Small-Business Ownership

The thought of being your own boss almost sounds too good to be true. Set your own hours. Work in your bunny slippers. Take Fridays and Mondays off.

Whether you work in an actual storefront or virtually from your home computer, the reality of self-employment, however, is often a different story.

Generally speaking, people who are their own bosses work longer hours and harder than those who punch clocks or sign timecards. It is an endeavor for someone who is ambitious, self-confident, and willing to commit the long hours and hard work necessary to make things happen.

Indeed, the 40-hour/week job may even begin to look glamorous to the poor soul working 80 hours to turn a profit!

If you are interested in being self-employed, you should:

  • Have excellent organizational skills
  • Have superior people skills
  • Thrive on responsibility and independence

Having a truly supportive spouse doesn't hurt either. If this is an option you are seriously considering, you might want to select a business that can travel with you when you move, since you are married to the military, which likes to send you packing every few years!

Ideas for such portable careers are limited only to your imagination, but here is a short list to get you thinking:

  • Accounting/bookkeeping
  • Computer programming
  • Consulting
  • Decorating
  • Entertaining
  • Gardening
  • Instructing
  • Planning and organizing
  • Repairing
  • Sewing
  • Tutoring
  • Web page design
  • Word processing
  • Writing

Helpful Small-Business Websites

U.S. Small Business Administration

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

Internal Revenue Service


SOURCE: Adapted from Janet I. Farley, The Military Spouse's Complete Guide to Career Success (Impact Publications), pages 41-42. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. See also, by Janet Farley, The Military Spouse's Employment Guide: Smart Job Choices for Mobile Lifestyles, copyright 2012.