Mary Kay Truth: One Obstacle to Recovery is Hope

One morning, I heard this statement on a television talk show: “One obstacle to recovery is hope.” They went on to discuss how hope plays a part in people recovering from tragedies or moving forward in their lives. I thought it was very appropriate in relation to Mary Kay.

Raisinberry wrote an article on this very issue. Mary Kay lives and dies by hope. So long as you have the “hope” that you might be one of the big winners in the pyramid scheme, you will continue to pour time and money into this losing proposition.

Here’s the truth: Mary Kay admitted in a letter to the FTC that the company recruits 40,000 new U.S. consultants per month. (Boy, I bet legal wishes they had never written that, because they didn’t realize I’d keep repeating it!) That’s 480,000 women a year that the company uses.

I’ll be generous and say that Mary Kay has had about 500 women in the U.S. making an “executive income” through Mary Kay over the last 5 years or so. I’m including national sales directors and those very top level sales directors (most likely those doing $750,000 a year or more).

Here are your odds…

Total consultants in the last 5 years = 700,000+ (40,000 per month x 12 months x 5 years) = 3,100,000

Of 3.1 million women in the U.S. who have tried Mary Kay over the last 5 years, only 500 have actually achieved an executive income.

Oh sure, we’ve got to take into account all those women who never wanted to make a career out of Mary Kay, all those “personal use” recruits signed up by women finishing directorship, and those lazy losers who didn’t try.

Even still, do you like those odds? Do you want to spend hundreds of hours of your family’s time and thousands of dollars of your family’s money trying to achieve that? Your odds are .02%, which is two one-hundredths of one percent. Yikes!

I guess so long as that hope is alive, Mary Kay will continue to recruit new women into their pyramid scheme. Everyone is counting on the “hope” that they will be one of those very, very few who make it to the top.


  1. Cindylu

    It is indeed all about hope. We hope to copy MK herself story of Hope. We want to believe the hope of those NSD stories from the 1970’s when this mlm pyramid scam started out. Even then MK mentioned angry neighbors who bought books and then felt coerced into buying them. Hope should dwindle now with thousands of MK products on ebay, hundreds of women quitting MK each year and no where to advertise these pink products.

  2. nevermlm

    But Tracy, that’s literally twice the odds of being struck by lightning!

    Fun fact, you would be better off betting on the CLEVELAND BROWNS to win the Super Bowl next year than trying to make executive income in Mary Kay.

    A bet on the Browns is currently paying off at 300 to 1. A Cleveland Browns Super Bowl next year is over FIFTEEN TIMES more likely than making executive income in Mary Kay.

    If you still hold out hope for your Mary Kay dreams, I implore you, watch the highlights of a Browns game from this season.

    Then think to yourself, my odds are FIFTEEN TIMES worse than this team.

  3. MLM Radar

    Multi-level marking persists because you’re taught that the next person you meet could be The One who will make all the difference. She could be The One who needs her life turned around, or The One who will turn around yours. All she needs is to be asked! Will you miss the opportunity? Will you give up hope now?

    Multi-level marketing persists because you’re taught that it could happen tomorrow morning… or today! You never know who you’re going to meet today, if you just ask! You’re sssoooooo close. Are you going to give up hope now when you’re sssoooooo close?

    The problem, of course, is that it takes a whole lot more than Just One, and those Ones come in dribbles and drops. Mary Kay said this “business” was like filling a bathtub with the drain open. It can be done, briefly, if the water is pouring from the faucet faster than it drains out. She didn’t mention that it’s impossible if the water comes from the faucet in dribbles and drops.

    First they tell you that “anyone can do it” and “the products sell themselves” and “things will just fly off your shelves.” Anyone who says that is lying, but that’s the recruiting bait you’re offered. Later, when you figure out those lies, you’re taught that you can increase the dribbles and drips to a full gusher if you just put in a little more time and effort, raise your “deserve” level, refuse to let “negativity” get in your way. You’re told that you’ll succeed if you just have enough hope. These are also lies.

    It doesn’t matter what multi-level marketing program you’re promoting. Building enough of a customer base to make consistent sales is nearly impossible. Recruiting a “team” from that shaky customer base is a sure path to self-destruction. But recruiting that “team” is exactly what your upline Director needs you to do to keep her from destruction… for the moment.

    Hope is good if it’s based on a solid foundation, with forethought and planning. Multi-level marketing hope is a pretty sandcastle built on a foundation of sand with the tide coming in.

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