You Only Need a Few Hours a Week to Do Mary Kay

Written by The Scribbler

For those that aren’t familiar with the MRS. CAB recruiting script, it is an acronym designed to show potential recruits the reasons why women join Mary Kay: Money, Recognition, Self-Confidence and Personal Growth, Cars, Advancement, and Be Your Own Boss.

(Technically, the acronym should read “MRS. CAPGCABYOB” but recruiters were complaining that every time they tried to pronounce it at interviews, targets were hastily dialing their pastors and screaming, “For the love of all that is holy, get over to the Starbucks down on 18th St – the Mary Kay Lady’s resorted to invoking Ba’al!”)

Our featured line is typically said when covering the “M” in MRS. CAB: Money. “You only have to spend a few hours a week to be successful in Mary Kay!”

Is this an accurate claim? Let’s begin by looking at how Mary Kay defines two critical words: “success” and “few.” We need not look far for Mary Kay’s definition of “success;” it’s on the official website:

“Every Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant tells her own story of success in her own way. But no matter how they say it, all would agree that earning what you are worth and providing extra income for your family is a beautiful thing.”

This statement shows us that one IBC may define her success as having more flexibility, while another may define it as having made Queen of Sharing. No matter what the success involves, however, the common thread is the claim of how wonderful “earning what you are worth” is.

Unless one has a terrible sense of self-esteem, being paid what one believes they are worth generally involves a visual of themselves sporting an elegant chignon while watering their enchanted gold bullion bushes with Cristal. In Mary Kay, success is primarily defined by ridiculous wealth; otherwise there wouldn’t be director teachings out there that remind consultants, “When you have a down day, think about the big girl dreams, the suit, the big paychecks, the Cadillac, and the diamonds.”

Let’s talk about the word “few,” which is defined as “not many, but more than one.” Does the Mary Kay definition mirror that? Consider the following snippets from a commonly used recruiting tool, the MK “Something More” CD:

  • “…look for the one hour or five hours a week you could give your best to MK.”
  • “You can define if MK is part-time, full time, or a couple of hours a month.”

Were I a busy mother of 3 and heard these quotes in a recruiting interview, I would understand them to mean that I could spend minimal time on MK and still rake in some dough. Taking a post-interview peek at the recruiter’s website would only serve to hammer down my suspicions: “You can have a couple extra hundred in your pocket for just two hours each week!” So “few” in Mary Kay can be mean 2 hours a month, or it can mean 2-5 hours a week. And it can certainly mean more, but that’s not what’s implied in these examples.

There’s a terrific training document out in MK Land titled, “An Efficient MK Work Week,” by NSDs Robin Rowland and Pam Shaw. This document breaks down how many hours per day an IBC will need to spend on various activities associated with her business. Let’s use the two hours per week = $200 example given above. Going by the document’s guidelines, an eager IBC would need to invest time in the following activities in order to make that happen (and let’s assume that she will indeed score $200 in sales):

  • 30 minutes on the phone to confirm the booking, coach the hostess, and pre-profile guests
  • 2 hours for the Skin Care Class
  • 1 hour for paperwork
  • 2 hours for the weekly unit meeting (a given, because any IBC worth her pink salt will be there with enough bells on to make Notre Dame look like a music box)

Uh-oh! That’s not two hours, that’s five-and-a-half! Not only that, those five-and-a-half hours have not even begun to scratch the surface of tasks needing to be accomplished. Factor in the time spent on finding new victims, suiting up for classes, packing the car, time spent in-transit, post-class cleanup, replacing product sold, writing thank-you notes, delivering/mailing products and reorders, warm-chattering women, extra time spent on paperwork (delivery of hostess packets, ordering and filing sales receipts) phone time (the document recommends that if you’re not holding a class, to spend 1-2 hours on the phone) and any other activities associated with the business, and suddenly it hits you that you’re going to have to be doing this a lot more than “a few hours a week to be successful in Mary Kay!”

Friends, may this small (but realistic) look at Mary Kay’s time factors empower you to make wiser choices when dealing with the Lady in Pink!

7 Comments

  1. Iescaped

    If I only knew then what I know now!!

