The Letdown After Seminar

Written by Raisinberry

Here we go again. July tanked. It’s August. The company sets up another promotion based around ordering, and your prize is a silly pin, charm, or something of the sort. Another push to add new customers to your Preferred Customer Program. Some sort of consistency club if you place an order each month.

It never ends. And of course there’s more. More contests, more ordering opportunities, more promos from your National to do FACES this year. Yep, they all want you to FOCUS on building your customers! But do they really mean it? Or is it another ploy to line the pockets of your upline and corporate?

It’s all lip service. The company HAS to pretend that their mission is customers and selling. If it’s not, then Mary Kay is a recruiting company and they would be on the verge of being an illegal pyramid scheme.

Nobody wants to have their consultants to peek at Pink Truth and see something that describes their Directors “antics” to a tee. Once you know that what your Director says is just about 90% scripted, it’s hard to get enthusiastic.

Directors who visit Pink Truth and follow their conscience start to back off anything that appears like frontloading (i.e. big initial inventory orders) and so the unit numbers plummet. NSDs with pangs of guilt try to back step and appear more concerned about training and salesmanship, etc…knowing full well that production comes from new recruits. Those are the only kind of “new faces” of which they are really concerned.

The biggest hope from corporate and those at the top of the pyramid was that Pink Truth would die out. They hoped our discussion would run its course and we’d go away, just like every other website dedicated to exposing the MLM industry. They tried to look like the focused on selling, but in the background really honing in on the more productive frontloading of new recruits.

If Mary Kay relied on orders from selling alone… 500,000 consultants ordering once or twice a year would put a serious hurt on. All the directors know that a unit (and therefore the company as a whole) is not sustained via orders from consultants who are simply selling. Units are kept based on the large initial inventory orders, and the orders from selling consultants are just a little extra.

So, it’s no wonder you are feeling the letdown after Seminar. That is… if you understand the reality that the same old recruiting and frontloading game is on, and no matter what the hype or the promotion, nothing has really changed. Absolutely nothing has changed in the core business of Mary Kay since Pink Truth has launched in 2006. Let that sink in.

So why are we even here? Pink Truth hoped to change things at Mary Kay. We knew that wholesale change at corporate was unlikely, but that we could reach consultants and directors one by one. We’re STILL getting over 1 million visitors a year to this site. We’re reaching people and educating them, and ultimately saving them from Mary Kay.

So you extended yourself way overboard to get to Seminar, after placing that sizeable order in June. Now you are into August and all those unsold products are smiling back at you from the shelves. Holiday season is rapidly approaching, and you still have to unload thousands of dollars worth already collecting dust. How many boxes do you have that you didn’t even open yet? I’d be depressed too. I have been many times, this time of year.

You sell better than anyone in your Unit and your sales are meager. Your expenses are high. You have plowed money into this “opportunity” for years and you get one step ahead and two steps back. Your recruits go inactive, your unit wilts and falls, you are once again topping off production with resources you do not have, asking your hubby if he has any “space” on his card, and now here comes September. Year after year you have walked through this cycle and year after year you compare yourself to the ones your NSD highlights and fawns over.

You know what you do to survive. You just don’t know that all the others are doing the same thing and pretending all is Grand in Mary Kay. This is theater. Academy Awards stuff.

Any company that works this hard 3 times a year (Seminar, Career Conference, Leadership… not to mention the 3 or 4 more intermediate NSD events) to pump you up is telling you to your face that they know your business doesn’t produce enough excitement to sustain itself. Would even one Seminar be required if you were making the kind of money that’s been promised? Cash motivates… but this company is all about Credit. Your credit.

You are feeling the letdown from Seminar because you are going to once again work to pay off Seminar. Then you will be working to pay off past credit card debt, then you will be working to pay off Holiday ordering, then you will be working to pay off Leadership. Round and round and round it goes, with all your efforts doing nothing more than buying you a ticket on the MK roller coaster.

