N2 Publishing 101: What Does N2 Do?

By Allie Hartzog Mar 15, 2018

Welcome to N2 Pub 101!

In this class-inspired blog, we’ll examine the origins of N2, explain the inner workings of the people who keep the company running, and highlight the product we continue to perfect even 15 years later.  

Let’s go back to 2004. It was the time of brightly-colored silicone wristbands fist-pumping in the air as flash mobs popped up on college campuses quicker than the word “fetch” could gain popularity. It was also when friends and co-workers Earl Seals and Duane Hixon decided it was time to go into business for themselves. It all began with a vision.

The N2 Mission Statement

To build a nationwide business that honors God, strengthens the family, and creates financial wealth for everyone involved.

From the outset, Earl and Duane wanted to put people first – their potential team members and their families would be the priority. Of course, they couldn’t accomplish their mission without income, and income doesn’t show up until you provide a useful product. (We learned this in Business 101 last semester.)

They realized the potential in niche, hyper-local monthly publications that would be printed and delivered to residential mailboxes in affluent neighborhoods. This product was designed to serve two purposes: to bring neighbors together through resident-submitted stories and photos, and to connect those residents with local businesses through advertisements in the publication. The result is an attentive audience, engaged community, and highly sought-after customers for area businesses.

Today, more than 800 franchise business owners, known as Area Directors, run nearly 1,000 publications in 47 states, with help from 200+ corporate team members. And our mission statement still guides every decision. How so? Read on.


Our people are our main motivation and we continually revisit the best ways to serve our team members well. We encourage them in their professional journeys, foster a camaraderie-focused culture, and promote work-life balance. This is why we’ve won countless awards for being a great place to work from the experts at Fortune, Inc., and more. We’re committed to finding, keeping, and maximizing the best team members and their potential. Our Culture Deck is a living document that serves as a foundation for our company values; it also outlines the attributes we value in our people.

For N2’s Home Office team members, we have programs in place for just about any area they could wish to grow. Our Wellness team focuses on enhancing quality of life, both at work and at home, through fitness classes provided in-office every weekday, nutritional counseling, and health challenges that promote healthy lifestyle choices and fun competition along the way. We pay attention to the nonphysical aspects of wellness, too, such as finances. The First-Time Homebuyer Program was started for team members who are ready for the responsibility of home ownership, with N2 providing $7,000 toward a down payment on their first home. Along with numerous other benefits, like an annual marriage stipend and regular Lunch & Learns where leaders discuss topics that matter to our people, we are always seeking the best ways to keep our people fulfilled personally and professionally.

Our Home Office team members certainly aren’t the only ones we want to invest in. The Area Director (AD) opportunity, with its uncapped pay structure, helps many reach a place of financial freedom. But getting to this place comes with a lot of hard work. Over 15 years, we’ve developed some tried and tested training methods for ADs that see them through their N2 journey no matter how long they’ve been with us. We hold initial training sessions for Area Director Candidates and pair them with Launch Directors to guide them through the process of launching their first publication. After ramping up and seeing their first issue go to print, ADs are paired with a Sales Director for additional guidance and accountability. They also participate in national sales calls and attend annual Conferences to stay connected. It’s all part of a culture of support that we’ve found to be one of the best motivators for everyone involved.

From day one, N2 was built on camaraderie, teamwork, and humility. But Duane and Earl didn’t want their circle of influence to stop there. N2GIVES came into fruition in 2016 as our corporate giving program. Each year since, we’ve contributed 2% of our annual revenue to the fight against human trafficking. As a for-profit company, we’ve found some really amazing nonprofits to partner with who are battling this injustice in the U.S. and across the globe. In addition, our ADs around the nation are also able to give back to local nonprofits by offering free advertising space in their publications.


On top of being recognized for our culture, N2 has made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies for eight consecutive years. This is a testament to how well our product serves our team members, advertisers, and residents more than a decade after N2 launched.

In 2016, N2 adopted a franchise model, which gives Area Directors the freedom of business ownership with the benefit of proven training and dedicated support from the moment they begin ramping up their publication business. We don’t want anyone to feel like they are alone in the N2 journey; there’s always someone to call, text, or meet up with when a boost is needed. That’s the beauty of the AD opportunity – it’s sort of like a best of both worlds situation, where the perks of entrepreneurship (setting your own schedule, meeting personal income goals) are coupled with the support of hundreds of others who have embraced the same opportunity.  

At our Home Office, everyone works to support the ADs and their publication business every step of the way. From Field Support and Client Relations to Marketing and Technology, back-end operations are handled with competence and confidence. Our Editing, Design, Prepress, and Print teams are the heart and soul behind the actual printed publications themselves. They are responsible for the conception, quality control, and production of every issue. And their efforts are the reason the hundreds of thousands of pubs that are delivered to mailboxes monthly are premium products coveted by both readers and advertisers alike.

So, what did we learn in N2 Pub 101? What does N2 Publishing really do? Inspired by Earl and Duane’s vision, N2 strives to honor God, strengthen the family, and create financial wealth for all involved. We do this through a really cool product: a monthly publication business run by franchisees across the country and supported by a dedicated Home Office staff. And this product further allows us to boost the fight against modern-day slavery.

We believe we can always be better tomorrow than we are today, which is why N2 expects to continue growing and improving over the next 15 years and beyond. Want to join us? Apply for the AD role here.

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Ready to be your own boss, determine your own income, and create your own schedule? Apply for our franchise opportunity; it sets passionate, driven people up for success through proven methods and extensive training. Learn directly from our experienced leaders, all of whom started out in the Area Director role themselves.