Air Force spouse Christine Hinrichs is the 2023 AFI Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Spouse of the Year. She launched the MilSpouse Mastermind podcast in the spring of 2021 after a four-year span where she moved homes in four states, welcomed three children, and endured two deployments. “It just left me feeling lost and empty, and realizing that I didn’t love my life and I wasn’t showing up well for anyone else in my life either,” Christine admits. She began to wonder if she —and other military spouses like her— could thrive, crafting a purpose-filled life instead of simply surviving the chaos.
“I like to think of it as the personal development podcast for military spouses,” says Christine. “We talk about goal setting, we talk about why you’re feeling stuck, we talk a lot about mindset, we talk about how to balance and having a sense of purpose with navigating military life.”
Many military spouses feel overwhelmed due to the demands of military life and the lack of support (it is hard to establish a committed and trusted network with frequent moves, not to mention launching a career at each duty station). Military life can be daunting and lonely, and when Christine set out to find if she could find her purpose despite the unknowns and the uncontrolled, she found she was not alone in asking these questions. The MilSpouse Mastermind podcast was created to bring solutions and community, as well as empowerment, to the military spouses struggling to do it all.
As far as her journey as an entrepreneur, Christine is up for the adventure that comes along with small business ownership. “There is so much value in entrepreneurship because it gives you that freedom and that flexibility that you can take it with you and that you don’t have to leave it behind when you move,” declares Christine.
Christine was chosen to be one of nine Semi-Finalists for the Second Service Foundation’s Military Entrepreneur Challenge (MEC) pitch competition in May 2023. After attending the MEC’s coaching sessions with experts and networking opportunities, she pitched at the Military Spouse of the Year® week in Washington, D.C., and won a $1,000 grant. Recognizing the value in mentorship and comfortable evaluating herself in order to grow, she has great plans with the grant, funded by the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. “I want to invest in some more mentorship; I have this vision like ‘OK, how do I get there?’ I know I need some support and resources to get to that next level,” she says.