Ten years ago, military spouses were fighting what often seemed like a losing battle for their careers. Today we're still waging the war, but we are winning. Today’s military spouses are everywhere, reporting the news on CNN, running for Congress, teaching in schools and bringing in the big bucks.
We always knew military spouses could change the world if we were just in one place long enough. Now, as we live in a world with smart park and robot vacuums, we’ve seized the technology and learned that for many military spouses, major career success has an option that isn’t location-dependent: remote work.
How One Company Made Big Money
Over the last three years, WISE Advise & Assist has grown rapidly. Founded by two military spouses with a clear solution to a small business problem: outsourcing multiple tasks to one company, thus maintaining good communication. They've recruited over 65 military spouses and helped over 500 businesses grow. And their latest milestone? Paying out over $1 million to their team.
Co-founder and Deputy Director, Laura Early, shared that coming up with the solution to a customer's problem is critical for success. "The biggest thing that separates us from others is that we're a one-stop-shop," she said.
Once small businesses grow, they start outsourcing, and they generally go to several different people for that. But those people don't communicate with each other, and soon the outsourcing can end up taking more time than it saves.
"Our clients can come to one place, work with one project manager and get all of their needs met. There is clarity and internal communication," Early said.
This Company Is Investing Big Money
Also this year, Instant Teams, landed a $1.5 million funding partnership with Squadra Ventures to continue to develop and grow their remote team. The partnership was strategic and precisely what Instant Teams needed to go into this next year of business.
"Did we know on Day one this is where we'd be today? No. But about 24 months of strategy, network building, endless pitching, product development, traveling, rebranding, process development, metric tracking, revenue goals, etc. is how this round of fundraising happened," Erica McMannes, COO, explained.
Here’s How You Can Do the Same
Both Early and McMannes paint a clear picture that starting and running a successful business is not easy or always fun. But hard work can pay off.
Early encourages anyone considering starting a business to really look at how much they are willing to give before starting. "You're going to have to give more, hustle more and lose more before you gain," she said. "Working remotely is flexible, but it takes years to get to that point."
For those working towards that next goal and worried about what to do next, McMannes offers this advice. "Where we are right now with Instant Teams hasn't come from random goals accumulating and it's not a surprise. We planned it, we worked for it, and the motivation comes not from figuring out the next goals in real-time but already knowing what they are and how we are going to achieve them next,” she said.
In other words, always have another goal ready.
In the meantime, take some time to celebrate both your accomplishments and where military spouses are today. We've broken down some barriers and we deserve to enjoy that feeling for a little bit.
Like McMannes said, "Celebrate and let's get back to work."
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--Rebecca Alwine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org