Dual mission: supporting the troops, building a franchise: Army Lt. Vincent Nicholson balances military quartermaster duties with the demands required of the Entrepreneur's Source franchisee.

Position:VETERANS OUTREACH
 
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Getting the right things to the right place at the right time is crucial to success in battle. U.S. Army Lt. Vincent Nicholson, a quartermaster officer serving in Iraq, spends most of his waking hours helping ensure that military equipment, materials and systems are available and functioning as needed to support the missions underway.

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Franchising depends on logistical accuracy just as do military operations. Getting the right things into the right customers' hands at the right time makes all the difference.

Nicholson, a franchisee of The Entrepreneur's Source, may be more than six thousand miles away from his Enfield, N.C. home, but that doesn't keep him from working to deliver a full range of coaching services to individuals seeking alternative career options and franchises looking to increase their performance. Even if he sometimes has to sacrifice some rest time to pursue his small-business dream, the soldier is determined to maintain a level of professionalism and productivity that will help him land on his entrepreneurial feet as soon as he returns to the United States.

The eldest of six children, Nicholson first learned of franchising during a high school business class. The stories of entrepreneurial possibilities were enticing and inspired him to look deeper into the business format.

Upon graduation, he joined the N.C. National Guard simultaneously started classes at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University. But at the end of his second semester, his unit was mobilized to support Operation Enduring Freedom, putting an end to college classes temporarily.

Once settled into Fort Bragg, he discovered online classes at nearby Fayetteville Technical Community College, offering a flesh avenue to his research into money management, budgeting and, of course, franchising.

"I would work nine-to-five and attend classes at night," he said. "After educating myself, I managed to save $17,000 and bought my first house at the age of 22."

After 20 months on active duty, he returned to N.C. A&T with a mission. "I returned to college determined, focused and passionate about business and economics."

At the same time, he also started his own small business, Nicholson Investment and Real Estate, which offered instruction in financial literary, home ownership and money management, not to mention acquiring four investment properties at age 24. He also dabbled successfully in auto sales, but that's another story.

Although Nicholson had...

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