Archive for the 'business' Tag

Categories: 5 items(s) found

Business Links

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Here are some male military spouse businesses you should check out.

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Posted in Business Links

Male Spouse Help

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Here are some videos offering help for male military spouses. These videos cover a variety of topics from marriage communication to starting and running a business to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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Military Spouse Business

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Military Spouse Business opportunities

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MSBA

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The Military Spouse Business Association (MSBA) is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization, founded by military spouse entrepreneurs for military spouse entrepreneurs with the mission to support military spouse entrepreneurs.

  1. Military Spouse Business Owners face unique challenges.
  2. Military Spouse Business Owners need the virtual support of their peers.
  3. Check out our website at www.milspousebiz.org

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Posted in MSBA

Start a Business

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Posts: 45 items(s) found

Start a Career in Gunsmithing

SDIGunSmith2.jpgHave you ever thought of a career in Gunsmithing?
America is a country built on traditions, and firearm ownership is a tradition that has been with us since the beginning. More than a third of Americans report having a firearm in their house, or on their property.

The firearms industry has seen a massive increase in sales in recent years. 2012 set a record for the highest recorded number of sales in a given year, and 2013 even broke that record. With CNN reporting record-breaking Black Friday gun sales in 2014 – over three a second for a total of over 175,000 on that single day – the firearms industry shows little indication of slowing down.

1365 Views | 65 Likes | 17 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

The First Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

MMSScholarship.jpgThe School of Firearms Technology (SFT) at Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and Macho Spouse have announced the first ever Male Military Spouse Day dedicated to the male spouses of America's service members. To celebrate the launch of Male Military Spouse Day, SDI is offering a scholarship opportunity for male military spouses. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must be a member of the MachoSpouse.com community (registration is FREE and all we ask is your email address). This year's debut Male Military Spouse Day will see one spouse within our community win a full-tuition scholarship for the School of Firearms Technology professional Gunsmithing certificate course. The winner will also receive a complete build of an AR-15 rifle, for a total award value of more than $3,000.

SFT created this course specifically to fit within the MyCAA scholarship. However, you do not have to qualify for MyCAA benefits to be eligible for this scholarship opportunity.  Hear from Terry Fields, a male military spouse on this great opportunity in the video above.

Male Military Spouse Day

The first Male Military Spouse Day will be May 7, 2015 in order to honor the lives and struggles of our under-recognized population.
With nearly 190,000 male military spouses globally (per DoD), our large but scattered group faces significant challenges. Stigma and social disconnection complicate common military spouse issues such as underemployment and family stress, leading to a divorce rate nearly three times higher among military-affiliated couples in which the wife is the service member. (Just released stats show this high % of divorce for male military spouses to be dropping, great news, but we still have a lot of work to do!)

The purpose of Male Military Spouse Day will be to raise the public profile of this group in order to facilitate awareness of male military spouse concerns and the development of solutions to preventable problems such as social isolation and educational access. Here's what Macho Spouse founder, Chris Pape, had to say about being a part of Male Military Spouse Day: “Considering that Macho Spouse is the only legitimate resource available to male military spouses, it is a great feeling to be part of an official "Male Military Spouse Day." In fact, given that this is probably the first official Male Military Spouse Day ever, it's even more exciting! Now, throw in the fact that one or our members will be awarded a life-changing opportunity to receive an SDI Gunsmithing scholarship, and this will be one hell of a day!”

Gunsmithing Scholarship Opportunity

SDI's scholarship opportunity offered in conjunction with the first Male Military Spouse Day is intended to showcase the resources that are available to male spouses who have yet to take advantage of their military-sponsored My Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) education entitlement. However, the Gunsmithing scholarship recipient does not need MyCAA eligibility to qualify for the award.
The School of Firearms Technology's Gunsmithing certificate course is an introductory class that teaches the knowledge and skills required to obtain an entry-level position as a gunsmith. All coursework is online and accessible from any location. Hardware for the course is shipped to the student as needed.  Graduates of SFT's Gunsmithing course will receive a certificate to present to employers as evidence of their training in the building, maintenance, customization, and legal sale of different types of firearms. Certificates can be used to obtain valid employment as a gunsmith. Many graduates take the course to get more knowledge on an enjoyable hobby or to get started on their own business. With military connections, they have a ready-made customer base.

Follow-Up Information

Macho Spouse and the Sonoran Desert Institute are initiating Male Military Spouse Day and the 2015 scholarship giveaway as a gesture of recognition and solidarity with male military spouses who struggle with economic or family stress. Readers can learn more about Gunsmith training at the online home of SDI's School of Firearms Technology or register as a member of Macho Spouse before the May 7th announcement of the scholarship winner.

About Sonoran Desert Institute: The School of Firearms Technology began in 1921 (that's even older than the NRA!), under the name of the School of Gunsmithing. Since then, it has transformed into an internationally recognized school offering multiple programs, including one of the only Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degrees in the country, some of the nation's best Gunsmithing Certificate programs, and a diverse armorer's programs. The School of Firearms Technology's elite faculty and staff include celebrated military personnel, nearly 75 years' worth of combined higher education experience, nationally recognized firearms experts and more.