You are hunting for your replacement and you don’t even know it. As you slowly tire out, or refuse to add production out of your own pocket, you will lose your unit and those new red jackets of yours will drop safely into your Senior’s Unit, and be pumped for whatever you didn’t have the heart to extract from them. She will salvage one or two and push them up the career path to replace you. And they will work it for 4 to 6 to 10 years, until they tire out… or figure it out. And on… and on. (Have you noticed how many directors now crash and burn before they get even a year into this?)

Seminar is a pump-you-up celebration of fraud at a fever pitch, designed to be that “big picture look” that will drive your goal setting and activity till you have had just enough smacks in the face by reality to re-evaluate. Then it will be time for January Retreat and Leadership!

And as long as Pink Truth is here to get the word out, your recruiting efforts will meet opposition. You have to understand our motivation. We don’t want any more of you. We don’t want any more women suckered by lies. We don’t want any more women publicly manipulated to lie because an “ intro sheet” asking them to reveal their high check stares back at them from a hotel podium. You are feeling a letdown after Seminar because you KNOW the truth. You just don’t want to face the truth.

It’s August, and here you go, all over again. Can you really go through all this one more time?


  1. pinkpeace

    Oh Raisin – such flashbacks!

    – Flying home after Seminar, wracking my brain during the flight for any prospect I could possibly have missed.
    – Trying to figure out if anyone in my unit might possibly order in August.
    – Wishing that the new holiday products weren’t so lame.
    – Struggling to formulate a holiday products strategy, given what I had to work with.
    – Realizing that as soon as I got home, I would have to start working the phones and warm chattering instead of spending quality time with my husband and kids.

    The never-ending hamster wheel of MK directorship was relentless, and even worse after the Seminar high. Thanks (I think) for the reminder!

    1. BestDecision

      In all my years in MK, there were only a couple of Fall/Holiday products worth excitement. The rest were disasters.

      Steely silver eyeshadow in every limited-edition compact, cheap smelling shower gels and lotions, and those ancillary body care products off a fragrance line. One thing MK always does is thoroughly disappoint!

  2. raisinberry

    If consultants actually knew how sick to our stomachs we were, facing August, and most months, and why we had to pump the production train constantly…they would high-tail it out of Mary Kay.

    The only time enthusiasm was real was after we or someone in our Unit recruited a “sharp” woman with good credit…or Holiday Hype got some early orders in before the 15th…or somebody went on target for their car (Yippee! 4500.00 in and I didn’t have to do it!)

    Oh you IBC’s out there…if you only knew.

  3. pinkpeace


    Consultants, your director will NEVER let on that she is having any difficulties whatsoever. Even the supposed top directors are terrified that you’ll find out what kind of frantic activity goes on behind the scenes every single day.

    If you knew, you would want NOTHING to do with this company.

    Please read the director stories here, because we have nothing to lose in telling you the truth. Your director, on the other hand, has a 100% vested interest in perpetuating the lies – her survival depends on it.

    1. Gretch Brown

      I was a secretary for my director and she was so behind with the IRS that she reached a point where she couldn’t pay me. When I pressed her for payment, she replied that I didn’t do my job properly and so she would not pay me. What an eye opener that was for me!

      1. Chris

        That is extremely illegal, withholding a paycheck for hours already worked. Should have reported her to the Department of Labor. She would have come up with the money real fast, somehow.

  4. OnelessSD

    PinkPeace & Raisinberry… you speak absolute truth! The memories that came rushing back while reading this article… (and that same knot in my stomach was there again too!)… it’s all true. I hardly spent any quality time with my family that night.. because I would usually get home late- and the next morning… I felt like I had a huge hangover (and I don’t drink).. but from sheer exhaustion. The kids wanted all my attention- but I had to get things moving with MK- because the clock was ticking towards month end. All I really wanted to do was to kick back and play with the kids in the pool… but that couldn’t happen if I was going to keep my unit afloat. I hated summertime for that reason…. my kids were home from school- and I just couldn’t spend the time with them that I wanted to- I had huge amounts of guilt! But if I wanted to stay a director… I had to put my head down and keep moving, keep ignoring my family.. and keep moving. August was the worst month- because everything is back to school… people chose to spend $ on school clothes and supplies.. and not MK. If I made production in August, it always felt like a huge accomplishment with a small unit. Looking back… and with having 20/20 vision- it should have been a huge wake up call for me then… I spent way to much time as a director- wasted way too much money. I hate this company!

