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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs

October 20, 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 Family
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Been looking for a good parenting website?

This wonderful resource for parents has parenting tips, family activities,
a home & garden area as well as features that are just for you! You'll find
it all at The Family Corner.




The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
EP Times -- An Editorial
ka-Ching Spotlight
What's It Worth?
Making Money Matters
EP Expert Q&As
NAEP News -- EP Profile
We Recommend
What's Happening at EP
More Funny Things EP Kids Say!

Editorial Note: EP has moved from a weekly to a monthly update to make room
in our schedules for the National Association of Entrepreneurial Parents
(NAEP). EPnews is now published and distributed on the 2nd or 3rd Wednesday
of every month, year-round, and The Entrepreneurial Parent at will be updated (with new content, member info,
Expert Q&As, book reviews, etc.) on an ongoing basis throughout each month.



Submitted by EPnews Subscriber Mary Waggoner (mailto:),
President of Elderly Care Konnection "Creating a road map into care giving"
<>, :

Our family was on vacation for the first time this past August. We'd gone
to CT to visit my parents as we had never been there since our marriage
three years ago. Friday night, we went out to pizza and actually ate in the
restaurant. My 14 month old daughter, Lizzie, was bored and done eating,
so her Poppy took her for a walk. Of course, her 7 year old half-brother,
Zach, HAD to go with them, so off he went too. While they were walking, it
began pouring down rain. They came running in just as we were about to
leave. As we walked to the car, I began to remind Zach that he had to hop
in the tub when we got back, but before I could say "when" Zach replied:
"But I'm as clean as a pig!"

He thought that's how pigs get clean!

Another one was when we went to an ice cream place a few months ago. It
was really slow and Zach popped out: "Wow! This place is really deserted!"


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" @ On those
stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!


"Stomp If You Can Feel It"
© 1999, Lisa M. Roberts

This weekend some friends and I treated ourselves to a NYC performance that
was a surprising delight. The show, located in Greenwich Village, was
called "Stomp" and at first impression looked like it would pale in
comparison to the sensational theatre productions on competitive Broadway.
Imagine this. The stage of Stomp was littered with pieces of rubbish
straight from a junkyard, the "costumes" were wripped jeans, overalls and
tee's, and, as the title implies, the music was exceptionally LOUD.
Doesn't sound too delightful, does it? Yet using Resourcefulness with a
capital "R," this 8-member cast won over their entire audience with their
boundless energy, uncanny rhythm, self-efacing humour and corporeal dance.
In short, they wiped from memory every Broadway play I've seen in the past
five years!

Since Sunday afternoon I've been contemplating how this low-budget,
off-the-beaten-track performance could pull off such an artful feat. But
peel that layer of thoughts away and what I've *really* been wondering is
what we -- as a collective community of low-budget, off-the-beaten-track
home businesses (OK, I'll just speak for myself here!) -- could learn from
these ingenious folks? What ideas could we borrow from their success and
apply in our own EP world?

I'd say the first lesson is in the word that sums up the entire production
-- Resourcefulness. What Stomp is all about literally is taking nothing
(i.e. junk) and making something (i.e. music). With everyday objects such
as brooms (sweep, sweep, clunk, clunk), match boxes (swish, swish, tap,
tap), rubber tubes, toilet plungers and the like, the cast worked off each
other's inventive beat and turned this small theatre into a rocking
spectacle. Squeezing crowd-pleasing music from paper and plastic bags
reminds me of the creative ways EPs can and have made use of _their_
limited resources. And how EPs can re-invent a service or product by
applying their special skill and talent -- turning the "same-ol'/same ol'"
into something undeniably awesome.

But invention alone didn't deliver the performance of Stomp into the hearts
of my friends and I Sunday afternoon. Added to the mix was the charming
rapport among the members of the cast, and especially with the audience.
Time and again they needled each other like siblings on a restless
afternoon, pulling us in on the joke at each instance. But they won us over
completely when they turned their full attention on us directly. Throughout
the production they tapped into our desire to be part of the fun, inviting
us to clap and stomp in rhythm to their beat. And just dare to stand up to
go to the restroom -- the actors on stage would stop everything and
wait...with a playful glare...until your untimely deed was done. (Talk
about full attention!) To me this indicates an exquisite understanding of
"customer service": a highly personable approach; the welcome invitation
to be part of the project at hand; and self-respect as a professional when
a project endures untimely interruptions -- even if the interruptions come
from the folks financing it all (!).

Finally, the producers of this show also seemed to understand the
importance of offering a gift that keeps on giving. Instead of spending
their encore in typical self-congratulatory mode, they used their encore to
send us away with a small but memorable gift -- a bit of long-lasting
rhythm of our own. Patiently (and playfully!) they taught us how to
experiment with patterns of music, using raw materials such as the palms of
our hands and the soles of our feet, and in doing so formed a bond between
performer and audience that would outlast our brief direct contact. Never
in the presence of any Broadway musical star have I ever felt I could even
*scratch* the performer's talent and take a little home with me. Yet when
my friends and I left this theatre, with the words "Do you feel it?" from
the lead actor still echoing in our ears, this is precisely what each of us
had done.

