Why military spouses make the best online entrepreneurs
As a military spouse, I’ve worked firsthand with veterans who are making their way back into the civilian workforce. I know how talented they are, how loyal they are to the companies they work for, how they can become amazing entrepreneurs, and the ways that they can continue to give back to the community.
But there’s a part of the community that gets ignored for how talented they are each and every single day: Military spouses. We work hard and so many of us have skills and talents that never get recognized. It can be hard being a military spouse - you have to help prepare the family for deployments, deal with periodic relocations, and keep your personal ship afloat.
We military spouses are tough, we’re resilient, and we are valuable contributing members of society and military life in our own right. But everyone seems to forget about that! Our spouses do incredible, important, life-changing and life-saving work, but we have our own skillset that makes us perfect to stop working for other people and start working for ourselves.
I run not one, but two businesses from my home office. That means that I get to set my own hours, I have my own team of employees, and I even work in two different languages. My first company ELEInternacional, helps people become Spanish tutors online, and Women Entrepreneur School helps women all over the world, including military spouses, run their own business.
Like you, I had a civilian job before I started working for myself - I used to teach at Cambridge University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Top of the world right?? Nope, after 3 years in that “perfect” position we were deployed to another base in the US and then I had to start my career all over again. Not anymore, I was done with that!
I know that military spouses have what it takes to become great entrepreneurs because these are skills that we all share. Don’t think you have a business idea? I bet you do, but just in case, I prepared a handy sheet with 35 different business ideas you can start online. Some of them require very little overhead money - and no, there’s no MLM company or Tupperware parties required!
Get your free list of 35 online business ideas!
Here are five reasons you’ll make an amazing digital entrepreneur, fellow military spouse
1. You’re flexible and adaptable (aka you can make any situation work)
When you’re a military spouse, flexibility is the name of the game. You know what it’s like to pack up your whole life at a moment’s notice for base transfers, to prepare the kids for deployment and be their rock, and starting over. When you are knocked down, you know how to get back up again.
Trust me, I know from experience, that’s a skill that you’re going to need to know. Being an entrepreneur requires you to be flexible! You have to be able to pivot with the market, try new things, and sometimes, even give out a harsh dose of reality when it’s needed!
2. You want to be of service to other people.
Let’s face it, your job is no less difficult than your partner’s. While your partner is deployed, you’re juggling a million different things, still making it to community events and doing it with a smile. You often do it without praise or even so much as a thank you. I’m sure you’re also used to seeing your spouse get thanked, but you are as much a part of their service journey - you’re the glue that sticks. You also make a sacrifice for your country.
You already know what it means to be of service.
As a business owner, your main job is always to be of service to other people. Whether you have a business that sells products or requires you to be present and be compensated for your time, you’re always serving others to the best of your ability.
Since you’re already a master at this, you’ve mastered something that takes others years and years to learn.
3. You know how to handle stress.
Who knows how to handle stress better than someone who has a few days to pack up the whole house, throw out anything you don’t need, while managing crying kids, nosy family members, and about 20 other obligations? A military spouse does.
There are few people on the planet better equipped to handle stress than you. You know how to make friends in a new community, you will pitch in to make sure that everything gets done, and you’ve probably helped your fair share of friends and fellow military spouses during their transitions, too.
Even though you’ll eventually grow to the point that you can have a staff, sometimes, things come up. A problem with an order. Missing something off a calendar. The internet totally shutting down when you’re mid-way through a launch.
You’re an excellent problem solver and instead of going into major freak out mode, you are already prepared to handle that stuff.
4. You know how to think of the big picture.
Want to know one of the main reasons why businesses fail? It’s not because their founders aren’t smart. It’s not because they didn’t make money.
It’s because most people can’t think of the big picture.
You’re a master at that! You know what it’s like to think of the bigger picture as a military spouse because you do it constantly. You know that we’re all fighting for a world of equality, of justice, of safety. You’re able to picture your spouse coming back in through the door even as they’re leaving.
You know what it’s like to hold onto the dream even when others have abandoned it.
Never undervalue that quality. It’s one of the biggest traits that an entrepreneur needs. You can see that what you’re doing today will take roots in the future and as long as you have that to motivate you, you can keep going. There are many entrepreneurs who wish that they had that ability, trust me.
5. You have superhuman powers that don’t fit on a resumé.
Let’s face it - your work resumé doesn’t really represent who you are. With all the moving, having to keep everyone together, sometimes not being able to work because of stuff that’s going on at home, you probably don’t have a neatly packaged work resumé like other candidates.
Your skills probably don’t even fit on a resumé. Where do you put “Can balance on a chair with three boxes in hand while leaning backwards to grab the tape that you forgot in the other room”? Other skills?
An online business allows you to take the best of your skills, mash them up and turn it into something great. You’ll be able to shred your stack of resumés because you won’t need them.
Having an online business is one of the only ways to be sure that you can weather the storm of moving and deployments safely. It doesn’t matter where you live, as long as you have an internet connection, you can work. You don’t have to explain why you’re starting over, you don’t have to take whatever job is available, and you don’t have to make new roots every single time you move. Your business moves with you because all you need is your laptop and you’re good to go.
You can do this. I have faith in you. I did it, and I’ve seen so many other military spouses do it, too. If you’re not sure what kind of business you can start, here’s a list of 35, just for you!
Get your free list of 35 online business ideas