    1. pinkpeace

      Oneless – you just triggered a particular nightmarish memory of August!

      My kids went to Catholic school, which meant that we were responsible for buying many of their textbooks. Every August, the book bill would come due – hundreds of dollars – and I had no director income to pay for it. Because I had been keeping my MK debt from my husband, I couldn’t tell him that I needed money for books. I just had to find another credit card.

      My kids loved going to the new school year book sale. They saw their friends and got a preview of what new things they’d be learning in the fall.

      I dreaded the sale. It was just another expense that added to the credit card debt that kept me awake at night.

      UGH – MK is such a cancer!

      1. OnelessSD

        PinkPeace… that is rough! I remember a couple of my consultants selling MK to cover the books/ clothes / supplies for their kids each August… and then they would tell me they didn’t have enough $ to replace the products they sold AND buy those supplies… and like every good parent- they chose their kids. Needless to say… as a Director it made me mad… but as a Mom, I understood. It just made me hate August even more.

        So many reasons to hate this company!! and yes- MK is a cancer!

  5. Char

    Former directors willing to expose this fraud are the ones to truly admire, and not those still committing the act. No doubt current MK consultants think this wonderful bunch of ladies posting here have ulterior motives; and are trying to sabotage them, instead of warn them.

    You all remember Frank Abagnale the young con artist in the movie ‘Catch Me If You Can’ ?

    True story. “He later founded Abagnale & Associates which advises companies on fraud issues. Abagnale also continues to advise the FBI, with whom he has associated for over 40 years, by teaching at the FBI Academy and lecturing for FBI field offices throughout the country. According to his website, more than 14,000 institutions have adopted Abagnale’s fraud prevention programs.”

    Because he knew how scams worked! He lived it. Obviously, the FBI thought he’d make the best kind of teacher.

  6. raisinberry

    Yep Char, so true. So many hundreds if not thousands of Directors have come clean on this site, you can just imagine the panic that PT produces and how necessary it is for them to trash us. They have to.

    When the hate mail hits, I always remark…why in the world do you think we were “losers” in Mary Kay? Who told you THAT? Ha ha ha… We were good at it!
    Between Best Decision, pinkpeace, oneless just in this thread alone…what do we have, 18-20 career cars?? I had 6!

    Yep we’re the PT Abagnale’s.

  7. enorth

    And those new directors who “found a way” at the last minute to earn their suits…miracles do happen, right?

    How long before that excitement wears off and reality sets in? Bills, expenses, debt, team members quitting, always away from home, etc.

    Better have on those Big Girl Panties.

