The flags flew. The hot dogs and hamburgers were grilled to perfection. The apple pie was, as always, far too tempting. It was another fantastic Labor Day weekend holiday, and The Entrepreneur’s Source® wants you to now take a moment to think about the American Dream.

What does that mean to you? Are you living it?

For a trio of siblings in Houston, Texas, the American Dream meant owning their own business and living life on their terms. But first, they learned some valuable lessons in the armed forces.

Chanel Jones and her sister Heather Labadie are both veterans. Their brother Seth Jones is still on active duty in the United States Air Force, at least for a short while longer. “Maybe in my teenage years I knew I didn’t want to do a nine-to-five for the rest of my life,” says Seth Jones. But Seth and his sisters did more than just dream about it. They took the initiative to make it happen.

The three siblings had considered starting a business, but it wasn’t until Seth connected with e-source coach Heidi Simos with The Entrepreneur’s Source, that the notion of franchising really started to sparkle! “Seth connected with Heidi through TAP,” Heather told us. TAP is short for Transition Assistance Program, a veteran’s employment initiative required of most personnel before separating or retiring from military service. “He had a follow-up phone call with her and invited Chanel and me. She explained the different avenues to becoming your own boss. We agreed at this time in our lives, we wanted to step into a system already set up.”

Sister Chanel took the most convincing, but she knew what her idea of the American Dream looked like. “We no longer want to be in a job just for a paycheck and no other fulfillment or enjoyment. We are very close and couldn’t imagine not doing this business venture together,” says Chanel.

The trio, dubbed “The Trailblazers” by their e-source coach, eventually decided on a Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies franchise. Part of the appeal: a discount for veterans. Many franchise companies are eager to attract veterans, and they put their money where their mouth is! Companies point to the high work ethic and the experience following systems that veterans bring to the table. Couple that with strong leadership and team-building skills, and you can understand why companies find veterans uniquely qualified. The Trailblazers agree.

“I think being a veteran has helped with thinking outside the box,” Heather added. “Also with being open to trying things once and seeing how we are able to improve for the next time.”

“We are taught to be flexible and how to interact with people from various backgrounds,” Chanel says. “We know how to follow instructions and be punctual. There are plenty of other traits the military has taught us that are reinforced constantly in this business process.”

For Seth, living the dream means looking within. “You have to really want it. Be prepared to go through some hoops, be patient with people, and remember to strive for that goal.”

Heather Labadie admits that entrepreneurship is hard work. She says when things got tough, their e-source coach was there for them. “Heidi was amazing! She was with us every step of the way, motivating us.”

“Heidi is invaluable to us,” says Chanel. “She was very much an integral part in us becoming franchisees. The process was emotional at times — exciting and scary. Heidi was there every step of the way. She was encouraging, and her calming disposition was exactly what we needed to venture down this path.”

Simos feels the same about The Trailblazers. “I admire, respect and appreciate our veterans, who have served our country and kept us safe. This was the first time I had the opportunity to work with three veteran siblings all under the age of 35,” enthused Simos. “They displayed a high level of professionalism during their discovery journey and followed our system to a “T.” I gained a lot of respect for these Trailblazers and was honored to have worked with such fine young people!”

Are you inspired by The Trailblazers and ready to start living your American Dream? If so, get started at FranchiseMatch.com!