This week, I am embracing the theme of personal and professional development as I attend the 2017 #USAADigiMil conference. This is an annual USAA networking event that helps entrepreneurs and professionals who serve the military community connect with one another. The conference allows attendees to share best practices and learn more about all that the USAA does for our military families.
#USAADigiMil (the USAA Digital Military Experience) is a great community that brings together some truly awesome business professionals to help better serve our military families. Plus, this event never fails to make me proud of all I have done and be a little kinder to myself when I feel overwhelmed or make mistakes.
Focus on the Good
Whenever I get flustered from the logistics of finding babysitters for the kiddos and asking other mothers to give them rides to and from sports (thank God for Amy S.!), I try to take a moment to put the experience in context. I remind myself that I absolutely love serving the military spouse community and helping spouses find meaningful work, which means that a few hectic moments a week or even a day are absolutely worth it in the end.
Similarly, when I receive hate mail (yes, I do get some!), I take a moment to focus on all of the good things I’m doing for our community and gaining in return. I remind myself that I adore helping women just like me balance family obligations and financial gain. So, on days when it seems like too much, I pause to think about my favorite clients and the growing community of spouses on my blog, across the world, and at such uplifting events as #USAADigiMil.
All of you help reenergize me, which makes it so much easier to want to continue giving back to this meaningful community!
Learn From Other Fabulous Spouses
If you ever get in a rut, whether personally or professionally, attending a professional development event or conference like #USAADigiMil can be a great way to re-inspire yourself. When I attend these types of events with Wendy Poling, my Military Spouse Show co-host and an employee of USAA, we always come up with dozens of new ideas. We meet so many other amazing professionals who are sharing so openly, whether it’s offering their best practices or answering a quick question.
By engaging with other military spouses online, through podcasts, or at large events, we keep moving forward.
I learn a lot from just listening to other podcasts—sometimes I even add their lessons right into my day. I often listen to Amy Porterfield’s podcast on my way home from my weekly tennis lesson, so I don’t let too much time go by without learning something new. There’s no right way to engage with the community or to keep learning—as long as you’re listening to other voices, you’re doing important work.
I don’t get paid to do my podcast, so I sometimes think, what is the point of producing another show? We all get a little frustrated or feel like we’re not doing enough at times. But then, when I think of the 7,000 people who have downloaded our podcast, I realize how significant our work is. Even though I’m taping the show in my closet (literally), I’m reaching a broader audience of spouses than those I’m able to touch in my private practice alone.
And our community really does rejuvenate me—so I hope that I can give back to you all!
Believe in Your Intention
Wendy and I started recording The Military Spouse Show Podcast before we could afford a proper microphone. Rather than being embarrassed by our poor sound quality, I feel proud that we are and have been doing what we can with the intention of helping others. After all, we can always learn the technical details of sound editing along the way, but we can never be taught to have good intentions!
As Wendy offers insight from the perspective of a working mother of older children and I empathize with military spouse entrepreneurs who are trying to run businesses with a family, we offer support that some spouses truly need—including ourselves, both in the past and today!
Granted, the show could use more glowing reviews and we need to get our Instagram page up and running, but we have made a conscious decision to let go of the idea of being “perfect.” Instead, we’re focusing on trying to do what we can between full-time jobs, sports, and raising families.
Where can you embrace a little imperfection and just start taking action? How are you allowing your positive intentions and insights from the spouse community keep you motivated? Please share some ideas in the comments below, and make sure to check back for more autumn tips!