How Mary Kay Will Help Personal Relationships (Or Not)

kkaddysWritten by SuzyQ

One of Mary Kay’s selling points to starry-eyed new recruits is the gift of time they can devote to their families and those they hold dear. After all, the priorities are said to be Faith First, Family Second and Career Third, right? Not exactly.

But, let’s focus on family and those other relationships that make us who are are. When you start a Mary Kay business, you are told that you will be able to devote more time to your family and they will become your REASON as opposed to your excuse. This means mandatory attendance at the weekly success meeting and any and all opportunities to “move up.” These opportunities include Career Conference, Seminar, retreats, Power Up Days, Muffins and Makeovers, Pizza and Possibilities, Career Breakfasts, Guest Events, Diva Days, banquets and other quarterly, daily, or weekly events.

Now, granted, MK is not child friendly, but as we said, this effort will pay off for your family. You “may” have to make short term sacrifices for long term gains, but really, it WILL be worth it!

So, your kids are spending more time with their father (if you are not a single mom) or their grandparents or aunt or neighbor, but it helps with the development of social skills and bonding, right? Or maybe you have to pay for child care, but again, one class will take care of that expense and it IS a tax deduction, right? They may endear themselves to you by clinging to your panty-hosed legs as you leave, but so long as they don’t run your hose, it WILL be okay, right?

Then there is your spouse or significant other. They are supportive of your efforts and your dream, and quite frankly are pretty pumped about your income potential! Your director has met with them, or they are getting their information from you, and really, what do you have to lose? $100? It’s nothing. And you can be so much more.

There is visible swallowing when the initial inventory is mentioned, but really, it’s not so much considering all of the business expenses that can be deducted and instant delivery makes sense. (After all, OTHER businesses cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to start, right?)

The phone time is understandable, too. As are the postage expenses, the training expenses and the time away from home. The new wardrobe makes sense. Manicures and more frequent trips to the beautician make sense too. For a while anyway.

Your husband or significant other will be cheering you on as you bask in your initial sales. (Don’t tell them when you’re sales are bad, though. Don’t want them to get the wrong impression.) Your friends are kind and help you out (make pity purchases) because they sense your excitement and want to see you succeed. You are on your way.

Ah, your friends. As your director has explained to is so very cool to have your friends on your team! I mean… you OWE it to them to introduce them to this opportunity. You surely can’t be SELFISH and keep this opportunity of a lifetime a secret, can you?

You can help your friends make their dreams come true and as a real “paycheck of the heart,” their activity helps you move closer to your dream! There are some custody disputes over joint friends as customers and potential recruits, but it’s all settled easily. That Go Give Spirit in Mary Kay ajust about brings tears to your eyes! You are so lucky to be involved in a company that has that sort of integrity and caring.

And then… it’s a new quarter! New products! Some are Limited Edition and you learn that you must order NOW, or you will be out of luck. They sell out. So, you order again. It’s okay because you are building your inventory and the new stuff gives you a reason to call your customers. Good business acumen.

Your sales slow down some… You and your new recruits have tapped out your natural market and some of your friends are just a little upset that you keep calling them and inviting them to event after event. Your spouse or significant other starts asking about your classes and your sales.

You have a hard time booking classes and your sales are really lagging. Even when everyone at a class has had fun, bought products, and seems to love Mary Kay, they aren’t booking their follow-up appointments. What? This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.

You talk to your Sales Director and she presents you with the “Emotional Cycle of Mary Kay.” There is a little relief when you realize you aren’t alone in your “negative” feelings, and it is so ironic that your sales director sends you an email that really talks about how you are feeling… week after week for the first 12. Amazing insight!

It’s another quarter again already. Are you sensing a pattern here? Your supportive spouse or significant other has started being “negative.” You are told to NOT discuss your personal disappointment with him. He doesn’t get it.

Your inventory has grown considerably and although you have started getting the credit card bill out of the mail before the Negative Nellie can see it, you take comfort in the fact that you have a CASH MACHINE with your inventory! Where else can you double your money with each sale? All you have to do is get on the phone. Your best customers are waiting to be recruited and/or they would love to be a hostess for you! And there are sharp women everywhere you look!

Your children ask why you have to be gone so much or they demand your attention when YOU ARE IN YOUR OFFICE WORKING, and sometimes it becomes just too much. So, to help yourself over this slump, you go onto InTouch and read the “I Stories” of the national sales directors and get inspired again. Or you buy the latest book, or DVD or CD to get re-energized and focused.

You are not making any money, but you continue to spend money. After all, you know you have to spend it to earn it. No great business was ever build without INVESTMENT!

If your heart and bank balance tell you it is not a good decision to go to an event, you are told that is EXACTLY the reason you NEED to go. If you explain this to your spouse or significant other, they look at you as though you have lost your mind, so you decide to put on your “big girl panties” and announce that you ARE going. Grown women are NOT told what they can and cannot do.

And as Stacy James has said, “Men understand two things: money and the other thing.” You don’t have money, but you can buy some time and “permission” with the other thing. (In some parts of the world, this is known as prostitution, but that’s a topic for another day.)

So, it occurs to you that you are NOT making money, your friends avoid you (and frankly, if they aren’t good customers or potential recruits, they really are no good to you… plus, they start rolling their eyes when you mention Mary Kay and you just don’t need that kind of negativity in your life anyway) and your time with your beloved is on hold as you pursue your dream.

