There are few more wonderful feelings than being your own boss, and a military spouse entrepreneur may know it better than any other. While being a milspouse can have its challenges, you'll have the power to make some decisions impacting your family.
An entrepreneur is a person who uses their creativity, skills, experience and drive to develop and share ideas, products or services with a targeted audience. This independent career path requires discipline and hard work, which is likely something every military spouse shares with their enlisted partner.
Every military spouse entrepreneur has the freedom to forge their own professional path, with flexibility and new opportunities inherent in the process. But not every person who launches their own business is successful. Here are five tips to become an entrepreneur as a military spouse.
Every business plan starts with a strong understanding of the brand’s values. This provides your “why,” or the motivation for the work. If the only reason you’re doing something is to make money, the project likely won’t hold your interest for long.
Dig deeper to establish the values, such as caring for a certain population or offering a solution that no one else does. Write them down.
Then, list your clear goals. These key performance indicators, or KPIs, allow you to break up the goals into action steps that are easier to complete and measure.
You may be able to juggle the household duties with supporting your military spouse and everything that comes with it, but you don’t have to be an expert in everything professionally. Chances are, you naturally excel at some tasks and not in others.
The most successful entrepreneurs know their strengths and weaknesses. For example, if number crunching isn’t your thing, it’s a smart business move to hire an accountant.
If your weakness includes specific skills that other leaders in your industry possess, consider furthering your education. You’ll feel more confident in business transactions and be able to leverage career opportunities in the future.
MedCerts, an online academic institution, accepts government funding through the MyCAA program. Military spouses may qualify for up to $4,000 in grants to pay for classes you can complete remotely as you get your business off the ground.
Of course, your spouse will be your biggest supporter. But what about the rest of your team? Surround yourself with the right people who can facilitate the work you’d like to do. Find mentors who have proven success or experience in your industry.
There’s no need to do it all alone. For example, MedCerts connects each student with a support advisor and career coach to help every step of the way.
While online learning can allow for the needed flexibility and resume building, there are many other places that a military spouse entrepreneur can learn. Find podcasts and YouTube channels of inspirational business leaders who share tips and motivation. Make your work a joy by creating an office you love with more tips from other experts.
Finally, don’t forget about your physical and mental health as you launch your new business. Take walks or go to the gym at the base to move your body and breathe deeply. Schedule time for friends, art, or music. Meditate every day to see the clear steps toward your professional and personal success.