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Nurturing the Money Tree: Owning a Small Business- Part 2
Image: – – Macho Spouse
In 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.
As a coach for military small business owners, I work with people at all different levels of their business, some are thinking about taking the plunge, others have jumped in and even a few that come to me when they feel as if their ship is sinking. Without exception they all work hard and are surprised at what it takes to own and operate a business from home. Here are some of the pro's and con's to consider before you take the plunge.
- Your schedule is flexible. I think the greatest aspect of owning my own business as a military spouse is that family for the most part I have the ability to arrange my schedule around my. If I know of a training or deployment coming up I can plan my work around it, if my child gets sick I'm not looking for someone to cover my shift at the last-minute. Flexibility in when I work is often how I am able to balance all the changes and transitions that happen in our crazy life as a military family, and I'm grateful that I am able to shift my schedule to fit my life.
- You are your own boss. No more answering to someone else's demands, dealing with cranky management, mandatory overtime or taking orders especially when they don't make sense. Owning your own business allows you to be in charge and make choices on how things run and what happens on a day-to-day basis.
- Your business moves with you. I think this is one of the biggest perks of having a business when you are in the military, frequent moves don't affect you at all.
- You decide when and where you work. No more long commutes, early start times or late night inventories. When you are the boss, you decide when, where and how you will work.
- You can get a lot done in your jammies and cozy slippers….Just saying J
- The buck stops with you. A pro and a con actually, but when you are the business owner you are responsible with the success or failure of your business. You are the one who makes the decisions and on whose shoulder the responsibility falls. It's a pro when all is going well, but can quickly become a con if you hit some rough patches (which we all eventually do).
- You are the financial end all be all. There is no guaranteed income when you work for yourself, and often there is a fairly long learning curve before any business begins to make a profit. And as with any business there will be good months and bad months so proper planning and financial responsibility are critical to success.
- If you aren't careful it can take over your life. For most of us the reason we start a business is because we are passionate about something enough to put aside the fears and take a chance on a dream. But if we don't find a way to balance our “business life” with our personal life it can shift from an incredible dream to a nightmare that creates stress, chaos and financial hardship.
- Accountability. When you own your own business, the only person that you are accountable is to yourself. You decide what time to start or how hard you work and you are the one who learns that procrastination is not a business owner's friend. You are the person who decides what tasks get done and what deadlines get met, and you are the one who makes the decision about whether to take a personal day. There is no one else that accountable for the success or failure of your bottom line except you.
About the Author: Judy Davis is a great friend and promoter of Macho Spouse and male military spouses everywhere. She is a motivational speaker, author, and blogger who provides support to the military community all over the world. You can find out more about her, read her blogs, or book her as a speaker at http://thedirectiondiva.com/
I have focused the last 10 years of my career as a research psychologist on trying to better understand the needs, struggles, and success of military couples and families. I've worked with hundreds of couples, given numerous presentations, published several articles, received multiple research grants … yet it is quite clear to me that in some ways, I have failed in my efforts.
To give some background, I began my first academic position in 2005. Given all that was happening at that time, I wanted to give back in some way to service members and families who give so much of themselves in service of our country. As a civilian, I saw two main ways of being able to actively engage in this. One was to volunteer when I was able. The second way was to find a way to build this commitment to military families into my everyday life.
For me, the second approach – folding my efforts into the very fabric of my life – was the way to make a sustained commitment over time. That is when I set about trying to connect my everyday work as a clinical psychologist and researcher to helping this unbelievably deserving group of people. I took my expertise in research on couples and anxiety, and applied it to researching the experiences of military couples, with the goal of learning how best to help those couples when they struggle.
What is like to be a military male-spouse? I will tell a little bit of my take on it... I am Crazy Dave Etter, also known as Old Fart. Â Imagine the surprise of over 200 women in a historically all female attendance annual Army event called "Spouse Appreciation Night" when this 6 foot 300+ guy walks in and makes himself at home...