Friday, September 30, 2005

The Virtual Edge Newsletter - September Edition

Welcome to The Virtual Edge -- What a tremendous month we had. It was a difficult month with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita but a month of recovery and joy as well. I was so pleased to see so many come together and help us in our donations for the hurricane victims.

I'm now doing a regular segment on the CWAHM Talk Radio so be sure to tune in!

We welcome our new clients!

Good news -- We will be sending out the newsletter now every month. We welcome your comments.

Diana Ennen


Top Five Qualities a Parent Should Look For When Hiring a Tutor

Hiring a tutor can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you have never done it before. The following five qualities are the most important ones that you should look for when matching a tutor with a child:

1) Their ability to “connect” with your child and you.

2) Their teaching style – does it match your child’s learning style?

3) Their ability to be patient and empathic when your child is truly struggling.

4) Their reliability and dependability.

5) Their tutoring experience backed up by current references.

It is imperative that the tutor immediately makes a strong connection with your child. The tutor should use part of the first session getting to know your child by asking questions about their likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Setting the rapport is important so future sessions run smoothly and productively. The tutor should also be able to easily communicate with you after the session and give you adequate feedback regarding what he or she accomplished during the session.

If your child is a visual learner, the tutor should bring appropriate materials (a small white board, for example) so the learning process compliments your child’s learning style. Conversely, an auditory learner would benefit from reading out loud with the tutor or talking through math problems. A kinetic learner will need the sessions to be very hands-on and interactive.

There is nothing worse than a tutor giving up and getting angry with a child when the going gets tough. Patience is definitely a virtue and every tutor needs to posses this quality to put your child at ease. An inpatient person will have the opposite effect. Chances are good that your child will not want to be cooperative in the future with anyone who can’t relate to their problems. The reason you hired a tutor was to find someone who can repeat themselves numerous times if necessary or present information in a different way until it “clicks” with your child.

A tutor who is constantly late or just doesn’t show up without calling should immediately be terminated.

Checking a tutor’s references is imperative. Written references should not be older than a year old and you should call the author of the letter anyway, just to confirm they wrote it. The best references are from individuals who have observed the tutor teaching or tutoring. Other parents who have used the tutor are the best references, but don’t dismiss your gut feeling about someone you are interviewing.

An extensive interview must be done to be sure you are selecting only top-notch teachers and tutors. You will want to conduct a thorough background and criminal check and call all of the references provided.

Most importantly, a visit to every home to meet the family before attempting to place a tutor is imperative. This complimentary visit proves invaluable when making a “match” with you child.

Bright Apple Tutoring Service, Inc. has been offering tutoring services above requirements are met and that you get only the best tutors. If you are looking for a tutor, or looking to start a career in tutoring, contact Bright Apple Tutoring Service,, at 1.888.847.0033

Laurie Hurley, President, Bright Apple Tutoring Service, Home Tutoring Business, , 1-888-847.0033. Laurie is available for media interviews, discussions on education and home-based business opportunities such as starting a tutor referral business.


Direct Sales -- Getting Customers

Let's talk about stepping out of the WAHM zone and reaching beyond mothers in business to find a more target market of shoppers. This can be done in 3 easy steps:

Step one: Knowing your Customer

To find your ideal customer, you first have to know them. Other than the fact your future customer wants your products, what else do you know about them? Ask yourself some of the following questions:

1. What hobbies do your customers have?
2. Do they have children?
3. Do they prefer buying online or offline?
4. What are their fears/concerns?
5. What makes them happy?

Step two: Finding Your Ideal Customer

The next step is a piece of cake! Once you discover what your ideal customer's interests hobbies, and lifestyle is, finding them is the easy part. There are TONS of message boards, groups, newsletters, and websites dedicated to specific groups of people. You can do some research to find these places on Yahoo Groups, Ezine Directories, or just by searching.

Step three: Discover Your Own Interests

Take a minute to realize your own hobbies and interests. Do you like to read and sell coffee or candles? Join a message board that talks about books and get to know others there. Make sure to put your business in your signature line! Use a creative ad such as "Relax with a cup of (your company's name) coffee and a good book", or "Relax with a (company name) scented candle and a good book". Try and get as creative as possible so your signature line really stands out and makes other want to click.

