- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
November 17, 1999
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- The Funny Things EP Kids Say
EP Times -- "Who's Got Time to Give Thanks?"
What's It Worth? -- "An Attitude of Gratitude"
Making Money Matters -- Catering to Computers
What's Happening at EP
EP Expert Q&As
ka-Ching/Oxygen Media Spotlight
Editorial Note: We made a mistake
in our last issue!! Our featured NAEP
member, Saba Kennedy-Washington, submitted a heartwarming new
profile page but we posted the wrong URL. So sorry Saba!! Please
help us apologize by
visiting her profile today ;-). It's REALLY at:
And it's wonderful! Take a look!
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR
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THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber
EP to 4, soon to be 5!
On Being Six (by a six-year old)
One afternoon, it was raining
and cold. I met my youngest son (6) and
youngest daughter (9) at the school bus stop in my car thinking
like a ride to our house instead of walking. Once back home,
I helped them
remove their wet rain slickers and clothes while enticing them
with the hot
chocolate I'd make when they were all ready. My six-year old
and returned wearing his favorite pajamas and took a seat in
the living room
to watch Power Rangers. My daughter followed suit. After a few
brought both of them steaming cups of hot chocolate and pieces
As I returned to the kitchen
to make my own cup of hot chocolate, I heard my
son say to his older sister, "Now this is the life of a
jammies, hot chocolate, and pears. Nothing could be better than
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!
-- AN EDITORIAL
"Who's Got Time to Give
© 1999, Lisa M. Roberts
Thanksgiving is next week and
to be honest, gratitude is farthest from my
mind. Instead of preparing for the holiday by revisiting history
children, counting my blessings, and shopping for ingredients
homemade pies, I am feeling squeezed by looming deadlines all
around me. And
the forces at play are naturally working against every work goal
I make. It's
EP life, yes, and it's the holiday season, yes, but it's stop
and go so much
so that I'm feeling car sickness at my desk! Is it just me? I
Someone somewhere should re-schedule
American Education Week. A calendar jam-packed with classroom
visit expectations was sent home last weekend. The principal
says, "The number of diverse events is intended to simplify
your life, not add stress," but the teacher says, "PLEASE
have SOMEONE come in so your child is not all alone on this important
day." Meanwhile my husband has been home with the flu for
two days and has taken over our home office. His work commands
two lines -- one to log on to his system at work and the other
to conduct conference meetings at the same time. My hands are
tied. It's very LOUD in the office. The laptop is broke. I'm
writing this editorial with...and it does feel unnatural...a
pen and lined paper...in the
kitchen...with every door possible between here and there shut!
Once again, my own work agenda
is pushed to the backburner. Is this fair?
Well, yes. To put it bluntly, my husband's job pays the mortgage
doesn't. Who could argue with that? And if he's sick, he's sick,
what can I
do? Insist he head out anyway and catch pneumonia? And of course
I'm happy to be there for my kids, attending class events vital
to their sense of self --
it's why I chose the EP life in the first place!
Still, sometimes I feel like
all forces are bent on foiling my professional
goals. I really can't put the blame on family members -- they're
day-to-day like the rest of us. Yet something, or someone, somewhere,
teasing me. Must be. Get this -- last week I practically jumped
to have ONE day completely clear of domestic responsibilities.
I drove 3 1/2
hours round trip to have my preschooler spend a few days at my
next morning, I arranged for my two boys to have after-school
and asked my daughter to stay at the library after school until
I picked her
up. My hope beyond all hope? To have a 9-5 work day...at home.
what happened? Guess. OK, I'll tell you. A phone call by noon
from the school
nurse. Pop. Pop. Pop. One more big bubble burst.
I know my family is on my side.
My son, home sick on that 9-5 wannabe day,
took a long quiet nap when he came home. My husband is at this
after finally getting off his 3-hour conference call -- arranging
a third phone line. My daughter waltzed in from middle school
20 minutes ago
and all I had to say was, "Honey, Thomas is in the playroom,
please...?" and was greeted with a smile and a "Sure,
So I started this editorial under
complete durress and am ending it in total
harmony. Gratitude is tip-toeing in closer and closer to my mind
Like a lullaby, like a fairy spell, that someone, something,
lulling me to acceptance and peace. OK, the message is received.
faith. Hold on. The holidays are here...my family wants me to
this editorial is, despite forces to be, done. Maybe there's
time to give
thanks after all.
is the mother of four, Web Producer of The Entrepreneurial
Parent , LLC 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: http://en-parent.com/order.htm
and through Amazon, at:
"An Attitude of Gratitude"
© 1999, by deB Sechrist
This can be a rough time of year,
especially for EP's struggling to make ends
meet. Anticipating the holidays with trepidation, hoping to meet
expectations of our children, our families, friends, communities,
ourselves. Wondering how to make it all happen, without overspending
financial or emotional budgets.
