Advice From a Former Mary Kay Sales Director

quit-mary-kayThis is the advice of a former Mary Kay director who quit, sent back tens of thousands of dollars of inventory and sent back her “free” car.

It has been almost 3 years since I returned my product, returned my “free” car and began my humbling journey of becoming normal again.  All those friend Directors?  Haven’t heard a word from anyone, even in my darkest times.  (With friends like that, yada, yada)

I see there are many newbies on here who are confused, considering and I hope that my post sheds some light on what I have come to realize about my 20 years in the business as a Director and help you with your own confusion…..

1. We Directors (past and present) live/lived a lie.  And it takes a long time to forgive yourself.

Unless you are ordering and moving up the way WE want you to, we really do not care.  Our focus is only production and being on stage with the other liars.  We stretched the truth, lied, misled you about our checks, our sales, our lives.  We presented to you what we wanted to be true but our actual career/lives were very far from it.

2. We Directors (past and present) are/were in debt.  PERIOD.  Our actual take home pay would have made you vomit.

We had a maxed out credit card (or several).  We bought our production to keep our cars, our units, our time on stage.  I had over 400 regular customers, I held classes every week, I managed my money, and I was in debt.

3. The MK family is not a family at all.

Have something happen (living proof here!), decide to take a break.  I guarantee you within 30 days, your family will disappear. If you’re not ordering, we’re moving on.

4. We prey on your insecurities about being a loser if you talk of quitting.

No one wants to be a loser.  No one wants to feel that they have failed.  And we know it.  And we are armed with the words to change your mind direct from the higher-up in Dallas.  DON’T LISTEN.

5. You can start without inventory but after your first order, get ready for a full-court press to order more and move up.

Sure, it is your choice.  But beware…….we’re trained.  You’ll get sucked in.

6. And finally, there is life afterwards.  A glorious life that is not shrouded in a cloud of lies, anxiety, pressure, and feelings of inadequacy.

You are not a loser – you are a winner – because you got out.  It will take a while to realize this but the realization is worth the wait.

In closing, I have absolutely nothing to gain by posting anything but the truth.  I just hope that my reflection helps that one person out there who is considering, who has had the false image presented to them and think they could do it too, that it makes you think outside the pink bubble and consider those of us who, by God’s grace, had the courage to quit the sham on others and most of all, ourselves.

Note from Tracy: Current Mary Kay sales directors and executives will tell you this woman was “one bad apple” who didn’t work Mary Kay the “right” way. They will say she is the exception, and that she obviously ran her business unethically, and that by and large women in Mary Kay do things honestly. They are lying. This woman’s experience and advice is the rule. The Mary Kay scam thrives because of deep-rooted deception from within the upper members of the sales force.


  1. BestDecision

    Former Director here, and I concur! It’s all about production, hidden behind a mask of “wanting to help other women”. Haven’t heard a peep from any of my “friends”, either!

  2. pinkpeace

    OMG, I kept thinking that I had written this! Every word is true, especially:

    2. We Directors (past and present) are/were in debt. PERIOD. Our actual take home pay would have made you vomit.

    I personally did not know a director at any level who wasn’t carrying credit card debt. You start in debt with inventory, then when you move up into directorship, you’re topping off production, “stretching” for that career car, and paying for all those extra directorship expenses.

    You would be shocked at the directors who have quietly filed for bankruptcy, all the while trying to hang onto a Mary Kay title that got them into bankruptcy in the first place.

    1. onelessSD

      I’m with PinkPeace… #2 is the absolute truth. 7 years as a director I accumulated $22K in cc debt. On average, it was just over $3K a year… all due to being a director. The prizes, the meetings, the dues, the suits, all the things you do to make you LOOK successful, etc. For me it was about $3,000 above and beyond what I was bringing in each year.

      The only MK friends that I still have contact with… are ones that got out too. The ones still in and churning- I haven’t heard from in years.

  3. Pink Jihad

    Regarding #2–if a director is NOT in debt, maybe her expensive hobby is being supported by her husband’s income, especially if he makes a lot of money which would further support the illusion of a wealthy MK lifestyle.

  4. terence francis

    I am the ex-husband of a woman who was especially susceptible to the lying manipulations of Mary Kay herself. The Icon and the patter. I am in Canada where laws governing pyramid schemes are a little tougher than in many parts of the US, and still this company gets away with this! The credulous w ill always be with us, ditto those lacking in even basic business ethics. They share the same tactics as religious entrepreneurs – shamelessly raking in millions from the gullible who mostly are just trying to get by.

  5. Shari63

    So true, 3. The MK family is not a family at all.

    I’ve had health issues, and was verbally attacked by another consultant for not coming to meetings and supporting the so called ‘team’, etc etc.

