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Military Veterans Who Became Great Franchisees: Michael King — School of Rock

Michael King discovered his love of music when he took guitar lessons to combat homesickness while in the Navy. Now, he enjoys instilling life skills through music in children in Gahanna, Ohio.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
8:08AM 07/07/24

Veteran Franchisee: Michael King

Franchise: School of Rock*

1851 Franchise talked with Michael King about his franchising journey with School of Rock, his accomplishments in the industry and the advice he has for other veterans interested in venturing into franchising.

“Out of high school, I joined the Navy and landed in San Diego, California. While I was there, I started taking guitar lessons just to take my mind off of being homesick,” he said. “If I didn't join the military, I wouldn't ever have pursued music lessons. And I think those two decisions led me to where I am now with being the owner of a School of Rock franchise.”

Watch the interview above or on YouTube.

The transcript below has been edited for clarity, style and brevity.

1851 Franchise: Can you share a bit about your background and how military service influenced your journey to entrepreneurship?

Michael King: I grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. After high school, I joined the Navy and was stationed in San Diego, California. During my time in the Navy, I took guitar lessons to combat homesickness, which eventually led me to a passion for music. This path brought me to Columbus, Ohio, where I now own a School of Rock franchise.

1851: How did your military experience prepare you for your role in franchising?

King: Joining the military and taking music lessons were pivotal decisions that influenced my current path. The structure and discipline from the military, combined with my passion for music, made owning a School of Rock franchise a natural fit. This franchise allows me to merge my love for music with business, providing a rewarding environment for both students and myself.

1851: How long did you serve in the military?

King: I served for four years, from 1989 to 1992.

1851: What drew you to the School of Rock franchise specifically?

King: I discovered School of Rock while researching veteran-friendly franchises. The concept of not just teaching music lessons, but also emphasizing playing in a band and performing on stage, really resonated with me. It’s about developing life skills through music — teamwork, preparation, confidence — which extend far beyond the musical aspect.

1851: What are you most proud of in your franchise journey so far?

King: We’ve been open for almost five years now. Building a business from scratch and assembling a great team has been incredibly rewarding. Despite opening just six months before the pandemic, we navigated through challenging times and have grown stronger. I'm proud of the impact we’ve had on the community and the dedication of our staff.

1851: What advice would you give to other veterans considering franchising?

King: Franchising offers a support system where you’re not alone — you have a proven business model to follow, but still need to put in the effort to make it work. My advice is to find a franchise that aligns with your passion. This alignment makes the hard work feel more rewarding, both personally and professionally.

To learn more about opportunities for veterans in franchising, check out these related 1851 Franchise stories:

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.