- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
- Volume 3, Issue 3
May 12, 1999
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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
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indirectly, as well, by creating exciting new ways to purchase
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Well, EPs no
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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,
Cindy (mailto: [email protected]):
My 6 year old son had just received
a magic wand. He waved it over my head
and said, "Abra-cadabra, make my Mom pretty." Taken
back by his "wish," I
was just about ready to reply when he said, "Awesome Mom,
Now how can I argue with that?
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
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts
It's "Birthday Week"
at the Roberts Household and I am presently immersed
in milestones. My oldest child, Jessica, is turning twelve this
weekend and my oldest son, William, just turned nine this past
Along with my daughter's birthday I am reminded that it has been
years since I've been working at home. And since two out of four
Mother's Day cards on Sunday featured drawings of a computer
I'm also reminded that everything I do and say in my children's
being examined, processed and ultimately judged by each and every
them. (That's a lot of pressure for one parent to take, wouldn't
Another milestone this week involves
an unusual field trip my daughter is
on. Her entire Middle School sixth grade class left for upstate
early Monday morning to experience "Nature's Classroom"...until
an entire week, she will be learning about nature through hands-on
experiences in the lovely Adirondaks. Since my husband and I
sent her away to sleepover camp, this is a turning point for
all of us.
To make the separation anxiety
sharper, all parents are instructed not to
telephone their children unless there's an emergency. While we
this is to keep the phone lines clear and distractions/interruptions
to a minimum, it did make the "Have a wonderful time --
don't worry about
anything" harder to get out before she boarded the school
But as always, there's a window
of opportunity every time we're thrust
outside our personal comfort zones. For Jessica, the opportunity
learn about the great outdoors at the same time she begins to
world outside her parents' perspective. For five days, she will
parental commentary on *anything* she experiences, nor will she
anything she witnesses from her parents' role modeling. This
from her parents' physical presence right before she turns twelve
may turn her "separation anxiety" into some much-needed
In the meantime, I still personally
feel like I'm under the microscope with
the remaining children at home. My son William's Mother's Day
card is a
case in point. In it, he features a picture of a big heart and
head, and writes:
Remember what you told me.
No matter how big your brain is,
your heart has to be bigger.
Happy mother's day.
I hope you have a good one.
I love you.
(FYI, William is a "Pokemon"
fan whose favorite super-monster is a
character called "Squirtle." If any of you happen to
have a son under 10
years old, you probably know what I'm talking about! "Squirtle"
to become my son's "Happy Thought." For instance, he
asked the baker to
draw one on his b-day cake, and whenever he wants a hug from
been the "password" of late...)
William's card struck me as poignant
for a number of reasons. First off, he
clearly processed the message I was trying to get across after
Littleton, Colorado tragedy -- that a bright brain with a dim
heart was a
dangerous combination. Like Hitler, Scrooge and the Grinch Who
Christmas, the students who planned that massacre lost their
pursuit of their "master minds"...and William, who
happens to have a bright
mind (and thankfully a bright heart!) himself, must be heeding
Secondly, the rest of the card
sends me the message that in his eyes, my
work is full of love and "happy thoughts." The cover
of the card has a
clip-art picture of a computer system, with the character of
hand-drawn on the monitor screen, and the words "Happy/Squirtle/Mother's
Day!" typed underneath. There's a cable drawn in marker
from the computer
on the outside of the card to a hand-drawn printer on the inside
card. Inside, the words "The Magical Printer" is scrawled
in blue marker
above the printer, which is surrounded by three page printouts
-- two of
bright red hearts and one of a blue-green "Squirtle."
While I am not schooled in analyzing
children's drawings, I can't help but
open this card and hear the words "I'm watching you!"
written all over it,
and the message "I'm OK, You're OK" shining through
too. Between the
integration of love and work on the one side, and the large heart
overriding the small brain on the other side, he sees what I
do (work at
home) and hears what I say (about current events) and repeats
after me. He
"gets it"...at least for now.
It's "Birthday Week"
at the Roberts Household and I am presently immersed
in heavy thoughts. (I guess that's why they're called mile*stones*?)
I should "lighten up" -- especially with all this fresh
Spring air around
me -- but that microscope lense feels awfully heavy and frankly
for comfort. But what can I do? I also know without a doubt that
"separation relief" is around the corner for all of
us, and when it comes I
am certain it will come too soon.
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
by deB Sechrist
When you have a repair project
that you're just not sure you can do
yourself, a cost-effective way to find out is to schedule an
a reputable repair company. As one subscriber, a single mother
Raleigh, NC, writes:
"I have gotten an estimate,
found out that it was too high, and they've
been gracious enough to tell me exactly how to do it myself....
