25 Years of Failure in Mary Kay

time-is-moneyThis story comes from a reader of Pink Truth whose mother has been in Mary Kay for 25 years. For all those former Mary Kay consultants who lost money and were told they didn’t try hard enough or weren’t in long enough….

I just need a place to rant. I am 25 and my mom has been doing Mary Kay for 25 years. Every time she goes to a big Mary Kay event, she gets excited and places a big order, even tough she doesn’t sell much of her products. Yes, she goes into debt to place these orders.

I just don’t understand why she can’t see or won’t accept that after 25 years, she’s not and will never make a profit from Mary Kay.

I have tried to bring it up to her before that I think it’s all a big scheme but she goes off saying it’s not a scheme and all the reasons for her not being successful are to blame on herself for not being more outgoing with it. It turned out to be a big blow out because I was trying to show her how it was a scheme but she just said that whoever wrote the articles was nothing more than a dumbass who was a failure at Mary Kay.

When I was younger my mom was spending every weekend dragging me to Mary Kay classes with her. Even then she was not turning  a profit. So if she was doing more then and wasn’t profiting, what makes her think now that she’s less active that she’s going to suddenly turn a profit?

I hate her yearly seminars and how they get her hopes and dreams high. Mary Kay seems to always emphasize dreaming, and that’s all my mom will ever get from Mary Kay… a dream. She stresses herself out if she can’t get in a big order for her director, and then the product ends up sitting there for months on her shelves.

We recently helped her clean and move, in the process we threw away so many old MK products. I tried to bring it up to her tonight about how much we had to throw away in hopes she would get the hint that I thought continuing to place orders is a bad idea. She stated back that oh those products had been discontinued. Well if you hadn’t order so much of them in the first place and also were able to sell them then you wouldn’t have been stuck with them and wasted all that money!!

I feel like she’s so brainwashed when it comes to MK. I’m so disappointed with her that she keeps going into debt to place orders. If you can’t make enough money in MK to place an order, something is wrong. The thing is that each order won’t even be good enough. I know her director will be on her ass to place more and more orders. My mom will  be in tears stressing because her director is on her to place an expensive order when she doesn’t even have the money to place one to begin with. It sick to hassle and guilt trip a person to tears when they just financially are unable to place an order.

I’m sick of all the money my mother wastes on MK and never getting anywhere with it. How would I even bring it up to her that I think it’s time for her to call it quits? She’s going to sell this product little by little and it will never be enough. When will it end of her being broke because she’s spent it all on orders, seminars, retreats, or whatever little flashy thing can come up with?

I would love to support my mother in the things she does, but I can never and will never support her in MK. It has and will always suck her dry. It’s hard to be vocal about why I don’t support her doing MK because she takes things so personally to begin with and would think I’m not supporting her herself. Even if I explained how I didn’t support her she will turn it out around to be about how I don’t support her and will skip over the fact it’s the MK I don’t support.

I guess she’s learned to guilt trip from MK because when I have rarely mentioned it she goes off on a tangent about how she always supports me with things that I do. Where does it end? How do I bring this up to her that I think she needs to get out, that it isn’t her that’s not productive but the way MK is set up? Even if she was two to three times more productive than she is now, it wouldn’t be enough.

I don’t want MK to own my mother’s life any longer. My mom shouldn’t be stressed out and financially tied up because of all the guilt tripping and empty hopes and dreams that come along with MK. I NEVER hear anyone my age talking about MK. People my age are interested in Sephora, MAC, or Lush. That’s closing the market on people who are willing to buy when there’s better products out there.

I don’t like that mom calls and basically badgers people to buy stuff and gets upset when they don’t. I hate MK and the way they can brainwash people. My mother is a pretty smart lady, I don’t understand how she hasn’t taken a step back and evaluated the situation of her MK. I don’t help her with calling my friends for classes or trying to get ahold of their mothers for one. I don’t want her badgering them or sucking them into signing up. I don’t want to give a chance for MK to get a hold on someone else like it has a hold on her.

Thank you for your website because it gives me so much relief that it isn’t just me that thinks it one huge fraud for most people and just how silly some of it all is. Sorry this is such a long rant, I just needed someone to hear me out. Thank you.


