Entrepreneurship & Self-Employment

Phase 3: Finding a Rhythm

Finding balance with work and family looks different for every person and can be a struggle for many — even without the added challenges presented by military life. As a military spouse working to balance a career with your personal life, you can take comfort in knowing it is possible to develop a rhythm and to make time for the things that matter most to you, personally and professionally.

Phase 3: Finding a Rhythm


Milestone 1: Find a Work-Life Balance

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Navigate schedules 

Your schedule, particularly where, when, and how you work or learn, may be more flexible than your service member’s schedule; however, it may also be more independent and complex. Considerations include what type of career you have or what type of training or education you seek, and your current location. The operational tempo of your service member’s role may keep him or her away from home or allow for more family time. Whatever your situation, consistent communication with your partner about work and life schedules and requirements, while managing expectations, is necessary to meet everyone’s needs and to achieve your goals. 

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Thriving in the self-employment or entrepreneurship environment

Today, it is possible to work from anywhere – fully and solely running a business in a virtual environment. On the other side of this freedom and flexibility, there can be isolation, fewer opportunities for building trusting relationships with others, and constricted collaboration and networking opportunities. As a modern entrepreneur, you may benefit from building a supportive community to enrich your work environment and support a healthy overall life.

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Developing professionally

One of the most important characteristics of a business owner is his or her willingness and desire to learn new things. Regularly seek out and participate in professional development to maintain your competitive edge.

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Seeking time for self-care

Taking time for yourself – doing something you enjoy or that provides relaxation – can help ease some of the stresses of managing military life. Finding and dedicating self-care time is often easier said than done, but it is vital that you fit it into your schedule. So, put self-care on your calendar, and read a book, do some yoga, speak with a counseling professional, try a new recipe, or just soak in the great outdoors – do whatever activity helps you feel your best. 

If you could use a little practice with making time for activities you enjoy, review this checklist. It will help you generate ideas on how to include self-care and create balance in your military life.

Weaving Self-Care into your Military Life

  1. Make a list of three enjoyable activities you would do if you had a day away from all of your other responsibilities. Choose at least one significant (e.g., day trip) activity and at least two activities that take less than 3 hours to complete. If you want to connect with a new networking group or gain more knowledge in a particular area, see if there are any activities with that population or related to that topic.
  2. Use Google, the newspaper, and social media sites to search for local opportunities to complete at least one of those activities locally.
  3. Schedule the activity for a few weeks into the future. Then intentionally weave it into your schedule.
  4. Invite a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to complete the activity with you. 
  5. Go do the activity!
  6. If applicable, identify 1 to 2 ways that the experience helped you with your career or education (e.g.., mentoring, networking, skill development, teamwork, a creativity boost). Share your thoughts with your new network connection.
  7. Repeat as needed!

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Next Phase

Up Next: Phase 4: Permanent Changes of Station