Markiewicz, Joe & Marybeth
|Joe & Marybeth Markiewicz|
|Pin:||Double Diamond (2005)|
|LOS Upline:||Mike & Susan Bundy|
- Alan & Michelle Leininger, Founders Diamond
- Doug & Amie Weir, Executive Diamond
- Mike & Jana Waechter, Diamond
- Strachan, Jack & Maureen, Diamond, BWW, United Kingdom
Seizing opportunities, building communities
“A little bit of life happened this morning,” says Double Diamond Joe Markiewicz with a laugh as he climbs out of his sleek sedan, complete with an eye-catching “No Job” license plate. Sleek, that is, except for the crumpled rear bumper.
On his way home from an appointment to meet the Achieve® Magazine staff, Joe found himself in a bit of a car accident.
It clearly takes more than a little fender bender to dampen the Markiewiczs’ optimistic spirits. Their positive attitude was evident when Marybeth called to let us know that Joe had been in an accident and would be a little late for this interview.
“Everyone is fine and that’s the most important thing. It could have been so much worse!” said Marybeth. “Our only concern is that this car is supposed to be a gift for Joe’s mom and she’s not going to be very happy!”
Further demonstrating that the glass really is half full as long as you’re determined to see it that way, Joe actually wound up prospecting the man responsible for the accident.
“He asked about my license plate and I gave him some information about the business,” says Joe. “He took my card and I’ll follow up from there. That’s what this business is all about – seizing every opportunity that comes your way and turning what could be a negative situation into something positive.”
Growing up in Rochester, New York, home to the minor league baseball club for the Baltimore Orioles, Joe remembers honing his baseball skills while watching Hall of Famer Cal Ripken play third base.
Joe’s boyhood dream was to follow the same path to major league baseball. But while playing ball in college, where he studied engineering, Joe suffered a knee injury that rendered playing professional baseball impossible.
“That injury crushed my dream, but it was actually a blessing in disguise,” says Joe. “It set the wheels in motion for me to eventually find this opportunity and refocus my dreams on something that I could accomplish. At the time, though, I had no idea that getting hurt would be one of the best things to happen to me.”
Another one of the best things to ever happen to Joe was meeting Marybeth.
Marybeth was studying to attain her business degree when she and Joe met. Their careers took them to North Carolina, where Joe began working his way up the corporate ladder at a major computer company. When a fellow engineer showed Joe the Quixtar IBO Compensation Plan, the couple immediately saw it as a way to earn extra income.
“We had decent jobs that paid the bills but we knew we wanted more,” explains Marybeth. “We saw this business as our chance to trade a good life for a really great life. And that’s exactly how it’s worked out. We’re grateful every day that we seized the opportunity when it was in front of us.”
Joe and Marybeth left their careers and chose to make their Quixtar business endeavor their full-time career.
As Double Diamonds, the Markiewiczs find that their priorities have evolved since beginning their business.
“Today, this business for us is really all about what we can do to make this opportunity better for other people,” says Joe. “Achieving great things isn’t that much fun if we’re the only ones doing it. We want to create an atmosphere where people can feel empowered to take risks and get out of their comfort zone. We want them to not be afraid of making mistakes but learn how to overcome them and ultimately taste success for themselves.
“There are a million different reasons why people start this business,” says Joe. “Some people want to earn a little extra money. Some want to earn a lot. Others just want to get away from the 9-to-5 grind and lead a life where they’re in control of their schedule, where they can make every one of their kid’s games or have time to go work out in the middle of the day.”
The couple admits that they have had to adjust to the goals and priorities of the next generation seeking to engage in this business. Young people today are often seeking so much more than material rewards and personal achievement.
“One of the biggest shifts I’ve seen in the business in just the past few years is how much more people seem to be seeking community,” notes Joe. “Young people today really want to belong to something, which you see a lot online in communities like MySpace. People are starved for recognition, attention, and affirmation. We provide a community that’s more loyal, more supportive, and more positive than any other.”
Another trend the couple points to is the increasingly youthful age of the new IBO. “There’s an obvious challenge for a lot of bright, hardworking young people to find good, well-paying jobs when they finish college,” says Marybeth. “This business provides them a way to take charge of their future rather than leaving it in the hands of someone else.”
Joe adds that the most passionate and enthusiastic of the group appears to be these younger IBOs. “I think they know clearly what they want and don’t want in life. They are inspired about this business because they own something and they can be independent. Individuality and freedom is very important to them.”
One key to the Markiewiczs’ success has been getting young new IBOs started off on the right foot.
“I never want to forget what it took for us to get past the first year in the business,” explains Joe. “We had plenty of fear and self-doubt and just so much emotion. So many great people get into this business for the right reasons and have such potential, but they struggle because they don’t get the right help. We always want to stay active and proactive and be engaged with IBOs at every level of our organization. We hurt for our people when they don’t succeed and we celebrate with them when they do. We are here for them completely, just as our upline is for us.”
The Markiewiczs believe a major part of their role as upline is to help people build belief in themselves. They enjoy helping members of their group discover their hidden talents and abilities and to become the best they can be, despite setbacks and discouragement.
“We all have times when we feel like things aren’t going well and it’s very easy to become critical of yourself and waste time comparing yourself to other people,” says Joe. “At times like that, it’s so crucial for people to have a friend in the upline they can turn to. Someone who’s not so far in the woods they can’t see the trees and remind you that you’re doing just fine and that you will succeed.”
