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Nurturing the Money Tree: Creating Income Part 3

Part 1 of Nurturing the Money Tree talked about creating income by working for someone else while Part 2 of our series opened up the topic of working for yourself. Today we get to my favorite part and that’s Entrepreneurship!

If Option #2, owning your own business, sparked your entrepreneurial spirit, then this blog post is for you. When toying with the idea of owning a business there are so many things to consider and lots of plans to make, and it’s important to know what you are getting into is to. I have found that the best way to do this is to spend time researching and talking to other military spouses.  Find out how they have balance their home life with their professional life and ask for tips so you can learn from their successes and failures.

When I opened my first business years before we came into the military one of the most important lessons I learned was how valuable it could be to be mentored by people who had done what I wanted to do.  Relating to someone else’s experiences allowed me to get a clearer picture of what owning a business was all about.  So when I was making the transition into the military community, I made sure to use this strategy so I could understand how to balance military life and entrepreneurship.

I asked questions and sought advice from every spouse who worked from home, I discovered what types of businesses would work within this lifestyle and found out what not to do. I quickly learned that as military spouses we need a business that is mobile, flexible and has a minimal financial risk. I also found that there are three types of home businesses that meet these criteria:

Type #1:  Network Marketing.  Each and every year I meet people who are wondering if network marketing is a “real” opportunity or is it really just a way for people to get rich off of someone else’s efforts.  I can honestly tell you that network marketing is a viable business that is the perfect option for some people.

I personally had 2 very different experiences with the network marketing industry.  In my 20’s I caught the vision with Company A and crashed and burned very quickly spending lots of money with very little return.  However, when I was in my late 30’s and approached by someone about joining Company B, the story was very different.  Within 8 months I had earned the infamous car, was making the income that people left their “real” jobs for and had a team of over 600 people.  The pride and satisfaction of hard-earned success was incredible.  

What was the difference?  The difference was that the first time I “bought in” I thought it was going to be simple.  I thought everyone would follow me and we all would become rich with very little effort.  DIDN’T happen.  However, the second time I did my research, I learned that the people who “got the car” work hard and it isn’t easy.  Simple yes, easy?   NOT AT ALL.  

Moving up the “ladder of success” in network marketing was the hardest thing I have ever done, and also the most rewarding.  It wasn’t a get rich quick scheme; in fact I worked harder, longer and overcame so much to “make it” that I’m not sure if I knew all that I know now if I would have done it. 

Network Marketing is a real business. It is all about moving goods and services directly from the manufacturer to the end use consumer, it’s that simple.  There is no storefront, just the consultant (or sales people) that demonstrate the product for people and show them how to make a purchase.  Some companies do this by having parties; others do it via the one on one sale.

In this type of business you get paid for selling the products and teaching other people how they can make money selling products.  The great part is that you also earn a commission for helping and teaching others how to do what you do, also known as building a team.

The industry is brilliant, and you typically get higher quality products at great prices.  But let me be clear you will not get rich without working.  Believe me I’ve been around the industry enough to know that there are people who will promise you that their company will take you away from all your financial woes, and this CAN happen, if you know what you are getting into and choose to work to make it happen.

If you are considering a Party plan business or any other network marketing company I encourage you to learn as much as you can about the industry, the company and the team.  Do your due diligence and make an educated decision.  A great resource that will answer all your questions about the industry and help you determine if this type of business is right for you is One Way Out:  The Promise of Network Marketing.[1]

Type #2:  Service Provider.  Another great way to bring in extra money into your home is to create a service business.  Services like cleaning homes, all day childcare, babysitting, handyman helper and lawn maintenance are always in high demand especially when our troops are away.

You can usually get started fairly quickly and relatively inexpensively by putting out some flyers or a simple website. Be sure to check your local and installation regulations as certain states require licenses or certifications in order to operate a business out of your home.

Type #3:  Online/Product Business With the expansion of the web and the fact that most people have a smart phone it’s no wonder that online businesses are exploding.  With a website and a Pay Pal account, you can turn your hobby/passion into an online business.

Is there something you love to do that other people would like to buy?  Maybe it’s a craft, that secret family recipe for fudge or an item for your little one that people rave about.  So many of us have talents that other people will pay for, and the internet or craft shows are the perfect place to sell your stuff!

There has never been another time in history that has been simpler to “set up shop” and begin to turn that hobby into an income stream, and if you are unsure of what type of business, product or service you may want to pursue, we have compiled a list of some military friendly businesses. Do your research, talk to other spouses and find the fit that is right for you.

Today’s military spouse entrepreneur has many opportunities that did not exist ten years ago. Do some research, ask the tough questions and find the business that fits your life.

If you missed Part 1  of our series Click Here or for Part 2 Click Here

[1] One Way Out:  The Promise of Network Marketing by Judy Davis, Sandy Fowler and Susan Armstrong is available  here

~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at

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