Also be sure to ask yourself why you joined this particular business to begin with (aside from the money!). Sometimes this will give you ideas of where your customers could be. For example, if you joined a bath and body company because of your concern for the use of store brand soaps on your children, you may consider seeking out a group or message board of other mothers that share your same concern. Again, be sure to use signature lines targeted to those who your products are targeted to!

Of course this is just the beginning. While you may choose to pay for simple advertising on some websites and newsletters (and this is fine!), if you are involved in the community be respectful to the current members. Don't just place ads and leave, but instead get to know those in the community. Follow the rules as you should within any community - don't post with the assumption everyone will automatically buy from you. Build relationships, be helpful, and the sales will follow!

~Kara Kelso & Anita DeFrank~

Don’t Want Another Wool Sweater This Year for Christmas?

Bragelets “Sent-A-Hint” Program Brings Your Gift Idea Right to Your Loved Ones E-mail
Sure, they love you and each year they try their best to find you the perfect gift. But let’s be honest, sometimes they need a little help. Here’s your chance to let your husband, parent, or special someone know exactly what you want. Sign up now for our Bragelet’s Sent-A-Hint feature and get the jewelry you long for at a price you can afford. You simply fill out the “Sent-A-Hint” form online at and your gift selection is e-mailed complete with ordering details.

Bragelets offers the finest in custom made jewelry including Mother’s Bracelets, Birthstone Bracelets, Name Bracelets, Charm Bracelets, plus so many more. Bragelets were designed because Moms Love to Brag. All styles all custom-designed to your unique personality with the finest sterling silver letters, 14K gold-filled beads, and Swarovski crystals.

For your holiday shopping, here are just a few gift giving ideas for all members of your family:
Gifts For Moms, Grandmas, Aunts Mother’s Bracelets - What a great gift idea for the mom, wife, Grandma or Aunt in your family. Our mother’s bracelets are as special as the names you have chosen for each one of your precious children. See how everyone marvels at the bracelet you wear with your children’s name on it.

Family Birthstone Bragelets® The perfect solution for moms with large families or Grandmas with lots of grandchildren. Make it a family affair with Mom and Dad’s birthstones on the outside and the children’s name in the middle.

Gifts For Kids & Teens Lilbrags Just like their Mommy, little girls love jewelry. And what they love even more is seeing their name on it. Bring a smile to her shining face with a special bracelet designed just for her. Better yet, get a matching bracelet to match moms and make it the best holiday yet.

Charm Bracelets These are HOT, HOT, HOT and back by popular demand. They will delight any age group especially the preteens and teenagers. You’ll find so many great choices to choose from to fit all personalities.

Save your loved ones from wandering the malls at the last minute searching for the perfect gift. Sign up now for “Sent-A-Hint” and let them know exactly what you want this year. Don’t forget to do some shopping at our site too while you’re there for all your gift needs. Bragelets at , E-mail us for a free brochure at

Bragelets offers the finest in custom made jewelry. Robin Zell Owner, Diana Ennen, Publicity, (954) 971-4025,

Virtual Assistants – The Perfect Work-at-Home Opportunity

With gas prices rising, many displaced from their jobs, and more and more businesses downsizing, comes the need for finding an alternative way to make a good income. One Industry that is increasing in popularly today, being rated one of the top 5 home-based businesses for 2005 by Entrepreneur Magazine last year, is virtual assisting. Becoming a VA allows you to work from anywhere in the world and requires little in the way of start-up costs or fees. The main requirement is the ability to type well and a good understanding of the Internet.
By definition, a Virtual Assistant or VA, is a highly skilled professional who provides administrative support and other specialized services to businesses, entrepreneurs, authors, online businesses, executives, sales professionals and others who have more work to do than time to do it. Many VA's also provide web design and maintenance, publicity and marketing, desktop publishing, word processing, and business start-up consultations. The services are endless depending upon the VA’s knowledge, skills and creativity.

"What started out in the 80’s as home-based word processors has grown into what we are seeing today," says Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing. "Plus more and more clients are realizing the need to outsource their work and let a professional virtual assistant do it, so they can focus on that they do best, running their business.

Professionals realize they can make more money by utilizing our services. We take care of not only running their office, but also implementing new marketing campaigns, sending out newsletters, follow- up with clients, etc.”

