Silence Can Be Golden, But Not in Mary Kay

Written by sadnpink

Having been trained in the field of communication, I know how crucial it is to keep lines of communication open when working a business. Even in relationships, this is a key ingredient to success. So why would any company allow its leaders to avoid discussing problems openly?

There is an old saying that goes “you are either part of the problem or part of the solution”. Many of the leaders in Mary Kay are more of a problem than a solution because they are unwilling to openly discuss issues that could lead to solutions or at least reality.

For the most part, we are taught to avoid any negative talk. Even a discussion of reality such as low commission checks (for directors) or the difficulty of booking classes (for consultants) is looked at as negative communication. Heaven forbid that we address these concerns! Talking about reality is akin to drinking poison in the minds of the 2% club. So they begin at an early stage to indoctrinate consultants to avoid saying things like: “My classes all cancelled this week.” Or “No one wants to have a class”. On the director level… talk such as “My commission check has been low over the last few months. I cannot keep living like this.” Or “I have had to make co-pays on the car the last six months and I cannot keep it up.” All of this is considered forbidden communication.

I remember several times during my directorship I was told to avoid certain other directors because they had a bad “attitude.” I was supposed to look upline to those who had achieved more if I needed advice, and I was never to tell any unit members if I faced any struggles. In fact, all of Mary Kay seemed to be shrouded in mystery. You only learned about certain things on a need to know basis.

Potential recruits are not told about inventory packages until “after” they sign up. DIQ is surrounded by silence too. It is not until you are in the frenzy to make it month by month that you know the truth of how hard it is to reach your goal of thirty recruits…all active at the same time and a production level of $16,000. It sounds so easy and everyone is so positive that you will have an easy time of it reaching director. If we had known how stressful, intense, and sometimes disappointing this can be, many of us would never have entered or attempted to complete this.

Once you become a director, you think you can relax… but it is more of the same as you are pushed on and on to the next higher goal. There is no rest, but no one bothered to tell you that. So, you keep on rushing ahead for the ever elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The truth is there never is an end to the rainbow. The run is for the rest of your stay in Mary Kay.

Do you wonder why I found this website so comforting? It was because I had few if any other directors I could talk to. No one wanted to admit that we were like a dog chasing our tails in never ending circles only to find we could never rest. Whether you are a consultant or a director, most of us just want someone to be honest with us. However, it is rare to get an honest answer from anyone in the Pink Fog.

Faking it till you make does not work. Pretending we are a success when we are not is called “fantasy”. Most of us want to live in the real world with real solutions to our problems. There is nothing wrong with a positive mental attitude so long as it is grounded upon facts. Communication helps us to find solid answers…this is what most of us were lacking in our MK experience… the TRUTH!

Now at this website… we are finding that the truth is setting us free!


  1. pinkpeace

    Well said, sadnpink! Consultants think that directors have a great big sisterhood of sharing and caring. Little do they know that directorship can be one of the loneliest positions ever, precisely because you are prevented from voicing your concerns and difficulties with Mary Kay. You end up feeling like you’re the only one who’s struggling, and it’s an incredibly isolating environment.

    And I think back in embarrassment with how I dealt with my unit’s difficulties. I told them at the outset that I wouldn’t listen to negativity. If a consultant was having a problem, she needed to reframe it in order to bring it up. For instance, if she were having trouble booking classes, she wasn’t allowed to say,
    “No one wants to have a party!” I taught her to say instead, “What can I do to increase my booking skills?”

    Can you imagine how annoying I was??

    1. BestDecision

      Embarrassed to say I did the exact same thing. Directorship is a lonely place to be, especially because you think, once you get there, you’ll be making tons of money and things will be easier. The ostracizing was enormous and plentiful. Not at a certain level? Ignored. Not having a good month? Ignored and shunned to say those words.

      I still can’t believe I gave so much for so long.

    2. raisinberry

      Ditto. It suddenly struck me while I was in the midst of de-pinking…what kind of successful company would hide from real obstacles, forbid discussion, and encourage pretense to create the illusion of success? Seriously. Who does this?

      They were so invested in “positive mental attitude” that they seriously believed if you ignored the negative the universe would bless you with positive…you’d “draw” that new recruit to you!

      How do the Corporate bean counters rationalize the turnover and fall out if what the company is offering is actually legit? “Mary Kay is not for everyone”?

      Well then why did you say everyone can do it -all you do is smile and squirt- at the recruiting event?

      On the other point. It isn’t that a person needs to rest, upon reaching a goal. The thing that they held in SECRET was the endless crumbling of your foundation. If you lose 50% of your consultants every month, or lose your entire DIQ team in 6 months…that suggests a problem, no? IF a Mary Kay business was what is was sold to be, you would have growth in your Unit, not decay. So endlessly running up the down escalator, IS tiring, and DOES lead one to wish for a rest. They’ll blame YOU for having a mindset that requires rest, though…failing to grasp what causes such a mindset in the first place.

      To race to the top in Mary Kay requires a dead conscience and an inability to carefully assess who and what you have become, in blind ambition and denial. You have become a liar and a manipulator, hiding the truth from yourself and your people. MK is an endless recruiting, product based pyramid scheme that falsely touts consultant inventory orders as retail sales to consumers, knowing full well that millions of dollars worth are in basements all over the US.

      If you knew that going in, would you have joined?

      1. pinkpeace

        If you knew that going in, would you have joined?

        GOD NO.

        As a consultant, I watched all those happy, shiny sales directors waltz across the stage, and listened to them lie about how awesome their lives were. I believed every word, and was determined to be in that elite 2% myself.

        Imagine the shock of discovering that you never really “make director.” Instead, you struggle to hang onto that position as you’re hustling 24/7 to maintain the consultants you have – and replace the ones that are heading out the door.

        Because you need to constantly “paint the picture” of success in order to attract new women, it is Mary Kay suicide to talk about any difficulties you may have. If you want to remain a sales director, you are forced to lie and conceal the truth, otherwise you’ll never recruit and retain consultants.

        It’s a never-ending, soul-sucking, exhausting cycle of deceit.

  2. BestDecision

    Oh, we NEVER admitted to making a car payment! A Director meeting or simple conversation would’ve shut down immediately if we did. Yet, it takes just simple brains and a pause to add up the numbers of who’s making what. If she’s not in a Cadillac, she’s making less than $4,000/month or $48,000/year. Period. There’s no way to fluff that up.

    1. Happyandfree

      And that $48000 is then even less with insurance, car value, self-employment tax, studio fees, retreats, seminar, career conference, prizes, extra product… The list just goes on and on.

  3. enorth

    “Those poor sods are working 60+ hours a week, 52 weeks a year.”

    And no benefits, no pension or savings plan, no paid vacation or holidays, etc.

    But thanks for stopping by.

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