NextGen MilSpouse is going beyond traditional career tips and tricks for military spouses! We are sharing the real stories of working military spouses (just like you!) and their professional success stories on Wednesdays.
Name: Jessica Myers
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
CEO and co-founder of Digit Keeper, a cloud-based bookkeeping service.
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Work from home
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I love being able to help small business owners with their finances. I know people think of bookkeeping as a necessary evil but to me it is such an amazing tool to help businesses discover what works for them, what or who is making them money, how to save money and how to not get in trouble with the IRS. Being able to give people freedom from stressing about their business finances is what keeps me going.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
My dad has been a CPA for over 35 years. He was talking to me one day about how he wanted to start a cloud-based bookkeeping service. It was a time in my life when I started to realize that being a wife and mom wasn’t enough for me. I needed an outlet. When we started talking about the potential of the business I could see Digit Keeper helping so many people, my vision for it is so big that my dad let me take the reigns and the rest is history. We’ve been in business for over a year and just keep growing.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Find something fulfilling. Military life can be so uncertain, and as spouses we are supportive and take a back seat to a lot that goes on in our own lives for the sake of our families. It’s OK to be selfish, to look for something that really lights you on fire.
I promise it will make a world of difference in your house. My dad always said “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” and he’s totally right.
How do you feel about failure?
Failure is a learning experience. Trying new things and challenging yourself is the best way to live a fulfilled life. If you work at something and decide it’s not for you, now you have a new experience. How can you use it to move forward? I have found that my biggest failures weren’t failures at all. They each gave me an invaluable experience to use later.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
Honestly? Keeping my house clean. I need help, seriously. Before when I was solely a stay-at-home mom, my house was spotless. Now I have other things on my mind so the house gets thoroughly cleaned maybe once a week. It drives me insane, and makes me feel like I’m dropping the ball as a mom and spouse. That’s really the challenge, understanding that I don’t have to be “on” and perfect all the time. Giving myself some slack. I don’t think that particular challenge is unique to just military spouses but I feel like it’s important that we talk about it.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.
Best advice? Do what you love and the money will come.
Worst advice? Do what you love and the money will come. This gem has lots of room for interpretation. As a teenager and young adult I thought passion was enough. It’s not.
I needed to grow and realize what my true passion was. I was an anthropology major with a minor in TV and film. I wanted to make documentaries and change the world. I still want to change the world, but I want to help others do it too.
Small business, especially today are so civically and socially minded. It’s not about just making money anymore, it’s about helping others too. I went from being passionate about people to growing up and figuring out how to use that fire, that “why” to create something bigger than just me. Just doing what you love in a surface way isn’t enough.
Are you looking to connect with career-minded military spouses? Join one of In Gear Career’s 20+ local chapters around the world. In Gear Career is a part of Hiring Our Heroes and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Who is in your support squad (i.e. spouse, neighbor, bff) and what role do they play in supporting your career?
I am so grateful to have a husband that supports me 100%. He is that person that has nothing to do with my business but if I come to him with a problem, he listens and then ends up giving me the most amazing advice. He’s so insightful, it’s like having a free business coach. I also work with my family and we’re all so close. Lately I’ve been surrounding myself with some pretty incredible female entrepreneurs and that has made a huge difference in my drive and confidence. Being part of a community of like-minded people is everything.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks?
I cook, he cleans. Weekends he takes care of the munchkin so that I can take a load off. We’re a team. We talk about everything, and on days we don’t feel like doing anything, we don’t. It’s a pretty glorious system.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
Miracle morning is my sanity saver. Seriously. I wake up early, meditate, exercise, read, and set my intentions for the day before anyone else is out of bed. I know it sounds hard, but it is the most rewarding routine. I am more productive on days I do my miracle morning, happier and less stressed. If I could recommend only one thing for everyone to do it would be to pick up the book “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod and implement it into their daily life. There’s even one for families!
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone:
My DSLR. I love taking photos.
What’s your favorite app for making the most of your day?
Insight Timer and meditation app
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Work Bi*** by Britney Spears
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?
Play with my family. Being a military spouse teaches you that every moment that your family is together is precious. We have been through 3 deployments and I always find myself actively savoring the moments we have as a family when there are no distractions, just time together. It’s blissful.
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
Teleportation. I wish I could think of where I wanted to go and just be there. Think of how much you could experience, how many people you would meet and places you could explore. To me, that would be heaven.