If It Is to Be, It is Up to Me

Written by Raisinberry

We’ve heard stories before of Mary Kay sales directors being with the company for 20 or 25 years. They try to build to NSD, but never get there. They are left without any retirement plan, and most likely, no retirement savings of their own.

These stores hit me hard. These women have given so much time and effort to Mary Kay’s growth but will find themselves out in the cold come retirement age.

Just as important though, is the idea that after 20 or 25 years with Mary Kay, they have built nothing of substance.

The director awakens after all these years to discover there is no foundation to her empire, no security, and no resources. She hadn’t made enough to put a nest egg away. She may have even borrowed from her nest egg to “stretch” for the next goal.

Pink Truth has done commission comparisons for Cadillac and Premier Club Directors.  There it is, out there for all to see, the truth that no one wants any consultants to see. After telling your consultants and guests your “highest Mary Kay Check” (to create the illusion that you consistently earned that amount ), how can you go back and reveal the reality? All throughout this business there is the projection of success, while underneath the surface, there is the reality of failure.

As we struggle and work and plan and prepare… follow up and follow through, no matter how great you are at sales, booking, recruiting, there is a variable that you have no control over. Other people.

“If it’s to be it’s up to me” is one of the greatest cons this company presents to us, because without a doubt, from day one to the day of awakening, you are feverishly building something that other people can destroy.

At this stage of the game, nothing you have done for yourself or this company will be foundational. There are no building blocks in place, no security exists. You have to outrun a myriad of destroyers and chase the “dream” tirelessly or you will be swallowed by various types of attrition. That’s why “fast is best”. But even arriving at NSD isn’t the end of the rainbow.  You have to hold your area together or watch your average commission retirement dwindle.

Can you even imagine the terror that some NSDs are experiencing right now, as they see their income plummeting?

The push is on to get new “offsprings” to replace those whose resources (mind, spirit, and bank account) have been exhausted. In case you are one of those readers who thinks we all really could have done more, and you believe in “if it is to be it’s up to me”, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it up to you if your class didn’t hold?
  • Is it up to you if your hostess has an allergic reaction?
  • Is it up to you if your guest isn’t home when you go to pick her up?
  • Is it up to you when 5 other MK consultants book the same craft fair?
  • Is it up to you when your recruit turns out to have bad credit?
  • Is it up to you if your team doesn’t order enough to stay on target?
  • Is it up to you if you unit members fail to get guests?
  • Is it up to you if her husband refuses the product delivery?
  • Is it up to you if your warm chatters gave you the wrong phone number?
  • Is it up to you if your unit member returns merchandise for repurchase?
  • Is it up to you when you get bogus entries in your free facial contest?
  • Is it up to you to attend Leadership, Seminar, retreats and “advances” to curtail debt or will you pay a social price for thinking independently?

Sure we all have the scripts and training to attempt to minimize these obstacles, but the facts are there are variables to success because we are always working with other people. The MK line is of course, just do more!

If 30 of us all try to book appointments tonight will all of us get the same results? If we all hold 8 interviews this week, will we all have 2 recruits?

The answer is no. And it wouldn’t really make any difference in the long run, because the reality is that as many as are signed, are as many as leave, and the churning of consultants is an endless stream. You will always find yourself back at an earlier point in your career as the bottom falls out beneath you, once again.

Directors move women up the career path, only to have them resign and return back into the unit, or leave altogether. The unit swells and then recedes. “If it is to be, its up to me” is a hollow chant when your positioning for NSD crumbles away from you in exhausted, broke, and in debt offspring.

This chant is designed to make sure you never consider that maybe Mary Kay Inc. and your upline are the only ones who thrive off this pyramid.

If you think it’s up to you, you will never realize how much of a “no-win” that really is. You are the one who must chase the wind without any security from Mary Kay as to whether your contribution to their growth will be rewarded. Do not underestimate the power of these words. These are the words that kept you in, repeating stupid behavior because you believed that you alone had to “make it happen” when all the while you were at the mercy of a pyramid sales ploy.

