A Mary Kay Consultant’s Story

Written by Diana

I wanted to write and share a little of my quitting experience. I am mourning my MK business. I thought it was my ticket to financial freedom. I thought I had found a business that was faith first, family second, and career third.

I was wrong.

I can’t even bring myself to go to meetings anymore. I can’t call my leads anymore. I am frozen, the dream is gone. I was a team leader before I really saw the greed. I missed so many evenings with my family.

I only did MK for one year. I was a star every quarter, and from sales. I only borrowed  $,1200 total for MK and I had over $9,000 in retail sales. No credit card, but that does not mean that they did not try to get me to get one. (The $,1200 was a small personal loan from a bank, not revolving credit)

I could have made it as a director, but I saw the greed and the stress. I saw my director ask for orders at meetings, smiling and nodding, while saying, “you know you will sell it” and “you don’t want to miss it because it will sell out” etc…..  I thought I wanted to be just like her. I am so sad and in mourning over my business

My team members need to order this month to stay active and I don’t care. I am sure my director will be on them though, asking them to order more of what they don’t need.

I sold a lot. I moved everything on my shelf. I was good at it. Morally I can’t do it, I can’t take advantage of the ladies I am supposed to help. I can’t ask them to order all the time, it felt wrong.

My director is one of the better ones, she actually trains people on how to sell and books a ten show week every month, she works hard. I am sad to end my friendship with her, because she does not talk to me or send me post cards anymore. She does not return my phone calls. It is sad to lose a friend like that.

I actually liked to go to meetings, it was a break from the kids. I will get over it, I will recover. I think that many ladies that quit, especially if they were directors, go through  a mourning stage when they quit.

This company gives false hope and false morals. Some can ignore this and be SD’s and NSD’s. We are looked down upon if we question and we judge on accident because we can’t continue with the business after we find out the truth. We judge by our action to quit.

The products are good and they got me hooked. It was fun. I liked teaching SCC. It was just so hard to get that good SCC. So much rejection and work. I figured I was making about $5 an hour doing MK. I am worth way more that that.

Oh, and a few more things…..

Constant events that drain cash and take away from money making activities. To have so many and to make the BC feel bad if they do not want to go. This is wrong too. The list of wrongs gets longer with the little white lies and the pressure to order.

Example; with one of my first big commission checks ($300) my director said to me, you can use that for some more inventory. I thought this was strange, because my plan was to use it for my son’s preschool. In fact I never reinvested 50%, I always used the money for my family and constantly got flack for it.

Need I go on…. I am in mourning for my business that turned out to be something different than what I was shown from the beginning. I think I am most angry about the faith first, family second, and career third moral standard, because it simply is not true. When I was working so hard to become a director, it was MK first all the way!!!!


  1. BestDecision

    My Sr’s Fall Retreat costs $120 for 1-night stay and having 3 assigned roommates. I despised FRs, and I don’t miss being a Director getting there a day early, setting up, and then being lectured by my Senior on how I’m not doing enough (despite the fact I had more unit members with me on that trip than she had of hers). I don’t miss the whole weekend being away from my family when we could’ve been outside enjoying the fresh air and each other.

    And right around the corner lurks Leadership Conference. Another BIG expense.

  2. raisinberry

    See the whole structure of MK is at cross purposes to its stated intention.

    If they simply paid commission on an IBC’s sales, they would be paying on your success. Simple, right?

    When you sell your products you make money. You turn in your sales receipts online, and that generates a check to your upline. To encourage you to do that, there could be an incentive where certain benchmarks generate, oh I don’t know, a Star Consultant prize. Sales could be “randomly spot verified” by corp.

    When you give commission on wholesale ordering, you are pushing wholesale orders, which have no bearing on the success of the consultant. There can be ONLY ONE REASON why it is done this way.

    Documenting the low sales rate would radically diminish commission, expose the retail sales problem, and tell the true story regarding a “Mary Kay Business” and its ability to provide income. The actual hourly rate, and time commitment are disguised. The actual sales to consumers are never revealed and The REAL way money is made, by conning the next generation into ordering a full store or at least Star Level is also hidden.

    Even if you are good at sales, and you can work like a stalking dog, it is NOT the picture they painted when they recruited you. Pushing to place wholesale orders, when you haven’t sold what is already on your shelves hurts the IBC, but the SD NEEDS her to order. What choice does she have?