I had a big roof leak/problem but it turned out it involved only
shingle in an accessible spot ... the roofer said, 'If we do
it, we have to
send 2 people and we charge a minimum of $200 no matter how small
is.' Then he said he thought I could do it and he told me what
Most companies will come and
give an estimate for about $20 to $40 and many
will give their expert opinion on your options. Ask them to show
explain what the cause of the failure is and how they would fix
the cost of the parts and labor separately will be and what tools
need to fix it yourself, or why you may not be able to do it
After the estimate, if you feel
it would be appropriate to have the
professional do the work, our reader advises:
"I watch closely when I
do need to call in a professional (to learn how to
do it and pick up general tips-deB). I also ask the person how
I can save
money and still have him/her do the job. One of the biggest parts
of a bill
is simply the trip out to your house. You can save money by "saving
little problems/improvements etc. when possible. I called a plumber
stopped-up toilet that the plunger couldn't handle, knew there
minimum, so asked him to adjust a couple other small things at
"An easy way to save is
to buy the replacement materials yourself and have
them ready when the fix-it person comes. Can't resist adding
learn-the-hard-way tale from 15 years ago ... when I was new
and lived in south Florida, an electrician said, oh so kindly,
like me to swing by and pick up a ceiling fan from Home Depot?'
thought, Great! One less hassle for me! But he charged me his
electrician's rate for the travel time, stand-in-line time, etc."
Check your neighborhood coupon
mailer or yellow pages coupons for free
estimates or new customer discounts on repair work around the
down your questions and note price quotes given so that you can
informed decisions about your options when professional help
deBorah Sechrist is the mother of three, Webmanager of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find out more
MAKING MONEY MATTERS
Oops! We ran out of survey responses
for this issue. This is where we
highlight a particular home business or freelancer and discuss
business makes its money. This column gives aspiring EPs a handle
it takes to bring in an income at home, and provides a springboard
for them to start brainstorming. It also gives the profiled EP
a chance to
deliver their "sales pitch" to over 1,400 prospects
(our subscribers) at
Let's take this opportunity to
reach our mutual goals together. If you'd
like to help us out and spread the word about what you do at
the same time,
please return the survey below promptly (just copy & hit
return, answer the
questions, and write in the subject heading "Making Money
please note that the survey is geared to solo entrepreneurs,
not MLM or
network marketers. We thank you in advance for your cooperation
MAKING MONEY MATTERS SURVEY
1. In a 2-3 sentence statement,
explain what your home business is about,
including your target market and "mission statement."
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
right price/fee schedule for them?
3. What are *your* favorite products
and/or services? Why do you like to
4. Tell us a bit about your marketing
campaign. When did you start noticing
your first sales (after which marketing technique), what marketing
have you noticed yield the greatest results, and how do you make
contact and subsequent sales (via online, phone, fax, mail, face-to-face)?
5. Any additional comments are
Thank you for your contribution
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 Part-Time Career
Q. I am currently a manager of
sales representatives for a global consumer
goods company. I am thinking of resigning after 9 years with
My skills and experience lie in motivating, managing and dealing
people. I am looking to explore a consulting business to run
from my home
so I can spend some more time with my 2 pre-schoolers. Where
do I start in
deciding where to apply these skills? I have a university degree
business as well.
A. Having the ability to manage
and motivate people is a valuable skill set
with many applications in the business world. Most businesses
for top flight managers who know how to keep their workers happy
productive. Working as a consultant to help companies train their
on effective management, communication and motivation skills
may be a good
outlet for your talents.
The first issue you want to address
is to define your service. Ask
yourself, "what specific knowledge do I have that companies
want and are
willing to pay for?" The easiest way to find an answer to
this question may
be to analyze the needs of your current employer. Perhaps they
business problem that you are uniquely qualified to handle and
address on a freelance basis. After all, they know the quality
of your work
and may be happy to hire you as a contractor, rather than lose
Likewise, a competitor may be
interested in having you as a consultant
because you possess a unique understanding of the needs of their
It will be much easier to move into the consulting world if you
your area of expertise and experience.
It takes time and patience to
build a succesful consulting practice.
However, this may work to your advantage, because it will afford
to spend with your children while they are in the pre-school
Hopefully, by the time they are in elementary school, you will
have a more
established work routine to your day.
There are several excellent resources
available to help you with the
logistics of establishing your new venture. "How to Start
Business" by Ben Chant and Melissa Morgan, "The McGraw-Hill
Starting Your Own Business: A Step-by-Step Blueprint for the
Entrepreneur" by Stephen C. Harper and "Start and Run
Consulting Business: A Step-by-Step Business Plan" by Douglas
A. Gray. All
of these books are available through the EP Bookstore at
I hope this helps!
