As an online business owner, it’s so easy to stay in my own little digiworld. I love the relationships I have connecting online and building a virtual network across the world with other military spouses. Just this week alone, I had a Zoom meeting with a spouse in Japan, I VOXed back and forth with another spouse in Japan, and I connected via Facebook Live with spouses all over the U.S., Germany and Bahrain. Having an online business is remarkable. But, there’s nothing that compares to getting face to face with other spouses, OFFLINE.
Last weekend I attended The National Military Spouse Network’s Roadshow in Ft. Walton Beach Florida. This was my first time attending a roadshow and I was thrilled the location of the event didn’t involve me getting on a plane. Since we recently PCS’d, I I thought this might be a great opportunity for me to get to know other spouses as well as connect with people that I had previously only interacted with on Facebook or Instagram. After reading the line-up and speakers, I was all in! I left the kiddos with hubby for the evening, I hopped on I-10, and I headed East. This proved to be a great decision. For the next 24 hours I was able to truly focus on personal development. Meeting and networking with military spouses offline can fuel your passion, open doors to opportunities and create friendships with like-minded spouses.
The night before the main event, they held a networking event poolside. I knew there were a couple of spouses going that I knew “online” but never actually met in person. It was so great to be able to get to know them better, hear about their businesses, their families and how they make it all work as a military spouse. I’m always left more inspired after speaking with such driven men and women. There’s only so far you can take an email or Instagram comment relationship. Actually getting together in real life sparks deeper conversations and getting to know your digital friends on a whole different level.
The day of the event was filled with non-stop professional growth opportunities. From perfecting your 30 second elevator speech to learning how to get over our fears and live with courage. The speakers were top-notch. I particularly loved the session with Sue Hoppin and Susie Schwartz where they took us back to a time where it was actually frowned upon for certain spouses to have careers. It’s hard to believe there was ever a time where the command had an opinion on whether or not your spouse could work. From one generation to another, THANK YOU for your voices and for all that so many of you have done to pave the way for the career milspouse.
The National Military Spouse Network exists to help military spouses create and sustain a career path that meets their deepest goals, talents and aspirations. NMSN believes that by leveraging today’s technology and employment trends, it is entirely possible to maintain a rewarding career within the frameworks and challenges of the military lifestyle. This organization provides an opportunity to get offline and meet other spouses via their Roadshows and their annual event, The Military Spouse Summit. This year they held four roadshows but they are looking to increase that number next year to expand their reach to those that might not be able to travel to D.C.
Check out this awesome recap by fellow milspouse photographer Trish Alegre-Smith So Your Life Images.
As I hopped in the car and headed back West, I had time to reflect on how amazing it is to be able to actually get out of my digital space and back in the real world from a professional standpoint. Working from home gets a little monotonous and the conversation at the local coffee shop isn’t nearly as fun as a room full of Milspouses. The amount of connections I was able to make in just 24 hours is no doubt going to be beneficial for my business in the year to come. If you’re considering attending an event this year, I want to tell you to GO FOR IT! I left this roadshow feeling reenergized and grateful for the opportunity to hang out with other amazing, ambitious, military spouses.
There’s still time to register if you’d like the attend the The MilSpouse Summit in Springfield, Virginia, October 13th and 14th!
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