A Former Mary Kay Director’s Story and Numbers

Written by GettingOutOfDebt

Attention: Every person who wants to move up in Mary Kay- please read.

If you’re reading this as a consultant, please know that every word is true and meant to help you learn the other side of the MK story.

I originally started in Mary Kay Cosmetics in April of 1991 in college.  What attracted me most was the dream of earning free cars, diamond rings, the glitz and glamour of Seminar.  I was a very high- I, and my sales director at the time pegged me right away.  She knew showing me the Seminar video tape would get me to sign right away.  I did and a week later I was asking my parents fora $1,000 to get inventory.  I even shared with them the line- “You can’t sell from an empty wagon”  So of course, they sent me the money so I could get started.

I love selling- I absolutely love to help people get what they want.  I have no problem transferring my love of something to someone.  I never felt sorry for myself if someone cancelled an appointment or returned product.  I knew MK products were not for everyone.

I read every book, magazine and I listened to all the tapes and went to the meetings.  I wanted what was “possible”.

I left the college town to pursue a teaching career and to get married.  I tried juggling MK with teaching, a new family, and pursuing my Master’s degree and realized I couldn’t do it all. So around 1994 I gave up MK completely.

In 1997, my Sales Director called me and asked me if I would listen to a tape from Linda Toupin called “Choices.”  I said yes and when I received it, I immediately listened to it at least three times.  I remember vividly, sitting on my bed, deciding right then and there- I was ready to start MK again- because “I was where I was, because of the choices I made or allowed others to make for me.”

So I rejoined in March of 1997. I attended Career Conference that very next weekend.  I knew the lack of money management was one of the reasons I wasn’t successful before and pledged to not get wrapped up in the prizes, recognition, etc.  and to order only when needed.  So I told my director I was only starting with a $400 wholesale- which I did. Then I attended Career Conference and heard once again- “You can’t sell from an empty wagon” and thought “what am I doing- I need product”- so $3000+ went on a credit card that I just paid off two months prior.  The whole time my director would say- “ You can’t sell from an empty wagon”  “ You know you’re going to sell it”  Making me feel that decision was the best for me and my family.

I held parties, asked for referrals, sold tons of product, and then started recruiting.  I wasn’t fast by any means, but I was loyal and consistent.  I loved my teaching career and really felt I had it all.  I was attending every MK meeting and event.  I juggled everything, running my son to every game and practice, teaching full-time, household tasks, MK parties and events, etc.

I recruited approx. 2-4 women every year from 1997-2001.  Many of those women are still on my personal team today!  I truly believe it’s because I recruited them the right way and for the right reasons!  I loved being a consultant when the money I was making was helping with the ‘extras’ I wanted for my family and I.

In January of 2001, I was sitting at my desk and thinking to myself- I am more excited about doing MK then I am teaching.  I think it’s time for me to pursue it full-time.  I made the announcement I was leaving teaching at the end of the school year and started working towards car and directorship.  I was concerned about replacing my income with MK, because my family NEEDED my teaching income to survive. So I asked my SD to sit down with me and REALLY show me the money side of MK — SHE ONLY SHOWED ME THE INCOME POTENTIAL. NO EXPENSES, NO ACTUAL INCOME ADVISORY STATEMENTS, NOTHING BUT ‘WHAT I  CAN MAKE’- BASED ON THE ‘COMPANY AVERAGE’.

By June of 2001, I was on-target for my car and ready to submit for DIQ.  In July of 2001, I was $2,000 away from staying on target for the car and directorship.  This was the start of the end.  I didn’t want to ‘throw away’ two months worth of car production over $2,000 did I?  Of course not. So $2,000 went on a credit card.

I earned the car at the end of September with only putting in $3,000 towards my maximum personal limit and felt great about earning the car.  I really had 12 quality women who wanted the work this business.

Then at the end of October of 2001- I finished Directorship with at least 7 “help me” consultants- personal use people just to get it finished.  I was on top of the world- I earned a car, became a director and now I’m ready for the ‘Big Girls’ Club.  I was able to wear THE SUIT!  I was able to get ‘privileged’ director information early.  I was able to stay in the Director’s suite at Seminar. Now I’m ready to make the money my SD told me about in January.   I had arrived!!!

The chart below will show you what it really takes to be a Sales Director in the Midwest (Kansas City).  I laid out the expenses and the commissions for you that I incurred. This does not include any product sales or expenses, as I just wanted to show you what the director side looks like.


As you can see the net income is next to nothing .  I was working 50+ hours a week for that.  I know it wasn’t all seeing faces and recruiting- it was everything MK related, i.e. Calling and motivating my consultants, informing them of new contests, new promotions, asking who their top 5 customers are, attending every guest event and company events. (Because that’s what a good leader does.)