Virtual assistants also they have a solid understanding of the latest tools to make a business succeed. One example is blogging. We all know that it is essential for a business to have a blog today to succeed, yet many businesses don’t have the time to create and maintain a blog. A good virtual assistant will handle that for you keeping it up to date. Other areas of expertise include search engine optimization. Virtual assistants can optimize your website so it rates high on Google and others and your potential clients find you easily. Ennen, along with co-author Kelly Poelker have written, "Virtual Assistant ~ the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA. It has the endorsement of work-at-home experts Priscilla Huff and the Mompreneurs® as well as a number of others and has helped thousands over the years start their own thriving business. Virtual Assistant The Series is also the primary textbook for the Red Deer College- Canada VA Certification Program in Canada, Owens College, and several other large colleges, and is required reading for students of "Virtual Assistance U" -- an online training center for virtual professionals. For free information on starting a virtual assistant business or to find a qualified virtual assistant, stop by Ennen’s new site, You’ll also find publicity tips, free booklets on obtaining clients, and sample letters and chapters from their book. Start today in the successful career you’ve been longing for – a home-based virtual assistant business.

Diana Ennen is the author of several books including: Virtual Assistant the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, Words From Home, Start, Profit and Run a Successful Home-Based Word Processing Business and Home Office Recovery Plan: Disaster Preparedness for Your Home-Based Business Contact her at
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Letting Go of Stuff - Darren Johnson

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Bragelets - Custom Jewelry - Mother's Bracelets

Virtual Word Publishing

Direct Sales Success Kit

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hurricane/Tornado and Storm Preparedness -- Leaving at a Moment’s Notice

Sometimes, we may just have a few moments notice before we are forced to leave our home. In this case, here is a list of things you should have ready and grab on your way out of the door. *

· Medical supplies: prescription medications and dentures. · Disaster supplies: flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, bottled water

· Clothing and bedding: a change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member

· Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend's or relative's home)

· If you own a laptop computer and cell phone, this is the time to take them with you. Make sure they are always kept in an easily accessible place in your home so you can just grab and go.

Supplies Needed:
Flashlight and extra batteries (at least one per family member)
NOAA Weather radio
Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries (Check that it works and that batteries are the right kind.)
Portable, battery-operated TV/extra batteries. You can find these for $20.00. (Optional)
First Aid Kit
Food (non-perishable) -- See Below
Water (one gallon of water per person per day) -- 2 week supply
Water -- Also full your bathtub for extra water for additional purposes. Water is so important. You can’t have too much!
Bleach -- For water purification
Non-electric can opener. Also, try and purchase most cans that have pop open tops.

Cash -- Get cash out in case the ATMs are down. Do this in advance. Often in times of crises the machines run out of money. This has happened in two hurricane preparations in my area. Temporary problem, but stressful.

Essential medicines -- Prescription and non-prescription. You should have at least a two-week supply. Keep this in a secure location. Make sure you have noted somewhere exactly what you take, dosage, time of day, etc. Also, note your doctors. We have this in the list.

Baby supplies (diapers, non-perishable milk, baby food, formula, diaper rash medicine, any medication, and cream for bug bites or cuts.).

Pet supplies (Food, liter, etc.). Make sure your pet has a tag on them with their name and address on it in case it gets lost.

Personal items, such as toilet paper, toothbrush, towel, soap, etc.

Bug Spray -- Good amount. Extremely important. I recommend at least two bottles. And also Avon’s Skin So Soft.

Generator if possible.

Rain Gear (for each person)

Fill the gas tanks in all cars. Put extra water and food in car. (I leave in my trunk a small box of can goods, and a jug or two of water all the time.) While preparing though, I’ll add a couple more in case I get stuck in traffic. With three kids, I have snacks.

Activities for kids. Age appropriate. You can be locked in your home for a couple of days. Get creative.

Sturdy shoes

Charcoal for grill. Buy extra even if you have a gas grill. In case something happens.
Charcoal Lighter Fluid


Gas Grill -- Make sure it’s full and working.

Important telephone #s

Denture/Eye Glass Care

Clothing and Bedding - Have your clothing and beddings items protected by placing them in waterproof boxes, plastic bags or other suitable containers. Include at least one change of clothing and footwear per person. Some items to consider are work boots and gloves, rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags, towels, hat, sunglasses.

