Your Future in MLM is Not Secure, Not Even in Mary Kay

I don’t know the details surrounding this situation, but I’ll tell you as much as I know. This Mary Kay sales director was in the company for 25 years, and the most recent picture on her website showed 11 first-line offspring and three second-line. Her intent was to go NIQ sometime in 2008, and was apparently encouraged by the company to do so.

She was just terminated, and provided the following information on her website. I am redacting her name to protect her privacy. Although she printed this presumably for her unit, I see no need to make her name very public here until she tells me otherwise.

It is with a very heavy heart and extreme sorrow that I will be moving on from the business I have built for the past almost 25 years. It is not my intent to make this a farewell, but rather a simple announcement of a change for my future.

The facts, just the facts, from my recollection of events of the past few days:

From Tuesday, March 4, 2008 to Friday, March 7, 2008 I was on a vacation visiting my daughter, [daughter], in [city] and my father in [another city]. [Daughter] is suffering from [medical condition] as a result of [situation] my father is 81 years old and in declining health.

On Wednesday, the 5th, I received a call from Laura Beitler in the legal department of “the company. “ Laura asked a series of rapid fire questions about my business. I explained to her that I was on vacation, and the circumstances of my family members. She paused momentarily and then began again with her questions. In the conversation she stated my Director’s contract could be effected.

At no time during that call or any subsequent contacts with “the company” did anyone ever confirm for me what the problems were.

After that call, I got on the phone to our National Sales Director and to other resources within the sales force as I could… in and around my visits. It was immensely difficult to defend myself while trying not to cause too much trauma for my daughter and father.

I did not choose to overwhelm “the company” with a barrage of input, so I carefully selected one well known, very successful [location] NSD, my Current NSD and my now retired NSD to contact “the company” on my behalf. I could not have asked more from any of these women. They all jumped right in and came to my aid with wonderful reports about my heart and my actions of the past 25 years.

Of course, [husband] and I sent information to “the company” as well, but it is difficult to know what to do when you do not know what you are accused of. In addition, it appears there is no procedure, policy or ability within “the company” to bring a formal defense. The entire termination process appears from outside the corporate building to be in a black box.

On Friday, March 7, I received a call that I was terminated from “the company.”

On Thursday, March 13, 2008, I received the Termination letter linked here.

I have taken most of the week of March 10 to try to save my business. All to no avail. Even with some hints from corporate contacts about what might have gone wrong, I cannot conceive of a scenario where it would be appropriate to terminate my contract with “the company” without any warning, without any opportunity to defend myself, without any opportunity to make things right. Especially since I had no known problems in my record during almost 25 years of service. Plus, over the past five years or so, multiple corporate staff members — from Sales Development Managers to company VPs — have told me I had nothing to worry about in the NSD approval process. I was once even told I was “pre-approved” for NSD.

Some of my additional thoughts about what has happened: This feels like I have been given a death penalty without hearing or opportunity for appeal. And what was the crime? Was it jaywalking? Was it speeding? Was it driving without a license? Whatever it was, I cannot conceive of a wrong I could have committed that would give “the company” a good reason to terminate me without hearing or appeal.

Thank you to the many, many people who have been not only my business partners and associates, but dear friends over the last 25 years. I would not be the person I am today without the part you played in my life.

Love and Hugs,

[sales director]

This is just a reminder for all consultants and all directors: Mary Kay can terminate your contract at any time, for any reason (or no reason), with only 30 days notice. That means that they send you a letter saying you’re done in 30 days, and that’s it… end of story.

So much for “financial freedom” or a “stable income” in Mary Kay.