Army Spouse Entrepreneurial Spirit

Military spouses have historically had a more difficult time than their “civilian” counterparts in finding a job, much less a career. With frequent PCS moves, deployments and whatever else the Army decides to throw our way, its difficult to keep your resume from appearing as a job hopping mess.

Some spouses are lucky enough to have degrees or training that can easily transfer from one post to the next and are in high demand – such as those in the medical field. Others of us are not quite so lucky and end up having to settle for jobs that don’t use our degree or training because it is all that is available.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that no matter where the Army may move you, your career can move with you? This was the best solution for me when my husband joined the Army. Not only did I want to have a portable career, I also wanted one that would offer a flexible schedule that could work around block leave schedules, surprise 4-day weekends and, of course, deployments.

I won’t sugar coat it. Leaving a good job with a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks was difficult. I think I backed out at least twice before I finally took the leap to becoming an entrepreneur! It has been five years since I took that leap and I am very happy that I did. There have been challenges along the way but the rewards have far outweighed them all (and I’m not only speaking financially).

I’ve spoken with quite a few military spouses about following the same path and many believe they don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Well, I have news for you. Many of the same qualities that make you successful as a military spouse will also make you successful as an entrepreneur.

* Adaptability: You are a military spouse. You’ve learned to deal with change since the very first meeting with the recruiter.
* Flexibility: When is the last time you completely changed your plans due to the whims of the Army and still made it work?
* Independent & Self Sufficient: During separations, you manage to take on all of the roles of two adults in the household. You become the chief executive officer, financial officer, head of operations, housekeeper, mechanic, cook, the list goes on. This is very similar to the daily roles of an entrepreneur.
* Commitment & Dedication: Dealing with the entrepreneurial world requires you to be able to overcome roadblocks and not give up at the first sign of trouble. Military spouses have had more of their fair share of opportunity to exhibit commitment and dedication to both their soldier and a boss that is technically his and not yours.
* Problem Solver: Its the rule of the military. As soon as your soldier leaves, anything that can go wrong, will. As a military spouse, you’ve learned to deal with problems head on, tackle whatever may come your way and come out on the other side with a smile on your face.

Over the next few months, I’m going to be expanding the website to create a section especially for entrepreneurs. We’ll discuss everything you need to know to be successful as an entrepreneur from idea creation to financial considerations. I want to reach out to other Army family members so that they can create a career life for themselves NOW instead of waiting for their soldier to retire, as I’ve seen so many spouses do. It is possible to be married to a soldier, yet still have a life and career of your own. And I will show you how.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. Hi! Did you ever expand this section of the website? I’ve found other links to articles, is there anything else? I’m a fairly recent spouse who moved to Korea with a masters degree. After a year of looking, nothing. What might be most helpful is perhaps a chat room/forum topic where spouses with similar issues could discuss them. I’m also happy to help out wherever I can on this. Thanks!

  2. What kind of business did you start? My husband recently talked me into MonaVie and don’t get me wrong, I love the product, but I’m not good at sales. Any tips or ideas? My dream is to actually start a bakery, but I don’t want to get a good client base here and then move again in 2 years so I guess that’s just as bad as a job lol

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