The Long and Winding Mary Kay Road

Written by SuzyQ

Back in the early days of Pink Truth, our members got to “watch” me implode as a Mary Kay sales director. It was such a process and I can’t imagine how I would have lived through it without everyone on Pink Truth. It also took a sense of humor.

It amazes me to meet new participants… former lurkers, who are astonished at the similarities of our stories as they come out piece by piece. It is so rewarding to read the comments and know that we are providing hope to others.. .the great relief to learn we aren’t crazy, and that it wasn’t because we didn’t work hard enough or believe enough.

There have been times on here that I have defended directors and other times I have blasted them. Being a director is one of the strangest experiences I have had in my life. There is a whole ‘nother level of deceit and disinformation once we reach directorship and leaving it is incredibly difficult initially. There is a death of a dream, of hope for the future, of doing just a little bit more to make it work, trying something different to inspire the unit (“Boot Camps”, complete with Pink Camo were once popular around these parts… the fact that we are at war and people are dying has apparently escaped the attention of the people who dream this stuff up… too negative. The war thing.) And finally, the realization that it can’t work, and won’t work and it’s time to leave.

I finally go to that point, but it took a while to get to the hard won peace that I know now. My Mary Kay car was ceremoniously towed away and my unit was gone shortly after that. It was fun “meeting” other directors whose clocks were running out soon, too… 3 or 4 at the time I was leaving, plus me, and these were only the women I talked to on a regular basis. Who knows how many lurkers and those few who haven’t found us are “stepping down” or “losing” their units this month? And next month… and the month after…

The writing I’ve done for Pink Truth was for my own therapy and I should probably not have subjected you all to it, but (there’s always a “but” isn’t there)… I have discovered I am not unique and my experiences resonate with others. So, a note to my sister directors who are committed to turning their units around, and are so excited after that awesome Career Conference… it’s not going to happen. Really. You are chasing something that enriches only your upline. Yes, Virginia, we have uplines in Mary Kay. It’s a multi leveling marketing scheme. Period. Those at the top prosper at the expense (literally and emotionally) of those at the bottom. And if you are a bottom feeder (or a “struggling” director like me) it’s not going to get better. Trust me on this.

You will have a good month, or a new hot dog… maybe even in another state who is ON FIRE and will change your whole unit! And then she will burn out and you will be back where you are now. If you bring in people with large inventories, they will end up returning it. There is too much easily accessible information for them to access than there ever was before. This does not work to your advantage. Women are smart… they know deception and if anything, MK Is deceptive.

Those nagging questions you have always had?

  • Like, how does MK know we are #1 year after year… but if you google lists, we are not on them… how does that work? It works because of you Sweetie… you and your unit order, that’s how that works.
  • The Star Prizes? Have you priced them in retail stores? If you haven’t, it works out that $1800 = around $25 and it goes up by maybe $20 as you progress up the ladder…
  • Have you thought about the ethics of not telling your units about product changes? Have you let them order things you know are being discontinued?
  • Do you ask them to stand up if they are going to be a Star this quarter? Do you put their orders in your newsletter? And their sales? Have you noticed that their sales aren’t even close to their orders?
  • Do you have banquets? Events? Do you announce your highest check? Do you also say that it was a one time thing several years ago, or do you allow them to believe it is a typical check for you?
  • Do you tell them that it is okay to incur debt because it is a business deduction?
  • If they tell you they don’t have $100 for the Go Kit, do you tell them that’s why they need MK?
  • Do you talk about executive incomes for 10 hours a week?
  • Do they know that your checks bounce better than rubber balls?

Have you been encouraged to leave your JOB because Mary Kay doesn’t like her directors to hold other employment? How big is YOUR credit card debt? How does it feel to buy a suit for over $400 that you wouldn’t be caught dead in otherwise? And spend the money for events and “I stories” you could recite in your sleep? Are you embarrassed because you are not in a Cadillac during director line ups at events? Do you secretly look at the other directors and wonder why they are having so much success and you are not?

Ladies, it’s all of this and more. There is such incredibly powerful manipulation afoot… read any training materials from other MLM’s (online) and you will see MK everywhere – the phrases, the suggested reading lists, the same “slogans.” We are all the same and we are not going to “make it” unless we hurt a lot of people along the way. MK is a numbers game, and there are families behind those numbers, we cause great damage in our pursuit of our “dream.”

Start asking questions and see the reaction from your forever friends. Mention Pink Truth and see the horror in people’s faces. Tell somebody you are not making enough money and have them tell you to just quit thinking and work harder. Watch your phone calls and emails decrease dramatically. Get ready for some “Hear my heart” conversations.

I do offer hope though. It is so much better to be on the way out rather than on the way in. We miss so much when we are in the fog. We can be honest, we regain our souls and our spirits, our senses of humor and irony. We sleep well. We explore other job opportunities and other cosmetic lines. We meet new friends who have seen us at our worst and still are there for us. We worship the God of our choosing instead of the one chosen for us. There is so much good waiting for you! Your family and your life are waiting… can you hear it?


  1. ran4fun

    “MK is a numbers game, and there are families behind those numbers, we cause great damage in our pursuit of our “dream.” ”

    Wow, SuzyQ. That speaks volumes.

  2. 4:8 girl

    “Have you been encouraged to leave your JOB?”. I was a red jacket for 18 months when I finally “reached for the stars” & entered DIQ. As a DIQ, I began to hear & notice some ungodly behaviors that never sat well with me. I was at a red retreat when an area director, knowing I worked in healthcare, suggested I not renew my professional license b/c it was holding me back. I literally LOL’d & thought that was crazy. Needless to say, I noticed more & more things, and promptly left MK 3 months later. Needless to say, my team & unit were shocked. That was 5 years ago & my former unit never recovered. And my former director (who I knew for 20 years) has never spoken to me since. I found it easy to leave MK, but I imagine it’s very difficult for directors b/c they know the painful shunning that occurs.

    1. BestDecision

      Same experience as mine, only I reached Directorship and had offspring. The shunning is real, the lies to cover up the reality of why I left…it all just pointed out they’re hiding something.

    1. enorth

      Speaking of CC, gotta love the photos and vids on FB. The unhappy, bored faces in the background. The halfhearted speeches. The photos of food…a green salad, a cheesecake slice. Sure makes those quitters and losers envious of your success.

      The giant recognition banners: “On target” for this or for that. Marching across the stage, waving to a sparse crowd, because you are “#4 in fill-in-the-blank” or you are “On Target Double-Star”, whatever that means. Minimum-wage income but, hey, you are on-target! It looks good on social media, and that’s all that counts. And ALL those colorful stickers on your name badge! Awesome.

      Girl, you’ve got this! We knew you could do it. It’s your time. You dream-maker, you, allowing God to use you to change so many women’s lives.

  3. onelessSD

    ^^^ ME! March usually is spring break for our kids… and my daughter was born in March… so needless to say- it’s awesome to only think of those 2 things anymore…. time with my kids and celebrating another year with my girl. Love my family time!!

    1. BestDecision

      And the 5:00 Club. When you’re in bed by 9, how is that time with your family? 7:00 in the evenings begins your slowing down, which is the time your family has activities or wants to watch a good movie.

      I miss none of it.

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