Like the cast, crew and concept of Stomp, EPs must take control of every
resource we've got, turning challenges into opportunity, whistling while we
work, and engaging our clients and customers in the process. In essence, we
need to learn how to squeeze music from a plastic bag -- then invite the
world to join in on our fun. If we can indeed pull this off, we may just
wipe the memory of any corporate competitor from the minds of our patrons.
How could we not?

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:


Thanks to all who submitted their "Take 5" quick-break working-at-home tips
for Lisa's home office column, "Homeward Bound." FYI, the first column is
scheduled to debut on next week (launch has been delayed
slightly). For those new on our list, ka-Ching is the business and finance
site of Oxygen Media, a new media company by and for women.

Oxygen is presently on a nationwide "Tank Tour" -- a welcome wagon that has
embarked on a cross-country journey to meet women face-to-face across
America. The multi-media RV & enthusiastic entourage is in NYC this week
and next. If you happen to work in Manhattan, stop in on Oct. 28th and
Lisa'll be there to greet you! Anywhere else in the country, go to the Tank
Tour travel schedule to see when (and if!) they'll be in a city near you:

If you can, stop in, it's really terrific fun and you'll get to walk away
with smiles, tee-shirts, perhaps a free massage & more!

"Of the Essence"
© 1999, by deB Sechrist

It's 9:45 on Wednesday morning. EPnews goes out tonight. I haven't written
my column yet. I have exactly 90 minutes before I have to pick up my
youngest from preschool and work for the afternoon at my son's school. Last
opportunity to get this done. Time is of the essence. I'll bet many of you
have BTDT.

So I turn the answering machine down low. Burn some sandalwood. Put my
favorite Enya CD on at low volume. Get a fresh cup of coffee. Read my last
column to refresh my memory, get back on track.

It's been a difficult month. I learned just how valuable time can be. At
one point I found myself rearranging priorities to accomodate a challenging
task, and finally had to face the "real" issue, which required unexpected
financial output. To make a long story short, I realized that my poor
overloaded computer was the culprit that was robbing my time. I did save
some money by choosing to upgrade rather than replace my system, which I'm
told is not always a good option, but I've been fortunate with this Mac and
it works well so far.

All of this taught me many lessons: to think out of the box, to listen to a
diverse range of experiences in order to make better informed decisions, to
face situations as they are and not as I'd like them to be, and to see
myself as others see me and not as I'd like them to believe. That mirroring
was the final push needed to help me decide to spend the money and fix the
problem instead of zapping all my energy in trying to find ways to work
with what I had and not spend any money.

In response to last month's column, Sue Szlosek Swingholm,
<> wrote:

"I believe that time (like everything else) is just a conversation. What I
mean is that "I don't have time or I don't have enough time, etc." is only
a conversation, something we say. Really, the bottom line is commitment.
What are we committed to? We will make time for those things that we are
committed to and we will not make time for those things that we are not
committed to. It's that simple (although sometimes it doesn't seem so
simple). We all must make choices; decide on our commitments and commit
our time to them. The rest is just chaff."

I would add that sometimes commitments clash and a re-prioritization is in
order. In my case I had decided to put the job first and family second, by
trying to arrange more time to work instead of finding ways to work more
productively within our current schedule. When my daughter protested this
arrangement I had to face the fact that I was approaching the problem from
the wrong angle, and I had to find a way to still honor both commitments,
because both are important to me.

This is not to advocate always throwing money at a situation to solve it.
But if you sense your attitude plunging, or the "chaff" in your life
beginning to bury you, then don't hesitate to seek help, advice and diverse
opinions. Reach out to your EP community, your RL (real-life) community and
your family -- and make it top priority to regain the balance you need to
function properly.

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 EPnews Subscriber Denise Turney, EP to a 9-yo son, shares her
money-making 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
Web site:

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 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 them?

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? Our EP Expert Panel is available to all EPnews
Subscribers. If your question isn't already answered on our site, then send
it in to: . They'll be glad to help you out if they

This month we've stocked up on new Q&As that cover topics from job sharing
to idea generating to 3-year old woe-handling and more, all from the
following members of our Expert Panel:

Pat Katepoo, EP Work-Family Transitions Expert
Nancy Collamer, EP Part-Time Career Expert
Jeff Zbar, EP Dad Expert
Jodie Lynn, EP Parenting Expert
Silvana Clark, EP Low-Cost Marketing Expert
Jan Zobel, EP Tax/Accounting Expert

Visit them at <> (follow the "new" Q&A links).