4047 Views | 574 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Inc 500/5000 Conference and Mentor Fair

Guys, I personally attended this event last year in Phoenix and it was the best conference I've ever attended.  Inc. goes out of their way to make you feel welcome and feel as part of their family.  They offer a high-level of support even when the conference is over...hell, especially when the conference is over.  If you have your own business, or are thinking of starting one, I highly recommend you apply for this program.  If you don't get selected, I highly encourage you to go anyway.

Chris

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1154 Views | 58 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

The Advantages of Being an Active Duty Entrepreneur

JasonAnderson.jpgThe Assumption:

At the basic level, I think it is safe to say that human beings fundamentally get tremendous satisfaction out of creating something that is uniquely their own. I personally think this spirit is at the core of all human beings. I see this everyday in my own children when they develop their arts and crafts and proudly show my wife and I the bounty of the effort they put in. As we grow older, graduate from high school, college (or both) and enter the work force, we become part of an organization. While jobs vary widely (as does job satisfaction!), an objective person walking into any organization can see that waning passion is not an uncommon theme. I often wonder if that lack of passion is the cumulative result of getting farther away from your own interests and passions over time.

1388 Views | 74 Likes | 40 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Think the Fiscal Cliff is scary?

(The Old Fart speaks his mind and we encourage that at Macho Spouse.  However, The Old Fart's views do not necessarily represent the views of Macho Spouse...but he sure is fun to read.)

daveblog.jpgThink the Fiscal Cliff is scary?
Wait till you do your taxes!!!
You crazy political cry-babies, you stubborn fools who call yourselves the people's choice – are you really that blind?

2587 Views | 65 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Video - Male Military Spouse Entrepreneurship

vid_msbathumb2.jpgThe Military Spouse Business Association (MSBA) is a terrific resource for military spouse entrepreneurs. We list them as a “Spouse Oranization That Rocks!” because we believe in their mission, and have personally used their services with great success. If you have a business of your own, or are considering starting one, we recommend watching this video and then registering with the MSBA. (Run Time: 4:22)


Interview With: Rikki Winters, MSBA Operations Director

1250 Views | 2 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Organizations

Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes was launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's network of 1600 state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, our goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day. Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 400 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. More than 14,100 veterans and military spouses have obtained jobs.

Posted in Find Work

Macho Productions - Award-winning Video Production

Award-winning Video Production from Macho ProductionsOnline video is one of the most powerful and effective ways to communicate.

“Today, online video is a must-have for any organization concerned with brand identification, search engine optimization, and online presence. Placing video on your website is simply a smart business practice.” - Bloomberg Business Week 2010

Not only does Macho Spouse provide the best male military spouse video content in the world, but it is also a full-service video production company.

Macho Spouse founder, Chris Pape, is an Electronic Media graduate from the University of Cincinnati who specializes in marketing and educational productions. He has spent the better part of 15 years building a solid reputation as a talented and creative producer, director, writer, shooter and editor.

Over the years Chris has produced work for many nationally known media outlets including: ESPN, ESPN2, NBC, ABC, CBS, The Weather Channel, Current TV, PBS, and The Outdoor Channel.

Chris's work and creative vision has earned multiple awards, including 7 National Telly Awards (2003-2011), 2 Regional ADDY Awards (2005-2007), 2 State Media Awards (WV 1999-2000), and a 2007 Colorado Academic Production Award.

If you are in the market for high-quality video production services, hire a military spouse!

Video production packages can be tailored to meet most budgets. Contact Macho Productions for more information and to learn how video will help brand your organization and clarify your message.

Posted in Hire a Spouse

TJ Technology Professionals - Website Development and IT Services

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Taurus James is the owner and Sr. IT Specialist at TJ Technology Professionals, LLC, an Information Technology Services company. Taurus takes pride in being a "Master at your Service", handling everything from website design and development to custom programming to server and database administration.

The MachoSpouse.com website is actually powered by the TOROCMS content management system that Taurus built.

Taurus is also a musician/composer who creates "Moody instruMental Music" for commercial projects and personal enjoyment. Visit TaurusBeats.com to listen to the music Taurus creates and watch how he shares what he knows, globally, through his online video tutorials.

Need help with a website, email server, or other technical project? Hire Taurus!

Need music for your project or your personal enjoyment? Hire Taurus!

Posted in Hire a Spouse

Hiring Our Heroes: Teaching Employers To Hire Military Veterans And Spouses

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I write about military financial independence, but Im getting a lot of e-mail about navigating the drawdown and starting a bridge career. Im also hearing from Reserve and National Guard servicemembers about balancing their military careers with their civilian employers. Veterans (and military spouses) know that their transition to a civilian career will be like transferring to a duty station in a foreign country. Theyll spend lots of time explaining their military skills and achievements to civilians and translating their military culture into a foreign language.

Then theres the challenge of competing with hundreds of other potential employees who are also reporting for duty at these companies. The drawdown is adding several hundred thousand more veterans to the usual crowd of people who are already leaving the military, and this exodus will continue until at least 2017.

Over the last three years the U.S. Department of Labor and the Veterans Administration have rolled out a number of initiatives. By now youve seen at least a half-dozen programs for translating your military career into a civilian resume, or creating your elevator pitch, or finding your ideal company. Theres plenty of advice on Linkedin about researching your company, tapping into the right networks, and handling interviews. There are many government and non-profit programs to guide you through the transition process, even if the military overlooks a few steps during their transition seminars.