  1. Barbie

    Would she react better to the prospect of retiring? It sounds like she doesn’t want to face that she’s been lied to and used for years–and really, who would? Considering how MK uses guilt as a tool, it’s probably helped condition her to blame herself for all the bad things that happen to her, including being abused by MK.

    If you frame it as retirement, rather than an escape from abuse, it might empower her to quietly wind it down, and then she can come to terms with how badly she was treated at her own pace.

  2. Char

    Your rant helps fuel my continued passion and advocacy against MLMing. Thank you for sharing.

    Maybe you can channel your frustrations and become an advocate like many of us. Sadly, your mother will have to hit bottom on her own as she sounds too brainwashed at this point.

    Moving forward…

    One thing I learned is to never give any MLMer an inch of interest. I cut them off immediately and don’t even ask about the product – and never buy any. MLMing isn’t about the product anyway. The product is just a cover to commit the act.

    If you “support” her, that would make you an enabler. You are doing the loving thing and don’t let her, or her con artist fake friends, convince you otherwise.

    My mom was into MLMing for years. She finally figured it out after getting scammed several times. If she had been a “successful MLMer” that would have made her a lying con woman.

    I’m more proud of her being the brainwashed “willing victim” instead of the successful MLMing shyster.

    I also wish our government would do more to protect its citizens from this con game. I feel we need a movement like MADD to stop MLMing which I describe similar to drunk driving.

    People think MLMing companies are all different. Imagine drunk driving after a night of Patron Tequila and getting busted. We don’t then think we can drink Absolute Vodka the next time. MLMing is something you do, like drunk driving. It’s not the name of a product or company which people often confuse.

    Hang in there. She’ll figure it out someday. Best you can do it not waste your own money. What she does with hers is unfortunately her choice. It sucks, I know.

  3. raisinberry

    Advocacy against MLM is definitely needed…and actually against any false sales pitches. It has gotten ridiculous!

    I remember when it seemed people were much more ethical…in pink land, at least you didn’t know what you didn’t know…no one would ever dare reveal the true numbers in their business so each was left to think she was the unfocused, light-weight that couldn’t get appointments to hold. It isn’t until DIQ and Directorship that you start seeing through the pink haze…and seeing the manipulation and deceit. If you are ethical you HAVE to get out…so hard to believe so many stay and keep deceiving themselves and others.

  4. MLM Radar

    Oh dear. You’re dealing with a MK addict.

    Who is funding her addiction? Unless she’s an NSD, it’s certainly not her. The only way I can imagine ending this disaster is to cut off the funding source. If that’s your Dad, you’ll never be able to stop your Mom without convincing him first. If she’s funding her MK addiction with alimony or a government check, or an inheritance, it may be a lot harder.

    As much as I like the suggestion about retiring, I can’t see that happening. She’s got her whole life defined by Seminar awards and MK event accolades.

    Asking your Mom to retire would be like asking me to give up chocolate. I don’t need chocolate to live, but I couldn’t imagine never touching it again. Same thing with your Mom and MK.

    The only thing I can suggest is that you refuse to become her funding source when her current money supply dries up. In the meantime go “no contact” with MK. Make MK a forbidden topic in your presence.

    You can’t control your Mom, you certainly can’t influence the company or her Director, but you can control you. Love your Mom, but make sure she understands that she has to choose between MK and you. You and your home and your Facebook page are a MK- free zone, no exceptions.

  5. Princess Lea

    Sadly, she has to come to the realization on her own. She’s heavily invested, and it’s not just a financial investment. It’s also emotional and she’s most likely getting her social needs met from the women and the events. So when her daughter tells her MK is a scam her ears turn off. No adult wants to be wrong in the eyes of their offspring! It may feel offensive to her and she immediately switches on the defense because even though you’re coming from a place of love and concern, she feels threatened. Somebody else mentioned funding, and if she is married then getting him on your team would be highly effective. The truth that MK is a money losing, life sucking pit of failure and despair has to come from somebody else, not her daughter.
    I burned out after 10 years and started parusing PT on my own. Then I begrudgingly looked at my schedule C’s and you know what they say in MK- the numbers never lie. I had lost 20 thousand dollars and only made a miniscule profit one year. Use her schedule C as a tool! But when you do, approach each and every conversation with kid gloves.
    Good luck!

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