Should the two of us do this as a partnership?

It’s the question I’ve been asked most over the past seven years, since forming a partnership myself and advancing all the way to the top of my (last) company’s compensation plan. Two is better than one, right? Yes. Well, wait, hold on.

When Curtis Lewsey and I started BFC Enterprises (Beyond First Class) and became 50/50 partners in our network marketing company in the spring of 2007, people told us we were crazy. We were told that partnerships never work, especially in network marketing. So we knew the odds were stacked against us when we ignored the well-meaning naysayers—and went ahead anyway.

Because there were two of us, we were able to rank advance three times in the first year and then achieved the company’s two biggest promotions the two following years. So what made the difference? I’ve answered the question a thousand times.

A business partnership is a lot like a marriage. It’s based on honesty, trust, and mutual respect. Both partners must share a common goal and have a matching work ethic. I mean, it doesn’t work if one partner does 80 percent of the work and still splits 50 percent of the pay. It might not seem like a big deal early on, but jealousies and insecurities can creep in and fester when the paychecks start growing. That’s a problem.

In our case, and in the case of most successful partnerships, Curtis and I bring different skill sets to the table. His strengths are my weaknesses, and vice versa. We complement each other perfectly in that regard.

We have a twenty-year age difference between us (I was forty-three and Curtis was twenty-three when we began). This can be beneficial because it allows us to better communicate with a wider demographic—from Millennials to Gen X’ers to Baby Boomers. Curtis relates better with new technology and has a young and hungry peer group. I relate with old-school ways and have a more established and more affluent peer group.

Though we’re both married (to our wives), only I have children so Curtis can get out and travel more. But I can network more with other parents in youth groups and family settings.

Curtis’s vibrant energy and amazing penchant for networking and meeting people blows me out of the water. But my sixteen years of network marketing experience, successful track record, and years of presenting and training bring a whole different dimension to our team. And of course, we constantly learn from one another.

Our situation also brings into play a built-in accountability partner which has been and continues to be an enormous element to our success. We’ve spoken on the phone numerous times every day since 2007. If I’m down, he’s usually up. If he’s down, I’m up. We are both competitors, so neither will allow one to outperform the other. Of course, there are the “slumps” and “dry spells,” but with two people pushing the same rock, those slumps don’t last as long. 

You may have heard the saying, “The only way you can fail at network marketing is if you quit.” It’s true. Unfortunately, we all belong to a society of quitters. According to multiple news sources, 50 percent of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. I’ve never seen the statistic in network marketing, but based on the low barrier of entry (among other things) I’d predict that close to 95 percent of people who sign up in network marketing quit before they see any results. When it comes to network marketing partnerships, it’s a lot harder to quit when you have a committed business partner. 

I was influenced by the partnership of Pat Hintze and Steve Shultz, who made it happen back in my first network marketing company in the late nineties. But when scanning the scoreboard for successful network marketing business partnerships, you don’t see a whole lot of them.

Although it’s rare, the magical combination of the right people can result in unique and beautiful music. Just look at Paul McCartney and John Lennon, or Simon and Garfunkel. Oh, wait. They broke up. Okay, let’s stick with Batman and Robin!

TOMMY WYATT has been a top-producing network marketing professional since 1998. He and his business partner CURTIS LEWSEY are also coauthors of the bestselling book, Appreciation Marketing: How to Achieve Greatness Through Gratitude.

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