Those programs are helping veterans and spouses figure out what employers want and showing them how to navigate the job search. Wouldnt it be nice if someone taught the employers about you? Wouldnt it be a huge relief to meet hiring managers who already understands who you are and what you can do? Wouldnt it be great to work for a company that actually wants to hire military veterans?

Last week I interviewed a group of people who have started doing just that. Theyve spent months building the programs and the infrastructure, and theyve already educated a number of companies on military veterans & spouses. They held their first hiring conference two weeks ago, and now theyre coming to a base near you.

The interview was arranged by USAAs staff. (Thanks, Jamia & Pete!) I talked with Geoff Grant, their Program Director of Supplier Diversity. (Hes also an Army veteran.) We were joined in the call by Jennifer Giering, the Director of Business and State Engagement at Hiring Our Heroes. We also talked with Bryan Goettel, the Chamber of Commerce Founda

Posted in Blog

Take Your Smoothie & Suck It

SmoothieFlag.jpgSo this post on Stars and Stripes is currently making the rounds on social media and is kicking up quite a bit of dust. Historically I'm a sucker for these types of “opinion pieces” primarily because I love reading the comments, and the follow-up commentary on this post didn't disappoint. However, most people seemed to have missed Mr. Duffy's thinly veiled insult to military family members; as well as, a very lousy marketing and public relations policy.

6466 Views | 3073 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 1 Comments


Posted in Blog

Top 10 Reasons Military Spouses Benefit From Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are wonderful things that most people probably don't use to their full advantage. With a group, you can control who is in the group and even if the group can be found via search. This makes it perfect for chatting or sharing things that you don't want everyone to see.

1. To Keep In Touch With Friends and Family

Use groups to keep a conversation with your close friends or family. You can freely share things you many not feel comfortably sharing on just your Facebook page and it's great for planning events or large get together. It's also easier to keep up with everything than having to visit everyone's pages

2. Easier Communication With Your Spouse During Deployments

We all know that communication can be limited during deployment. There are pictures and stories you want to share with your spouse, but don't want everyone else to see, so share them in a group. You can limit it to just the two of you as members, then when he/she gets a chance to check in, they can see everything at once.

3. Network At A New Duty Station

The hardest thing to do at a new duty station is make friends and network. Find a Facebook group for your base. Ask questions about the area, learn about classes for fitness or other things that interest you, and even find babysitters.

4. Keep Up With Your Spouse's Unit

A lot of units and FRG's have Facebook groups or pages. This can easily allow you to see what is going on with the unit and any upcoming events that may be of interest to you. These groups are especially helpful if the unit is gone for training or deployed.

5. Garage Sale Pages

Right? Facebook garage sale pages are great! You can easily buy and sell items and even find people for house cleaning or babysitters. Since it's a group, the admins should only allow people in your area to be included.

6. Entertainment Purposes

Groups can be started for anything, including news, current events, or your favorite TV show. If your spouse hates watching OITNB, talk about the episodes in a group with other fans.

7. Foster And Receive Support From Other Military Spouses

Have questions about benefits, PCSing, or military life in general, there's a group for that. If there isn't you can start one! Everything from MyCAA for spouses to wounded warrior wives.

8. Helping To Reach New Goals

Looking to grow your business or go back to school? Find a supportive group of like-minded people to answer any questions and help keep you motivated.

Posted in Blog

Get in the Game

AMUNewA.jpgBy John Aldrich, AVP, Military Relations at American Military University

Movember, the grass roots movement to raise awareness about men's health issues is nearly complete, and for those of you who are growing a mustache to show support for the cause, I salute you. For those who didn't participate or weren't aware of Movember, there is always next November.

Just like the mustaches of the Men of Movember, male military spouses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are stay-at-home dads, some run businesses from home, and others balance careers outside the home and taking care of the family.

1163 Views | 49 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Marine Veteran/Male Military Spouse - Scentsy? Yep!

AndrewWebPic copy.jpgMarine veteran and male military spouse, Andrew Ferguson, has stepped outside his comfort zone to make a little money.  He is selling Scentsy stuff.  Guys, THIS is the type of creativity, determination, and courage it takes to be a successful business person as a miltiary spouse!  When we asked how this new venture came about, this is what Andrew said:

1653 Views | 61 Likes | 25 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Automotive Careers! Have you thought about it?

PattMSShirt_edited.jpgWe were looking around and found this advice at Mr.Dad.com and thought we would shar with you. It certainly is a career field that is, parden the pun, very mobile.

Let's face it, the best career involving four wheels and an engine block is a race car driver or a big shot engineer. But if you don't have Speed Racer driving skills or a Henry Ford brain, plenty of unique and fun automotive careers are still abound. You just have to know what you're looking for.

1033 Views | 71 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

Contractor vs Employee

employee-contractor-300x270.jpgSo, you have a job offer and the employer offers you employment as either an independent contractor or an employee. You figure that since your wife is in the military, you don't need the insurance and your paycheck will be bigger without all that withholding taken out.

Life as a 1099'er

Ready to take that 1099? Not so fast. You might be in for a big shock at the end of the year. Here is a list of some of the hits you'll take.

• All the income taxes for each taxing entity will be due every quarter after your first year in business. A total of 90 percent must be paid by April 15 of the following year or there will be a penalty.

