This post is sponsored by T-Mobile
Business Women’s Day was on September 22nd, but here at Daily Mom Military we feel it’s never too late to celebrate the military spouse entrepreneurs who have helped pave the way for women in our community to fulfill their dreams. From big business owners to small ones, we are here to celebrate these military spouse entrepreneurs who are making big waves in our military community with their dedication and their drive despite all the obstacles that military spouses face.
Together with T-Mobile and in celebration of their Magenta Military plan, which makes running your #bosslady business even easier, Daily Mom Military wants to highlight some important military spouse entrepreneurs, as well as share some crucial advice that can help military spouses take charge of their own entrepreneurial dreams.
Some Military Spouse Entrepreneurs You Need to Know About
With the increase in remote work opportunities and the now-popular idea that as military spouses we are no longer limited to certain jobs or careers, military spouse entrepreneurs have taken the world by storm. Our jobs and our careers are no longer limited to in-home child care, jobs at local stores or companies that are below our experience levels, or fighting to get a brand new license every time we move. Although some military spouses continue to work in traditional work settings (and more power to them!), there are some who have taken their careers and dreams into their own hands, and founded their own businesses.
Here are just a few military spouse entrepreneurs we think you should know about:
Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse from R.Riveter
Somewhat seen as pioneers for military spouse-owned large businesses, Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse started their own business making high-quality bags and accessories. After rapid growth and an appearance on Shark Tank, where they accepted an offer from successful businessman Mark Cuban, these military spouses have grown their business into a million-dollar company that employs military spouses around the country.
Justine Evirs from The Paradigm Switch
Like many military spouses, Justine saw an increasing need for remote work for military spouses. Her non-profit organization, The Paradigm Switch, helps military spouses of all backgrounds and spouse ranks start their digital careers. The Paradigm Switch offers networking opportunities and even scholarships to attend some of the most impactful digital courses to help military spouses start their digital careers in many different fields.
RELATED: The Paradigm Switch
Krystel Spell from Sofluential Media and Army Wife 101
Krystel Spell is an entrepreneur with experience in a variety of fields that influence military spouses. In 2009 she started her successful blog, Army Wife 101 and has since gone on to co-found Sofluential Media, the public relations firm which holds the first military spouse influencer network. At her PR firm she able to work with brands to introduce promotions and initiatives to the military market through the use of military influencers. She has also created RetailSalute.com, a discount site for military families. She also teaches other military spouses how to become successful entrepreneurs. She recently became the face of Grow with Google, a new program designed to help military spouses create careers that work for them.
Maria Mendez Reed from Moving with the Military
It’s HGTV meets military life with Maria Mendez Reed and her digital web series, Moving with the Military. On her platform, Maria helps turn the homes of unsuspecting military families into their dream homes. Her mission, with the help of her active duty husband and her team, is to build community through DIY projects, empower military spouses, and improve the quality of life and well-being of military families. She is also the co-founder of a PCS lifestyle app called My Ultimate PCS.
Flossie Hall and Moni Jefferson from the Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs
The Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs is an up-and-coming program that provides military spouse influencers the opportunity to work with brands and organizations. Flossie Hall is the owner of Thyme and Table, a meal prep and delivery service. She has generated over 7 figures of business revenue and helped create over 100 military spouse jobs. Moni Jefferson is the owner of Dog Tags and Heels, a public relations firm that focuses on military-based companies. Together they created the Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs to help military spouses make connections and network with larger brands.
Advice from Real Military Spouse Entrepreneurs
Any entrepreneur will tell you that creating your own business is no small feat. Whether you want to keep it small, like an Etsy shop run out of your home, or you’re looking to conquer the world, there are constant challenges and doubts. However, there are a few things, according to other military spouse entrepreneurs, that you can do (or keep in mind) to help you create the business of your dreams:
Be Smart with Your Business Wireless Plan
In today’s business world, you have to stay connected. For many military spouse entrepreneurs, technology is one of the single most important tools for their business – from networking and closing deals, to editing and reviewing content on the fly, to keeping up with their social media followers, staying connected is one of the biggest keys to success.
And, with all the great offers for members of the military and their families, you should seriously consider switching to T-Mobile. T-Mobile, known as the Un-carrier for doing things differently in wireless, has long supported military spouses and their families through employee programs. In fact, T-Mobile was named one of the Top Military Friendly Employers for the 12th time! T-Mobile’s Magenta Military plan gives military service members and their families a pretty sweet discount over other wireless providers:
- The best discount in wireless for military, veterans and their families. Magenta Miliary is just $55 per month with AutoPay for the first line (normally $70 on T-Mobile’s popular Magenta plan). Need more than one line for your growing business or family? More lines get more discounts at T-Mobile. It’s just $25 for the second line, and then only $10 per line for lines 3 through 6! Plus, monthly taxes and fees are included..
