Your Resources
@ The Entrepreneurial Parent

Your Family
Your Career
Your Business
EP Expert

EP Mailing Lists

Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter or join our daily discussion!

 || Previous Issue || Back to the EPnews Archives || Read the next issue ||
|| Contribute to EPnews || Ad Rates || Comment on EPnews ||
EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
Volume 3, Issue 5
June 1999


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.


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


As some of our long-time subscribers are aware, this Father's Day marks a
somber anniversary for my family. On the eve of Father's Day last year, my
husband took a call from my brother notifying us that my father was in the
hospital with "pneumonia." That was the beginning of a dreadful summer,
when the news grew worse with each passing day, and every far-fetched hope
was dashed with the reality that my father's time was coming and there was
no stopping it. On the late evening of August 14, 1998, my father passed
from this world to the next, after a day full of visits, his favorite music
still lingering in the air, and his face turned fully towards his "one true
thing," my mother.

Some time after he died, my mother and I went to a movie together to escape
our thoughts for a moment. The movie was called "Smoke Signals," and
unbeknownst to us it was about a young man who tries to come to terms with
his late father's failings. I cried because I realized I had no terms to
come to -- I had nothing to forgive, nothing to regret, nothing to say that
I hadn't said to him time and time again. And there was nothing left
unsaid/undone on my father's part either. In my heart as I know in his we
are both at peace, as we have been for many, many years now.

On this Father's Day, I am reminded of "Smoke Signals" not only because I
am again aware of how blessed I have been throughout my life to have such a
wonderfully wise and supportive father, but because awareness continues to
stir around the reality that there are many others who are not as lucky as
I. So many others suffer so from unexpressed feelings, a hardened or empty
heart, and the inability to forgive. I can't imagine what that would be
like, and today I thank my father for that -- yet another gift he gave me.

This issue of EPnews is dedicated to my father, but it is also extended to
thank and acknowledge all the fathers in our lives, for whatever they gave
us, for whatever they didn't, whatever they couldn't. May each of us take
some time this week to embrace whatever we have inherited, whatever we have
lost, and whatever we have learned that we can pass down to the next
generation in a positive way.

For those of you who were as blessed as I to have had a dear and "present"
(in every respect) father, I have compiled a small tribute to mine that I
would like to share. It's at:

And to the Dads and "dhs" (dear husbands) on this list, a very Happy
Father's Day to all, and may you be as generous towards your children with
your time, thoughts and energy as you possibly can be.


Submitted by EP Co-Founder, Lisa Roberts ([email protected]):

Recently I was telling my 3-year old a story about his late Grandpa. We
were visiting the cabin in the Poconos that my father built, and I was
explaining to my son how he not only built the walls and floors and
ceiling, but how he hung up all the pictures and installed all the cabinets
and screwed in all the electrical sockets as well. Then I checked to make
sure he knew who I was referring to, since he was only 2 when my Dad passed
away. I said, "Where is Grandpa now?" Without a beat, he answered, "He's in
heaven." He was quiet for a moment, and then added, very seriously, "Mama,
when Grandpa comes back from heaven, can I show him my toys?"


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:
[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 "The
Funny Things Kids Say" @ On those
stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!


"Grandpa's Swingset"
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts

To inspire me as I work, I surround myself with bits and pieces of
encouragement that decorate my home office and beyond. There is the artwork
of my four children, taped haphazardly on the wall behind my desk. There
are special thank-you notes from visitors of EP tacked on the windowsill
directly behind my monitor. There are books written by colleagues and
contacts that line the office shelves.

But there is no other work of inspiration as monumental as the swingset in
full view of my home office window. To me, it is a testament of faith that
reaches beyond time, distance and generation. It grounds me at the same
time it pulls me forward, through every season, through every day.

I remember the morning my father began to build it. Two years ago this
spring, he pulled up my driveway with a load of lumber on top of his car.
As my mother and I unloaded packages of food, clothes and other what-not
that always arrived with my parents during their bi-weekly, three-day
visits, my father unloaded the lumber and tools he had brought for this
day's work.

As custom, my dad labored from early in the morning until late afternoon,
with breaks only for glasses of water, and everyone stayed clear of his
way. Only once, before getting started, did he call anyone towards him.
"Where do you want it?" he asked me, his eyes illuminating with
possibility. We then began a lengthy discussion on the logistics of the
backyard -- the nearby trees, the view from the street, the proximity to
the house. But ultimately the location was made based on my ability to keep
an eye on the children as I worked in my office and they played outside.