• You will have to pay the entire Social Security tax. That amounts to 15.3 percent on your first $113,700 and 2.9 percent over that amount. Employees get half that amount paid by their employer automatically. However, as a self-employed individual, you may deduct the half that an employer would have contributed.

• Independent contractors are not covered by non-discrimination laws, wage and hour protection, unemployment insurance, or pension and benefit protections that “real” employees receive.

• If you drive or run other equipment for the business that pays you, you won't be covered by the employer's insurance policy. Guess who that leaves?

What Makes an Employee

The basic issue in deciding whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor is the business's control over the work of the person. This sounds like a simple matter, but courts constantly are deluged with arguments about this issue.

If you're told when to come to work; if you don't provide your own equipment or supplies; and if you are paid in set increments such as hours or piecework, you are an employee, period. If they train you, you are an employee. The courts have made clear that just because the employer doesn't decide to use control, doesn't mean you are then an independent contractor. The crux of the matter is whether they have the right to do so. Read the IRS publication about the issue of contractors vs employees.

Making the Right Decision

Before you make any decisions, take some time to investigate and consider which category works best for you and your family. If you are leaning toward becoming an independent contractor, make sure you're prepared to save enough to cover your tax expenses and any additional costs like liability insurance.

Consider incorporating as a LLC to protect yourself and give you additional tax protection. It's a good idea to get the help of a paralegal, lawyer and tax specialist.

If you are considering becoming self-employed, be certain to read the IRS Bulletin Understanding Employment Taxes. This is a simple document that explains what the requirements are in everyday language.

This post was sponsored by the School of Firearms Technology from the Sonoran Desert Institute.

1004 Views | 46 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

Planning a Career as a Military Spouse? Think Portability!

AMUNewA.jpgArticle by Craig Gilman, Faculty Member at American Military University

Joining the military means a life of training exercises and deployments away from home, not to mention periodic transfers with little choice of duty stations that can be found in countries half a world away. What comes with all that is a career, even if only for a few years, that provides opportunities for personal growth and satisfaction, professional challenge and reward, career development, and leadership opportunities that build a stronger resume.

Becoming a military spouse is a different story. In addition to the unpredictability of the military lifestyle and, often, the additional responsibility of being the de facto head-of-household and primary parental role model during deployments, there is no guarantee of a meaningful career or even temporary job to help pay the bills. Military spouses who want a professional career face high hurdles.

1508 Views | 94 Likes | 12 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Find Work

30 Ways of Thanks Day #29

30Still.jpgMilitary spouses make amazing employees, and entrepreneurs. If you have skills in things like professional development, or how to start a business, consider mentoring a military spouse!

 

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

1064 Views | 102 Likes | 43 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

30 Ways of Thanks Day #4

30Still.jpgOne great way for business owners to say "thank you" this November is by offering military families discounts. Most military families live on a modest budget, and especially around the holidays every little bit helps!

 

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

896 Views | 77 Likes | 33 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Get Involved

2015 'Thank You' and Year In Review

malemilitaryspouse_2015_YIRIt's the holiday season and to me that means spending time with family and friends while reflecting on the year that was. How many had a good year? How many of you feel as if you've accomplished, overcome, loved and laughed as much as possible? There have been a few bad years in my life where I just wanted the damn thing to finish so I could start fresh with a clean slate, it's a mindset, but we all know that reality doesn't work that way. I usually judge my life in a similar way as to how we judge football coaches, “what have you done for me lately.” My year was a good one, a net-positive. So congratulations, you get “happy Chris,” or at least “less grumpy and sarcastic Chris.”

The tremendous amount of progress within the male military spouse community is one reason why 2015 was a good year. Guys, we're finally starting to get some recognition. People, businesses, and other organizations are starting to approach us and ask for our input, insight, and yes, our business. Marketers are finally recognizing that we are a demographic worth pursuing; just check out this holiday spot from Toys R Us. (I just bought 4 gift cards for my nieces from them because of this commercial.)

In 2015, Macho Spouse was approached by the Sonoran Desert Institute's School of Firearms Technology to hold the first ever “Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day” where SDI donated a full-tuition scholarship to their popular Gunsmithing certificate course. (Male military spouses are a large demographic for them.) USAA asked for our participation to help raise awareness on the importance of life insurance during “Life Insurance Awareness Month.” Yeah, I didn't know that month existed before this opportunity either, but USAA sure knows that we exist! And Marriott really knocked us off our feet when they offered several nights worth of hotel stays in return for a few reviews on their TownePlace Suites properties. TownePlace Suites made it very clear that they are interested in helping military families who are on the road, from PCSing to family vacations, TownePlace Suites wants our business!  And it's not like this is some shabby hotel chain guys, their rooms are usually very spacious, clean, come with fully equiped kitchens, and hot breakfasts.  I was surprised to learn how many were actuallyl located near military installations, which makes them a great temporary housing option, or vacation get-a-way. In full disclosure, I dispersed their generous offering quietly among those guys who have helped keep Macho Spouse up and running over the last few years. We don't make any money here, so when a top-notch organization such as Marriott offers us some swag, I like to spread it out amongst our volunteers first. If you want access to some of this cool stuff, contact me and be prepared to help build our community. But while I'm speaking of TownePlace Suites, you guys should check them out because they're really showing their appreciation and commitment to our military community! That goes for USAA and Sonoran Desert Institute as well, these organizations aren't just talking about supporting male military spouses, they're actually doing it. So let's not forget to return this generosity in 2016.

