Mary Kay Myth: I Am on FIRE (and It’s Going to Last!)

Written by SuzyQ

I secretly love it when directors have a “good” month. In my former wannabe area, we competed for silly little prizes from the dollar tree we earned with contests for highest monthly production and most recruits. It was terribly exciting. And very competitive.

If I were still in MK, in this wannabe area and with the rest of my former BFFs, we would be applauding Sally. She has had quite a run this seminar year, so far. Did way higher than ever before as she wrapped her car and aced it again this month. Go Sally! She was able to bring in a diamond AND an emerald star and her base production came through for her, too. Wow. She now has some car credit socked away and a great bonus.

And my former senior? She rocks, too! After months and months and months of co-pays, she actually has enough to meet the production requirement! She has a recruiting machine in her unit. A new Red Jacket! This is so exciting! THIS is the way it is supposed to be! These two women are actually approaching CADILLAC production.  Be still my beating heart. They are actually making money! Really, they really truly are! Mary Kay works when you do! Ha ha Pink Truthers, losers, slackers, non-beelievers. Ha. Ha.

Okay, now that we have calmed down some, it is just silly of me to mention that these newbies came in with those orders on the last day of the month. Isn’t that just the way it always is? People waiting until very the last minute.  It is so stressful and so exciting. (And there are extra days built in to fix those “on hold, cc decline” orders.) And you know, if you just keep trying and just keep bee-lieving, their stories can be yours, too!

Am I jealous? Yes, truthfully, I am. This month they will make more money than me. (Although, as I remind myself, I have a savings account now, with actual money in it. I’ve made money month after month, with a steady paycheck, when they’ve been scraping by and topping off production with their own money. And I have credit cards that aren’t even close to being maxed out because I pay them off every month, and I have health insurance that my employer heavily subsidizes, and holiday pay and travel pay, and an old car with no payment, and that kind of stuff…)

And for them, it is all going to fall apart.  It has to. It’s the way of multi-level marketing. This is just the power of intermittent reinforcement…. every now and then it works, and that is what causes us to repeat the behavior, because you never know, it may work again.

Very much like a slot machine. One win, no matter how small, can keep you seated in front of that particular machine for hours and dollars. The difference with MK though, is that when you have a “run” of good production and recruiting, you become the new best thing, and are used at banquets, director meetings, nsd events and anywhere else to inspire everyone with your “How I did it, and YOU can too, story.” It’s pretty heady stuff, being the new expert, having sister directors take notes when you talk— planning the Top Director Trip, rehearsing the seminar speech, looking for new gowns, etc. So much to do! So much power, so much confidence. Until it falls apart.

We tend to forget that fires burn out. They run out of fuel. Recruiting stops. Credit dries up. Chargebacks begin. People lose faith. Meeting attendance drops. Models become no-shows. Wheels spin. Leads dry up. Production drops and car co-pays start again. Parties and interviews cancel, and the bright light of success fades. People tsk tsk and talk about sitting on wilted laurels. The truth is that the level of activity does not ensure success in MLM. And every time this happens, as it must and will, it becomes harder to get the momentum going again.

So, enjoy your success, dear former BFFs!  You’re on FIRE!


    1. Char

      “Almost” free is another term often used by MLMers.

      Lies, half-truths, misdirection, and embellishment are all qualities of being a “successful” MLMer. Sounds like con men criteria to me. Oh wait…

  1. Shay

    Would love ex consultants to post photos of their prizes and dedicate a post stating how much you spent. Or if you threw them away get a photo from google. Why?! So new-would-be recruits could see.

  2. enorth

    “Lies, half-truths, misdirection, and embellishment are all qualities of being a successful MLMer.”

    I listened to a few Plexus videos. The leader of one team was asked how she “handles” having her spouse in her down-line. “Ha-ha, yeah, I run his business for him.” Another on the call said, “Yeah, I do the same thing with mine. I mean, it’s no secret, right?”
    Leader admits she signed up her husband and father so she could reach Gold Status. Later, she mentions her mother is also on her team. She said she was “struggling”, but stopped and corrected herself.

    All the calls brought up the problem of attrition. One rep said she is challenged because her team is mostly 18-to-24 year olds, who “…have no concept of finances or health.” “I have one who is obsessed with prizes. She just wants a prize every week.” At the conference, they were encouraged to “give prizes for activity, not just results.” (Probably because there are few results.)

    What a farce.

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