As military spouses, whether you were married prior to enlisting in the service or not, you know what it means to support your better half while in active duty. This show of support comes in many forms: from giving up your career, to when you have kids, to moving away from all your family and everything that feels “normal” to a foreign land, to working multiple part-time jobs to keep up with the cost of living in your area, and the list just keeps going. As Wendy puts it, military families are the backbones of the service. The support of loved ones is integral to service members’ life during and after their military career.
Now, let’s turn the tables 180. You’re at home and you would like extra income. No matter what outlet you choose and what venue you choose to do it in, do you have the full support of your spouse? I couldn’t have made it this far in my life as an Etsy shop owner if hadn’t been for the love and support of my husband. He was willing to go to the craft shows with me, handout business cards, spread the word, help me make decisions on product packaging, and even help me make a few things for the shop when I was short on time. It wasn’t just a “Yes”, it was a “Yes, I’m here right beside you”. There were moments and even months on end that he couldn’t be there for me, but when he is home is 100% supportive of what I choose to do.
My husband knows making art is a part of who I am and it’s hard to separate that out without me going literally mad. He also knows I find myself more happy when I’m successful at a job and when I’m busy, especially during those long deployments. But, he also knows how easy it is for me to nickel and dime myself to death. Let’s call my husband my account and business manager, he’s my guiding voice that tells me when I’m being realistic and when I’m living in a fantasy. As a creative with mild OCD, that happens to me—a lot.
I only went as far as he would let me and I always listened as his limits came with good reason. I couldn’t let my business spending habits nor my work hours affect my family life. And when it was time for me to say goodbye to my bookbinding business and say hello to my design business, he was there to help me know when to quit and helped me put my head back on my shoulders. A successful business person has to know when to stop the bleeding if your business goes south. And if you’ve been there, you know how confusing things can get, not sure if a decision is a good one or not, not knowing what to do next and so on. Having your spouse beside you can give you a better perspective on things—”Two heads are better than one”, “Hind sight is 20/20” and all that jazz, right?
It’s always good to get an opinion from your spouse here and there, or to sit down together and build your business plan. Finding the right time and place to talk will help you keep things in focus with no distractions. My favorite place to talk is the hot tub. That’s right, you heard me: the hot tub! We love going to the apartment’s hot tub in the evening to relax and talk about our day at work as well as anything needing a decision. For us, it’s the perfect time and place for putting on the ol’ thinking cap.
You can’t be successful without their support, as you know first hand through your support of their job, and you most certainly don’t want to get so sucked into work lifestyle that leaves you with no time for family. So setting these boundaries up front and in the beginning, together, will setup you for a more rewarding entrepreneur business life.