Meet Elizabeth Boardman, the co-Founder of The MilSpo Project, a Realtor in North Carolina, Navy wife and creator of Southern SloMo Party! The MilSpo Project exists to empower and educate milspouse (*military spouses) entrepreneurs through live leadership events, online educational resources and local chapter meet-ups.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A poet, which was strongly influenced by my love of Shirley Hughes. I was also a Catholic School girl K through 12, and during middle school I was convinced I wanted to be a nun, then in high school a missionary.
How did you and Nicole meet?
Nicole and I met at a Monday night meet up of military spouses. I knew I was going to be her friend when we started talking about the correct use of possessives in the English Language.
What was the NUMBER one reason behind the creation of The MilSpo Project?
Unemployment and underemployment is a very real challenge facing military spouses, which is why many of us choose to start a business. At the Milspo Project we believe entrepreneurship is only solution to the unemployment epidemic, which is the number one reason we started, and the main motivator that keeps us going day to day.
What are some of the challenges you've faced as you've grown your community of women?
We have experienced amazing growth in our first year, the biggest challenge is putting the right communication and follow up methods in place while running our individual businesses outside of the Milspo Project. We are currently a two-woman team, and we have run ourselves ragged a few times this year by putting too much on our plates. Also, fundraising is one of the hurdles we have yet to master. The biggest takeaway for me has been realizing (in Keith Ferrazzi’s words) that you can’t be everything to everybody at all times. We are looking to expand Team Milspo this year because at some point you realize you can’t do it all, especially if you are trying to grow!
What are you most proud of when it comes to The MilSpo Project?
It is not so much what I am proud of, but of whom. I am proud of the women who make up the organization, especially our chapter leaders. I have never met a more hard working, generous and intelligent group of women.
What is one piece of advice you would give a military spouse with big ideas for a project, business or non-profit?
Fear is a liar. Anything you can dream, truly is possible. Try and find an intersection of passion and enterprise with a big “why” and you will be sure to soar. There are so many seats for influencers (especially female influencers) at the table, so pull up a chair! Also, the more niche you can get about your message and your business - the more success you will find.
Tell us a bit about your own story and connection with the military.
I became a military spouse five years ago when I fell in love with a soon-to-be Navy sailor. Love at first sight is real.
What are some of the amazing qualities that military spouses possess?
Military spouses are loyal, creative, hard working, frugal, social and selfless. They also understand sacrifice in a very real way because they live it.
What is one thing very few people know about you?
That I have more than 8 nicknames, all of which I legitimately answer to.
What is your all time favorite way to spend a Saturday morning?
I like to workout early in the morning, shower, and get back in my PJs and read a good book cuddled up in a blanket on my coach. Then a late brunch with my hubby makes for the sweetest kind of Saturday.
Thank you Elizabeth for allowing us to get to know you a bit and share about The MilSpo Project!