"Cheer up!" my grandfather
used to say, "Things might be worse tomorrow!" It
seems pessimistic, but it was his way of saying to just accept
and enjoy what you have. If you're not happy with your situation,
redefine your goals, measure your progress and feel good about
how far you've
come. Be optimistic about what's ahead, he'd say, but be sure
to enjoy life
today, as it is, and be thankful for what you have.
Help your kids reshape their
expectations to a more realistic level so you
won't be tempted to overspend. Encourage them to make gifts and
give to family and friends. Work with them to clean out cupboards
closets to gather community donations. Teach them about what
the holidays mean to you. Participate in community events so
they learn about what the holidays mean to others. Remember that
modeling your attitude of gratitude will help them when they
encounter peers who don't share their circumstances.
Decide your limits and be assertive
if you feel a need to alter a
tradition, stick to a budget, or scale back your celebrations.
feeling anxious, try keeping a gratitude journal, or spending
a few minutes
each day meditating or exercising; or doing something just for
never underestimate the restorative healing powers of taking
a little time
off to spend an afternoon working on a holiday project with your
Sechrist is the mother of three, Webmanager of The Entrepreneurial
Parent, LLC and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find
out more about deB
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! Let's
hear how YOU earn your keep as an EP -- mailto:[email protected]
with the subject heading "MMM Survey," and we'll discover
how making money matters to you!
This month EPnews Subscriber,
Erin Staeck of Catering to Computers, shares
her money-making marketing tips with us. You can contact her
Catering To Computers
P. O. Box 1312
Hayward, WI 54843
Email: [email protected]
1. In a 2-3 sentence statement, explain what your home business
including your target market and "mission statement."
Catering To Computers provides
quality web site design and comprehensive
computer related business consulting. Our motto is "Services
Customer expectations and Customer requirements," and our
mission is to
increase our clients' potential, productivity, and profits by
apply tomorrow's technology to today's business needs!
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?
Because of the current needs
in my rural location, web site design,
development, and maintenance are the most popular services. Some
have shown extreme interest in learning how to maintain their
own web site,
which I provide training for by utilizing inexpensive, non-WYSIWYG
development tools. Non-ecommerce sites start at $250.00
for design and implementation and my hourly rate is currently
which is average or below average for our economic location.
3. What are *your* favorite products
and/or services? Why do you like to sell
I enjoy web site design, especially
custom graphics design. I would like to
expand my skillset in this area, through new projects, training
the use of new and innovative tools. I also like training, because
I try to
put high level technology into layman's terms so the "unknown"
computing and the Internet can become easily "known"
and done so in a
comfortable, "try it, it won't break" environment.
I like to sell these
services because I feel that most businesses do not use their
even 1/4 of its potential, mostly because the users are afraid,
or have not
been given proper training or the time to learn. Many adults
deathly afraid of their systems, and are very resistant to change.
like to change that.
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)?
Originally, my business plan
included steps of local advertising, which as
most well know, was more expensive than I had anticipated. I
hundred dollars on a "coupon" type brochure that went
out in a mailing to
some 6,000 postal addresses. Unfortunately, I received only one
call, and no
$$$ business. Currently all my new business is from referrals,
or "word of
mouth." I live in a small town, and I know and have completed
several prominent residents who have been very generous in "spreading
word." Also, I am donating my services in exchange for an
on a local public radio station -- I'll let you know how that
turns out. My
web site has generated one repeat customer, from a distant state;
it was my
prompt response to an email that allowed me to build rapport
with the owner
and I've received several call backs (or should that be email
5. Any additional comments are
I think it is a shame that Corporate
America has yet to realize that all
their great talent has left the cubicle and are sitting at home
roll of Entrepreneurial Parents! They have yet to realize that
effective contracts with people like us would allow them to not
only gain the
hardest working employees they ever had, but also provide lucrative
opportunites for EP's and at the same time help in securing the
future by allow us to participate in the upbringing of our children,
decent living, and be productive members of society. I don't
know about the
rest of you, but I don't miss being a zombie on the highway,
driving in stop
and go traffic, racing to get to the daycare on time, and scurrying
out how to get groceries before the baby goes balistic!? I very
looking up from my computer monitor, outside the large bay window
desk, to view the glorious white oak trees in my forest of 40
acres while my
daughters laugh in the hammock or ride their bicycles, or run
back from the
woods with a treasured basket full of black raspberries they
picked on the
walking trail. Now that's life!!