“We always say that people are simply better off in the business than they are out,” adds Marybeth. “If you’re a part of this business, you will always have support and encouragement, even when things aren’t going exactly as you’d planned. That kind of safety net is not easy to come by.”
Although they concentrate on helping others in their business succeed, the Markiewiczs remain focused on family. In fact, they’re in the midst of the second year of home-schooling their three children: Jenna, 11; Bradley, 9; and Lindsey, 8.
The third floor of their home has been converted into the “Upper Room Academy,” a private school with a well-stocked library, the latest computers, and custom built-in pine workspaces and shelves. The walls are adorned with original Markiewicz artwork, poetry, and science projects such as a model of the solar system – complete with Pluto plucked off the cardboard to reflect the recent announcement that the farthest planet actually isn’t one.
As dappled autumn sunlight filters through the windows and the children bend their heads together over their studies, it’s easy to see why Joe and Marybeth chose to create such a special, focused place for their children to learn.
“We thought about home schooling for a long time before we made the choice,” says Marybeth. “The children receive a lot of one-on-one attention, they can each learn at their own pace, and we can tailor their schedule so they can travel with us more – which has made for some awesome field trips.”
Joe and Marybeth tied a recent Virginia trip with an excursion to Jamestown, America’s first permanent English colony. Another business meeting was accompanied by a side trip to the historic Biltmore House, the largest private home in the country. The family also visited Fort Macon, a North Carolina State Park that’s home to a coastal ecosystem and a Civil War fort.
“We love having the ability to take the kids with us when we travel and the opportunity to expose them to different things outside the classroom,” says Marybeth.
With classes outside the home like Spanish and art, and extracurricular activities such as baseball, softball, soccer, and swimming, Jenna, Bradley, and Lindsey are truly well-rounded youngsters.
The couple is closely involved with their children’s activities in and out of school. Joe coaches his son’s travel baseball team, which entails a rigorous 80-games-per-year schedule, and their business sponsors the team in the name of XS™ Energy Drinks.
“We don’t really have a work life and a personal life,” says Joe. “Our business and our family life are wrapped up into one. I always bring coolers of XS Energy Drinks to the games and the team sponsorship brings nice exposure to the brand. The sports nutrition line is central to our business and sports are central to our lives, so it all ties together well.”
“Our children are thriving,” shares Marybeth. “We’re able to spend so much time with them and be completely hands-on in shaping them and preparing them for the world that lies before them. This business allows us the option to raise our children the way we want to. They grow up so fast so we want to take advantage of this tiny window of time to truly influence them in a positive way.”
Joe and Marybeth are also deeply concerned with making a difference in the lives of those outside their family and their business.
“Something that critics of our business don’t want to see is the heart of the people who build this business. We are amazed at how generous and unselfish most IBOs tend to be. I think it has something to do with the core principles of what makes this business work … help others meet their needs and then you will succeed,” says Joe.
“Our dream is too big for us to accomplish by ourselves. We think about what we can do as a team to make a difference in this world. It motivates us to succeed to higher levels as a group because we can help more people. We – not just Marybeth and I, but our whole group – ask ourselves all the time, ‘How big of an impact can we make?’ Together, we have the power to do some significant good in the world.”
Joe says that the entire Markiewicz team has given as a group more than $1 million to various charitable organizations over the years, including tsunami relief, Hurricane Katrina recovery, and rescue missions in America, Europe, Russia, Africa, and Asia.
“You can’t be successful in this business if you’re not committed to helping others, and that extends beyond the business,” says Joe. “A little bit of help can go such a long way in someone’s life.”
Stepping up to the plate is more than just a metaphor for the Markiewiczs; it’s a way of life in so many ways.
“I love rewarding people with unique opportunities to have experiences they might otherwise never have,” says Joe. “When I started in this business, my upline expanded my dream and took me to places I’d never been and I want to do that for my downline.”
While still claiming to be “just a big kid,” Joe is always trying to create opportunities to motivate his downline, which is why he’s so passionate about his “Extreme Freedom Team,” members of his downline who share Joe’s love for adventure. Adventures include snowmobile trips to the top of the Continental Divide and ski trips to Vail. And every year, he rents out professional baseball stadiums for the baseball fanatics in his organization to play their very own all-star games.
“I can’t think of many guys who wouldn’t want to put on a uniform and play baseball with their buddies under the lights at a professional baseball stadium,” says Joe. “Those kinds of opportunities aren’t going to come with most businesses, no matter how hard you work or how much money you make. We want people in our organization to know that no matter how big they dream, no matter what kind of reward they envision, we can help them make it happen.”
The motivation that such larger-than-life rewards can generate tends to trickle down to all levels of the organization.
“The number-one way to build confidence and raise belief in the business is through the success stories of others,” says Joe. “It inspires others and leads to what we call the ‘popcorn effect’ of spurring other success stories. Success breeds success.”
And when it comes to their own story, Joe and Marybeth see it as one without an ending.
“We still love building this business. It gives us a real good reason to get up every morning,” says Joe. “We are very goal-oriented but not by the kind that can necessarily be written down on paper. We just know that if we keep doing what we’re doing, what we’re good at, which is building relationships and building people up, good things will eventually happen for us. We try to treat people right and at the same time be a good ambassador for this business. We want people to be proud to be on our team and of the way we conduct our business, which in turn should complement a great business opportunity and the company behind it all.”