Name: Rachel Brenke
When did you know starting a business was right for you? Tell us about your business: I have several businesses: TheLawTog, Blog Legally, and SnapSpace Studios. The first two businesses use my legal expertise along with my experience as a photographer and blogger to provide customizable contract templates specifically for photographers and bloggers. SnapSpace is a studio that photographers can rent for their photo shoots. I decided to start these businesses while my husband was in the military. I had a law degree, but couldn’t always practice where we were an in those times I was offering my photography services. In the end I decided to combine everything to create my businesses.
What is the most amazing thing you have experienced in business?: It’s been amazing to achieve a level where others respect my opinion.
What is the most disheartening thing you have encountered in your career as a military spouse?: It used to be so hard to find military spouses who were similar to me and share similar career goals. That has changed in recent years, but it was lonely for a while.
What advice would you give a military spouse, interested in staring their own business?: Try to remember that it needs to be portable – you need to always be thinking about potential for moving your business in every act you take (business relationships, network, etc).
What is the most challenging thing about being a military spouse and business owner? What is the most rewarding thing?: The most challenging is balancing all the hats. The most rewarding is setting a goal, achieving it and knowing that I made XYZ happen.
How did it feel when you made your first sale?: Like I was going to throw up! I was so happy!
What is one obstacle you have faced as a business owner, or on a personal level, as a military spouse, that you would have never expected?: People’s attitude towards having a portable career without a brick and mortar location—in some ways it doesn’t seem real to people without a “location”. That was difficult until finally I jumped the hurdle and just got a place to be present in the local community.
What is one business goal you hope to accomplish by the end of this year?: Get to know more military spouse and mom business owners on a personal level.
As a military spouse, or business owner, I know one thing for certain. It is . . .: There is no guarantee. As a spouse, there wasn’t a guarantee for where we would be next year. For business, there’s not guarantee of income next month.
What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became an entrepreneur?: I had no clue that my public speaking would be such a cornerstone of my business. It used to scare me. Now I LOVE it.
My biggest fear is . . . : Not having a business one day. Just waking up and *POOF!*, its gone.
My greatest accomplishment is . . .: Law school and running the business and having babies while husband was deployed. That was hard, but it felt so great to finish!
When I grow up I want to be . . . : Wait, I have to grow up?
In 2050 I hope military spouses are/can/have/achieve . . .: More understanding and perspective on how they can truly create their own path, and through that approach they can achieve “portable careers.”
Why do military spouses make great entrepreneurs?: Military Spouses have to think on their feet throughout the unpredictability that military life brings – that same skill is a critical piece of being an entrepreneur. It’s a perfect match.
What is your legacy?: I’ll let you know when I create one. I’d like to think I’m instilling in my kids that being your own boss is the best career move ever.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rachelbrenke2