Like Father, Like Son
The Dorseys: Mike and Michael

By Uma Outka

Alexis, Michael, Reese, and Amy Mike and Lola Dorsey

Left: Alexis, Michael, Reese, and Amy
Above: Mike and Lola Dorsey

Wow, Dad, look at the size of that house!”

Michael Dorsey had never seen such a big house. As he and his dad made their way up the Palm Beach, Florida drive, his dad turned to him and replied, “That’s just the guesthouse, son.” The top networker they were going to see lived next door—in what young Michael had assumed was a hotel. Talk about lasting impressions.

Michael was two years old when his father, Mike Dorsey, first got involved in network marketing. With the rise of franchising in the 70’s, Mike thought that would be his ticket. Then, he thought network marketing was the next best thing. Today, he sees it the other way around.

“I’m so glad I didn’t get into franchising,” Mike declares. “They used to claim they could guarantee your success; but one out of three go under. Today I’m 63; God willing, I’ll still be doing this business when I’m 83.”

At His Father’s Knee

Mike succeeded in networking fairly quickly, and young Michael grew up experiencing his successes and his circle of associates, routinely accompanying his father to presentations, trainings, and social events.

“I’ve probably been to every hotel in Georgia and Florida,” he says, only half joking. “By the time I actually started training in the industry, it came to me naturally. It was like a sixth sense to me—almost like I’d learned it by osmosis.”

Talking to Mike, you quickly sense the pride he feels for his son. He never pushed his kids toward the business (which Michael corroborates without hesitation) but made a point of exposing them to personal development early on.

“While most kids were sitting there with their earphones on listening to rock music, Michael was listening to motivational tapes,” says Mike. Michael laughs: “Yeah, I started listening to that stuff real young; it must have stuck. When things were tough, I’d ask myself, what would a top person do in this situation, how would they learn from this?”

A brief stint in college was unsatisfying: “All I was learning was how to be average.” He started a landscape business and began looking into various networking opportunities. “It was never a question that my dad and I would do the business together,” he says; but it took a while for him to join his father full-time. Looking back, the credit for that ultimate decision rests with Michael’s wife Amy.

“I remember coming home one day from a big landscaping project,” he recalls. “I was tired and covered in mud. Amy looked at me and said, ‘What are doing, man? You’re wasting your talent. You have all this experience—and you’re wasting your time being a full-time landscaper and part-time networker. You should go for it.’ I said, ‘You’ll support me?’ She went out and got two jobs. I couldn’t have done it without that encouragement.”

A Family Affair

Today, this father-son team is a multi-million-dollar business. At their company’s last convention, they were inducted into its Millionaires’ Club along with two people in their organization.

Michael, Amy, and their two young daughters live within ten minutes of his dad and mother, Lola, in Deluth, Georgia. Michael’s sisters, Lauren and Kelly, live in the area with their families as well. Seeing their little brother’s success, they’ve begun building businesses too, making network marketing a true family affair.

Michael realized his dream of having a home in a Jack Nicklaus gated golf community by age 40 before he turned 30; although Mike was already successful before Michael joined him full-time, he feels the partnership has added momentum to his own business-building efforts.

Lola and Amy don’t actively sell and sponsor, but they are actively involved in the business behind the scenes. “Lola knows this business as well as we do,” says Mike. “I think for a lot of close-knit families, we’ve become a model of what this business can be for them.”

Looking back, he muses, this particular family destiny must have been set in motion many years ago. He recalls leading a training one night while Michael, not yet ten, watched from the back of the room. “I saw him in the back and said ‘Come on up here,’” he remembers, “and I told the audience, ‘Here’s your next guest speaker.’ Little did I know that here he’d be today, traveling all over the country speaking to thousands of people!”

The Dorseys’ Tips for Effective Partnership

Whether it’s a family member or a colleague with similar goals, we advocate that you find a “work-out partner” for your business efforts—someone with whom you can create a mutually supportive and challenging partnership. Two minds together create a more powerful third mind. Once you’ve found your partner and paired up:

Set goals for the team.

Make sure you’re on the same page—ask, what do we want here? Work hard to bring value to the other.

Make the commitment: “We will until….”

Since you can’t control everything in this business, commit to a plan until a specified time. And be patient! Six months is not enough.

Work harder on yourself than you do on your business.

The first thing we ask a team is, “What book are you reading together? What tape are you listening to together? Anyone can do this, but you need the right mindset. Don’t be too uptight about the business, do it with relaxed intensity—and learn to laugh at yourself.

Get away from negative people.

Cultivate the power to disassociate. Ask yourself, “Who am I around, what are they doing to me, and is it okay? Who am I becoming hanging out with these people?” It’s up to you to limit your negative associations and expand your positive associations.

-M. & M.D.