Run, Run, Run to the Top of Mary Kay

Written by Raisinberry

It occurred to me the other day that Mary Kay Ash transferred her unhealthy workaholic tendencies to thousands of women all over America.

What seemed like good counsel was her notion that each achievement one attains should only be celebrated, briefly, with the next goal clearly in view. I believed this wholeheartedly. I won my first car in Mary Kay back in the days when they sent you a small car poster cut in 4 parts, and as each month of $4,000 wholesale was completed, then sent you the next part.

You were building a 4 part, 4 month, $16,000 finished picture of the Grand Am in all its glory. The minute the month was done, the next month was up. Before that, when I got into my Red Jacket, I remember the letter I got from Mary Kay telling me all I needed was 2 more to become a Team Leader. And before that, when I had one recruit, the letter mentioned getting into my Red Jacket as soon as possible.

There was my secret to success! Never sit on a new accomplishment. The minute one thing is achieved, it’s onto the next one.  Run, run, run, to the top. Don’t think, just do!

I wonder if this mentality is for everyone. If we achieve something and enjoy it for a while, are we underachievers bent on personal laziness and unable to motivate ourselves for the next challenge? Does the leadership of Mary Kay secretly feel that those of us who do not want the stress, and pressure of blindly racing to the top, are sub-par consultants and directors, failing to stretch and “set goals that make us sick”?

Are we supposed to be striving and churning and racing and sick because our goals are so big we are in a constant state of nausea? Because this is the picture of leadership training in today’s Mary Kay. The best of the best FLY to the top and work like crazy to enjoy the fruits of living on the mountaintop.

Some of us valley dwellers are probably pitied in their eyes. We don’t “get it.” We were not willing to “pay the price.” We do not have that “executive income” because we rested on our laurels and they no doubt, wilted. Or did they?

Were all our achievements supposed to lead us to $20,000 monthly commission checks? Did each previous goal that we reached become meaningless because we stopped and evaluated where we were and what we had become? Does it really make sense to have “success” defined for you by someone other than yourself, whose life you do not admire?

If not resting on your laurels means you keep moving no matter what and never evaluate what has resulted in your activities and behavior, then those who have reached the pinnacle of success in Mary Kay are profound failures. They have failed to enrich the countless numbers of consultants who were never taught to operate a real business, never taught “real” selling, never took “real” stock in their operations, never evaluated “real” skills development, never assessed strength for directorship, never course-corrected low selling volume, never sent out evaluations or opinion polls of their consultants’ successes or failures and disappointments.

Racing blindly to the top speaking only slogans and platitudes, and stuffing their ears and humming out loud to the concerns voiced by Directors and consultants drowning in inventory debt, they parade their “achievements” for all to see and admire.

And beneath them is a sea of women, being told and believing, that they just didn’t do “enough,” they lacked commitment, they needed “bounce back ability” and failed to “believe and achieve.” The achievements waved above for all to see represents the hundreds of thousands of dollars of credit card debt, coast to coast, of women who were enticed by recognition, and prizes, and guilt, and manipulation, and wanting to help, and being a team player, and chasing a goal, and not wanting to rest on a laurel. Go! Go! Go! means you never THINK, THINK, THINK!

Sometimes racing helps a person quiet and calm a doubting soul. If you can’t think, you do not have to face the reality of your situation… your disappointments… or insecurities.

What drove Mary Kay herself, might have been after all, a childhood need for significance. Caretaker for her father who commanded much attention and a mother who was not there, were always expressed to show us her maturity and ability. Never have I ever heard how it may have shaped a driven personality, a wounded soul.

Not “resting” on a path to personal achievement is applauded in Mary Kay. That might be because if you did, you would see, the lack of success in your Unit and downline, and slowing down to course correct would mean loss of profits. Slowing down also reveals how fragile the MLM model is because the drop out rate of a unit’s attrition is chasing behind you. Unit attrition is not resting on its laurels either! If you slow down, it catches you. Therefore you must strive and work and move and go and achieve and race and press on in a flurry of IPA’s till you collapse at the Summit.

For a company that prides itself on Godly principles, one wonders how this passage escapes their notice:

“I am entreating then, first of all, that prayers, pleadings and thanksgiving be made for all mankind, for kings and for all those being in a superior station, that we made be leading a mild and quiet life in all devoutness and gravity, for this is ideal and welcome in the sight of our Savior, God, Who wills that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth.”

Paul is urging his listeners to appreciate and pray for those in authority over us for the purposes of the “ideal.” A mild and quiet life! A mild and quiet life, devout and serious in its intent seems to be a vehicle for honoring God’s will and realization of the truth.

Funny but, we are told in Mary Kay that our striving and racing and excellence in acquiring the next achivement is what honors God. In fact, the counter verse used against a “mild and quiet life” is Paul’s word to “run the race with endurance to obtain the prize.” The “prize” mentioned in the context, for those who run a race is a “corruptible” wreath. Something earthbound and decaying. Paul, by contrast, is asking us to pursue another type.

Paul prefers we win an “incorruptible” achievement… accomplishments that reflect a Godly life. How ironic that Mary Kay’s NSD’s use a verse whose context defeats their teaching. The acquisition of all things material in a life devoid of personal evaluation and introspection, chasing the next goal and the next, is the opposite of a Godly life.

