Multi-level marketing companies always hang their hats on the “unlimited earnings” gimmick. They make you feel bad about your current job and earnings, and tell you how you are limited only by how hard you’re willing to work in an MLM. The sky’s the limit and you can earn as much as you want.
So it makes sense to take a look at the actual earnings of sales directors in Mary Kay. After all, if the job is so fantastic and the earnings are so huge, why not talk about it?
Every month, Mary Kay prints the top 100 sales director incomes in each of the 5 divisions. So out of the approximately 700,000 Mary Kay consultants in the United States, we’re seeing the incomes of the top .0007 (which is 0.07%, or waaaaaayyyyy less than 1%).
And out of the 14,000 U.S. sales directors in Mary Kay, these 500 women represent about 3.5% of them.
Here’s how the numbers shook out for September 2007 commissions:
The top 10 monthly checks of those top 500 sales directors were:
So if you’re in the very, very upper echelon, you’re grossing about $168,000 or more per year (multiplying these commissions by 12, even though we know they vary a lot from month to month).
And then we get to the bottom of this upper echelon. The bottom 10 monthly checks of these top 500 sales directors were:
So these bottom 10 of the top 500 are making about $6,100 a month, prior to business expenses. For twelve months, that would be a total of $73,200.
Is that a bad income? No. But there are a few key points to be made about these numbers:
- These figures are gross earnings, and from that, the sales directors must pay all of their expenses. So their actual income is much less. This is an important point, because most recruiters will gloss over this fact and talk about these commission checks as if they are the ACTUAL income that the director takes home.
- 96.5% of the sales directors in Mary Kay are grossing less than $73,200 per year. Much less.
- Even in the top 500 earners in the company, most are not making an “executive” income.
This may be a respectable amount of earnings for many women, but the key here is that even at the very top of Mary Kay, almost no one is making that “executive” income that they rave about. Now maybe some sales directors don’t “want” to make a full-time income or an executive income. I accept that. But do you think that over 13,500 sales directors don’t want that and/or aren’t working hard enough? I don’t think so. I’d bet the majority of them DID want to make an executive income or at least a very solid income… which is why they became directors. And they’re not making that decent income.
Check this out: The vast majority of the sales directors are “Grand Achievers” which is the level below Grand Prix (now Saturn?). The Grand Prix level directors are making about $20,000 per year in MK if they’re lucky.
That most of the directors are making less than that. Is that an executive income? Is that even a full-time living?