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
Wow, so much, where to start??
1.) New EP Gift Shop!
Are you looking for a specialty
item for that hard-to-buy-for person on your
holiday list? Shop at the brand new EP Gift Shop -- the "Mom
and Pop Gift
Shop for the New Millennium!" Here you'll find original
traditional, one-of-a-kind handcrafted goods to sophisticated,
high-tech products -- all made and/or designed by Entrepreneurial
Support your fellow EPs and spice up your holiday gift list with
that are rare to find!
To take a look at our EP Gift
Shop (in development), go to: http://en-parent.com/gift.htm
If you're an EP who sells original
wares, the EP Gift Shop is a terrific deal
for your advertising dollars. Designed to highlight those EP's
who create and
sell original and unique products, crafts, jewelry or artwork,
it will be
officially launched through our media list and registered in
over 400 search
engines on December 1. If you're working with an advertising
budget that's on
par with your children's allowance, then don't pass this offer
Inclusion in the EP Gift Shop
is FREE to NAEP members, so if you've been
thinking about joining the National Association of Entrepreneurial
(NAEP) at the annual rate of $45.00, this is a good time to do
it. The cost
for non-members to reserve a "booth" at the EP Gift
Shop is a low $25.00 per
To learn more about all of the
NAEP membership benefits, go directly to:
And to sign up at the EP Gift
Store as a non-member, go to:
2.) New contest!
The folks on our EP Discussion
Group are on a roll... They have decided to
join forces and donate an EP Gift Basket filled with their own
service coupons as a giveaway for the next EP Contest we hold!
Want to know
how much they've donated so far? The Gift Basket is presently
$414.50! That's a nice prize, wouldn't you say?
We think it would be fun -- and
offer our contributing EPs more exposure --
if we run a contest every month, with each Gift Basket valued
at $100. We can
either use these ongoing contests as an e-zine subscriber or
drive, or ask participants to fill out a short survey, or perhaps
poll. Any and all suggestions are welcome (hit reply and send
thoughts!). If you could poll EPs w/ one question, what would
We'd like to kick off the contests
alongside the EP Gift Shop on December 1.
Jeralynn Burke, our EP Forum Moderator, is collecting donation
if you'd like to get involved, please contact her directly at:
3.) New NAEP Chapter Guidelines!
Anne Ramstetter Wenzel of Econosystems
is working hard behind the scenes here
on researching and writing the Chapter Guidelines for our National
Association. If you're a NAEP member, get ready to hear about
availability shortly after the New Year. If you're not yet a
member and are
interested in meeting regularly with local EPs, consider joining
the new millennium so you can lead one of the founding chapters!
to learn more.
4.) New sponsor!
We're thrilled to welcome a new
3-month sponsor of The Entrepreneurial Parent
-- Guru.com! Guru.com is where corporate emigrants and other
freelancers/independent contract workers are congregating to
projects and get supported through vital contacts and fresh content.
Did you know that EP turns down
advertising dollars every week from
work-at-home "business opportunity" companies? While
we recognize that many
are legitimate, we feel strongly that the best shot EPs have
long-lasting home career begins not by buying into someone else's
plan, but by doing the self-assessment needed in any job/career
so we are very pleased to introduce you to Guru.com, a company
that seems to
share our belief system!
Again, take the link and see
5.) New Logo!
What do you think of our new
logo (found on our home page)?? We want to make
sure our members realize both Dads and Moms have equal footing
in our goals
and vision. We'd love to hear what you think - if you have any
reply with your feedback!
6.) New Legal Entity!
After "testing the waters"
of the EP concept AND our partnership, Lisa & deB
have decided to take the plunge and make The Entrepreneurial
multi-member Limited Liability Company (LLC). It was actually
painless, really! We both feel re-committed to serving the EP
are looking forward to riding the EP wave with all of you into
Century. Thank you for all your support, and please, any time,
let us know
what we can do for you.