While I'm patting others on the back, I can't forget the amazing content NextGen Military Spouse, Military.com/SpouseBuzz, and Military Spouse delivered on behalf of male military spouses in 2015. When I started Macho Spouse in late 2011/early 2012, there was nearly nothing…nothing, written for or about us male military spouses. No blogs, no websites, no Facebook pages, no nothing. Now look at us, male spouses are popping up everywhere! (We've probably had absolutely nothing to do with this trend, but I will take full credit.) So despite terrorism, politics, war, and racial unrest, life hasn't been all bad this year. It's been good enough for me to crack a cold one, light a cigar, sit back and reflect on how far we've come and how many goals are still left to accomplish. Don't worry, I won't be consuming and driving while reflecting, Dana and I have already booked our New Year's Eve room at the San Antonio Riverwalk TownePlace Suites. Happy 2015 everyone, have a safe holiday season!

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Rune of the Apprentice - A Novel Written by a Male Military Spouse

Jamison Stone and wife 2.pngHello male military spouse community! 

My name is Jamison Stone and I am the spouse of Staff Sergeant Rebecca Bainbridge of the United States Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland. Because of her assignment, my wife, and the rest of her company, are on tour and away from their families for over 100 days out of the year.



As you very well know, Military service is hard on families. While I speak more about this topic on my blog, the ongoing struggle is very taxing to both the heart and the mind. Most difficult for me is the sadness and depression of separation during my partner's deployment and training.



Sadly, many Military Families have it far worse off than we do, particularly those with service members actually in harm's way, and especially of course those who make the ultimate sacrifice defending our country. All these women and men who proudly wear the cloth of our nation, and their families, are true heroes.



Female Mil Spouses are very lucky to have a wide network of other military wives to lean on during these difficult times. Sadly, we men, are not as fortunate. Personally, I find it extremely challenging as an Army husband to find a real sense of community. This is particularly emphasized when my wife is away on training or tour.

1560 Views | 69 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Military Spouse JD Network - Legal Professionals improving the lives of military families

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The Military Spouse JD Network is an international network of legal professionals improving the lives of military families.  We support military spouses by:

  • Advocating for licensing accommodations, including bar membership without additional examination,
  • Providing education about the challenges facing military families,
  • Encouraging hiring military spouses, and
  • Providing a support network.

1426 Views | 108 Likes | 10 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Links

National Military Spouse Network (NMSN)

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The National Military Spouse Network (NMSN) - the pre-eminent networking, mentoring and professional development organization committed to the education, empowerment and advancement of military spouses.

2162 Views | 62 Likes | 37 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Links

Entrepreneurship 101: The Main Reasons You Need a Business Plan

JasonAnderson.jpgYou have captured your small business idea, now what do you do? If you are like me, once the idea is seeded in your mind, you begin to brainstorm the best way forward. But what is the best way forward. Depending on your own personal experiences, getting your mind caged to help your idea might be one of the most challenging things you do.

I think one of most amazing aspects of starting a business is the pure creation of the endeavor. I think the concept of turning your thought, a series of synapses that fired in your brain, into an existing and tactile entity is one of the best attributes to being human. I personally think this pure creation provides is what provides deep satisfaction and feeds the soul of man and woman. Despite the feelings that great ideas provoke, it is still hard to see the path forward if you don't know how to proceed. This is where the business plan fits in nicely.

1185 Views | 78 Likes | 38 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Entrepreneurship Fundamentals: Becoming the Entrepreneurial CEO

JasonAnderson.jpgA CEO is that one person who embodies the entirety of the business they represent. They internalize everything about the business and then direct their energy and effort into making good decisions that (hopefully) fall in line with strategies designed to grow the business into profitability.

What makes an Entrepreneurial CEO so special is their humble starting point. While CEOs of existing companies have resources, a staff, and money to operationalize their actions, an Entrepreneurial CEO typically has none of that. You are the resource. You set the framework from which to organize, then layout the business' milestones and timelines in pursue of the desired end state. You also have the challenge of simultaneously balancing present-day tasks with long-range planning and being able to effectively communicate that to the team. And ultimately, you are the one responsible for how well (or not) things turn out. Sound intimidating? It is! But you have some things working in your favor.

890 Views | 118 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Nurturing the Money Tree: Creating Income - Part 1

DirectionDivaLogo.jpgTo work or not to work that is the question on all of our minds at one time or another in our military careers.

It seems that the subject of employment comes up whenever money is tight, when the kids are all finally in school, or you PCS to a new duty station. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about getting a job outside of our home just so we could have a little wiggle room in the budget.

I even tried it one year to get some extra holiday cash, and frankly it was a disaster. Nothing got done, the kids were disappointed because I wasn't home when they came back from college, and my husband hated the fact that his life had to change, not to mention my home business began to struggle as well. (Yes, he is spoiled but the fact that he is a genius on the grill makes up for it)
For some military spouses working outside the home works for them, but for many of us the constant changes, multiple moves and unpredictability of our lives make employment very difficult unless you are fortunate to have a career that can move with you.

