5 Ridiculous Myths Dispelled by a Military Spouse AND Entreprenuer

5 Ridiculous Myths Dispelled by a Military Spouse AND Entreprenuer

I married my husband on December 8, 2005 and overnight went from an ordinary civilian to a military spouse. To be quite honest, I had no idea what was in store for me, from multiple deployments to four moves to a kiddo born. These last ten years have been the adventure of my life and I wouldn’t trade them for anything…well, expect maybe my first 6 weeks at Ft Lewis as a newlywed when it rained for what I think was 46 days straight {that was a rough patch}.

I was already an entrepreneur when I married my husband and assumed I would continue building my businesses as we moved from beautiful duty station to beautiful duty station {I may have been a little naïve}.

So I was shocked when I was confronted with people’s reaction to my choice to be an entrepreneur AND a military spouse.

“It can’t be done. You move every 2 years and that just makes it impossible to be a business owner.”

“It’s really sweet that you want to have a hobby, but your job is to support your spouse, not to work.”

“Grab a little part time job or a hobby…you don’t really want to work do you?”

People were fast to give their opinions at the PX, in my husband’s office and even as I sat pregnant at Madigan Army Medical Center. This was a topic that many felt strongly about and as I questioned them I realized that there were 5 myths consistently shared on being an entrepreneurial military spouse.

1. Moving every 2-3 years makes it impossible to start a business…you’ll have to shut it down every single time.

This is the simplest myth to dispel, because when you move so much, entrepreneurship is the BEST way to keep consistency in your work life.

You will never have as much freedom as when you’re the boss.

Over the last eight years, the military has moved our family to four very different states and all along my businesses have kept on growing. Between building teams that run your business for you or relying on social media and cost per click marketing to quickly build a customer base in a new community, we live in the perfect time to be on the move and business builders all at once.

The best part: as an entrepreneur you can set your schedule based on your family’s circumstances. I work very little in the month before and after our moves so I have the freedom to get our family settled. That’s something no job will ever afford you.

2. As soon as you move away, your business is going to fail.

You don’t have to live next door to your business to be successful. I have never lived next door to my business. We specifically chose to open companies that could be run by a team from afar. Is this simple? Not in the beginning. It takes a plan to build a team and communication systems so you can keep your business healthy from across the country, but it’s entirely impossible to see huge returns on your business investment if you prepare correctly.

3. It’s so expensive to open a company. Where are you going to get that capital on a military salary?

In today’s world, businesses run the gamut from in-house cookie companies to billion dollar enterprises, which means starting a company could mean having the money to buy cookie cutters, flour and Facebook ads. While I don’t want you to underestimate the costs of getting a business off the ground, there are options ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. All it takes is a willingness to save and invest.

4. Jobs are so much more stable. Why would you risk this?

Jobs used to be stable, but in the last few years, I’ve found they’re anything but. Beyond that, entrepreneurship offers the possibility of real long term financial freedom.

Is there a risk? Absolutely, but it’s in direct proportion to the size of company you aim to start. So build slowly and with grace. You’re more likely find a stability that you never could have imagined.

5. You can’t run a company and have a family.

This is the knife blow to any mother who’s a business owner. “You can’t do both” is akin to saying you’re choosing your career over your family. As a momma to an amazing eight-year-old, I’ve had a kiddo hugging my knees while I built these businesses over naptimes and kitchen table conversations. It’s afforded me the right to be home at the bus every day, available for any field trip and without fear when a child gets sick. I’d call that the best of both worlds.

Ten years later, I’m grateful that I heard these myths and saw them for what they were…other people’s misconceptions.  Now, it’s your turn…what are you going to create as you live this crazy life as a military spouse?

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