Food: -- If you are without power for a long time you will need some variety, especially with children. Peanut butter and jelly is great, but the kids will get bored fast. Variety is the key. Here we have included some of the basics to have and then some ideas as well. It’s recommended to have a three-day supply. Here in South Florida, they tell us a two-week supply. Know your kids and what they will eat. This isn’t the time to try something new on them, just because it’s in a can. (Believe it or not, I’ve seen a mom do this!).

You normally will be able to grill. Get several bags of charcoal and lighter fluid for the grill. Also, if you have a gas grill, make sure you have plenty of gas. For cooking on the grill, get the Reynolds Hot Bags. This will allow you to grill about anything. Also, Reynolds Wrap Release Non-Stick Aluminum Foil makes cooking sticky things over coals easier. No problem with cleanup.
Foods/Beverages Dry Cereal or Granola Protein or Fruit Bars Peanut Butter/Jelly Nuts Canned Juices Crackers Non-Perishable Pasteurized Milk Bread/Bagels/Dry Toast Canned Fruits Ready to Eat Soups Quick Energy Snacks Tuna Canned Foods--Kid’s Favorites White Chicken In Can Chips/Pretzels/Snacks Packages of Ketchup/Mayo, etc. Noodles for Cooking Velvetta/Cheese Fruits/Vegetables Coffee (Instant) -- Gotta have! Trail Mix Water / Juice Boxes for kids

Pet Food -- Not to eat naturally.

You will be able to boil water with a pan. So consider some of the following ideas. Also, many use a can of sterno. Again the thing is to be creative now!

Velveeta Cheese (Stores well) -- (Crackers/Tuna Sandwiches/Top of Rice & Vegetables/Mac & Cheese Noodles -- Spaghetti/Mac & Cheese Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (simmer the boil-in-bag 4 minutes) -- Different flavors Can Fruits/Pop Open Tops -- Can mix with Jell-O if you have plenty of water. Different dessert for kids.

Food safety: Food kept under minimal refrigeration (in an ice chest) is prone to food safety issues, so be very careful how you handle it. At a time like this, food safety rules are very important. Use the disposable food cutting sheets for preparing meats and vegetables. And wear disposable gloves.Rinse once: When using a variety of canned beans for one meal, place them all in a colander and rinse them all at one time instead of one kind at a time. This saves water.Buy cookies, chips, pretzels, crackers with processed cheese in single-serving snack packs so that they don't succumb to humidity and get soggy once opened. For a sweet treat, stock mini candy bars.To go with those chips, purchase pop-top cans of dip. They come in a variety of flavors including onion, bean, mild cheddar and jalapeno cheddar (Wise and Fritos). Sitting with the family enjoying these as you heat the grill for dinner is a good way to help everyone relax at a trying time.

FIRST AID SUPPLIES Sewing Needle Sun Screen Thermometer Tweezers 2” Sterile Gauze Pads Latex Gloves Moistened Towelettes Safety Pins 4” Sterile Gauze 2” Sterile Roller Bandages First Aid Cream Personal Items Hand Sanitizer Gel Pain Relief such as Tylenol

There are many things you need to have prepared in advance for your children.

In the unfortunate events of 9/11 and others we have seen many times where the children were left with no parents. Never would we want this to happen. However, if this were to happen, let’s make sure that you have done everything possible to secure their future.

First and foremost we need to know who to call. Let’s get information on your family.
Members of Family:






Grandparents Names & Phone:

Aunts and Uncles Names & Phone:


Diana EnnenVirtual Word Publishing, Inc.

Emotional Readiness

One of the effects of Hurricane Katrina for those of us who were fortunate enough not to live in the affected areas, is an increased interest in disaster preparedness.

The newspapers are full of advice about what to pack under your bed and in weatherproof boxes--everything from water purifiers to matches to copies of prescriptions and extra pairs of glasses. Great advice we should all follow.

But these directives fail to take into account a vital survival tool--our emotional health. What if we make it through the worst, but forever after feel dead inside?

So I say that along with a couple week's supply of water, clothes and canned goods, we should pack an emotional disaster relief kit. Its primary component is resiliency, the ability to bounce back from and even thrive after trauma or adversity.

Over the last 20 years, a great deal of research in psychology, sociology and related fields has focused on the qualities of resiliency, especially in children. Why is it that some youngsters can survive the most heinous crimes against them yet turn out to be competent, well-adjusted adults, while others disintegrate and never recover?
The answer is resiliency.