1078 Views | 113 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Nurturing the Money Tree: Owning a Small Business- Part 2

DirectionDivaLogo.jpgIn Part 1 of Nurturing the Money Tree we chatted about creating income by working for someone else. But if you are like me, maybe working for someone else isn't for you, and many military spouses actually choose to own their own businesses.  I know I did.

This option gives them the flexibility and control that they are looking for while building something for their future at the same time.  Being a business owner has some great advantages, but if you don't know what you are getting into and you don't have a plan of action it can quickly take over your life or worse leave you in a financial pickle.

Posted in Macho Money

What Does "No Money Down" Really Cost?

FlagHouse.jpgIs it possible to buy a home with no money down? If you or your spouse qualifies for a VA home loan, the answer is yes. VA home loans are a special benefit available to current and ex-members of the U.S. military only and they can save homebuyers a lot of money. Veterans and active members of the U.S. military are eligible for some of the lowest interest rates on the market but that's not the only way VA Loans save buyers money. VA Loans are also "No Money Down" home loans.

Understanding "No Money Down"

"No money down" means homebuyers don't have to provide a down payment to obtain a VA Loan. Traditional mortgages or home loans require as much as 5% to 20% of the purchase price as a down payment on a home. On a $200,000 home that is between $10,000 and $20,000 that must be provided at the closing. Saving up that much money for a down payment is a huge stumbling block for many would-be buyers. They may have the credit and income qualifications needed to obtain a home loan, but just can't come up with the down payment. Too often they end up not buying their own home or they miss out on the home they really want.

The VA Loan program changes that and makes homeownership more accessible by waiving the down payment requirement. VA Loan mortgage lenders are willing to forego this requirement because VA Loans are backed by the U.S. Government. This minimizes the risk to lenders if a buyer defaults, which is one of the primary reasons down payments are typically required.

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Posted in Macho Money

What is an Active-Duty Entrepreneur?

JasonAnderson.jpgAn active-duty entrepreneur is a military service member or spouse who deliberately plans and carries out the steps required to conceptualize, develop, and (perhaps) launch a small business while still on active duty. They understand that utilizing their unique military ecosystem (which provides job security, a dependable salary, health-care, and a predictable career timetable) provides them a built-in advantage over other aspiring entrepreneurs. In fact, the military ecosystem might be the ideal place to begin small business development. Think of the untapped well of entrepreneurial potential energy the Department of Defense has to offer! If only a small percent of the overall military population mobilized this new approach, it would be a game-changer by spurring small business development, innovation, and job creation resulting in an overall positive affect on the sluggish US economy.

2464 Views | 135 Likes | 27 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Which is More Risky, Entrepreneurship or Trying to find Defense-Related Employment After Separation?

JasonAnderson.jpgEarlier this year I attended my Transition Assistance Program (TAP) class ahead of my planned 1 August 2014 retirement.  After completing the week of training with 25 other military members (both officers and enlisted), I was left with some thoughts about the program and life after the military.


TAP class, whose name is now Transition GPS due the passage of the 2011 Vow to Hire Heroes Act, was heavily geared towards providing military members the tools to become Government Service (GS) employees or defense industry professionals.  I certainly understand why.  After all, everyone in the class served in the military their entire career, some spanning over 30 years.  It makes sense that most would want to capitalize on the skills they acquired during their many years of service.

1212 Views | 131 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Macho Money

Are you “Brewtrinsic?" - Beer Blogger

AaronB2.jpgThe following is an excerpt from a paper I wrote titled “Changing Mechanistic Manufacturing”, which focuses on the culture metaphor inherent in many breweries. Of particular interest is the intrinsic (motivated by the nature of the work) characteristic of brewery workers.

923 Views | 71 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

Beer Shopping Guide - The Beer Blogger

AaronB2.jpgYou're inside the store, so now what? With more stores providing more beers to choose from the task of beer shopping often leads to a paradox of choice for shoppers.

I believe going beer shopping should be a joyous occasion especially with the growing selection due to the surge of craft breweries in the U.S. Even if you are a naysayer that claims “I don't like beer” there is most likely an offering that will pleasantly surprise you.

However, the increased selection has also led to some confusion for consumers. For example, I often get asked how to select “good” beer by friends and even other shoppers.

1056 Views | 78 Likes | 35 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

MachoSpouse Beer Blogger - Aaron Brodniak

AaronB2.jpgFirst, I would like to thank Macho Spouse's founder Chris Pape for all of his past, current and future hard work and dedication for the male military spouse community. Also, I want to thank Macho Spouse for the opportunity to write about one of my favorite subjects, BEER! In this blog I will write about beer from a consumer perspective, home brewer and craft beer professional.

Who am I?

I am a service-disabled Coast Guard veteran that transitioned to the craft brewing industry and have now been working in the industry for 18 years. I began my brewing career at a craft brewery in downtown Seattle just two weeks after being honorably discharged. During the course of my brewing career I have also worked in Brewpubs where I held the position of Regional Brewer for a chain of brewpubs. Currently, I consult for breweries and also operate a pilot system to teach prospective brewery owners and homebrewers about the differences between home brewing and professional brewing.