To be able to think clearly, one must stop, and calm and quiet the soul, and rest and evaluate. Have I lied? Have I been self-serving? Have I wounded anyone? Have I hurt another? Have I misrepresented myself and the facts? Have I manipulated someone for my own gain? Have I become greedy and materialistic? Have I lost my integrity?

Turns out that the wilted laurel, the one that represents stopping and reflecting with a view to a mild and quiet life, away from striving, honors God in truth. It is “the ideal.”


  1. Lazy Gardens

    Not “resting” on a path to personal achievement is applauded in Mary Kay. That might be because if you did, you would see, the lack of success in your Unit and downline, and slowing down to course correct would mean loss of profits. Slowing down also reveals how fragile the MLM model is because the drop out rate of a unit’s attrition is chasing behind you.

    It’s this! ^^^

    They don’t want you taking time to reflect on your achievement, tidying up the office, checking the supplies and the bank accounts before deciding whether to start for the next goal. They have to keep you running the Red Queen’s race, but keep you from realizing you are in it.

    ” “Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

    “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!””

    1. JanRD

      Running twice as fast just makes the hamster wheel go faster.

      This article had my full attention at “unhealthy workaholic tendencies.” Great scripture references and vivid description of what happens when one is not encouraged to pause, think, and plan.

      1. raisinberry

        JanRD, i really think they target the women among us who will respond to the recognition, praise, and compliance required to stay on the career path even when seeing discordant and otherwise contradictory results. Who but children of dysfunction who grew up as wounded adults with needs unmet, will qualify for this unique requirement…can’t miss it! It’s Mar’s kids. The “best” Directors and NSD’s come from family dysfunction and have no idea it exactly those buttons being pushed.

  2. enorth

    I just listened to a video where the SD was hyping Holiday Open-Houses. She told about her first one…all the work she went through, made tons of flyers, decorated her home for the two-day event, etc.

    Only two people showed up (her two friends) and she had less than 20 dollars in sales.

    Rather than give up, she said she analyzed the situation:
    She realized no customers had attended her open-house because, “I had recruited most of them. I was driving the Cadillac, but I only had 19 customers.”

    1. BestDecision

      That’s why there’s Million $ Directors like Kristin Sharpe holding 200 parties a year and then has to keep working at the same pace to maintain her NSD title. Unlike in corporate America where you get a promotion and aren’t doing grunt work anymore, it never stops in MK. I worked harder as a Cadillac Director than I did as a Comsultant.

    2. pinkvictim

      This is my wife’s same tale from last year, but with the addition of her mother showing up on day one.

      I felt so bad for my wife; she tried so hard, but only blamed herself. Even the thought of it right now brings tears to my eyes.

      1. MLM Radar

        Please tell your wife to stop blaming herself for failing. You can’t succeed at a con game.

        She blamed herself because she was emotionally manipulated into doing that. She was told it was easy, which was a lie. She was told the people who she saw quitting (from Day One) were lazy and negative and should be shunned, which was another lie. She was taught to say, “If it’s to be its up to me,” which was a third lie.

        But she accepted that she could do it, and accepted that she was responsible for her success. What she didn’t realize was that she’d signed up for a con game where the only “winners” are the ethically void who prey viciously on other women. Everyone else drowns in lies and debt.

        The ugly flip side of “If it’s to be its up to me” is “My failure is my own fault.” She claimed responsibility for her own success, just like she was taught. She blamed others for “not working their businesses hard enough,” just like she was taught. And when she realized that her “business” was a failure too, she naturally blamed herself for her failure. She believed the lies she’d been taught to say.

        You can’t succeed when the company is set up to make sure every success is just out of reach. You can’t succeed when the company has the right to strip you of your “business” without paying you a penny because you didn’t meet this month’s arbitrary “sales” target. You can’t succeed when the company throws up a fog by claiming everyone around you is meeting “sales” targets, when they know quite well that it’s really “buying” targets.

        1. pinkvictim

          If only it was that easy. Had that worked when I tried it (which actually made it worse), she would no longer be in the pyramid. 13 years of mind control is hard to burrow through to get to the rational person layered beneath all the thought stopping, phobia-induced pink fog gobbledygook.

          1. raisinberry

            True. Like any cult, a serious breach has to occur, or real clarity and courage to face facts. When it becomes clear that all the “winners” aren’t winning at all, but are faking it, that moment is a moment to exploit. When I found out that NIQ’s had “stuffed” units with bogus recruits borrowed from other area personnel, that a “magic” credit card was available for production…it was DIQ all over again. What an idiot. The games-man-ship goes all the way to the top, only in larger numbers.
            Find a way or make a way. That’s all that matters. And you who trudge along trying to do a moral, ethical job will be forever compared to and made to feel inferior to, all the women who learned the con better than you.

            Case in point. The adoptee program. When you have unit members who “belong” to say, Gloria…or Pam’s area…and the newbie doesn’t know what’s what..and she innocently tells me that her Director hasn’t met all her unit recruits yet. They just became a Unit to help NSD-X finish. Her Director feels badly because she hasn’t been able to reach the women on her roster.

            Right. And then the lights come on.

  3. Jeneville

    Thanks for this.
    I’ve been reading through the archives for weeks; I belong to a woman’s group and several of the women are working for MK and a few other MLMs. They’ve been trying to recruit me, and while I know the game, it can be hard to say no. Pink Truth has helped strengthen my resolve.
    So, thanks again.

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