- Magenta Military comes with some pretty great benefits at no extra cost, including unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data, free Netflix for family plans, the industry’s best travel benefits including a free hour of Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights and unlimited 2G data and texting in 210+ global destinations, free stuff and discounts every week with T-Mobile Tuesdays, and free scam protection to fight unwanted robocalls. Plus, Magenta Military customers score unlimited hotspot with 3GB high-speed data per month, perfect for those times you’re working remotely and don’t have Wi-Fi.
“Diversify your revenue streams. Most military businesses are online (since we move so much!) and I’ve found it’s really important not to build your audience entirely on a platform you can’t control (Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) I use social media marketing, of course, and it’s my top source of revenue, but when I first started my business, Snapchat was the hot new thing for online marketing. Once IG announced stories, people flocked there and Snapchat isn’t as relevant. Now, marketers are all predicting TikTok as the next big thing. It’s important to stay current and build a following on these platforms, and Instagram is currently my top source of sales. But if tomorrow, kids decide IG isn’t cool anymore, or if my IG account gets banned (I know business owners who have had this happen inexplicably and it’s really hard to contest), I’ll be fine, because I’ve used SEO to bring organic traffic to my site, I have my email list, distributors, trade shows, retail buyers, and my other social media platforms.”- Megan Kitt, Tuli
Get a Good Phone
You may love your current phone but any military spouse entrepreneur will tell you that in the age of social media, you need a good phone with a good camera. Taking great pictures of your brand, your product, or even yourself (if that’s a part of your brand) can help you grow your social media footprint significantly. If you haven’t upgraded lately, you may want to seriously consider doing it now. Right now, for a limited time, T-Mobile customers can get 50% (or more) off the new iPhone 11 via bill credits with a qualified trade-in.
But do you really need a new phone for your business? The short answer is yes. The new iPhone 11 features a dual-camera system with all-new Ultra Wide and Wide angle cameras that produce the highest quality video in a smartphone, plus major improvements in low-light photography and Portrait mode. And, new smartphones (like iPhone 11) will help keep you connected by tapping into the latest network technology. T-Mobile’s network is expanding every day with its most powerful signal that travels farther than ever. With iPhone 11 and T-Mobile you’ll get more coverage, even in those hard-to-reach places like rural areas and deep inside buildings.
“Take advantage of technology. There are so many low cost electronic options for building a platform, reaching clients and managing a business. My firm is entirely virtual and serves clients globally.” Claire Gibson, Gibson Law
Keep Going, But Don’t Be Afraid to Step Back
Business ownership will have its ups and downs, almost every single day. It will sometimes feel like you’re failing and sometimes it will feel like you’re riding high. Keep pushing yourself and your dreams even if you feel like you’re floundering.
But also don’t be afraid to take a step back. Sometimes business owners can get so engrossed in creating and building their businesses that a burnout will happen. Keeping tabs on your self-care and knowing when to take a step back for a few days for a breather is the mark of a successful business owner. You need to fill your own cup in order to make creative and smart decisions for your business and your brand.
“Work your business— don’t let it work you! I see so many women run themselves ragged for the sake of money. They sacrifice their health, their family time and overall well-being for bragging rights and a bigger bank account. Your business should add value to your life, not detract from your quality of life.”- Alicia Quantanar, Alicia Q. Photography
Reach Out to Other Military Spouses
There are other military spouses out there just like you who are trying to make it in this world. Whether they are working traditional jobs outside the home or they are powering through their entrepreneurial spirit, they may have some tips, advice, or life hacks about how to grow, build, and even move your business when you PCS. There are plenty of Facebook groups for military spouse entrepreneurs and career-minded military spouses. Connect and network, and find out how other military spouses make it all work. And with T-Mobile’s Magenta Military plan, you can stay connected to other military spouse mentors and entrepreneurs.
“When I started my business, I was afraid to ask questions or network because of insecurities. Maybe I felt dumb, uneducated, and even scared to sound like I wasn’t capable of doing the work right.
I quickly found out that alone, I could not be successful. I started networking, asking questions, and learning from others. My advice go out there, network, ask questions, meet awesome people and be confident!”- Thauana Moura, Creative Hub Marketing
One of the lesser known social media platforms but one that is rising in popularity is LinkedIn. Here you can connect with other military spouse entrepreneurs, military spouse- or veteran-owned companies, and other brands and companies who may want to collaborate or partner. You can share information about you and your business much like a newsfeed on Facebook, and check out how people are professionally building their careers.
“Build a network of support – professionally and personally. When the going gets tough, which it will, you have to have surrounded yourself with people who believe you whole heartedly, who know how you tick, who know how to encourage you, and who know how to challenge you when you need it most. It takes a lot of vulnerability and emotional intelligence to be a successful founder!”- Erica Mac, Instant Teams
Military spouse entrepreneurs are not new. There are military spouses who have started their own businesses decades ago, but back then they were few and far between. Together with T-Mobile it is easier than ever to build a business in this digital and social media age. And with the power of other military spouse entrepreneurs behind you, you can create a business and a career that works for you and your family.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out How to Move Your Business When You PCS