  8. Cindylu

    It’s really sad that this predatory mlm, hurts children and families. I left a good career to be a stay at home mom. A supervisor with no children deceived me into signing up for MK as a good opportunity to be there for my children. What a con. Go to Seminar and spend days away from children. Noticed brand new directors quitting immediately after seminar. Away from children evenings and weekends for an mlm scam. Women getting praised for mostly recruiting. Seminar with those hideous dresses, poor seating, clapping for no reason, no actual sales or make over training, crowded shared rooms and horrible food. Then the fake enthusiasm, idolizing of Mary Kay with the made up stories that we were her daughters and all the other cultish singing and slogans. We were cash cows period. I am so embarrassed that I ever was conned into believing that this company allowed women to excel financially or otherwise. My NSD and SD weren’t even nice. They were horrible narcissists. I am ashamed to have been deceived by this company and women into wasting time and money on such a stupid scam. Wasted time away from my children. MK also rudely accuses our husbands of being unsupportive when they wisely question all the brainwashing and demand for more product order. (Not to mention the never ending credit card debt). My husband couldn’t believe I was being asked to recruit immediately. I also hated most things about MK. The meetings, booking classes, working out of the trunk of my car, lugging products that change every week, open houses and trade shows that always fail. The danger of going into a strangers house. One young woman’s friends stole my car while I tried to recruit her. I also was extremely uncomfortable with the misuse of Christian verses. The companies focus on prizes, trips, jewelry, the sashes, the false praise and the over the top exaggeration of earning potential. I don’t miss MK. Once I quit, I was in a pink fog like a form of PTSD because all those false promises came crumbling down. I had to undo all the brain washing. Eventually I realized that there were other better paying part time opportunities. Most jobs pay better than MK. A teachers Aide, bus drivers, imaging technologists, post master, dental hygienist, the military, funeral service managers. radiation technologist, mail clerk, teaching English as a second language, activities director etc. Even being a waitress, walking dogs, day care worker or child minder or working retail is better and more honest than MK.

    1. BestDecision

      All of this. I, too, am embarrassed I ever was a part of MK, and it angers me I lost so many years to it. My income was lower as a Cadillac driver than it was as a new college grad.

      At least you weren’t the only one who sank in to it!

  9. raisinberry

    CindyLu, you are right on, and as a Director, you break my heart…cause I think, and I know, I did the SAME THING. I sold what was sold to me. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t seeing the same results, cause I was told, You can’t judge your success on any other person. And that’s true, I suppose, But clearly we thought that if you do X every week, you can expect X every week…and, that of course is not true.

  10. AlwaysQuestioning

    I’ve been reading this site with great interest because I’ve been getting asked to “collaborate” with other MLMers on Instagram. They’ve approached me under the guise of “helping each other out” when in reality, they just want me to join their team.

    And that’s exactly how I stumbled into Mary Kay a couple of years ago.

    I’m a life coach, and I thought of MK as a way to find clients for my practice.

    I soon realized that they wanted to take over my life.

    I was also not a fan of:

    – paying $5 for each meeting
    – wearing skirts, especially during the summer
    – going to said meetings at the end of the day, during rush hour traffic
    – no food or beverages provided at said meetings that are held at my normal dinner time (where does that $5 go?)
    – the constant calls, text messages, Voxer messages, emails
    – the insinuation that if my appts cancel or people don’t call me back, it’s MY fault because the numbers aren’t there
    – correcting me if I said anything that was the slightest bit negative, or didn’t convey a can-do attitude-
    – my director getting irritated when I questioned her. Also she was two-faced.

    And another things about the meetings – they were LONG, like over 2 hours. I developed a sincere appreciation for Toastmasters because they timed everything so they could be on target during the meetings. With MK, people were all over the d*** place

    I could probably go on, but I wanted to convey my support for this site. I wasn’t in very long, spent money on inventory and eventually just personal use product. I never made it to seminar, in part because I had a family reunion at the same time, which was planned 2 years prior. But would you believe the director actually tried to get me to go to seminar anyway? That would have involved a certain level of craziness and things were crazy enough with the reunion. I chose not to go to that level of crazy.

    As for your posts on seminar – the hand clapping, the over-enthusiasm, the poor seating, hours and hours of banal “I did it look at me” speeches… I’ve seen the same in the entrepreneurial world in general where the seminars are designed to hype you up with all the music and dancing and high-fives and repeat after me’s so that you go to the back of the room and sign up for the (expensive) thing they’re selling, then you get home and face reality, whatever that might be.

    Recently Tony Robbins came to my city, and I admire him, but I couldn’t stand the idea of spending ALL DAY at a pitchfest just to see TR at the end.

    I heard someone say to an essential oils advocate (initials of the company in question being “YL”) that they need these events to keep them motivated.

    I say that these events are more like brainwashing. The more you go, the more you believe them, the less likely you’ll question anyone but yourself.

    Putting them on a pedestal while questioning yourself is a sad, and dangerous, thing to do.

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