    Helping her SELL, will never produce the big money pop that a 4200.00 Super Duper Pearl Diamond Pro Order at 13% plus 10% plus bonus will. The structure of MLM will ALWAYS abuse the newest recruits and the career path recruits, for the sake of the Upline.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      Documenting the low sales rate would radically diminish commission, expose the retail sales problem, and tell the true story regarding a “Mary Kay Business” and its ability to provide income.

      LuLaRoe went to bonuses based on SALES (through their special billing system) and bonuses plunged.

  3. Cindylu

    It is sad to read that someone who is good in sales is being tossed aside for having a conscience. I could not bring myself to recruit that woman who was struggling. My SD though didn’t care that one woman used her grocery money for this. I never saw that poor soul again and was unhappy when I realized how deceitful my SD and the company actually were. In the beginning with MK in the 1960’s the Directors were taught to get to NSD as quickly as possible. Those who were good at sales were able to get recruits and eventually Directors because they could prove their business was real and viable. Nowadays it is all smoke and mirror. It is an extremely unpredictable numbers game. The trouble is those numbers are living breathing human beings who are being abused: financially, emotionally and psychologically. It did feel like a cult for a long while and like I needed to be deprogrammed. Those silly conferences and meetings were ingrained into my psyche. It was like an addiction where I had been promised a business that put faith and family first. Little by little it unravelled: At seminar when NSD’s publicly argued when they were at the microphone, we were crammed into a room, the food was virtually non existent, there was no real training or when my SD didn’t sit with us or barely acknowledged us. Also a new Director quit immediately after when she had been praised and introduced as the latest star. At conferences when no real training took place and our NSD was as cold as ice. I am so very happy that I came to my senses and quit before I hurt other women or my family and marriage even more.

  4. MLM Radar

    Her director says she books a 10 show week every month. Given everything else deceptive her director says, I have my doubts. I’ve seen enough squirrely booking advice where you get 6 people and call that two or three shows, or steal your downline’s customers because she’s not “sharing” or find some other way to fudge the numbers.

    It’s all on the name of “Fake it ’til you make it.” You’re told to pretend to be successful and success will magically fall in your lap. Praise Jesus! WRONG!

    Besides all that, the difference between booking a show and actually holding one is as far apart as the walls of the Grand Canyon.

  5. enorth

    “You’re told to pretend to be successful”

    I saw/heard something where SD went around to the people on the call and asked how much they sold the previous week. The discussion revolved around retail sales numbers vs wholesale numbers, and that products given away should still be counted by the IBC as “sold.”

    So, the IBC buys products from MK, gives them away, but has still sold them. It’s like magic.

    MK isn’t mathematical, it’s magical.

  6. Pinkiu

    You mention how MK drains you little bit of profit with requiring or strong-arming consultants to attend events. I teach at a University in a school did education. I use lots of webinars and videos to teach and train students in various aspects of how to teach or other aspects of the profession. Imagine how much money could be saved at all levels if NSDs and SDs used real training webinars rather than costly events. But we all know why they don’t. They want you there to pump up the manipulation and guilt through the rah rah sisterhood.

    1. MLM Radar

      MK events are all about peer pressure.

      In a webinar you’re in control. Even if it’s real-time, you could be viewing it in your gym clothes, while helping your kid with his homework. That completely deflates the whole special clothing / special rank system.

      If the webinar is recorded you can stop and restart it as you please. You can replay the “did she really say that?” moment 6 times, then fast forward right past the I-story rerun and Cadillac dance In about 2 minutes. You can skim to the end to find out that once again there’s nothing useful to watch.

      In a live conference hall you’re immersed in sensory overload and money demands you can’t avoid.

      1. Fmk

        Weekly meeting is a fb live every Wednesday. Star event is free…she always gets us something like concert tickets of our choice or gift cert to a spa or choice of a visa gift card….some folks have a fall retreat…its not a biggie. It’s there if people want to go. Nothing is required.

  7. Eyesareopen

    I thought I was reading my journal reading this article. I can’t get over how closely related all these stories are. I went to my director time and again, depressed at how much time I was spending away from my family. Her response, every single time, was sacrifice now for the greater good. I wasn’t even a director or even a DIQ and she told me I had to get a training center and that I had to pay for all of the sign on bonuses she offered to my new recruits. She told me I had to pay for all training materials that she normally provided. Before her I truly did make money with my business. Then she convinced me to move fast and within a year I walked away from DIQ and the car because I realized how much money I was going to lose by listening to her advice.

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