Military Spouse Opt Out (Part two)

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

Have you heard of the Opt Out Life? It’s a movement to opt out of traditional jobs and live the life you want right now, not after you retire. Nate and Dana's podcast has been an enormous inspiration to me and has really adjusted my view of things and helped me move forward with projects in a way I wouldn’t have before. {For more information about the Opt Out Life podcast and what they offer visit OptOutLife.com} So here’s my opt out story…

Married and Unemployed Once I married Eric I left Illinois and moved to Florida where he was stationed. I suppose this was the start of my opt out life. The job I left up north was a good one. It was terribly hard to leave it but I was fortunate enough to be contracted by them to continue my work remotely. However after 9 months in Florida we PCS'd to Italy and I had to leave that job for good (time difference and internet connections were a real bitch).

So I found myself without school or a job for the first time in 10 years. I was trying to find my way as a military spouse (which meant figuring out acronyms, ranks and how everything worked), how to live in a country very different than the one I knew and figure out how to be a mom (cause 8 months later our son was born).

Not Traditional

A traditional job was basically out of the question. Spouses could only work on base (because of the type of visa we had) and the base was ridiculously small so jobs were often non-existent. I spent many many many hours volunteering and we traveled a ton. But I was still looking for a “job.”

I hold two college degrees. One in Pastry Arts and the other in Marketing/Management. Yet I felt incredibly unprepared for creating a job. So I did what I do best. I baked. And I kept baking. Then I started writing recipes down, becoming more creative and donating the creations to the military on base. Eventually I started a blog that I kept alive for a year with little success. I wasn’t feeling it. I had few followers and I wasn’t passionate about what I was posting and I think people could tell. But I kept baking. Collecting recipes. And decided to create a cookbook for my son. I had talked for years about wanting to write a cookbook but it was just a dream. Now I had a reason to write one. I wanted something to pass on to my son. Soon my husband said I should consider publishing the book. I always said it wouldn’t sell and he’d always say, “You don’t know that.” He had more confidence in me than I did.

Seeing it Through Well here we are 4+ years later. Italy was 3 moves ago and boy have we come a long way! My cookbook was completed earlier this year and I can now share a physical copy of it with my son and the world.

I chose to self-publish so I can retain my ownership of the content. I may not make much from it because it’s not a mass produced but I’m okay with that. I ran a successful Kickstarter and had copies printed for my backers and hopefully a local book store. But I’ve also utilized printing on demand via Blurb.com to allow anyone to purchase a copy and have it shipped straight to them. This requires nothing extra of me and I make a set amount per book (or ebook) sold.

...and Beyond Once I saw my Kickstarter through I moved on to creating a website so I could expand… whatever that meant. On my site I have links to purchase my cookbook and a new blog (this blog....) which feels much more right than my last one (because it’s not just food, it’s my life as a milspouse and mom and everything else). I’ll soon be adding handcrafted items to an Etsy shop as well to create a little more side income plus another cookbook is over half written.

It's a lot of work. But I’m setting myself up so that I can create a little income to fund future trips and adventures while doing less work in the future. Think about it, with some proper marketing of my website and cookbook I hope to increase sales without having to do much daily work. That’s my hope for the opt out life.

Wish me luck!

I’d love to hear your military spouse career story! Please share it with me in the comments below or DM me on Instagram! #optoutlife #milspouse #airforcewife #career #job #entrepreneur #solopreneur

© 2019 by Jenna Miller. Proudly created with Wix.com

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