Let's try something new this
month, see how it flies. Sometimes fellow
members are the best "experts," especially when it
comes to the EP life.
Yesterday our valiant EP Forum Moderator, Jeralynn Burke, sent
a "Help!" plea
to the EP Discussion Group (at onelist.com) and we thought we
could share it
with all of you as well. If you have some tips for her, please
hit reply to
this message and send
them in! We'll forward them to her plus publish the
collection of tips either on our Web site or in the next issue
Let's give Jeralynn a hand -- she deserves it!
Q. Help! I'm at my wit's end
with my two year old son. He is constantly
getting into one thing or another and I'm at a point where I
think that I'm
going to start bouncing off the walls. It amazes me how quickly
he can get
into so many things. There are times when I simply have to try
to get some
work done and I find that I have to keep stopping to tend to
doing at that moment. That 20 minute task ends up taking two
hours and that
throws everything else off. I'm finding myself very frustrated,
that this will pass but for now I could use some support, guidance,
suggestions. Typically, I would just stop and play but in those
when this is not an option I don't know what to do.
EP Forum Moderator whose "balance" is off
EP EXPERT Q&As
Q. We are interested in starting
a small grocery shopping/delivery service in
our area (Columbia, SC), but would first like to find out if
is there. I have called a few marketing firms to find out how
telephone survey would be, and costs range much more than I imagined
$5,000 to $10,000!
The same people tell me it would
be about the same cost to develop an
Internet survey. I was wondering if it is possible to create
a web site on my
own, with a one page questionnaire, and see how many 'hits' I
receive? Do you
think this makes sense?
Thank you for your advice!
A. Hi Mark. There are two things
to consider here:
1. An Internet survey is a brilliant
idea. Just put up a page with the
questions, give people a reason to answer them, and let the automation
rest. Your survey will be quick, easy, painless, and virtually
2. Surveys rarely give you the
truth of a situation. People will usually say
one thing on a survey, but do another in real life. In other
words, if you
ask someone if they will shop at a new store, they may say yes
just to appear
open-minded or to please you. But open the new store and ask
them to go
there, and now you're asking them to make a decision with their
money. That's a VERY different matter!
Bottomline: I say if you see
a need, fill it -- regardless of what any survey
says. But if you need reassurance that you are on the right track,
Internet survey is a cost-effective way to give you some peace
of mind before
you jump into anything. As usual, trust your gut and think positive.
Hope this helps,
Joe "Mr. Fire!" Vitale - Author of way too many books
to list here. So go
see his truly amazing giant website at http://www.mrfire.com
[email protected] * Ph: (281)
999-1110 * FAX: (281) 999-1313 NEW -"The Power of
Outrageous Marketing!" from Nightingale-Conant!
Do A Project
Column: My column at Oxygen Media's
business & finance site,
www.ka-ching.com, has officially launched ;-). It's called "Homeward
and this month the topics include setting up your first home
conducting market research as a "free agent," and handling
the isolation of
working at home. It runs every Friday and over the weekends.
Be sure to catch
this week's column on the why, how, when and where of finding
a home business attorney -- featuring a sidebar story of our
very own NAEP member, Barb Roeder of BarbWired, LLC! (Note the
LLC on her business name...do YOU have one?? Inspired by researching
this column, we made sure we obtained one
ourselves!) This Friday, go to:
Weekly Chats: Feel like email-conversing
in real time? Join me (Lisa) on
Thursdays, 1-2 p.m., at the ka-ching chat room. I'm hanging there
& would love to hear from you! Bring your lunch this Thursday
and go to:
Promo Opps (upcoming Oxygen columns):
Anyone have tips on how to handle the Corporate Christmas Party
blues when you work at home? How do YOU let loose and celebrate
the holiday season when you're self-employed? Also, let's hear
your plans on how you're going to pull away from the computer,
your clients and the phones to take a REAL holiday vacation with
your family. What preparations will you make (i.e. turning off
your cell phone, writing an
auto-reply for your e-mail, etc.) to accomplish the feat? If
you'd like to
contribute to the "Homeward Bound" column and discussion,
please email me at: [email protected]
Selected contributions will be featured in
Dec. I look forward to hearing from you! Thanks ;-)
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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