    What I got from my Director after this was, we don’t discuss personal or health issues at MK, only positive things, basically unless it’s about the business don’t bring it up. Yet I started it was all about the real friendships I’d make, etc etc….all lies, so told me her ‘girlfriends’ in MK never discuss their personal stuff, only business. Well, they not girl friends at all then if you ask me, they are co-workers, don’t need them.

    Oh, but every meeting all we heard about from the Director was about her health issues and allergies, and would stand over us if we were eating, oh can I smell that, smells so good wish I could but that would make me sick.

    I know have a very small inventory, for myself and my true friend clients, order once maybe twice a year and that’s it. but end of each quarter, get text message, ‘I’m worried about you, blah blah, oh don’t forget to get your order in, so you can get the great bonus! Right, last bonus I got was this bracelet that I couldn’t wear was it was cheap, not real silver, so broke out in a rash.

    Oh the lies that you realize when you stop and listen, and hear all the fake messages.

  6. Gina Tarasi

    I am like so terrified to quit. I feel so guilty and I don’t even know why. Like if these people cared like it wouldn’t be as if they were my boss. I use to work for another direct sales company before This and they were nothing like this. Should’ve known when I was told to get a personal loan out for product that was my red flag! If you haven’t joined yet don’t do it. You’d be sitting here right now like I am panicking on how to tell these people you’re quitting. This group has really helped me remove the blinders. Plus the lying is awful.

    1. BestDecision

      I’m assuming you’re a Consultant and not a Director, so here’s my response: Send it all back. You owe NO ONE an explanation, which, if you haven’t figured out, will result in you being coerced by your Director and recruiter to stay in. It’s all about them, not you, in their minds.

      I was a Director with offspring Directors and chose to resign. Because of my position in the company and having had a unit to lead, I did explain myself to my senior, but that’s it.

      You’ll be relieved to know this: It happens all the time.

      If no one ever quit or if the opportunity was that profitable and reliable, there wouldn’t be a Repurchase Department. There wouldn’t be attrition marked by Active or Terminated statuses.

      Since I left, the company has gone further downhill. My senior is in the exact same spot she’s been in for almost 20 years. There are NSDs taking early retirement. The products are not state of the art or cutting edge. (In fact, they’re way behind the rest of the pack.). Every day, women like you and I are told to “bee-lieve” and quoted scriptures, lectured on how we aren’t taking God as our partner, and lied to when standing next to someone who claims to be making an executive income, yet she isn’t even in a Cadillac.

      Be strong. You owe no one an explanation. Just call 800-272-9333 and ask for the Repurchase Department. They’ll guide you on getting your money back.

      1. Gina Tarasi

        Thank you! I think my final decision was made for me last night when I got pushed into sales aspect of it and not the “fun” that is promised. I knew when I went to Fall Legacy this year it wasn’t for me as it was frowned upon that I didn’t attend their church service. As I believe in God, and have faith but just not in the negative way or unofficial way it was presented. Trying to break up with the Director I just told I was all in again, is literally giving me such anxiety. However, thanks to you all helping, this has been so much easier to do! I do warn others who attempt to get into Mary Kay to know this is going to cost you money. Lots of money and the stress of bossy micromanaging nitpicking ladies who are not your friends will be out to get you.

    2. pinkvictim

      Gina, this might help:

      In addition, these might help in making sense of the whole thing:

      Take care of yourself; talk with a counselor (preferably an exit counselor with experience helping people break way from extreme social influence organizations); take time to work through some of the thoughts and feelings that will be coming up as you go through the process.

      Stay strong. There are people here who will support you.

    3. Margaret

      Wow. I can’t believe how bad it’s gotten!! People don’t care anymore!! I was with a company that is not in the U.S. anymore, but I always tried to help my people!! Direct Sales business es are not easy but they can be profitable. My name is [loser who put her phone number here]. I’ve never done Mary Kay and I’ve to tell people not to buy inventory.

  7. Lazy Gardens

    The hints and claims that if you quit you are a failure, that Mary Kay is your fallback plan in case the Zombie Apocalypse happens … it’s soaked in.

    Any time someone tells me that quitting is failure, I remind them that the Donner Party didn’t quit and we all know how that turned out.

    You don’t have to tell anyone in the unit you are quitting – just call the buy-back number, get your forms and start packing. (Call Mary Kay’s main phone number and ask for Product Repurchase: (972) 687-6300 )

    And here’s what to say when your director calls in a panic because she needs you to keep money flowing to her:

    Leaving Mary Kay is in my best interest. Please respect my decision.

    Then shut up and hang up … do nothing to give her an opening to launch the “Overcoming Objections” scripts. You are making a statement, not starting a dialog.

    Variations on the exit statement …
    Leaving Mary Kay is in my best interest, and the interest of my family/career/education (whatever suits). Please respect my decision.

    If the SD is one of the ones who uses religion as a control mechanism …
    I prayed on it and leaving Mary Kay is in my best interest, and the interest of my family/career/education (whatever suits). Please respect my decision.

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