This article comes to us courtesy of Mary Kay’s popular MRS. CAB recruiting aid. For those that aren’t familiar with MRS. CAB, 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!