Regarding propects, I was no longer looking for great customers to purchase the products, I was to find future consultants(that is a director’s job).  I turned into a stalker!  I couldn’t even enjoy eating out with my family or going to a movie, without checking out the crowd.

In 2004, I started realizing I wasn’t able to pay my household bills, so to keep the ‘image’ of a great business, I started opening credit cards.  I was approved for very high limits because of my good credit with little revolving debt.  I even opened cards in my husband’s name without him knowing about it.  I had to charge everything or take out cash advances- all so no one would know how bad my year had been.

I started substitute teaching, because I did miss teaching, but I really needed to make some kind of income!  This was another warning sign!  I was told “NOT TO TELL MY CONSULTANTS OR ANYONE ELSE I WAS WORKING ANOTHER JOB BESIDE MK!”  It would give the appearance that you can’t make money in MK.  When did working become so shameful?

In May of 2005, I made the decision that I was tired of not making money in MK so I “kicked it” into gear.  I convinced myself (with the help of my upline- because you NEVER talk to anyone about your troubles unless you’re talking UP!) to book a 20/20 and talk to EVERYONE!  Travel anywhere I needed to go, help anyone I needed to help- to finish a BIG GOAL- becoming a Grand Prix unit.  Our unit needed over $22,000 wholesale to complete it.  With all the new recruits and my personal 6 team members we did it.

Wow- what a great feeling.  WRONG!

That next month I realized, I became one of those VERY PUSHY, VERY DETERMINED MARY KAY SALES WOMEN WHOM NO ONE WANTED TO BE AROUND!  I sacrificed my time with my family and friends to meet this goal, but most of all I sacrificed my integrity!  I knew some women did NOT need $3,000 worth of product on their shelves, but I convinced them they would lose out on so much FREE product.

I was now on top of the slide- ready to come down!  I knew the way I earned that car was wrong.  AND I was being praised for it!!  I was being rewarded for unethical behavior and my heart and soul knew this was wrong!  I was in true conflict.   I put on a fake smile and faked excitement at my unit meetings, area and company events from June 2005-May 2006.

Finally in May 2006, I couldn’t sleep one night and had the breakdown I so desperately needed.  I let everything get out of hand. I was making NO money, trying to keep it together so my family would not find out.  We were getting close to three months behind on our mortgage, every bill was behind, and every credit card maxed out to a tune of $75,000+.  I wasn’t honest with anyone, especially myself!

I had to come clean.  I sat down with my husband that weekend and revealed EVERYTHING!  He was very disappointed and shocked, but still supportive.  I immediately went around to department stores and applied for jobs.  I started working in the office at a catering company.  I really enjoyed it and was bringing home a paycheck every week.

In September of 2006, I went back to teaching full time.   I still upheld my director status, but changed my focus.  We continued to make production until August 2006.  We missed August and September, and I was NOT going to put in the rest of the production to stay a unit.  My NSD and Sr. Director were SHOCKED that I did not want to ‘Save my unit.”  I was no longer considered the “team player” that I was known as.  I was no longer the “find a way, make a way” gal.

In October of 2006, when my NSD called to see what I can “make up” so she can plead with the company on why I needed an exception, like a death, ill parents, etc. I told her NO.  I was working other jobs and needed to focus on my family.  I know for a fact, my NSD has asked the company for so many exceptions for the directors in my area.  This was my very first time we ever missed production twice in a row.  In fact, out of all 60 months of directorship, we missed production only once for Aug and Sept. 2006.

Finally the call came from my NSD—she informed me that I am no longer a director.  My feelings- MAD- yes… SAD- yes… but most of all- RELIEVED!!    I truly thought I would get back on the wagon and start over, but the more time that passed, the clearer I was beginning to see the truth!

I will NEVER go back to directorship and want to help every consultant out there get ALL OF THE FACTS- BEFORE STARTING UP THE CAREER PATH.

I like selling and still have a handful of loyal customers.  This works for me.  I can actually turn a profit.  I only order what they want.  No meetings, no events, no conference calls, no stalking.

Best of all, I have my evenings and weekends with my family and nothing MK related unless it’s dropping off product- which now only takes two minutes since I’m not trying to recruit them anymore.

My husband and I enrolled in Dave Ramsey “Financial University”  and have paid off tens of thousands of dollars in debt and have not used a credit card since May 2006!

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13 Responses to A Former Mary Kay Director’s Story and Numbers

  1. MLM Radar October 14, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Combined Net Director Income 2004-2006: $17,542. Before taxes.
    She opened credit cards in 2004. Credit card debt 2004-2006: $75,000+

    She worked 50+ hours per week for this. In 2004-2006 the minimum wage was $5.15 per hour. If she was paid minimum wage plus overtime for 2004-2006 she would have received $44,187.

    Minimum wage was 2 1/2 times her Director Income.

