It was a mere three weeks after his high school graduation when young Adam Blake bucked family tradition and headed off to military basic training back in 1999. But him being a rebel is not what you might think. His mother, father, and grandfather were all proud Army veterans—but Adam did not follow in their footsteps and instead went rogue — enlisting in the Marine Corps, stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the home to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. 

A Fascinating Military Career 

His career spanned several years as a radio systems specialist doing radio communications and circuit card repair. He remembers vividly being on base, watching the events of 9-11 unfold on TV. A few years later, as a newlywed and having to leave his wife behind, he was deployed to the Middle East as part of the advance “build-up” team for Operation Iraqi Freedom. His was a vital job establishing and maintaining the main communications line for the military. There were many challenges while serving in Northern Kuwait, including keeping systems and circuitry clean despite the heat and sand.


Making the Switch to Civilian Life 


After completing his five years of active service as an E-5 Sergeant, Adam focused on his family and his future as a civilian. He worked in the field of medical fiber optics and then decided to make a change. “I wanted to grow, and I wanted more options,” Adam says, “so I headed to college to expand my skill set — got a degree in business and grabbed an opportunity in franchising with my family.”


A Future in Franchising 


His franchising career took off with N-Hance, America’s number one cabinet refinishing franchise. His whole extended family relocated from California to Washington State, where combined, they own three territories in eastern Washington and three territories in the western part of the state. He runs N-Hance locations in Spokane and Tacoma and feels like his military background has contributed to his success.


“There are a lot of parallels between the military and running a business. Business ownership is challenging. There can be long hours and long days getting the business up and running and maintaining high standards. You’ve got to be dedicated,” Adam says. “I feel like the discipline instilled in me as a marine and the fortitude to push through has definitely given me an edge in business.” Plus, Adam says that as a sergeant, he gained leadership skills that have helped him manage his crews at N-Hance.


Adam and his family take pride in the business they have built and the top-notch service they provide to their customers. Although Adam had no previous experience in wood refinishing, he’s become a quick study. “I think that’s something else I picked up in the military, to try everything and gain new skills. There’s such value in the refinishing services we provide to our customers, and it truly makes us happy when they love the new look of their kitchens, for example, when we’ve done a cabinet makeover. It’s very rewarding.”


Business Advice for Veterans 


Adam’s advice to fellow veterans or anyone looking to become a business owner is, “Keep your options open and be flexible,” he says. “When you’re in the military, you have a whole battalion working together. As a civilian business owner — the success or failure of the business is all on you. That’s what’s so great about franchising. The model is there for you, no need to start from scratch. You still have a team of experts there to see you through the challenges. It’s an invaluable opportunity to succeed and enjoy ownership.”


The N-Hance franchise has been recognized with numerous awards for its dedication to encouraging and assisting veterans who want to become franchise owners. N-Hance believes that, like Adam, military veterans make exceptional entrepreneurs due to their training and incredible work ethic. N-Hance is committed to helping veterans thrive in business and offers honorably discharged veterans a $2,500 discount on the initial franchise fee.