According to Al Siebert, Ph.D., author of The Resiliency Advantage, resilient people:--Are optimistic--Tolerate uncertainty--Quickly adapt to new situations--Can laugh at themselves--Know how to express feelings and are willing to do it--Have a healthy self-concept--Learn from experience--Are problem-solvers--Are flexible--Have friends they can count on--Are empathetic--Are non-judgmental--Listen to their intuition--Enjoy life

Many of the attributes that make up resiliency may be inborn, but they exist on a continuum. Some of us are naturally better problem-solvers than others, for instance. But fortunately, we all have the ability to develop our innate abilities.

We can practice improving areas that will help us in traumatic situations by focusing on daily stress. How we react when someone cuts us off on the freeway or we don't meet a boss's expectations, are mini indicators of how resilience is functioning in us.

To become more resilient, take Siebert's list and practice improving in areas where you are weak. Fake it 'til you make it. Next time a friend starts moaning about something that appears insignificant to you, practice empathy. When you make a mistake, ask yourself what you've learned. Make a joke or two at your own expense. Be a good friend. Share your inner life with someone you trust.

Doing so may be just as important to your survival as packing that water purifier.
And now for all you literal types...There are some items you might add to your physical emergency preparedness box that may help you move through the immediate grief and loss you will inevitably experience if faced with disaster. If you have additional items that might be helpful, let me know.

1. Books or messages that inspire you. For some people this will be a Bible or other religious book. For others, poetry or song lyrics. Whatever speaks to you in times of grief or fear could be included.

2. A small object that soothes you. Choose something simple, not expensive. It might be a rock you can run your thumb across or a vial of perfume.

3. A list, as long as possible, of intangibles for which you are grateful, i.e. the love and support of specific friends, the ability to feel, see, hear, memories.

4. A photo that shows people you love laughing. This might include friends or family members who have passed on.

5. A small object that represents who you are today. Know that even after disaster strikes, while you will be changed, the core you will remain.

Seeking new subscribersIf you enjoy, appreciate, laugh at and find inspiration in this newsletter, I would love your help. My goal as always, is to inspire as many people as possible to live their best lives. This newsletter is one way I do it.

Please send a note to a friend today and ask him or her to go to and take a look at the current edition of the newsletter or forward this one and encourage them to sign up. Thanks very much.

They did it! Stacey Kanneberg's dream job turned into a dud, but she let it go and discovered her real dream job lay closer to home

"I had my dream job selling a line of French skincare products for the only USA distributorship. The high end products sold themselves and had already received press in major magazines like Elle, Vogue, and many celebrities, including Arnold & Maria endorsed the product line. I had been hired to increase sales via the phone.

My boss was a Ph.D. Wellesley graduate. I thought I would learn so much from her. Unfortunately, she was so rude during her appearance on an Oprah show that they asked her to leave and never return! She had us in tears most of the time but I was still able to increase sales.

My first week, I increased sales by 300%, the second by 500%, the third by 800%. One day my boss called me in to her office to say that sales were going through the roof and asked if I could prepare a presentation to other members of our staff the next day.

I made my presentation to a standing ovation, was called into the office an hour later and was fired. My boss was trying to purchase the USA distributorship and with sales going down the tubes, the price had been going down too. Unfortunately my sales showed the executives that something was going on and they wanted to reevaluate her offer.

I went on to find my own dream job.

In 2004, my neighbor and I founded Cedar Valley Publishing. We were inspired my Oprah to write and self-publish, Let's Get Ready For Kindergarten!, a book that is getting national acclaim.

Now, I'm the boss and I will never, ever treat someone like I was treated. You get what you give."

You can see Stacey's book and get in touch with her by going to

From my ego to you with a stop at a terrific bookStephanie Chandler has written an excellent manual, The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide that features an "Entrepreneur Profile" of yours truly.

If you are considering going into business for yourself or know someone who is, I suggest you take a look at the book and not because I'm in it. It's filled with ideas and suggestions that will nurture anyone who wants to jump into entrepreneurship. You'll find the profiles interesting and yes, even inspiring.

Check it out at

Leave 'em laughing: Signs of our timesIn a Paris hotel: Please leave your values at the front desk.In a Bangkok dry cleaner's: Drop your trousers here for best results.In a Vienna hotel: In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.An ad by a Hong Kong dentist: Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar

You may freely distribute the articles in this newsletter as long as they are accompanied by the copyright notice and a link to