Relatively speaking, the job was a breeze for my dad. He had twenty years
of construction work behind him. He had built two homes: one from scratch,
in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains, and the other in Long Island, after
his year-round home nearly burned to the ground. He was also every relative
and friend's favorite renovator and handiman, finishing basements for one,
turning attics into bedrooms for another. He applied his innate sense of
architectural design, practical hands-on knowledge and playful imagination
to every project. And throughout my life, there seemed *always* to be
another project before him.

That day my kids and I watched as the sticks of wood became ladders to
climb up, beams that held swing chains, and a gate that formed a forte. By
evening, four pairs of legs and arms were swinging and pushing and
twirling, in a celebration of life and love and joy that only children with
a Grandpa like theirs could arouse.

But my father had only one year to watch his grandchildren enjoy the
swingset he had built for them. On the eve of Father's Day last spring, he
was hospitalized with a severe shortness of breath. We all thought that he
fell ill because he had been consumed in a whirlwind of physical activity
just two weeks before. This time last year, his Long Island home had been
due for an exterior paint job, and from early in the morning until late
afternoon, day after day, he had climbed his well-worn ladder to prep and
then to paint the entire house. When that job was completed, he took a
break for two days and drove himself and my mother to the Poconos to give
*that* home a final coating too. Feeling drained and overworked at
sixty-seven years old, he thentook his old ladder and broke it into pieces, knowing he could never take on the job of exterior house painting again...

But as it turned out, it was not overexertion that he was suffering from.
Only a few days after Father's Day last year, our family was delivered the
fatal news that my father had "malignant mesothelioma" -- cancer of the
lining of the lung, caused by his persistent exposure to asbestos thirty
years ago when he was in the construction business. There would be no more
projects, no more labor, no more work of any kind. In a matter of weeks,
his lungs and legs would fill with water, and it would become an
extraordinary effort just to walk across the room to brush his teeth.

Days before he died, and not knowing that he would so soon, my father wrote
a letter in his recliner chair that he was by then confined to. It was
addressed to his brothers and sisters (he was the youngest of nine, all but
one still alive) and their children, who were gathering at our annual
family reunion. To me, his letter represents an inner strength that matched
-- in fact has always surpassed -- his physical.


To My Dear Family and Friends,

I want to thank you all for your constant prayers and deep faithful support.
I know that through all our prayers, together we can achieve God's wishes,
whatever they may be. "Thy will be done."

I ask you all to keep up your prayers and support.
I need all of you to help me through this time in my life.
I promise that if you continue to pray for me,
I will hang in there until my very last thread of hope.

I love you all very much and leave you to ponder on one of my favorite gems.

Your Brother, Your Uncle and Your Friend, Phillie

"I Believe in the Sun
Even When it is Not Shining
I Believe in Love
Even when I am Alone
I Believe in God
Even when He is Silent."

(--Author Anonymous)


Today, when I look out the window and see my children's swingset, I am
filled with a faith of my own. I believe that the love for both work and
family canmerge to create wonderful things. I believe in pursuing the line
of work that God calls me to, even if it may somehow put me at risk. And I
believe in my father's love, his presence and his sparkle of possibility,
even if I can no longer see the projects he is working on now.

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." To purchase your copy, go to:


"Frugal Legacies"
by deB Sechrist

Many of us are frugal because our parents and grandparents are: we find
ourselves doing frugal things because we remember being taught by example.
The generations who are now aged 50-80 lived thru some very hard times,with
years of depression and later war shortages. It's interesting to ask your
fathers and grandfathers what little things they used to do to save money,
or have always done and still do. The legacies can be very inspiring!

My father used to take us along to the beverage distributors to buy Pepsi
by the case at a lower price, along the back roads where the farmers sold
fresh produce much cheaper than the grocery store, out to the
pick-your-ownstrawberry patches (five kids can pick a lot of strawberries
quickly!), and to the cider mills in the fall to buy fresh apple cider by
the gallon.

I remember being at my father's mother's house when I overheard her
refusing a collect call from her son, my uncle. He had just returned home
to Florida after a visit to their home in New York, and often liked to
drive the entire trip straight through, about 26 hours. She explained that
he would call to let her know he had safely arrived, but he called collect
so it was free when she refused to accept the charges.

I asked my stepfather (Bill Bruce of LaBelle, FL: homepage for some input; this is what he

"My mom use to tell me how her mom (who came from Holland) would count how
many potatoes were in the sack she bought and would go to the place that
put the most potatoes in the sack."

