OPERATION: Create Your Own Path is an event hosted by Red, White & Blue Pages. The event features military spouse business owners who have created their own path by starting a small business. I am honored to be among the bloggers chosen to interview these amazing entrepreneurs to share their wisdom and experience with others who would like to carve out their own futures.
Be Your Best Healthy Mom (Owner: Jocelyn Martin)
Meet Jocelyn Martin, owner of Be Your Best Healthy Mom. When she married her husband, a U.S. Marine, 10 years ago she was thriving in a career as a pharmaceutical rep for Bristol-Myers Squibb. After the wedding and subsequent move to North Carolina, she continued to excel in her career, even after the birth of her first child. Eventually, the travel demands of her job (she was required to be away from home for one week each month) became a strain on her family life since her husband was frequently deployed and she did not want to leave her child in someone else’s care 24-hours a day for several days in a row. Thus, when her husband was transferred to a base in Virginia, she opted not to transfer to a Bristol-Myers branch there, so that she could be home to raise her daughter.
The Birth of a Business
Unfortunately, despite the joy she felt at being with her daughter, she felt lost not having a purpose outside of motherhood. As a competitive athlete, she was frequently approached by other moms and triathletes who wanted to know how she managed to train so many hours while raising a young child. She realized that her lifelong passion for health and fitness, in addition to her years of education and experience in healthcare, could translate into a practical, everyday application that would also provide her with the flexibility she needed to take care of her family. She began coursework to earn her physical training certification and started teaching group exercise classes. As she gained more experience and expanded her education and skill set, she was able to grow her business accordingly.
Seven years (and another two kids) later, she has several clients (100% of whom are referred from current and past clients), runs a variety of clinics and seminars, and is partnered with reputable fitness and health brands. The best part of this new path, according to Jocelyn, is the feedback she gets from her clients who are moms. Many of these clients thank her not only for helping them lead healthier lives, but for enabling them to change their entire family’s health behaviors, from eating more nutritious meals to getting more exercise. The satisfaction of making a positive impact in people’s lives is what drives and inspires Jocelyn. It makes her excited to wake up each morning. She has a genuine desire to improve others’ lives through health and fitness.
The Good and the Bad
Of course, she enjoys other perks of being her own boss. She can arrange her work schedule around her family commitments so that she can juggle the responsibilities of being a mom and military spouse while still pursuing professional goals. And although she must rebuild her clientele with each military-imposed move, the 6-month hiatus (the amount of time it usually takes her to re-establish a solid client base) gives her time to set up her home, help the children adjust to the move, and to improve her business by expanding her education and personal development and reassessing her methods, business model, and goals. Unlike other trainers who are never forced to take downtime, Jocelyn has avoided “burnout” and instead continues to be excited and passionate about her work.
The biggest challenge she has faced is combating the anxiety that accompanies each growth cycle. At present, she is ready to expand once again, this time into the online market. Though she is excited about the new opportunity, especially since it will allow her to finally retain clientele during and after a move, the uncertainty about how the transition will go and the added stress of tackling a new project have her a little uneasy. Like every other challenge she has faced though, she isn’t letting anxiety stop her from moving forward. Her drive to expand her business so that she can help even more individuals improve their health is undaunted by the challenge.
When it comes to offering guidance to others who want to create their own path, Jocelyn was fast to respond with wise advice.
- Choose something you are passionate about.
- If you are passionate about something, don’t let anxiety stop you. Jump!—Take a leap of faith and do it.
- Seek out a mentor, someone who will help you through the process.
- Know that there will be challenges and that you can overcome them.
Jocelyn makes no claims about business ownership being easy. She does prove that if you have a passion for what you do and are willing to work hard at it, you can carve out your own destiny and be successful as a professional, a wife, and a mother. To learn more about Jocelyn and Be Your Best Healthy Mom, visit her site by clicking here. To learn more about another entrepreneurial military spouse, visit Adventures in Photos tomorrow (August 8, 2013) where blogger Christa Paustenbaugh will share her interview with the founder of Compelling Creations.