It became humiliating to depend on others… begging for guests, sales and interviews and recruits, and we all ended up doing what any self respecting woman would do. If it is to be, it’s up to me… became the rationalization for “buying” whatever goal was critical at the time… with your own resources!  Isn’t that the Mary Kay way?! And that decision was always rewarded. You got your applause and no one ever asked for the details. You “found a way.”

Please think about this. Because you have to see how outnumbered you are. You are at the mercy of hostesses, guests, and customers, who will disappoint, while you are at the same time being groomed to believe you are the one who “makes it happen”.

Above you is a woman who has encouraged every manner of activity she needs, from you, to get what she wants. Below you are customers, who being freely able to decline your requests, can leave you squished in the middle between disappointing your upline or disappointing yourself.

Sadly, we have lost much of our “deserve level” simply by associating with Mary Kay. How can we “deserve” success when we doubt our own integrity. And what’s worse, when we see someone in our own unit respond in like manner, we recognize that she is our next “offspring.”  She has the “constitution” to buy in to the whole Mary Kay system of manipulation and financial abuse… and like it.

No matter if you have 1 year in or 25, you are in a system that wishes to extract wholesale dollars from any cash on hand availability you have, and convince you that everyone above you is so happy and successful, you would be foolish not to embrace it.

As veteran Executive Senior Directors will attest, the end of the rainbow produces broken dreams and silent knowing that all the “working your business” in the world will not “make it be.” If you are ethical, you will lose. If you are cutthroat, you may win, if you are a good actress and only to find yourself in an endless churning of activity that will never build a thing of substance… because the bottom, like the heart of this company, is rotting away.


  1. MLM Radar

    “If it’s to be it’s up to me.”

    Dutifully you recite that, perhaps even in a chorus at the Monday night meeting. And so it begins. You claim responsibility for future success, not quite realizing that you really have no control over achieving it. After all, anyone can do it, right? That means you can do it too! Or so you’re told, again and again and again…

    But there’s an ugly downside to this. “If I fail it’s all my own fault.”

    If success is up to you, then failure must be up to you too. If you can choose to succeed… that means you also choose to fail.

    Blame the victim starts early. It starts the first time you accept the “If it’s to be” mantra.

    I’ve got a much more truthful saying for you: “This is a strange game… the only way to win is not to play.”

  2. BestDecision

    I was, indeed, at the mercy of the volunteers in my unit and customer base, yet I’d come home from a Director meeting or Seminar and beat myself up for not doing more. It was so ingrained in us to always blame ourselves, and we were shunned and labeled negative if we blamed a bad product launch or anything on MK.

    And just because your commissions have totaled over a million dollars doesn’t mean you are a millionaire. Someone making $50K/year gross commissions for 20 years has earned a million, but we all know she didn’t keep every penny of it. Nor did she earn that million in a YEAR, which is the actual definition of a millionaire.

  3. Tony

    Cunts. The lot of you. I posted logical, factual information to expose you as the bitter unsuccessful dried up wrinkled cunts you are. I did not use the same language. And I know you won’t post this. But you are reading it right now and I want you to know, you’re as shady and untruthful as the bad representations that exist in every business opportunity and sales organization. You should shut this site down and stop using the failure of others as a means to profit. Go eat a bag of dicks and look at the business world as a whole. Most people fail in all businesses. And you’re a lying cunt to pretend it’s only inherent in MK or MLM.

    1. TRACY

      Tony – You attempted to post a series of insults and distortions, and I saw no need to approve those comments (all 27 of them!). You should know that there is no profit in running this site. I have been running it for almost 12 years now, and I’ve funded it personally because I believe it is important to educate women and provide resources for them to find out the truth about MLM.

      We don’t pretend there are problems in businesses in all industries. This site just happens to focus on MLM. Incidentally, MLM is not a business for the consultants. It’s a grand con in which more than 99% of people lose money because it’s a pyramid scheme (which guarantees losses).

      Thanks for your kind comments.

    2. ran4fun

      Tony, your arguments would be more effective if you did 2 things: 1 – don’t use vulgar language; and 2 – provide verifiable proof of your success in MLM – aka IRS Schedule C – Profit/Loss of Business. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sc.pdf You can black out your real name and SS#.

      Most MLMers don’t even know what a Schedule C is, because MLM is not a business…it’s a pyramid scheme.