Sounds like she and I would have enjoyed shopping together! ;-)

Bill has some thoughts from his own lifetime habits of frugal living:

"We always flatten the tube of tooth paste and then roll it up from the
bottom. I still do to this day as a rule. I roll a glass back and forth
over it. I also lay a bottle on it's side to get out the last few drops.
When I was younger and riding a scooter to and from work and school, I
would put a piece of cardboard in my left shoe. After pumping with my
leftfoot while riding scooter, a hole was always worn through quickly. The
cardboard gave the shoes a longer life, and helped keep my foot dry when it
was wet."

deB Sechrist is the mother of three, Webmanager 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 Ernest F.
Oriente, the father of three and owner of PowerHour, Professional Business
Coaching, shares his marketing tips with us. You can contact him at Ph:
435-615-8486, Fax: 435-615-8670, Email: [email protected], URL: Happy Father's Day Ernest! :-)

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

I am a professional business coach and I work with my clients all by
telephone, as they live/work around the world. Because I work by
telephone, I no longer travel for business, which means I can now enjoy
wonderful time with my wife and three children. As a business coach, I
have spent 7,100 hours helping my clients reach their dreams/goals.

2. What are the most popular services you sell? What is your hourly rate,
and how did you find the right fee schedule for them?

I work with my clients once a week for either 45 or 60 minutes per call and
I'm paid $400-$1000 per month. With manyof my larger clients, we work by
conference call, which lets me coach/guide teams of 20-50+ participants
within their company.

3. What are your favorite services? Why do you like to sell them?

We provide private, one-on-one coaching and group coaching. In addition to
my business coaching, we provide "world-class" assessment reports, the kind
3M® and Xerox® use, to help our clients hire and promote SuperStars.

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, face-to-face)?

Since all of our coaching is done by telephone we follow the"eight
principals for building virtual trust" combined with an effortless
marketing engine. This effortless marketing engine has created 9,000+
subscribers who have requested to receive our weekly/monthly newsletter by
either fax or E-mail. In addition, we also write a monthly article for 200
trade/professional/industry magazines. (To subscribe, go to:


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 EP Dad Expert, Jeff Zbar:

Q. Hello -- We bought a small acreage a year ago and I recently finished
refurbishing the chicken coop and bought 20 broilers to raise for our own
butchering, plus I'm getting hens this week for eggs. I began to think,
well, maybe I could raise more to sell! but I really don't know who would
buy them. The lady at the hatchery wasn't very supportive, I've never
raised chickens before and I guess she thought I was ignorant. How do you
find your target market? We live 9 miles from the hometown (pop. 2000) and
20 miles from the metro area (pop. 50,000). Any suggestions would be
Thank you for your time, Kathie Cunningham

A. Kathie, as a suburban boy who summered in what once was Denver's rural
outpost called Parker (it's now part of a sprawling suburban mecca itself),
I know little about chickens and eggs (except how I like them cooked). But
marketing is marketing, and it's the same - relatively speaking - for fowl
as it is for automobiles. Define your product, find your market, create
your message, and get it out there.

That said, let's look at your situation. (For those of you who write
articles, build kids' furniture, paint bedrooms, or provide any other
product or services, keep reading. Replace "chickens and eggs" with your
widget, and get your mind flowing...) You live in a rural area, are hoping
to raise broilers and eggs for yourself and for sale. Know that this will
not be easy. People usually find food staples like these early on when they
move to a community, and they're hard pressed to change providers. You have
to MAKE them want to change.

REALITY CHECK: The first 18 months are the hardest. If you're looking to
NOT lose any money, you might have a difficult time of it. For any
enterprise, the honeymoon period lies within the first two years. You're
getting your feet week coming to understand your product, your market and
how the two fit (if at all). Expect to dig into savings somewhat to make
this bird fly, so to speak.

1. What is your product? The short answer is fowl. Chicken and eggs. The
easy answer would be to market it to locals as their source for "The best
broilers this side of XX." You need to define your unique selling
proposition (USP), that is, what sets you apart from the competition, and
capitalize on it. It could be that, unlike many large companies that
sellpoultry and dairy products, you and your husband (kids, too?) are not
faceless corporate entities. Capitalize on this. Create a logo with a
drawing or charicature of your family, and use the tagline, "Our eggs have
a face on them", or something to that effect, which ties your family to
your product. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

2. Who is your audience? Coming so late onto the scene, I'm certain your
neighbors already have their resources for chicken products. That's not to
say you can't endear yourself to them and make them want to buy from you.We
often buy from specific companies because we like the people, not
necessarily because their products are better or cheaper. Get to know the
local grocer.

3. Using that USP, Create your message and market what you do. Come up with
a cute name for the company. Create signs, T-shirts and car decals
emblazoned with it. Next Easter, hold the "Clucker's Chicken Ranch" (insert
the name you create) Easter Egg Hunt. Have egg dyeing contests, invite the
county kids. Serve food and drink. Get your PR machine rolling by sending
out pictures of the hens hard at work pumping out the eggs for the little
ones to enjoy. Can you write a press release? You'd better learn how, or
expect to pay or barter for the service. Ditto with "pitching" your product
to the local or regional media.

