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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.
- Military Spouse Business Owners face unique challenges.
- Military Spouse Business Owners need the virtual support of their peers.
- Check out our website at www.milspousebiz.org
Macho Spouse videos contain interviews from current and former male military spouses, military family and relationship counselors, military spouse career and entrepreneur experts; as well as a variety of other individuals who have an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to be a happy, successful, strong, supportive person in military family life.
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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.
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.
The 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
Military 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.
You 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.
A 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.
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.
An 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.
Which is More Risky, Entrepreneurship or Trying to find Defense-Related Employment After Separation?
Earlier 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.
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
The videos contain interviews from current and former male military spouses,
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Till Next Time…Let's Stay Inspired
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.
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.