Teammates for Life

Dan and Tim Gottesman: Brothers, Partners and Friends

By Marian Head

While in high school, Dan and Tim Gottesman placed third in Washington State's Tennis Doubles Championships. Six years later, they earned second place--alongside the top income earners in their network marketing company. Partners in play and now in work, Dan and Tim are helping each other to build their dreams of freedom.


Modest Goals

Tim was just starting his senior year at the University of Washington when his brother Dan called and said, "I think I've found a way for us to get rich."

The timing couldn't have been better. Tim was rehabilitating from his second knee surgery and knew his longtime dream of being a professional tennis player was over.

"Lose your dream, get your destiny!" says a smiling Tim. "I was dead broke, driving a 1980, rusted-out Datsun 210 I'd bought for $450. I remember begging the people at Citibank to raise my credit limit so I could buy groceries."

Tim's goals at first were modest, to say the least.

"When Dan first told me how it worked, I was thinking, 'free beer!' I figured out that with 25 customers, I could make about $40 a month. I called my best friend and sold him on making 40 bucks a month, too."


Determined to Retire

After graduating from the University of Washington, Dan had married and climbed the real estate ladder for 16 months, from assistant to agent to broker. Selling investment properties quickly taught Dan he would rather be a real estate buyer than a seller.

"My heart was never in real estate," says Dan. "From day one I was looking for something else--and when you're really looking for something, it finds you."

Dan looked at more than a dozen network marketing opportunities during his short real estate career.

"None made sense to me. Most of them involved selling products; I couldn't see myself doing that." It finally clicked for Dan when he found a business that provided a service that people were already using.

"My biggest obstacle was getting past the stigma I'd placed on networking as a viable business. Nearly everyone in my family was either a doctor or an attorney, but I knew that wasn't for me. I grew up watching my father as a physician working long hours under so much stress. All my uncles are attorneys; like my dad, they make good income, but if they don't work, they don't get paid."

Says Dan, "I was determined to retire by the time I was 30. I showed the opportunity to as many people as I could, as fast as I could. Ninety days into my new business, I walked away from selling real estate and went full-time. Now, nearly eight years later, we're building a $2 million dream home right off the water on Mercer Island for our family of four; we have $8 million invested in real estate; and my wife has had the choice not to work for five years."


No Fear

Unlike Dan, Tim had no network marketing prejudices to overcome. He laughs about the time his best friend asked him if his opportunity was like Amway. "I answered, 'No, Ryan, we're not taking the train; this has nothing to do with trains.' I thought he was talking about Amtrak!"

To earn his dreams, Tim says he was willing to stretch the "three-foot rule"--to 300 feet.

"I was fresh. Young, without a lot of baggage, not afraid to talk to and recruit people. People liked knowing that it was all I'd ever done and that I was 100 percent committed to it. No fear!

The brothers soon articulated their principal business goal, explains Tim: "to help other people get promoted as fast as we possibly can. From the beginning, we understood that if we can get enough money in the hands of our downline, then the business is going to grow." Tim illustrates with one of his favorite quotes, from Zig Ziglar: "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."

Helping others through network marketing has had a dramatic impact on Tim's life.

"My life turned around 180 degrees. After about a year in the business, I got married. I wanted to start a family and needed to know we'd be financially secure. Now we're remodeling a home on Mercer Island, just two blocks from Dan and three minutes from the third richest guy in the world. We live on a peaceful, residential island just five minutes across the bridge from Seattle."


The Most Important Things

Today, Dan and Tim play golf together three times a week, do their work (independently, to cover more ground for the benefit of their ever-expanding business), and watch their children growing up together.

While they have different personalities and complementary styles, Tim and Dan have in common some of the most important things in life. Their children were born so close to each others' birthdates it's uncanny. Tim's oldest son, Benjamin, was born 30 hours before Dan's oldest daughter, Gracie. And their youngest children, about a year old, were born only five weeks apart.

Says Tim, "I'm the only dad who travels with his wife to drop off and pick up his child at pre-school. It's pretty amazing to be able to have the lifestyle and time freedom we always dreamed of. I get to be the kind of dad to teach my boys tennis, to teach them golf, to be the coach of the Little League team or the soccer team. I'm going to be the dad who's always there. I'm not going to miss any of those special moments."

When asked if he would do it all over again, brother Dan enthusiastically declares, "I would do it ten times over again. If it took me twice as long to get to where we are today, I'd make the sacrifices to have that happen. You can't put a price on freedom!"


MARIAN HEAD is a contributing editor to Networking Times.