What all this boils down to is marketing and positioning yourself and your
business for success. Learn to market your company, and success could be
yours. Keep Goin' SOHO! Jeff

Jeff Zbar is our "EP Dad Expert, a Home-based Writer, Speaker & Author of
Home Office Know-How (Upstart Publishing/Chicago, 1998), and Home Office
Success Stories, a free ezine on working from home. You can reach him at:
Voice: 954-346-4393 Fax: 954-346-0251 Snail: P.O. Box 8263 Coral Springs,
FL 33075-8263 Web: and ask him a question at:

From EP Parenting Expert, Jodie Lynn:

Come on America -- tell us something funny abut your Dad. Jodie Lynn,
nationally syndicated parenting columnist, is hosting a Father's Day "Go
Ahead and Laugh" contest. Send us a poem, story or article on your
favorite guy: Dad, brother, uncle, grandfather, etc. You could be announced
a winner and have your piece published for all the world to see on the www,
win a free copy of Mrs. Lynn's latest book and a chance to possibly get
published in her upcoming book! Go to for contest

On a more serious note:

My Dad
by Jodie Lynn

I had a father I did not know,
he was gone most of the time and mom never told.
He was in and out of trouble because his temper was bad,
You've got the picture -- we were all sad.
I never did anything right,
at least not in his sight.
I tried and tried to get a smile,
failed miserably by a mile.
Today he's old and very sick,
and I thought I wouldn't care --
but to tell you the truth, I'm kind of glad he's still there.
I've called him to see if he's doing OK,
he told me he was sorry for his role in a father he did not play.
For all the times he made me cry,
could I forgive him if I try?
It's hard to swallow all the tears and remember all the horrible bad fears,
But, I took a deep breath and said, "Hey, that's what God wants us to do,
so, Dad, I can too."

Jodie Lynn, nationally syndicated parenting columnist, Parent to Parent,


In honor of "Dad Day," here are the Web sites of our favorite "EP Dads" ;-):

Neal Anderson- e-commerce and contract web design:

Michael Borgia-CPA:

Rex E. Burgamy-online ad service:

Fernando Doylet-web design services:

Jeffrey Hoener-Cyber Mall site:

Kevin Huang-home business resource center:

Michael James Nicholoff-Virtual Merchant Service:

Ken O'Donnell-poetry:


A posting from a reporter forwarded to our EP Discussion List resulted in
some very welcome publicity for three of our EPs! To read all about what
our EPs do when "Driven to Distraction: Chasing Chaos in the Home Office"
(by Julia Wilkinson), go to the 6/11/99 article on Women Connect at:

Also, Grace Housholder, our "EP Humor Expert" and the originator of the
"Funny Things Kids Say" project, gave us a terrific review that was
published in the popular "BRIEFME" newsletter, dated 6/6/99:

If the letters 'EP' don't mean anything to you now, they will after you
visit and start seeing 'EP' (Entrepreneurial
Parent) in every other sentence. The EPs are building an interactive online
community with "events" (such as "Office Clean-Up Day" in May), EP Experts
who serve as mentors, an outstanding newsletter, and a listserv.
Spokesperson Lisa Roberts, mother of four and author of "How To Raise a
Family and a Career Under One Roof," says EPs are on the verge of taking
the EP community to the "next level" with opportunities for EPs to meet
face-to-face. The "National Association of Entrepreneurial Parents (NAEP)"
will be rolling out this month (June, 1999). For parents trying to do it
all, this site, with 350 pages of information and support, has it all.

Thanks much, Grace! ;-)

Please note: if you'd like to subscribe to our discussion list, go to:

If you're interested in becoming a NAEP member, go to:

And if you have kids (and we KNOW you do), have a great summer! C-ya in
July ;-)


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: [email protected] 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: [email protected]

Community email addresses:
Subscribe: [email protected]
Unsubscribe: [email protected]
List owner: [email protected]

Shortcut URL to this page:


 || Previous Issue || Back to the EPnews Archives || Read the next issue ||
|| Contribute to EPnews || Ad Rates || Comment on EPnews ||


EP Showcase | Forums | Membership | Directory | Experts | Career Counseling
Mailing List | Resource Center | Books | Articles | Archives | Web Links | Gift Shop
In the Media | Site Contents | Search Site | About EP | Advertise at EP | Link to Us
© 2000, The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
P.O. Box 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432 |
Please Read Disclaimer Before Using Site | Email: [email protected]