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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
Volume 3, Issue 7
August 18, 1999


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Please forward to a friend, or recommend it to your favorite Web site or
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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

Note to New Subscribers: EPnews is published and distributed on the second
and fourth Wednesday of every month. The Entrepreneurial Parent at is updated every weekend; look for new content on



Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Diana (mailto: [email protected]):

Recently my three year old had an assortment of footwear on the living room
floor. I had to ask her several times to pick them up. Finally, after
becoming quite frustrated, I brought her into the room and said, "Renee, I
have asked that you pick up your shoes three times now...WHY are these not
put away?"

She put her hands on her hips and said, "Those are *sneakers*!"


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!


Lisa is on vacation this month -- check back in September for the next EP
Times column!

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." Copies of her
book are available for purchase at: and
through Amazon, at:


"Back to School on a Budget"
by deB Sechrist

It's a milestone for our family this back-to-school season: last week my
oldest son started his senior year of high school and his little brother
started Kindergarten. Definitely exciting, but what a shock to the budget!
Here are a few things I've learned to help that "BTS" budget stretch as

Many schools have adopted a standardized dress or uniform policy. Although
I know my 5 year old would love to wear his Star Wars shirt to school, I've
found that the standardized clothing is much less expensive per piece, and
quicker/easier for him in the mornings getting ready. We call them his
work clothes, because school is his "job" and just like dad he changes into
"home" clothes as soon as he gets home. This helps the school clothes stay
cleaner and wear longer. Shoes and outerwear have the same rules.

My older son's school doesn't require standardized clothing, but he still
has separate school and home wardrobes, so that just a few pieces (4-5 pair
of pants, 6-7 shirts) will last all year. For items that cost significantly
higher than the uniforms, he contributes most of the difference in price
from his allowance money.

In years when money has been tight, we usually buy just 2-3 outfits at the
start of the school year and pick up individual pieces throughout the year
as we can budget them in. It's a lot easier to budget $30 per month for 6
months than to spend $200 all at once in August. I also like to wait until
the late fall and pick up bargains at the resale and consignment shops, and
have an extensive hand-me-down network with my family and friends to help
keep costs down.

Wash and re-use the smaller heavy duty sealable food storage bags for
home-packed lunches. If you handle the edges and seal area gently when turning the
bag inside out for cleaning, you can use each bag for weeks. I've found
they can withstand about 30 washings: a single box could last an entire
school year. Just be sure to teach the kids to leave them in the lunchbox
instead of throwing them away.

Avoid buying the individual snack packages of chips or crackers: buy a
large bag of chips or pretzels and parcel them out using the sealable
sandwich bags. Recycle margarine or cream cheese containers for free and
handy sealed containers for fruits, salads, and finger foods. Using a
thermos for juice or milk is much less expensive per serving than using the
individual drink boxes or buying sodas from machines.

Finally, when buying school supplies, I've found it easier to purchase the
supply package that the school's PTO has put together. After one
particularly rough year running from store to store trying to find the best
prices (or any price on some of the hard-to-find items!), I determined that
it wasn't worth my time to save the minimal price difference. I did notice that
retailers are charging anywhere from $3 to $10 for assignment books. Simply
make a form on the computer and print out several copies, and store in a clasp-type folder . Homework and chore progress charts and checklists can be made the same way.

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 month Denise Turney, owner of Chistell Publishing, shares her marketing tips with us. You can contact her at:

Denise Turney
Chistell Publishing
2500 Knights Road
Suite 19-01
Bensalem, PA 19020
Ph: 215-245-6222
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Please note: If you'd like to submit a contribution for an upcoming issue,
email: [email protected] with the subject heading "MMM Survey," and we'll
send you our survey!

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

My business is books! The name of my company is Chistell Publishing. We
write, print, publish and distribute books. Readers our are treasures!
Without them, we would not exist.

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?

Portia is our main book right now. It's a best seller. Next year we hope to
have Girlfriendz on the market. Portia cost $8.00. Shipping and handling is
free. Studying the market is how we found the right price for Portia -- that,
and listening to our readers. A product that is priced too low is seen as
being "cheap" by consumers. On the other hand, if you over price, consumers
think your only concern is money and not quality or their best interest. It's
crucial to price each product right, otherwise you could lose sales or gain a
reputation for being "cheap" or "too expensive."

3. What are *your* favorite products and/or services? Why do you like to sell

Portia is our favorite. Readers from around the world have enjoyed Portia and
contacted us to tell us how deeply the book touched and encouraged them. What
better reward is there?