    I put in so much time and effort in Mary Kay. I worked 24/7. You couldn’t even run an errand to escape MK. Even filling the gas tank was another opportunity to maybe meet the next Sugar Sharp IBC or maybe that Hostess with Lots of Friends!!

    Even trying to have down time was impossible. You are always thinking of “who you Could meet” if you were out pounding the pavement.

    My dear, sweet husband was one of the people who slapped me back into reality. One day he mentioned that the reason I joined MK was to have more time to spend riding my horses. He then asked me when the last time I rode was! I couldn’t believe that I was working more than I ever had before (and not making any money!).

    The slick ways that SD/NSD could get you to put in more and more time was indescribable.

    Glad to be off the hamster wheel!

  2. morningstar

    This is a fine example of how MK throws non-critical thinking skills to the sales force to make them excited. Try to explain MRSCAB to anyone not in MK. It is a philosophy, nothing tangible to translate into running a business. If you were in a corporate scene and starting talking points like MRSCAB, a person would be in the HR so fast you couldn’t even grab your product basket to sell in the halls along the way.

    Time is time, and MK has their spin on the time involved, same as the ‘income’ using MK math, it doesn’t add up in the real world.

    MK corporate is most likely ginning up a new campaign. It is time for one due to the 20/20 televised show. A great timely post.

  3. raisinberry

    This ALSO fails to factor in any time training yourself, reading or familiarizing yourself with features and benefits of the product line. When is that supposed to happen? As with all Mary kay time or money scenario’s, they are pie in the sky-not based at all in actual reality.

    Why is it, that they always seem to fail to include the fact that you are in a sales job working with people, who are not at your beck and call, waiting by the phone, eager to return calls or anxiously hovering over their Look Book.

    In an effort to make Mary Kay seem grand, reality is never discussed. And even epic fail scenario’s are told only in the humorous context of fighting through and finally gaining VICTORY!! The day to day is: You are ALWAYS “on”. You are always looking, you are always ready, you live the life of a cosmetics stalker, hunting prey. Every conversation is disingenuous as you search for the entry point into giving her your sample or card or compliment (genuine or otherwise). There is a reason why Mary Kay women receive an inordinate amount of rejection. THIS.

    You wanted more time? Fail. You wanted more money? Fail. You wanted more real friends? Not happening with the ranks, maybe the customers! Confidence? You kidding? As you wonder why you cant get anything to hold or anyone to book? Free Car? As long as you can coerce 4500.00 a month from your recruits for the next two years, -after the FIRST $18,000 to “earn” it! Sound free to you?? You wanted to Be your own boss? Try and sell retail somewhere, advertise independently or link your webpage. You aren’t a boss and never will be. You are an independent distributor who can be terminated. And lastly, you wanted personal growth…

    The minute you finally assess the truth about what you have been sucked into, and for how long you have deceived yourself, and why you stuffed the truth and lived in denial, and then garner the courage to get out, you will have achieved more personal growth than Mary Kay could ever offer you.

  4. Lazy Gardens

    30 minutes on the phone to confirm the booking, coach the hostess, and pre-profile guests
    2 hours for the Skin Care Class
    1 hour for paperwork
    2 hours for the weekly unit meeting (a given, because any IBC worth her pink salt will be there with enough bells on to make Notre Dame look like a music box)

    Uh-oh! That’s not two hours, that’s five-and-a-half!

    Of course! They only count the time spent in front of potential recruits, not the “unbillable hours” spent getting to that point.

    Just like they count the sales and call a markup a “profit” … ignoring the expenses, the discounts and the obsoleted products.

    1. Still Breaking The Basic

      The super-sharp IBC gets her assistant to do the 30 minutes phone calls and 1 hour paperwork time. The poor assistant who gets paid with obsolete product that was purchased by the IBC to make production.

      The super-sharp IBC dovetails the 2 hours SCC with a new consultant and gets credit for the newbie’s work.

      The IBC is down to 2 hours part-time work for executive pay.

  5. CardiacRN

    Thank goodness I had forgotten about MRSCAB!!

    I realized that when I was working way too hard for so little results, it was time to make a change. So I quit.

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