Nancy Collamer is President of Collamer Career Counseling, a
career consulting firm that specializes in counseling stay-at-home
looking to re-enter the workforce and full-time working moms
start their own businesses. To learn more about Nancy and/or
her career counseling services, go to http://www.bizine.com/jobsformoms;
ask her a single question, go to
Job Options, http://www.joboptions.com,
the next generation in employment
sites, pioneered online employment services in 1991. As the Internet's
site for job listings, career tools and HR resources, JobOptions
many positions that represent the growing popularity of contracting
other types of self-employment. Go to:
and look at the Job Category
pull-down menu. "Consulting" is one of the
options. Also check out the "Working Parents" page
in Career Tools. Email:
or call (800) 682-2901.
From Maureen Callahan of JobOptions:
"It is becoming less popular to choose
and stick with one company throughout a professional's career,
particularly the under 40 workforce is turning to the flexibility
contract positions and consulting work, in multiple industries.
EP and what it represents!"
As parents, we are still stunned and appalled by the recent tragedy
Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. The issues involved
control, violence in entertainment/media, breakdown of family
already starting to fade away from national attention. Therefore
RECOMMEND that you stay involved by visiting and participating
following Internet Campaigns for parents against violence:
National PTA / Violence Kids
Crisis / What You Can Do --
"Gun Safety First"
Campaign, brought to you by MoveOn.org --
Taking just the first step --
visiting the above URLs -- may help you feel
just a little more empowered as a parent than you do right now...
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
OUR FIRST EP EVENT:
Believe it or not, the "EP
Home Office Clean-Up Day" is upon us -- mark
your calendars for Wednesday, May 26, 1999 if you haven't done
For those just joining us, the original idea was that if one
month all members of the EP Community would commit to cleaning
home offices in one full swoop, then it wouldn't be such a chore
of us to tackle the job individually. A "thumbs up"
vote came in, and
Debbie Williams of "Let's Get It Together" (www.organizedtimes.com)
volunteered to spearhead our very first "EP Event."
If you'd like to participate,
here are the activities:
1. Essay Contest -- Write an
essay entitled "Why My Office Needs A
Makeover" and you may win a FREE CONSULT (email consult
on the topic of
your choice) with Professional Organizer Debbie Williams, as
well as a copy
of her booklet, "Office Organizing 101." The winning
entry will be chosen
by select members of our "EP Expert" panel. Deadline
for submissions is
Mon., May 17, 1999 (mailto:[email protected]
with the subject heading
"EP Essay Contest"), so get started if you're interested!
BTW, all essay
submissions will be considered for publication at the EP site,
2. Photo Contest -- Take a before
& after picture of your home office and
select members of our "EP Expert" panel will choose
the EP who worked the
hardest on "EP Office Clean-Up Day" ;-)! The winning
entry will receive a
free product at the EP Member Store (go to:
to see). Deadline for photo submission
is June 9, 1999, and all photos will be posted with EP Member
info on a
special page at our Web site (unless otherwise requested), so
this is a
great way to pique some interest in your business as well.
3. Email and/or Phone Chain --
Let's remind and encourage each other to get
through our cleaning day by setting up an email and/or phone
chain. For all
those interested, hit "reply" to this newsletter or
send a message to
and we'll put you on our Email/Phone Chain list
(indicate whether you'd like to be on the email or phone chain).
A few days
before the "big day," you'll get the name of a fellow
EP to contact, and
we'll pass your name on to someone else as well. This is a fun
"reach out and touch someone" while motivating each
other to tackle the job
of all jobs...filing/sorting/cleaning/etc.
4. Office Clean-Up Checklist
-- We'll put a special page up at EP that will
include a "Clean-Up Checklist" to help you organize
your clean-up day!!
If you have any questions about
any of the above, feel free to ask. Thanks
to all those interested and if you, like me, are typing amongst
a sea of
papers...don't worry -- the day of relief is on its way soon!
IN THE EP COMMUNITY:
Lisa and deB are thrilled to
welcome yet another new EP Volunteer who will
be spearheading our online marketing campaign. SANDRA LINVILLE-THOMAS
our new "Promotions Director" who has a freelance writing
business of her
own, and will be seeking reciprocal link exchanges for EP among
reputable business and parenting Web resources on the Internet
wish Sandra much success with her new project, because her good
will benefit us all!
Meanwhile, EP Volunteer Jeralyn
Burke has officially opened the EP Forums
-- a discussion list and a bulletin board for the EP Community
business resources (not business opportunities!) as well as personal
support, information, ideas, and any other thoughts that are
on your mind.
She's anxious to get the discussions on both forums going, so
to join in as soon as you get a chance!
BTW, if you're a registered Associate
Member at EP (by filling out the form
you will be recieving your personal
invitiation to join the EP mailing list some day soon, if you
Now there's an easy way to find
the articles and information you want
quickly with our new Search Engine. Brought to you by our host
the Webinator spider has indexed our site and is ready for action.
Search offers several custom search features and can be found
Have an opinion or idea? Let's
hear it -- mailto: [email protected].
look forward to hearing what you have to say!
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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