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Know Your Why and Commit to Your Mission – Advice from a Woman Veteran Entrepreneur.

Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?

This is the question Angela Cody-Rouget, Air Force Veteran and co-founder of Major Mom and Major Organizers, asked herself when she started her own business.

“This is the most important question any entrepreneur can ask his or herself. Why do you want to start a business? It’s not about who you are doing it for – your wife, kids or husband,” Angela said. “It’s not about making money. These are things you need to do in order to live.”

The why has to be more powerful than what you’re building a business for. It could be that you want to leave a legacy behind for your children. Or it could be philanthropic like contributing to the lives of children in Africa.

“If you know your why, it helps you get up in the morning,” she said. “If it’s just to make money, that won’t get you up. That’s why you need a vision and a mission.”

Translating Military Skills to Entrepreneurship

Angela spent 15 years in the United States Air Force. Creating a vision and mission was one of the most important things she learned when she served in the military. She learned to be fully committed to a mission and create smaller, tactical goals to accomplish the main mission. “In the military, people don’t abandon the mission,” Angela said.

Creating a mission, reaching attainable goals and staying committed are all characteristics entrepreneurs should strive for. Angela learned these values in the military as well as with her way of life. Here’s her story of how she got started and what she’s doing now with Major Mom and Major Organizers, a professional organizing company.

Angela Cody-Rouget started her career in the military in undergraduate school in the ROTC program, which eventually lead her to become a satellite command controller and then into a high-stress career as a missile crew commander. She was on track to acquiring a very high-ranking position in the military as a colonel. Just before the crash in the economy in 2007, she realized that military life, motherhood and corporate life weren’t compatible. Her husband’s real estate business was going well so she decided to resign from her commission to spend more time with her children.

Not too long after, the economy crashed and her family was strapped for cash. They needed to find some source of income. As a Major in the US Air Force with an MBA, she still had a difficult time finding a job. Then, one day, her husband, who gave Angela the nickname “Major Mom,” said she should pursue professional organizing as a career. Angela loved organizing and helped family and friends in the past. It was a perfect fit.

Angela started Major Mom 10 years ago and since then has joined the National Association of Professional Organizers. She brought on a business partner and hired more than 30 employees. The company is in three states including Colorado, Arizona and has one franchise owner in Ohio.

How Major Mom Used Cash and a Business Loan to Pivot

Major Mom was at a pivotal point in the business last year when she received the Commander’s Call award (now the Veteran Small Business Award from StreetShares, a small business lender. This $5,000 award was the boost of confidence she needed to continue and pivot her business. She had the cash to pay for a franchising consultant. And a few months later, she appeared on Shark Tank.

She was determined to franchise Major Mom. Angela needed another $50,000 to start her franchise and pay for lawyer and website fees. She turned to StreetShares to take out a business loan to grow her small business. “It was a completely streamlined and user-friendly process,” she said. “The grant and small business loan from StreetShares has helped us jump start our expansion model and I’m forever grateful for that.”

Angela rebranded Major Mom into Major Organizers and is committed to her mission of restoring order to the world, one household at a time.

The StreetShares Commander’s Call program has been renamed the Veteran Small Business Award and is now being managed by the newly formed nonprofit, the StreetShares Foundation. The Veteran-focused, education-first Foundation awards three Veteran-owned businesses each month with $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

StreetShares, Inc. offers term loans and lines of credit up to $100,000 to established small businesses looking to expand with working capital. StreetShares has created a transparent and easy process for business owners to get funding. Term loans and lines of credit are funded by everyday Americans who want to invest in the mission of breathing new life into the American dream.

This is a guest post by StreetShares, a Her Corner partner. With nearly 30,000 members, StreetShares members have access to fast funding options specific to their business needs, investment options to increase savings or diversify your portfolio and exclusive business content.

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