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)?

We market via phone (leave a message about your business on your voice mail);
email discussion lists; "targeted" newsgroups; we have an "excellent"
newsletter that features incredibly successful writers-publishers around the
world giving out solid, valuable advice; press releases - everyone in
business should send press releases each month; business cards; t-shirts and
our web site at

5. Any additional comments are welcome.

Treat your customers right and they will treat you right. Make people feel
like you are more concerned about providing them a service or product that
will enrich their lives than you are about making money. Do business with
integrity and always remember that the greatest value is human value. Provide
"excellent" customer service! "Connect" with your customers.


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!


"Advice from A-Z -- Help! Labor Day is still Three Weeks Away"
by Azriela Jaffe, copyright 1998

It's not at all surprising, come around the second week of August, to hear a
cry for help from an exhausted working mother who has been responsible for
full-time care of her children over the summer, as well as working her
business. This woman's distress raises universal concerns that apply to dual
career couples all over the country:

Q. My husband and I both run our own businesses. I work out of the house
with a network marketing/nutritional business and my husband and his partner
work outside of the house with a computer company that has been growing
quickly. The good news is we finally have some financial stability, but my
husband works long days and occasional hours on the weekend.

Over the past three weeks, my husband has been working night, day, and
weekends on a software update release for a large corporate client. I thought
I could handle it, and we did pretty well for two weeks, but then it dragged
on a week longer than expected, and I am clutching at the very end of the

My business has suffered from almost a month of neglect, and now trying to
get back on top of everything is overwhelming. The stress and frustration of
the last weeks has nearly driven me out of business. I am exhausted from
being a primary parent without a break. Any advice/recommendations would be
greatly appreciated!!

A. Your cries are echoed all over the country by other women just like you,
who overpromised, put their needs last, underestimated the demands of
full-time child care, and are counting the calendar days until the start of
school. THE most important point for you to get is this: The stress you are
currently feeling does *not* mean that you will go out of business, does
*not* mean that you don't love your kids, does *not* mean that your husband
will *never* be available, and does *not* mean that you are destined for this
level of stress for the rest of your adult life. Even though it feels like
that right now. The light at the end of the tunnel -- Labor Day weekend, and
the completion of your husband's work project -- may as well be years away,
rather than just a few weeks, when you are feeling this overwhelmed.

Let's talk about what you can do right now, since at the moment, you can't
imagine making it through the rest of the summer.

Today, tomorrow, or very soon, you need a break. You have put everyone in
the family first, and your needs last. We all do that from time to time when
circumstances demand it. You need to restore your energy and your
hopefulness. You need to be selfish for a few hours. My guess is, when you
have a spare minute not dedicated to caring for the children, you are
pressuring yourself to work your business. That won't work if your energy is

Here's my assignment for you. Hire a babysitter or find a friend who will
take the kids for an afternoon. You can return the favor when you are
restored. Schedule yourself a full body massage for one whole hour, or a
facial, manicure or pedicure if you prefer. Then, I want you to go to the
mall and spend at *least* 50 dollars on yourself for something you don't
need, and something that is *not* for the family. Don't worry about the cash
-- look at how much money you saved on childcare this summer. Buy something
entirely luxurious that will give you joy. Invite a friend to come along, or
enjoy some time alone -- whatever would satisfy you the most, depending on
whether you most long for adult conversation or silence.

NO excuses! You'll have plenty of them, because you are used to putting your
needs last. So act out of character as an experiment, and blame it on me.

Second, I want you to plan, with your husband, a romantic evening or
get-a-way for the Fall, when his work demands lessen, and the kids have
returned to school. Do you have family you can leave the children with for a
weekend? Since your husband is unavailable to you now, you need something to
look forward to, so you don't start believing that it will
*always* be this way. If he's not even available for this kind of
discussion, surprise him with something outlandish. Planning it will give
you something creative and fun to focus on.

Third, lighten up your expectations and your fears about your business. I am
sure that your business will not disappear so quickly. It seems as if most
of the country slows down in the month of August. If you keep yourself from
heading to the loony bin in the next few weeks, you'll be ready to pour
serious energy into your business when the time is right.
Tread water for the rest of the summer. Keep in touch with key contacts, and
do something for your work every day to feel productive, but now isn't the
time to be worried about building your business. Focus only on building your
emotional and physical reserves, and your much desired business success will
naturally follow.

