Starting a business from the ground up is a taxing affair, requiring many hours of dedication and lots of paperwork. Imagine working in a demanding career field such as the United States Army and trying to build a business. It may prove to be a little difficult, right?

Sgt. Simon Ahn, a psychological operations specialist with Company E, 9th Military Information Support Battalion, 8th MIS Group and his fiancee, Stacie Maine, a prior servicemember, did just that.

After serving over five years on active duty, Maine made the decision to leave the Army and pursue a career in culinary arts.

“Being a catering manager at the Fort Bragg Club helped me get a foot in the door,” said Maine. “Just by knowing people who were familiar with me and my quality of work proved to be valuable in starting my business.”

Although Maine was a step closer to her dream of opening a business, she was not exempt from the challenges that any new business owner faces when building their enterprise.

“Money, time and finances are always obstacles that you will face,” said Maine. “Finding financial resources can be difficult but you just have to educate yourself and look at grants and loans. You have to find what fits best for you and your situation,” she added.

Even now, after Maine has her business up and running, she knows there is always room for improvement.

“I would do more research along with marketing and networking,” said Maine. “You have to let people know you are there before you are there so that you are already established when you open,” she added.

Now that Maine’s business is growing and she is finally getting into a groove, she is able to give helpful advice to anyone interest in starting a small business.

Starting a business while juggling the everyday challenges life throws at you can be hectic, but just like Maine, if you dedicate yourself to building that dream establishment, it may pay off in the end.

“The biggest thing to know about starting your own business is that anybody can do it. It is all about gaining the knowledge and never giving up because nothing about it is ever easy,” said Maine.