A Consultant Calls It Quits – Letter to Her Recruits

A Mary Kay consultant’s letter to her recruits about her reasons for quitting Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Dear Team,

This may come as a surprise to most of you, but I have decided to terminate my Mary Kay consultant agreement.  I have given this much thought, and have concluded that I would be better off both financially and personally without Mary Kay in my life. 

This decision was a process for me, and I will go into detail with you all as I feel that you deserve to hear my reasons.  You all have put in much effort and have been so loyal.  I want you to know up front that you are a group of fine women who any recruiter would kill to have on her team.  Directors have personally commented on the high caliber women that were on my team.  I want to thank you for all of your hard work.

I also want to apologize if I have ever misled you for my own gain in terms of ordering product to make production.  I know that I have occasionally asked for orders and for that I am sorry.  I truly care for all of you and was very fortunate to have met such wonderful friends while my husband was in Iraq.  I want you to also know that had I known what I know now, I would have done things differently in my own business, and I would have led my team differently.  I too, unfortunately thought, that if I did what I was told I would make it to the top.

First, I would like to address the positive aspects of my experience with Mary Kay.  I have developed immensely with my public speaking ability through my skin care classes.  I have evolved from a person who would be terrified to speak in front of my high school class to a person who could give a skin care class without any hesitation.  My teaching ability is also something that as been enhanced through my experience with Mary Kay.  I became a confidant teacher and was able to convey to my consultants the information necessary to work the business.

I also was grateful to have something to focus on while my husband was deployed.  I was so busy with my business and training all of you, that I had little time to focus on that negative aspect of my life.  Finally, I have to say that the friendships that I have made have been awesome.  I have made the best of friends in this business and hope to continue these friendships even though I am no longer a consultant.

Although there were many positives in my experience, I did have my doubts.  When I arrived back “home”, I realized that I would essentially have to recruit another team to maintain my car as many of my team, including myself, were not working their businesses full force.  I then began to realize that the business was like a house of cards that could come tumbling down at any time. In order to keep my business intact I would have to remain on a hamster wheel of recruiting to continually “replace” any consultant who decided to take time of or who quit working all together.

About the time when I was really re-thinking my business, I did a google search for Robin Blackmon Dunda as I was curious about her lawsuit against the company.  When I did this, I discovered a website entitled www.pinktruth.com.  After reading the consultant and director stories on that site, I realized that I was not alone with my doubts and that I didn’t want to follow in the paths of the women who have been financially and emotionally burned by Mary Kay.

In many ways I have felt that I have been misled in Mary Kay, and in turn I have felt that I have misled all of you.  One of the main reasons I chose to become a consultant was so that when I decided to have children, I would have the flexibility to work this business around my family.  I shortly found out that this was not true in this business.  I found that I constantly had Mary Kay on my mind and was very distracted when I was at home with my son.  When daycare had been suggested to me, I found it odd since that was the reason I decided on this business, was to avoid the childcare.  I realized that I would have been better off working part time for eight hours on the weekend and have my family watch my son.  Then I could be home every night with him and not off at skin care classes.

Another reason I became a consultant was the income opportunity.  I have been in Mary Kay two years and three months and I have yet to make a dime.  I took a $3,000 loss on my taxes this past year.  Despite my sales, my expenses far outweighed my earnings.  By the time I paid for PCP, office supplies, and seminars, all of my hard work was for free.  I also was told to get to “profit level” inventory which was $4,000+ wholesale.  Once I reached that I found out that the company was going to be making product changes to the complete color line so my products would eventually become obsolete.  I felt like I just couldn’t keep up with the changes and the limited edition items.  I also became tired of warm chattering.  I did not want to live my life thinking of everyone as a prospect.

The main light bulb came on when I realized that in this business you could not promote yourself.  My position in this company fully relies on the activity of my team.  I did not want to rely on that for my income.  Also, through the information on the pink truth site, I realized that my failure in this business was not my fault, it was the design of the business itself that destined me to fail.  Mary Kay is a multi-level marketing plan, (go to http://mlm-thetruth.com and test Mary Kay) in which only 1% will succeed and 99% will end up losing money.  That fact alone was the tipping point for me.

I decided to return my inventory for a 90% refund.  I hated to take the 10% loss, but I knew it wouldn’t be worth it to run a sale and ship all of my products out of state.   I returned over $3800 – there was too much money at stake not to take advantage of the repurchase program.

I have learned a few things from this experience.  First of all, Research, research, and research some more.  I should have done my research before diving in to a new business venture.  Also, never listen to advice from someone who is making money off of you.  Most importantly, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The advice I want to leave you with is only order what you sell.  Don’t get caught up in ordering more than you need.  Become an order taker, after all, all of the other in home-based businesses are run that way and people are willing to wait.  Also, return your inventory if you have to.  Only you can make that decision, but if your family’s finances are affected by your Mary Kay debt, consider it an option.  Just sell as much as you can to recoup your money first.

This experience has indeed been a life lesson, a teachable moment if you will.  I am thankful that I am not in any debt.  I am also grateful that  I did not become a director with the temptation to “make up” production with the philosophy that it will be better next month.  A person can next month herself into an eternity.

Do I regret that I joined Mary Kay?  No.   I have gained many friendships and have learned a lot.  Life lessons are tough, but they make you stronger.  I am just glad that I made it through the pink.

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