In 2016 I left my job in management consulting to explore new career opportunities and to have time to support my family of five (plus a dog) as we transitioned from living in Brazil to moving back to the United States.
While I missed being a part of a formal workplace, taking the time off gave me the opportunity to take my skill set and apply it in new ways. As it turned out, many of my friends and family were working on small businesses, and they had a lot of questions about business operations. I was able to guide them through informal strategic advisory sessions and it was then that I found my passion for working with small businesses and start-ups.
Entrepreneurs see a need and decide to solve it. They are willing to venture into the unknown to try new things to achieve their visions. The more I worked with entrepreneurs, the more parallels I saw between them and the resilient community of fellow Americans I had met overseas. The US State Department and Military have a presence at embassies across the globe, and it isn’t just the servicemembers who go overseas to represent the United States. The partners who accompany them are known as Eligible Family Members (EFMs), and because of their international lifestyle, EFMs have a variety of cultural, educational, and professional experiences.
Like entrepreneurs, EFMs are natural problem solvers and fearless adventurers who are attracted to the nomadic lifestyle because they want to experience different parts of the world and learn different perspectives. It’s not surprising that many of the EFMs I know are also entrepreneurs and small business owners; they have had to create new professional experiences for themselves whenever they have moved, so they know what it takes to get an initiative off the ground.
Last year, I formally founded LVL-Up Strategies with my friend and fellow EFM, Laura Jennings, to harness this natural connection of skills, ideals, and abilities. We have seen how the unique knowledge and mindsets of our EFM staff can support our clients–the passionate entrepreneurs and small business owners who are scaling their businesses. Together, we can “Get It Handled.”