Real Spouse Employment: Children's Author
You know those people who have a really good idea AND the gumption to put it in action? Meet Bridget Platt. She's that person.
As the genius behind Daddy's Deployed and Mommy's Deployed, she is in the business of making personalized books that actually connect military children to their deployed parent on a daily basis.
A military wife, mom and teacher, she has a lot to share about the business of entrepreneurship -- and the secret of getting from "good idea" to "good business."
What do you like best about your job?
There is absolutely no better feeling than receiving an email from a parent whose child was having a difficult time during the deployment but, after receiving a copy of Daddy's Deployed or Mommy's Deployed, had a much greater understanding of what was happening in his/her life.
What is one strength you use on the job every day?
My love. I created this book for my own daughter when my husband deployed, and I treat every book we make as if it was for my family.
If you went to college, what was your major? Are you using it?
I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Secondary English Education. Inadvertently, I am still using it!
How has being married to a service member impacted your own career?
I was lucky. Being a teacher is a great job to have as a military spouse, especially if all your PCSs happen in the summer months, as all of ours did. I was able to send out applications and resumes each spring when we found out where we were moving. I had a job lined up almost immediately after moving.
How does your service member support your career?
In every way possible! He helps me any time I have a question about rank or correct uniform; he hears all my crazy ideas and helps me formulate them into an achievable plan. And he stays up late helping me package books to ship out the next morning.
What's the biggest career mistake you made?
I once had a principal tell me that I cared too much about my students. I think the biggest mistake I made in my career was working for someone who cared so little.
What was the hardest lesson you needed to learn about work?
Sometimes things are out of my control. That's been the hardest lesson for me to learn. I can do everything possible to have books ordered to print, for example, but I can't control how long it takes for the printers to print and ship it to us. It's hard to let go of that control.
What keeps you working?
Our military families. I think back to all the feelings I had both times my husband deployed and how worried I was that our daughter wouldn't know her dad when he returned. Those raw emotions keep me 100 percent focused on our families.
What one piece of advice would you give to military spouses who want to balance volunteer work and professional work?
Find what you're most passionate about and work within that area. We all want to help as much as we can, but it's very difficult to balance work, volunteer work, family time and then personal time. (Wait, what? I haven't had "personal time" in years ... picked up my first novel in three years this week: Gone Girl.)
What is your version of Happily Ever After?
My happily ever after may sound silly, but here's what it is: living in the Midwest after our military service is complete, in a restored farmhouse with chickens and eggs, a saline swimming pool, and my daughter running around the yard and laughing, chasing our yellow Lab.