I am also a male military spouse, so I have had to juggle work (when I can), home brewing and the challenges that come with military life. During the last ten years I have primarily been at home taking care of my boys (now 7 and 10), earning a bachelors and just recently my master's degree. I have been keeping my feet wet by home brewing and doing some part time brewery consulting. Now, I am re-entering the craft brewing industry and will be an instructor at both a Craft Brewery Start-up Workshop and Craft Cidery Start-up Workshop for Oregon State University this Spring. Of course, immediately after the workshop we will be relocating so the next five months will be busy! Enough about me, let's talk beer!

1286 Views | 102 Likes | 32 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Male Spouse 101

Buy American Beer!

AaronB2.jpgAs we approach the 4th of July many of us will celebrate by grilling our favorite foods accompanied by the delicious elixir called beer. As the line-up of beers continues grow and spill into different parts of your local retailer (due to lack of shelf space for craft beer), I encourage you to consider the origins of your beer. Is your beer truly American or is it owned by a foreign company?
Although large brewers (i.e. AB InBev, MillerCoors) continue to brew in the U.S. and do provide jobs domestically, they are no longer American owned companies. This may be old news to many, however, there are still those that associate the larger beer brands with the stars and stripes.

1193 Views | 116 Likes | 39 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Military Spouses check out the Inc. Military Entrepreneurs Program

As a military spouse, I am constantly searching for resources and helpful information about employment and entrepreneurship to pass on to other military spouses.

Having to leave behind jobs that I really enjoyed because my wife received relocation orders was never easy. I felt that my idea of a career was lost so I looked into entrepreneurship.

Inc. Military Entrepreneurs is a resource for veterans, service members and military spouses to start, run and grow their own businesses.

Keywords: Military Entrepreneurs entrepreneurship

Military Base Guides

Military.com has comprehensive base guides with information about military installations around the globe. You can get all the information you need about a military base in one place.

Get access to base directories, online local communities, local news and events, local restaurant and business reviews, and sections for spouses and vets.

Military.com Base Guides

Posted in Military Bases

MSEJ - Military Service Employment Journal, November 2012

MSEJ-201211.jpgCheck out the November 2012 Military Service Employment Journal from MSCCN.

Career Advice: Do you look at yourself as a business? If you want a successful business, you first have to have a business plan. The same rules apply to a career plan you should apply to your "Professional Self".

Portable Careers: Tired of Changing Careers? Try just moving it! What is the definition of a portable career? A portable career is a career in which you are not bound to stay in one location. It's a career that allows you the freedom to decide where you want to live, be it a new city, a new state, or a new country! It's a job that goes and grows with you.

As a military spouse, you are not guaranteed to be in the same place for a long time. Duty calls, not just for the service member, but for the entire family. The spouse is the one that needs to be able to hold it all together and keep things running right.

Once you get a job, you dread the day that you have to walk into your boss's office and explain to him that orders have come in for your entire family, because that's the way it is. Your children have to say goodbye to their schools, friends, teachers, and you have to say goodbye to your friends, co-workers, and job. But why say goodbye? Wouldn't it be better to say “Out of the office, will be back in a week”?

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Posted in MSCCN

First National Guard Spouse to Win the 2013 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Award

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 09, 2013

Alicia Hinds Ward was named the 2013 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year ® today in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the military community.

Video of the awards ceremony will be available on Military Spouse mag YouTube channel.

Nominated by her husband, Tech. Sgt. Edwinston Ward, Alicia's accomplishments include serving as the Key Spouse for the 113th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Relocation Assistance contractor, Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Family Panel Representative for the National Guard and the co-founder of the Joint Base Andrews Business and Community Support Group and Spouse Forums. She is the first National Guard spouse to receive this prestigious award. With the reach of the Military Spouse of the Year ® organization behind her, Hinds Ward is planning to advocate for better spouse employment options and special needs resources.

2013 MSOY

Alicia Hinds Ward - 2013 AFI Military Spouse of the Year -1st National Guard spouse to win the award

"We want to create an opportunity for these winners to advocate and engage the military spouse community through Military Spouse's media channels: Military Spouse magazine, militaryspouse.com, and social media," said Kate Meeuf, Brand Director

997 Views | 67 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News

Macho Spouse at the 2013 Military.com Spouse Summit

Macho Spouse and Chris Pape are mentioned in Alice Swan's article, Tuning in to the Military Spouse Network, in which Alice covers lessons she learned at the 2013 Military.com Spouse Summit (April 11-12, 2013). Here is what Alice wrote:

Build a service out of your unique experience and skill: A great example is Chris Pape, male military spouse and founder of Macho Spouse (http://malemilspouse.com/). Chris was kind enough to talk with me about how he started Macho Spouse.  Living in Columbia, SC, while his spouse is working on an ROTC assignment, Chris said he began to feel pretty isolated. He thought he was the only guy spouse out there looking for information and help. About two years ago, Chris began researching male military spouses on the web but found only two articles about guys manning the home fronts. One of the stories was written by Amy Bushatz who you may remember from my Spouse Summit blog: http://www.dcmilitaryfamlife.com/profiles/blogs/you-are-not-alone.

Chris emailed Amy, who helped introduce him to Wayne Perry, founder of Manning the Home front (http://www.dcmilitaryfamlife.com/profiles/blogs/the-outlook-for-mil...) – it was the Military Spouse network in action.  A video producer for 15 years, Chris had been working in Arkansas for the Department of Education, creating instructional videos before the PCS to Columbia. “I didn't see any information sites out there for guys to help share lessons learned or how to find jobs,” Chris told me, “so I decided to use the skills I'd developed making the educational videos to create learning videos for male military spouses.” Chris's fledgling video series has grown into a full service site for male military spouses to connect, get information on employment, money tips or gain insights through the Male Spouse 101 tutorial.

