Mary Kay And The Art Of Rationalization

Written by Raisinberry

Most every Mary Kay sales director or recruiter possesses the skill of rationalization. Some of us don’t even realize this until we begin our journey back to reality.

As I travel my path back to the real world, my heart breaks to remember, and now see, what I did and what these people do. How does it start? Where and why do we begin the rationalization process?

Most women join Mary Kay on an emotional decision. They have just been to a big event and heard the pitch or were carried away in the fun and possible excitement of a skin care class,  or they’ve met a super successful director. Immediately, we introduce them to the PINK BUBBLE world of Mary Kay. It is utopia. What could be better ? Who could argue with this line-up of targeted  perfection?

  • We say we work with our priorities in order…  Faith 1st, Family 2nd , career 3rd.
  • We tell them they will have a whole new circle of positive friends.
  • We say we don’t steal customers or recruits from each other.
  • We tell them they will have FREE training all during their Mary Kay  career.
  • The sales director will match her efforts 110%. She will love & nurture her all the way…  at the recruit’s speed.
  • We say we own our own businesses. We decide how much we will work.

Who wouldn’t want to be part of this ? This is the honeymoon stage of Mary Kay. For some of us it is short-lived. Some smart ladies wake up quickly and get out.

A few of us poor souls believe so much in the dream that we become directors. Is this where the rationalizing process begins? Having to achieve goals in targeted time frames means everything we do, every thought we have, is captive to accomplishing the goal.

We don’t steal customers but… if the other consultant is just an order-taker and isn’t giving “facials” regularly, then it is okay to sell to her customer because you have inventory. The customer deserves a consultant who really works.

We don’t steal recruits but… it is okay for her to join your team to help you. You guys work together and ultimately it is her choice. Her cousin is not really building a team right now.

We don’t order in the name of other consultants but…  if she doesn’t care and all you need is one more active person, why not use your own card?

Most of us experience this dark side of Mary Kay really fast. We comfort the broken hearted consultants by telling them “not everybody is like that”. We go livid when the across town Director snatches a recruit belonging to our consultant, but rationalize the commitment of another consultant when her customer is in our backyard.

In the back of our minds there remains a small nagging feeling that just won’t go away. We cannot linger long here in our thoughts for fear of giving up our dream. Keep moving! A laurel rested upon soon wilts!

But then, sometimes late at night, we allow our minds to explore nagging thoughts

  • Did I really see Senior Director keep drawing until her customer won? Nah… Somebody else would have said something.
  • I told that consultant I would match her effort 110% but they tell me it is a waste of time to do a grand opening on less than a star order. I am sure she will understand how busy I am.  How else will I get that star order if I don’t cut it off somewhere?
  • If she can’t make time to come to the meeting, why on earth would she expect me to spend an hour on the phone with her?
  • She is supposed to be my friend. I know she is earning a car but that was my friend she recruited.

Then one day it hits us right between the eyes! I am becoming them. All the things I saw as a consultant coming up that looked fishy or just plain wrong to me… I am doing!

What do I do now? I need to get out but my ACTIVITY has become MY IDENTITY!

The sad truth of this company with the mission statement of “Enriching Women’s Lives” is that it destroys relationships with very good, demonstrated “justification” for us to follow. We are doing what we saw, and assessing our course of action based on whether it serves us or not.

If your friend doesn’t want to hold a class – well she is not a very good friend or just jealous because you are so happy now. No? Next!

If your husband doesn’t want you gone so much – he is just not supportive, keep working and he will change his mind when he sees the money.

We hear “people and love “ but it is all about the numbers and getting them any way you can! When we make a choice to recruit another’s friend or customer it is a choice to cause pain. A few years from now that director will not even remember the situation, but the friends and family of the “victim” will.

All of a sudden you begin to see, that achieving the goal at all costs is a situation that is directly opposite the Golden Rule and what we all knew to be true when we came through the doors. All those things promised at the guest event or skin care class are a distant memory once you get pushed onto the Mary Kay Career Path.  A Mary Kay Sales Director, under the pressure to hit bonuses, Company contests, or just not lose her unit will make a rationalization for any bad thing she wants to do! She learned from the best!


  1. MLM Radar

    My former BFF convinced herself that MLM – any MLM – really did “enrich women’s lives.” She kept finding new friends with limited education and limited resources, and kept telling herself that it was all a “God thing,” that she was going to get them started in whatever MLM she was working right now, which would put them solidly on the path to financial freedom.

    Now my friend had never made any money herself at her MLMs. She did claim she saved money by joining Team National, which is a shopping club MLM, and replacing her insurances. But when I looked closer I discovered that she could have saved just as much money by simply shopping around on her own, and avoided that MLM’s whole $2,000+ membership fee.

    The two things my friend couldn’t figure out how to do were to sell memberships to anyone else, and to get anyone else to join her non-existent team. But that didn’t stop her from trying. After all, the MLMs she joined always claimed that God was in charge. Also, Joel Olsteen and Joyce Meyer preached the Word of MLM methods. She just knew that if she received the Word from Joel Olsteen and Joyce Meyer it had to have come from God, so she kept on believing because God was going to reward her… handsomely… eventually…

    I simply could not get through to her. I though I had, several times, but something always happened and she jumped right back on the dream wagon. Her husband did get through, sort of, by making demands and threats. But even he never persuaded her heart.

    Ultimately I had to face the truth. I had to stop trying to reach her and walk away. If logic wouldn’t reach her, maybe rejection could. Sadly, that didn’t work either. My former BFF was killed in a car accident about a year ago. She had kept on believing until the end. May God have mercy on her soul.

  2. cindylu

    Recently watched a program on the mlm cult NX1VM and what the recruits went through. Once again the leader profited from grooming and exploiting women. In the end they were branded. The leader began his career with Amway and so it is no surprise that this sociopath knew how to exploit both men and women. Considering the motivational courses cost $2000.00 or more, it didn’t take too long until this creep was living the good life. So were the the others at the head of this pyramid scheme until they discovered just how out of control things really were. It’s about secrets. Directors are too humiliated to admit they’ve been conned. How do you admit that the pittance of profit goes towards: ugly suits, room rentals, prizes, ineffectual expensive conferences and fake training sessions. How do you admit that the company doesn’t care one iota about you or any of their sales force. The products are constantly changing on purpose. The goal post continuously changes so that Directors must cheat to keep their cars and units. Thank goodness that some brave souls eventually expose these cults. After this latest mlm creepy exploitation a few are going to jail. Why mlm’s aren’t shut down as illegal is the real question. Too many of them have hurt and continue to abuse thousands of mostly women.

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