The National Association of Entrepreneurial Parents (NAEP) is a "real-time"
membership organization for parents in the SOHO workforce! NAEP's mission
of professional connection, recognition and education provides the support
EPs are looking for in today's evolving work-family homefront. To learn
more about NAEP membership benefits, go to:


------->We are very pleased to introduce you to a new NAEP member, Saba
Kennedy-Washington, whose Member Profile is currently being featured at our
EP Showcase. Saba is one of the first members of the EP Community who sent
in a truly inspirational essay, "On Becoming an EP: One Woman's Journey"
<<>>. We lost word from her
for a long time (perhaps a year?) when she moved and made some other
personal/professional adjustments, but she's back and we are so happy to
have her with us again.

Here are some highlights of Saba's Profile Page. Please do stop in to view
in full color -- with her daughter's bright & cheery drawing -- at:

EP Snapshot

Saba Kennedy-Washington, EP to a 4-yo girl
Jesa Promotions
839 Scaleybark Rd.-2T
Charlotte, NC 28209
Phone: 704-676-0847
Fax: 704-525-7805

Home Career Highlights

Home Business: Jesa Promotions, a full-service advertising specialty,
marketing & promotions company: specializing in emboidery and
screen-printing of the corporate logo onto promotional wear, also offering
writing services for press releases, catalogs, product releases and

Mission: I would like to see my business grow to support my child
financially, emotionally and spiritually. I look at my business as
something intricately tied into the quality of life I foresee for my
family. My husband is a co-owner and I decided to name it after my daughter
Jesa which is a combination of my husband Jerome's name and my name, Saba.

Top Clients: Reebok, Black Enterprise, The New York Carib News, PC Magazine

A Voice of Experience

EP Musings:
Working at home allows my daughter to see me as a self-sufficient and
strong woman. I want her to grow up secure in herself and her own
potential. I do not want her to be dependent on anyone or any one source. I
believe that seeing me work will provide her this blue-print for living.

EP Advice:
Stay focused and believe in your vision. Associate daily with positive
people who share your dream of living on your own terms. Also: remain
persistent, frugal, consistent, and hold on to your faith.


Remember we introduced you to Daniel Pink from Free Agent Nation in our
last issue? We found his expertise at another terrific new site for solo
entrepreneurs. Don't pass this one up, guys. As home business sites go, was wonderfully refreshing to come across. They are supporting the
independent professional community with intelligence, wit and financial
muscle. Keep your eye out on them -- their site is just a preview right
now, but we're putting bets down they'll be a formidable presence on the
Web soon enough. And that will be more power to all of us.



A bi-weekly webzine about balancing work and life. Cool graphics and
design; excellent content. Take a look!


A warm welcome goes to 150 new members in August and September!

We've made some changes to make networking easier than ever. It's now a
snap to find an EP with just the right product or service you need, or to
locate other EP's who are in the same field. We've also taken steps to
protect our "aspiring" EP's -- that is, members who are interested in
starting a home business but don't have one set up just yet. Now listings
for aspiring EP's are by name only, to prevent spammers from extracting
those email addresses and sending unsolicited email offers.

Navigating the listings is easier because we've cross-linked the
alphabetical listings (
with the business category listings
( Clicking on the name of the
Business will take you to the business category page where that member is
listed. In response to your requests, we've added the state and city (or
country if not USA) for each listing in the business category page.

Members with websites have 2 direct email links and 2 direct web links from
our member listings. A reciprocal link to EP is required to make the links
"live": just copy and paste the html code and choose an EP logo that fits
best for you at Then drop us an email
<mailto: > to let us know you're linked and we'll add
your email & URL links at the next update.

Finally, help keep our listings current and correct by using the Member
Update Form ( when you have a change
or addition to your listings. We appreciate your support -- and as always,
welcome your feedback!


What else is new?

Stress Management Article -- Managing Stress With Aromatherapy
by Anne Ramstetter Wenzel and Jeralynn Burke

Your Family Article -- Scheduling My Life
by Amanda Formaro

EP Links -- Sixteen (16) new links are up on our resource link page! Browse
through at:

Staff News

Lisa will be happily celebrating her 14th wedding anniversary with her
husband on Monday, Oct. 25th. (Anyone have a good movie to recommend for the
couple?? There's been mixed reviews re: "The Story About Us"!)


Some Reader Response from "Rock Solid Love," (EP Times Editorial, 9/23/99)

From: Pete Silver ():

Lisa, what a neat thing I've read in a long time.....

From: Cathy Woodside RN, Certified Childbirth Educator, Childbirth Options

Dear Lisa, I thoroughly enjoyed your article. The recounting of your dream
brought tears to my eyes. I was moved so much by your writing that I
copied it and sent it to my "rock," my mother. I hope that is ok. Thanks
for sharing it with me.


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;
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email:

Community email addresses:
List owner:

Shortcut URL to this page:


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