Do Sales Directors Depend on Others For Their Income?

In Mary Kay, the pyramid-toppers want you to believe that you control your own income. That you don’t depend on others. If you want a raise, you just go out and get it for yourself. You, as a director, can control your income with the amount of activity you do.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Directors are almost completely dependent upon others for their income. The idea that they can “just sell more” or “just recruit more” is not as simplistic as they make it seem. The director is dependent upon others being willing to open their checkbooks or lay down their credit cards in order to be paid commissions. Dialing for dollars? Sure sounds dependent upon those who answer the phone.

One particular handout used by many NSDs in Mary Kay explains the dependence upon others this way:

Myth: Directors have to depend on others for their income.

Let’s look at an scenario where NO ONE in a Director’s unit orders product in a given month. However the director is working classes each week and she has 5 personal Qualified recruits in the month. Company average order size for a new consultant is $1000 whl.

$5000 whl. 5 new personals
+ $1500 whl. Director’s personal order tracking her for NCSales.
= $6500 whl.Production from just the director and her 5 new consultants

Let’s see what that income looks like:

$650 income from $5000 whl from 5 new recruits (13% Commission on personal recruits)
$845 income from $6500 whl from your unit (13% Director Commission – directors get paid on their entire unit including personal recruits again plus their own order. )
$500 income from the $100 Bonus per personal new Q. recruit
$500 income from the bonus for a unit that has 5 Q. recruits in one month
$600 income from the volume bonus of $100 per $1000 production (over $5000)

Total $3095 Income as a Director This income is from just your personal 5 new recruits and your own $1500 whl. Order.

Add to this $1000 income from $2500 in retail sales w/ 60/40 split ($1500 whl. Reinvestment)

$4095 Total Income for the month…from Directorship and personally selling the product.
NO ONE in the Director’s existing unit ordered at all.

Now let’s look at what happens to car production requirements:

$6500 whl. production
$3000 car credits (director’s receive $600 car credit per qualified personal recruit)
$9500 in car production for the month… Premier Club production!

Myth BUSTED!! Directors only need to depend on themselves.

This doesn’t prove anything other than the director is totally dependent upon others (her personal recruits) to place orders and others (her customers) to buy products.

And let’s not forget that holding these classes and finding these recruits is much harder that they’re making it out to be. If this scenario was played out, the director would have 60 qualified recruits in one year. How many of the 14,000 or 15,000 sales directors have ever done that? And aren’t the sales directors supposed to be the best the company has to offer.

Yet again, setting unrealistic expectations and misleading people about the income and the effort.


  1. Princess Lea

    So what happens on an average month when nobody in the unit orders and there are no recruits at all? Miss Director makes 40% of her retail sales plus 13% for being considered a unit member. At best she’ll have $2,000 in sales working *ahem* 20 hours a week. So that still ends up being less than minimum wage AND just proves the point that each MK consultant is 100% dependent on other people.

  2. raisinberry

    Ha ha, the writer of this “Myth” piece has failed to see that she just PROVED that the “myth” is true.

    You have to have OTHER PEOPLE sign up, and OTHER PEOPLE order to make a decent Director’s commission.

    IF the Director was alone, producing production, she would have only the 1500.00 order that SHE put in. She CLEARLY NEEDS OTHER PEOPLE to produce the production in order to keep her Unit…

    SO this writer wants you to think the DIRECTOR could simply recruit 5 and qualify them…got news She WON’T. In fact, even in this fake scenario, the 1,000 average would not apply. One might order a Star, one might just be qualified and 2 might activate, leaving one doing nothing. So throw out those so called bonuses for qualified recruits.

    These pie in the sky scenario’s are just sad. Even the retail sales “profit” isn’t true…don’t they all sell “sets” that are discounted to begin with?

    I sure hope any Director or consultant who has had this crap leveled at them has the temerity to toss it back. When has it EVER happened-that A Director got a paycheck of $4095.00 on Unit production of 6500.00 with 6 people ordering.

  3. Anna

    5 recruits in one month? I’ve never done MK, but I can only imagine how many hours it would take to sign on and do whatever needs to be done for 5 recruits. And that’s only if you could actually find five people to recruit! Completely unrealistic.

    Not sure how many people have done time tracking, in terms of pencil and paper, an app, etc. A very common scenario is when you think something is going to take half an hour and it actually takes two hours of concerted effort, not even including interruptions. Once in awhile you think something is going to take an hour but it only takes 20 minutes. But it’s much more common for things to go the other way. if you spend 20 minutes driving to a recruit’s house, 2 and 1/2 hours talking with her, and another 20 minutes driving back home, you better take into account all of that time. Now, if you admit to yourself that you work full-time hours, four hours out of supposedly only 40 total hours is quite a large chunk of time. As others have pointed out, the same goes for something like holding a supposedly two hour class. How about the time spent driving, preparing materials, cleaning up afterwards, and so on.

    One could argue that even with regular full-time employment, there is time spent commuting, bringing clothes to the dry cleaners, etc. I challenge anyone to take into account any and all time spent on such activities and then compare it to the time spent working an MLM. Be accurate and honest and track all time spent. Also find a way to evaluate how “in control” of your schedule you actually are. Don’t forget about things like health insurance and retirement benefits. if you’re trying to build security and a future for yourself and your family, you owe it to yourself to take into account all of these things. Make sure you’re honest with yourself about why you signed up with the MLM. if you signed up to replace part-time or full-time income, but it’s not working out, don’t change your story and tell yourself that you just signed up to get products at a discount.

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