know and trust.
ValueAmerica.com is your one-stop Internet source for everything you need "
delivered directly to your home or office.

Go to:
http://www.va.com/link.asp?link=vaed4301
for great values on everything from computers to vitamins and more.

_____________________________________
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP

PR HAPPENINGS:

If you're reading this newsletter in the early Wed. a.m., come take a break
and chat with Lisa at womenCONNECT.com! -- Join WCC's Live Chat, Wed.,
April 28, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. EST Topic: Small Office/Home Office -- Discuss
working from home and entrepreneurial parenthood with Lisa Roberts.
This chat is sponsored by ValueAmerica.com -- don't forget to read their
SOHO special edition e-zine at:

http://www.va.com/links/sohozine/

Also, for those of you who are subscribers to Home Office Computing, you
may get a kick out of seeing Lisa & her gang as the featured "Office
Design" profile in the May issue, distributed this past weekend. Design
mission? A Childproof Home Office.

COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS:

Lisa and deB are thrilled to welcome two new EP volunteers who will both be
serving the EP Community directly...EP to EP! JERALYNN BURKE is our new "EP
Discussion Forum Moderator" and SUE PILLER is our new "Membership
Development Leader." Both Jeralynn and Sue are charter members of the
National Association of Entrepreneurial Parents (NAEP) -- you can view
their EP Profiles at the EP Showcase --
http://en-parent.com/Profiles/Showcase.htm -- come take a look!

As the Membership Development Leader, Sue Piller will be spearheading
membership drive efforts for both EP and NAEP. She will also be welcoming
EP members and offering "tours" around the EP site to help orient new
members. You'll be hearing more about and from Sue in the near future, so
stay tuned!

As the Discussion Forum Moderator, Jeralynn will be leading and moderating
the threads of discussion at both the message board at our site (which has
now merged as one), and the newly-revised EP listserv at onelist.com (which
is being introduced for the first time to our newsletter subscribers
today!). Since both features deal with discussions involving EP to EP
contact, these two forums dovetail nicely together and Jeralynn is excited
to offer her support to all those in the EP Community who wish to
communicate directly with each other.

On our end, we're very excited to publicly introduce the EP discussion list
to our community. Unlike this newsletter mailing list (EPnews), which
enables the staff of EP to share "news" about the Entrepreneurial Parent
site as well as essays, articles, inspirational quotes, Q&As, etc. with our
subscribers, the EP discussion list will provide our community with access
to intelligent, supportive, well-moderated threads of discussion among EPs
themselves. This is where you'll be able to share your daily tribulations
and triumphs, recommend your favorite business tools, and form vital
colleague contacts. It's also where you may occasionally explore your
concerns and opinions regarding responsible parenthood in light of current
events.

To subscribe to the EP discussion list, go to:
http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/EP

We'll see you there!

Have an opinion or idea about EP? Let's hear it -- mailto: . We
look forward to hearing what you have to say!

____________________________________
NAEP MEMBERSHIP DISCOUNT REMINDER

Time is running out on the EPnews Subscriber Discount for Charter
Membership in the National Association of Entrepreneurial Parents (NAEP) --
this is THE LAST REMINDER!

NAEP, a "real-time" community and career resource for the 15-million strong
who are pursuing home-based careers while raising their growing families,
will be officially launching to the "real world" in May & June of this year. This is YOUR LAST REMINDER -- the discount cut-off date is May 1,1999.

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SPECIAL EPNEWS SUBSCRIBER DISCOUNT RATE:

DISCOUNT: Join 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 (after May 1, 1999, membership dues will be $45
for the first year, $60 for two years, and $25 for renewals after that, for
everyone).

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS: NAEP benefits include a Profile Page at the EP
Showcase, an EP product, Annual Membership Directory, a brochure on
developing a local support group of EPs, and more. (See
<http://en-parent.com/membership2.htm> for a complete listing of NAEP
membership benefits.)

TERMS OF DISCOUNT: 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 <http://en-parent.com/member2.htm>, 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 Rate.

MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE: 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:
http://en-parent.com/member2.htm
to order your Charter Membership in NAEP

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___________________________
CONTACT/SUBSCRIPTION INFO

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; http://en-parent.com
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email:

Community email addresses:
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