9Round Air Force Veteran franchisee tells his story

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An Air Force veteran who invested in the 9Round franchise has explained how he found the motivation to keep pushing forward through the pandemic. 

Tony Blankenship launched his 9Round gym franchise unit in February this year, after becoming bored with a career in tech sales. It’s based in Nebraska, where he previously served in the military at Offutt Air Force Base. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, he was quick to make changes. 

“We were open for three weeks before the pandemic, and then closed just like that. It was hard. It hurt. But I didn’t think, ‘Why me?’ And I didn’t wonder what to do in a panic. I adjusted, adapted and pivoted. That’s what you learn in the military. That’s your only option, or quit, and I’m never going to quit.” 

Tony thanks his father for his proactive attitude towards work. Otis Blankenship served in the Air Force for 24 years, during which he did multiple tours in Vietnam. He instilled positive values in his son, teaching him to work hard and keep persevering until the job is done. Tony explained:

”Dad never missed a day of work in his life, ever. The way we were raised, it was education, college, go serve in the military, and get on with life. I’m so glad I served. My dad also told me that, as an African-American, one thing no one can ever take away from you is your education. You may lose a job but no one can take away your knowledge, so I embrace that, too.”

Now, Tony is pushing forward to keep his gym open and keep providing a safe space for his customers to exercise. As a tribute to those in the forces, he gives a discount to any military veteran who walks through the doors. Tony added,

“I wanted to make a difference, and I am. That has value to me.”

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