Why Entrepreneurship Is Not for Every Military Spouse

Why Entrepreneurship Is Not for Every Military Spouse
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(This article originally appeared in the January 2023 issue of Military Officer, a magazine available to all MOAA Premium and Life members. Learn more about the magazine here; learn more about joining MOAA here.)


Flexible hours, income consistency, and location independence seem to make entrepreneurship an easy solution to military spouses’ career challenges, but is it?


When we look at a business, we see what’s forward-facing — the shop or building, the products and services for sale — but we often overlook what it takes to start and run a business. Some of those things can make you reconsider entrepreneurship.


Don’t Like Sales

The No. 1 reason entrepreneurship isn’t for every military spouse is sales. If you are an entrepreneur, you are in sales. You have to market and sell your products or services, or you don’t make money.


Making money isn’t enough. You need to sell enough to cover your expenses, pay taxes and your paycheck, and save for future business needs. Often, spouses enter entrepreneurship to work around military life but are uncomfortable with the sales aspect of owning a business.


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Organizing Chaos

Initially, you are building the infrastructure and handling the most pressing issues as they come up. Even when your business is established, problems happen. Expenses can increase, or employees can quit. The lack of structure and predictability ability can be overwhelming, especially when paired with military life.


Need Steady Income 

There is a difference difference between earning earning a living and making a living. As an entrepreneur, you will create income for yourself. If customers aren’t buying, or if your income is seasonal, your income will be inconsistent.


While you may not make money monthly, you must still pay your bills. Irregular income can be frustrating and frightening to entrepreneurs. Because of that, some spouses may prefer earning a steady paycheck from an employer.


Required Mental Fortitude

Entrepreneurship is stressful. You juggle a lot, often work long hours, solve problems, try to cover expenses, and make a profit.


You put yourself out there to the public, and with that can come criticism. It takes mental fortitude to keep going when things get difficult. Many military spouses don’t want the emotional roller coaster that comes with entrepreneurship.


Lack Motivation

A perk of entrepreneurship is being the boss. You can set your schedule and workload, but when you lack motivation, that can be a blessing and a curse. Yes, you can sleep late and put off projects, but as the owner, you must motivate yourself to work. If you don’t, it can damage your business.


While entrepreneurship can be the perfect fit for many military spouses, it may not be for some others. Understanding what you are getting into before you start can help you determine whether being an entrepreneur is for you.


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About the Author

Lacey Langford, AFC®
Lacey Langford, AFC®

Lacey Langford is a financial coach, veteran, military spouse, and entrepreneur who changes people’s mindset from being fearful of money to having control and confidence with it.