    3. JanRD

      So glad to see the responses from Tracy and ran4fun. Tony, you should also know that all credibility is lost when you use vulgar language, especially when it degrades women. But at least you can spell. I’m positive I won’t be that last person weighing in on this.

    4. Lazy Gardens

      Why bless his heart. We icked on his wow, stole his dreams, and harshed his mellow. And he’s resorting to calling names and cussing like a 4th grader having a hissy-fit.

      My cat could eat alphabet soup and throw up a better collection of insults.

    5. BestDecision

      Dear, Dick…I mean, Tony: Facts are available in any issue of Applause, which is where I’ve gotten my most recent data. They’re now publishing “first-time Red Jackets”. Before I resigned as a Director, we never could’ve listed new Red Jackets in there because there were times when there were too many to include in an issue. That fact alone says volumes about the health of MKI as a company, brand, and business.

      Another fact: There are currently only 10 women in the entire company on pace to do Inner Circle. There used to be at least 13 even on bad years.

      A very recent fact: The new Miracle Set 3D has smaller packaging which increases the cost per ounce. That reduces Consultants’ chance of immediate sales, and it causes a higher use-up rate…which is NOT appreciated by consumers. I predict a lot of backlash from the sales force on this one, just as I did with the $70 sheet masks.

      If you’re related to or married to a MK person, I’m really embarrassed for her in that your name calling and horrific language alone makes you appear hostile and needing of some anger therapy. There are far better means to discuss things with us. Attract bees with honey, not cringe-worthy words.

    6. Zaridra

      Tony, you should continue to sell Mary Kay. Even if you have a bad month just book more appointments. If you have to sell some belongings or take out a 2nd mortgage on your home it will be worth it. I know you can succeed in MK. Keep doing it.



    8. honeybeige

      The questions you listed in your post are the same problems that have plagued MK from the beginning in 1963 – 55 years ago. It seems like someone in the company could have come up with a better marketing scheme by now.


    In my opinion the definition of a millionaire is not just earning a million in a year, but having a net worth of a million, or having a million dollars of liquid cash available and encumbered.

      1. BestDecision

        His salary is only $100K, but he makes $13 billion/year beyond that. While I agree most people count assets in their net worth, a lot of MK people making < 50,000 net profit call themselves "millionaires" if they've made that for 20 years. That is not the definition of a millionaire by any stretch, and that's the problem I have with it.

        1. MLM Radar

          May I offer another perspective? Being a millionaire is only partially related to how much you earn. What’s more important is how much you KEEP. Set aside enough cash over your working years… and DON’T spend it, and yes, you can be a millionaire… a real millionaire.

          My parents never earned a million in a year at any point in their lives. , but they most certainly became millionaires several times over. When my mother finally passed on, there were several million in assets and cash to be distributed to the children and to charity. My parents became millionaires – real millionaires – because they minimized expenses, invested wisely, and saved before they spent.

          The problem with Mary Kay fake millionaires is two-fold.

          (1) MK Corporate eats up everything they earn: Seminar and quarterly event fees, car co-pays, “topping off” production, chargebacks… Gross income counts for nothing if your net income is zero after expenses.

          (2) A lot of MK millionaire earnings are just smoke and mirrors: MK doesn’t publish sales figures or net commissions. MK publishes “estimated sales” which are just 2x purchases, and gross commissions before expenses and chargebacks. Those aren’t earnings, even before expenses. You can’t became a millionaire on a million smoke wisps.

    1. BestDecision

      I completely agree with you. A lot of MK people making < 50,000 net profit call themselves "millionaires" if they've made that for 20 years. That is not the definition of a millionaire by any stretch, and that's the problem I have with it.

  5. morningstar

    Tony’s wife, etc. must be taking him to the poorhouse in CC debt. He is really angry at something and chooses to take it out on this site. MK and MLM issues on top of frustrations in life can add to anger. His postings are an example of the happy outlook on life – an MLM can produce. The problem with his name calling is that it ultimately does NOTHING to alleviate the frustration level he must be having day to day. He may be a “kept” husband of a pseudo prosperous MLM’er.
    He sure doesn’t have a normal outlook (regard) for “women”. Hope his life gets brighter somehow, someway.






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