    And for that she accrued so much credit card debt that it would force most people into bankruptcy.

    Mary Kay. What an opportunity.

  2. Tigger October 14, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    This article just felt like one punch after another. Couldn’t believe what i was reading.

    I was a Star Cons. only once. My star prize was a pair of pajamas that didn’t come close to fitting. Gave them to another consultant. Never again. Don’t have the stomache for it.

    Sold all I could, donated the rest, and got the hell out.

    The woman in this article was no lazy loser. Far from it – but that’s how she will be described.

    The new doe-eyed cons. will be told she was all of the following:

    -lazy loser
    -didn’t want to do the work
    -gave up on her dream
    -negative Nellie
    -no one put a gun to her head
    -she just didn’t want it badly enough
    -she’s just one bad apple
    -they don’t teach that any more in MK *wink*
    -my SD is different *wink wink*

    Did I miss anything?

  3. enorth October 14, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    The way this article is written, it sounds like the author is still in Mary Kay. If she isn’t, I suggest it be updated.

    • TRACY October 14, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Yes, she was still in at the time this was written.

  4. PinkHaze October 14, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    She is a former director – so the title is accurate. Sounds like she’s still an IBC – for herself and a few friends.

    • Tia October 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

      She has come a long way… good for her! Sounds like she has learned a great deal about financial responsibility and not get caught up in being fake and putting up a front of prestige. Or getting caught up in prestige you “earned” by buying inventory.

      If she’s still a consultant she’s still shelling out $200 every three months to stay active and get the products at a discount. To make this worth her time, she would have to have verrry regular customers ordering on a regular basis solely from her. But how often does that really happen? And would they really order hundreds of dollars worth each time to make it worth her expense?

      For example, I run out of my toner in my skin care line the fastest. I will probably make do with what I have or go to the drugstore and get something else. Which means, I’m not buying from her. And if I do, what kind of profit does she make… $10? Maybe less if I live aways from her and she has to drive it to me. You get my drift, I hope.

      What kind of profit is she really making?? Get a weekend job at Sephora where you don’t have to shell out $200 quarterly to be part of the club.

      • dhagen02 October 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

        I just spent a rather large amount at Macy’s(Estee) but the stuff I buy usually lasts 6mo or more since I use so little of it but toner is also the one thing I run out of most. $200 every couple of months? Not happening. Then again, I am the “get every last drop out at all costs” and the bottle better be damn empty before I toss it too. LOL

        • dhagen02 October 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

          Added bonus, no one at Macy’s ever calls me to ask me to order anything or checking if I am running out of something(or will in the next month). I know when I am running out of something and I prefer not to be called by anyone asking if I need something or can I place an order to help the store meet it’s quota.. If I need something, I will call, otherwise leave me alone.

  5. raisinberry October 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    GOOD’s report here is dead on the money…and there isn’t a Director reading this today who doesn’t know it is absolutely true!

    The entire MK experience for the career path consultant is one little white lie or lie of omission after another until you are trapped inside the “pink bubble” UNABLE to come clean without facing personal humiliation.
    After all? Didn’t you tell everyone how great it was? Didn’t you lie about earnings? Aren’t you keeping all those bogus sign-ups a secret? Don’t you make excuses and deflections when asked tough questions about your “business” and your earnings?

    The irony of this whole debacle is this: If it were actually true-all that’s promised at guest events, all that’s implied and potentially possible, then no “pump ups” like retreats and conference and Seminars would even be necessary. Mary Kay continues to be unable to learn that SUCCESS is its greatest motivator, and that LIES and secrets destroy the personal self esteem that’s required to be successful.

    Their own SYSTEM is what both traps and breeds self loathing, so that true success and true leadership can never be achieved. The Corrupt are abusing and manipulating and engineering the next generation of equally self despising women until their desperation causes them to quit or step totally into darkness.

    You can not tell lies, or hide your true condition and then step up front and declare how great your life and business is in order to lure in another, who believes your trickery, and still love yourself.

  6. princess lea October 18, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    What an article! The numbers detailing what it costs to be a director and the money she made are staggering! At this point there are a few thoughts running through my head – first is thank God that I left MK before I finished car and DIQ (my goal was directorship), and my other thought is how can I get my director to read this? It is so hard for me to know that she is losing money and even though she is a woman of faith, she is pushy, self-centered, and well, it’s just hard to watch her do this to her family :-(

  7. Autumn February 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    wow…never thought. i will be selling all my stuff and eventually quiting.

    • MLM Radar February 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

      Welcome Autumn!
      Please keep reading. The fastest way to get the most money for your products is to send them right back where they came from. Call MK corp for your 90% buy-back authorization.
      Whatever you sell while you’re packing up your product return will be gravy. Everything else probably wouldn’t sell anyway, no matter how long you try.


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