I'm sure you learned some hard lessons this summer that will help you and
your husband plan a more reasonable summer for you next year. We could
spend some time talking about next year. But you need to get through today
and tomorrow, and for you, next year is a long time away.

You say your husband's business is finally starting to take off and you are
pulling out of survival mode. You are probably used to an austerity budget.
Go be selfish for a few hours! You are long overdue.

Azriela Jaffe is the author of a NEW book: "Starting From No: Ten Strategies
to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection and Succeed in Business." (Dearborn),
available at the EP Bookstore
( E-mail
mailto:[email protected] for free online newsletter for Entrepreneurial Couples,
or visit Anchored Dreams: for information
on other books, newsletters, and nationally syndicated column, "Advice from
A-Z." To learn more about Azriela and/or to ask her a single question, go to

WE RECOMMEND (think cash register) is a business and finance site for women,
with simple, practical and upbeat info and extremely useful tools. ka-Ching
was created by Oxygen Media, a TV and Internet start-up that aims to combine
entertainment with education to empower women in all facets of life. Owned by
Gerry Laybourne " the executive who turned "Nickelodeon" into a popular
household name " Oxygen Media is on the cutting edge of women's programming.
It is also now the parent company of Moms Online, Thrive and a number of
other new specialty sites that are coming on board. Keep your eye out on
Oxygen this October...and on ka-Ching in particular ;-)! (See "What's



The National Association of Entrepreneurial Parents (NAEP) is having a BIG
summer! The press release officially announcing our Association to "offline"
EPs went out to over 400 media contacts by snail mail and over 500
electronically during the last week of July. Response postcards have all been
very positive, and the news is already starting to spread in regional
parenting pubs throughout the country. Present Charter Members as well as
Lisa & deB are all very excited!

FYI, new/updated pages on NAEP at our site include:

Press Release --
Member Quotes --
NAEP Snapshot --
Welcome Letter --
Membership Benefits --

And to join the paid membership option at EP -- with expanded membership
benefits including the print version of EPnews -- go to:


We've gathered your suggestions and expanded the business categories on your
EP Member Business Category listings. Now your alphabetical listing links
directly to your business listing, with links to your site and your email
address, all in an easy-to-use format. We welcome your comments and

Meanwhile, if you haven't visited the EP Member Listings recently, you might
want to check them out now -- there's over 150 new members to learn about ;-)
Go to: <<>> Have fun!


Did everyone catch the review of EP in Parenting Magazine this month? If not,
pick up a copy at your local bookstore/newsstand/pediatrician's office and
check under the "Work/Family" column, August issue. EP was recommended as one
of the TOP THREE Internet sites on working at home! The other two were and


Lisa Roberts is the new resident "Home Office Expert" for (!),
starting this fall. Look for Lisa's weekly columns, chats, Q&As, plus more at
ka-Ching in October, '99. Please wish her luck... :-)


Need a bulldozer to plow through the clutter on the bedroom floor? Does it
take a crowbar to pry open the door to your kids' safe haven (and your
cleaning nightmare)? To help you with the Back to School Countdown, Let's Get
it Together©, in association with Calendar Systems U.S.A.© and The
Entrepreneurial Parent, is sponsoring an essay contest: Why My Kids Room is
the Messiest Room Anywhere! In 1000 words or less, send us your family
story. We'd love to see photos, too, and will display them with the winning
entry at

If selected as one of our winners, you will receive:

---> Your own copy of The Family Organizer to start the new year right and
get your family on the right track.
---> Lisa Robert's book, How to Raise a Family and a Career Under One Roof
---> An Introduction to Home Organizing, a live teleclass with Debbie
Williams recorded on audio cassette

The contest officially begins Sunday, August 1, 1999 and runs through
September 30, 1999. Winners will be notified by email or telephone, and
posted on October 1, 1999. Winning entries will also
be published in Organized Times, the "Let's Get It Together" organizing
newsletter, which goes out to over 1450 subscribers...


By Email: Email your essay within an email message or as a "text"
attachment. Graphics can be attached as jpg or gif formats. Send to:
[email protected]

By Snail Mail: Mail your essay (photos optional) to Let's Get it Together,
Messy Room Contest, P.O. Box 590860, Houston, TX 77259

* Please write your name and address on the back of enclosed photos.

That's it until September. The school year is right around the corner -- hope
all of you are squeaking out the most/best family time you can before we're
all thrown back into the steady, action-packed rhthym of the school year. See
ya all then!


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:
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Unsubscribe: [email protected]
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