And the kids. Well, kids are resilient and when they get older, they will appreciate what you have done. Plus you get to spend time with them when you use child labor to unpack and organize your boxes and boxes of inventory each month.

Not only that, they are watching you and the lessons that are caught, rather than taught, have more of an impact. They will see you setting and reaching goals, or at least working until the very last minute, and persistence is a great quality, as is patience. Mary Kay kids are the best, and Mary Kay marriages are the strongest.

Except, that Mary Kay kids get pregnant, start using drugs, develop eating disorders, have ADHD and high levels of depression, just like the rest of the world. The difference is that the Mary Kay moms tend to miss the signs because they aren’t around to notice. And Mary Kay marriages are plagued with mistrust and anger because it’s hard to be in a marriage or any other intimate relationship alone. And the secrets that are kept about Mary Kay… well…. shhhhhhh…..

But it’s all worth it. Really.


  1. LovinmesomeSephora

    WHO gave these women permission to insert themselves into a total stranger’s finances and personal life? Who do they think they are, ruining marriages, credit scores and personal lives so they can bop around town in a pink Cadillac? The more I read the more grateful I am that I have not screwed up someone’s life for my personal gain.
    Broke, unemployed , minimum wage…does not matter….because there is INTEGRITY in my life.

  2. Ella

    “Stacy James has said, ‘Men understand two things: money and the other thing.’ ”

    And how old is Stacy James, exactly? Eleven?

    “The other thing” … FFS.

  3. raisinberry

    Our little “pink bubble” world was so brain washed into us, that we never even saw what a cartoon we had become. The pink positivity blinders on, blocked any rational thought, and how ironic that all these things we thought we were going to get out of this experience produced exactly the opposite. The turnover alone within units and national area’s should be enough to WAKE UP the sales force, but there are women with DECADES in this, still struggling to “make it” because the “only way you fail in Mary Kay is to quit”. We lived like hamsters running the wheel, getting nowhere…never even considering that the “product”…the “opportunity”…was not what it was cracked up to be!

  4. enorth

    “the ‘only way you fail…is to quit’ ”

    I heard an It Works “leader” warn her troops: “You’re planting seeds every day, but they might not grow right away. If you leave, I’ll eat your seeds.”

    See? You’re trapped. You cannot leave.

  5. Neverpink

    Inspired by Shay’s comment, depression can be hereditary as well. Mine is. But kids can develop all sorts of problems when their home life is unstable and their parent/s don’t pay attention to them. I feel for those kids. There are so many victims in this scam.

  6. Cindylu

    Good article. Looking back I shudder at what a ridiculous waste of time MK always was. I left a career to be a stay at home mom. I was preyed upon by this stupid, phoney excuse for a career. The best thing that happened was that I became too ill to do MK. Thank goodness I did not get sucked in to believing that being away from my children for MK was ever worth it. I can remember being at two really creepy meetings with a room full of brainwashed women. The Directors were lying about a high check from years ago and at Seminar I got the distinct impression there was a lot of deceitful behavior. Soon after that Seminar several directors quit. MK a total waste of time.

  7. BestDecision

    Spending time away from our husbands and families on nights/weekends when they’re home from work or school didn’t add a bit to our relationships, but took away. When I think of how many Saturdays I gave up holding parties or guest events, how many Sunday’s I held business debuts for my team or unit members, how many weeknights I held unit meetings, it took SO much time away from them. They weren’t home during the day, but it’s hard to do business just during the day because everybody else is working.

    To sum it up, it’s the hardest job I’ve ever worked. You have to be available when the people are available, which essentially makes you on call. You can never shut your mind down, either. What if that “sharp” girl you see out shopping is the miracle you’ve been waiting for? Yet, you can’t just enjoy your time shopping and turn it off. You have to approach her, watch her, and give her a sample. I’m so glad I’m out of that cycle!

    1. raisinberry

      That’s really the thing…the lack of full disclosure. You never get that impression when you are being recruited or groomed up the career path. Nobody ever tells you what the job really calls for…the REALITY…at any level!

      Instead they throw a big wide net at guest events (anybody can do it, just smile and squeeze tubes) and then when you encounter the real dynamics of cancellations, devoured warm market, followed by warm stalking, availability for any opportunity, attendance at everything, constant “antennae up”… it’s precisely the opposite of the freedom and flexibility, “product sells itself” sales job you got when being recruited.

  8. Not_happening

    I hate to see little girls brainwashed into this idiocy. I am witnessing it from afar with a sales director and her young daughter. They bought her a little pink suv when the mom got her pink Cadillac. Oh my word. Talk about making material things your god.

  9. GrumpyMillennial

    “And the kids. Well, kids are resilient and when they get older, they will appreciate what you have done.”

    If there is one thing I would want to say to parents in Mary Kay is that this is utter bullshit.

    Yeah, kids get older. And we learn that Mom is too wrapped up in her business to pay attention so why bother. That Mom always seems to be ordering makeup but there’s less money for everything else.

    Nebulous dreams of future wealth are all well and good. If you’re playing a game of “if we won the lottery”. It’s a nice brief fantasy. For most people, it’s not real life.

    But honestly, my mom could suddenly start making $$$$ in Mary Kay (somehow) and that still wouldn’t make me appreciate my childhood.

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