By Claire Barham Mar 31, 2017
Mary Beth Jones didn’t hesitate when asked what advice she would give to someone starting their own N2 publication.
An Area Director (AD) since 2008, she knows how crucial it is to be authentic with residents, advertising clients, and herself. And with a “game on” mindset, it’s no surprise she’s three publications strong. What may surprise you is Mary Beth’s ability to excel despite her unwavering commitment to family, her lack of previous sales experience, and a personal battle with illness.
A stay-at-home mother of three, Mary Beth’s path to N2 started with a phone call from someone she previously worked with who knew her ability and personality could be a perfect fit for this work-from-home sales opportunity. She was not looking for a full-time job, yet quickly began to understand how valuable an N2 publication would be for her very own community – the same area she and her husband have both called home since childhood.
“We had a publication in our neighborhood, but it was more like, ‘this is how high you can build your fence, make sure you pick up after your dog,’” said Mary Beth. “So I [said], ‘an N2 publication would be really cool in our neighborhood. It would really get people to know each other.’”
Within two minutes of speaking with Mary Beth, it’s clear she puts family first, always.
“I have three kids and my husband Bob. We’ve been married for 21 years, so I kind of have the fairytale when it comes to that,” Mary Beth said. “Family is the most important thing to me.”
As a business owner overseeing three N2 publications, she certainly balances a full plate. But she is still able to play the many roles of mom: soccer mom, PTA mom, and more. Mary Beth prioritizes being there for all her kids’ events – an achievable goal thanks to her flexible schedule as an AD.
“The most important thing is showing my kids they can have it all,” said Mary Beth. “They can have that family life.”
Although Mary Beth was marketing-minded, she had very little sales experience before becoming a business owner with N2. She made it through the ramp-up (beginning) stage of the AD process and found success thanks in large part to N2 leaders – most notably, Marty.
“[He] was so good to me, helping me through my ramp-up. I did what he said, and he encouraged me the whole way,” said Mary Beth. “If I’m successful today, it’s because of his patience and expertise.”
She admits ramping up was one of the hardest things she’s ever completed, but that it’s also one of the most rewarding. “And that’s something that I’m really proud of.”
Though hers is a prime success story for someone with little to no sales experience, she is quick to warn others considering the opportunity that it’s not for everyone.
“You’ve got that day-to-day you have to be able to get through. You have to be able to reach out for help,” said Mary Beth. “You have to know… you’re on this ride, and the end of the ride is so much better than you could’ve imagined.
While family may be the most important thing to her, Mary Beth doesn’t view her work just as a way to provide financially for her loved ones. For her, it’s about serving the community. One of Mary Beth’s most memorable features was on a local family who set up a foundation when their son passed away from leukemia. The story meant so much to her that she decided to write it herself instead of assigning it to a staff member. The following month, Mary Beth was diagnosed with the same type of leukemia.
“I was doing the story, and I was feeling so attached, then that happened,” Mary Beth said. “That got me through my journey because I had heard what he went through. I kind of thought, ‘I can finish it for him.’”
PICTURED: Mary Beth and family donned shirts with the phrase
"Game On," her motto throughout her battle with cancer.
Through the experience, she realized her neighborhood publications truly serve a bigger purpose.
“When we’re in the community, we’re not just selling ads. We’re an advocate for the people in our community – we’re one of them.”
Mary Beth says her success is due to the team she has built, which includes people from every neighborhood she serves. When it came time to take care of her health, it was her team, her family and the support from the community that pushed her through. People often attribute defeating an illness to a healthy, optimistic mindset. For Mary Beth, "Game On" was the mantra, and success was hers.
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