There I sat, listening intently to a WWII Marine hero. At the age of 91, his years of service may have shown in the curve of his back, but his sharp, Marine-like confidence was evidenced in the depth and delivery of his words. With much anticipation, I awaited his stories of combat and valor, his recounting of turmoil and triumph, and his inspiration to support our husbands in their valiant efforts. So I was completely and utterly stunned, when he said this truly poignant statement: “if there is a way we are going to fix the state of the world we’re in, it will be through the power of women.”
This surprising scene occurred just weeks ago in a meeting to honor approximately 250 military spouses and veterans at my company’s annual convention in Atlanta, GA where we had gathered to celebrate the launch of a new proprietary anti-aging product. Judge Harry Pregerson, they keynote speaker, recounted his days as a Marine who was wounded in Okinawa in nearly the same location from which several of those present had traveled. As he delivered his message about the power of women, his words hung in the room and landed directly on our hearts. He struck a chord with us all as he put words to the unspoken energy that had been building within this particular group of women over the course of several years. His unexpected speech reflected our unorthodox approach to “employment” as military spouses perfectly.
You see, this particular group of ladies had forged a new path for military spouses, a group who suffers from underemployment due to frequent relocations. As social entrepreneurs, they have found a unique intersection of big business and stay-at-home flexibility in a cutting-edge new business model that hinges on social selling. At the beginning, the company’s military spouse pioneers were looked at by others with raised eyebrows and little support. But four years later, the mold has officially been broken and the company is seeing new military spouses join all over the globe. And, they are bringing their military leadership and discipline with them to the business, which creates healthy and thriving business teams. Their success is evidenced by multiple women out-earning their military member or replacing their full-time income. So, it is safe to say, the tide has definitely turned.
This day will stand out in my memory as one of the best days in my professional life. Not because of the recognition or because we had proven ourselves or even because we had seen success. That moment will live on because in that room, I could tangibly feel the wave of empowerment hanging in the air. It was strong, it was bold and it was contagious. Each of us left with a formidable sense that we had started something wonderful, something historic and something much bigger than ourselves. Thank you Judge Pregerson. Your message was simple, yet perfect. And you’re right, the power of women, and undoubtedly this group of women, can change the world!