John + Amanda Lewandowski
John Lewandowski never thought about being the publisher of his own magazine until he heard about a franchise opportunity from the Towne Post Network.
Quite the opposite, Lewandowski, a Navy veteran, husband and father to three, was doing perfectly fine in his full-time B2B sales job, even leading his company as the top salesman several times.
After a colleague introduced him to Towne Post Network CEO Tom Britt, though, the idea of becoming a franchise publisher and working for himself quickly took hold. An initial phone call with Britt about the company’s business model piqued his interest, Lewandowski and Britt, along with Towne Post Associate Publisher, Rob Turk, set up a face-to-face meeting.
“When I heard about the business model, even just a bit over the phone, I was instantly interested,” Lewandowski says. “Meeting Tom and Rob was like meeting guys you’ve known for a long time. It was an easy conversation. They were very personable and answered all of the questions I had. I had a very good idea after leaving the meeting that day that there was a strong possibility that I was going to do this.”
Still, he knew the greatest sales pitch he’d have to make in this process was to his wife, Amanda.
“I had to explain to my wife why I was all of a sudden interested in this magazine business that we had never even heard of when I was already involved in a lucrative, six-figure job."
“I knew I had a sale to make when I got home,” Lewandowski says laughing. “I had to explain to my wife why I was all of a sudden interested in this magazine business that we had never even heard of when I was already involved in a lucrative, six-figure job. She could tell that my enthusiasm level was high in thinking about what this magazine could do for us because I saw the potential.”
After having dinner with Tom and Towne Post Network President Jeanne Britt to go over any other questions and official paperwork, Amanda knew it was the right fit for John and their family.
It wasn’t long before the couple was headed to Indianapolis for Towne Post University — the company’s two-day training program for new franchise publishers. The training program also gives new publishers the opportunity to meet the Towne Post Network team as well as other local franchise publishers.
“Everyone at the Towne Post Network wants to see you succeed,” Amanda says. “The training program was so helpful and the Towne Post staff has been so encouraging and responsive to any questions that we have had along the way. It is a learning process, but once you figure out the system, it really works.”
“I picked up plenty of great things from the training,” Lewandowski adds. “I know, for me on the sales side, much of this is learning along the way. But coming out of the training, it was great to know there are tools and resources available to us. It was great meeting the other publishers and getting insight into how they do things, too.”
Today, the Lewandowskis are happy to be the franchise publishers of The Lakes Magazine — serving several northern Indiana lakes including Maxinkuckee, Bass Lake, Lake of the Woods, Lake Latonka, Pretty Lake, Koontz Lake and Myers Lake. They enjoy spending time at their home and out on Bass Lake enjoying boating and water sports with family and friends.
The inaugural issse of The Lakes Magazine debuts in May, and the Lewandowskis couldn’t be more excited to bring the monthly magazine to their community. The couple has seen incredible response and interest from the community through face-to-face meetings and their social media channels in the months leading up to the first issue. That interest from others further confirms they are bringing something that their community wants and needs, Lewandowski says.
“When you can turn people in your own community into local ‘celebrities,’ it is great,” he says. “There have been dozens of responses from people interested in advertising or sharing their story. I’ve never worked anywhere in sales where people are excited and anxious to come to you about advertising.”
“I’m excited for people to see and read the stories and what is going on in our community,” Amanda adds. “There are many people around here missing recognition.”
“It is okay to be skeptical and have questions, that means you value your time.”
The Towne Post Network business model has fit what Lewandowski was looking for — the opportunity to not only work for himself from home, but to publish a monthly magazine highlighting positive stories in his community. For those considering being a franchise publisher of their own local magazine or for those who have never even given it a thought, Lewandowski offers some advice.
“It is okay to be skeptical and have questions, that means you value your time,” he says. “But if you believe in yourself and have a great product, which this [monthly magazine] is, it is an excellent product, you should go for it. This is for someone who is very entrepreneurial-minded and wants to make a big impact in their community. I am 49, so this is not something I was expecting to do but it felt right. Now we have a family business. This is something that could also, someday, be passed along to your kids. That is valuable. You don’t get to control your destiny like that when you work for someone else.”
“You don’t get to control your destiny like that when you work for someone else.”