Facing another PCS soon with his Air Force spouse to San Antonio, Chris is excited about the opportunities the move presents. “I'm building a business I can take with me,” he explained. And while Macho Spouse is his future, Chris feels it can also lead to other opportunities in the present. Chris is confident that the work he's done creating Macho Spouse will lead to video and film production work in Texas.

1276 Views | 124 Likes | 30 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News

Military Spouse Connections Looking for Military Spouse Entrepreneur

For those of you in or near Colorado Springs, Colorado, Military Spouse Connections is looking for a military spouse entrepreneur for their upcoming event.

From Military Spouse Connections:

Attention military spouses in the Colorado Springs area. We love entrepreneurs and are looking for a military spouse entrepreneur to come speak at our event in Colorado Springs on 23 May. If you are a military spouse who has a start-up business that would like to share their business with us and others contact us! You will be able to speak as well as have a table at the event.

If interested send an email to snelson@militaryspouseconnection.org.

Till Next Time…Let's Stay Inspired

919 Views | 51 Likes | 31 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News

CFPB Changes Stay-at-Home Spouse Rule

The federal government's consumer watchdog has changed a regulation to make it easier for stay-at-home parents and others who don't work to be approved for new credit cards.

Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a regulation change to allow card companies to consider financial support from other people when evaluating a consumer's credit-card application. It changes a 2011 regulation under which banks were allowed to consider only the applicant's income.

The 2011 regulation and its more accommodating new version both grew out of the Credit CARD Act of 2009. Its underlying purpose was to clamp down on students getting cards and racking up debt they couldn't repay, and it required individuals applying for credit to demonstrate an ability to repay what they borrowed.

As originally written, though, the regulation had a side-effect impacting more than students: Its "ability to repay" language meant that anyone who relied on someone else's income -- including stay-at-home parents or spouses who are divorced and don't work -- suddenly had a harder time being approved for credit cards and building credit histories in their own names.

"Stay-at-home spouses or partners who have access to resources that allow them to make payments on a credit card can now get their own cards," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in announcing the rule change.  The agency proposed the change in October 2012, calling it a common-sense move.

Instead of just an individual's income, issuers can now consider broader measures, such as "available income" or "accessible income." Previously an issuer could not consider household income -- which used to be widely used on credit-card applications -- without confirming how much money the applicant has access to in order to pay bills. The changes apply to people 21 and older. 

947 Views | 63 Likes | 3 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in News Headlines

Hiring Our Heroes helps military spouses

DVIDS

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Spouses of service members are often faced with unique challenges like raising children while their partner is deployed and frequent relocation each time the next permanent change of station come around. Focus is placed on the service member's career, leaving the spouse's employment aspirations to be placed on the back burner. Programs like Hiring Our Heroes not only work toward finding meaningful employment for veterans, but for spouses as well.

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Posted in News Headlines

Tomorrow: Military spouses Hiring Our Heroes Camp Pendleton job fair

WHAT: Hiring Our Heroes – Camp Pendleton

WHEN: Tuesday, May 7, 2013; 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Pacific Views Events Center, 202850 San Jacinto Rd., Camp Pendleton, CA 92055

RSVP: Interested job seekers should register for free at hoh.greatjob.net. Walk-in job seekers are allowed.

Tomorrow's “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair at Camp Pendleton isn't for the one in uniform.

This time, military spouses are the focus of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce event.

Posted in News Headlines

S.A.H.D. Josh Vittetoe (Air Force)

JoshPic.jpgHow my wife and I met. A little about our life and how I started my own business!

My name is Josh Vittetoe. I am 27 years old and have been married to my wonderful wife Jennifer Vittetoe who is 24 for almost 7 years. We have two boys who are Jack (6 months) and Tannar (5 years). We are currently stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.

My wife has been in the Air Force for 3 years and is a Senior Airman. She is deploying in a coulpe weeks for the first time.

1429 Views | 63 Likes | 42 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Military Spouse Business Association

Military Spouse Business Association (MSBA)

At Macho Spouse, we know the challenges civilian male military spouses face when it comes to finding gainful employment and dealing with career loss. We encourage civilian male military spouses to consider entrepreneurship as a possible way of making this lifestyle work. We're not naive, we know the difficulties that come with starting a business and successfully running it. We also know that there are great organizations offering help to civilian male military spouses who really want to start and run their own businesses. The [[EXLINK_21]] is one such organization.

Before starting a business, there are many questions to answer. A civilian male military spouse who wants to start a business has a few questions to answer that are military-specific, like:

  • How can I start a business when I move so often?
  • How can I start a business when I live on base?
  • How will my business impact my spouse?

MSBA is a "link that rocks" because they provide answers to these military-specific questions and help civilian male military spouses get closer to their military spouse owned businesses.

Check out some of the info from MSBA:

At MSBA, we've tackled the steepest part of the military spouse owned business learning curve.  We pioneered the military spouse peer-to-peer mentoring and community based solutions to overcoming the unique challenges of military spouse owned businesses.

2489 Views | 64 Likes | 24 Dislikes | 0 Comments